“When you learn how much you’re worth, you’ll stop giving people discounts.” By unknown

I recently got some unexpected and welcome advice from a LinkedIn connection. We were both discussing an article on how to price art and how some arts are valued. We both came to the conclusion, her faster than I, that value is subjective and that is why it can be influenced by external factors. The first problem every artists must overcome is letting go of their art. We all say we want to sell it, but most of us aren’t committed to this idea. We build up all sorts of excuses and reasonings about why we can’t sell it, from it’s too hard to market to no one understands it, to it has no value in the current market. All this is B.S. 

There are approximately one million works of art being published across the internet daily and we all see that a lot of it is getting liked. That means people are liking it. The market is big enough for us to be in it. Since not every piece published is getting millions off likes daily, that means the market has many different judges of taste and preference. There are some for your work too. I also know that most people who see my work go by, never take the time to like it, much less to comment on, or purchase it. So, a lot more people are seeing it than we know. The question is what inspires them to want to buy it? 

According to my LinkedIn friend, who is an art consultant and curator, “there are as many different reasons for people to buy art as there are people on the planet. That is too large a challenge to tackle. Instead, focus on art investors, they focus on perceived value. (Ie. cost.) And the artist must dictate that.” She told me to raise my prices way higher than my current asking prices and see what happens. I had to let this rattle in my head for a while. yes, I’m overthinking some of this and also letting it be. My internal debate aside, this does seem to make some sense to me. No one else created what I did. It is fully unique. Someone out there will see that too. I’ve been around loads of poor artists and while they like my work, they can’t buy it. I’ve also been around very wealthy people who have asked me how I make my works and seem baffled that so many hours are worth so little. It took years to understand why they were baffled. I thought I was pricing to sell, but I was pricing to get rid of them, as if they were reminders of a low worth. If I couldn’t tell people the value of my work when I was creating it, then how would they ever see it. Another friend used to tell me that I needed to tell the story of each piece. Now I understand that more. Now it’s time to put my mouth where the money is and tell the value stories for my work. After-all, I would be impressed by thirty plus years of experience and skill. Wouldn’t you?

Where are you underpricing your value?

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