To Sell or Not To Sell?

I recently overheard a conversation between two people, both of whom consider themselves artists.  One was threatening to quit painting altogether because she felt that her art wasn’t selling as quickly as she would have liked, while the other argued that artists shouldn’t create for the sole purpose of selling the work.

While I highly agree with the artist that wants to create for the sake of creating, many artists depend on sales. Ideally, artists are able to create and easily sell their works in order to earn a living and further support their profession.  But there are so many choices that need to be considered and channels through which art can be sold, that it may be intimidating.  And what if sales don’t come so easily?


Here are a few tips to get you started on the path to generating sales:

Promote Yourself Through Social Media

If you google your name and nothing comes up, you are irrelevant.  Artists can’t afford to be irrelevant, so taking the time to utilize social media and create a brand for yourself is vital.  You can’t just sit back and wait to the customer to come calling; you must work to market yourself and your work.  Find more social media tips for artists and gallery owners here.

Know Your Audience

Have a general idea of who would and could buy your work and know where to find them.  This knowledge will help guide other choices down the road, such as which channels to utilize for sales and marketing.

Decide Which Channels to Utilize

Do you want to sell your art directly from your studio or through your website?  Do you want to hire a representative or agent to help you?  Do you want to partner with galleries or other businesses to display your work?  Once you figure out which channel best fits with your work and reaches your intended audience most effectively, create a plan to get your work displayed there. Artsy Shark has a substantial online directory of places an artist can sell his or her work here.

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Have you had success selling your work in the past?  Post a comment below to share your best tips on how to generate sales.


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