For the average income citizen, we wonder why original artwork costs so much. Well, I'm going to give you all the secrets to pricing original artwork so you can determine whether or not getting an original is worth it.
Okay, so advanced artists will use formulas for pricing their work. These formulas will take into consideration, materials, time, overhead and their popularity as an artist (are they famous, well known, or not known at all yet?-these do play a part in pricing. Damien Hurst, a famous artist will charge a hefty amount compared to any other unknown artist on etsy). Depending where the artist lives in the world, these other factors will change based on their location's average cost of living.
But there is a hidden value to artwork. This is the value you place on the art depending on how emotionally connected you are to that piece. Does this artwork resonate with you in a way that is basically priceless emotionally, and will you end up passing it down through generations? Or are you only wanting artwork for decorative purposes that you'll throw away if you move or change the colour of your walls? Artists who paint with the purpose in mind that artwork will be passed on through generations will go to great lengths to choose professional high quality materials and spend more time and effort on artwork just for that.
And then there's the galleries. Working with a gallery is wonderful as an artist. This allows an artist to spend more time in the studio and less time marketing their own work. But this comes at a price. Galleries usually take 50% commission! But this is business, most places you go have a mark up on the item so the maker and the seller makes money. So if an artist is using galleries (online or brick and morter), and also selling through their own website or other means, prices need to be kept uniform so that the gallery doesn't lose out. So if an artist you like is using a gallery, you can also be sure that these galleries specifically select artwork that is consistent and of good quality, and that these artists could end up in Christies Art Auction someday. This means, that the artwork you buy could be resold in auctions at a higher price than you paid. Maybe.
But if you're buying artwork from an artist who is not well known and not with any galleries, it doesn't necessarily mean their work will have less emotional value to you but it does mean they may be more open to financial negotiation. They will be more than willing to chat with you about a deal so feel free to contact them directly. If you don't ask, you will be guaranteed NOT to get a deal. Lots of artists and galleries will work with you on payment plans too if a few thousand dollars isn't within your excess financial budget.