This concept was first introduced to me years ago when I first started selling artwork and also occasionally having the spare funds to buy artwork.
At one point I had lowered prices when people could not afford to buy my work, etc. As a few friends have told me and I've come to realize myself, there should be absolutely no complaint over pricing of artwork.
Points to clear up:
- I very well understand when artwork has seemingly no effort put in but only sells well do to artist fame
- I also understand when branding raises the price of things like custom species/adopts more than "they should sell for"
- And I understand when people selling too cheap "ruin market" for people who price higher
- And when those who price higher for "things you can get by another artist" shouldn't be "pricing that high"
- Etc, various other reasons
These are all things I've heard from people and considered myself to see if they were valid points. (which I have now come to realize, they can be valid but are completely irrelevant.. not even sure if I'm wording that right)
By the way, I made a journal addressing "Pricing" a few years back, so I would recommend checking that out too if you're interested
It's a little old but still relevant.
About 'Overpricing' thingsMOVE on 'Overpricing': About 'Overpricing' things
[My Opinion Versus Everyone's] Please remember these are simply my opinions and are not meant to imply that you should agree or disagree nor should these prove to be offensive in any way; if I do come across displeasingly then you have my apologies beforehand, thank you.
Ah! And btw, if you haven't seen Stephen Silver's video about pretty much this topic, please do -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWXYoD7wfOs
I see a lot of comments here and there that go something like this...
"50 points?? Why would I pay 50 points for an adopt..."
"100 points? Are you sure you're not overpricing that...?!"
And I'm sure many of you have seen similar comments, now I understand that points aren't the easiest things to accumulate when you're fresh into dA or even we
However I think the key statement to be realized here is that: Art is a Luxury
Let's face it, it's not something you need to have in your life to physically breath, eat... live?
No, don't get all smart-ass on me. I am an artist above all, and I personally cannot live without being able to draw and paint.
However, I'm making this point about BUYING artwork. I won't make this a generalization because yeah, who knows maybe someone out there has an extreme medical condition in which they cannot function properly without having a piece of artwork in their possession... but let's not get into such specificities.
That being said, there is not and should not be a standardized... "proper" way to price art.
Yes, there are guidelines
in the industry. Yes, artists should
be making at least minimum wage because they have the right to live comfortably.
However, as a buyer, it is simply ridiculous to complain about not being able to afford artwork
. That is what I call some major first world drama
As many artists will experience more than once in their lives, people will complain about your prices. I won't get into how the deviantart currency makes the worth of 100 points seem so much more than it is if converted ($1, aka bag of chips) because you can find that in the journal I linked above. However, remember, art is a luxury.
You don't need that watercolor bookmark to live. "It's the only thing in the world that will make me happy! I cannot thrive without it! I must have it!"
... well, no? And without trying to sound mean, if you truly feel you cannot survive without it... then you should honestly seek some support.
For the artist's benefit, of COURSE you shouldn't charge so much people can't even afford. How are you going to get customers? No let's not get into $1,000,000 paintings. I'm talking the average illustrator here because that's all I have experience with, as an illustrator. But if people are willing to pay $3,000 for an adopt, why are you complaining?
I get it, maybe yours doesn't sell 1/10 as well and you put in so much more effort. But honestly, what they're making isn't going to negatively impact your business.The beautiful thing about the art market, is that if you want something by an artist and are willing to pay so much, it's because you want their art. In their specific style, the way only they can make it look.
Cue all the other smart-asses who will talk about copy-cat artists and similar styles. I'm not here to get into a heated debate over that; let's simplify it for the safe of commonality.
There are so many different arguments to be made about something like this, but the bottom line is.. why do people pay so much for Apple products?
Yes that's the bottom line. Or, question I suppose? Because any tech-savvy person knows that the hardware is not worth the price. And in mechanical parts, there is an industry standard price, more or less. Not to say apple products are bad, they aren't. But what people are paying for isn't the "mechanics in comparison to this ____ phone". They're paying for APPLE. The brand, the company, the logo, the slick design-- they're paying for Apple.
They want an Apple product, and they will pay 3x the actual physical
worth, to get it. Cue all the people who look down on Apple-fans or Apple fans who are going to kill me over this. I have an android phone right now but I have also owned an iPhone 6 as well as an iMac. Anyway, they really don't make bad products. They would probably be considered really good if they halved their prices. But once again, people aren't paying for the physical gear. It's Apple they're paying for.
So back to artwork, how does this relate? I don't care whether it's bitter competition, passive aggressive .. jealousy.. anything else that comes to mind?
I know where you're coming from, I'm not an artist who's making thousands off any single piece.. (yet?) however, even if I were to, I don't think there's reason to get upset over anyone making 10x that amount and say.. putting in half the amount of time I do. It's art, it's business, it's marketing, it's branding. There is no tangible physical value because there's no standard. And there's no standard because
- every piece is unique
- it's simply not required to survive.
If it were a necessity for human survival, I guarantee you the prices would be reasonable to a living standard. But it's not. So get over it, if you want a piece of artwork so bad, then save up. And if you really can't afford it, I'm sorry. I am, because I know it's just so so so tempting to do anything to get your hands on something you want. However I think people also easily target artists because we're individuals. We're not an untouchable giant corporation who your email complaint probably never reaches.
We're so human that somewhere in the complaining buyer, they know they can target this and affect the individual. Probably without meaning to.
So stop complaining. Of course I wish the pieces I put time and effort into ... hours and hours... make more money than they do now. And of course I wish I could make something in 2 hours that sells for $600. And when I see others doing it, of course I get a little envious.
But please, don't just hate on people and cause drama for such a petty reason.
"I can't afford the artwork, they charge too much, let me comment this everywhere and think of them badly"If this were a food company and you depend on their food for survival and you can't reasonably afford, let's all go stand up to them. But it's artwork.
I'm not devaluing artwork, but in a sense I am. I am saying that in terms of survival/necessity value, it's not up there. And please, artists don't make a lot of money (cue people who reference the millionaire artists who take up less than 1% of the market). Artists are probably some of the most daring and brave people... perhaps a little detached from reality.. we do what we do and share it because we love it. And personally --I don't know about you-- I am fighting tooth and bone to be able to take something I love so much, and be able to make a living off of it. Because ultimately I need the money to continue sharing artwork. And if it makes people happy and if it touches them and helps them, that just gives me more purpose and reason to continue making artwork.
So please don't be a bitch about prices. A friendly rant is okay but when you're telling an artist that their work isn't worth the price, it really hurts. And it also potentially gives others the mindset. It is a luxury, you have no right to complain. And correct me if I'm wrong, but the main point about a luxury is that unfortunately, not everyone can have it. And unfortunately I'm also just a human and not an angel who will make a revolution in this world and start a movement titled "Free Art for Poverty!" because I'm sure they would much rather have basic necessities filled than have a stunning portrait in their room. And for the record, I have done charity artwork as a part of my highschool club. I forget the name, but essentially we sent in portraits of children living in poverty, to the children themselves. This of course with the intention of making them happy, not fulfilling their life.
If ever someone were to genuinely need art for survival (as absurd as it sounds), I would gladly make them something for free. But till then, it's going to cost money because I need money for my survival.
Oddly enough, no one really complains about $500 designer jeans/t shirts.. etc. They're not using some special magical denim/cotton.
It's the design. And it's the brand, and the artist behind it.
But who says it's not worth it? Value is subjective in this sense. The money is just putting a price tag on what someone values the design for. It's honestly a very simple concept.
So please spread the word so we can slowly eliminate the ignorance when it comes to artwork price complainers.
The term starving artists is too true. I am friends with far too many illustrators who are barely scraping by to feed themselves. It's scary, it could be me, but I don't see any shame in taking your one life, and living it the way you want to.
(On a bad segway, I recently started a Patreon because yes, I am actually an adult now that I'm 18 and I need to find ways to continue making artwork and paying for college. So if you like my artwork and are interested in seeing it through, I am shamelessly advertising my Patreon @ www.patreon.com/Capukat?ty=h
for as little as $1 a month. And as my thanks, I am offering exclusive pieces/sketchbook work, as well as helpful content that will hopefully aid you in your artistic journey!)
Anyway! If this changes the mind of one person on how they view art + pricing, I succeeded!
Thanks! And as always, DRAW ON