ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is an artist worth?

Updated on May 2, 2014

The value of an artist and his/her work

My name is Carmen Perdomo. I'm a gallery owner, and artist.

Many people have passed through the doors of my gallery, and I can say I have heard it all! From questions such as: "Why is this painting so expensive?" and, "do I pay extra to have it signed?" to comments such as: "I like Art but I'm not sophisticated enough to own it," and "Art is for rich people."

I read once an article by an ex-gallery owner that told an interesting story about his best client. The person who bought the most art from his gallery was a homeless person. It intrigued me. A man with no roof on his head values art more than his well-being. This same man, with no roof on his head, believes he deserves the art he buys!

Everything, and everyone has a value, be it sentimental, or monetary, or both. In the case of Art, an artist's name and work also have value, but how do you assess it? .

Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.

— George Bernard Shaw

The value behind art and its creator

A world of frustration:

Nowadays, the world of art is just as cruel and frustrated for both, buyers and artists. This is so because an artist produces art that barely sells, and the buyers don't buy because of lack of fear of being ripped off. There is a lack of confidence for both parties: the artist underestimates his time, personal investment, and work, and so he/she sells his/her work for very little. The buyer, on the other hand, underestimates the work of an artist by assuming he/she is paying to much for a bit of paint and few scribbles.

The primary point of this article is to educate first time art buyers (or young/new collectors) to value an artist and his/her creations for what they are. It is only natural to buy products we trust, and like. Art is no exception. One can asses the true value of an artist and his/her work with the following points below:

Red Boat, Ticino through my window, by Carmen Perdomo
Red Boat, Ticino through my window, by Carmen Perdomo

Does the artist invest in his/her work?

Someone once told me that one never buys from someone they don't like or trust, EVER. The process of buying, and/or selling art isn't excepted from this human ingrained behavior.

The difference between a successful artist and an unsuccessful artist is their ability to demonstrate they believe in their art. Successful artists are those who have taken money out of their pocket to promote their art, and/or rent a space to create. Investing in tools, some paint, and a canvas, does not longer show your commitment to the Arts.

An artist worth investing in is an artist who's not scared of overhead costs. The following points can help the "young" collector asses how committed an artist is to his/her work:

1. Does he/she have his/her own studio?

2. Do they go to Art fairs locally, nationally, or internationally?

3. Have they been represented by a gallery or a dealer?

4. Does he/she have patrons keeping his/her back clear off financial worries?

5. Do they take courses to enhance their skills or learn new ones?

In other words, learn as much as possible about the finances of your artist. A stress-free artist is a creative artist. A creative artist is a serious artist and also a serious and sound investment.

Signature Carmen Perdomo
Signature Carmen Perdomo

The brand:

Is the value in a signature?

For an artist, there is nothing more rewarding than to put a signature on an almost dried canvas. It marks an end to many hours of work, but most importantly, it creates a brand.

It is so simple to say that a brand is the artist's name, but it is more than that. An artist's name can carry a promise of quality, good working ethics, commitment, and good reputation. It's that one special asset that contributes to one's value and the loyalty of one's customers. A good reputation is only built up with time.

What special skills do you look for in order to assess the value of an artist and his/her work?

1. Commitment: Does the artist produce art regularly or sporadically? An artist who produces art in a regular basis is a much more trustworthy investment than an artists who produces one piece one year, and another one 10 years later.

2. Quality: good art is interesting, appealing, and thought provoking.

3. Time: the money value of any art is driven by time. The value of the artist's name and work is higher when the artist has been creating art for a long time. This is the tricky, yet funnest part of the business of art. Betting on emerging artists is a riskier investment, but if your bets are right, you might end up with greater capital gains in the near future.

4. Visibility: Is the artist involved in social media and/or art events: An artist who blogs, tweets, and share images of his/her work on facebook or any other social media tool is much more visible, and known, than an artists who doesn't get involved with any of the above.

5. Buyers: who are the collectors buying art from the artist in interest? Are they people who know art? Knowing the artist's clients can help you make a better/educated assessment.

Like it or hate it

Personal taste and personal value

Sometimes the best way to buying art is to let your eyes see and your heart decide. Trust your own taste. Understand the piece. Connect with the meaning behind the work. Not everything that shines is gold after all.

Knowledge is empowering when buying any product, and that includes art. Do your homework. Review the history of the artist in question. There is a lot of talent out there but only a few committed.

I encourage new collectors to take a chance in a new emerging artist if they feel the artist's work has soul and merit. Remember that an an emerging artist has a steeper hill to climb, compared to an established personality. Do not forget that it will take time for his/her brand to blossom.

Always pay what the artist's work is worth: someone who spends money to make art also needs money to re-invest in their projects, be that art fairs, studio rental, awareness of brand, and of course, their time. No one works for free, why should an artist? Pay the asking price if you really love a piece.

So, go out there and enjoy the world of art. Happy hunting for new talent!

More about the business of Art:

Some useful tips!

New Guestbook Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)