What You Should Know About My Pricing
Putting prices on something I love – my art – has always been difficult. I’m sure the same can be said for anyone buying art – having some peace of mind – knowing that you are getting good value for your money.
I’ve been told that it is wise for an artist to be able to explain the rationale for his or her art, and that is exactly what this article is all about.
Over the years I’ve spent a ton of time researching the very topic. Recently, I’ve taken a more formal approach by using my MBA training which includes marketing research and statistical analysis. In fact, in preparing this article it occurred to me that this study would have easily cost $3,000 to $5,000 had I contracted it out to a consulting firm . . . I’m sharing these findings with you here for free.
For starters, it is important to know a little more about my art.
First of all, since it all involves a digital form of painting, the actual physical piece is essentially a museum-quality print. In fact, in that regard it is exactly the same kind of printing used by many fine art photographers.
I have also just revamped my portfolio of original art, much of it now sold in limited edition prints. My prints are similar to today’s fine art photography where the original art is in a digital file…the prints created are first generation prints . . . originals. That is quite different than a print created based on oil painting. In that case, first a photograph is taken of the oil painting and then the print is made using the photo. That is a 2nd generation production . . . a “reproduction”.
For these reasons it makes a lot of sense to compare my work to fine art photography, even though many art aficionados often assume my medium is either oil or acrylic, and they’re always surprised when I tell them it’s digital painting!
An Analysis of Art on SaatchiArt.com
In the process of revamping my portfolio I have decided to focus on offering it on SaatchiArt.com. Because of that I focused my pricing research on other artists on Saatchi, using the following criteria:
- photographers selling limited editions of their art,
- similar print sizes sizes, starting at about 16′ x 20′,
- only one piece selected from each photographer,
- some similarity in style (sensual, abstract figurative, and contemporary).
I selected a sample of 60 different fine art photography creations from 60 different photographers. I also used a variety of search criteria such as “most popular”, “newly added”, and so on. It is also worth noting that in virtually all creations, the artist had already sold some of their work, though that was not a selection factor. Finally, all of the art was offered on various kinds of paper; none on canvas and none included framing, nor does mine! Now here is the type of information I collected:
- art dimensions in inches
- the number of prints in the edition
- price per print in USD (including shipping charges)
How Many Prints in a Limited Edition?
In my study the number of prints for each limited edition ranges from as low as 3 to as high as 50, with the average being 15 prints per limited edition. I have heard several times that a maximum of 10 is a wise edition quantity . . . all of my creations are offered in limited editions of 10 (plus 2 artist’s proofs.)
80% of my sample has print sizes that ranged from 16′ x 24′ on the small end to 36″ x 48″ on the larger end. My art has sizes that range from 20″ x 14″ all the way up to 36″ x 40″ and this is based purely on personal aesthetic reasons.
Because the print sizes and edition numbers can vary so much, I decided to do my price analysis on a price per square inch basis. This can be done two ways. One is on a simple average price per piece basis. However, a better way is to also consider the edition sizes and that means using the weighted average price per print. The chart below gives you a simple comparison . . . keep in mind the prices also include shipping charges.
|Print Price Comparison in USD (includes shipping)|
|Print Size (inches)||Prices From Saatchi Research|
|Height||Width||Average||Weighted Avg.||My Price|
My current pricing really hasn’t changed much, but now I can take a lot of comfort in knowing how my pricing stacks up by comparison. No matter the analysis, the price of art is never completely objective. However, if you love my art and can afford it, I do hope this article gives you some peace of mind in knowing that you are getting good value for your money. I wouldn’t want it any other way.