Tuesday, April 18, 2017

How to Develop a Daily Journal

creative daily journaling prompts | journal morning pages | daily affirmations and goals | goal setting | How to Develop a Daily Journal + 10 daily free daily journal prompts free printable → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-develop-daily-journal.html

This blog post is part of a series that takes a deep dive into the strategies I use to quiet my monkey mind and stay focused on my art making, One morning ritual I find invaluable is the daily journal practice. I have a bunch of journals that I use to help me stay mindful.

Morning Pages


creative daily journaling prompts | journal morning pages | daily affirmations and goals | goal setting | How to Develop a Daily Journal + 10 daily free daily journal prompts free printable → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-develop-daily-journal.htmlMany artists call this "morning pages" as coined by the author Julia Cameron in her Artist Way book. When I do morning "pages" I generally bend from Cameron's instructions to write 3 full pages. I just write a few sentences or borrow prompts from The Five Minute JournalThe Five Minute Journal comes as a book or an app, For a long time, I was using the app until I started getting annoyed that there was one more thing I need to do with my phone. Now I just use a regular journal to write out the prompts.

A Family Affair



My teenage children have also embraced a regular journal practice. My college age daughter, an aspiring musician, writes daily morning pages and my sixteen year old son uses the official 5 Minute Journal book. He finds the fill in the blank prompts for daily and evening journals helpful. Since he is a high performance athlete hoping to wrestle for a Division 1 school, he has augmented his journal practice with a diet and fitness journal of his own design.

creative daily journaling prompts | journal morning pages | daily affirmations and goals | goal setting | How to Develop a Daily Journal + 10 daily free daily journal prompts free printable → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-develop-daily-journal.html


My favorite writing prompts


creative daily journaling prompts | journal morning pages | daily affirmations and goals | goal setting | How to Develop a Daily Journal + 10 daily free daily journal prompts free printable → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-develop-daily-journal.htmlMy favorite writing prompts are for gratitude, daily intentions, and affirmations. This practice gets me in the mindset of being in control of my day’s direction and happiness. You don’t have to go buy a special book or an app to create these productive patterns in your day.


Morning prompts


Just make it a ritual to start your day with the following questions: What am I grateful for? What are three things I can accomplish today?


Nightly check-in


Then do a nightly check in to remind yourself of what you accomplished that day. The prompts here are: How could I make the day better? What were the “wins” for the day?

8 Daily Prompts for Mindfulness


Would you like a list of my daily prompts? Here are three morning prompts and 5 nightly checkin prompts that you can use to make yourself happier and more focused! >> download the FREE 8 prompts

creative daily journaling prompts | journal morning pages | daily affirmations and goals | goal setting | How to Develop a Daily Journal + 10 daily free daily journal prompts free printable → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-develop-daily-journal.html

In case we haven't met yet...

About Me (Miriam Schulman)



Miriam Schulman, founder of The Inspiration Place
In case we haven’t met yet, I’m a watercolor and mixed media artist. My art has been featured in numerous publications such as Somerset Studio, and Im the founder of The Inspiration Place  where I give my students stepping stones to create beautiful art as well as the emotional support they need to stay inspired. See the art I create at schulmanArt.com or learn how to paint with me at TheInspirationPlace.net

Other Blog Posts You might Like

Read More »

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How to Find The Time To “Do It All”

morning routine for productivity | time management for artists | How to Find the Time to "Do It All" + free printable morning checklist for focus and creativity → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-find-time-to-do-it-all.html


Since I sell my art online, write a blog, teach online art classes, volunteer within my community, and have two teenagers, I am constantly getting asked, “how do I find time to ‘do it all?’”

First of all, you don’t “find” time.

In fact, I will go further to say this isn’t about “managing” your time. You can’t “manage” time or “find” time or even “make” time. That just isn’t how it works. You manage your activities… and you can manage your focus to be more productive.

This blog post is part of a series on finding focus and being more productive as an artist. In my last post, I shared with you How Mediation Keeps Me Focused in the Art Studio. It is now the first thing I do in the morning, before I even roll out of bed.

My Morning Routine

But I actually have a whole structure around my morning routine with each part pivotal to helping me focus.

Some things are obvious.. Like a hot cup of coffee...but others less so.

For example, I have never, ever..not even once...skipped breakfast.

And there are some things I know I HAVE to do in the morning, because if I don’t, they will never get done.

One of those is exercise.

So even before I start answering emails or check facebook which pulls me into an endless stream of “urgent” but not important. I have to exercise.

If I don’t exercise, I am an unfocused mess. Last week, I missed my morning exercise class and I ended up backing my car into a neighbor’s car. (shh… don’t tell my husband.. He says he reads my blog posts. But I don’t think he reads them carefully)

morning routine for productivity | time management for artists | How to Find the Time to "Do It All" + free printable morning checklist for focus and creativity → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-find-time-to-do-it-all.html
Developing a consistent morning routine helps us stay focused!
Putting a painting in your bathroom is a great way to improve
your mood for the day. This one is in a private collection but
you can explore more similar floral art for sale

Routines align our actions with our intentions


A consistent routine that includes exercise helps us by setting expectations about availability, aligning our actions with our intentions, and getting our minds into a regular rhythm of creating. I have that time blocked out 5 days a week and I exercise at the same time each day. I no longer choose the “best” instructor or the “best” class but the one I know will make me smile and starts at 8:30 am so I can get on with my day. Exercising my body helps me spend long hours at sedentary work such as creating art or writing blog posts.

Although it “takes time” to exercise, I always get more done when I limit my work hours because it forces me to focus on what is most important and not what feels urgent. 

Set firm boundaries

morning routine for productivity | time management for artists | How to Find the Time to "Do It All" + free printable morning checklist for focus and creativity → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-find-time-to-do-it-all.html
Surrounding yourself with beautiful objects allows you to treasure every moment. Life is beautiful. Here is Bright Blue Bell Blossoms, singing the fresh songs of spring in a cacophony of colors.
During the day, I let the phone go to voicemail and there is absolutely no notifications on my phone. I tuned off all noises because I used to be like Pavlov’s dog jumping up to check at the slightest buzz. I wait to check my email until 2pm each day and all the subscriptions come to me as a roll up.

This way I can end my day at 5:00 and enjoy the rest of the evening with my family cooking dinner, relaxing and just hanging out.

Batch it. 

morning routine for productivity | time management for artists | How to Find the Time to "Do It All" + free printable morning checklist for focus and creativity → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-find-time-to-do-it-all.html
For maximum productivity, I batch my art creation in painting sessions and my blog writing in writing sessions.
This room features an orange poppy painting from the spring series, "Spring's Trumpet"

Getting started is always the hardest part. It’s challenging to start a project from scratch, and it’s also hard each time you enter a project after a break. By working the same kind of work until it’s done, you keep your momentum going because you are “in the mood” to do that kind of work. 

You never have time to feel detached from the process but most importantly you don’t waste time getting into “writing mode” or “painting mode.” 

I call this process batching. So one day I will work only on painting, and on another day I will focus only on blog post writing.


Don't context switch

morning routine for productivity | time management for artists | How to Find the Time to "Do It All" + free printable morning checklist for focus and creativity → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-find-time-to-do-it-all.html
To maintain calm and focus... start each morning the same way


I don’t multi-task and I encourage you not to multi-task either. While it feels easy enough to make one painting, then list it online, then write about it, studies show us that we find it very difficult to “context switch.”

To avoid context switching, I create my art in a series, write a series of blog posts about them and then list them on my website in one sitting. I also schedule (batch) all my social media posts on instagram and facebook.

So there you have it.. In order to “get it all done” ( and I rarely do!) I have a strong structured and disciplined morning routine and then I batch my work for the afternoon.


DOWNLOAD the FREEBIE: Morning Focus Checklist


Since I am always fascinated by others morning routines, the freebie for this blog post is a “morning focus checklist.” Please download the checklist and let a perfectly focused morning set you up for the rest of your day!

morning routine for productivity | time management for artists | How to Find the Time to "Do It All" + free printable morning checklist for focus and creativity → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-find-time-to-do-it-all.html

In case we haven't met yet...

About Me (Miriam Schulman)
Miriam Schulman, founder of The Inspiration Place

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m a watercolor and mixed media artist. My art has been featured in numerous publications such as Somerset Studio, and I’m the founder of The Inspiration Place where I give my students stepping stones to create beautiful art as well as the emotional support they need to stay inspired. See the art I create at schulmanArt.com or learn how to paint with me at TheInspirationPlace.net
Read More »

Sunday, April 2, 2017

How Meditation Keeps me Focused in the Art Studio

how meditation helps artists focus  | smartphone meditation apps | meditation apps | podcasts | meditation podcasts | zen | relaxation | creativity | artist | art business | creative business | productivity | motivation | inspiration | positivity | How Meditation Keeps Me Focused in the Art Studio + FREE printable giveaway of my favorite meditation apps and podcasts for creativity and art → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-meditation-keeps-me-focused-in-art.html

What is the first thing you do in the morning? Well. if you are like most people.. you roll over to check your phone. I used to do this every morning too but then I realized that I was spending at least 20 minutes each morning with my phone in the air doing random clicking and scrolling in a zombie-like trance.

This was not a good way to start the day.

Something had to change and so last year I deleted soul sucking apps (like facebook and two dots) from my phone and added a meditation app.

I have been meditating daily for over a year now. So after a cursory glance at my inbox (which is pretty lean since I an obsessive filter user) I turn on one of my meditation apps.


Affirmation play lists

At first, I started with affirmation audio by Louise Hays and also guided meditations from the Law of Attraction franchise. However, these grew a bit old and tiresome especially since I didn't care for the saccharine sweet background piano music.

how meditation helps artists focus | smartphone meditation  apps | How Meditation Keeps Me Focused in the Art Studio + FREE printable giveaway of my favorite meditation apps and podcasts for creativity and art → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-meditation-keeps-me-focused-in-art.html
guided meditation apps

Last summer, I discover a meditation app called "Calm" and have been meditating daily ever since. I sing praises to the effects of mediation to anyone who will listen as I have noticed both long term as well as short term benefits to meditating.

Short Term Affects

I haven't missed very many days since I first started. However, I find that on days that I have meditated in the morning I am calm and focused the rest of the day and it is easier for me to focus on long stretches of working in the studio.

Meditation combined with the exercise and a daily journal practice is the trifecta of my art productivity system. I know many other working artists who rely on these three critical components each day as well.

Long Term Effects

Meditation has also helped me "let go" of negative thought patterns. This helps me while I am painting to quiet the inner critic.

how meditation helps artists focus | smartphone meditation  apps | How Meditation Keeps Me Focused in the Art Studio + FREE printable giveaway of my favorite meditation apps and podcasts for creativity and art → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-meditation-keeps-me-focused-in-art.html
Moon Child, 12x12" by Miriam Schulman, www.SchulmanArt.com
In this art, a young girl meditates on the moon.
Find out more about the story behind this art on my website.

Want to get started meditating too? I've compiled a list of meditation resources that will help get you started. 


>> click here to download your free guide
how meditation helps artists focus | smartphone meditation  apps | How Meditation Keeps Me Focused in the Art Studio + FREE printable giveaway of my favorite meditation apps and podcasts for creativity and art → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-meditation-keeps-me-focused-in-art.html

In case we haven't met yet...

About Me (Miriam Schulman)
Miriam Schulman, founder of The Inspiration Place

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m a watercolor and mixed media artist. My art has been featured in numerous publications such as Somerset Studio, and Im the founder of The Inspiration Place  where I give my students stepping stones to create beautiful art as well as the emotional support they need to stay inspired. See the art I create at schulmanArt.com or learn how to paint with me at TheInspirationPlace.net

Other blog posts you might like:


Read More »

Sunday, March 26, 2017

7 Daily Creative Habits for increased focus and productivity

how to focus | how to be productive | art studio practice | productive artist http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/03/7-daily-creative-habits-for-increased.html

How I stay productive and focused in the art studio

Over the next few blog posts, I'm going to be sharing a series personal productivity tips that I use in my studio practice to stay organized and focused.


Here is an overview of that practice. If your goal this year is to get more organized and focused, tune in for the full series and add these creative habits to your life for increased focus and productivity!

1. Meditate 
In this blog post, How Meditation Keeps me Focused in the Art Studio, I am going to be sharing with you the details of my meditation practice. What has worked for me and why.

2. Exercise  
It is no secret that exercise is key to quieting the mind. In this blog post, I'll be sharing with you what I do and how that helps me (coming April 10, 2017)

3. Daily Journal Practice ( aka morning pages)
Many artists and creatives do "morning pages." In this blog post, I'll be sharing what is working for me right now and how the rest of my family has also embraced writing in a journal. (coming April 17, 2017)

4. Work in a series
Working on more than one piece at a time, and working with imagery that becomes thematic, I find working in multiples makes my time in the studio most productive. Hop on over to get an Insiders' Look at the Creative Process


5. Plan and Review: daily, weekly and monthly
Planning is essential to creative living. In this blog post, I'll take you behind the scenes to show you what my planner looks like and how I maintain a planning process for maximum creativity. (coming April 24, 2017)

6. File, File, File
Oh, this doesn't have to be boring. What would a productivity system be without a filing system. Want to copy mine? I'll be sharing my filing system in this blog post.(coming May 1, 2017)

7. Embrace Technology
I don't rely on my memory for managing my to-do lists. Although I love brainstorming with paper and pen, technology is key to staying productive in an online world. I'll be sharing my favorite productivity tools in this post. (coming May 8, 2017)

Don't rely on your Memory Either!



Don't rely on your memory to check back for new posts from this blog, if you are looking for inspiration in your daily life, sign up for The Inspiration Place newsletter and you'll get all this and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Inside each email you'll get links to blog posts, free video training videos and stories related to life as a professional artist.


In case we haven't met yet...

About Me (Miriam Schulman)
Miriam Schulman, founder of The Inspiration Place

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m a watercolor and mixed media artist. My art has been featured in numerous publications such as Somerset Studio, and Im the founder of The Inspiration Place  where I give my students stepping stones to create beautiful art as well as the emotional support they need to stay inspired. See the art I create at schulmanArt.com or learn how to paint with me at TheInspirationPlace.net


PS You may have noticed that I have turned commenting OFF on my blog.
That is because most blogs, even very popular ones, do not receive many comments and I wanted to switch the focus from begging for comments to helping you.

However, I AM interested in continuing the conversation which is why I started a FREE Inspiration Place community on facebook. Please join us!!
Read More »

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Insiders' Look at the Creative Process


Whenever I go to an art fair or show my art in public, I am always asked:

"How long did it take you to make that?" 

This is such a hard question to answer since my artworks generally evolve over weeks and even months at a time. Paintings are started and then abandoned and restarted later. Moreover, multiples are made at the same time when I am working on a series.

This blog post will give you an inside look on this creative process.

Working on a Series


pig art | pig painting | animal art | animal painting | art by Miriam Schulman
Add The Pig's Tale, to your art collection
to bring the spiritof the imagination to your home.
Usually, you will find me working on three or more pieces at a time so I can switch between works as they dry. There are also many more canvases partially started leaning against the walls of my studio or stored in the closet.

For example, for my 2017 spring series I worked on all the backgrounds first, and then added layers to each so they developed as one coherent body of work. This way, even though there are both animals and florals in the series, all the artworks tie together with related colors, textures and marks.

Contemplate Focal Points


rooster art | chicken art | rooster painting | chicken painting by Miriam Schulman
Add Hang Out with Eagles to your art collection
to awaken your muse
After I have created the backgrounds, I often will contemplate focal points for the next stage in the creation process. Sometimes, I will have a series of watercolor animal studies that I will use as the focal point and then I have fun deciding which animals go best with each background. There is a little bit or serendipity and magic that happens when I don't start with a preconceived notion of the final outcome and let the materials and colors tell me what to do.

Building Layers with Color

From there, I will find something to expand upon, such as color, and keep building up layers with paint as I go. This process has become pretty consistent in my work. My process has patterns that allow for me to really focus on the play of imagery.
lamb art | sheep art | lamb painting | sheep painting
This art sold within minutes of listing as it was snatched up by an email subscriber. You can be an insider too and get notified when I list new art by joining my email list.
flower art | floral art | orange poppies | art by Miriam Schulman
Explore more floral art in this series.

Organic Images


Sometimes, I do not use watercolor studies as the final focal point. In that case, I build the imagery directly on the canvas by drawing freehand. Those themes usually evolve into organic shapes such as trees and flowers.

Working on more than one piece at a time, and working with imagery that becomes thematic, I find working in multiples makes my time in the studio most productive.

Rosie the Cow, in progress (see the finished painting
on SchulmanArt.com)

Quieting the Inner Critic


You cannot do your best work if you are constantly critiquing yourself. I find that the creation process and the editing process must be separated whether I am making art or writing.

If I work in silence or even to music, critical voices start chiming in their opinions whether I want them to or not! Sometimes the voices are not criticizing my art, but simply reminding me of unpleasant thoughts. Although meditation has helped with this tremendously, I've found that the best way to quiet the inner critic is to put on a podcast or audio book while I’m working.

 
The Pig's Tale, in progress

Narratives, not music or silence


I prefer these narratives to music because the voice in my head gets replaced with another. You might think I would need silence to work intensely but I find my muse works best when my conscious mind is distracted and that allows my unconscious mind and the spirits inside of me to take over.




Would you like a FREE catalog of the 2017 Spring Collection? 
In it you will find the stories behind the art!
sign up HERE for your free download

Other blog posts you might like


About Me (Miriam Schulman)
Miriam Schulman, founder of The Inspiration Place

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m a watercolor and mixed media artist. My art has been featured in numerous publications such as Somerset Studio, and Im the founder of The Inspiration Place  where I give my students stepping stones to create beautiful art as well as the emotional support they need to stay inspired. See the art I create at schulmanArt.com or learn how to paint with me at TheInspirationPlace.net
Read More »

Monday, March 13, 2017

What’s New in Color Trends for 2017?

Pantone's color of the year 2017 | greenery | color trends | decor | green decor | Find out more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/03/whats-new-in-color-trends-for-2017.html

How brave are you with your color choices?

Do you stick with neutrals year after year because you are afraid of committing to something bolder...or do you crave color but just are unsure of what colors are hip and which will look dated.

This blog post will help you understand color trends!

Each year, design and creative industry professionals come together to make trend forecasts about which colors will appeal most to consumers. Throughout the year, research is collected from popular media, trends in art, and even political climates, and this year the color of the year, as determined by the experts at the Pantone Color Institute, is Greenery.

Pantone's color of the year 2017 | greenery | color trends | decor | green decor | Find out more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/03/whats-new-in-color-trends-for-2017.html
>> discover art that expresses your love of nature, like this forest
When I learned that the color of the year is this bright chartreuse greenshade, my heart gave a little leap of joy as green happens to be my favorite color! Soon after Pantone’s color was announced, I started browsing my favorite online sites and bought a few new green tops to add to my collection. This also gave me courage to choose bright green watch and I am going to be on the lookout for more ways to incorporate this color into my life.

What exactly is the PANTONE Color of the Year?

Pantone's color of the year 2017 | greenery | color trends | decor | green decor | Find out more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/03/whats-new-in-color-trends-for-2017.html

In case you aren’t already familiar with Pantone or their website, Pantone’s official “Color of the Year” is described as “A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.”

Pantone's color of the year 2017 | greenery | color trends | decor | green decor | Find out more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/03/whats-new-in-color-trends-for-2017.html
>> Canvas prints are an affordable option to capture the look of original art in your home. This dragonfly is very popular with collectors.
Pantone's color of the year 2017 | greenery | color trends | decor | green decor | Find out more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/03/whats-new-in-color-trends-for-2017.html
Slip this dramatic peacock print into a ready made frame to brighten your work area or anywhere that a bit of optimism is required! >> add the print to your collection

This color selection serves as a well-informed design inspiration for clothing product lines, housewares, accessories, and even wedding themes. Interior designers find new ways to introduce the color of the year into their projects to keep their clients’ interiors looking fresh. You might even notice a proliferation of Greenery in store signage or display windows, or across social media.


Pantone's color of the year 2017 | greenery | color trends | decor | green decor | Find out more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/03/whats-new-in-color-trends-for-2017.html
The green grass grounds this artwork and
 acts as a neutral for the vibrant tones in the peacock.
Peacocks offer an opportunity to add lots of 
color to your home with sophistication and grace.
As you might imagine, the color experts at Pantone chose Greenery for a reason. What did they discover that consumers needed in a color?

They describe Greenery as a “refreshing and vitalizing shade” of green and a symbol of new beginnings.

Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone’s Executive Director explains that “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the connection we seek with nature, one another, and a larger purpose.”
Pantone's color of the year 2017 | greenery | color trends | decor | green decor | Find out more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/03/whats-new-in-color-trends-for-2017.html
This duck is shown in a nursery but there's no reason to restrict the charms of childhood to this part of the home. Adding a charming duck to a powder room, your country kitchen or even your home office will cheer you up each time you look at him.>> Explore Charming Animal Art 

Pantone's color of the year 2017 | greenery | color trends | decor | green decor | Find out more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/03/whats-new-in-color-trends-for-2017.html
Cows offer a soothing and maternal presence for your home. This one has touches of green in the background while the orange gives the art energy and the brown grounds you to the present moment.

Curious to know more about how Pantone picks their color? You can read my blog post 5 Ways Pantone Picks the Color of the Year here.


Pantone's color of the year 2017 | greenery | color trends | decor | green decor | Find out more → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/03/whats-new-in-color-trends-for-2017.html
As is usually the case, artists tend to pick up on the trends in their environments long before the color becomes a fad, and so Greenery has been around much of my artwork, particularly in my florals and animal works.

The best thing about green tones, aside from their sense of renewal, is that they complement almost any environment the way nature does.

Green is considered to be nature’s neutral, while being anything but boring, it is full of vitality and the innate unity of the natural world.

For me, green has always been the color of optimism as each spring brings new beginnings.



Other blog posts you might like

About the Artist (Miriam Schulman)

Miriam Schulman, founder of the Inspiration Place
In case we haven’t met yet, I’m a watercolor and mixed media artist. My art has been featured in numerous publications such as Somerset Studio, and Im the founder of The Inspiration Place  where I give my students stepping stones to create beautiful art as well as the emotional support they need to stay inspired.

See the art I create at schulmanArt.com or learn how to paint with me at TheInspirationPlace.net


What do you think? Are you excited for a year of renewal with Greenery?
Read More »

Monday, March 6, 2017

How to Price Art

This post offers a behind-the-scenes look at how artists price their work, and some clear guidelines to get you started with pricing your own.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get from my students who want to get started pricing their art is how much to charge.  All artists struggle with this no matter how long they have been selling their art leaving them wondering if their is left unsold because they raised their prices too quickly, if the art market has gone sour or if collectors are just not interested in their new art.

Sound familiar?

You are not alone and it's not your fault.

Miriam Schulman, "Watching Tulips", 10x10", SchulmanArt.com


No one is born knowing how to price art, just as none of us are born knowing how to do their taxes or price real estate. It’s a skill to be learned and tested, and a very important one because we live in a time of abundant opportunity to get our work seen by people who want to collect it. We can learn to approach our pricing with ease to make our transactions, however personally satisfying they are, become systematized and stress-free.

Emotion Free Guide to Pricing Art


First of all, it is important to understand that there are many paths to pricing art, but each follows structure that prioritizes logic over emotion.

Start with size

Miriam Schulman, "Spikes of Crocus", 10x10", SchulmanArt.com

Many artists set their pricing according to size, not necessarily by square inch, but by the overall size of the work.

This system will work for you if:
  • You generally create your pieces with the same amount of detail.
  • You tend to work with the same combination of materials.
  • It takes you about the same amount of time for each work in a particular size. 





Blenda Tyvoll, Wet and Wild Tree, 16x20",
$495. blendastudio.com
"Pricing by the size of the piece works best for me. I take into consideration what medium I've used and whether or not it's been framed. If the piece is ready to hang like a cradled board or wrapped canvas I charge more for it than if the painting is on paper unframed and unmatted. Also, I like to add domestic shipping into the price."
~ Blenda Tyvoll

Move on to your medium


You also need to take into consideration the medium that you are working in, Paintings are more valuable than drawings. Oil paintings on canvas fetch higher prices than watercolors etc. So whether you work in multiple mediums or you are comparing the prices of your art to another artist be sure you take that into account.


Considerations:

  • Oil paintings, for whatever reason, get higher prices than acrylics. Oil is considered by the art market to be the most archival of all mediums and the most sought after by collectors.
  • Works on paper sell for far less than works on canvas or boards of the same size. This is usually because works on paper require additional framing in order to be presented, while works on canvas or board can often be hung with a simple frame or no frame at all. 
  • In general, oil paintings fetch prices 30% higher than similar water based medium such as acrylic or watercolor.
Rebecca Korpita, "Holiday at the Seashore", 16x20", $595. korpita.com
As artist Rebecca Stringer Korpita says, "I price by the size of my piece, the medium and whether it is on paper or canvas. I try to stay consistent even though it is hard not to take into consideration the time spent on the piece or if I personally value it more. If it is a commission, I also price on the number of subjects and the difficulty of the piece (subject matter and clarity of photos provided since I normally work from photos). I require one-half of the cost upfront and the rest upon approval of image. If it is a large piece, I usually include shipping into the price. For smaller pieces, shipping is added. I also look around to see what other artists are charging for similar sizes."

Pay attention to the Presentation

Miriam Schulman, "Hope Becomes Faith", 10x10", SchulmanArt.com


A lot of my students ask how they can increase the value of their work or improve their art. The single best way to increase the value of your work, without much effort, is in the presentation.

This means sealing your work, framing, and showcasing your artwork professionally.

You might be thinking “that’s expensive” and if you are, you might also be creating that very same reaction in other people when you present your latest watercolors to them in a ziplock bag. If you present your work with a dime store marketing approach, you must be prepared for the results.

Luckily, you don’t have to break your bank in order to present your work professionally. You also should never spend a lot of money on framing only to discover that your dream client wants a different frame anyway.

Frame just one


Peony prints in acetate sleeves
One approach some artists like is to find a local frame shop to call “your” framer and price out your preferred framing choices along with researching the shop’s turn-around time. You can then have  one piece framed beautifully. That piece will be your presentation piece that you will show to clients first so they can fall in love with your work, or that you will use to photograph your work in a room if you are selling online. The good news is that if the client likes your choice of framing and wants another, you already have the information written down, already know the cost to add on, and will sound like a pro when you say “No problem, I’ll send it to my framers, and they’ll have it ready for you in two weeks.”

Sell Works on Paper Unframed (but well presented!)


A Radiant Peacock print, matted with an acid-free foam board
On the other hand, I have found that framing is very personal and clients like it to match their decor. Therefore, I prefer to sell unframed works professionally wrapped in clear acetate sleeves, mats and acid-free foam backing boards. I get all of mine in bulk from an east coast supplier whom I've been working with for years. Their name is Stu-Art Supples, and you should tell them Miriam Schulman sent you!



The sleeves keep fingerprints off of your originals, and also make the work easy to transport. Since I create my watercolor in the same sizes, I have them matted to sizes that fit ready made frames. That way I can tell my customers that they do not have to custom frame the art since it already fits ready made frames. I do the same with my prints. (btw, I do have a mini-course in how to make and package prints at the Inspiration Place called Print Apprenticeship

Click here to check out Print Apprenticeship!
If I am selling the art framed, I usually add double the cost of framing, and round it up a little, to the price of the work. The reason I double the framing cost is if you are selling through a gallery that takes a commission, they will be taking about half the price of the sale and you do not want to lose money on the framing. This is why I only sell canvases in a simple black floater frame that does not cost as much. For my works on paper, I generally sell them matted as described previously but unframed for the same reason.

Keep your pricing consistent

Miriam Schulman, "Moon Child", 12x12", SchulmanArt.com

Keep your pricing consistent, and don’t inflate your framing costs. You are adding convenience to your customer but the higher price may be a turn off. Whether you are paying for frames or mats, be sure your framer or mat supplier has your tax ID on file. Since you are a reseller there is no need to pay tax on items that you plan to charge tax for yourself. 

Selling History


We are creating art, but we are also creating intellectually property that is for sale. It is important to not only keep track of who buys your work, but keep track of how much they are paying for it. I use ArtworkArchive.com as my database for art sales and contact information. As you move into new venues, each venue comes with its own sales environment, and so as a working artist, be aware that it is your job to present your work in places where your selling prices and their selling prices are in the same range. Note how I used the words “selling prices” - make sure the venue actually sells work at the prices you have set. For example, if the average selling price of a gallery is $600, you can't go in and expect your art to sell in the thousands even if you get those prices elsewhere unless you are bringing in your own customers!

Pricing too low rarely works


Moreover, underselling the gallery can also backfire. If the average price of art in the gallery is $600, you may have trouble moving art at $200 because customers might wonder what's wrong with it.

Jan Schmuckal, "Quiet Morning", 24x20", $1850. janschmuckal.com
You will gradually increase your pricing when you run low on inventory and then release a new body of work, but it is not advised to make jumps of more than 10% of your current selling price at a time.

Trophy Sales


Tonalist painter Jan Schmuckal advises caution when you get a trophy sale. For example, she recently sold out of her paintings which were priced at a premium by her art dealer. As she says, "I do allow all of my vendors to set their own prices.....as they know their markets best. I shipped 12 paintings to a vendor who set up at a show this weekend and I had increased my prices a bit, so I was worried. I should not have worried. The show opened at noon on Fri and ALL of my paintings had sold by 1 pm. I do know why though- which has a lot less to do with pricing than human behavior - one fellow who collects my work happened to be at the show and he made a beeline for the booth right after it opened and he bought FOUR right off the bat. Thus chumming the water. That's an awesome thing to have happen, but it is an aberration, so I will not use that to increase prices. "

Patricia Ann Rizzo, "Country Garden", 14x18",
$149. angelbabies.net

Paintings don't go bad


Sometimes your art is priced right, but the right seller hasn't come along yet. (This may mean you have to step up your marketing efforts.) As artist Patricia Rizzo says, "One more thing...paintings don't go bad. If they're good, hang onto them and the right buyer will come along eventually."

Finally, Have A Look at Your Competition


As artists, we joke about competition because we know that art is such a personal thing, but in the marketplace, we can benefit from comparing our pricing to that of active artists who are similar stages in their career. No need comparing your price to the artist whose art hangs in the Moma but perhaps there is an artist on Etsy who with a sales history you can research.

The point is that you are judging the price points your ideal customer is comfortable with. An buyer on Etsy is looking for a lower price point than an art collector on Saatchi. Both online art collectors may be at lower price points than one who is used to New York gallery prices


It's called market research


This is called market research, and as much as it might feel like you are stalking other people, you are really just collecting market information on comparable works to yours in order to determine the prices for your art according to size, medium, finish, and market research.


Sold art from last years open studio, "Duck Darling" - see similar duck paintings on my website

To Sum It Up: There Is No Formula, Only Guidance


You may have come to this article looking for a magic art calculator, only to find that the way to price art is by researching your market according to guidelines. Research is simply a matter of using online resources, such as Saatchi Online or Etsy to find comparable works according to size and medium, or by visiting your local galleries to see the sales environment around you.

Even in the most high end galleries, or even when purchasing real estate, pricing is determined by showing comparable items. And so, I hope you find this clarity alleviates the emotional side of pricing your work, and provides you with comfort in knowing that even the most prolific and successful artists are still doing this very same process of researching the value of art in the marketplace. I know it can be emotional and we always believe our most recent effort is our very best (and it is!) but don't forget in a few months that piece of art will be as long forgotten as your ex-boyfriend.

Eden Folwell, "The Future is Female",
16x12", $400. edenfolwell.com
As contemporary artist Eden Folwell says, “Take the emotion out of it and price your work and move on. Re-evaluate your career periodically, not too often, and decide if any major events have taken place to justify an increase. Be brutal. Don't just charge more because you feel like it. Did a major museum purchase your work? Was your work featured in a film? There has to be a reason to raise prices and collectors get the jitters if your pricing isn't stable and logical."

I created this pin just for you!




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About the Artist (Miriam Schulman)

Miriam Schulman, founder of The Inspiration Place
In case we haven’t met yet, I’m a watercolor and mixed media artist. My art has been featured in numerous publications such as Somerset Studio, and Im the founder of The Inspiration Place  where I give my students stepping stones to create beautiful art as well as the emotional support they need to stay inspired. See the art I create at schulmanArt.com or learn how to paint with me at TheInspirationPlace.net


PS You may have noticed that I have turned commenting OFF on my blog.
That is because most blogs, even very popular ones, do not receive many comments and I wanted to switch the focus from begging for comments to helping you.

However, I AM interested in continuing the conversation which is why I started aFREE Inspiration Place community on facebook. Please join us!!
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