“Why is your art so damn expensive? I love your paintings, but they’re legit overpriced”

Genuine question / statement.

Let’s have a kōrero about why my art seems so  over priced.  I’ll use this beautiful $1200 painting as an example.

This piece took me 6 months of work in between processes and drying, approx. 65 hours of labour. It’s taken me many years of studying and learning to master the techniques used to produce this unique artwork. There is only one of this artwork, it's handmade and no-one else anywhere has it.

Painting Price $1200  
GST Tax -$180 15%  
Payment Fees -$60 5% Payment processing fees - which I still have to pay - even if the painting is returned for a refund.
Canvas -$75
Materials -$425   Paints, mediums, finishes, high grade resin, consumables, hardwear etc.
Postage  -$65 On average New Zealand shipping and packaging, normally more for rural delivery etc.
+$395 Left over


Be honest, would you work for months for $395?  Which isn't even the minimum wage?

But wait, there's more!  I also have to factor the following costs;

Website costs 


Online shop, software, hardware, pc, internet etc

Professional photography



Art studio costs


Art studio, plus material and painting storage

Marketing & Advertising


Google AdWords, social media, Advertising etc

Business Income Tax 28% Paid on any profits (income minus expenses)


Each painting takes me months of work to produce. So you might have guessed by now, for the months and months of work I do on each painting, I almost work for free.

My normal job offsets the cost of my art. 

Another question I often get asked is why don’t you exhibit in a gallery?

Simple; galleries need to make money to operate too.  An art gallery will add their commission on top of the artists price - between 40% + 55% sometimes more. So, the $1200 painting sold on my website will cost an extra 40% or $1680 minimum to buy at an art gallery. While I’ve had several exhibitions, exhibitions are super time intensive.  I’m time poor as I have a full time job - which means I can only paint in my spare time. While I would love to exhibit, (as my paintings are much better in real life, and the special effects are very difficult to pick up with a camera) - I physically don't have the time for art gallery exhibitions too.

So, I’ve done my absolute best to make my art affordable and accessible for everyone.  I don’t wish to be rich or famous,  I simply love painting and creating art.

Why? I call it my mindfulness. It makes me happy, and my paintings make other people feel happy too. That’s my motivation.  

I do hope this helps to reset expectations.

Here’s a very addictive art video clip which demonstrates why artists struggle. 

It Costs That Much Cause It Takes Me F*cking Hours

Here's the full song the artist wrote and produced;

Song by Woah Dude - It Costs That Much - explicit lyrics