WHY ART SELLS AT THE PRICES THEY DO!
|6 min read
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sighs deeply cs rant
so this anti-closed species drama is still raging after all this time I'm gonna take a firm non-neutral stance on it now: please, please, please do not try to buddy up with me if you support making knock-off species. I don't support it. I can't support it. and I can't support people in the art community if they do this. making adopts is still a sizeable part of my job as a freelancer, and some of them are closed species for various reasons that I should not have to justify! I love what I do dearly and I treasure the friendships and business relationships that I've formed through my adopt making! I can't support people who think it's
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By MrGremble   |   Watch
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Published: August 20, 2016
Seeing as lately there have been quite a few people confused on why some art sells for considered "high prices", designs especially, let me try my best to explain why it does and give a bit of insight to the people who dont understand as to why things do sell for what they do.

Artists are Underpricing Themselves

For a very long time, society has conditioned us to believe that everything has to be dirt cheap, art is also included as being perceived as a cheap product and that artists should be treated as cheap commodities. It is a sad reality that many artists have to face when they want to make a career out of their profession, but that doesnt mean we should accept this conditioning, if an artist wishes to price their work high, then they should have every right to. Not only does it take decades for an artist to hone their skills, it takes days, months or even years to finish one piece of work depending on the artistic profession, an artist should be able to get their money's worth for the work that they do. This goes for any kind of work too, whether it is a beautifully rendered piece of work, or even a designed character, all of it should be worth the work put into them, so if an artist prices something high, then remember that they have put a lot of effort and time into their piece, please respect that!

Supply & Demand  

Alot of the time when an artist becomes famous and gains a very large following, their worth and art value goes up. This can be applied to a lot of situations, for example, A piece from van gogh ranging in the millions, a brand of clothing gaining popularity for their work, or more locally, grems gaining a very high demand because of popularity, giving it the price that it has today. In order to meet the demand and popularity quota, prices need to be raised in order for the artist to successfully live off their work without being burnt out and taken advantage of by their customers. Through out time, the more popular something becomes, the higher the demand it has, and the higher the demand, the higher the price. This is how anything works, ranging from art to businesses today. Both physical and digital, all of it exists because of demand.

This is a Luxury!!!

This one is slightly irrelevant, but people become extremely entitled to something that does not belong to them, treating it as if they CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT THIS DESIGN. We need to keep in mind that people buy these designs and pieces of work as a luxury to simply make them feel good, just like how buying designer pants are a luxury, or buying digital items in a videogame are a luxury. Depending on the demand, luxuries are bought for very high prices all the time, this counts for both physical and digital too, just because it's not in your hands, does not mean that it has zero worth, it depends on the context of the situation. 

luxuries are also not mandatory in your life, you do not need it, and if other people want to buy these things to make them happy, then let them buy it! If you do not want to buy it because of the price, then peacefully move on and let people have fun and let the artist live off of what they love. 


Im hoping that my summarized journal helps people who do not understand why things are priced the way they are, I realize that there are alot of people who are ignorant to the pricing of art, and that isnt a bad thing aslong as you are open to learning why and want do your best to understand and accept the concept. Its okay if you do not understand something, just ask politely and people will explain politely! 

if anyone has anything to add on to this, feel free to leave a comment below so people can read.







SKIN BY SimplySilent



Skin by SimplySilent
Recommended Journals
Protecting yourself from Paypal chargebacks
I decided I'd write something on this since it seems to be affecting a lot of my friends and artists I'm close to. I'll start with a few disclaimers. Disclaimer 1: I am not a finance expert. I have never filed a chargeback nor have I been in a chargeback dispute (fortunately). I have done some research out of both curiosity and out of desire to help out the community a bit. This is going to be quick(ish) and summarized. I'm also going to be changing some things to the way I sell as well (obviously). Disclaimer 2: This journal isn't about what to do in a chargeback dispute but rather, how to set up your sales so that you'll have the upper
sales posts etiquette and you
i want to make it clear as a disclaimer that i’m not trying to point the finger at any specific person. this is just a generalized information post pointing out issues i and other artists have with some comments we get on sales posts and how to avoid coming off as rude. since it’s on the internet and especially a site like deviantart, it’s very easy to forget that an artist posting adopts/commissions is a place of business. obviously it’s more relaxed than most places, but it’s a place of business nonetheless. what this means is this is where we hold sales to pay for our living expenses. non-business comments can
sighs deeply cs rant
so this anti-closed species drama is still raging after all this time I'm gonna take a firm non-neutral stance on it now: please, please, please do not try to buddy up with me if you support making knock-off species. I don't support it. I can't support it. and I can't support people in the art community if they do this. making adopts is still a sizeable part of my job as a freelancer, and some of them are closed species for various reasons that I should not have to justify! I love what I do dearly and I treasure the friendships and business relationships that I've formed through my adopt making! I can't support people who think it's
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Comments (203)
Asukki-chan's avatar
Asukki-chan| General Artist
You have no idea how much this speaks to me. We all try our best to hustle, to get our work out there. However, particularly around here, it seems charging work at $1 is perfectly acceptable while going by "industry-fare rates" is considered "too high" or a "ripoff." Nevermind that if you start interacting with other pros, you'll learn that those "pricey pieces" aren't as pricey as you'd think.

Thank you so much for laying out some tough but genuine truths.
Reply  ·  
xXMisery-BusinessXx's avatar
xXMisery-BusinessXx|Professional Digital Artist
Wow, very informative.
Reply  ·  
Vergera's avatar
Thank you for writing this, when i saw the prices of commisions i was always surprised by the height of them. You've made me realise that making art takes way more than it seems sometimes and that the prices aren't too high, but more often too low. So again, thank you for reminding me of that!
Reply  ·  
Essencia-de-Ambar's avatar
Essencia-de-Ambar|Student Traditional Artist
Very informative. Love how you compare to other kinds of commercial things the art itself. I vow to you. People should read this more often so they don't complain they want specific commissions for 10 or 20 points without the knowledge that artists should be paid first by the hours spent on every drawing and its quality
Reply  ·  
raccoonxwolf's avatar
raccoonxwolf|Hobbyist General Artist
my friend got offered a green long and blue long wrist for a masterpiece but she declined. probably a troll.
Reply  ·  
Cometstruck's avatar
Cometstruck|Hobbyist General Artist
Very nice journal!  ^^
Reply  ·  
IluvWinxandRandyCunn's avatar
IluvWinxandRandyCunn|Student Traditional Artist
*Preaches*

tbh the only reason one of my comms is like $40.00 is because that one can take me about a max of 5 tries and 3 hours,,, that and the largest of that variety was like 9 inches.

they're not my first commissions, but they're my first real commissions and I'm honestly wondering if they're overpriced, even after a week.
Reply  ·  
ThePoeticPaladin's avatar
ThePoeticPaladin|Professional General Artist
From looking at the examples you've posted, I'd say trust your gut. If no one's clamoring to pay your prices and your gut says they're too high... Your gut is probably telling you the truth.
Reply  ·  
Fantelle's avatar
Fantelle|Student Digital Artist
p r e a c h
Reply  ·  
hau's avatar
hau|Professional Traditional Artist
*ovation*
Reply  ·  
RexSadio's avatar
RexSadio|Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm currently taking my first commisions! I don't want my first commisions to be "overpriced" because this is my first time, and I don't really know what to expect from people's reactions on the pieces that I'll be doing for them. It's a bit painful in the heart considering that the work that I do costs more than the current price I'm taking, but I hope I get recognized so I can climb my self out there! If you guys want to help me do my first commissions, just go ahead and visit my deviant page, there will be a commission picture there.
Reply  ·  
Izagar's avatar
Izagar|Professional Digital Artist
Your prices are good there. Mine are anywhere between $5 USD to $55 and that's underselling myself right now.
Reply  ·  
RexSadio's avatar
RexSadio|Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm thinking of reducing my full art from $50 to $40-45 for a couple comissions just so I could get a taste of what it's like to work on full art for somebody lol! You can tell how bad I really wanna try 😂
Reply  ·  
Izagar's avatar
Izagar|Professional Digital Artist
You can if you want, but don't be fooled by people who won't pay for 20 points a commission (which is like .16 cents or something).
Reply  ·  
laurajessamine's avatar
laurajessamine|Hobbyist Digital Artist
yeah, blame society. ignore the fact that people are buying paintings of rocks for millions of dollars. 
Reply  ·  
SerenityRoseArt's avatar
SerenityRoseArtEdited |Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for this. A lot of people just don't understand the time and effort it can take to create something. 
Reply  ·  
Rythurmorn's avatar
Rythurmorn|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hnnn I like this journal a lot. It's very well worded and consise, and explains things in a polite and positive manner. I am sure this will be helpful to many!
I'm actually gonna share it I think, or at least pocket it in my faves and share it with anyone I run into that don't seem to understand how pricing works the way it does.
Thank you for this little gem~
Reply  ·  
SueJin's avatar
SueJin|Hobbyist General Artist
This is a much-needed journal for those who buy art to see ^^ I totally agree with you, and it's simply angering at times when people say art is overpriced, because personally, I know it takes hours to finish a piece ^^ It's also, of course, the artist's decision whether or not their art is pricey or not.

Thank you so much for this journal ^^
Reply  ·  
talikira's avatar
talikira|Professional Digital Artist
A very good journal!!

One quote I remember from one of my art professors when confronted about art being an "easy" job, he said,
"Hand them a blank piece of paper and say, 'make a living.'"

There's something magical about making something from nothing. :')
Reply  ·  
SerenityRoseArt's avatar
SerenityRoseArt|Professional Traditional Artist
I like that! I'm making a compilation of quotes that I like. Mind if I include that one?
Reply  ·  
talikira's avatar
talikira|Professional Digital Artist
Go right ahead! I'm sure it's not quite the exact words but it was from Ken Dewar if you want to include a name. :}
Reply  ·  
SerenityRoseArt's avatar
SerenityRoseArt|Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! And yes I'd like to include the name. Thank you for that. ^_^ 
Reply  ·  
rossomimi's avatar
rossomimi|Professional Digital Artist
This is so true! Thank you for pointing this out
Reply  ·  
j3fk4's avatar
While I do agree that you, as an artist, are entitled to price your art any amount you want, I don't agree that you are entitled to be paid a hefty amount of money for the thing you are passionate about. If you are passionate about one thing, either you are  paid big or not -heck-, either you are paid or not, shouldn't change your passion for that thing.
If the fact that you are not entitled to be paid big for your passion angers/irritates/frustrates you, then may be it is not your passion or you are just confused.
When you are aiming to get paid big, you are not passionate about it anymore. Your passion has become...err......business? You might want to find some high paying works, instead of doing some "passion work".
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