There is a preconceived notion that the only way to make a living as an artist is to hand your work over to a gallery owner in the hopes of making a profitable sale. But that’s just one of the many ways to make a living from your art.
The rapid growth and advancement of technology have greatly increased the ease of doing business. The advent of e-commerce has made it possible to buy and sell almost anything online, including artwork. Today buyers and sellers from all across the world meet in virtual marketplaces. You can very easily start selling your art online, promote it, and attract customers from all over the world.
It is possible to quit your day job and make art your full-time career. The “starving artist” is a mere myth and we’re here to show you how to keep it from becoming a reality.
Here are some helpful ways you can start selling your art online straight away.
1. Find Your Niche
Before you start actually selling your work, its good idea to find your niche and your unique style that sets your artwork apart from the rest. This will convey your strengths to your potential clientele and reflect who you are as an artist.
2. Get to Know Your Business
If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to begin a self-study course for art business. Taking an online course has its own advantages, being easily accessible and more affordable.
3. Find the Right Marketplace
A good method for selling your art online is online marketplaces that are specialized in selling and buying art. Amazon is one of the largest e-commerce platforms and its dedicated Art section features some of the best paintings, prints, photography and drawings on the Web. Etsy is another great online marketplace for buying and selling art and other unique goods. And the list goes on! From eBay to DeviantArt to Zazzle, there are countless websites that will offer a market for your work.
4. Don’t Limit Your Selling Options
A good tip to remember is to sell your art on several different platforms. Your art might not sell on a certain website but could do better on another. Selling from different websites creates multiple income streams. You can also sell your art on online auctions, in crafts fairs and in online galleries. But whatever you choose, make sure you research them and pick only the ones that are trusted and reputable.
5. Get Your Website in Shape
If you don’t want the involvement of an intermediary, you can sell your work on your own website. But whether you sell your work in an online gallery or elsewhere, it's a good idea to have your own website anyway. The design of your site should reflect your style and act as a showcase for potential buyers and admirers of your artwork. It should feature your best work and be a virtual representation of your brand.
6. Consider Print-On-Demand
Print on demand websites are also becoming increasingly popular platforms for artists and designers to profit from their art. Once you’ve uploaded a high-quality image of your artwork, it can be printed on just about anything. The best part is, after you’ve submitted your work, the website takes care of the rest.
7. Get Social Media Savvy
You’ll also find that it’s a lot easier to sell your work if you use social media to connect and engage with the people who’ll buy your work or help you sell it. Use Blogs, Facebook and Twitter to tell people about the new art you've produced, or make an Instagram page displaying your best work. But don’t just go about with mindless self-promoting. Rather, give your audience a sense of who you are as a person and not just as an artist. This will help them build trust and confidence in you and your work.
8. Know Your Worth
When pricing your art, do a good bit of market research and compare the prices of similar existing work. This will make sure you don’t underprice or overprice your artwork.
9. Make Professionalism A Priority
Firstly, make the payment process easy and secure. If you’re accepting payments online you need a very secure eCommerce site for people to feel safe and confident about buying your work online. Also, make sure you are compliant with the policies on returning goods and getting refunds. Another thing to keep in mind is, don't start selling until you've worked out how you are going handle packaging and shipping and make sure you’re very clear on where you are willing to ship to.
10. Get Smart with the Law
Selling art online means you must know, understand and observe the law and e-commerce regulations. So do your homework on any and all relevant laws - ignorance is no excuse!
11. Know Your Customer
It is also important to understand who your online consumers are and what they’re looking for in their search for online art. You need to know who it is you’re trying to attract and what exactly it is that they want. This will inspire you to create art that sells.
12. Describe Your Work with The Love You Put into It
Lastly, since you will be making a virtual sale and not a physical one, it is very important to communicate the value of your work to your customers. Describing your art and the materials used to produce it would help people to better understand the quality of your artwork.
It is possible to create the kind of art you want to make and still earn good money doing it. The Web allows you to sell directly to your fans and reach new audiences of potential buyers. You can cut out the middleman and become the exclusive dealer of your work. There is enormous potential in online sales. With careful and strategic use of the Internet, the possibilities are limitless.
What's your biggest tip for selling art online? Tell us below
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suki Zhang founded LoveFunArt in 2015. She has previous work experience as a Marketing Coordinator and an Art Curator Assistant. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Art Design from Donghua University and completed her postgraduate studies in Marketing Management and Professional Sales from Lambton College.