Reply by Tennessee

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Posted on How do i price my work?

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2901 posts in 3082 days

#1 posted 01-25-2018 01:50 PM

I looked at a few of your pictures in the project section.
Although they do look cool, my guess is you will not get what you think for them compared to the hours invested.

Here’s why:
Are you a well known artist? If not, then you are considered an unknown, in the same category as those people who pound out art for starving artist shows. (Your art will not be considered woodworking – it is art and therefore you compete with oil, acrylic, pen & ink, and other drawing mediums.)
You need a gallery that will show your work, and not one where others are doing the same thing. In this case, a sort of 3D art is what you have, so avoid anyone who already has one of those. Trust me, good as these are, you are not the only one doing this.
Most galleries around where I live charge anywhere from 30% plus a hanging fee, up to 50%. Most have waiting lists, to be honest. Lots of good talent out there. I am lucky, I have been in my one gallery for over five years, and the latest one, meh…
You can try Etsy, but there are hundreds of not thousands of artists on that site. My daughter-in-law is an artist, a good one, on Etsy for over two years, three sales total. Not saying you would do poorly on there, but the competition is huge. She also has her own website, but most of her money comes from word of mouth, not exhibiting. She can not live off of it. Some pocket money, and that’s about it.
People have only so much wall space…and a lot of that may be reserved for family photos, personal events, etc. Pictures by fairly unknown artists just don’t make the cut.

Painting, as you should know, is sort of like making music and recording songs. Tons of really good talent, and you need a bit of a break to get the ball rolling. I’d start by showing your best to galleries that do NOT have anything like you do, but make sure they are not second and third tier galleries that cater to lower crowds, don’t have regular shows, etc. I made that mistake when a gallery approached me telling me they wanted to enter into the 3D world by putting in stuff like I make. (Not my guitars). After a lousy $150 in sales over the last three months, I plan on pulling out in the next week or so. My other gallery, I did well over $1000 in December alone, and that was not my best month.

A good break would be to have an interior designer get interested in your work, or someone who decorates things like offices, hotels, etc. And don’t be afraid to do what people want, and put your own wishes aside on what you consider your own art. By the way, animals are not selling now, quoting my one gallery manager, save for portraits of people’s dogs and cats.

Good luck!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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