Having always had art in my life, pursuing my passion, having attended art school and workshops over the years, it didn’t occur to me that anybody not involved in the art scene would not know just how much time, effort and money actually went into this.
Speaking to other artists, I heard the same story again and again. Friends or acquaintances would ask for a painting or drawing, or would ask the artist to create something for them without asking the cost. Others might mention this was a way to promote their artwork.
So I thought it would be a good idea to give an explanation to people interested in art but who don’t know what the artist has had to go through to produce or create art that others might like to have in their own homes.
Some people might pay a high amount for an attractive poster, but stop at paying for an original piece of artwork. To put this all into perspective consider the following:
An artist, like any other trades person or professional, has had at times, years of training at art school, or has attended various workshops. This costs quite a bit of money, time and effort. Then there are the art materials, from paints, brushes, boards, paper of various types and qualities, canvas, printing presses, easels, art books, framing and other tools of trade. This all hones the skills of an artist and assists in completing work, just like any other profession.
Then if the painting is with an art gallery or if there is an exhibition, there are related costs for promotional materials, professional photography, business cards, commissions to the gallery usually thirty percent, setting up a website, entry fees for various exhibitions and sometimes renting studio space and the list goes on.
Most artists paint because they love creating, no matter the cost, but there does come a time where that artist needs to actually have an income to keep on creating.
So when you admire a lovely artwork keep in mind it’s generally not cheap to create. Like everybody else, an artist still needs to make a living and needs to pay the bills. I hope this sheds a bit more light on the final cost of an original piece of art, but considering what it takes to complete to bring it to the point of sale not mentioning the hours and at times weeks of work, I do hope to bring a better understanding of what goes into an original artwork. Buying a piece and enjoying it for years to come, gives pleasure both to the buyer and the artist who appreciates that somebody loves their work enough to purchase it.
Final word. Art maybe in the eye of the beholder but more importantly, a bit of the artist’s soul goes into each artwork before it finds it’s new home. That makes it special.