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Old 09-05-2019, 03:39 PM
SquishyFishy SquishyFishy is offline
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How much is my skill alone worth per hour?

Hi,
I'm a hobbyist who would be selling to "the general public". I know pricing has many factors, but I'd like a rough estimate of my "price per hour equivalent". How much is my skill level alone worth?

It costs money to develop skill so if that figure is too low then I'm basically losing money, even if the total work sells for a decent amount.

My stuff is at: bit.ly/ndarts

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Old 09-05-2019, 04:40 PM
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virgil carter virgil carter is online now
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Re: How much is my skill alone worth per hour?

Sorry...but price per hour and time and materials are simply not marketable ways to sell fine art. If you are a plumber, carpenter or other trade, mebbe so...but not for an artist.

The only thing which matters in the art business is the quality of the finished work...and not how long it took you to get there or how much paint and paper you used.

One useful pricing approach is to compare your work to that of others of similar quality who display and sell their work, and calculate a comparable square inch price.

Pricing and sales of artwork is local, so don't bother pricing similar quality artwork in New York if you don't live there.

Good luck!

Sling paint,
Virgil
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Old 09-05-2019, 04:48 PM
SquishyFishy SquishyFishy is offline
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Re: How much is my skill alone worth per hour?

Im in the San Francisco Bay Area so probably a higher end market.
The trouble is that I don't have a good sense of what other people's work is a comparable level.

I want to know if I'm just bad at marketing or I'm just not too good an artist.

Thanks

Last edited by SquishyFishy : 09-05-2019 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 09-05-2019, 05:40 PM
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virgil carter virgil carter is online now
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Re: How much is my skill alone worth per hour?

You need to go to galleries and exhibitions to find work of similar subjects and similar quality to see how they are priced.

Of course, that doesn't tell you if the work actually sells, but it is a good way to find out pricing levels in your local market.

Have your exhibited your work?

Sling paint,
Virgil
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:48 PM
SquishyFishy SquishyFishy is offline
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Re: How much is my skill alone worth per hour?

I have never exhibited my work. I just sold 2 paintings in a coffee shop once.

The only vaguely similar work I found are pet portrait artists on Etsy and the prices seem all over the place and arbitrary.

How much would you say that dog I posted is worth? It is an 8x10 gouache on illustration panel.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:18 PM
webart webart is offline
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Re: How much is my skill alone worth per hour?

No one can tell you what that dog portrait is worth, you need to decide for yourself how much you want to charge. Like others have said you'll get some idea by looking at what others are charging for comparable work such as same theme, medium and size. Don't price too high or you won't get any sales. By the way I do like that painting, looks like done by a pro.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:31 PM
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RobinZ RobinZ is online now
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Re: How much is my skill alone worth per hour?

I agree with Virgil, pricing per hour doesn't work with art.

If it did, I'd make a fraction per hour of what I did when I was starting out and less skilled.

It is simply what the market will bear. Are you planning on selling only in San Francisco galleries or elsewhere or selling on the internet or doing art shows or what?

By the way, I really like your style.
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:40 PM
SquishyFishy SquishyFishy is offline
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Re: How much is my skill alone worth per hour?

Robin,
I doubt I'll be getting into galleries! I'll probably sell on local word of mouth or through local online exposure.

I think our work is comparable, medium aside. Do you get a decent flow of customers at your price points? Thats kinda where I was hoping to price it. I should have sold the dog for like 150-200. It was a commission.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:49 AM
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Re: How much is my skill alone worth per hour?

Yes, but I've been doing this for almost 17 years and have a lot of word of mouth and repeat customers. I didn't market at all for about 5 years, getting most of my sales through Etsy. They don't show my work anymore in search, so the repeat customers and their friends is crucial on that venue.

They prefer to show very inexpensive now.

Good luck to you!
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:01 AM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: How much is my skill alone worth per hour?

My minimum hourly rate is $60 / hour if I am doing contract work which is a bargain for my customers considering that plumbers here charge $90-$120 / hour, my mechanic charges $85 / hour, and my lawyer friend charges $450 / hour.

It takes me at least 10 hours to finish a 9x12 oil painting in the studio. A plein air study usually takes me 4 hours. I sell my 9x12 studio oils for $695 and my plein air study pieces for $450. The net profit after commissions, framing and material costs are deducted is about $300 for the studio piece and $200 for the study. So it looks like my hourly rate for studio work is about $30 / hour and for plein air studies about $50 / hour - IF it sells. Cut that hourly rate in half if I only sell half of my paintings..
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:34 PM
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Re: How much is my skill alone worth per hour?

HI SquishyFish,

I think the painting that you showed is quite good. I think you are undercutting yourself if you are only charging $200.
How long did it take you? I am guessing several hours, and again, it's quite good. People can get their pet portraits done from several people on Etsy for that price, but maybe not as good as what you can do.
I would imagine that an artist of your quality could get to the point of selling what you want to paint, without having to take commissions.
Good luck,
Kyle
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:58 AM
Artyczar Artyczar is offline
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Re: How much is my skill alone worth per hour?

I think your skill is worth a lot considering you were able to paint that dog sideways. That seems like a very unique skill.

In all seriousness, it takes a while to figure these things out. You say you're a hobbyist? But if you start selling, that would make you a professional. Once you step into that world, you would have to research and grow. Those are the two things that would be part of your new "job" as a professional.

You are entering the market place. You must watch what artists of your same caliber and experience are selling for, and you must start gathering a resume of selling at the prices you are asking for in order to justify the proceeding sales. Don't judge it by your "hourly" wage. That's just not how it's done. Not in the art world. It really is in the name and the name means resume: experience. However, that doesn't mean you start so low that you lose money or degrade your work. Just research a bit what others are making. If you don't want to go to galleries, look online. Etsy isn't all there is because people practically give their work away and a lot of it is from other countries that mass produce, believe it or not.

There's a price between 100-a million...find that number that makes you ever so slightly uncomfortable.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:12 AM
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LAabstracts LAabstracts is offline
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Re: How much is my skill alone worth per hour?

You do not price per hour but do not forget to factor your time into the final pricing of the work. There simply is no set way of pricing ALL artwork - to many variables.

Remember that it is always better to overprice than underprice for many reasons. Firstly, a collector wants to see that your artwork goes for a good price it is impressive. 2nd is that it gives you (or the gallery) room to negotiate on the selling price.

Happy selling!
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:23 PM
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Azure Wings Azure Wings is offline
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Re: How much is my skill alone worth per hour?

Another note: never drop your prices. If you start out lower, you can bring them up, but you never want to start too high and drop them.

Hoping this is helpful,
Karen
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Old 11-13-2019, 12:55 AM
susanalisa247 susanalisa247 is offline
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Re: How much is my skill alone worth per hour?

I don't think art is sell per hour because it can take hours and hours and nobody is gonna pay for such amount, other professions like programmers and writers chrage hourly.
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