Whether you are brand new to creating art or a seasoned pro, selling your own artwork can be intimidating to think about at any level. How do I price my work? Where can I showcase my work? What resources are out there available to me? Today I will dive in and try to help answer these questions and more.
Several years ago when I was first amassing my own art collection I had so many questions. My first art event ever was in Los Angeles in 2015. A very exciting, and slightly intimidating introduction to selling my own artwork. Afterward, my head was filled with so many questions. What do I do next? How can I continue to show my work to new people?
Like most artists, it all started out very, very slowly. But all along the one thing I haven’t stopped doing to this day is asking questions. Whether it is asking artists I have met along my journey or questions I pose to myself. The point is to never stop asking questions. This is so important because things change. And the only way to try and keep yourself relevant is to never stop learning. With YouTube and Google, the free and paid resources for self-learning are limited only by your own time and budget constraints.
There are many ways to get out there and exhibit your artwork. The main one that comes to everyone’s mind is art gallery exhibits. But not all galleries accept public submissions. Some galleries will host a “Call to Artists” for some of their events. These are usually group shows based on a theme. But this is a good way to start a working relationship with galleries on a local and regional level. Solo shows at art galleries are usually reserved for artists with a large collection of work or work based around a topic or theme. So if you are just starting to build up your own collection of art, understand that it may take you a few months or years to create a large enough selection of finished work. Remember that not everything you create will be sellable. Some work will be practice work for a more perfected piece.
Another way to get your work out there is through art and craft fairs. Maybe even farmers’ markets depending on what kind of creative work you make. Some work, even though it is artistic in nature, is only considered to be a craft. Fine art usually involves more time and effort as well as more refined techniques. The important thing is to figure out for yourself who wants to buy the art you are offering. Once you can start to answer those questions for yourself. Then you can focus on going to those types of events to give yourself the best chances of selling artwork.
Besides in-person opportunities to sell your art also consider online sales. There are many avenues to sell online and it can be overwhelming to think about them all. I suggest you start out simple. The main online channel you should utilize is a website of your own. This can be an expensive and long process if you overthink every aspect a website could or should include. But as an artist, it should always be simple. Home page, about the artist page, events page, and an e-commerce page. A blog page is also nice to have if you write your own posts and can stick to some kind of regular content updates.
Beyond a website, there are many social media sites that can be used to sell art. Most can even be connected through your website so that you can import the e-commerce data from your website and not have to build an entirely new store of your content. I suggest you build out a shop on one platform at a time before doing the same on the next one. This will limit your headaches when troubleshooting any issues that may arise. And stick to the platforms you feel will have your target demographics of art buyers. But be wary of taking on too many platforms and losing time to actually make your art. Social media can be a great way to reach new and existing customers. As well as drive new visitors to your website. Which should be one of the main goals for all your online efforts.
Aside from a website and social media, you should also invest time in an email list for marketing to a variety of folks. Emails can be segmented to specific folks in your email list or sent to everyone. Sometimes you only want to let certain people know about new art or certain events you will be at. Being able to stay in touch with these people is vital to maintaining relationships with customers and fans of your work. I travel all over the country for events so sometimes I don’t need to send messages to folks who don’t live in those cities when it’s not relevant to them. A newsletter on a monthly or quarterly basis is also a good practice to use. This is a great way to let everyone know about your recent news and art in one email instead of an email every time.
I hope that this article is helpful in helping answer some of those burning questions you might have had about finding your way as an artist.