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PRICING YOUR WORK
How do I put a price on it?
Valuing your work for art competitions
Whatever their attitude to material reward, very few artists fail to enjoy the buzz of a buyer’s sticker appearing on their exhibition piece - and none more so than when it happens for the very first time.
Especially for competitive art events, there’s definitely a lot in the old truism about winning not being everything. Even if you’re pipped for the prizes, if you nonetheless make it to the shortlists, there’s the chance to have your work showcased at the exhibition. A high-profile stage, catalogue entries, whole new audiences seeing your work: ‘winning’ at a competition really is as much about exposure as prizes…
But before all this comes a (perhaps not quite) sixty-four-thousand-dollar question. What price should you give your competition submissions? Here are some guidelines to help you get your sums right…
Start with the competition guidelines
Reputable competitions (National Open Art included) will urge a measured approach to this.
They’ll be looking for a “sensible, affordable market price”. On the one hand, organisers will be keen to ensure that artists get a fair price for the work they’ve produced. At the same time, successful competitions are built around participation - and that’s as much about encouraging viewers and buyers to get involved as it is about the artists themselves. Fair, realistic pricing triggers interest; something that benefits everyone.
Don’t price to win
Will going high or low price-wise make a difference to your chances of picking up a prize in the competition? In a word, no. Or at least, it shouldn’t do - because in a well-organised, fair competition, your artwork should be assessed by the judges on its own merits.
It’s one of the reasons why it’s worth paying special attention to anonymously-judged events. Speaking for NOA, we take this very seriously. Apart from the actual submission, the only information in front of the judges when they make their decisions is the title, medium, type and artist’s statement.
The lesson? Don’t price your artwork based on what you’d like the judges to see - because they won’t actually see it until after the decisions have been made.
Got a catalogue already? Be consistent in pricing…
Let’s say your body of work is available to buy online. Instead of sticking to your usual pricing method, you decide to apply a ‘one-off’ special valuation for your competition entry. You either add an extra zero, or else price it lower than usual in a bid to trigger maximum interest.
Fast forward to the exhibition - and a viewer loves your piece. They hit Google on their phone to check out more of your work. Trouble is, there’s a big, confusing gap between the price of your work on Instagram, Pinterest or your Website compared to the artwork in front of them. So they move on…
Before they convert into an actual buyer, interested viewers need to be confident about what they are looking at. If they think they are going to pay a premium just because it’s on sale in a popular exhibition, or it looks as if the price of your art changes depending on where it happens to be sold, that initial interest can soon evaporate. Remember; consistency is key for building up that all-important buyer confidence.
Never sold before? Read these pointers…
Even the most seasoned gallerists can disagree on what constitutes a “sensible market price” for a particular piece! So if you’ve got zero experience at selling your work, it can all seem a bit daunting. Fear not; here are a couple of key pointers…
Ready to make your artwork visible to a whole new market? The National Open Art 2018 competition opens on 30 September 2018. You can find out more right here.
Packaging guide for artists shipping their paintings, canvas, prints, or framed artwork
Although we will take great care transporting your artwork through our fragile services, it must be protected against any unforeseen accidents. Nobody wants to receive a telephone message informing them that their artwork has been damaged in transit. The best way to protect your work is to have it professionally packed in a bespoke foam lined plywood box, or A-frame if a large piece.
We are aware that sometimes professional packing isn’t an option so the following
… offers an alternative solution to prepare your item for shipping. Neither NOA nor Flight Logistics/ShipArt can be held responsible if you package your own work insufficiently for the journey. Please bear in mind that insurance providers will rescind theircoverageif the packaging is inadequate. Don’t assume bubble wrap will do, unless you’ve wrapped it in a metre of the stuff, it’s not great at protecting against pressure damage.
If you’re in any doubt about how best to package your artwork, please contact us via email.
Packaging process for paintings, canvas, prints, or framed artwork
Put your picture/canvas face down on top of the paper.
Packaging process for unframed work if it can be rolled up
Please bear in mind that insurance providers will rescind their coverage if the packaging is inadequate.
Cost of shipping and the effect of packaging
All carriers will look at the actual weight and the “volumetric weight” and will charge shipping at the higher of the two (UK delivery volumetric weight is calculated at LxHxW / 4000). Volumetric weight is a calculation based on the space taken up by an object. If your crate weighs 3kg but volumes to 10kg your cost will be based on 10kg because of the amount of space being used in a vehicle.
It’s worth bearing this in mind when you package your artwork.
Prepared by Steve Bodie (FCMI)
Flight Logistics Group Ltd – (ShipArt™)