Fine Art Pricing
I'm trying to figure this out (fine art pricing), and near as I can tell it's pretty messed up. How do you figure out how to price your art? There's a lot of of contradictory and self-serving advice out there.
Some sources say you should just charge as much as you possibly can or even more than that. This is the same advice I got when I started as a consultant and again when I started selling games. It presumes a profound disrespect for the people buying your wares and it's also just plain bad business advice.
Other sources say that there are some very strict Rules that One Must Follow. They say that you start by pricing your art very low, then gradually raise the price over time and never, ever, ever lower it. Art is a long struggle, the story goes, and the rewards come only with time and must be earned, which sounds reasonable enough. The problem with The Rules is that they were created to support the industry of art is an investment, to be bought principally by people with money and to gain value over time, which isn't how I want my art to be bought at all.
And there's a whole camp that says selling art is the province of dealers and galleries and that the artist shouldn't deign to sully himself by getting involved in it. Which has the effect of taking the artist out of the loop and giving dealers exclusive control of the pricing and evaluation of art, which surely isn't to the benefit of the artist or the people the art was meant for.
All of this strikes me as extremely bunk. It grates my indie instincts to the core!
So here's what I propose to do. I'm going to start selling some art on a pricing scheme that makes sense to me and see how it goes.
I'm now selling original microdungeons for $25.00. I will keep this price as long as I can. Maybe forever. The goal is to sell original artworks at a price that is affordable, but still reasonable to me. Matted or framed individuals will cost a little more. Many originals won't be available until after my big microdungeon show in January.
Prints of individual microdungeons, including everything on this blog, will be $5, but just for now until I figure out how much trouble it's going to be to print and ship them and how many people want them. Maybe the price will go up a bit. These will be acid-free individually-printed by the artist archival prints that you can frame and keep for hundreds of years. I'm aiming for something a little high-end here because if you just want something quick and cheap, you can always just print the Web-ready images from this blog; I don't mind in the least.
Special projects, large originals, limited runs, and other such miscellany I will sell for whatever price I please, probably a high one, because if I can make a little money that way, I can spend more time making pictures.
PayPal buttons, storefronts, shipping rates, and that sort of thing will be forthcoming as I figure it all out, but if you're interested and want to jump in right away, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How's that sound?