Just What Is Value?
I’ve been thinking about how to price my art. I still have a hard time discerning a “value” for my works. Some paintings take many hours whilst others are done in a fraction of the time. Some are detailed and others are messy. Some acrylic. Some oil. Yet, it’s not up to me to decide value. That’s your part in this equation.
Some of you love landscapes and would place a higher value on that than on say, a still life. Yet to me, both are equally important. Otherwise, why would I have bothered painting it? So that leaves me in a semi-pickle.
While watching Amanda Palmer’s Ted talk I was struck by her approach for “giving it away” and letting her audience drive the value. So I started researching the idea. I found another article on Techdirt that talked about creating a variable pricing model. And that’s when lightening struck. (No, literally it did. This is Nashville and we’ve had some pretty good storms this week.)
The Variable Pricing Model
Here’s what I’m working on – I’m setting up a variable model for my paintings. Some will be made available without a “price” letting you, the consumer, place your value on it. Knowing that half of the sale price will go to a worthy cause. While other pieces will be offered with a set price, similar to Radiohead’s model:
First, so many people get so focused on the “name your own price” part, that they forget that wasn’t the only business model at all. That was just a part of the business model. At the same time they announced the pay-what-you-want downloads, they also announced an impressive boxset that cost quite a bit.
Stepping Into Messy
My goal is to support worthy causes with a generous split on anything I sell. Adding a variable pricing model just adds another thing to keep me from getting back into the studio because I’m feverishly figuring out which paintings will go into which category. But why wait on announcing it? Which means I find myself stepping into the messy. The deep end of the pool with water over my head.
Will you find value in the art? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m sure there’ll be no shortage of naysayers because that’s what they get paid to do. But a friend once told me her dad used to say, “If it’s right to do right, then it’s smart to do right.”
I choose to do right. How about you?