How to Sell Your Art

Artist lifestyle. Painting hobby. Imagination and inspiration. Talented woman creating beautiful watercolor floral design.

It’s the dream of just about every artist—making a living off your creativity and selling your artwork. But how do you get started and set yourself up for success? It can be an intimidating endeavor, but we’re here to give you a few helpful tips that will prepare you for the next step in your artistic career.

  1. Curate Your Body of Work

    First things first, you’ll want to make sure that you have a solid body of work that reflects your skills and style as an artist. It should be consistent and cohesive so that your viewers and potential clients have a good idea of your abilities.

  1. Build a Good Website

    Having a central landing place for collectors and galleries to go helps drive sales. There are many resources online that make building a stunning website easy, even if you have no prior experience. Consider platforms like Wix or Squarespace to help build your online portfolio and showcase your work.

  1. Get the Best Possible Photos of Your Work

    Good photography is essential when it comes to marketing your art. This could mean buying your own camera equipment or getting your work professionally photographed. If you have your own equipment, learn how to properly edit your photos to get the most out of your images and capture the beauty of your art.

  1. Build a Social Media Following

    Many artists gravitate toward Instagram because of its image-based platform, but there are several outlets that may work better for you, so it’s best to do a bit of research. A lot more sales happen through social media than you might think!

  1. Approach Galleries You Want to Work With

    It’s important to properly research galleries beforehand to make sure that they’re a good fit for you and your art. In other words, you’ll want to make sure your work doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb against the other work in the gallery. You’ll also want to ensure that they have good business practices, as unfortunately it’s not unheard of that a gallery will have poor, dishonest practices. Thorough research can help you avoid the risk of losing your work or profits to a poorly run gallery.

  1. Get Into an Entrepreneurial Mindset

    Creating artwork is like wearing your heart on your sleeve, but if you’re trying to make a living on it, you also have to be an entrepreneur. Your art will be your business, so it must be treated as such. Register your business through the government and read up on the tax laws that pertain to artists. Make sure to keep track of where and how much your work is—it’s surprising how quickly things like this can get mixed up. Also, do some research on similar artists to compare their price points, and consider investing in equipment and spaces that allow you to create your best work.

  1. Get Involved in Local Artist Communities

    One of the best ways to sell your work or reach potential collectors is by word of mouth. Put yourself out there by attending events, gallery openings, art fairs, pop-up markets, and getting involved in your local art scene. A little networking can go a long way when it comes to meeting other local artists, gallery owners, and art collectors.

  1. Enter Art Competitions

    Competitions are a great way to get exposure for your art and may even give you accolades that can be added to your portfolio. Whatever medium you work with, some quick research on Google will show you just how many art competitions are out there. There are even several national competitions that often offer cash prizes, magazine articles, and studio equipment for the winners—all of which only help you create more.

  1. Work at Your Absolute Best

    As an artist, you should always keep striving to be better. With this mindset, you’ll be confident in what you’ve produced, but humble enough to be able to self-critique—the skill needed above all others to grow as an artist.

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