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Art Marketing Ideas and Straight Talk about Selling Art, Marketing, Inspiration & Fine Living




Myth #4: Lower Art Prices = More Sales

by Jason Horejs on 1/12/2018 8:58:44 AM

The value of art is largely arbitrary. There are no objective elements that would allow a gallery owner or an artist to develop a universally optimal price for a particular piece of artwork. [...]

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How To Price Your Giclee Prints

by Lori Woodward on 10/17/2017 9:28:05 AM

When you get your work out there in front of many more people than you could with just one original, you gain the opportunity to sell more of your originals. [...]

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Pricing Your Artwork For Direct Sales

by Lori Woodward on 9/5/2017 9:21:25 AM

If I sell only on my own, does the art buyer get an automatic 50% discount since I'm not paying the gallery a commission? Not at all! [...]

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Your Profitable Art Sales

by Lori Woodward on 8/29/2017 10:00:07 AM

I no longer use the "per square inch" comparative pricing formula. Arbitrarily basing my prices on what someone else charges, doesn't take into account my framing, medium, substrate and payment for my expertise. The frames and substrates I choose are up to me, and also the venue and buyer of my work. [...]

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The 11 Essential Elements of Every Artist Website - 2017 Edition

by Clint Watson on 8/18/2017 9:51:21 AM

In the past, I've periodically published my recommendations for the 11 Essential Elements that every artist website should contain. I've updated them for 2017 below. [...]

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HATERS GONNA HATE: How Long Did It Take You To Make That?

by Luann Udell on 6/17/2017 12:06:26 PM

What is the story only YOU can tell, to connect your audience to the work you make? [...]

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13 Ways to Price Artwork

by Carolyn Hancock on 6/7/2016 9:30:26 AM

Pricing is a daunting task to an artist and may be a deal breaker for a collector. Prices vary from way too low to exorbitantly high... [...]

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Tapping the Lower Art Market: Affordable Art

by Brian Sherwin on 6/7/2014 8:21:47 AM

As I've mentioned in the past, you can't sit around waiting to be discovered by some modern day Medici. You won't get very far art marketing-wise if you sit around daydreaming about wealthy art collectors and high profile art galleries. Waiting one more year to 'make it BIG' can easily result in waiting decades -- statistically you will have little to nothing to show for it. [...]

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Art Market Transparency: Should artists be open about their past and present art pricing? Part 2

by Brian Sherwin on 2/12/2013 7:26:21 AM

I think that establishing a consumer friendly / transparent environment for art buyers is a vital step for the majority of business-minded artists and art galleries...IF they desire to thrive in the future. [...]

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The Refugees Are Hiding Under the Dining Room Table

by Carolyn Henderson on 2/5/2013 6:54:25 AM

While deception is not consistently easy to spot, identify, or label (it hides itself well), this doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, and it doesn't mean that we can't make an effort, as individual businesspersons, to grapple with the concept and determine that we will conduct our affairs honestly and honorably, at the same time that we use our intelligence and acumen. [...]

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Accepting Deception - We Have a Choice

by Carolyn Henderson on 1/29/2013 7:55:37 AM

Sure, it's "smart" to figure out how people think, but when you use that knowledge to manipulate people into doing what is best for you and not necessarily best for them, this becomes questionable. And when people find out that they've been used -- and believe me, truth comes out, and usually at the most inopportune times -- they feel stupid, and that ultimately is not good for your business. [...]

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Why It's Fine For Artists to Lower Their Prices

by Clint Watson on 1/24/2013 7:34:35 AM

This article is not to tell you that you should lower your prices...nor is it telling you not to raise your prices. But I sometimes meet artists who feel that they made a mistake in their pricing and wish to lower prices but don't because of the old "never lower prices rule." This post is for those artists. [...]

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Lucky You Part 6B

by Luann Udell on 1/2/2013 7:31:44 AM

I use a large, expensive piece to draw people into my booth. But I don’t make it easy to see its price. Once they’re in my booth, they’ll see a wide array of pieces, at a variety of prices. Once they realize they’ll find something affordable, they relax. They shop. And they fall in love with that one special piece. Then they can decide what’s “affordable” and what isn’t. [...]

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Lucky You Part 6A

by Luann Udell on 12/19/2012 7:38:20 AM

I had a hard time deciding to write about this strategy. I firmly believe we should NOT underprice our work. I believe discounts, “seconds” sales and such can undermine our efforts. We could disrespect our customers who were willing to pay our full price for our work. [...]

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Law of Supply and Demand for Artists

by Lori Woodward on 8/9/2012 7:00:40 AM

The Law of Supply and Demand is a time-tested precept for marketing and sales for just about everything that consumers buy and acquire, and yet, this "law" is ignored by the majority of artists and galleries. I believe that it's an important concept to apply to your art sales and marketing efforts, whether you sell someone else's artwork or your own. [...]

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Pressure Makes Diamonds

by Kevin Mizner on 6/22/2012 7:12:09 AM

But this is what I think: The same philosophy that worked when things were good should be the same philosophy you use when times are difficult. I know that flies in the face of most business models, but then again, a lot of businesses go under in bad times. What I mean is that when times were good, I tried to make the best painting I possibly could. When times are hard, I try to make the best painting I possibly can. Doing the old "paint what sells" may sound like reasonable advice, but it is fraught with peril. Trying to figure out what sells in hard times is like trying to shovel steam into a bucket. And if you alter what you do, change your style to chase a trend, you'll stray further and further from what was once successful. I believe you have to stay true to yourself. [...]

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You Deserve a Raise, Too!

by Howard Cooperman on 5/23/2012 7:52:28 AM

If you're not keeping up with the increased costs of art supplies, framing, and shipping fees (if they apply to you whether to and from a gallery or client) you're losing money. [...]

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Art Buyer Beware!

by Sharon Weaver on 5/17/2012 7:37:52 AM

With the ever-increasing wealth of high-end art collectors, the price of art will continue to skyrocket but this sale seems, well, crazy. Who knows where this madness will end. [...]

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Questions You Don't Have to Answer: Why Does This One Cost More Than That One?

by Luann Udell on 3/29/2012 8:31:00 AM

Human nature being what it is, I’m rarely asked, “Why is this piece I love so much CHEAPER than these other ones?” No, it’s always the other way around: “Why is this piece I love MORE expensive than those other ones?” So what do people want to know? [...]

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Questions You Don't Have to Answer: Can You Do Better On The Price?

by Luann Udell on 3/1/2012 7:32:01 AM

I get that many artists are totally comfortable with offering discounts. It’s a growing trend. After all, when even designer stores and luxury goods are open to bargaining, it seems short-sighted not to go along. But whether you discount or not, you WILL get asked this question. And even if you never discount your work, there are ways to keep the conversation going... [...]

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The State Of The Art Market 2012

by Lori Woodward on 2/29/2012 9:18:36 AM

So essentially... sales beget sales. It all boils down to finding ways to increase the demand for your work. There are dozens, if not hundreds of ways to go about this - and savvy artists will take their individual marketing and painting personalities into consideration when making business plans for the coming year. [...]

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Questions You Don't Have to Answer: Why is Your Work so Expensive?

by Luann Udell on 12/8/2011 8:59:12 AM

There are many reasons why someone would ask us about our prices. Some are unsure if the price really reflects the value. For example, how many times do we see newly emerging artists price their work by what they see more established artists charge? Some people really don’t understand the work that’s involved bringing a work of art all the way from idea to fruition. Sometimes (but not usually), it’s a deliberate challenge. And sometimes, it simply reflects their dismay that they can’t afford to buy the piece they’ve fallen in love with. [...]

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Marketing Art Is a Do-it-yourself Job, Like it or Not

by Lori Woodward on 12/7/2011 9:45:33 AM

We artists can no longer depend on someone else to do our fishing for us. If we don't know how to effectively market our work, our careers may not survive. It's not rocket science and if you really hate the administrative work and meeting with potential gallery owners and collectors, by all means, hire someone else to do these things for you - but you're still the boss and make the final decisions. An informed and savvy artist is the one who will continue to thrive and get the most "bites" from the fish swimming in their lake. [...]

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Art Pricing: Is it time for the unwritten rules of art pricing to change?

by Brian Sherwin on 11/10/2011 9:13:56 PM

Markets change -- and I'm starting to wonder if one rule of selling art needs to change now more than ever due to the economy. That rule being... "You should keep all of your original art listed at a close price range and never deviate from it other than to raise prices overall." [...]

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The Politics of Price

by Keith Bond on 10/3/2011 9:51:56 AM

In a perfect world, price wouldn’t be an issue and collectors would purchase only works that they loved. But that is not reality. Price does influence the decision with many collectors. [...]

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Artist Website Do's and Don'ts - My Interview with American Artist Magazine

by Clint Watson on 9/21/2011 9:48:46 AM

I found the process valuable as it made me write down, in one place, a lot of information I had scattered across our blog posts and in my head. Since we don't know how much of the information will be used in the actual article, the interviewer, John Parks, kindly gave me permission to post my answers here even before the article is published. I've cleaned up the raw answers I sent him (there was a deadline) and expanded a bit upon them. I hope you find some useful information in them. [...]

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Benefits of Being Organized

by Keith Bond on 8/15/2011 10:32:38 AM

Becoming organized is liberating and allows you to focus on the given task at hand rather than being distracted by other tasks. During your art creating time, you can focus all your energy on creating. During your business time, you can focus on bookkeeping, marketing, organization, emails, cataloging, etc. The two sides of your business will not collide for attention as often [...]

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Pricing Art Online: If you want to sell art you must list prices for your art

by Brian Sherwin on 7/14/2011 12:36:06 PM

If you honestly don't know how to price your art work it might be wise to step back and ask yourself why you are promoting and trying to sell your art in the first place. Honestly, can you imagine if stores were ran in that way? Every item listed without a price -- leaving customers scratching their head. Would you enjoy shopping in that manner? If you want to haggle go to a flea market -- if you want to sell art list the damn prices on your artist website. [...]

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Price is a Shortcut

by Clint Watson on 2/28/2008 7:41:07 AM
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Last week we asked Does Expensive Art Just Look Better?  And concluded that, for most people.....well, yes.   This week we ask why. In his seminal classic book Influence, Robert Cialdini investigated the effect that price has on purchasers' psychology. He related the story of an exasperated jewelry store owner looking to move some turquoise jewelry that wasn't selling.  She decided to slash prices by one-half.  But her employee misunderstood and double the prices instead and the next day, all the jewelry sold out! Why would doubling the price make more jewelry sell? The premise [...]

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