If you're stuck wondering what you can or should charge for your art, try using an art pricing calculator. In addition to doing research online about the art market and looking at how much other artists similar to you sell their work for, these tools are a great way to estimate a base rate for you to start with or work from. I've created three calculators below for you to experiment with!
*Disclaimer: None of these art pricing calculators are meant to be one size fits all. With every artist, the materials, experience level, time it takes to finish a work, sizes, and many other variables will differ so it's very hard for one calculator to be a 'perfect' match for everyone. That said, all of them can be a tool to help those starting out who just want a reference point. You can always charge more or less than these estimates or try a price and then adjust as needed.
Art Pricing Calculator A:
Begin by entering the total amount you spent on the materials used to create your artwork under cost of materials. You will see that this number is automatically doubled. The reason is that if you are selling on your own, it both covers the money you spent to make the piece and gives you enough to buy the same materials again to create a new work. Or, if you are working with a gallery then it still covers your cost even if they take a 50% commission. Next, choose an hourly rate for yourself in $ USD (for example, it could be $15, $25, $50 or more depending on your experience). Finally, tally how many hours it took you to finish the piece and enter that number in the last block. Now you have one estimate of how much to sell your art for!
Cost of materials
Hours to complete artwork
Art Pricing Calculator B:
Here's how it works! Measure the length and width of your artwork and enter the numbers in the corresponding boxes below. The answer will populate in the gray box. Next, choose a USD $ amount that will act as your multiplier. It should correspond to where you are in your career. The longer you've been an artist the higher it will be. For most emerging artists, it is recommended to start somewhere between $0.50 and $2.
Art Pricing Calculator C:
This calculator is very similar to the one above but instead of multiplying the length by width, these two numbers will be added. Then, the answer will populate in the gray box. You will again have to select a USD $ amount that will act as your multiplier and that matches your career level. In this case, however, you'll want to start at a higher dollar amount. I wouldn't suggest using a dollar multiplier any lower than $7.50 - in fact, those who are new to selling can probably start between $10 and $12.50 and go up from there.
If this is a good start, but you'd like additional insight and advice about negotiating sales, knowing when and how to raise prices, and strategically pricing your art to sell - check out our top-rated business book for emerging artists: The Complete Smartist Guide! You can also find even more career resources for artists on my personal website www.aliciapuig.com.