Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pricing your Art

Pricing your Art

Just yesterday a friend asked me how one should go about pricing one's own artwork. By the hour, by dimension, or by what you feel in your gut? I once worked out a pricing chart based on time, dimensions and added on the cost of framing. I even constructed a chart based on frame prices, which go by dimension and the quality of the frame. But is this a realistic way to price art, using a cut and dried "time x dollar amount + expense" formula?

Of course you can take into account factors such as cost of materials, whether your final piece is large or highly detailed. Experience, skill level, whether you're well know in your field should all be considered.

In addition, demand plays a role, though just because you don't sell a lot of work doesn't mean it's because of the price tag. Your art or style might appeal to fewer buyers, or the economy could be bad, or it could simply be the luck of the draw. People buy art that appeals to them and a few extra dollars probably won't sway a client who loves a particular piece. In any case, you don't want to drop your price to bargain basement lows in order to catch a sale.

Consistency of price is also important, especially if you sell your art through galleries who take a markup. So scout around and see what prices are being put on art in your area. Check out art on the Internet, too, just to get an overall picture.

I take all of these factors into account, and I write the price I think it's worth (which is not necessarily the price at which it should be marked) on a piece of paper. I then hang the art in the hallway and stick the price next to it and over the following few days, every time I walk past it I compare the price tag to the art. Does it seem reasonable to me? Would I regret it if it sold for that small amount? Or do I simply want to sell it and create something better for the next show? I may write out another price for comparison.

There is no right or wrong way to price, but in the end it has to be something you're comfortable with. How do you price your work?

~~Looking forward to hearing from you….Geraldine

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Great Framing Tool

Great Tool

I love my picture framing tools. They certainly make my life a lot easier. One of my favorite framing tools is the ATG gun, or the Adhesive Transfer Gun, made by 3M. (Also called: Scotch® ATG 752 Adhesive Applicator)

The ATG gun has an extended roller that lets you keep an eye on the adhesive as it goes down. The gun enables you to run a thin double-stick tape along the edge of a frame in preparation for applying dust covers, matting artwork or mounting photos.

It lists for $60, but I've used mine for 20 years, so it's a great investment. Tape comes in rolls of 1/2 in. and 3/4 in. wide though I've never needed anything wider than the ½ in.. A roll of tape runs $6 but the price per roll reduces when you buy a box of 12.

I use this ATG tape along the back of my wood frames and then apply brown paper as a dust cover. Trim off the excess brown paper and you have a neat, professional backing. None of that white glue for me!

How to do it: You hold the frame firmly, depress the trigger of the gun and drag the gun towards you. It leaves a trail of tape along the frame. Cut brown paper a bit larger than the back of your frame, then line it up with the far end of the frame. Pull the paper taut towards you and press it in place. Pull the paper taut to each side and press down. ATG is very sticky so you need to ensure that paper is in place before burnishing it down.

Take a blade, or special tool made to trim paper off a frame (a dust cover trimmer), and cut towards you. Make sure you do this slowly because you don't want the blade to slip off and cut you or to slice into the side of the frame. I pinch a straight blade between my fingers and trim the opposite side first, but I've been doing this for a while.

I give instructions, workshops, and sell these tools, so feel free to ask me any questions and I'll help you out.

~~~Geraldine  "A bad workman blames his tools."