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Your Art Is Too Expensive

Thu Jan 18, 2018, 6:30 PM
This idea.
I see so many comments and even journals around deviantART with this idea. And in a lot of cases, it's absolutely ridiculous. 

Since I opened commissions, I've been absolutely beyond lucky. Though my art is more expensive than a majority of what I see on dA, I've never had anyone tell me my prices are too much, so this isn't a personal thing for me (and for that I am extremely grateful). Instead I'm writing this on behalf of all the other artists who do get told this, and who are affected by this, because this needs to be heard.

When you commission an artist, it's just like hiring any other service, like a carpenter, or a car mechanic, or a pest control agent. You're hiring someone with a specialised set of skills to complete a specialised job for you. Essentially, you're not hiring the end product - you're hiring their time. With this in mind, let's continue.

This problem of perceived overpricing is particularly bad on dA - in the real world, people pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars for art, and I've seen people say a $5 illustration is too much. I think one of the main contributors to this is the currency of points. 100 points... well I mean, let's be real - 100 of anything sounds like a lot, right? In reality, 100 points is not a lot. 100 points is about $1 USD.
Let's go back to the idea of hiring an artist's time. Say the artist is selling a half-body painting for 100 points, and it takes them 2 hours to do. They are getting paid 50c an hour. It doesn't matter how inexperienced an artist is or how unconfident they are in their art, their time is worth more than 50c an hour.

A lot of people on this site are quite young, or don't make a lot of money, and I understand that in these circumstances, even prices in the $10 - $50 range can seem like a lot. But for complex, time-consuming illustrations, $10 is nowhere near enough. So please don't tell anyone their prices are too expensive, or that nobody will buy anything unless they lower them. Even if you're just trying to give them advice to get more sales, it can seem as if you're undervaluing their work or trying to get art for yourself for cheaper. Their pricing is their choice, and it's probably already less than what they should be getting!


And For Those Who Don't Feel That They Can Raise Their Prices

If you're selling art that you worked hard on for a pittance, remember that your time is worth more than that! If you're spending hours on commissions that are less than 500 points, or even less than 100 points, you're selling yourself immeasurably short. 
You might feel that people won't buy from you if you increase your prices, but if more people priced themselves reasonably, there wouldn't be this idea that 200 points is expensive!
There are always people willing to pay a bit more, and if you haven't found them, you probably just haven't got the right amount of exposure yet. 
Supply and demand is definitely something to take into account, but please - your time is worth more than 10 points! :hug:

Created at simplydevio.us
Add a Comment:
 
:icontsuku-yomii:
Tsuku-yomii Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2018  Student General Artist
Yeah, I understand this struggle- I've never been told this but I constantly feel like I'm overpricing everything I do as I am not that great of an artist. I constantly get told by friends my prices are too cheap- but I feel like I won't be commissioned due to high prices. In my lifetime- all my art has been cheap and yet I still feel overpriced. So, I feel like I can relate somewhat.
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah it can be really tough unfortunately :( The final choice is up to you but yeah, it's a struggle. 
Reply
:icontsuku-yomii:
Tsuku-yomii Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2018  Student General Artist
Yeah ;w;
Reply
:iconkogarashi-chan:
Kogarashi-chan Featured By Owner May 26, 2018  Student Digital Artist
People have said this to me before.
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner May 26, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm sorry to hear that :( I don't think your art seems overpriced at all!
Reply
:iconkogarashi-chan:
Kogarashi-chan Featured By Owner May 26, 2018  Student Digital Artist
It's ok, I think it happens to a lot of people. But thanks!
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner May 26, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome! ^^
Reply
:iconsuspect36:
suspect36 Featured By Owner May 22, 2018  Student Artist
BLAAJKAVABVSAXASSA!!
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner May 22, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
XD
Reply
:iconsuspect36:
suspect36 Featured By Owner May 24, 2018  Student Artist
Susidy
Reply
:iconitz-me-again:
Itz-Me-Again Featured By Owner May 21, 2018  Student General Artist
I've been that "your art is too expensive" person before, but not in this context. People undervaluing their work is a big issue, whereas the guy I ran into was significantly overcharging for a crappy YCH.
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner May 21, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, I think effort, as well as supply and demand, should definitely be taken into account, but yes, it's really important not to significantly undervalue. 
Reply
:iconbuffnutbutthead:
BuffnutButthead Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Well said. I'm faving this....... just to remind myself.
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! ^^ Glad it helped!
Reply
:iconbuffnutbutthead:
BuffnutButthead Featured By Owner Edited Apr 3, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
It did... I just got told I'm too "expensive" and really got p*ssed, so I sat down and calculated. And I've just realized I charge a rediculous 3,50 € per hour (my most expensive item is 140€ for full digital painting, single character, details, shading, highlighting, background, semi-realistic, takes 40 hours, excluding additional characters which cost 30€ extra per character)... 
But what choice do I have right now. I must make fixed, affordable prices on every type of painting I make. because if I charge my much deserved 12€ per hour, which is the common hourly rate for an average office employee in Germany, I won't likely ever be getting commissioned by a private person. It's so complicated and makes me angry Nuu Crying Disbelief  
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, 3.50 an hour is definitely not too expensive, especially if you're taking as long as 40 hours on something! 
But yeah, it is a tough call in that kind of situation (I'm actually in a similar sort of situation myself now). It is super hard to decide, but I think definitely don't lower your prices at the very least! 
Reply
:iconasmyworlddivides:
AsMyWorldDivides Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2018
Agreed and well said Ari <3 
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! <3
Reply
:iconh2ofoxy:
H2OFoxy Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2018
I've never seen this happen before on this website, but I agree 100%. Good art is a lot more valuable than what people think.

SOMETIMES (not always), I will throw in some extra points to my point commissions because I think the artist deserves a little more than what they offer.
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I see it pretty frequently sadly :( 
And ah that's super nice of you!
Reply
:iconh2ofoxy:
H2OFoxy Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2018
Aw, thank you! :)
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome :)
Reply
:iconbuniis:
Buniis Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2018
SO.MUCH.THIS !!

I hate seeing artists get screwed over and have their work devalued the way it does. The way some artists price their art honestly saddens me. Like, so many kids are pricing under $1. and honestly, it's the community's fault, this site is awful with that. 
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes I totally agree, it really is sad! Anyone's time is worth way more than $1! 
Reply
:iconbuniis:
Buniis Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2018
Yeah !!
Reply
:icondqube:
dqube Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
i was looking at the points worth not too long ago and its making allot of sense.
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad you think so! 
Reply
:icondawnthestrange:
DawnTheStrange Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
You said it. I agree 120%
I do commissions for fun, not as a job or whatever, so I keep commissions cheap. Even when they say that it's too expensive! Like, 100 points is literally a dollar. And if you can't afford it then don't bother asking for a commission!
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yesss 100 points really isn't much. And you're right, lowballing is never a nice thing to do :(
Reply
:icondawnthestrange:
DawnTheStrange Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Ikr. It's a set price. You're not gonna go to a restaurant and ask for less for a dish. It's the same thing here.
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes exactly! 
Reply
:iconfidelibus:
Fidelibus Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
P R E A C H
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! ^^
Reply
:icontrufflerux:
Trufflerux Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so true. The minimum wage here in Canada is a bit more than 11 dollars. So if it takes you an hour to do, you need to be making a reasonable amount of money.

I have my commissions at a low price because I don't have many watchers, I know a lot of them can't afford much, and it's a hobby not a job. But if it is your full time job, you need good pay. :)
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes I totally agree! 
I think it's completely fair to keep your audience in mind, but you've also got to keep your efforts in mind too I think! :D
Reply
:icontrufflerux:
Trufflerux Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Exactly! 
Reply
:iconserrabritt:
SerraBritt Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love this!  Great reminder that we as artists are worth our time when we are performing a service for others ^_^
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! I'm glad you think so ^^ And you're totally right! ^^ 
Reply
:iconzaloffshat:
Zaloffshat Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018
Well said! Every artist's time on their art is worth more than what some people think. Luckily I haven't had anyone say I price my commissions too high, I've actually had more people say I underprice my pieces! (which is good to know that people think my art is worth more than I think!)
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! I completely agree ^^
Ah that's good to hear! And haha maybe time to raise your prices then? :D
Reply
:iconzaloffshat:
Zaloffshat Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2018
I think I might have to raise my prices, but not too high, otherwise I will start having people think my art's too expensive! (at least my stained glass pieces I should raise the prices since glass isn't a cheap medium!)
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah well your prices are yours to decide ^^ 
And yes definitely D: Glass isn't cheap!
Reply
:iconzaloffshat:
Zaloffshat Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2018
:D (Big Grin) 
Reply
:iconmmkaay:
Mmkaay Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Student Digital Artist
"Your programming is too expensive but we'll still pay you 200$ and hour"

True story from my bro
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey at least they paid it XD I admit that $200 an hour is a lot though :o 
Reply
:iconmmkaay:
Mmkaay Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Student Digital Artist
My dad makes that after 3 decades of engineering. Attourneys make that starting their careers.

Unfortunately he doesnt pay any of our way now lol
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Gosh! I didn't even know that was even possible! D:  
Ah that kinda sucks 
Reply
:iconmmkaay:
Mmkaay Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Programmers are valuable. My dad was laid off and then hired the next day no job searching. Never been unemployed for more than two weeks.
Reply
:iconarasteia:
Arasteia Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I did a little bit of coding in university so I can understand why!
Reply
:iconzontickles:
Zontickles Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I've never done commissions before and I plan on doing them in the future, but I've seen this problem everywhere. And this journal can really help!
Reply
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