To clarify something first, I am not an art valuer so when I’m asked to put a price on an original, it is my humble opinion only based on an artist’s prior pricing history. Art Reproductions are a different story. Why?
Pricing of an original is like pricing any newly created object. There are many aspects to consider such as the subject matter, how it is painted, the media used, the quality of the substrate, the time involved in creating it, the artist’s own ego, history, skills, study and experience to name a few.
A fine art reproduction is something totally separate from that original – it is simply a by-product that allows you to make extra income other than the sale of the original. You may feel emotionally attached to the original but you must remove the emotion and look at reproductions simply as a product designed to make a profit for your art business.
It is much easier to work out a retail price for a reproduction because you have set costs associated with creating it. The creative aspect is covered in the original and it’s sale should generate sufficient income to make it worth your while to live as a successful artist. Your reproductions are the cream, every sale makes you a little extra that you cannot get any other way from that original without selling the rights to that image for some other commercial use.
Some of those set costs are the print itself, the commission a gallery will take, GST, or an agent’s commissions if you have one. Then there are the variables – Editions numbers, do you include mattes or frames, freight, visits to us to check proofs and pick up orders and the time associated with that and your reputation as an artist. All of these have some bearing on the price you set for your fine art reproductions.
Finally, and most importantly, you must firmly believe that the price you set is good value for your customers (both retail and wholesale) and that the return on your investment is sufficient to make a reasonable profit for you and your business. The idea of being a starving artist is just your mind telling you that you don’t deserve better – you do and you have the tools to make it happen. More on this later…