New Low Price on Original Paintings

Hey guys. After much soul searching, I have decided to lower the prices of my original paintings.  This goes against the advice of many of the leaders in art business. Ideally, you pick a number and the only direction you are allowed to go is up. Someday this will be true of my work, but for the time being this is the choice I have made.

Every year, I seek to improve my art, so that each new piece I put in front of you is my absolute best in the moment. As such, the price should go up, because I am always delivering better than I delivered before. However, this year I intend to live solely off my artwork. No side gigs, no full time job to supplement my art habit. I realized that last year I had priced myself out of the market, creating pieces that were admired by many but affordable to few. This led to a LOT of compliments and very few sales. I need to turn that around.New Prices

I recognize that to some, the new prices of originals on my website are still a little high, but I do have to account for the hours I put into each piece (anywhere from 6 to 36, depending on size and level of detail), not to mention the cost of my education that got me this far, studio fees and so on. If my work is still out of range, I have fine art prints available.

I have partnered with Fine Art America, an international company that specializes in providing prints on demand for artists like me. Once you choose the design, you have a plethora of papers, canvases and other substrates to print on, as well as frames and mats of all sizes and colors. They even do things like throw pillows, phone cases and duvet covers. They have their base printing prices and I set the markup. Those two numbers combined add up to the price you see when you place your order.

If you have ordered custom portraits from me before, those rates have not changed, so your piece is still as valuable as it was before. There is something special about family portraits and I want to continue to make those available to as many people as I can. So, if you have been on the fence about buying art from me, hopefully my work is now in your range.

2 thoughts on “New Low Price on Original Paintings

  1. Joey Buhrer says:

    Adri I think this is a good idea and I hope it helps you as an artist living off your art. I’m not sure if I’ve told you this story or not, but when I moved from Denver to L.A. in 2006, I immediately noticed a couple of big differences in the art world there vs. Denver. Most of the art at gallery shows was priced much more modestly than what I’d seen in Denver. Fairly big name artists who had their work in magazines and stuff were pricing a lot of their work around $500-$1,000. They might have a major piece or two at like $5,000. That was a lot different than what I knew in Denver: a bunch of artists no one had ever heard of that were pricing all their work in the tens of thousands. The other big difference is that in L.A., all of the artwork usually sold on opening night. Even for no-name artists with mediocre stuff. Very different from Denver, where most of the artists I know are lucky if they can sell a fraction of the work that they have in a show. Of course, artists and art buyers in those two cities are very different, but I still couldn’t help but wonder if the pricing & sales volume was related. Every time I asked an artist out there about it they confirmed that idea. I remember talking to Chet Zar (a former VFX film guy who was then just transitioning to being a fine artist), and he put it like this (paraphrasing): “I have two options: I can price every piece at $20,000 and feel good about myself knowing that the asking price is worth the hours that I put into it. But then I only sell like one piece a year. And $20,000 a year doesn’t work out to a very good hourly wage after all. OR I can price things at $500, $800, maybe up to $2,000, and when I do that I’m selling out every show and end up making twice as much per year. And that forces me to keep coming up with new work which makes me develop as an artist, which is a lot more inspiring than having a bunch of old work sitting around with big price tags collecting dust.” Made sense to me. And that was 10 years ago. That guy has become much more successful and well known since then (he’s been on the cover of Juxtapoz a couple of times and someone made a documentary about him), and I just checked and he’s STILL pricing his artwork at like $1,500-$4,000. That’s still much less than the stuff I see on the walls of galleries in Denver month after month, not selling. Of course, L.A. obviously has way more art buyers, with way more money, than what we have in Denver. But if that’s the case and artists are using that strategy out there, I’d think that’s even more of an argument to use that strategy in a tougher, smaller market. Like you said, the conventional wisdom is to price things high enough to really value yourself and the time that you put into a piece. Lots of artists will tell you “if you don’t think your work is worth a lot of money, no one else will either.” But all you have to do is look at how much work those artists are actually selling. The sad truth is that most of them usually aren’t selling a lot. Hell, most of them aren’t even selling enough to quit their day jobs. As much as I hate to admit it, the law of supply and demand applies to art as well. It really opened my eyes to see that even really successful, well known artists have to go with more modest pricing to move pieces out the door and make a living. You’re definitely my favorite artist around and I have no doubt that you are moving towards being a world class artist that draws demand from all over the country and the world. And honestly, I think this decision is another step towards that. Good luck!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Joey. That really makes me feel better about my decision. I was definitely feeling the whole thing about having a bunch of expensive pieces collecting dust in my house. Part of me is concerned that I didn’t go low enough, but part of me wants to make sure that my time and skill are valued too. I guess we’ll see how it all shakes out.

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