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 INFORMATION AND PRICING GUIDES FOR MURAL ARTISTS

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INTERNATIONAL MURAL PRICING CHART
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 A large hurdle for mural-artists in arriving at an equitable Price for Work done, is the lack of an industry standard. This table was created to be accessed by artists so they could get an idea of what a project of a given size should cost. There are of course many extenuating circumstances to be taken into consideration. These will be delved into in the following section.

This chart would probably not work well for other techniques such a "faut finis" or "sculpted relief work". The latter tends only to price well as a per square or cubic area with specific materials used.

This chart is designed for the North American market. Creating a separate chart for the U.S. and Canada was contemplated but it turns out that on a rough average the numerical figures are almost the same despite the lower value of the Canadian dollar. Therefore these numbers can be applied to both countries in their respective currencies.

Any artists who have created charts of their own or who have a list of works done with prices charged would be welcome to submit these for inclusion in an averaging chart to be used for future editions. The way your figures would be used, would be to nestle all figures received into the most common size areas and extrapolate in both directions from there. The reason for this is that in general, in the real world, as one looks at larger and larger projects each square foot or meter painted takes less time to execute than in smaller projects. In order for the structure to reflect this, the price per square unit of area has to decrease for larger murals. As this chart is derived from a relatively small sampling of work done, these transitions should be fairly smooth to offset what might turn out to be ambiguities in price-per-size jumps. It must be remembered too that this is only a guide. There are many conditions and circumstances that can alter these prices as outlined below.

Comments would be appreciated as to how close this chart reflects your own experience in this area. Any suggestions that might increase effectiveness are welcomed. Anyone who has any tidbits of valuable information, submit it along with permission to publish it. If possible, it will be included in the appropriate section.

THINGS THAT MAY ALTER PRICES TO BE CHARGED

  • Outdoor Projects - If you live in a rainy area or have long winters, there may be reduced time to execute the projects. Outdoor projects can adversely effect paint and either speed up or slow drying times, or worse yet freeze your paint and ruin it. Wind can carry spray or even droplets from brushes and rollers making you legally liable.
  •  Indoor Projects - If you're working in a commercial local, you may only be able to work a few hours per day. This can seriously reduce production time. Certain paints can cause a number of problems, smell, overspray etc.
  • Experience - Which assumes a higher degree of skill would mean faster execution of the same work done by a less experienced person. This would mean that at the same price, he's making more money per unit of time than one less experienced for the same mural. The contradiction to this though is that the less experienced person simply stops at a certain stage because he can't effectively complete it to a higher degree of finish. The more experienced or skilled artist knows how to carry out these additional steps but although he may have completed the first portion very quickly he may find time spent on the finishing portion eating up this advantage. This is a good reason for charging more and for the client to be willing to pay more.
  • Local - Because of economic status, some areas are naturally more expensive or less expensive than other areas. If an artist has to travel to these areas to do work, he is reimbursed for his travel and living expenses in accord with those conditions. If he doesn't live there, there is really no reason to charge more for the work itself once his other expenses are met.
  • Height - High murals can add considerable time and danger to a project, that is why a caveat regarding such is placed beside the table below. One often must pay a crew to install and remove the scaffolding, making sure it is secured to the wall, filling lag-bolt holes afterwards etc. Foot and automobile traffic below is also a major concern.
  • Assistants - If they can work without supervision and one has enough projects on the go, assistants can increase production to more than offset their cost. The disadvantage is that as soon as they are producing well, they often want to work for themselves.

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MURAL PRICES

 

Sample Prices per Unit Size

 

 

Prices include all Work and Materials.

They do not include scaffolding charges nor out-of-town transportation and living Expenses. Be sure to mention these details to your artist or his agent to ensure an accurate quote.

This list is compiled for Fine Art Murals, Commercial murals often require modified, individual treatments which reduce the overall cost and are not within the scope of this table.

 DIMENSIONS

 ²AREA

 PRICE

3ft. x 4ft.

12ft.
$700.00

3ft. x 5ft.

15ft.
$735.00

3ft. x 6ft.

18ft.
$882.00

4ft. x 5ft.

20ft.
$980.00

4ft. x 6ft.

24ft.
$1,176.00  

4ft. x 7ft.

28ft.
$1,372.00

Prices include all Work and Materials.

They do not include scaffolding charges nor out-of-town transportation and living Expenses. Be sure to mention these details to your artist or his agent to ensure an accurate quote.

This list is compiled for Fine Art Murals, Commercial murals often require modified, individual treatments which reduce the overall cost and are not within the scope of this table.

5ft. x 7ft.

35ft.
$1,715.00

5ft. x 8ft.

40ft.
$1,960.00

5ft. x 9ft.

45ft.
$2,082.50

6ft. x 9ft.

54ft.
$2,303.00

6ft. x 10ft.

60ft.
$2,450.00

6ft. x 11ft.

66ft.
$2,597.00

7ft. x 10ft.

70ft.
$2,695.00

7ft. x 11ft.

77ft.
$2,866.50

7ft. x 12ft.

84ft.
$3,038.00

8ft. x 11ft.

88ft.
$3,136.00  

8ft. x 12ft.

96ft.
$3,332.00

Prices include all Work and Materials.

They do not include scaffolding charges nor out-of-town transportation and living Expenses. Be sure to mention these details to your artist or his agent to ensure an accurate quote.

This list is compiled for Fine Art Murals, Commercial murals often require modified, individual treatments which reduce the overall cost and are not within the scope of this table.

8ft. x 13ft.

104ft.
$3,528.00

9ft. x 13ft.

117ft.
$3,846.50

9ft. x 14ft.

126ft.
$4,067.00

9ft. x 15ft.

135ft.
$4,287.50

10ft x 15ft.

150ft.
$4,655.00

10ft. x 16ft.

160ft.
$4,900.00

10ft. x 17ft.

170ft.
$5,145.00

11ft. x 16ft.

176ft.
$5,292.00

11ft. x 17ft.

187ft.
$5,561.50

11ft. x 18ft.

198ft.
$5,831.00

12ft. x 18ft.

216ft.
$6,272.00  

12ft. x 19ft.

228ft.
$6,566.00

Prices include all Work and Materials.

They do not include scaffolding charges nor out-of-town transportation and living Expenses. Be sure to mention these details to your artist or his agent to ensure an accurate quote.

This list is compiled for Fine Art Murals, Commercial murals often require modified, individual treatments which reduce the overall cost and are not within the scope of this table.

12ft. x 20ft.

240ft.
$6,860.00

13ft. x 20ft.

260ft.
$7,350.00

13ft. x 21ft.

273ft.
$7,668.50

13ft. x 22ft.

286ft.
$7,987.00

14ft. x 21ft.

294ft.
$8,183.00

14ft. x 22ft.

308ft.
$8,526.00

14ft. x 23ft.

322ft.
$8,869.00

15ft. x 23ft.

345ft.
$9,432.50

15ft. x 24ft.

360ft.
$9,800.00

15ft. x 25ft.

375ft.
$10,167.50

16ft. x 24ft.

384ft.
$10,388.00

16ft. x 25ft.

400ft.
$10,780.00  

16ft. x 26ft.

416ft.
$11,172.00

Prices include all Work and Materials.

They do not include scaffolding charges nor out-of-town transportation and living Expenses. Be sure to mention these details to your artist or his agent to ensure an accurate quote.

This list is compiled for Fine Art Murals, Commercial murals often require modified, individual treatments which reduce the overall cost and are not within the scope of this table.

17ft. x 26ft.

442ft.
$11,809.00

17ft. x 27ft.

459ft.
$12,225.50

17ft. x 28ft.

476ft.
$12,642.00

18ft. x 28ft.

504ft.
$13,328.00

18ft. x 29ft.

522ft.
$13,769.00

18ft. x 30ft.

540ft.
$14,210.00

19ft. x 29ft.

551ft.
$14,479.50

19ft. x 30ft.

570ft.
$14,945.00

19ft. x 31ft.

589ft.
$15,410.50

20ft. x 31ft.

620ft.
$16,170.00

20ft. x 32ft.

640ft.
$16,660.00

20ft. x 33ft.

660ft.
$17,150.00  

21ft. x 33ft.

693ft.
$17,958.50

Prices include all Work and Materials.

They do not include scaffolding charges nor out-of-town transportation and living Expenses. Be sure to mention these details to your artist or his agent to ensure an accurate quote.

This list is compiled for Fine Art Murals, Commercial murals often require modified, individual treatments which reduce the overall cost and are not within the scope of this table.

21ft. x 34ft.

714ft.
$18,473.00

21ft. x 35ft.

735ft.
$18,987.50

22ft. x 34ft.

748ft.
$19,306.00

22ft. x 35ft.

770ft.
$19,845.00

22ft. x 36ft.

792ft.
$20,384.00

23ft. x 36ft.

828ft.
$21,266.00

23ft. x 37ft.

851ft.
$21,829.50

23ft. x 38ft.

874ft.
$22,393.00

24ft. x 37ft.

888ft.
$22,736.00

24ft. x 38ft.

912ft.
$23,324.00

24ft. x 39ft.

936ft.
$23,912.00

25ft. x 39ft.

975ft.
$24,867.50  

25ft. x 40ft.

1000ft.
$25,480.00

Prices include all Work and Materials.

They do not include scaffolding charges nor out-of-town transportation and living Expenses. Be sure to mention these details to your artist or his agent to ensure an accurate quote.

This list is compiled for Fine Art Murals, Commercial murals often require modified, individual treatments which reduce the overall cost and are not within the scope of this table.

25ft. x 41ft.

1025ft.
$26,092.50

26ft. x 41ft.

1066ft.
$27,097.00

26ft. x 42ft.

1092ft.
$27,734.00

26ft. x 43ft.

1118ft.
$28,371.00

27ft. x 42ft.

1134ft.
$28,763.00

27ft. x 43ft.

1161ft.
$29,424.50

27ft. x 44ft.

1188ft.
$30,086.00

28ft. x 44ft.

1232ft.
$31,164.00

28ft. x 45ft.

1260ft.
$31,850.00

28ft. x 46ft.

1288ft.
$32,536.00

29ft. x 45ft.

1305ft.
$32,952.50  

29ft. x 46ft.

1334ft.
$33,663.00

Prices include all Work and Materials.

They do not include scaffolding charges nor out-of-town transportation and living Expenses. Be sure to mention these details to your artist or his agent to ensure an accurate quote.

This list is compiled for Fine Art Murals, Commercial murals often require modified, individual treatments which reduce the overall cost and are not within the scope of this table.

29ft. x 47ft.

1363ft.
$34,373.50

30ft. x 47ft.

1410ft.
$35,525.00

30ft. x 48ft.

1440ft.
$36,260.00

30ft. x 49ft.

1470ft.
$36,995.00

31ft. x 49ft.

1519ft.
$38,195.50

31ft. x 50ft.

1550ft.
$38,955.00

31ft. x 51ft.

1581ft.
$39,714.50

32ft. x 50ft.

1600ft.
$40,180.00

32ft. x 51ft.

1632ft.
$40,964.00

32ft. x 52ft.

1664ft.
$41,748.00
 

 


Warnings about Copyrights

 When approached about your copyrights, it is wisest to think in terms of licensing them rather than selling them. An artist should never forfeit his copyrights (as opposed to Moral Rights) without being separately and well compensated. When an artist finally reaches the point of relative success, often late in life, he seldom owns much of his own work and must compete in selling it with those who purchased earlier works at much lower prices. His earlier works can actually adversely haunt him years later. He still has to methodically paint each piece and wait for it to be sold albeit at a higher price, in order to be paid. His only real advantage for himself and his heirs at this time may be his ownership of the copyrights on his whole body of works.

Your copyrights are actually more valuable than a patent to an inventor and this is why you should relinquish it to no one...see : http://www.eagle-research.com/nopatent/patfree.html for a practical comparison of the two.

Remember if others own even a small portion of your copyrights, those are the ones that will be exploited most...at no profit to you...their author. Any projects you later initiate yourself vis a vis your own copyrights, will compete with endeavors based on those works of yours, where the copyrights are owned by others.

Unless you have your own team of lawyers to protect you, you may even have a hard time claiming your own authorship of images you created. A case in point from a different branch of the Arts is that of Pop groups from the '50s and '60s who can't operate under their original group names, because the intellectual rights to these names belong to someone else, who hires other artists to be members of those groups.

The copyright laws have been recently strengthened to protect artists, but this has done little more than spawn a crusade by some lawyers to coerce needy artists into forfeiting these rights completely.

Within the context of what copyrights are intended to do, no one else really needs to own your copyrights, they can license them and you can still make money off them that way. Everything can be achieved by license without forfeiting ownership.

Remember, even if you're promised great things and high commissions in trade for your copyright, if there's failure to follow through, that copyright is lost forever to you. It is just as easy and far safer to license the copyrights for a certain project or time period and still retain ownership of it for yourself and your heirs. For this reason every artist should have an automatic minimum $100,000 price tag on the actual ownership of each copyright as a starting price for bargaining. This may even be too cheap in the long term.

 

Moral Rights

There is a portion of the Copyright Act known as "Moral Rights". Moral Rights are not copyrights although in Canada they are included as part of the Copyright Act.

Moral Rights are apportioned to protect the wanton destruction of Art by a society that often tends to see everything as disposable. Unfortunately it has the potential for abuse.

They have a particular interest to mural-artists or especially their clients. These rights entail the integrity of the artist's work. In Canada, these right cannot be forfeited under any circumstances, but fortunately they can be waived. That is to say they are still owned by the artist, but cannot be enforced by him or anyone else. In essence they cease to exist whereas the copyrights always exist somewhere.

One says "fortunately they can be waived" because these rights can be a source of worry for your poor client, especially if he has a hungry lawyer. Their full import can be a nuisance to muralists and their clients because they essentially limit what the client can do to his own wall once you have put a mural on it. In common knowledge, no muralist to date has ever used this clause in Canada except to the advantage of his client. The best thing to do is establish a reasonable length of time the work should be allowed to stay where it's at and waive the time beyond that. Once that is established, besides the comfort it brings the artist, it can also be a comfort to the client. Vandals for example would have an additional civil law to contend with were they to attack the client's property where the mural is located. As Moral Rights cannot be transferred it is in the client's best interest to keep them in force with the artist for whatever time they mutually deem beneficial. The artist then acts as a protector of his client's property.

 Input would be appreciated as to how U.S. copyright law applies to these matters.

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This material last edited January 30, 2001