Art Festival Newsletter | May 2021

Pricing Your Art
As we return to in person art shows, this is a good time to take a look at how you price your art. All artists struggle with pricing no matter how long they have been selling their art. Putting a price on something so personal often leaves you wondering if you have set the correct market value. Pricing your artwork fairly and consistently is the key to gaining the trust of your patrons. 
I don’t believe that art should be priced only by formula but do believe that you should at least know your base costs when pricing your art and understand the criteria of the marketplace. Art prices are not pulled out of thin air, you must have prices that respect your expertise, sales history and the marketplace.
Approach your pricing as you would any other product. Step back emotionally from your creative effort to gain some perspective.
  • Research: Your art does not exist in a vacuum separate from other work that’s out there. You have to factor what other comparable art is being sold. Art valuation always depends on other similar work, whether we like it or not!
  • Market: Are you focusing on directly selling to your consumer or primarily through a gallery or online retailer? Is the art already created or are you doing custom work?
  • Size of work: Some artists price artwork based only on size, either by the square inch or the perimeter. This is easy to explain to buyers, and certainly makes sense if you spend less time on smaller work. Even if your smaller works take every bit the time and effort of your larger ones, buyers expect to see lower prices for smaller sizes by the same artist. It’s not a hard rule, but it’s an expectation you should be aware of and prepared to respond to.

  • Experience and Previous Sales: With respect to the marketplace, the more information, history, documentation, and context that accompanies a work of art, the more attractive it is to buyers.
Once you have researched and considered the above it is time to understand the base cost of what you are producing.
Cost Base is the first step in arriving at the final price – it allows you to determine the base price and ensure that you will not be selling at a loss. Once you have determined the base price, you will need to adjust the final retail price to more accurately reflect the value of your art in your particular market.
  • Material Cost – Keep a detailed accounting of your raw materials & supply expenses. Remember to add the cost of framing and packaging.
  • Overhead Expenses – this includes rent, utilities, advertising, office expenses, website fees, display, tools, insurance, CC fees, travel, show fees, professional expenses (accountant, classes, publications, dues), etc. If you’re having trouble estimating your monthly or annual overhead expenses, it might help if you think of all the expenses you expect to pay for your business in one month or year. Then determine which of them are not directly allocable to your products. You’re left with an estimate of all your overhead expenses.
If your overhead is $400 per month, and you normally make 40 pieces of art which are similar, you can apply $10 overhead cost to each piece. But if half your art is larger and takes more time, you might calculate that those should have $15 of overhead in the price, while smaller pieces have $5, for example. As you take a close look at your expenses, and what you make, it may become apparent that your overhead is a clear percentage of each work of art. 
  • Labor Cost – The US Department of Labor Occupational Labor Statistics lists the mean hourly wage of Fine Artists as $31.26 (2021). Use this as a starting point for figuring out your hourly wage.
Using the formula (Completed hours * Hourly Wage) + Materials gives you the base cost without profit.
The above calculation does not take into account your years of training and the quality of your work. There is no average mark up on art because of the wide disparities in medium and experience. You will have to use the knowledge gained by looking at your competition and your own career to determine the final pricing and make a profit.
If you prefer to use formulas to price all your art – Artwork Archive has 3 formulas for pricing your work that you can view HERE
By maintaining a detailed and organized record, you will be professional and lower the likelihood of mistakenly over- or under-charging a client. When you have taken the time realistically price your work you should have the confidence in yourself and your art to stand by your price!
All information on this site is provided for general education purposes only and may not reflect changes in federal or state laws. It is not intended to be relied upon as legal, accounting, or tax advice.
This Issue's Quote: "The country is so wounded, bleeding and hurt right now. The country needs to be healed - it's not going to be healed from top, politically. How are we going to heal? Art is the healing force." ~ Robert Redford


Artist have always gravitated toward unconventional mediums to express their artistic vision. In fact, I would argue that artists often develop new techniques and push the boundaries of the imagination in ways that create new technological development. Transforming how we think and innovate. Demand for technology is always changing how we interact with art.
The synergetic relationship between technology and art was born in the early 20th century when various avant-garde movements introduced new non-artistic materials, and everyday objects as perfect art mediums. This is when Mixed Media art was born, creating an exciting new era in the evolution of art.
Andy Warhol as one of the most influential artists who used modern technology, such as, video, film and screen printing to make his art more visible and accessible. However, it is a little-known fact that Warhol was also one of the pioneers of digital art. Namely, he created digital drawings on an Amiga computer to advertise the computer system for the computer company, Commodore International.

Artists like Robert Rauschenberg worked with engineers and scientists from the world-renowned Bell Laboratories to create new materials and methods that could relate art more closely with everyday life. Rauschenberg’s role as co-founder in Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), a non-profit group of engineers and artists, was pioneering in formally using technology to create art.

Digital art expolded in the late 1980s with the introduction of personal computers. At the same time, there’s been a radical decline in the cost of digital art software with the exponential growth of chip power and bandwidth. Digital technology and artistic expression are now inextricably intertwined.

The next decade is about technology and art that challenges our perceptions. Both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality offer excellent ways to create immersive work and will fundamentally reshape the artistic process at each phase: ideation, creation and launch resulting in groundbreaking new forms of art. Technology will change and continue to evolve how art is created, consumed and shared, giving artists new opportunities to express and share their creativity.
PHOTO CREDIT - Pascal Dombis - Irrational Geometrics digital art installation-. Image via
Last Chance to APPLY: Click logo for more information!
September 24-25, 2021
Charles Town, WV
Application Deadline 6/1/21
September 4-5, 2021
Evergreen, CO
Application Deadline 7/11/21
From the Directors Chair: The Devil is in the Details 
There is no such thing as a typical day for an art show director, which is why I really like this part of my life. My role involves everything from strategic vision to hands-on delivery. When I first started, I thought I understood all that went into being a show director. I knew the job was to oversee setup and breakdown, create materials such as maps and signage and coordinate festival staffing.

What I did not take into account was dealing with city and state bureaucracy, insurance coverage and projecting risks for the event.
What you may not relaize when you come to the show as an artist are the small and large details that are taken care of before you arrive.
Set the Date (not always simple): Most shows work to secure the same weekend the following year within a month of the previous event. This can involves multiple actors (property managers and city/county or state authorities).
Create a Master Plan: Includes budget, staff, charitable beneficiary, contractors, parking (artist & public), site plan, sponsors, entertainment, artist hospitality and saftey proceedures.
Create a Publicity Plan: PR and Marketing (social media, web listings, print, broadcast and radio).
Artist, Entertainment and Festival Food Outreach: Email releases, phone calls, social media and word of mouth.
Organize a Team: Jury/Judges, Festival Staff and Volunteers.
Logistics: Permits, insurance, police, contractors, tax authority, artist hotel, parking, and merchant needs. COVID protocols are now an important part of logistics.

Emergency Plans: Forming an evacuation plan is now standard proceedure for most shows. These are formed in coordination with local EMS.
Artist Communication: Jury results, site plan, load-In schedule, advertising opportunities, press opportunities, general information to make the show as smooth as possible.

Festival Website: Participating artists (photos and contact info), music and festival food, festival information for the public, map and parking directions.
Show Site: Executing site plan, coordinating merchant participation, traffic control for both artists and the public.

Show Weekend: Mark booth spaces, place parking signs, traffic control, on- site judging, artist hospitality and a thousand small details that make the show work!

Wishing everyone wonderful festivals, amazing weather and safe travels this year!
Contact Robin Markowitz at
The Art-Linx website has the most current Call to Artist information