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comments and viewpoints about digital art by a graphic artist & designer



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Pricing Art

What is art worth? What is art, especially my art, worth to me... or to you? 

What would I pay and could I pay for a painting I want to hang in my office, my reception area, my study, my living room, my hallway….

Depends on your budget, but I figure one to two month’s income isn’t too much if its something I really, really like.  For the living room it isn’t too much, not for the primary work, which will, along with a tasteful sculpt, establish the room’s ambience, provide my guests stimulus and enjoyment, and generally enhance the atmosphere I want cultivated there.

The kitchen?  Well, no more necessary, because, except (hopefully) for the nook, all the others are probably going to have to be replaced regularly unless they are hermetically sealed in Dawn-proof tempered glass (Did I mention I burn water at the kitchen stove?  You can imagine what I do to pork chops!  That’s why I have a brown kitchen.)

Okay, how about the bedroom?  Ummm….there I’m going to spend a nice tidy amount on it for two to three paintings, and they’re going to be one large, maybe one medium and a couple of small-sized paintings I really like, my hubby likes,  something that totally sets up an atmosphere of comfortable, relaxed intimacy.

Now, the BATHROOM.  Similar to the kitchen, only even cheaper. (My husband is a disaster in any bathroom.  Water, water everywhere, never mind the steam, even with the exhaust fans on!)  Cheap, cheap, cheap, here, throw-away images I know I’m going to have to replace too regularly.

So, now we come to the entrance hall, the dining room, the study, my office….

The nice thing about ImageKind is that, one, I, the artist, can set my preferences for my images — size, framiing, matting, paper/canvas choices, glazing.  Yes, the customer can change those, but they know what I have set them at…or will once I get my galleries set the way I want them.   But the customer has the ability to CHANGE THE OPTIONS, which ALLOWS THEM to price the images to their needs.  In other words, I can do a cheap size, framing, and paper for images that I’m going to have to replace often, while I can also choose a high-quality option for the living room or conference area and modest mid-level option for, say, my office’s reception area.  (Don’t you love the “art happening” when Mom brings Junior in with her and lets him scribble all over the walls, furniture and paintings with indelible pen?)  I redid my reception area after an incident like that all in this wonderful raw pipe and torn wallboard look.  It was really cool.  But it didn’t match the rest of the office and, once the contractors were done, we had to go back to less of a ghetto look.

On to the nitty gritty of pricing YOUR (or MY) work.  Are your works collectables yet?  Will they be?  Do you value yourself, your work? Do you value what you do?  My rule for myself is to price it according to what I would pay for it, regardless of whether I actually sell a copy of the work.  To me, it doesn’t matter if I sell.  I don’t do art for someone else.  I do it for me, because I like it.  If someone agrees with me, great.  If they don’t, there are lots of other artists’ work to choose from.  Art is in the eye of the beholder, and I like, am proud, of my vision and its expression.  …And a word of warning.  If you sell yourself low, that shows the buyer what you think of your own work. 

So how do I price my work?  Well, digital art is reproducable art, not one of a kind art like a canvas on oil.  Prints can be made of an oil…lithographs, limited editions, etc.  Those works — never sell the original for anything less than top price.  Digital…which is what I do online here, well, you are selling the IMAGE, the ART, not a one-of-a-kind item.  So that changes things like pricing a bit, but not that much.  I want my work valued, not winding up wall-papering some ghetto bathroom.  So I price it accordingly.

The point: Don’t underprice your art. Your art is you.  Underpricing your art is undervaluing YOU.  I don’t care if you never sell one painting.  If your art is beautiful to you, price it according to what you would yourself be willing to pay for it if it had been created by someone else.


I’m pricing my work mid-level online right now because IK is the first online company that I’ve found worthy of my time and art…and TRUST…which is a big thing with me.  I’m trying it out.  I’ll see how it goes.  So far, so good. 


Copyright 2007 D.L.Keur &/or F.W.Lineberry, http://www.zentao.com . All rights reserved. Reprint rights granted ONLY if linked and credited.




Copyright 1997-2007 D. L. Keur, zentao.com