In the previous installments of this series, I have tried to convey ideas and opportunities to fellow and aspiring Magic art collectors. While that will continue in the future, I want to spend some time talking to those who illustrate the images that we all enjoy.
This one is for the artists.
Get Out Your Sketches
Seriously! Get them out! I want to buy them, as do many other collectors.
While some of them may be a bit rough, they all have some level of interest for me as a Magic art collector. This is especially true for art that is finished digitally. Taking the time to designate those that were finished digitally will make those more appealing as they are the closest we can get to an original.
If you do your final works in digital but do thumbnails, pencil roughs or full on under-sketches, there is going to be a collector that will be interested in adding them to their collection. Sketches also serve as a great gateway into selling orignal paintings as well. My third art purchase was a sketch by Anthony Waters and that lead to a good working relationship and several follow on sales.
The market for sketches has picked up and you can regularly see them go for $50-$75 for an 8″x10″ rough sketch, which is up from the $25-$50 seen just a year ago. The larger and more detailed the sketch, the more you should be able to get out of it.
Human nature is crazy sometimes and bleeds into our collecting habits often.
Uniqueness and primacy go hand in hand with collectibles. The first print off the printer from a limited run will be more valuable than the 50th, simply because it existed in the world longer and has a 1/50 somewhere on the paper. The artist proofs that you receive from Wizards should be treated the same way.
When you receive a pack of proofs, you will be surprised how much interest simply numbering them 1/50, 2/50, etc. will bring to the first card of the series. Technically it is the exact same as the 50th proof, but just writing it down will allow a premium to be applied to that card. We have already seen this being done by Terese Nielsen and rk post and it would be great to see more of it in the community.
Taking the time to number the artist proofs will definitely be worth your time, especially if you attend a convention or Magic event in the future.
Interest in Magic art is on the rise. With teenagers from the advent of the game now in their thirties, we have less time, more money and more pangs of nostalgia.
If you haven’t already been bombarded with emails asking for a list of available originals, take it from me, there is someone out there that is looking for that list. Illustration is a time consuming business with stringent deadlines and searching through archives, storage lockers and attics is both a pain and a chore, but taking that time to make an inventory of available paintings and sketches could be well worth your time.
I know pricing can be an exercise in misery, but if you ever have a question as to what to price your originals at, several other Magic artists have great lists that you can use to compare. Heather Hudson, Steven Belledin, Mark Tedin, Mark Zug and Terese Nielsen all have excellent examples of updated and priced originals on their websites.
Alternatively, you could do a search for sold original Magic art on Ebay to see some of the most recent sales on the open market (make sure to search descriptions as well, set your filters to $50+ and I apologize for the anime fan girl alters you will see).
Outside of that, you can always contact me and I will give you my opinion on prices for specific pieces or just pricing in general.
I can understand any hesitancy to get an account there and start accepting Paypal payments for your work. Fees and horror stories of buyers and sellers getting ripped off have kept many away. Hopefully a quick rundown of the service will help as the convenience it provides is quite exceptional.
Money can be sent either as a payment for goods (which has buyer and seller protection) or as a transfer of funds (no protections here). If anyone is talking about sending money via Paypal Gift, they are referring to the transfer of funds feature and likely doing so to avoid fees.
Transferring funds with Paypal has no fees attached as long as it is not being charged through a Credit Card. There is an international funds transfer charge, but it maxes out at 2%. This is a great option but since it does not have protections for the buyer, I would ensure that they are comfortable using this payment method.
Sending payment for a sale can have up to a 2.9% (3.9% for international) fee for the transaction. This amount is taken out of the money received by the seller. This fee goes towards the buyer and seller protection that Paypal provides. If you are new to Paypal or are unsure about the buyer, you may suggest that they add 2.9% to the purchase price to account for this fee and provide everybody with protection.
There is a claims and security department that can be used by either party in case of a discrepancy, along with some guidelines that are good to follow regardless of Paypal policies (ship to the address that the buyer specifies, ship the item within 7 days of receiving payment and obtain proof of delivery).
Paypal is a good tool and can even be incorporated into your website, for the more technically savvy among us, for payment processing.
Where to sell your art can be just as perplexing as how much to sell it for. There are endless options, and selecting the best one to attract the most attention is important to get the most value for your work. Here is a quick summary of some common venues and useful tips on their use.
If you want to get the most general exposure for selling your art, Ebay is the way to go. This is where most people are looking for Magic art and is a great way to move a piece when multiple buyers are interested in it. Several high profile Magic paintings have been sold through Ebay and it is definitely worth a look.
Listing is key for selling on Ebay. While number and quality of references will definitely have an impact, the visibility of the auction will be determined by the listing. Word choice is key.
In the title of the auction, make sure to include Magic Art or Original Magic Art as those are the most searched for terms. You also want to include these words along with a description and multiple pictures but many searches are done via title only and you want to ensure your auction gets the most views possible. There are several sites that go over how to make a good Ebay listing, check out a few like this for a good start.
Fees for Ebay will run around 15% with Paypal Seller Protection included. While that is high, the additional exposure the site provides is a great benefit.
If you’re not yet familiar with it, you should definitely check out this crafting bazaar of a website. Artists Ralph Horsley and Lucas Graciano are already utilizing the marketplace there to sell their original Magic art and it would be great to see more art for sale there.
While Etsy is not yet a destination for Art sales, the listing charges and fees are quite attractive compared to Ebay. With only $0.20 charged to list the item for 4 months and a 3.5% fee when it sells, you can see why many have started selling there. You won’t be able to get the benefit of the bidding wars that are seen on the auction site, but as long as you sell your pieces for a price you are comfortable with, you will be getting a larger share of the selling price.
Yes! We have a Marketplace here as well.
It is a free gallery to display your art for sale or trade and payment and fulfillment are up to you. If you want to market your available originals to an targeted, interested audience, well, look no further.
There are no fees attached and I’ll assist you in creating the gallery if you experience any problems. It would be great to be able to play a part in finding a good home for more art. If you are interested, set up a gallery, contact me and we can go from there.
Shamless plug? You bet!
That’s it for today’s soap box advice session. Hopefully I was able to convey the general message that your time and art are valuable and should be treated as such.
Tune in next week for more art talk. Same art time, same art channel.