Many artists do not even give a thought to whether an artwork will sell, while creating it.

For myself,  the thought doesn't even enter my mind during the creative process.

But if we are hoping to sell artworks at all, it is very important to spend a chunk of time doing practical things to ensure our art sells.

Without some of these, our artworks will just sit at home or in our studios and not be seen by anyone.

As time is of the essence for many artists, and it can be difficult to focus on both marketing and creating art, I usually recommend setting aside time for exclusively promoting art, aside from your studio time.

Please find advice in this area here: Time Management Tips for Artists

Practical Advice to Help in Selling Art

  1. Contact art galleries. The function of art galleries are to display artworks and often to promote and sell the art. Don't be shy about approaching them. Things you can do now is write up a standard contact letter (make it short and to the point) and gather a series of about 10 pieces which accurately represent your work. Then, email it to art galleries in your area (find the contact info. on their websites). Even if they don't get back to you right away, at least they will know you exist as an artist. Please check out this useful article for more advice in this area: How to Contact an Art Gallery for the First Time.

  2. Start your own Facebook page. Starting a Facebook page is very easy. Once you have named it, uploaded a cover photo and profile picture, and invited a few friends, begin adding some of your artworks. Let your friends on your Facebook profile know about your new page. Be sure to login daily (at least for a while) and reply to comments and likes of your artworks. Here are a couple good articles containing advice for obtaining likes on Facebook pages. How to Get Likes for Facebook Pages and Tips to Get Facebook Fans

  3. Become a member of art leagues and organizations in your area. There are many advantages of doing so. With many, you will receive a regular newsletter with new events, art gallery showings, art competitions, artist grants, residencies and other opportunities. Some leagues have their own group shows whereby member artists may submit their artworks. Plus, becoming a member of such groups is often one of the requirements of obtaining an artist grant.

  4. Get a website to display your art. Websites can be one of the most important assets of successful artists, and its also very convenient. When contacting a gallery for the first time, share your website link. They will instantly know you are an artist who is serious about the advancement of your art career. Also, its something that is easy to include in email footers, social profiles and with anyone who enquires about your art. In this way, it can function as sort of a hub for all your online and offline activities. If you are serious about advancing your art career and starting that website, here is where we recommend to start: Wix.

  5. Take a business course and setup your own small business. Business is not a passion of many artists, but if you are hoping to sell something (your art), that is a business. You should know about tax laws and business regulations in your area. There are many traditional business practices which can be applied to selling art, such as branding, advertising and accounting. A business course will help you learn all these things, and give you the mindset to making money from your art.

  6. Read a book on art promotion. This will help you focus on what you have to do to sell art as well as learn about all that is needed in selling art. There are two practical guides we recommend: Art and Money and Designed to Sell.

  7. Develop a business plan. This will be a long term plan of what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there. Break it up into small increments or goals. Include all your expenses such as cost of art materials and courses. Also include prices for finished pieces, who your intended audience will be and how you plan on marketing to them. Refer to this often, and adjust it as your art career evolves.

  8. Get the media involved whenever you can. If you do an artwork for charity, contact the local newspaper and/or radio station. Also do the same for art gallery showings if they have not already done so. The media can help a lot in getting many people interested in your art, who might not have seen it otherwise.
I know all this may seem overwhelming, but just take it one step at a time. Focus on one thing first. With time, hopefully you will see continued and growing success in your art career.

Do you have anything to add for helping artists sell art? Please leave a comment below.

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