Getting the Best Price for Your Artwork

Before pricing your artwork, you must first be honest about your level of ability. When a friendly art critic sees your work do they refer to it as “fine art?” Because the methods you use in pricing and marketing “fine art” is a different marketing plan than work you would sell on eBay or through a local furniture store.

Most artists want to be recognized as fine artists and have their art exhibited in art galleries and museums. If that is your goal, then I highly recommend that you steer clear of discount houses and bargain basement auction sites.

An artist displaying his artwork for sale in an Italian flea marketYou will place yourself in a low-end marketplace and be giving away your artwork. Many times fine art dealers and gallery owners will search online auction sites and buy works of art so they can resell them in their galleries at much higher prices without the artists’ knowledge. They will often buy one or two works by an artist and after they see the quality of the actual work will then buy much more from the same artist. The unknowing artist is excited and proud that he/she is selling so many works on the auction site. I had one artist tell me he sold 17 works to the same woman. He sold them to her at $150 – $300 and I can only imagine what she was earning when she sold them to her customers.

If you believe your work is in the category of “fine art” and cannot afford an agent or representative, then you should begin your marketing career by working the art fair circuit, entering works in juried contests and art shows and become recognized by your peers. The critique alone is worth this effort. You receive honest feedback – which many of your friends and family are not trained to offer. You can also obtain information on other avenues of marketing your work from other artists.

You may want to begin in your local community but also ask your family members in other areas around the country to keep you informed of what’s happening in their art communities.

If you have not yet reached that level of expertise and want to sell your artwork through an online venue or you are selling your prints, posters, limited editions, or crafts, then you must keep in mind the licensing rights and be sure that you are protected. Once you sell anything you create – if it hasn’t been copyright protected then anyone can reproduce it. Imagine walking into a discount store and seeing a copy of your artwork in an inexpensive frame for $9.99, and you haven’t earned a penny. Protect your creation, and you don’t need a lawyer. It is cheap, and you can do it yourself.

When Art Defies Criticism

Art experts aren’t really in a better position to evaluate the aesthetic merit of a particular work of art than anybody else, especially when it comes to modern art, where technical virtuosity and craftsmanship don’t count anywhere near as much as they used to.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s often a con and a case of the emperor’s new clothes. When they try to make out that a dead sheep immersed in a tank of formaldehyde is an original work of genius or an unmade bed is worthy of being kept behind a glass screen for the public to queue up and admire it (it would be put to better use if they tidied it up and slept in it).

Most of us are now familiar with the analogy used in AI to define infinity, namely, the group of monkeys who, by hitting typewriter keys at random, eventually produce Shakespeare’s King Lear or Hamlet. But it would now seem that it only takes ONE monkey two minutes to produce an authentic piece of contemporary art through a series of random brushstrokes. Jackson Pollock would be turning in his grave.

Familiarizing with the Basics of Art Conservation & Restoration

Art and antiques can fade, crack, chip, and be damaged in innumerable ways as they age. These damages affect the beauty, as well as the value of many pieces. Art conservators are experts in the long-term conservation of art and antiques.

What Is Art Conservation and Restoration?

Art conservation “stabilizes” the piece, helping protect it from further deterioration. Restoration is the aspect of art conservation in which a piece is returned to a state that is closer to its original appearance and quality. There are many misperceptions about what art conservators do. The idea is not to make the painting or antique look “new”.

Experts who restore art often have an “invisible” job. Original paint must be left intact in order to preserve quality and value. Art conservators and restorers are not usually appraisers—this requires a different type of expertise. A good snapshot of the day-to-day work of art conservators and restorers deftly incorporates art repairs to blend seamlessly into each piece as a whole.

Art conservators mark spots that need to be restoredHow to Find an Expert in Art Conservation and Restoration

It is essential to find a professional who can restore or conserve your particular artwork or antique with expertise. Art conservators often specialize in a particular area, such as paper, furniture, or photographs. Be sure to have a list of questions in hand when you screen prospective art conservators. Visit the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works for an overview of art conservation and restoration and a list of questions to ask of conservators. The site also includes a tool for finding a conservator or restorer. Local museums are also a good source for referrals.

Confirm the Services to Be Provided by the Art Conservator or Restorer

Be sure to request a “treatment proposal”, which art conservator Randy Smith of Vermont describes as a contract that includes what exactly will be done to the artwork, what the client can reasonably expect as the end result, an estimate of cost, and the time required for treatment (also known as conservation or restoration).

Be Patient in Your Quest for Optimal Art Conservation and Restoration

Whether the piece has sentimental or monetary value, an understanding of art conservation and restoration basics and a thorough search for the best expert is the best approach to be sure your artwork or antique is preserved in top form. Once an expert has been identified, the process is far from instant. The work is often painstaking, but the results will be worth it.

Should Young Artists be More Recognized?

The question really should perhaps not be around the actual age of the artist but whether that artist’s work can be measured against the works of older, established artists, who have “paid their dues” so to speak and still withstand scrutiny.

Criteria of excellence have not changed much throughout the years. The color wheel, for instance, has remained constant – the same colors that existed in the 12th Century exist today. The artist’s use of color then is to be judged the same way as it has always been judged: Do the colors blend, match or contrast well and has the child used this medium effectively to transmit the message? Has he used color judiciously and with a deep understanding of tone and contrast, highlight and shade, transparency and opacity? Is he cognizant of the whole range of colors? Does he know the difference between “hot” and “cold?” Does he know his color wheel well and exploit is characteristics with optimum effect and efficiency? Or is his use of this medium limited? If so, can the painting stand on its own as a powerful work without the use of color (i.e., Does it work in black and white as well?) This is where the strength of the composition can be measured.

Knowledge of color mixing aThe same questions need to be asked as are asked of a more experienced artist. Is his sense of composition sufficiently advanced or remarkable that will pit him favorably against older more seasoned competitors?

Is he a Tiger Woods of the Art World, able to compete readily in a highly competitive environment and, unlike the golfing arena, an environment which is known to be extremely fickle and fashion-driven. One minute you’re hot, the next you’re not. has he placed elements correctly and is his sense of perspective accurate – all these are tried and tested rules which were put in place centuries ago and provide the standard against which all great art should ultimately be measured. As with great musicians – they all knew what the rules were before they broke them successfully, so it should be with young artists – they should show that they know what the rules are first.

Without this basic knowledge, their art-making will not be able to grow and expand. At some stage in their future careers, they will be aware that they fall short of the ideal as created in the past.  Merely crediting artwork that is produced by young people simply because they are young, without regard to the actual worth, talent, and quality of the work itself is inviting ridicule.

Recognition within their schools, of course, is perfectly acceptable. However, more public recognition than that should be granted only if their particular talent is truly extraordinary.

Following the correct channels with regard to due process is important when nurturing talent. Simply exposing a child’s work to the public could draw potentially adverse criticism which could damage that budding talent, putting him off art forever, or, conversely, if the praise is too high, give him an inflated idea of his ability. Young children, generally, are not equipped psychologically to handle either high praise or damning criticism.

Just because a young person is good at debating law at school does not qualify him to be a judge in a high court. Similarly, just because a school-going child shows artistic talent should not automatically qualify him or her to take a space in a prestigious gallery usually reserved for established well-paid artists.

Obviously, there are exceptions. Charlotte Church, at the age of 12 showed herself to have an extraordinary talent, gifted as she is with a voice of someone twice her age. Public recognition naturally comes to such people who can compete successfully in a world arena against other masters of the craft, regardless of age.

A Rundown on Found Object Art

For some artists, it is as simple as collecting objects on sidewalks in a shared neighborhood. It can be refurbishing used tires into environmental art statements or stylish wallets or briefcases. It depends on how broad your view of found art is.

Mundane everyday objects made into artWhat is Found Art?

Art that is found. Most contemporary artists now interpret this as rediscovered, refurbished, repurposed, or reused. It may be that you are looking at something left on the side of a street, thinking, “Why did they throw that out? It needs a paint job.” You, the artist, find an irresistible object in a store, on the street, in your friend’s garage while you are helping to get ready for a yard sale, or under your bed.

Some found objects are created in the fury and frenzy of artistic creation. In the excitement of creating a found art piece, some artists deconstruct items in their home or will use objects in their immediate vicinity to assist in evoking emotions felt at the time or powerful concepts. Found Object Art is created by the use of every day or truly found objects, given purpose and significance by those who find and conceptualized them into artwork.

Is Found Art Modern Art? History into Contemporary Art

Found Art is thought to have practicing origins from the artist Marcel Duchamp, whose ready-made works were controversial for the turn of the twentieth century. He created such famous works as Fountain and Bottle Rack.

Around the time of Pablo Picasso’s cubist phase of creation, Picasso also employed the use of found objects, such as La Petite Chouette (an owl constructed from found objects), which was made from household and building materials, including screws, pliers, a missing piece of a saucepan, and pliers. The piece is said to have sold in 2000 for over one million dollars. Picasso’s piece was grounded in expressing the emotions he felt at the moment of creation.

Female artists had their hands in the beginnings of found art as well. Louise Nelson created unique three-dimensional sculptures from wood in the 1930s.

Dadaists (ManRay as a prime mover) and Surrealists incorporated found objects into their practices. Post-Modernists or Contemporary works carry on the tradition today with variants and combinations of pre-occurring art movements, with new subgenres, such as Steampunk, Assemblage, and Junk Art. Both Found Art and its subgenre Assemblage have a relation to collage, of which Picasso is a famous practitioner. Rauschenberg’s paintings are a dynamic combination of a flat surface with protruding found objects, resulting in a common connection between everyday life and art as more than association.

Duchamp, Hirst, ManRay, Picasso, Nelson, Koons, Schwitters. These are but a few of the names that assisted in the success, persistence, and development of Found Art as a movement.

The development of Found Art can also be seen in mainstream consumerism and the efforts of society to Go Green. Used Rubber USA, an intriguing example, takes used tires and reuses them, in the form of stylish wallets, ID holders, briefcases, and other forms.

Found Art is Not True Art? The Critics

Throughout its development as an art movement and practice, Found Art has faced criticism. Duchamp’s Fountain (an unusable urinal) was rejected in 1917 by the Society of Independent Artists as not true art. There is still those today who view Found Art and other related movements as a not a true form of art. Many, like Damien Hirst, suggest that even traditional forms of art are truly Found Art. (Paint is transformed into its medium by scientific and biological means and placed on a canvas, given significance by the artist and the viewer.)

There were those before the Modern art era who recognized the potential of turning everyday objects into fine art. We see it in the conceptual, aesthetic, and philosophical writings from the Greeks into the modern period. But what is Found Art?

The beauty of this movement is that is left up to the artist, who gives the found object its own life through the artist’s concept. An object that has undergone its period of existence and use has its own ready-made significance of which the artist taps into or chooses to ignore.

Voice Exercises That Many Swear By

Deciding to become a professional singer is not an easy decision to make. Yes, it may sound fun to do what you love while on the job. But if you think of the many sacrifices that you have to make, including your lifestyle and diet which does not allow you to have Friday party nights and lots of your favorite desserts, then you may think twice before going for it.

Icy drinks should be avoided by professional singersIt is easier to enter the professional singing industry than to stay in it. Many people who start end up quitting after months or even years because of the hard work that gets into mastering your craft. You cannot be a free-wheeling bird any longer because now, you have to follow a stringent lifestyle that many cannot keep up with. You cannot go out late at night with your friends anymore. You cannot drink cold drinks and cold desserts. You cannot have anything too sweet, salty, and oily. And you cannot belt your heart out singing the karaoke when off the stage. These don’ts disallow you from succeeding as a singer, so if you want to be in the industry for the long run, be ready to make these sacrifices.

For both amateurs and professionals, warming up before any training and performance is crucial. Just like with exercise, if you don’t warm up enough, you end up injuring yourself. It is the same with your vocal chords, wherein if you take for granted the importance of high-quality warm-up exercises, you also take for granted the need of your voice to get ready for intense training. Mind you that these vocal chords are fragile. The moment you injure them, it may take years to heal. For some people, injured chords, unfortunately, do not heal at all.

Backup singers need to take care of their voicesWhile warming up is crucial, you cannot just do any warm-up exercise. The key is to make it as high-quality as possible, so you get to prepare your vocals for performance adequately. Do not just do any training. Do it scientifically and as advised by your voice coach (preferably from And allow for at least 20 minutes of your time to do these high-quality exercises. If you don’t warm up long enough, you end up injuring yourself.

There are warm-up exercises that many know of, including humming and the solfeggio. Humming may seem like child’s play, but it is in fact very useful as it is a low impact exercise for your vocal chords to get warmed up. Humming allows your voice to “wake up,” which is a good primer before you start with your intense training.

Another favorite warm-up exercise is the solfeggio. Usually, you do this with a piano accompaniment, where you sing the notes as the piano keys are hit. This drill is a classic that many singers swear by. You get to practice your tone and your comfortability with the different pitches, as well.

Some singers say that humming underwater is effective for warm up. It is because you get to explore the range of your voice without stressing it too much. You also get out of your comfort zone by having to resort to different parts of your vocal chord to produce the sound that you want. Just make sure you get to know how to control your breathing, so you don’t get water in your ears, mouth, and nose.

These are the voice exercises that many singers swear by. You can try them, and even try humming underwater, if you want to see where these drills will take you.