New personal experience and feelings: to price my work, and to put it on sale.

in #art3 years ago (edited)


Here comes a rather long post (sorry, sorry, sorry ! :D ) to share an ongoing experience and the feeling that goes with it.

This is a feeling that I had not anticipated, but that I feel with enough strength to devote a little analysis to it: stage fright.

(Cliquer ici pour la version française.)

Why this feeling ?

  • Probably because the time has come to put a price on some of my paintings, when the commercial perspective seems even more abstract than my graphic subjects.
  • Because for a first contact with this aspect of the profession, I have chosen some paintings that have helped to lay the foundations of my current work. The emotional value I give them will therefore be compared to the monetary value they will be given.
  • Because I deliver them at the mercy of an auction without any certainty that they will even be noticed.
The desire to delay the moment is there: it reminds me of the feeling I had when I had to leave my children at the school door for the first time.... Personal investment in the creative process surely plays a major role in this.

I'm still hanging out a little bit....

The ads are ready, written, formatted, texts read and proofread. Each rereading reveals new mistakes and adds a little bit of reluctance to the release.

Why this choice of paintings in particular?

In terms of drawing, they represent a clear transition in my working methods.

They guided me in a direction that I had long hoped to discover, in terms of technique, style and coherence.

As with any surrealist or abstract work, the creative process is very personal, psychologically intimate. For this reason, I have long been reluctant to put a price on my drawings, and this has not really been a problem for me until now.

But today, it seems obvious to me that to progress, to go beyond my achievements, I will have to expose this work to the risks of being put on sale... No other method to break this old, previously unbreakable barrier of the professionalization of my activity.

I guess I'm not alone in this case, that this turning point must discourage more than one, and that sharing the experience live could help to clarify it...

In short:

  • if the following works, take it for yourself, adapt it at your convenience !
  • if it fails, take it anyway, but don't forget that's NOT the way to go! :D


This is the first stumbling block that has long paralyzed me.

Not easy.

I have tried to put aside the emotional in order to concentrate on more concrete criteria, but neither the duration of the execution, nor the dimensions, nor the media and materials used seem to me to speak for themselves anymore.


Plan B!

"Below what amount would I prefer to keep the painting, or even offer it, rather than sell it?"

Ah ! Back to the emotional. That rings a bell !

I now have a starting price.

Is it too high? No real loss at all. It will only be postponed.

Is it not high enough? It will be up to the auction to determine it.


How to get noticed...
Second blocking point. Scenarios of failure are emerging in abundance.

As a hermit at heart, I'm not a great social networker, plus :I don't have enough appropriate material that could interest an art gallery or feed an exhibition...

Not the best start, isn't it ?

So, let's opt for an online marketplace.

Since I have neither the experience, nor the networks, nor the marketing power that would allow me to stand out on specialized sites in a field similar to mine, I will focus on a pure and tastefuly amateurist approach, namely a big generalist platform: Ebay.

I hope - perhaps being naive - that its auction system will attract the curious to my ads.

I may have to review this reasoning about what happens next, but for the time being I am experimenting and learning.

... within what limits?

Now, I won't spend time on technical details, even if they are possible additional blocking point!

Shipments costs, packaging cartons are some of the elements.... But the scope of Ebay's ads is the most problematic point.

It seems that it imposes international visibility restrictions on newcomers, which I am.

It seems that international visibility restrictions are being imposed for newcomers, which I am. This bothers me, since the majority of people likely to read me can be met on Steemit, and is international.

So, to be clear, despite ebay's limitations :

  • I agree to sell outside my country (beware of shipment costs and custom taxes)
  • I accept (and encourage) crypto-payments, because they free transactions from any border and banking constraints
The space dedicated to the writing of ads still leaves a certain freedom, so let's use it to propose what the platform does not allow directly : it is still possible to specify the above points in the painting's descriptions.


These mentions will not be what make the announcements stand out.

I will have to work a little bit to draw attention to the ads.... And I realize that marketing is still a rather enigmatic discipline for me.

A bunch of work on myself is required to improve this :p

Do not back down....

OK... It is imperfect, like an unsolved equation full of unknowns.

but I'm not good at math.


... Let's do it!


Other paintings will be placed on sale gradually as they are finished,

but for the moment:

Artefact 0 & MechaTree & Mechanical Diptych

are in the arena.

If the rest (failure or success) seems instructive to me, I will share the feedback.

In the meantime, any help to increase the visibility of the ads would be welcome: thanks from the deepest of my heart for anyone who'd share this :)


Thank you for your time, Ladies and Gentlemen !

Have fun, make mistakes, but take care of yourselves :)


Posted from my blog with SteemPress :

Post's Artwork : (c)Berien


I recently did something similar and felt the same way. While I do not consider myself an artist but just a dabbler in digital graphics, I had the same trouble in pricing and finding ways to promote myself and speak about my pieces. I was struggling to find the appropriate words to express this problem to my friends and family, but you did it in an excellent way: "hermit at heart". This, exactly!

I don't know how you would feel about digital prints, but in my case it is a much easier way to make a start and taste the waters - of course, with the expected price difference.

Good luck with your sales, and perhaps in the future you'd like to tell us how it went.

Thanks for the detailed answer :)

My first experiences with graphics were through digital tools. My feeling about my digital work's value was terrible : to my own eyes, at this period, they were worth nothing Even after having spent a month on some pieces.

I remember feeling almost ashamed when I've accepted to receive a wacom tablet by an association I was freely working for.

That was about original works.

Now with prints :
There's another problematic coming with them, bound to artist's status in my country. We're not allowed (under this specific fiscal status) to sell copies of our own work. We'd have to declare ourselves under another kind of commercial status, with a lot more administrative constraints.

I don't know if it's specific to France or not, though.

And finally, the hermit at heart... That's some really powerful sabatoge mecanism. I don't know how I'll get rid of this.

But I have the feeling that admitting we are artists is a nice first step, and then telling this to other around you without being ashamed..

Nothing pretentious in that word, as long as you answer yes at this kind of questionning :

  • Do you spend a unusually enormous bunch of time creating compared to tother people ?
  • Do you like resolving problems linked to creation, which would bore quickly other people ?
  • Do you feel the need to link your creative work to other concept that you might the only one to perceive in that work ?
  • Wouldn't that make you ill, if you were prevented to create ?

The way we practice, the medium we use has no impact on this state... But it can affect the vision we have on our own work, and thus the value we give it.

Always difficult. I did some exhibitions and some to come. Pricing is difficult but never price to low. If it's really low people will think it's crap. I rather not place the prices but rather have people asking so I can somehow negotiate and if someone thinks it's just too much you can offer a bit lower. If someone really wants art they will ask. Exposure is difficult for me too, I'm also a hermit trying to network but rather hide in my cave. Internet is easy being that way but exhibitions aren't but I have to say it's nice to hear people in real life talking about your work. But I know all about the stress and my perfectionism goes in turbo...

good luck!

Thanks @sanderjansenart for sharing your own insight :)
Much appreciated :)

Good luck with the sale of your precious artwork :).
I hope the stories that you will share with us about this venture would be all positive and glowing ^_^.

Thanks @scrawly:)

I'll test that way to do during a few weeks with a few other more paintings and see if things tend to move in the desired direction.

I have the feeling it will be a rather slow paced situation. But, either they are sold or not, I think any case will have a positive income to share...

Now, finding that part is not always easy :D

I can identify with most of what you are talking about here. I also struggle with the same thoughts and never sure what is the best way to take really is. So, of course the most ideal think would be to have a art dealer who would do all the selling, promoting, etc...but, somehow I realise my style is not something galerists can be sure to sell, I don´t play up enough of the crazy artist (because these paintings would only commercialise this way) or I´m not modern/coolenough (in a "latest trend" way), because I want to be free to do the art I feel from inside, I don´t count on selling it to survive. If I did that, it would affect the way I paint. I´d be painting to be liked by others. I chose to have a regular income from another source and keep the discipline of painting to be free. I am just sharing my perspective on this. You might find some info interesting or not. Who knows. When I have to price them I´m always in doubt, but I do use my emotional connection to them to have them priced, the more they mean to me and I still need them around the higher the price. When I´m done with them, even looking at them I can let them go very cheaply or give them away. Paintings have lessons to teach me, usually, so they tell me. i ask them.

Thanks @romanie for your point of view :)

We share the same point of view on that emotional link.

That's very strong, in particular at this stage when you know you won't add any other touch on the creation but you keep seeking for something in it. Same when stopping at some intermediate stages knowing that if you continue too early, you'll miss something that should come from the painting.

Even if I haven't tried too much to get in contact with professional/market actors, I haven't liked what I've felt during these few encounters... Another world than mine, that seeks for products, which kills the spiritual aspect of the work.

I know what you mean! Right!

Good luck, Pascal :) I think you are brave, and I can certainly empathize with your feelings .... I hope you will gain a lot of success and that your artworks will find good homes :)

There are a few new ventures online that are trying to 'stamp' digital versions of artworks in limited editions that you might want to look at. They generate unique codes that are assigned to specific artworks and an artist can say that they are only releasing certain numbers of 'prints' from a certain website (that verify and do the legwork of this side of things).

I have yet to try them out myself, but I've bookmarked them to look at later, hahaha. Here they are, if you want to have a look:

Thank you ! :)
Thanks for the links :) I'll look at this. closer

Selling prints can be problematic in my country as an artist (administrative status and fiscality related stuff). I can't do it directly and must rely on a third party broadcaster, who would be the seller.

Well, I could do it myself and become my own broadcaster, by declaring myself under some commercial status. This seems more a burden than anything else, but I could be wrong on that very last point. I've not realy studied the question.

One more thing added to the to-do list :D

I've looked a bit deeper into superrare.
Submitted a piece, and let's see what will happen :)

Thanks @verypsider for that info :)