"But why does it cost so much"?!

February 28, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Controversial, or cool image?!

As an independent discipline, it can often be difficult to put a value on art.
As artists, specially those of us that do art fairs or marketplaces where we spend face to face time amongst those purchasing, we are often questioned why 'does that cost so much', why 'is that so expensive'. As a photographer, we get the same questions.
Plus the 'ole "Oh I could snap that on my phone'.
And that's ok. Do it. Print it. Print it large. I don't compete with those who can 'do it themselves', anymore than we have a choice to cook at home rather than pay double or triple or more, for our meal at a restaurant. I know which meal is more delicious. We pay for skills. We pay for quality. We pay for experience. We pay for the uniqueness!
For the record - art pieces can be somewhat formulaic, but not always. Many pieces are based around (square inches x artist's price per inch) plus (cost of materials / gallery's commission percentage).
And, for well-known artists, the price is also based on the artist's exhibition history, sales history, and career level. In general, the greater the demand for an artist, the higher the prices fetched on the market.

There is so much beyond that though that needs to be considered ...
Paintings/fine art prints/sculptures are unique items that take a lot of time and craftsmanship to produce.
All creatives have skills that have been years in the making.
Workshops, and diplomas, and degrees, a myriad of ongoing courses for development.
Artists tell their stories through art, and the value can lie in how many people connect to it.
The cost of materials, paints and canvases and varnishes, ad infinitum, has always been expensive for the quality brands (which as professionals, a buyer fairly requires), but have risen even more, since CoVid. The larger the artwork, the more materials and costs involved, so the higher the price.
For photography, the cost of the computer, the monitor, the software programs I use, the cost of getting to locations for the images, and getting there for 'the right light'. The print, is not printed down at the local Kmart or Officeworks, they are printed at a ProLab, on archival, quality fine art papers individually chosen per piece to suit the colours and the subject at hand.

This composite image (pictured at left), 'Innocence and Hazy Whispers' (revised for comp, "Megalopolitan Takeover") is actually one of my best sellers. I have sold four, all outside of BT, at art fairs. I am unsure why it doesn't sell within the BT framework, other than, seeing it 'real' certainly makes more of an impact.
At roughly A1 size, there is so much to look at. Maybe viewing it digitally does not show the detail sufficiently. Especially if someone is viewing it on a phone. Though I am unsure many would make a valuable art purchase viewing something small on a phone rather than larger, exploring the detail, on a monitor. Note: I definitely recommend viewing any artworks on a big screen to anyone looking to purchase.
Plus, it had its controversy when being exhibited. For some, that makes it 'of further interest'.

There is around 90 hours of work in 'the creation' of this; made up of over 100 layers, with around 30 different photos and each one taken by me. Images are from New York, Australia Zoo and the signs are mostly from street signs in and around the Brisbane and Sunshine Coast areas. I LOVE playing around in photoshop, pushing its boundaries, seeing what can be achieved.
So when a buyer questions why it 'costs so much', it simply makes me smile.

But, we do it, we make art, we create ... because we are passionate, and love it.

"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun." – Mary Lou Cook"

Image available at my Bluethumb account here.

Available as a Limited Edition print on my Bluethumb account, or contact me directly.


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