In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. Each episode answers questions from artists by host Eric Rhoads, author of “Make More Money Selling Your Art,” publisher of several art magazines and newsletters, and author of

In this Art Marketing Minute, get advice for pricing your painting, especially if you’re new to selling your art, and when and if it’s smart to take on an exciting painting project that might not pay that much.

Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 8 >>>

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What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

Announcer 0:02
This is the Art Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the Amazon best selling book, “Make More Money Selling Your Art.” In the marketing minute we answer your questions to help your art career brought to you by, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads 0:23
Thank you, Jim Kipping. And thank you for joining us today. My goal is to eliminate the idea of starving artists. So let’s get right to today’s questions. Here’s a question from John. I don’t know what town he’s given us. John Hornbuckle says, I’d like to know how much a beginning artist should charge for their paintings. I don’t agree with starving artist stuff.

Neither do I, John. I had a man offer me a ridiculous price once and I told him to forget it. But I do believe in being fair. Stephen Baumann said the charge a price based on square inch, which I liked, but I wanted your input. Thank you. Well, John, it’s an interesting question. A square inch price, though doesn’t solve your problem, see a square inch price is just a way to make sure that your pricing is consistent. Like if you’re doing eight by 10, that it’s eight times 10, that tells you how many square inches it is. And then you put a price on that. But if it’s a 12 by 15, and you’re trying to figure out the price way, it’s just 12 times 15. That’s the number of square inches, you put a price on that. But if you’re charging $10 a square inch or 10 cents a square inch, you still have a price issue you’ve got to solve. So square inches, an easy thing to calculate. I don’t necessarily do it that way. And the reason I don’t is because sometimes I’ll work on a painting three or four times longer than I normally would and if it’s something that’s really special, sometimes they’ll put a higher price on it. I know that doesn’t always work for some galleries, my gallery loves it because they like, the higher my price the better for them, right? Anyway, here’s the catch the manor offered offered you money, and he thought it was worth that amount of money to him. And of course, if you’ve got somebody who’s not necessarily well educated about prices, you know, they might offer you 10 bucks for your painting, and you think it’s worth 1000 bucks. So you got a big gap. But anytime somebody is offering you money for your painting, that means they would like to own it. And typically, you know, people might want to lowball you. And so you might be able to come up come to terms, don’t be offended. If somebody offers you a low price. It’s what it’s worth to them. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. And so, keep in mind that anytime there’s a dialogue, capture that dialogue, say Listen, you know, I typically sell my paintings more for more than more for $10. But can we come to the middle somewhere, maybe they will, maybe they won’t. But the idea is that he’s offering you and that’s a good thing. Now the thing that you have to understand Pricing is difficult, it’s never easy. And you may think that you should get a high price. I mean, what if I just said, You know, I started painting, I love my paintings, my paintings are worth $100,000 you’d say I’m nuts. Well, but there are painters who have done that and managed to get their price I can think of one I won’t mention a name and gets it every time because of the quality of, of the painting. But what you want to do is edge yourself up, you know, the idea is get used to selling paintings. If you’re new at this, hold a little show, maybe at a restaurant or something, and ask yourself, what’s a reasonable price that people would be able to pay and try that, you know, you start out with a little bit lower. You never start out typically high, and you add your way up over time and over time. It’s about are you becoming more collectible? Do you have a collector base? Do you have a gallery? Are you getting a lot of notoriety And publicity Are you getting invited to be on the stage at the plein air convention, you know, things like that, that matter and build your career. And of course your branding. Your branding is extremely important because branding elevates price always does always does. So anyway, it’s a little bit of a difficult problem to tell you what you should be doing. Now saeko Corporation I’ve read I don’t know this for a fact. But I’ve read psycho Corporation starts out by offering a higher price. And if something doesn’t sell in the store, then they lower it and they keep lowering it a little bit until they get to a price where everything is selling and then that sets their price that’s allowing the consumers to set price but this is not exactly a consumer scenario. I mean, you are talking to consumers, but you’re talking to them in an art gallery environment, or maybe a direct show. So anyway, I can’t give you have an exact answer but I would say probably start out a little lower and then get some sales in that area. Once you’ve proven yourself, then you know, move it up. I like artists to raise their prices once a year, because there’s inflation and so you’re right, your money is worth less money. Anyway, hope that helps.

The next question is from Sam, in Pebble Beach, California always wanted to live there. What a beautiful area, he says, Eric, I’ve got a question. I’m not sure anybody can answer but I’ve been asked to do a mural on the side of a building and they want me to do a giant seascape, like my gallery paintings, but they only want to pay me $2,000 to do it. And I get at least that for my small paintings, but it would be kind of cool. It’s a busy part of town might be good for my career. What do you think I should do? Well, I can’t tell you what to do. Sam. I can answer this for you though. You got to consider everything. A mural. That big is probably going to take you a couple of months or longer to complete. Especially if you want to do it well. It’s going to require you to research What kind of materials to use because what you’re painting with now isn’t what you’re going to be painting with on the side of a building. I don’t know if that’s fresco techniques, or house paint or what it is. But then you got to kind of learn to paint with that, it’s going to take some time, materials are going to be different than what you’re used to, because you want materials are going to hold up and look good for the next 20 or 30 years or longer. And so that’s going to take some time, and then the cost of materials for that amount of square footage is going to be amplified considerably. Maybe they’re going to pay your cost of materials, I don’t know. But the other thing you got to keep in mind is there’s wear and tear on your body, on your arms on your shoulders. It’s going to disrupt your life in other ways because you’re going to be so tired, you’re not going to want to paint anything else. And so what’s the value of this? The wear and tear to disrupt your life and other ways? At the end of the day? Will you get noticed? Is this going to buy you anything? Is it going to get you publicity I think that’s a question you always ask yourself is, what’s in it for me? What’s in it for my career? Is this a good business move for my career? And if it is, consider doing it. If not, don’t do it. You know, most murals there’s so many murals on buildings now that a lot of them don’t even get noticed. You just kind of drive by you don’t ever know who the artist is one of the few exceptions to that as weyland, who’s been famous from doing these giant murals, built his career on these ideas of murals. And I’m sure he makes sure his signature is big and a noticeable spot, not necessarily the bottom corner, and I talked to him find out what materials he’s a nice guy. I’ve met him, find out what materials he uses and how he does it. And chances are, if he’s smart, he’s probably got somebody else doing it for him. He probably comes up with a design and then maybe he goes in, has them they do under painting. Maybe he goes in and does touch up maybe doesn’t even do that. Because when you’re blowing something That large things get very posterized when you get up close. And so that’s a whole different animal you got to learn. Anyway, it’s worth talking to somebody in researching it and thinking about, is it worth several weeks? The other thing I would do is whoever is sponsoring this, whether it’s a city or otherwise, I’d want to know, what’s the publicity plan? Are you going to get my picture in the local newspaper? You’re going to get me on TV, you’re going to get me on the local internet stuff? How are they going to bring attention to you? What are the other benefits? Is there going to be like a grand opening a party where you can invite a bunch of VIP guests where you can get business cards and spread your name and talk about your work? Is there going to be a show of your artwork in conjunction, think about all those aspects because for the amount of time and the effort it needs to be worth doing? Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me, Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artist and to help your dreams actually come True. Thanks for listening.

Remember to Submit Your Question: What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.