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 ArtMarketing.com.
In this Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads answers the questions: “Is it okay to sell paintings at a higher price than other artists,” and “What are some ways I should be networking in my local community?”
Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 77 >
Submit Your Art Marketing 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.
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.
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 artmarketing.com, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.
In the marketing minute I answer your art marketing questions you can email them to me, I hope you’ll do that. Here’s one from Jen in Ohio who says I’ve recently decided to sell my art congratulations. And I’ve been doing research on pricing structures for my paintings. I know it’s important to research the market. But a lot of other paintings, I find her price fairly low, going between five and $800. I don’t understand how they can possibly make a living off their paintings. Even if they sold all of them the price point that I found in order to make reasonable salary seems to be in the two to $7,000 range for moderate sized paintings. Is it okay to sell paintings at a higher price than other artists? Well, there’s a whole lot of stuff in there, Jen. And let’s just kind of go through them one thing at a time. First off, every artist has to start somewhere now. You can. There’s a lot of stories. I remember asking George Carlson how he got his prices so high. So he said, Well, I don’t know, ask my wife. And I asked her and she said, Well, I just took the amount of time that he puts in how much we needed, and divided that by the number of paintings. And so that’s how they did it. But George was already famous as an artist as a sculptor. So he had a big brand, your brand matters, the more that people know, you respect you trust you, and understand who you are, the more your price goes up. I mean, think about Hollywood, right? There’s, you know, Brad Pitt, he’s probably getting top dollar or George Clooney top dollar. And then there’s, you know, some upstart, young and young upstart artist or, or what am I looking for actor who, you know, they’re just kind of getting internet, so they’re getting union scale. So you just have to understand that you’re gonna have to ratchet it up. Now, I do have some interesting feelings about that. And, and, you know, you know, that there are people out there who are selling too low. And you know, you’re you can’t help that you can’t worry about what other people are going to do. You know, people might compare or they might not, it depends on the environment. So environment is everything, if you’re in a really great gallery, a great gallery, that st, selling for fairly high prices, and then you’re likely to be able to get a higher price in a gallery like that. But that gallerist is going to give you advice, a gallery knows their market better than anybody. And they’ll say, well, maybe we’re going to start you out at this price. And then we’re going to ratchet you up over five years to this price, and this price, and so on. Now, you could just, you could say, Alright, I want to make a certain amount of money a year, but you got to be practical about that. And this may or may not work for you. Because again, it’s about advertising and building your brand and being known and so on. That stuff really matters. But let’s just say you took you said alright, I, I want to quit my job. And I’m making $50,000 a year, and I need to make $50,000 a year as an artist, well, then you got to ask yourself, right? How many paintings? Can I paint and be good quality? How many can I do per month? And if you say, Well, I can only do two per month, and you know that you’ve got to have $4,000 a month, then, you know, well, you got to have $2,000 a painting, right? Well, the problem with that is that you don’t really know that because if you’re if you’re selling a direct, then you get to keep both of those $1,000. Right? If you’re selling it through a gallery, then you only get to keep half of it. So that means you probably need four paintings. But I you know, I turn to my galleries for pricing, because I don’t know, I mean, I would love to get high prices. And I think high prices, send signals. And I’ve got a whole lot of stuff about that in my book. But the idea here is that they know their market. So if I I just recently sent a painting to my gallery, and I said, What should I charge for it? And he sent me a note, I sent a painting to my other gallery I said, What did you charge for that same painting size? Because I I had forgotten or didn’t know. And, and she sent me the exact same number. So when I heard two people say, well, that’s the number. Well, that’s pretty good. Now, I’m not the best artist in the gallery. And there are artists in the gallery that have the same size painting, and they’re getting, you know, twice, three, four times what I’m getting, because maybe I’m not as famous as they are, or not as accomplished as they are. So there’s a lot of factors into it. So you know, if you if a reasonable salary seems to me a two to $7,000 range for moderate sized paintings, you know, if you’re taking a nine by 12, and saying you want $7,000 for that painting, it might be difficult, especially when you’re starting up. But if you get established, it might be a too low. So take it easy, take it slow. Now if you have a job, I have a video out that talks about how to I don’t even remember what its title is we’ll have to look that up. But it’s an art marketing bootcamp series. And it’s how to quit your job and become a successful full time artist. And and it basically talks about a system for ratcheting up and getting you know, you don’t want to just go cold turkey, you want to get some experience and you want to get out there and try selling some things before you just quit your job right because you want to get to the point where you’re making enough money with your art that you can quit your job. Anyway, I hope that helps.
The next question comes from Aryana Husselink in Indianapolis, Indiana. I’m from Indiana. And hustling sounds like a good German Name, that’s a good Indiana thing. Aryana says, I know it’s important to be online. But what are some ways that I should be networking in my local community? I think that’s a great question. The first thing to understand, and I think everybody needs to understand this. And that is that if all of your marketing is dependent on a single thing, and that single thing no longer works, then you’re in trouble, right? So a single thing might be if you’re selling all your paintings through one gallery, and that gallery closes down, you’re in trouble. So you got to have two or three galleries, ideally, to have some balance, but what if all the gallery business dries up? You know, and so alright, so you’re doing some social media strategy. And by the way, there’s a whole lot of misunderstanding about that. I talked a lot about that in my book. And so you want to have other things like, you know, you’re networking, you can sell a lot of paintings through networking, and networking in your local community is really a good thing to do. So what what are some of the ways? Well, I have in I think, in my book, I, somewhere I wrote, I think it’s in there a whole chapter on this kind of thing, and networking and taking charity work to the next level, and so on. I like to do things like I like to donate paintings to charities, for silent auctions, I will do that from time to time, I don’t have very many paintings anymore, because I don’t have a lot of time, but I have done it. But when I do it, I say look, I’m going to give you I’m not just going to give you a small painting, I’m going to give you a big one, that’s worth a lot of money, so you can advertise it. And so let’s say I’ll get my painting worth $10,000. And they can put, I’ll say, Look, I’ll give you this painting on the condition that you put me as a highlighted, you put my painting on the postcards, you send out the top of your website, you put my name on it, you introduce me at the event, and maybe even have me say something for five minutes, because I want to get something out of that. Because if I say something, all of a sudden, I’m a magnet in the room. And I have all these people that will talk to me otherwise, you know, it’s harder to do that. But I you know, I think charity events are good. There’s all kinds of events, there’s school events. What you want to do, though, is you want to stand in the river where the money is flowing as my saying and and I think the idea is that the river where the money is flowing is where people have money to spend, right? So if you’re doing a silent auction in, in something that’s just, you know, let’s say it’s to raise $300, for the kindergarten, you’re not going to make any money on that. Now that’s okay, you might get visible if it’s a, if it’s a school where there’s a lot of high end people, and it can’t hurt and it’s good experience to try. But you know, I want to go if you know there are charities trying to raise big money. They’re trying to get all the wealthy people in town together, I want to be in that auction because I want those people to get to know my name. And I want to do 10 or 20 or 30 of those auctions, you know, some cities like Palm Beach, for instance, big auction town, they have lots of lots of events going on in the wintertime. So people go to an event every night. So if you had if they saw your name at event after event after event after event and at high prices, all of a sudden you’ve packaged yourself as a high price person and then that affects your pricing to the previous question that that might help. Anyway, I hope that kind of gives you an indication but yes, absolutely. Look for different ways you can network in your community and remember to stand in the river where the money is flowing.
Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists to help your dreams actually come true. So if you want to submit questions, simply email [email protected]. And to learn more about marketing ideas, you can visit Artmarketing.com. Thanks for listening.
How to Submit Your Art Marketing Questions: 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.
> Visit EricRhoads.com (Publisher of ArtMarketing.com) to learn about opportunities for artists and art collectors, including:
- Art retreats
- International art trips
- Art conventions
- Art workshops (in person and online)
- And more!