Deep Thought Thursday: Are you devaluing yourself and your art?

In keeping with this week’s theme of finances, today’s Deep Thought is from Suze Orman’s book Women and Money.

The big problem as I see it is that women treat themselves as a commodity whose price is set by others. That means women get to stand by and watch as their value is marked down. . . .

. . .

You treat yourself like you’re on sale. You’re so reluctant to put a real value on what you do that it diminishes who you are. And as I said, that creates a vicious cycle: When you devalue what you do, it becomes inevitable that you–and those around you–devalue who you are.

Yes, she’s speaking specifically to and about women in this chapter titled “You Are Not on Sale.” Does it sound familiar? Are women more apt to devalue their worth than men? Are women more likely to accept a lower price for their art than men are? Are women more likely to accept uneven trades for their art?

And, guys, what do you  think?

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6 thoughts on “Deep Thought Thursday: Are you devaluing yourself and your art?”

  1. You read my mind. Your post just before this one had me thinking, “she’s got to read Suze Orman!”…and then you mention her in this post. Great minds. Suze was just on Oprah last week (?) and her message was clearly aimed at women. I’ve always loved her wisdom. I’m buying her latest book for my two daughters who are now in their 20s.

  2. No! I am not devaluing myself. I have a house full of art that is a testament to my stubbornness and resolve. I base my art prices on past sales and a fair hourly wage. Despite attempts to paint faster, I still figure in a realistic price accounting for material costs and the time it takes to make each piece. The problem is many people don’t want to pay for either. I will NEVER sell my art for $40. on Etsy or Ebay. I just won’t do that. Therefore, I have a house full of art because nobody wants to buy it. It is not junky. In fact, I have a variety of styles to appease various collector tastes. I read Suzi Orman and I stand strong. Yet, I am having a difficult time realizing the masses are not in sync with me mentally or spiritually. Sheree Rensel

  3. Sheree: I have realized that everyone has this in common, they are searching for something that takes away the chaos in the world. We all tend to lose our focus. However, we all NEED to find out who we are, then focus in on what we were meant to do. We as artists who want to sell our art have to find what it is that other people need in an artpiece. It isn’t about us. It’s about them. And it takes our giving time to research and find out what people need. We have to be Sleuths and when we discover something, it is exciting and we go with it. We also are searching for our niche that expresses the uniqueness in ourselves and others. Some art is just for us, about us and for us to look at. We have to be willing, if we want to sell art, to explore outside of our own little world.

  4. Regarding devaluing myself, I have. But I have learned too. I don’t have but three of my own pieces displayed in my home. They are portraits I have done of my kids. The rest of my art is mostly in school libraries and cater to the interests of these little inquiring minds. One library had undersea things like orcas, whales, squids, mermaids and other sea creatures etc. The work was extremely detailed and 3-D. And this is the way I painted in the other libraries and homes I have done. As far as the schools, I didn’t make much in regards to money, but I gained the children’s favor as an artist as well as a person who believes in my work, that it is a gift to both myself and to others. That in order to be successful, it takes a willingness to give also. Once, a little boy asked me to take his lunch money as pay for what I was doing in his school. The sincerity of this little boy brought value to me beyond anything this world could give. I know I am valuable because God says I am. He gave me the talent and He wants me to use it to touch the world for Him. To glorify His creation and in my portraits to capture a person’s spirit, and letting them know that they as well as the the world were created for God’s purpose. And art to me is the ability to see and express Him to the world, unselfishly.

  5. I don’t know if this has anything to do with being a woman or not, but when I read your article, a little voice screamed to me “yes, I have devalued my work and I don’t want to do it anymore”! It takes me months of painting time to make a painting, and I don’t want to think about how many I have sold that work out to be about $5 an hour, after framing and the gallery commission. But I haven’t been able to figure out how to make a decent amount from my work, so lately, my answer has been not to sell the original work and to market reproductions. Maybe they’ll be worth something for my son someday.

  6. Pingback: From the Vault: Pricing issues — Art Biz Blog

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