There are more possibilities than ever for emerging artists to sell art. Just browse online and you will find hundreds of ways an artist can make money selling art. But, even though these opportunities are available, they are useless without learning strategies for making money with art.
Recently I shared an article featuring three basic steps to receiving more art sales, which is a prelude to the following selling art tips I am about to share. This is an essential read, especially for emerging artists.
To go there now, before reading on, please click the following link (opens in a new window), and return afterwards.
How to Make Increasing Art Sales
Make a Plan and Set Goals
Make a long term plan to sell art. The first step in an art plan should be to create as much art as possible. Build a large enough collection so that people will have no doubt you are a serious and dedicated artist.
Then, set out to get your art seen. It helps to set goals of where you want to be in a few years time.
For more artist goal setting advice, please visit Goal Setting – How to Achieve Your Goals
Give Your Art Mass Appeal
To reach a much larger audience, the art should have mass appeal. It should be something the general public can relate to, or at least those people who regularly buy art. I am not saying that an artist needs to change their style to sell more art, or even sell out.
But, if you are not selling, and funds are what is needed to continually produce and promote art, some changes may have to be made. Look for general trends in the art world, and find out what people are buying and writing about.
Talk About your Art
Give presentations, demonstrations, and speeches. Practice talking about your art. Try practicing in front of a mirror, or with friends, if not accustomed to public speaking. Write regularly, in a journal about the artworks you are working on at the moment. Create an art blog and start blogging about random thoughts, processes, and works in progress.
Whether it is a certain concept, subject, or theme, an art buyer will appreciate the piece more if they can know what it means, and why you created it. Have some of this conveyed through your artwork title, but try to enlighten an art buyer with a summary of what inspired you, so that they can easily explain it to others who will ask questions.
For more advice on presenting your art verbally, please visit How to Talk About and Sell Your Art
Price Competitively for Art Selling
Pricing art depends on what stage an artist is in their art career. An artist just starting out should never charge the same as someone who has much more experience. Look at the prices of other artists in your stage of artistic development. Visit art galleries or search for prices online. Be able to explain your prices in practical language to anyone who may ask, and never base it on emotions.
For example, tell them your painting took a certain amount of time to create, and materials cost such and such, instead of saying you price it higher because it has personal meaning. Unless they know you, they will not understand the significance of your personal attachment to pricing.
If you can convey that the artwork has a certain tangible value related to the time spent, artistic skill success, cost of materials, etc., the art buyer is more likely to buy the artwork.
For more helpful pricing tips, please visit How to Set Good Prices to Sell Your Art
Try to Give Your Art Value
When a person views an artwork, they often want to buy it because they see something in it that relates to them. They have an emotional reaction to the piece, which stirs them to want to buy it.
There are a lot of things that contribute to the value of an artwork. How it is presented, framing, certificate of authenticity, where it is showcased, all help to increase the perceived value. An artwork displayed in a museum gallery would certainly appear more valuable than one in a coffee shop.
That is not to say you should not display in a coffee shop, especially if you are an emerging artist. It is effective for name recognition.
Create Smaller Artworks
Trying to sell a large scale artwork can be very difficult, especially on the internet. There are several problems we are confronted with. The larger the size, the more difficult it will be to ship. Another problem is expense. Although an artwork may be well worth the asking price, because of time spent painting, cost of materials, etc., the only people who will be able to buy it are people with high paying jobs.
Small artworks, on the other hand, are generally more affordable, and easier to transport, frame, and hang.
For more advice, please visit the comments to this question, Should Artists Create Smaller Paintings to Sell More?
Selling Art on the Internet
Many artists already have their art on the internet, but are having varying degrees of success. The key to success on the internet is to have your very own art website. Like an art studio is a base for creation of art in the real world, an online portfolio functions as a central point on the world wide web. Drive your contacts to your art website by sharing it with your social network circles.
This is essential. Visitors will be very few without sharing, or having a means of others to share your online portfolio website.
For more information on the benefits of an art website, please visit our articles on this topic.
Sharing Your Artist Website with Others
Free Art Portfolio Templates
Have you had any success at selling art online or offline?
If so, do you have any advice to share with emerging artists who visit this art blog?
Graham, Relative to pricing and smaller pieces, I'd love to see some discussion on galleries bringing in so many smaller items that they risk becoming gift shops rather than galleries. I'm seeing it happen in this tight economy where galleries that normally sold only high end art, start showing a lot of smaller, less expensive, crafty-type items at the front of the store. I think that changes the mind set of customers immediately walking in the door. Just as the first 30 seconds of an interview is crucial ... so is customer interaction. I believe the push for a sale -- any sale -- can lead to the long term loss of customers who buy significant art works. I know from my experience that my higher-end glass sculptures do not sell in galleries that also a lot of lower-end pottery items etc. I'd love to hear from high-end gallery owners as my only factual knowledge of art sales has been from coops.ReplyDelete
My wife and I run a seasonal business called "G-G's Gallery & Gifts" at the Resort Village of Manitou Beach. As our name clearly implies, we are marketing to both the art buyer and the gift buyer, not that those two are mutually exclusive. A big part of our business is generated through commissioned artwork and a lot of that is actually intended as 'gifts'. We are coming up to our third season this spring and if the arc of years one and two are any indication, it will be a great season. Our philosophy is to cater to a wide demographic, offering everything from postcard style reproductions of the most popular artwork (we take regular polls with our customers) to original artwork. I think that the idea of catering exclusively to a higher end market is probably not the best business decision in these tough economic times. On the other hand, last season I sold about 15 original paintings and received several (what turned out to be) high-profile commissions. I am pretty sure the reason for this successful season has a lot to do with our imaginative and creative advertising campaign (we spared no expense in creating very eye-catching highway signs) along with our genuinely welcoming spirit and of course the very high quality of the paintings and other products that we offer.ReplyDelete
It is this insistence on very high quality that is drawing in the clientele, along with our friendly and considerate attitudes.
A very high percentage of our visitors have volunteered the feedback that they are 'wowed' by our setting, our attitude and most of all our hospitality.
These human attributes can go a long way towards forging meaningful, ongoing relationships with our visitors that are, of course, also our friends in many instances...or become so.
The last thing we would ever do is set out to cater to a very exclusive clientele, because the reality is, EVERY client wants to be treated as an important, exclusive person and that is what they deserve.
At the same time, we do make a special point of offering 'exclusive' products and services not readily available at any other business in this area and that actually sets us apart in a sense as a special place to visit and patronize. You will not find cheap knock-offs in our store, as 'by association' that would serve no purpose other than to diminish the overall ambiance of the space.
As always, thanks for the great tips and advice! A great outline and motivation for me, as I am trying to do some planning for the future! cheers :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Turtle Creek Art Glass and Michael Gaudet for your awesome contributions to this topic!
Very interesting report by Michael Gaudet. I agree that one should have a variety of prices to suit all tastes, but one needs to be consistent and it helps if customers understand your pricing strategies.ReplyDelete
I am in a haze at this point of my art career. I create mainly oil paintings varying from 8" X 10" to 16" X 20" I have been accepted in a couple of shows (1 juried) and have had no sales. People look, tell me they love my colors and my compositions. Sometimes they view my display for 10 minutes, but they do not buy. My most expensive piece is $250.00 and that includes a custom frame. I really do not have a gauge on what the art buying public is looking for. I have a website, not a community one and getting visitors is a mystery. I have even tried ebay. Same story, I can not get visitors to see my art. Is there a market for original art or is it being replaced by something else? Would you look at my site and tell me if it is good, bad or terrible. Any feed back is appreciated.ReplyDelete
I took a look at your site and most of it seems to be fine. I would suggest a better structured intro page to your site, along with social sharing buttons.
Do you have an email newsletter? I have tutorials for creating a newsletter, which can be found by going to the contents page. I think a newsletter, coupled with your videos and website can really make a difference. You are also welcome to submit for the artist spotlight.. :)
Excellent as always! As a selling artist, I find the social aspect of selling difficult with other artists. I wish it wasn't this way, most artists I know, even friends, don't really want to talk about how or why they price their art a certain way, where they sell well, or anything else that really matters. Its like competing fishermen, they feel sharing will cost them. That is sad, and I feel this is human nature and enjoy these posts because it opens things up to discussion. We are all in this together.ReplyDelete
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