Featured image by student Suzanne Willis

One of the most exciting parts about Sketchbook Skool for us staff members is to see our students grow as both people AND artists. It thrills us when we get updates from students who went from being shy about sharing that first drawing of a shoe just a year ago to making prints and selling cards featuring their own drawings nowadays.

In our community, students often ask for advice as well as share success stories. One of the biggest questions that gets tossed around is how to price artwork. How do you assign a value to something you do for fun and find so much joy in? There isn’t one precise formula that fits for everyone, but here are a few things to consider when making the leap to selling something you’ve made.

  • Don’t price your art too low. For example, if you are selling greeting cards made from your drawings in a local gallery, charge USD$6-8, as the gallery will most likely take a commission portion of your sales.
  • Don't sell your originals unless you really want to. Make prints and keep your prints to 5x7 inch size and package some with mats and sleeves, ready to frame and others alone without the frills. This way, you can vary your price points from USD$8-20. You can get the bulk mattes/backings/sleeves sets for about $1 each online.
  • Think about materials. What did you use to make the drawing/piece of art? Look at your materials as an investment and the price f your art as a return on that investment. If it is a drawing on a very nice piece of paper made with your best watercolors, price it a little higher than a quick portrait sketch in ink on sketchbook paper.
  • Know your market. Are you selling greeting cards in an art-filled metropolis like New York or Chicago? Or stocking a few prints at your local bookstore in a smaller city or town? Scout out what other similar products are selling for in your area and don't price much higher or lower than those items.
  • Consider online marketplaces like Etsy or Big Cartel. These sites can be helpful but can also be overwhelming. Wait until you have some sales under your belt and an honest interest in going into full production mode (reproducing drawings, packaging, developing inventory) before taking a stab at online sales. Once you do reach that point, these sites can help you stay organized and connect with buyers all over the place.
  • Do some research. There are tons of other articles with different tips on pricing your art. Take a look at some of these: Saatchi Art Pricing guide The Abundant Artist The Abundant Artist pricing lessons WikiHow Art Biz Blog

What are some tools that helped you when you started selling your art?

Filed under categories: Tips