Calculator for Artists

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How to know what you’re
REALLY making as an artist

Do you know how much you’re really making as an artist? Do you know what to charge for your creativity? Here are some pointers from my years of working as a paid fine artist and helping clients generate consistent income from their creative work. Many people think that being an artist means sitting around in cafes all day, or doodling in a sketchbook until inspiration hits. But the truth is, if you want to make a living from your art, you need to treat it like a business. That means creating a sales and marketing plan, setting up a system and shop, and actively promoting your work. It also means being realistic about your prices for your customers and for yourself. You can definitely have a fruitful career as an artist but only if you know how to start and conduct your art business well, what to charge, and how to set up shop for success.

In order to set up your art business successfully, you must know what you should charge for your work. There is a formula an artist can use to determine exactly how much they are making per hour per painting. Many artists look at the end result and base their earnings on what the painting will sell without any other calculations.

Here’s the formula that will help you determine what you should charge for your artwork:

  1. Determine the hours to create your artwork. Include all stages from concept and design to completion.
  2. Determine the costs of materials, canvas or other substrate, and paint (or other medium).
  3. Add the selling price – for a visual, let’s say, the painting sells for $1,000 through a gallery.
  4. The cost of galleries is usually 40/50%, and for this case, we are going to use 50%.

    You, the artist, now have $500 from the sale of a piece of work. Let’s say it took 30 hours to produce. Subtract the cost of the canvas (say we’re using linen so the cost is higher so $50), the amount of paint used and brush/solvent/mediums, we’ll say $25, and the framing is $50 (this is a very inexpensive frame).

  5. After expenses, you’re left with $375.
  6. $375 is divided by the hours of work 30 and this painting yielded you a whopping $12.50 an hour.

For all the creativity, hard work, and time, does it pay to be an artist at $12.50 an hour? The answer is definitely a big fat NO! However, you love doing your thing and you wouldn’t have it any other way, so there are only a few solutions to this situation:

1. Charge more

2. Paint faster

3. Sell your work yourself

The best and easiest way to make money doing what you love is to sell your artwork yourself by having an online art business. Now is the time to create, build, and launch your online workshop. All it takes is a little bit of focus, some determined effort, and a desire to create change. Together we can build a better bridge, cross the broad highway, and make a bigger difference … together.

Let's Talk About How YOU Can Master The Secrets To Creating Your Own Online Workshops.

Learn how you’ll be ready to set up shop, start bringing in clients, and making money. Get everything you need to start your online art business.

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