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Old 12-16-2009, 07:52 AM
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Thumbs up Do CP artist make money?

Dear CP Forum members,

This thread contains an important/interesting discussion that was in the current OTL thread. I've copied all the replies (unedited) into this new thread, so you can all continue this discussion.

These replies are by various CP Forum members, though they look like I'm having a convesation with myself! I had to copy the replies, from my cache. Unfortunately, when trying to create this seperate thread they were inadvertantly removed from the OTL. I didn't intend that to happen, but the Moderator system for moving/merging/quoting isn't currently working like I thought it would. My apologies for having to do it this way...

Anyway, the following posts are the discussion in full up 'til now. I will be archiving this thread in the CP Library, because it's important and useful.
So, anyone, please do continue on this discussion of the business of cp art ... if you want to!


regards,
Judy
CP Forum Moderator
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Last edited by pinkrybns : 12-16-2009 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:54 AM
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Re: Do CP artist make money?

Lexycat started the discussion with this post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexycat[/QUOTE
Re: Outside the Lines... Dec 13-19, 2009

I'm always curious to know do CP artists make any money? It's so labour intensive and am wondering if the buying public out there appreciate that when buying a piece, ie do they consider it worth more money because of the time the artist has put in to it? Also as a complete painting newbie, (well I WANT to paint, just dont have the time) is it actually a much quicker medium, if you did a detailed animal portrait say in acrylics, would it not be as time consuming painting in the fur with a little brush? I love CP's but wouldn't want them to be my only medium, they are wonderful but limiting in their own way on their own.

Also, tomorrow's Monday morning and I HATE Monday mornings, on a good note, the weather's very mild here, we all think we're going to freeze to death if it ever goes below zero, and snow causes great excitement if we get it, whole country comes to a standstill
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Last edited by pinkrybns : 12-16-2009 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:57 AM
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Re: Do CP artist make money?

mudfish said:

Quote:
Re: Outside the Lines... Dec 13-19, 2009

In my studio, watercolors are fastest to produce, pastels second IF I don't pick them to death, and CP longest. Thats why you see my work on the other two sites more frequently.
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Last edited by pinkrybns : 12-16-2009 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:02 AM
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Re: Do CP artist make money?

Ann Garlough said:

Quote:
I agree that Colored Pencil is the most labor intensive medium, at least of those in which I work. I had painted in oils pretty much exclusively for 40 years, then a few years back added pastel and then colored pencil in order to offer clients choices in their commissioned portraits.

It has been a good marketing strategy for me since they like being able to make decisions about the style and price. Since I can do a pastel pretty quickly, these are the least expensive ones I offer. Colored Pencil is right up there with oils because of the labor involved. It has been interesting that the last half dozen or so clients have all requested CP. They really like the detail.

To be more specific about your question as to whether or not an artist can make money with CP, when I left my stressful "paying" job to do my art full time I adopted the attitude that I do not have the luxury of not being adequately paid for my time. I have firm prices based on the length of time it takes me to complete a piece. So far so good as I generally have about a 6 month waiting list for portraits. (They don't come pounding on the door, however. We all have to get out there and market what we create!)

My best advice is to get your prices to a point where you will make money. It helps to ask yourself if you would rather do ten paintings for 100 each or one for $1,000.

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Last edited by pinkrybns : 12-16-2009 at 08:38 AM. Reason: adding quote tags
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:02 AM
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Re: Do CP artist make money?

Ann Garlough said:

Quote:
Looks like I was typing while you were posting, Mudfish! I don't work in watercolors, but it appears you and I share the same philosophy!

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Last edited by pinkrybns : 12-16-2009 at 08:39 AM. Reason: adding quote tags
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:04 AM
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Re: Do CP artist make money?

RobinZ said:

Quote:
Quote:
I'm always curious to know do CP artists make any money?
Yes

Quote:
It's so labour intensive and am wondering if the buying public out there appreciate that when buying a piece, ie do they consider it worth more money because of the time the artist has put in to it?
No. The buying public doesn't care how long it takes you. They buy the product, not the process. If they like the piece, they don't care a bit if it took you 10 hours or 20 (although it's an interesting tidbit if you can say it took a hundred). You are right; in any medium if it's detailed, it takes a while. Also, in oils, you have wait time.

It takes me about 6 hours for an 11 x 14, including consulting wiht the client and composing/layout. Another 1/2 hour for matting and mailing, but this time of year I combine those so save some time. The 16 x 20 takes me about 10.

Since coming back to art fulltime during the recession, I was really reluctant to raise my prices. I was so chicken that I even started offering a 5 x 7 size at $85, figuring that was affordable.

To my surprise, I have only sold one each 5 x 7 and 8 x 10. I have sold two 11 x 14s and the rest have been my largest, most expensive piece, my 16 x 20.


Not sure what I'm going to do with this information, lol. Still chicken to raise my prices again, I don't have a 6 month waiting list, maybe when I get to that level I will!

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Last edited by pinkrybns : 12-16-2009 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:06 AM
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Re: Do CP artist make money?

objectivistartist (Robert) said:

Quote:
WOW - a six month waiting list!!... [drools]

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Last edited by pinkrybns : 12-16-2009 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:07 AM
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Re: Do CP artist make money?

Ann Garlough said:

Quote:
Robin, your work is beautiful and IMHO should sell for a lot more! I agree that these are tough times. The reason I've been able to stay afloat as the equine industry is suffering is by moving from exclusively doing horse portraiture to include dogs. Flexibility has been key. Of course, I can't work as fast as you. Six hours for an 11 x 14? Where's that little smiley icon that bows to your speed, lol!

I think the area in which I live makes a difference in keeping me busy. The recession is not felt as deeply here as in other parts of the country. I am already thinking of marketing strategies and the changes I expect when we move to Wyoming. I long to get back into the wildlife arena, but have decades invested in commissioned portraiture ........

Robert, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, of course. I have soooo many ideas for paintings I want to do when I get the time. Right now I'm feeling guilty because here I am on the computer when I need to get into work mode! Just shipped one last Christmas portrait to Virginia and am catching my breath before starting on a couple of adorable Yellow Labs.
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Last edited by pinkrybns : 12-16-2009 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:08 AM
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Re: Do CP artist make money?

objectivistartist (Robert) said:

Quote:
Well, since I don't take portrait commissions, and deal only with my own themscapes, there is no waiting list to work with, just a pile of finished renderings awaiting exposure to exhibits and shows... which is fine for me, as do not have the temperament for commission work... still, it would be nice having an eagerly awaiting group of persons to grab my works as they appear...

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Last edited by pinkrybns : 12-16-2009 at 08:40 AM. Reason: adding quote tags
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:09 AM
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Re: Do CP artist make money?

Robin Z said:

Quote:
Robert, that's my No. 1 resolution for 2010. To actually have a body of work together to show locally. There's some decent opportunities, but I haven't done it yet and hope to!

And you are right, commission work does require a temperment or attitude most artists aren't comfortable with. I love working with customers, many people would hate dealing with the customers.
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Last edited by pinkrybns : 12-16-2009 at 09:12 AM. Reason: adding quote tags
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:09 AM
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Re: Do CP artist make money?

*AquaMarine* said:

Quote:
Very interesting discussion going on here. I really appreciate your thoughts, Robin and Ann (and Robert!), about the business side of art. I am hoping to devote full time to my art starting some time in January - I'm looking forward to the transition, but nervous as well.

ginny

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Last edited by pinkrybns : 12-16-2009 at 09:13 AM. Reason: adding quote tags
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:10 AM
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Re: Do CP artist make money?

mudfish said

Quote:
We are thinking alike, Ann. After 20 years as a business exec I can say without hesitation that the #1 rule in marketing is to get what YOU need. It doesn't matter what the guy down the street is doing or what the economy says. If you can't survive, you don't have a business. That simple. I also believe that you must decide when you start out whether you want to be a high volume/low price vendor or a low volume/high price vendor. These are two separate client groups and they don't switch back and forth. Once you build your client base around one of these groups, its nearly impossible to change your image and switch to the other, so choose your path carefully Robin. If you're curious, I'm in the low volume/high price group.
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Last edited by pinkrybns : 12-16-2009 at 09:13 AM. Reason: adding quote tags
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:11 AM
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Re: Do CP artist make money?

objectivistartist said:

Quote:
Yes - same here... if can put out one or two per month [more if smaller works], then consider as doing good... of course, with this large full border-to-border rendering now on, this has not been done this year - but this is an ongoing experiment and anticipated less numbers as consequence [to say nothing of the hip op taking place too]... get this done, finish off "Hookers..." and "Rite of Spring", then be in good for the year [even if a month behind in gaining this - ]...


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Last edited by pinkrybns : 12-16-2009 at 09:14 AM. Reason: adding quote tags
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:12 AM
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Re: Do CP artist make money?

*AquaMarine* said:

Quote:
Mudfish - thanks for your input and thoughts on this issue, too. Do you go (sell thru) the gallery route or all thru your own website, etc. (or some combination)?

And Lexycat, thanks for asking some of the questions you did about the business side of CP, etc.

ginny
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Last edited by pinkrybns : 12-16-2009 at 09:15 AM. Reason: adding quote tags
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:12 AM
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Re: Do CP artist make money?

RobinZ said:

Quote:
Thanks, Mudfish and Ann, the ideal for me would be high price/high volume. Why do you have to choose between volume and price?

How are you guys marketing to get these high price/low volume clients only?

Ann, how long does a piece take you?

I've been told I should charge more but I'm frankly afraid to in this saturated market. I think my style is a little different from most but I'm still afraid. I've raised them a bit at a time over the years, and my 3 year hiatus typing for lawyers didn't help, I virtually had to start again from scratch.

Ann, do you do local, only? I hardly have any local. Maybe that's where I can get higher prices?
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Last edited by pinkrybns : 12-16-2009 at 09:15 AM. Reason: adding quote tags

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