Monday, January 03, 2011

Dream Note

For the past few days I've been reviewing the year and working out ways to make 2011 better than 2010. I could feasibly continue doing as I am for many years, making steady progress in my art, improving the technical aspects of my work and exhibiting locally with one or two sales, but that's beginning to sound like a long slog. I want work out if there are any other options.

Today I've started to change my painting pricing formula. At the moment it's based on days work, but things like frames and expenses like gold leaf are also worked out in days. That makes the prices rather strange because they unnaturally vary with my daily rate. I've now set expenses like that as one-offs, but still charging a rate for my time, things like custom made frames. At the moment I charge £20 or £30 a day (less for older paintings). I think I'm worth more than that so I'll increase prices soon when the formula is worked out.

I intend to make a list of all of the things I do and all of the effects/results of those things, then I should be able to get more of the desired effects by knowing what things to do more of. I can also insert experimental things to see what might happen! Such fun.

One thing I have done today though was to index my sculptures and have added those to my website. Here is an example, Dream Note which I made today in a deliberate attempt to recycle unwanted Christmas presents...

Look, you can put any dream, any note, any word, any photograph in there! Now my unwanted gift is useful and desirable. I'll put it on eBay soon and you might choose to bid on it because you'll have something inspirational for a tiny cost.

I've also submitted my resignation as press officer for my art group. It was quite a lot of work and I couldn't cut corners and do a good job. At the moment I value the flexibility of my time more than any benefits of the position, which mostly came at the start by way of how to write press releases and other such knowledge.



Kathy said...

Mark, I hope that in 2011 you'll continue to create masterpieces. I love your work and think it's very undervalued. There may not be a good formula for determining a price, but I tend to look at what the market will bear. By that, I mean that I visit galleries to see what price comparable work fetches. Some artists charge per inch or per hour, but that might not be what the market can bear. Or, that might be too little.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Mark! I look forward to seeing your creations and hearing your thoughts.
Great way to recycle stuff!

Mark Sheeky said...

Thanks for the comments and may I be probably the last person to say happy new year, until 2012 :)

Ah, the market. Some paintings sell for millions :) I charge for my time in days plus materials plus any necessary comission, which is the fairest way. So do I charge what I think I'm worth... or charge what I think might sell... Is now much I'm worth for others to decide? Should I assume success and charge as though I'm already a superstar?

The important thing is fairness and consistency and that's what my formula already gives. I'll probably raise my daily rate because I'm worth more this year than last, because I'm a better artist, I sold more in 2010 than 2009, and I have better skills.

If I think I'm worth x, I simply have to show people why I think that, and they too will know I am worth x. What better person to convey that than an artist?

Robin said...

Mark, I was told by a gallery owner that painting prices represented more than time and materials cost to do the actual work, but that there was a certain value set on the skills - at what point do you get paid for your expertise and skill? Kathy is right, look at local galleries, compare size and prices there, and take into consideration the gallery takes half of the list price (usually after taking some sort of discount if necessary). Also, I am a firm believer that if a patron sees an artwork they feel connected to, they will pay whatever (within reason). Good luck in 2011.