I sold two pieces of work via Artfinder last month and am finding that I am getting quite a bit on interest through this platform. It is working for me. I have tried a couple of others but there has been no interest so far.
As of last month, Artfinder has changed its terms and conditions. In order to keep the rather high commission rate of 33%, you now have to subscribe to one of their monthly payment packages. I would imagine that a person who is an excellent Mathematician would be able to tell you what your paintings should be on sale for in order to work out which plan is best.
I am certainly pleased that lots of existing artists managed to convince Artfinder to maintain unlimited listings, and a number of other important functions, for existing artists who are on the starter plan. The situation is not so rosy for new artists joining. If you go for the starter plan, you will not pay a monthly fee, but lose 40% of your price. The next plan up costs £4 per month and keeps commission at 33%.
So for me, with my recent drawing that sold for £30 , if I sold it now, I would lose £12 on the starter plan, but £9.90 on the first monthly payment plan option. However, it would have cost me £4 for that month so I actually lose £13.90. Oh, and they then add on their 20% VAT …another £1.98 out of Lilith’s purse. So, starter plan, I lose £12 commission and £2.40 VAT = £14.40 which is £15.60 “profit” (I won’t go into my personal expenses, materials costs, time etc). On the starter plan, I lose £9.90 commission and £1.98 VAT and £4 monthly fee = £15.88 which is £14.12 profit.
If I sold nothing all year, I would be £48 down on the first payment plan. I don’t really see a great benefit to any of the payment plans for any level of artist.
Let’s face it, it is hard to make money as an artist and, unless we are funded through family money, a wealthy spouse or winning the lottery, we need to find a way to make some money to survive and pay the bills. Most artists therefore, have a number of streams of income that are not connected to their art.
So, selling your art to fund your life is clearly a goal for most artists as it allows them to do more of what they love and get paid for it.
But it is not the only reason. There is something most delightful about someone seeing a piece of your work and buying it because they have made a connection with you. It takes time (at least 12 hours for me) to produce one painting. When you have finished it, you have a relationship with that piece. Hopefully, you are pleased with it and want to show it off. Sometimes you hate it…I have put pieces in the bin because it did not turn out as I wanted, and I cannot bear to look at the failure. So, when someone you don’t know sees a piece of your work and likes it enough to part with cash for it, it is a special moment. Like meeting kindred. You may feel a twang of sadness in having to part with it. You might be glad to see the back of it!
If I am honest…that’s how I price my work. The more I love it, the more expensive it is!
Here is one in progress in the studio…watch this space for the finished article,
Also, a quick ink and wash fetish inspired one. That is just a bit of light relief for me!
The first step is to find an artist that already paints the genre that you are interested in. For example, if you want a portrait of your dog, then asking an artist that has never painted animals is not going to work so well. You want to love the painting, so the artist needs to have skills in that area…demonstrable via their portfolio of work. Secondly, their painting style is important. I would say, and may be shot down by other artists, that you can ask a fine artist to paint in a more abstract fashion, but not always the other way around. Realistic fine art is a skill separate from other styles and requires years of dedicated self-practice.
Once you have found an artist, look to see what prices they have been charging for their work. If they are selling pieces for £500 they will probably be offended if you ask for a painting for £50. Artists work hard to get their value high and they do this by growing their popularity and demand. You are paying for an artist to sit for hours to create your piece. Even at minimum wage an 12-hour painting would cost you £98.52 next year (2019).
Once you have style, price and genre sorted. You will most likely need to gather some photographic sources of reference for the artist to work from. They will tell you what they need. Then you are all set. Just make sure you allow plenty of time for a first view, to the final piece.