Monthly Archives: September 2017

Pricing Your Art Correctly

The art of selling art is difficult enough, but the art of pricing your art correctly is a topic with a myriad of passionate opinions. Should your art be priced low so it sells or should your art be priced high to avoid giving the impression that your art is undervalued?

While there is a plethora of differentiating opinions there is a consensus that there are 10 valid points that need to be considered when pricing your art correctly. Keep in mind that depending on where you are in your career as an artist will influence the price that you will be selling your art for. If you consider yourself to be an artist starting of on your career, then do not expect to ask premium prices for your art you will also need to be realistic about the price of your art.

  1. The first step is off-course to do your research. The internet is a fantastic medium for this. Check out artists who are at a similar place I their Artistic journey and see what prices they are charging. Check out as many similar artists as you can who are preferably working on a similar medium and size and determine an average price. This will be your starting point.
  2. Whilst setting the price of your art, you need to be careful you are not selling your art to cheap. Keep a track of the time you are spending on the Artwork in relation to the size of the Art and then work out the Rate you are getting per hour based on price divided by hours. This will be your hourly rate. If it comes to say $2, then you know that you effectively paying yourself $2 per hour and you may need to increase your Art price or take less time to prepare the Art price. Your task then is to increase your rate per hour.
  3. Once you have your starting point, then identify a formula for increasing the value of your art. This can be a combination of factors such as, number of people buying your art, interest in your art, media exposure, critical acclaim, your growing clientele base, auctions etc.
  4. Unless you’re trying to hide something you should publish your prices. Be open and honest about what you’re asking for your art, and don’t be ashamed if others think that the price is too high.
  5. As your career develops try and regularly increase your prices a little at a time. This will help previous buyers with their investment and will benefit you by providing larger profits as the time taken to produce the Art does not increase.
  6. You should never be tempted to lower your prices once you have set the price.
  7. Be consistent in your pricing. Do not offer a discount to one individual over another. When selling art, it is important to be consistent. Potential buyers may talk to each other and if you’ve offered one a better deal than the other you could lose the sale.
  8. Try to avoid pricing your art by your talents or the time taken to create the art. You should focus on selling your art, by the size.
  9. There may come a time when you feel that you need to discount your prices. This should be in extreme circumstances only and not an easy option for you to make.
  10. When selling art, it’s often easy to let the agents and dealers take control. Avoid this at all costs. It is your art and your business so stay involved.

These are 10 principles that artist’s who are selling art need to consider carefully and applying in their everyday business practice. Being creative and creating art is only 50% of a successful artistic business

The Art of Hanging Art

Follow these insider tips to learn the perfect way to display your contemporary art.

Whether you are hanging a priceless heirloom or a Contemporary Limited Edition Art Print; hanging several pieces of art or just one painting, proper placement is critical. The most important considerations for placement of art are the scale of the room and the art itself.

Always follow the general rule of big art in big spaces, small art in small spaces. And always hang art with the centre of the picture at eye level which is 155-170cm from the floor.

Large modern art look good when placed over pieces of furniture or a fireplace. But make sure that the art is NOT longer than the furniture. It should be about 2/3 to 3/4 of the length of the object over which it hangs.

Never leave more than 20cm of wall space between the base of your paintings and the object over which it hangs. Otherwise the eye will focus on the wall rather than your art.

Try to group small pieces of art where possible. Using similar or matching frames and mounts will bring unity to the set but is not necessary if the theme or colours of the paintings already provide unity.

One of the most interesting ways of displaying contemporary art is in groupings, which can be used in large or small spaces. There are several professional ways of grouping your contemporary art collection as described below.

Salon Display
Select a group of paintings with a common theme such as colour, subject matter or even frame type. Pieces need to be of different sizes and can be centred or lined up above each other and next to each other. Spacing between pieces should be kept consistent to avoid the layout appearing random.

Horizontal Display
Group a collection of differently framed art works directly next to each other with the frames almost touching. This allows a display of several art works in a small space. It works best with an odd number of pieces and the largest piece in the middle and getting smaller as it goes out.

Vertical Display
Group a collection of uniquely framed art works directly on top of each other with the frames almost touching. The uniqueness of the frames and their various shapes and sizes are both emphasized along a vertical axis.

Mosaic Display
This type of arrangement is perfect for an architectural niche and uses pieces of art of various sizes. Start by lining up the outside pieces for a consistent square or rectangular outer edge and then fill in the remaining space. The spacing becomes irregular as you get toward the middle but it works because the edges form a regular shape.

Symmetrical Display
Display a collection of pieces of the same size in the same frames and with the same distance between them. This can either be a single row of art works or rows can be added to create a grid. This is particularly effective when the theme of all the pieces is the same.

Asymmetrical Display
Group a combination of three pieces of art to achieve a balanced asymmetrical display with the two smaller pieces stacked and centred alongside the larger piece.

Digital Art Explained

The popularity of digital art is increasing every year as the technology required is increasingly becoming readily available to everyone. Once the domain of graphic designers or artists such as Andy Warhol is now becoming a common way to create artwork. No other medium would let you erase 100 times, without harming your canvas in the slightest.

This article will explain the different styles of digital art and will discuss each category in a little detail to help clear up some of the confusion. Anyone new to digital art will no doubt have encountered terms such as ‘vector’, ‘Pixel’ or ‘mixed media’ art but may well have not been able to access a clear explanation. As is always the way with art, there is always some interpretation and the way I have chosen to categorise the art styles might not suit everyone.

Digital art can be divided into 5 main styles, Mixed Media, Vector, Fractal, Digital Painting and Pixel:

Mixed media or integrated art
Since the arrival of Photoshop in the 90s, mixed media or integrated art has been rolled out to the masses. Mixed media is exactly what its name suggests; it is the merging of many art styles such as painting, photography, drawing and digital. Using programs such as Photoshop artists are able to combine these art forms with often amazing results. One popular style of mixed media is ‘Pop art’, led by the Andy Warhol portrait styles that consist of using a computer program to add bright colours to the image and often align multiple panels together to form blocks of 4 or 9 images in different colours. Mixed Media is often seen in digital abstract art.

Vector art
One of the most popular digital art techniques, a better term for it might be “vector-based art,” meaning art created using a vector-based program such as Illustrator or Freehand or Corel Draw. The artist uses vector drawing software and creates the image totally in a virtual environment. The style makes use of shapes which are outlined and can be filled with various colors and patterns; this usually produces a harder edged or graphic look. The signature flat colours and clean lines are easy to spot and quick to grab attention making them popular with advertisers looking to get the attention of the public.

Fractal art
Fractal art has been around for a while but is seeing resurgence of late. Examples of fractals can be found in the natural world however in terms of digital art it is art created entirely using mathematical formulae; they are infinite in their ability to be viewed in ever increasing detail. The closer you look the more detail there is, as you zoom into the image. Fractal art is usually created using fractal generating software, the program has three main phases: setting parameters of appropriate fractal software, executing the possibly lengthy calculation and evaluating the product.

Digital Painting
Digital painting is an art form in which traditional painting techniques such as watercolor, oils, impasto, etc are applied using digital software. Digital painting is different to many other forms of digital art in that it is created without using a template or computer generated model. The artist uses painting techniques to create the digital painting directly onto the computer. The digital art software program uses traditional techniques such as brush strokes and colour blending to mimic the physical media. Styles available are increasingly diversified but include pastels, watercolour, oils, charcoals and acrylic to name just a few.

Pixel art
In amongst all these ground breaking digital art forms Pixel art a resurgence of old school pixel techniques is proudly celebrating the humble beginnings of computer art. It is a retro digital art style that is making a comeback. When seen, most people immediately remember their old commodore 64 or Atari graphics, indeed these old computers and video games all use pixel technology. Pixel art is drawn pixel by pixel in minute detail usually using a very limited colour palette and primitive computer graphics tools. One of the more popular programs is Microsoft Paint, this program hasn’t been updated for years however it is a perfectly suitable tool for creating pixel art.

Art Presentation – It’s All About the Packaging!

How you present your two or three dimensional art speaks volumes about how you feel about your own art product.

Creating your art is just the start in marketing your art. Presenting your art is like adding the icing on the cake. It is taking the next step and presenting your art product with the same care and creativity that you used in creating it.

It should come as no surprise that there are entire industries devoted to understanding how visual appeal affects the buying habits of the public. All businesses utilize these findings in a number of ways, from creating the packaging of their product to the displays that they use. What is surprising is how many artists do not recognize the importance of utilizing the same research to enhance the visual experience of the very art they have worked so hard to create!

There is a very real gap between the real world of art marketing and theory of art marketing. Most artists have been exposed to the theory aspect of art marketing, not the facts, which is unfortunate, because just a few changes in their approach to presenting their art could make a huge difference in their sales!

It is a fact that by properly displaying and presenting your art, you are creating added value to the piece itself. Ask any Master Chef, Gardner or musician. Ask any major retailer. A lot of thought and effort goes into creating the visual atmosphere that makes the art that much more appealing to an already interested audience.

So what IS Proper presentation and display of your art? In two dimensional art, it is the framing that an artist creates or selects to visually enhance the art piece. In three dimensional art, it is the display setting of the art piece.

In two dimensional art, the basic concept for the proper framing of your art product (and that includes photography) is simple. Your framing should enhance the colors and feel of the art image by pulling those same features outwards. If matting is used, it needs to pick up the same colors used within the artwork and those same colors and textures need to continue with the molding used for the frame. Stark white mats, common with photographers, trick the viewers eye and upon looking away, all they see is the bright white of the mat. Use selective color to enhance your photos.

If no matting is used in the piece, then the frame needs to replicate the colors and texture of the art piece.

Glass covered art needs to have non reflective glass so that the art can be seen by the viewer without glare. All the framed pieces need a sturdy way to display the piece on a wall.

For very large pieces of art, where a frame may be impractical, an artist should always use gallery wrapped canvases (NO staples on the side) and continue the art around all four sides.

If you create commissioned art and are presenting it to the client for the first time, always show it in a frame. Have the frame available for purchase, but always show it in its best possible light. Use your “good” easel for the presentation. There is a reason for the popularity of the “unveiling.” It is part of the atmosphere of suspense and showmanship and is designed to add the WOW factor. Use it creatively with your own clients.

Proper presentation is subtle. Your framing should enhance, not overwhelm the art piece.

With three dimensional art, an artist must be creative with the means to properly display the piece to its best advantage. A beautiful pedestal stand that can rotate is best but setting a piece on a stationary stand that can easily be walked around will work. Pottery benefits from the same ideas as sculpture.

The “unveiling” is a good use of suspense here as well. Depending on your art sculpture, lighting the piece to emphasize texture, form or colors is also part of the presentation.

Artfully arranged drapery also offers a wonderful visual effect. Jewelry stores are usually experts in creative displays and the artist who creates and designs jewelry should study the techniques. The brilliance of gold and silver is one reason many stores set their pieces on solid black velvet and turn up the lights in jewelry cases.

Be subtle but creative in your presentation. Nothing you use should overwhelm your art piece. Whether you are at a show, or in your studio or at a client’s home, use presentation to add value to an already valuable piece of art. Have your client give you a few moments alone to set up your mini unveiling. Have a place in your studio where you showcase your best piece to share with the walk in client. Always have frames ready and available or a framer who can accommodate your client when working with two dimensional art.

Too many artists groan about costs but in reality, there are many cost effective and creative ways to beautifully display and present your art. Use canvases or mats that can be ready made. Locate framers who can work discounts for you. Wait for the big catalog sales. Incorporate the costs of frames into what your clients invest in your art, whether they want the frame or not. That helps you build a supply of frames which you have found compliment your style.