I found the results from Annual Income & Pricing Calculator sobering. To start, when you see how much you pay in taxes in one place is sometimes shocking. Other than aggressive tax planning or moving to a state with no income tax, there is not much one can do about paying them. But, that's always been the case.
If one needed any motivation to cut down on expenses, this calculator should help. There is a case for having your business pick up as much of your living expenses as you can legally. (Talk with your tax adviser.) No matter how much you trim, you will see it is a challenge to earn a big income on low volume and low prices.
Start with realizing you are not bound to set your prices at the Minimum Net Wholesale Price Per Piece Required rate. I suggest you work to increase this figure by 50% - 100% as quickly as possible. The calculator does not factor sales through galleries. So, if you are working through galleries you would need to double your Minimum Net Wholesale Price Per Piece Required to get to your desired annual income.
Direct patronage is the process of building relationships with collectors who take an active interest in the artist's work and their thinking. These patrons will purchase multiple pieces from artists during their career. Some will help boost the artist's career through their influence and connections.
The financial benefit of not splitting sales with galleries or other third parties is huge. In the default example on Artist's Annual Income & Pricing Calculator, you need to sell 24 pieces at the average price of $2193 to earn a gross income (after expenses before taxes) of $36000. In this example, your gross annual sales are $52620.
To earn the same $36000 annual gross income (after expenses before taxes) working through galleries, your average sales price would be $4386 per piece. Or, you would need to double your number of pieces sold to 48. What if you kept all that money minus expenses instead?