Thinking about pricing my own art was something that up until now was a dreaded and despicable thing.
I hated everything about it. In the past, I’d rather drink a gallon of sour milk than assess my own self-worth as an artist.
Pricing my own art was mostly a problem of self-esteem. And to be honest, I never had a lot of that to begin with. I don’t understand the roots of low self-esteem (if I did, I wouldn’t be writing this), but it is definitely something that is horrible and damaging. I made up my mind that I would find a way to solve this problem in 2020. I did solve it and I’d like to share with you how I managed this. First I’m going to outline the core problems, then at the end give you my own solution.
Problem of Pricing My Own Art:
Trying to slap a number on something that I do naturally seemed completely absurd. I have struggled with this for my entire life. I think it’s because I never went to art school, am completely self-taught and I discovered drawing by accident as an adult during college. Before then, I had classified myself into the “I can’t draw” camp. I thought I had to be “special” to consider myself an artist.
I'm also a perfectionist, and I struggled with perfectionism for most of my adult life. These things are all related. It’s also part of the reason why I start many paintings/projects and rarely finish them. Finishing something feels like a sort of death to me. It’s the end of the dream. It’s the end of the the possibility of it ever being “perfect”. I know better now though. I have identified my core problem of never finishing projects as something I’m going to master this year. And I am already doing much better in this area. Now I force myself to finish stuff.
Ok, now that you have a background on my psychological makeup, let’s delve into how I solved pricing my own art. For me, I can tell when I ‘put my all’ into something or when I make something on impulse. These are two different types of art and require two different pricing tiers. I price my impulse art cheaply, and my “all in” art much higher.
Example of NFT made on impulse (this one ended up selling for .2 ETH though):
Sold for .2 ETH
Example of putting my all into an NFT which sold for 2 ETH:
Sold for 2 ETH
When I first started minting my art, I kind of lost my mind and minted a shit ton of crap art. I literally had impulses, and just minted them. In short, I went crazy and wasn’t thinking too rationally. I’m still going to allow myself this freedom, but I am going to be very specific about where I mint my different kinds of art now. On the curated platforms like Makersplace, I’m going to mint only my absolute best work. On Rarible and NFT Showroom, I’m going to mint anything I want, even so-called crap art. I want my cryptoart to be accessible, so I always want to have a variety of prices.
But let’s get back to the topic. I’d like to show you some examples of how I now price my higher quality art, which comes down to these 4 factors:
- How much time I spent on it.
- How I feel about the art piece
- How much of my soul I put into it.
- Is there a complete story contained within it.
If all 4 of these factors are registering as HIGH, I will price it at 2 ETH minimum.
Here’s why: some of my animations take over 30+ hours to create. This is because I paint each frame by hand (on the computer) and then fuse them all together. for some animations I am literally painting 34 different images! This one for THE NFT was composed of 15 images that were run and reversed:
My very first NFT artwork that I decided to price at 2 ETH because I registered very high on all 4 factors:
- How much time I spent on it: 30+ hours and 3 full days
- How I feel about the art piece: I love the blinking eyes and the red drippy tears
- How much of my soul I put into it: A TON
- Is there a complete story contained within it: Yes, it tells the story of how artists bring code to life. Artists breathe emotion into stagnant code. This art shows that in her tears and also her huge heart that goes up and down, over the opensea.io code (her body is made up of code from opensea.io Github)
This NFT is special to me because it was the first time I really felt that I valued my art at 2 ETH.
And once I minted it, I decided that I would not sell it for less than 2 ETH. I was willing to keep it for myself forever if no one bought it for 2 ETH. And I didn’t say this in a hollow way, I actually meant it.
After a few days, I checked Makersplace and I found out that Metapurse had purchased my art for 2 ETH, I was ecstatic! I felt like I found someone else who agreed that it was worth 2 ETH. It was a huge day for me. It was the turning point.
It’s titled THE NFT because it tells the story of how cryptoartists bring to life the code that exists within the NFT itself. Without artists, I think the blockchain would be quite boring. In fact, without artists, life would be incredibly dull.
Once my test turned out successful, I decided to use this 4 point factor test on all my art from here on. I don’t expect it to be successful 100% of the time, but it’s my guide to navigate pricing my own art. My impulse art will be around .1 -.3 ETH, and my higher quality 1/1 animations that take 30+ hours will all be around 2 ETH. I'm focusing now on single editions because my output is pretty high.