Everyone struggles with becoming well known and established in the art world. If you do become successful, It usually takes years, if not decades of trial and error.
One of the biggest challenges is selling your art. The problem people had in the past was getting artwork in front of those elite art collectors who would pay top dollar and appreciate every part of it, craving more.
Fortunately, selling art can now be done at the touch of a few clicks. There has never been a better time to sell art with the goal of making money, so you can fund your next project.
What is the traditional way to sell art?
Traditionally, artists would sell art to dealers who would buy directly and sell on to the rich and famous. Eventually, these pieces of art could end up at auction houses such as Christies or Sotheby’s.
Other traditional ways to sell art, would include flogging at local art markets and displaying in exhibitions. Artists such as Rembrandt, in the 1700s, would start their careers selling art cheaply in local dutch markets, now painting and etchings made by Rembrandt are sold for Millions, he revolutionised art for the whole of humanity!
Unfortunately, not all artists are able to sell art. One being Vincent Van Gogh, only one painting sold during his lifetime. It’s sad to think his paintings are now worth millions.
Do people buy art for investment purposes?
Just like buying gold, people buy art as it has no correlation to the stock market. Paintings can go up in value even if the market crashes. If you have a massive wealth portfolio, collecting art for an investment purpose is a great way to diversify. However, don’t tell the neighbours. If word gets out that you have expensive art hanging on your wall, you may be a great target for burglars.
How can I list my work with an online gallery?
Showcasing your work at online art galleries and marketplaces, allows you to expand your reach in search for potential buyers. It’s incredible to think that your art could be viewed and purchased from somebody on the other side of the world.
Obviously, there is more of a charm and romance when you can see your piece hung up in the gallery, admired and then purchased. More so, when you are being served wine and fed cheese!
This nostalgic way of selling and buying art will still exist, and nothing will replace it because you cannot yet, replace the feelings, atmosphere and senses of standing in a real place, at a certain time, admiring what’s around you.
One great benefit of selling your art online is that you can find the buyers directly, or they can find you. This mindset ditches the middle man and art dealer, allowing you to keep the wholesale price without paying a commission. The only problem with this model is that it is time-consuming to market yourself and find an audience. But that is where online galleries come into the picture.
Is Saatchi Art a good online gallery to sign up with?
One of the largest online galleries in the world that specialises in selling art is Saatchi Art. The process to signup is very straightforward. Once you have registered, it may take a few days to get verified. Once verified, you can start listing and selling your artwork, straight away.
How will buyers on Saatchi Art find me?
Buyers can narrow down their search criteria using all different types of filters. From the type of art medium to subject and price. Saatchi Art also allows buyers to follow talent such as yourself so the platform feels like a community as well as a marketplace.
Being positive sells
Nothing succeeds like success. It’s important to celebrate all your successes no matter how small; every sale, exhibition, painting-in-progress is a cause for celebration because It gives us a way to feel good about ourselves, and our accomplishments. When we celebrate we are reinforcing something important to us. Without it, we simply maintain the status quo and candidly have a lot less fun. Don’t ever be tempted to say that you aren’t selling or you hate online galleries. Instead, talk about your latest project. Explain WHY you make your art. How does it make you feel? It gives us a way to feel good about ourselves and our accomplishments. When we celebrate we are reinforcing something important to us. Without it we simply have a lot less fun.
Does selling art online have any negatives?
Everyone is an artist, or so many people think they are. Competition is high, but skill sets vary. In general, it’s easier to get artwork displayed online than displayed in a traditional gallery. Storage space isn’t an issue when selling online. Everybody can participate, making the online marketplace for selling art, very crowded.
Although there are many negatives to selling art online, there are more positives. If you are good at your craft and keep developing your skillset, with persistence your profile will shine through the crowded marketplace and you will succeed.
Why should I team up with an online art selling platform?
One great strategy to start selling art online is to team up with an existing platform. This allows you to take advantage of an existing audience, as well as existing sale tools. Just be wary of the commission the platform takes from the overall sales.
Before starting with the below platforms, do your research and analyse which company best fits your art practice.
Etsy: Many people sell art online and make money with Etsy. As well as listing your original art and prints, you can also list anything handcrafted. Etsy can give you exposure to the art world. The platform is very easy to use, and when a sale is made, you receive the money instantly.
eBay: Everybody has heard of eBay. It’s a massive online marketplace. Buyers are often looking for niche products. You can buy and sell anything here.
Shopify: If you want to have your own branded site with a little bit more creativity and control, Shopify is an excellent choice. Using Shopify will give you easy access to advanced analysis. You can take ownership of the platform and set up your own shop with your own domain name.
Saatchi Art: The biggest and most premium art marketplaces online, boasting around 65,000 artists across the globe. Saatchi Art goes way beyond just selling art, they also organise art fairs and actively promote top talent. In the beginning it may be a bit hard to achieve visibility, but if you consistently present your artwork you may eventually end up getting featured, it could be a great boost in your career. Saatchi Art has a strong and established history, they specialise in art.
Society 6: This marketplace was created with self-expression in mind. You can place for art onto a massive selection of products, from T-Shirts to mouse mats. The products on Society 6 have been created by independent artists around the world. Express yourself and getting paid at the same time is a great bonus. The customer base is massive.
Should I sell my art on my website?
There are many different hosting platforms out there and you should utilise them, they will allow your artwork to be seen at a far greater reach, however, the customisation is limited and online platforms come and go. Having a website allows you to market your business online.
Establish credibility for your art business is vital in giving a positive impression that your art practice is bigger and more successful. With this in mind it’s worth having your own site where you have far more control. Squarespace is a great option as you can easily customise the design.
Start blogging about art
A great way to tell your story and showcase all your passion is to write a blog. Blogs don’t have to belong essays, just blog regularly. Some bloggers blog once a day, others once a week. Blog about art and inspiration. Why do you make your art? How does it make you feel? What are you currently working on? Creating a blog is a great way to build awareness and gain support. Starting a blog can provide the opportunity to educate others interested in your field of expertise.
Chose some platforms and keep posting. Social media has a massive reach and it’s far easier and more convenient to access information. No one platform is necessarily better than the others for promoting your work, all of them will do something to help. The important thing to remember is that it’s called social media for a reason. You have to be sociable. If someone comments on your post it’s good manners to respond, with a “like” and a “thank you”. It’s important that you support other social media users and follow other artists, photographers or any supporters who like, comment on, and share your posts and return the favour. We all need encouragement. It’s important to encourage others. Friends are to be made out there in the online world. Social media is the go-to medium for people to interact.
It’s well worth joining, sharing and developing a following. Pinterest is purely a visual platform where people can create boards and save what you post. The platform is excellent at driving traffic to your website. It is also really good to look at what others are doing and involve yourself in discussions. This platform allows you to express your creativity to a big reach. Pinterest is made for sharing creative, inspiring and visual content. I use Pinterest to find people who like the same things as I do.
Instagram is a great place for artists to sell art due to its image-based interface and video sharing capability. There are possibilities to create and share a series of short videos explaining your art process. You can instantly communicate whatever you’re up to no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Instagram live is great.
Why do I create art?
Because I love it. I make art because there is something inside that needs to get out. Creating art is an emotional journey, selling art online and making money can help fund what you love.
I have a real desire to express what I feel and to create something of great value to myself. You may say that it’s a type of therapy or meditation. Many do art for the pure joy of it. Money is just a bonus, in case anyone else enjoys the value as much as I do.
I hope this post on ‘How to Sell Art Online and Make Money 💰’ was useful. Should you be interested in the possible future of selling art digitally, this post on Non-fungible tokens may be of interest to you.