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Why Paintings Are Expensive is Relative

It costs that much because I value myself

As an artist if you ask any other artist or business owner they will tell you that they have at least once had someone tell them their product was too expensive. At this point it doesn't phase me anymore because I set the prices the way they are for a reason.

Calculating art costs is like diving into a rabbit hole, there is no end in sight and everything is confusing. Some people tell you to base the price on the number of hours it takes you plus materials. Others will tell you to base prices off competitors. Then there are those with whom I agree with, that say price based off of your value.

What is value? How do I calculate my own worth? I can't really tell you that. It took me months and I still struggle with it. Think of art pricing as if you were asking for a job salary. There have been companies I've been at where I asked for a salary, they couldn't give it to me but I accepted anyways because it was good enough. I didn't want to go down that pathway for my art. I am at an age where I have less self doubt and that may be a contributing factor of why I'm in this frame of mind, but as my perceived value goes up so do my prices. 

Will my perceived value be the same from year to year? Absolutely not, it will increase most likely because I am honing my craft just as if you were in a job and asking for a raise because you did xyz. 

My art could take me 5 minutes to create or 5 weeks to create, my value will always be calculated on how I view myself. I know I didn't really give you a calculation, so if you were looking for one I do apologize. I think the only thing I can give you is this:

Equation: Supplies + Experience + Self worth = Art price

Clear as mud per usual! What are your thoughts, I'm curious. Hope your day is less confusing than my math, talk to you soon.

All the best,

Olivia

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