I hear regularly that my work is underpriced and I’ve been told by people, self-confessed as being ‘in the know’ that customers will spend whatever it takes to purchase a painting if they really want it. Apparently my underpriced work displays a lack of confidence on my part.
While I’m aware of the consumer psychology around preferring the more expensive option believing expense to be an indicator of quality, applying that psychology to my paintings doesn’t sit well with me; It feels too much like the Emperors New Clothes.
Similarly, If I have a potential customer with a limitless budget, should I then take advantage of their circumstances by adding a few zeros to the painting price. It’s just not how I roll.
I’ve thought long and hard about those ‘underpriced and lacking confidence’ comments and all told I’m grateful for them. They made me really think about what’s important to me for my practice and my business. Those comments are keeping me honest.
I can only speak for myself and my business, but I believe we’ve all got budgets, a point where we ask ourselves if we really need this item – while my paintings are a luxury, they’re not lifesaving surgery and I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise. They were a pleasure for me to create and I’m grateful for the lessons they taught me along the way; I’m happy when I’m painting so I won’t be stopping anytime soon.
This happy process is reflected in the price of my paintings.
Because here’s a thing – I don’t want to sell one painting once in a blue moon for thousands of pounds, I want to sell a lot of paintings regularly and consistently. They are priced so they are available to anyone who wants one and I get to make way for more paintings.
I will always be a beginner; always exploring, always experimenting, always looking for different ways to paint how I feel and what I see so my style will change as I move from one painting series to the next because that's how this artist rolls.
So, if you’re in the market for some art, please remember that when art is affordable it doesn’t mean it’s any less worthy. If it’s an original, the only one of its kind in the whole wide world, if it calls to you and you can afford it, then I say don’t question the price, don’t label it too cheap to be real, just buy it!
As to my confidence, I say take a walk in my shoes first before commenting on my confidence or lack thereof.