I started to explore the world of art, not as a creator, not as a business, not as an admirer, but as a patron. I wanted to understand who bought art, why did they buy what they bought. Who collected art and who was making money from all that art being bought and sold.
Sadly, not the artists. I purchased a book titled “The Art of Buying Art”, by Alan Bamberger.
I didn’t know how to show my art and I didn’t understand how to price my art to sell. There’s choices an artist has to make in order to be commercially viable. Decisions on whether or not to outright sell an individual work versus making quality prints and selling those.
Then there’s platforms to sell your art on, like Etsy and there’s established sites like Artsy, who won’t necessarily allow you to use their platform to sell, but you’re welcome to see what is selling.
Then there’s renting and leasing your art, there’s a company online named TurningArt they’re art brokers, with a set of clients who rent/lease art from them. They actually sign artists on specifically hoping for commercial success so they can rent/lease the prints that they make from the artist’s original work (at no cost to the artist) they then give the artist a percentage of the lease or rented art.
I took an art critique class and learnt there’s a formula for outright art sales, length + width times a predetermined dollar amount. That predetermined dollar amount is tricky if you’re an emerging artist, probably on the low end of $30.
And oh, apparently there’s discounting, so even if you do use the formula, depending on who’s buying, they’ll expect a discount. My goal is to sell to contemporary art museums, so I’ve factored their 40% discount into the price 😉
There are commissions to galleries that range from as high as 60% of the price of a sold piece of art that was shown at the gallery.
There’s shipping costs that a buyer pays and there’s shipping costs that the artist must pay for if a work is accepted for a showing, because the gallery won’t pay for it.
And there’s insurance fees that are the artist’s responsibility based on the shipping and replacement costs of the work being shipped.
Before I forget, there’s art packing supplies. Yes from bubble wrap to corner packers. Those special boxes for art work can be expensive. However, there are companies that will do everything for you, packing and driving your Art to its USA destination for you. I’m not sure of their costs, but it’s good to know they exist.
I suppose you’re wondering how much a shipping box for a painting can cost, I purchased a corrugated box last month and it was $62.00 before sales tax and without shipping.
These were the thoughts I had while I painted. I wondered if anyone would want to see my art. I wondered if anyone would want to buy my art, I wasn’t sure. But just in case, I kept on painting…
Up next… I’m invited to a showing and I sell a painting!