Thursday, July 24, 2008

Selling Small, Making Big

One of the things I’ve learned about selling art is that you have to have some sort of low price point items for sale. I have sold more than four times the dollar amount of small items than the total of medium to large item sales at a show. It makes sense that more people would be willing and able to buy smaller items, but the point is, you have to have enough small items available to purchase.

A good example is the small sandblasted stones that I am making every day. I could easily sell 100 of them at $4 each before I sell one $400 stone sculpture. The key is how much time is being spent on making the art. I might take 16 hours to create a large sculpture. To make the math easy, let’s say I want to make $25 an hour as an artist. That would mean I would charge $400 plus material costs for that sculpture. But when I consider the small stone that I try to spend less than 10 minutes creating. If I charge $4 a piece, that means I am making about $24 an hour. That includes the material cost too, so really it comes to be only about $20 an hour. I have been known to give away a few small stones at a show, so that profit just plummeted to about $14 an hour when I create the small stones versus when I create the large sculptures. But the key is, I really sell the small stones well. Plus, they are fun to make. So, the true lesson is, keep my day job and create the art with no regard to how much money I am making.

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