Your art is worth more than you think.

6 min read

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Hardrockangel's avatar

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a person in possession of a good fortune must be in want of art.

If you've ever taken a look at the job-offers part of any forum or site, you'll notice two tendencies that occur online. The first is that a lot of people look for art, some for the cheapest possible price at the best possible quality. The other is that a lot of people are willing to low-ball even more than the initial offer simply to snag the job.
Because if they don't offer cheaper art than the rest, they wouldn't be getting the job, or so the line of thought most likely goes.

You see people selling full-body, detailed renderings for $10, or people who sell pixel art for 50 points. But why?
A reminder should be sent out telling people that their art is worth so much more than they think. And this is why I can highly advise these  journals if you plan to price and sell your art.

Interesting info

Tumblr: "Eskiworks-Why is underpricing a bad idea?"
Flowchart: "Should I work for free?"

    There are several reasons why an artist will make the decision to sell their work. For some artists, it is almost accidental that they are discovered doing what they love by someone who is willing to pay for it. Often these scenarios lead to a decision to go public, but not all artists sell their works so easily. There are artists who study and practice and build up an inventory of works with the full intention of selling those works for income. For these artists who depend upon sales as a means of income, and possibly survival, pricing art is imperative. Then there are the artists who slowly venture into the arena, one piece at a time, testing the proverbial waters and gauging whether or not their works will compete well in the art world. Regardless of the beginnings or the motivations, pricing art is a task which has confounded the best of artists.
Common Sense Guide To Surviving The Art World:
Amazing Blog on Commissions and PricingI love this blog from :iconshadow-wolf: It hits everything spot on. This is a must read for people who offer commissions or are thinking about doing it.
Why is undercharging a bad idea?
Now, here are my thoughts on this topic as well:
I might seem like a hypocrite, since I tend to keep my commission pieces low and affordable for all, and I don't see my artwork worth as much as certain artists', but I do know that it takes a long time to create art, and I feel I priced it reasonably enough, according to me and my current talent level. Many of my followers know, I have raised my prices in the past to help compensate for the amount of time I was spending. Compared to what they were and what they are now is VERY significant, but I hated raising prices because every time I did it resulted in a huge cut of fans' opportunities to commission me-- temporarily or permanently. Dreams get crushed each
Finding Freelance work: pricing and self doubt!Why don't I get enough freelance work? Are my prices too high? I see these types of questions on Deviant Art a lot. Whether you are just starting out or you have been freelancing for a while, there is a good chance that you can improve your workload and income by applying a little bit of self confidence and assertiveness.
1) Don't wait for work to find you. Go find work. Read job ads. Find jobs that suit your skills. Also adapt your skills to match the jobs you find... That's very important. If you can provide a style or service that other artists can't match, that gives you an advantage. Make a list of freelancing sites and other sites with job advertisements. You can find some of them here: Keep track of which sites provide the BEST job leads for you and visit them regularly. Be prompt when applying for jobs. Some clients will take days to pick an artist but other clients will choose from the first few applicants.
2) Alwa

And to end on a humorous note

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Spicy-Laptop's avatar
Ahh! When i try to do commissions i never get a buyer! I had two i think, and they were over a few months ago.
Im in need of points to commission someone for a surprise for my friends, and i've only gotten 17/400 points!
Do you have any suggestions? Im in need of advice. ;n;
cakwe's avatar
i'm glad that deviantart now enables users to favourite journals because this one is going straight into my fave.
Hardrockangel's avatar
Thank you so much! :hug:
EtaniaVII's avatar
If I were to start offering commissions, does anyone have any idea how much I should charge? This is some of my work I'm new to the idea of commissions. Any advice is appreciated.
Hardrockangel's avatar
I'd personally say to charge an hourly rate that is no less than the minimum wage where you live, because it looks like a lot of work goes into the drawings you make.
If you want to calculate a flat-rate price, I'd suggest timing the next drawing you make from start to finish and see how many hours it takes you to finish it. Then, keeping in mind the minimum wage per hour, you can calculate how much you want o be paid for the hours of work that go into the art.

I hope this helps! c:
EtaniaVII's avatar
Ok thanks! It can take me awhile to finish one though, 1 to 2 weeks, so I hope people don't balk! Eek.
Hardrockangel's avatar
Unfortunately there will always be some people who balk, so the best advice I can give you is to price your work at a price which you feel it s worth.
And on top of that: to not be discouraged by people who tell you it's overpriced. :hug:
EtaniaVII's avatar
Hmm, ok, thank you! Hug 
Hardrockangel's avatar
XMedullaOblongataX's avatar
I agree with your journal entry completely, but there are a loooot of low-baller buyers out there. I enjoy paying well for good artwork, and I pay tips too (if the artist allows it). I recently paid for a commission, and was astounded by how low her pricing was. I tried talking her prices up, but we both settled on a tip for her good work.
Hardrockangel's avatar
There are, but the trouble is that often when you have prices that are semi-fair, people will make backhanded comments like "Your art is good, but artist B is better and charges less". And thus people will start to doubt and lower their prices if they are told this enough.

It's a shame, really. :hmm:
Twoohten's avatar
Nothing will make me change my mind about the worth of my art. :iconsnobplz: Ever I say!
namenotrequired's avatar
Thanks a lot for the info :happybounce:
Hardrockangel's avatar
Black-Feather's avatar
I even ran into this with certain handcrafts I sell. I do all of my own beadwork--even down to seed bead necklaces that have kids names in letter beads. Those I sell for $3.00. I do multiple threads and make sure everything is done well.

One store I had my jewelry in had a weird range of customers. Sadly, most of them were cheap. I had one lady complain "I can get these cheaper through so-and-so..." to which I responded that those are made in china and are not strong with extra time and care. She insisted that I should be selling my necklaces for $1.00 anyway. I'm sorry, but handmade goods are just that. They are done by hand. They are not mass produced.

Artists are not garage sales. We should be charging what we are worth. Unfortunately most of us don't.
Hardrockangel's avatar
With handmade items especially I can't understand that cheapskate-attitude.
On top of hours of work, there's the material cost, shipping and handling.
To think it costs the same as some mass produced item is ignorant from a customer at best. :faint:
3wyl's avatar
Hmm... it's a losing battle there, I feel. Like there will always be some people gunning for low prices, and.. yeah, everything else then follows? =/
Reidakk's avatar
People might always look for stuff at lower prices but sooner or later that little plan will backfire cause one way or another whatever it is they buy will come with one major flaw or too many that make a big one. Like they say "You get what you pay for."
3wyl's avatar
That's a fair point. :nod:

But if there is a whole market full of cheap stuff, then I doubt you'd make such a loss?
Reidakk's avatar
That'll be in the rare instance when there's something like for instance a black Friday but sooner or later shit is going to hit the fan.
3wyl's avatar
Possibly. :nod:
Hardrockangel's avatar
The luxury I have is that I'm not dependent on my art as my sole income. It's something extra I can set aside as savings, but not something I depend on to pay, say, the rent and bills and such. This means I can afford to turn away ridiculously low offers as well as advertise other artists' commissions instead of my own.

I do understand that this is a privileged position to have, though. ^^;
3wyl's avatar
That's a pretty good luxury, I suppose. :nod:

Yes, indeed. It is a tough world where art is concerned, I guess. :shrug:
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