I started seriously trying to sell my paintings in galleries and shows about 5 years ago. At that time, I was very new to the art world, pricing system, and business in general. I started out only trying to sell originals at prices that I had calculated based on my time, materials, level of difficulty, my emotional attachment to the work, and local area pricing. I realized quite quickly that a lot of people “loved” the art, but weren’t actually buying it. I kept trying at different prices and sizes, and even painted a few “quick” paintings to see what happened. Financially, things weren’t progressing which was discouraging and forced me to analyze the situation. I didn’t want to “give away” my originals, but I needed to change something.
I needed to offer OPTIONS for different budgets. The art world shouldn’t be an intimidating place that caters only to the upper class. It should be a window to different views of the world, a place for inspiration and imagination. I feel strongly about providing this experience to ALL people. For example, a lot of younger people (or at least, young at heart) really connect with my work, but don’t necessarily have the money for an original, so I started offering prints. They seemed to be the answer to art lovers on a budget and the sinking economy. After the prints, came greeting cards, hand painted jewelry, plaques, personalized gifts, and now other artistic accessories.
From day one, it wasn’t my intention to create a “product line”, but I’ve really enjoyed exploring different mediums. When I’m not involved in a painting, it’s fun to get creative with the other products that still offer a positive “free spirit” feel. I love to see people wearing my hand painted jewelry and hair pieces or picking up a print of their favorite painting – without breaking the bank, while doing so! Speaking from experience, I know that I would have a serious art collection by now, if I had been given some less expensive options along the way!
With all that said, let’s go back to original art for galleries and shows and custom work, portraits, murals, etc. These are still priced higher than my art reproductions (prints, plaques, greeting cards) and other products. The reason? It’s one of a kind and it’s an investment! It makes sense if you think about it…an artist can never recreate the same painting twice, it’s pricier because it is original and a LOT went into it. Some of my paintings have taken anywhere from a couple hours to a couple months, and sometimes tears and sleepless nights are also thrown in.
As for custom work – if you hire me to paint a portrait of your family, that portrait will be passed down through the generations. It’s a part of your family’s history and it has captured a moment in time – a facial expression, emotion…a memory. I’m invested in conveying what’s important to you in your painting. Same goes for other custom projects.
What goes into a portrait, mural, or any custom piece:
1. Consultation (figuring out what the project is and what details are important to the client, giving a price estimate, which will be revised later)
2. Research (spending time on the internet or in books to gather images, colors, ideas, and pricing comparisons that relate to the project)
3. Price Quote (this is based on the size, amount of detail, materials, surface textures and working conditions, and in some cases, may be adjusted)
4. Completion (picking up materials, actually working on the project, making changes, checking in with the client, making sure artist and client are on the same page)
5. Finishing (framing, backing, glazing, attaching hanging hardware)
6. Delivery or Pick Up
If you look at custom work like an investment, whether it’s from an artist, photographer, graphic designer, musician, woodworker, or really anyone that provides a service or product that’s catered to your needs, you will realize the great value in it, not only financially but sentimentally. And if your budget supports a less pricey, but still very unique collection of artwork and products, I’ve got you covered!
P.S. Thanks for your continued support, my job would not be possible without you and I’m so grateful!