12/13/2013 04:52 pm ET Updated Feb 12, 2014

What's a $500 Painting Worth?

I was trying to talk one of my VIP clients into charging $500 plus shipping for her painting.

She wrote back to me: "O.M.G., $500? Really? They're only 24″ X 24. You think?"


Now, I have no idea where this imaginary correlation between the size of the work and the price of the work came from. I think it's kinda crazy.

By that yardstick, muralists should be millionaires.

Here would be some examples of my criteria for deciding if my painting were worth $500:

1. Is this painting more inspiring and transformational than $500 of therapy?

2. Does this painting raise my spirits more than $500 worth of wine?

3. If I look at this painting twice a day for 10 years, will it give me six cents worth of joy each time?

4. How many compliments will I receive on this work once it's hanging in my home or office? If I get one a week for ten years, is that worth a dime for every admiring remark?

5. $500 is one medium-sized car repair; it's two haircuts with highlights (at least in L.A.); it's three or four college textbooks; it's five nice-ish date nights out with the spouse -- you see where I'm going with this?

It's not about price, it's about VALUE.

So, what's the value your work brings?

For more by Samantha Bennett, click here.