At the end of the day, art is a luxury item and if someone wants it, they have to be prepared to pay for it. Art sites are flooded with people selling cheap stuff, of all skill levels, and it's trying to tap into a base of people who might be prepared to part with their cash for something you've done. This is not anything that I get involved in.
My regular customer and commissioner base of clients has taken me years to build. Nope, I can't make a living off it but I never believed that I could because I have to be realistic, that's why I have a day job I tend to find that set prices (starting at £75 GBP) with a framework for additional costs weeds out those who are 'just browsing' to those who are 'serious'. I factor my prices based on an hourly rate for my work, because traditional art takes a long time, and the complexity of the image wanted, which is where additional costs may come in.
Also find that traditional artists are squeezed out of the market versus digital ones because the latter can make so many changes without any issues. Still, I enjoy what I do and find that running limited runs of posters, prints and mugs usually do very well.
You'll always get those folks who say 'That's expensive' or 'I can get it cheaper elsewhere' and I leave them to it. The beauty of being an artist is I can choose who I want to work with
I understand the point of this thread but yet again-how does one properly price their work? There's a thread about pricing artworks but it's pretty much dead. I Decided to do a few commissions in order to gather some money to pay for an online course ( all good so far). I know I'm more of an "amateur" than pro, my pieces are below average and I'm not exactly time efficient- it takes me more than it should to finish something so I wouldn't feel comfortable charging by the hour. I looked around at other people offering commissions and tried to sort of price myself in the same range as artists doing similar things, but it's been difficult for me to find someone doing what I do and around my skill level, so I still don't know if I'm selling too cheap.
I think the problem is not only the price itself but that people want to be comissioned on a very early stage of their career (where many people are not willing to pay a decent amount of money). I remember the first comissions were great for my selfesteem, and thats why I guess many young artists are willing to do comissions for a very low price. Today I would encourage less experience artists to draw their own projects for practicing and growing. Doing "comissions" for friends was a good way at the beginning for me (practicing to draw somethings that is not your own idea is important as well). First because they knew that they werent paying anything so they were not demanding anything, second because they really saw the effort that went into the comission. And I got the same boost for my self esteem like when I drew for a complete stranger for a few bucks. Sometimes I got a pizza from my friends in return, or help with the IT or other things, so at the end the deal was more economical as well
I'm too awkward to ask for money lol I hate doing it, and I feel like if I start charging (like now) no one would be interested... theyd ask for requests or art trades.. it doesn't help that 99% of my watchers are very unresponsive.. I'm just not sure how to get to a point where I can sale my art and people would love to buy it.. I know I have to improve and practice, which I do, but I need more business confidence so I'm one of those people to undercharge..
Yeah, I believe underpricing is an issue and I do think I underprice myself. supply > demand. I’d like to get more for my work, but getting something is better than nothing (and more often than not I get nothing, no commissions, although I try to market).
I can't use hourly rate as a reference for my pricing, my work time isn't always the same, because i only draw in my free time. My commission prices comes from comparing to other artist with similar drawing quality, and sometimes considering the popularity of the artists.
I have low prices and still never get commissions xD and raising them any higher won't help me in that regard. You have to consider a lot of people with low prices are new, starting up, or don't feel their quality matches that of their competitors. I am gaining watchers with every piece I post but until I'm bringing in a decent amount of commissions and have the pieces to back up my prices, it seems a little silly to raise them now. DA itself is kind of notorious for really cheap commissions too I find because there are far more younglings offering up their art skills and charging really low versus a place like FurAffinity where everyone is charging a lot higher and has a patreon. It's just the difference in websites for that one. DA allows a lot younger of an audience to make their own income, where FA you really have to have more of a professional mindset.
I'll admit, I've done this a lot on ebay. I'd make paintings of landscapes and sell them for at the most a tenner. It's not all about the money, but more for the attention I get from it. Of course I still expect something out-of-pocket, no doubt, but I've noticed that cheaper paintings are much easier to sell. It took one of paintings two months to get sold on a $40 budget, but only a day for another with a budget of $15.
Its a really serious problem imo. We are all raised to experience drawing as something fun that kids do. We assume that its the easiest thing in the world and that "I am doing you a favor by giving you something to draw." No one fucking respects art at all, so they expect it extremely cheap, if not free. All the artists need to take a stand and increase prices so that no one is getting anything. But that cant happen because its every man for himself out there.
Oh gosh I know. People get pressured by others though, and so they lower their prices. People on this site sell their work for under that though, such as 50p for a really nice halfbody and it makes me stress out, because people will use that to their advantage.
Its the attitude people have “ no I don’t want to spend that on that “ BuT “ That’s cheap and good quality, i’ll buy that “. And so people want to get more customers that way.
It does have it it’s advantages though ( in an irritating way ) for example, people will improve and gain popularity, first through their cheap prices and then through their art style as it becomes iconic??? In a sort of way.
Deviantart is confusing, but I do believe that some people should be raising their prices. You don’t make money by undercharging people.
Thats my opinion, but even then, I feel like a hypocrite because I feel that my prices are all over the show.
Pretty sure some are undercharging themselves because why bother setting a proper price when people will flock cheaper ones of similar quality instead?
The only people who really get paid decently here are people who get commissioned in job offers or actually have high quality work to convince buyers to pay the amount they charge.
But yeah, I agree with what some people in this thread are saying about not relying completely on hours to work out the prices. I personally take almost 10 hours on average on illustrations so the price would be highly inflated because I'm slow.
For me with selling cross stitch I have to go by the cost of the final piece not hourly rate......say a pincushion thats 3 inches square took me 4 hours to stitch and sew together/stuff and I charged £5 an hour, no one will pay £20 for a pincushion that size so I have to work out the cost of fabric, threads and stuffing used. At that point once broken down it'll be about £5 for materials used then I can add money for time......that'll make it up to about £8, if I'm lucky I can make it up to £10 but anything above that and forget it.
Hourly is just to help people understand the wages they are earning. It helps people get started where to price their work if they are artists who draw. I know this post doesn't account for other medians.
What doesn't help any of us are the cheap crappy imports, I've had so many people say to me "well I saw a pincushion like this in poundland for £1, why you charging this much for it? What they fail to realise is what they've seen in poundland is mass produced whereas if they're lucky I'll have made 2 of that pincushion and once they're sold that's it til I restitch them sometime in the future. The prices I've seen on here are actually pretty reasonable but due to so much art being massed produced at a lousy standard people want quantity not quality.....somehow we need to switch the lightbulbs on in people brains to make them realise/want quality over quantity. That's where the problem/headache is for us all 😕
The odd thing I found was that ink on the Canadian Amazon was more while same ink on US Amazon was cheaper despite the fact you could ship them almost the same amount of distance. Import taxes are crazy and not to mention that certain paints are going up in price due to lack of resources to keep up the demand.
For anyone in the textile industry definately over here in the UK in whatever form is a certain large country that's closer to you than it is me (thankfully as this country's practices are seriously beginning to piss me off) and their sweat shops. That kinda makes sense about the price of paints going up if resources are limited, it's the same with embroidery threads. Anchor threads a few years ago had problems with getting the cotton they use from their supplier/grower (it was lousy weather that affected the harvest or something like that) which meant Anchor couldn't produce their threads so the shops that had any of their skeins of thread put the price up by a few pence which meant their stock lasted longer as people weren't prepared/couldn't afford them, then when they ran out that was it til Anchor started producing again.
Point is still there. Pretty much if I take out deviant art too. Tumblr, Fb, twitter. Alot of the audiences are not professional artists, and they don't think about the value of time they are spending on their work.
At the risk of being blunt: The problem is many people are selling their commissions more for the self-esteem that it gives them, than the money. Some people will work for a penny if it means they get to feel good about selling something. Unfortunately, this lowers the pricing bar for EVERYONE.
I don't really think it is fair for people who spend tons of time marketing themselves, have spent years building up their work, etc. to be undercut and/or forced to lower prices by people who drop their prices to pocket change because they don't want to take the time to build this work or market themselves properly. You have people who just kind of want to sell stuff to make them feel good about themselves in the same market with people who are trying to make money to take care of their families. It's insanity.
I already know I can't get commissions (especially on DA) at a price that I would like, nor do I have the time to market myself in a way that would make it worth my while. So I just don't do it. Frankly, I'd rather spend my time working on my own things, or spending free time with the fam, if I am not getting paid appropriately.
It is amazing that in such a skilled field, that the work is so undervalued.
I guess one problem is that people have different skill levels as well as working speeds. Obviously people won't be as willing to pay the higher prices for something drawn by a less skilled artist, and marketing can only help so much. Ideally, artists should strive to improve their work to a level that people would be willing to pay decently for, but I also don't think we should gatekeep who gets to sell their work...
I agree, people should be allowed to sell their work. Sometimes people need to be reminded their work is worth more than they are charging. Skill, time, popularity/branding, and supplies play into prices. Skill is a factor in marketing and as well as type of work. Skill and market have their own limits on their own.
I can't even get any of my stuff to sell even at smol prices. So... Yeah LOL But I have noticed that people wanna pay like 1 dollar for a full body; I actually had someone message me asking if I'd give them a full body full color..for a dollar. And I was like..uh... No? Sorry? XD A dollar is a waste of energy in a situation like that.
Marketing is it's own skill. If someone doesn't know how to market they won't get much work. Those who do market will be getting more work. People like to take advance of people who barely get commissions. Insecurity about your art when in reality it's a lack of understanding how to market.
Yeah this has nothing to do with what I said. Like I was kinda trying to back your opinion but I get told I don't know how to market? Lol. And obviously not, no one is taking advantage of me cause no one does it but people expect art to be as low as they want and they get offended when you say nooo if you want this it'll be ___ amount and then they act all depressed and weird as if trying to get pity art. :/
I never said you didn't know how to market?... "Your" was not directed at you the context was "they" as in people "you" as in they. Hopefully that clears that up, I wasn't too clear. People take advantage of artists who are insecure and want to sell their work even if it's for a low standard if that means they can sell something.
The problem with these posts is people act like art is your standard 9 to 5 job, an hourly rate for art is sort of silly, art is something that generally goes by piecework, in other words you charge for a finished piece, it rewards higher skill and speed more than an hourly rate but if you are not fast then it doesn't pay as well.
For example, say you charge $20 an hour, you take 2 hours to finish a piece, great $40 in your pocket, that's not bad. Now say your really slow, and for the exact same piece it takes 4 hours, so your customer should pay $80 for it now? All that does is turn customers away from slower artists.
Now an artist who has managed to get their time down, might spend say an hour on that same piece, and are suddenly making only $20 on it.
Where for piecework if you worked for 4 hours a day, the first person would make $80, the second would make $20 and the third person would make $160.
Don't sell yourself short, set a price that's fair to yourself, but breaking it down into an hourly wage does you no good. You are much better off setting a price based on the amount of work and working on your completion time.
Saying art is a luxury item is correct, but that doesn't mean what people seem to think it does, it means you can't compare it to working at McDonalds or any job with an hourly wage.
I know these talks are always pretty volatile so I apologize if anyone gets offended, but as a welder who has worked for both hourly and piecework, I have lots of experience with both.
You don't have to do an hourly wage, set fair prices are fine as well. It just needs to be a decent wage for the time spent. So most artist charge by average time x minimum wage = their set prices. If a commissioner gets turned off then it's ignorant to assume that all art is created the same way, has the same details, and process. If a commissioner is paying for the work they are paying the process that leads up to the finish product as well.
In my examples all 3 people are the same artist at different speed levels, you're just getting sidelined talking about the creation process, I said in my bit that you should set a price based on what you put into it, and that includes time, you just can't go around comparing it to any hourly wage job, it's not the same thing.
I'm just saying I've seen the same thing of someone breaking peoples prices down to per hour to cause a stir.
As long as the artist doesn't feel pressured to set their prices where they have, then they are fine. If someone is happy charging $5 per picture, and they chose to set it there, then you have no right to try and shame or guilt them into raising them. Just the same as no customers have the right to try and shame them into lowering them.
Lowering prices adds to the issue in the art community. Encouraging people to charge more and telling them their work is worth more. If someone is justifying the low prices I will defend that low prices hurts everyone who wants to do it as profession. The low prices are from people feeling pressured to even get any type of money for their work. Even if it's 1.25$ per hour. Art community needs standards as it's killing it's own profession by not having any type of standard like other communities do.
Have you ever seen someone selling art on the street? Real physical paintings, some really gorgeous, usually dirt cheap compared to going to a art store and getting even a print. Are they hurting anyone? No, and neither is anyone who doesn't want to charge more for their art. If you want to then do it, there are so many people making a living off their art without these few causing them issues by "under charging" if it's what they choose to set as their price because they want to and not because they don't feel like their art is worth more, then they are not under charging. No professionals care what someone who's a hobbyist charges.
Actually a lot of professionals so, me being one of them. I have been hired and have done art jobs. It's hurting the market in which professionals and hobbyist share. If I saw someone selling their work for cheap I would tell them they should charge more as their art is worth it. By all means, it's an issue but people shouldn't be harassed or pressured into changing prices. People do need to say something and remind the artist that their work is worth more. It doesn't kill or hurt anyone to remind them that their work is worth more and they are selling themselves short.
That's true, but we literally had someone in here blaming the people who don't want to charge more for not being able to live off of only their art, that's not cool.
All of these discussions always seem to turn into something like that rather than simply reinforcing the idea that noone should be telling them how much or how little to charge, if you want to tell people that their art is worth more and to believe in themselves then do it, don't tell them that they shouldn't be charging anything or that they need to up their prices because it's "hurting" you. That's harassment and pressure.
It seems like we agree on the key points, so I'm going to leave it here, we've discussed, I value your opinion and don't want to end up arguing every little bit to death. I enjoy your art, and even what you're doing here, it's why I watch you, good luck with everything!
I appreciate the discussion and respect your opinion. Glad we could agree on certain things, it's good to talk about topics as communities even if people don't see eye to eye. Thanks for being respectful
I think this is a serious problem that I had noticed already. We are hurting ourselves if we do not demand minimum wage at least. It discourages comisioners to pay for fair prices. Our time is very valuable. If you are not going to charge an appropiate amount then do not do comissions. If its a hobby better do request or something else. You are hurting the professionals.
Then the problem lies in your marketing not your art. The solution is to get to a place where you have an audience who is willing to buy. Not, by undecharging yourself due to lack of marketing on your behalf.