Friday, November 21, 2008


Gosh things look smaller once they are on my wall at the studio! Granted we have really high ceilings in this building - maybe 12+ feet, but still! Remember what this one looked like when I was in front of it for scale?




I just got back from dropping off the artwork for the holiday show and as usual I saw some really great artwork had been dropped off from other artists - but I was shocked at how low some of the people had their artwork marked! The gallery charges a 40% commission, so with that in mind, plus expenses, the artists would be making such a small amount for their work.

I'd love to hear what you all are doing regarding prices in this... um... economic downturn?

10 comments:

Scott D. Tillett said...

Hi Nicole..40% sounds kind of high. My gallery only charges 10%. I found recently though that I've had to lower my prices a little in order for sales to pick up. I've been making that up though with finding discount frames at garage sales, flea markets and the like. Oh well, the economy should start picking up again after Obama takes office. Let's hope so anyway.
Scott

Deborah Ross said...

My gallery charges 20%, but sales have been non-existent for me for over a month. My new work, which I plan to change out with what has been hanging there, will be priced the same. We can't drop our prices because it seems that we devalue our work if we do that.
And, Nicole, what a NEAT workspace! Mine wouldn't look like that five minutes after I got there.

Debbi said...

Nicole, It's fun to see your studio! What a nice workspace to create in. Looks like you could use a pencil caddy (or two)!

The galleries I show in all take 45 - 50%, which is the going rate for around Boston. So 40% would sound great to me! Non-profit places take less, anywhere from 10% to 30%, but that's places like the local library (which has a very nice exhibtion space) and the Audubon Society spaces.

Brandy said...

The galleries I've found that are worth the time of day are all 50% ... there was one that is 30% if you work there for free or 40% if you don't but their not very good at all.

IMHO - if they give a discount in commission they HAVE to be able to move the work often to make it worth the time you spend away from your art.

Personally, I'm just working on portfolio, capturing images for later prints, and doing commission here and there :)

It is funny how in the last pic they do look smaller lol - I know what you mean though, the surroundings are prob all that shrinking them (and the camera too ;) )

In my tiny little house they would prob. grow and look twice the size :p

Ana Tirolese said...

First, your work is beyond amazing.

I find it very difficult to sell work at a decent rate when other artist keep undercutting their work's value. It is most frustrating.

Scott D. Tillett said...

Hi Ana....just wanted to clarify that I started entering smaller work so that the prices would be lower. I didn't drop the price of my work that is currently hanging. That would be professional suicide. I'm a little smarter than that. Sorry, I should have made that clearer in my original comment.

Casey Klahn said...

My 2 cents is that if we are really in an economic downturn ( and I think my 401K says that we are ) then lowering prices would be prudent. I think the alternatives would be to: a.) not sell, which may be okay depending on the artist, b.) barter, as I recently did with my physician, c.) I can't think of a "c"- although I remember my history about artists in the 1930's who were employed in government programs.

I don't feel we're that bad off, yet, though. But, given the huge market downturn in the past few of weeks, I do feel that the rules about artist's prices may be amended if we want to still work.

Fifty percent is the expected commission at the galleries around here. If 40 % is taken, count yourself lucky. It's just important to keep in mind what you're paying for, and what the gallery is paying for. I expect promotional work coming out of a 50% gallery!

Awesome big work, Nicole!

Nicole Caulfield said...

Well 40 - 60% is the norm here for commissions and this gallery is a cheaper one! Actually pretty much all my others do 50%. I don't mind if they work to sell well! :-) I don't like the galleries that think the art sells itself!



Casey hit on what I was wondering. Is it to the point that we have to lower to survive? That was also my husband's opinion. t galleries that think tha

I thought most artists were putting out smaller works around here to deal with the downturn, a(because that is what is selling better) and keeping their ratios on their prices stable - well that's what I thought until I saw the pieces at this small works show (everything is small) and the prices were much lower than other small works shows I remember. There were a few artists holding onto their older prices and boy did they stand out.


Casey hit on what I was wondering. Is it to the point that we have to lower to survive? That was also my husband's opinion.

At least there are some killer sales on art supplies right now...

C. said...

I know this is off-topic, but I just stumbled upon your work and am amazed by it! I don't think I've seen colored pencil worked so large. I inherited a ton of Prismacolors; what paper/ground do you work on?

Ruth said...

Hi Nicole,
Your question about prices. What do you mean by low prices were on the paintings. Like what price for what size do you consider underselling. Do you have a scale by which you price?
Ruth