21 FINANCIAL OBJECTIVES Once you have established your life objectives, you will need to consider what financial resources you will need to achieve them. It is important to define realistic expectations, as this will determine the scale of your practice - the amount of work you need to sell and the prices at which you will need to sell at. The greater the level of income you need, the more work you will need to put in to building your practice and achieving its success. At the same time, it is important to understand that artists can only charge for their work what the market will bear given their reputation. The more people demand your work, the more you will be able to charge. This means that, over time, you need to work on increasing your reputation and promoting your work, in order to sell more of your products at higher prices to achieve your goals. COSTING AND PRICING The income you can earn will be determined by the level of your costs for producing work compared to the amount you can sell it for. You will always want to make a work for less than you sell it for. Costs You need to keep close track of all of your costs – and preferably know what they are before you start making a work. Ask yourself if the total estimated cost is going to be covered by a sale before you make the work. If it isn’t, don’t make it. Pricing Artists sometimes under-price their work and as a result give themselves less than the minimum wage. At the same time, it is important not to overprice your work as it is difficult to recover in the market once having done this. When setting your prices, compare yourself to others at a similar career stage who sell work, or seek the advice of agents or galleries. FINANCES, COSTS AND SETTING PRICES