Hope you had a great week and fun plans for the weekend. So whether you are an artist, an art admirer or a collector in the making, I am sure you’ve been faced with this question: “How much does this piece cost?”.
I cannot speak for those top selling artists whose work goes for above six figures ( sigh…one day…) but for most of us, the pricing is a very sensitive matter. Aside from sentimental attachment to some of our work, there are infinite amount of hours, loss of sleep, skipped meals and the list goes on.
All of these things are obviously very hard to quantify, but let’s be honest, no one really questions how much someone gets paid for their “regular” job, matter of fact we all would like to get a good high paying job right? Well, being an artist IS a job, some of us have student loans to be repaid, bills, car notes, insurance, entry fees to art shows and the big bucks go to guess what? the good ole art supplies.
There is nothing wrong with not being able to afford a piece of art, but questioning artists about their prices and making them feel like they are in fact too high is like telling them (us) we are not worth what we think but what YOU think.
So today I decided to help you understand a little more of what goes on behind the scene and maybe see that the value we give to our work, is not based on pure “I think I am THAT good, and that’s how much you should pay for all that “goodness”.
I almost fainted the first time I bought a gallery wrapped big sized canvas. Let’s start by saying you can find a cheap version of pretty much anything, but chances are for our next creation we would like to use something durable. I have been painting on a larger scale for the past 6-7 years, and I love it but that good ole 24″ x 24″ and up starts at…wait for it…$95.50 ( now on sale for half btw guys) and the 24″ x 36″ is $115 ( also on sale now) at the Texas Art Supplies which is a store I truly love, and always has student discounts ( that ship sailed for me in May). But you get it right? The bigger the size the higher the price.
There are brushes that are better for oil and some are better for acrylics. To cut cost I usually try to go for the sets, because if I were to start buying individual brushes starting at about $3 each (if going really cheap, which most likely means shedding and random hairs on the paiting) you would really hate my prices…keep in mind I own at least 100… any way back to the topic at hand, a somewhat decent brush set, that has at least 12 brushes costs about 15$ and will need a selection of pointy tips, flats and rounds, so 45$ for those three sets right?
This is where it all goes to hell!! Oil colors are oh so freaking expensive but painting with them is an experience I can no longer let go off. So to paint with oils you need actual oil, and let me tell you, 55ml bottle of poppy seed oil is a good ole $15, or you could pay $14 for half the size of that in oil painting medium. Then you need the turpentine, (about $5) which is actually not bad if it wasn’t for the fact that everytime I leave it out too long it evaporates, hence it is a very reocurring buy. Then of course the oils, this suckers…one tube will cost you anywhere between $5 – $40 and guess how many are needed? A LOT!
Cleary as you can see this could go on for way too long, ( acrylics paints, charcoal sticks, pastels, easles, art show entry fees, studio rent, spray cans) so I won’t bore you any further, but next time you question an artist’s price, think about how much was put forth for the painting to be presented to you in the first place!
Also remeber, if we feel like the love you have for the piece you are admiring is that deep, we might actually give you a nice discount!!😉
Let me know what your experience with this has been and PLEASE let me know if you find cheaper pricing on ANYTHING!!!
Ciao for now,