Generally I have enjoyed reading articles on EmptyEasel (and I even include a link on my Blog Roll). However I just read this article and it seems to me rather strange advice.
Basically what he is saying is work out how much money you want people to pay you for your paintings and charge that, otherwise you won’t be able to make a living. Yeah… and… what if noone is prepared to pay that much for one of your paintings? Well there is an answer to that as well: start painting faster to produce more cheap work or take classes to improve your quality so that people will pay your asking price.
The basic idea of working out how much money you need to make and then making a plan how to get that income does seem a good idea. However I think that the idea set out here is kind of simplistic. Your art has a value that is dictated by how much people will pay for it. How do you find out what that price is? Well, what do people pay in your area for similar work and what have you sold for before? That marks your price point.
Prices need to be logical and you can’t just put them up and expect people to pay them because you want more money. This doesn’t work for any product and all the more so for art, which is a luxury item for most people. If you overprice then noone will buy.
What he also leaves out in his article is that a lot of artists I know make a lot of their money teaching children and adults and others make money on prints. If you need to generate income then you need to diversify and find new products and services and new markets. You will also spend a lot of time on marketing. I have seen the widely-quoted figure of a full 50% of your time as a professional artist taken up just with marketing and selling.
Personally, I did the math and realized that I cannot support my family as an artist at the same level I do now in hi-tech. Well, that’s unless I can sell several paintings every month for thousands of dollars. So far I haven’t proven that I can.