I think one of the things that I love about art licensing is that I don’t have to figure out how to price my products! I generally don’t paint a canvas and put it up for sale. I don’t quote a city or do proposals to create public art. I don’t paint murals in coffee shops or baby rooms… at this point, I don’t even have an Etsy shop so I’m pretty much all about royalties or as I like to say, “Sharing in the success or failure of a product” – that someone else prices.
But there will likely come a day when I have to figure it out. You might be selling things already – online, to collectors, at trade shows, consumer shows or craft fairs…
One thing I worry about is that artists often price to break even vs. price to make a profit.
We are in business. Our cell phone carriers and mortgage companies don’t give us a discount because we are making the world a more beautiful place. We pay the same for our groceries, utilities and vacations as everyone else. So it is important to learn how to price things so you can make a living.
I recently read an article (that I can’t find!) that said many artists, when they actually calculate their costs and then divide the rest by their time, pay themselves $2-3/hour for products sold on Etsy. They love the thrill of lots of orders but don’t stop to figure out if they are really making any money or just staying busy for very little profit. That made me sad… and made me think.
I found a link to a great blog post by the Arts Business Institute called Pricing for Profit and Perceived Value and decided it was time to bring up the topic. I think it gives some sound business advice and I hope you will head over and read it if you ever sell things and have to figure out a price.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – or if you have other resources that would be helpful to those of us still figuring it all out, do share!
Here’s to your creative – and profitable – success!
– Tara Reed