Making money from your art doesn’t have to mean handing it over to a gallery and hoping someone buys it. Thanks to e-commerce and other growing online business models, you can take control of selling your work to art buyers from around the world. Whether you’re looking to quit your day job and create full-time or just make a little cash from your hobby, follow this step-by-step guide to make the most of selling your original art.
1. Find Your Niche
A marketable artist needs a distinct style and niche based on their strengths. Working within a defined style, medium, or theme means customers know what to expect from your work and gives you recognizability power.
2. Learn the Business of Art
Selling art isn’t just about the creating part. Understanding the art business can make a huge difference in your success. There are plenty of good, affordable online courses about managing money and applicable laws for artists.
3. Sell On Art Marketplaces
Fine Art America
Fine Art America is the world's largest online art marketplace and print-on-demand company. Their wares include wall art, tapestries, home decor, apparel, and more. Fine Art America also has sales and marketing tools for artists and photographers to set up their own web stores, sell prints, create email newsletters, and even sell through augmented reality.
ArtPal is a popular online gallery that’s free to join and sell on. You can sell original art, art prints, and use their free print-on-demand service. They also have helpful marketing guides so you can make the most of your sales.
Yes, you can sell your art on Amazon. The eligible types of art for Amazon Art include original paintings, drawings, watercolors, and two-dimensional mixed media, and limited edition photography.
OnlineGallery.art is a fast-growing online art gallery based in the Netherlands and open to artists worldwide. For €4.99 / $9.99 per month artists can exhibit their art and communicate directly with potential buyers.
Artfinder has headquarters in London and Miami and artists from all over the world. It’s more exclusive than most other online art marketplaces. The application process includes submission of your best work and a written statement. Accepted artists can then set up their own storefront and sell original artwork including
- Digital art
They don’t allow posters or reproductions and take a 33% to 40% commission on all sales.
Etsy has been the go-to online marketplace for handcrafted and vintage items since 2005. Etsy charges a nominal listing and transaction fee but it’s easy to set up your shop.
EBay has been a major player in online sales since 1995. Since they have no restrictions based on medium and offer comprehensive support for their sellers, many artists continue to find success there.
Saatchi Art is an online art marketplace for original work and prints of all mediums. Signing up is free and they handle shipping as long as the artist pays for the packaging. They take a 35% commission on each piece sold.
4. Diversify Your Income
When you’re selling art online, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Start with one platform and learn as you go, but branch out later on to other online and offline platforms including
- Teaching workshops or launch a course
- Selling your art in online auctions
- Selling at local craft fairs and art markets
5. Create Your Own Website
Every artist needs a portfolio website. But you can also sell your art directly on your own website or online store instead of or in addition to selling in an online gallery. Your web design should be consistent with your artistic style and represent your brand to potential buyers.
6. Consider Print-on-Demand Products
Print-on-demand websites are an easy way to profit from your work by selling merchandise with your designs printed on them. Just submit your designs and the platform takes care of the rest. Here are are a few good print-on-demand options.
7. Up Your Social Media Game
We both know that your art is cool. But does the public? How do you stand out in a saturated art world? That’s where art marketing comes in. These days, that means building a social media presence that attracts fans. Use social media platforms you’re comfortable with and enjoy to show off your work, post videos of your process, and show a bit of your personality. That way you’ll have a captive audience to sell to.
8. Set Your Prices
There are a number of online tools that can help you price your artwork. They’re a great starting point, but also keep in mind the cost of materials, your years of experience, and previous sales.
9. Know Your Audience
Knowing your target audience is an important part of selling anything. Who are you trying to attract? What are their goals? What are their pain points? What’s their budget? What feedback do they give on social media? Use the answers to these questions to create a buyer persona.
10. Write Compelling Descriptions
A good product description reflects your brand and your target audience. It can really help bridge the gap between what your brand is and who your customers are. The descriptions of your work should reflect the love and passion you put into the work itself.
Good product descriptions can also help your site's SEO. The more visitors your listings get, the more you’ll sell.
How Sav Can Help
Here at Sav, we’re dedicated to helping creators and business owners elevate their passion online. That starts with your own ecommerce website. We make it easy to build and manage your website. Find out how today!