Are you interested in making money selling your artwork online?
Are you having a difficult time learning how to get your art noticed online?
I have asked artists who have been Featured on Nevue Fine Art Marketing to share with us some of their tips on how to promote art.
In this post, you will learn how to promote art online from artists who have learned throughout the years what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to self-promotion for visual artists.
How To Promote Art – Tips From Successful Artists
I have asked the artists below, “What advice could you share with artists just learning how to sell their art either online or offline?”
This is what they had to say.
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Susan Abell – I would suggest starting small, perhaps one social media channel for sharing your art.
If you already have a regular Facebook page, create a business page just for emphasizing your art.
Look for opportunities in your community to display your art and to get more eyes on your art.
Consider joining a local arts organization to connect with others.
Participate in local art fairs and festivals to help you find your niche market and to collect booth visitors’ emails.
When it comes to navigating the online waters, the best advice I could give would be to avail yourself of all possible resources to learn all you can.
I have found the advice of so many art business and marketing experts to be indispensable. Dave certainly fits into this category!
Read Susan Abell’s interview – Featured Artist of The Month Susan Abell
Erika Farkas – My first advice is to start out with a good artist website.
In our days, it’s very important to project a good front to encourage potential buyers, and not only the online buyers.
Join local art organizations, and through them, you will have the chance of exhibition your work in group or solo shows.
Have a good business card with your contact info and your website, which is very important.
Potential buyers might see one of your works exhibited somewhere, but they might not be ready to buy.
Once they look at your website, learn about you and your other works, they might be more inclined to buy that piece of art.
If you want to sell art online, there are tons of sites where you can join for free and post your artworks.
They will charge a commission if one of your pieces are sold, but so do most art galleries.
Use social media to your advantage, have an artist page on Facebook at least, and using paid advertisement to get more likes is also a good idea.
Selling art these days is not easy, but it’s not impossible. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a while until you sell. You just need perseverance, and in the end, you are bound to get some good results.
Read Erika Farkas’s interview – Featured Artist Of The Month Erika Farkas
Belinda Greb – Don’t think that just because you upload your work online that it’s suddenly going to go viral.
Unfortunately, there’s an unbelievable amount of people hoping for that same thing.
In other words, don’t quit your day job.
Some people are naturals at promoting themselves – more power to them.
I’m not one of them, so I’m not the best person to offer advice on this.
I do think that patience and perseverance are a must.
Relevant keywords are a must.
Social media is a must if you want people to view your work.
Most importantly, keep the focus on improving as a photographer/artist and keeping your passion alive.
Read Belinda Greb’s interview – Featured Artist of the Month Belinda Greb
Richard Macwee – There is a wealth of information online, including your own excellent site here Dave.
Young artists should also try to utilize social media– it can be a terrific promotional tool for your
art and you can make a lot of contacts through it.
Artists copyright is another area that I would recommend looking into.
I always like reading magazine interviews with experienced artists; you can pick up great amounts of information about how they have dealt with the business side of art.
Read Richard Macwee’s interview – Featured Artist of The Month Richard Macwee
Anita Dat – I have learned that depending on where you live it is not always easy to get what you want or need, so sometimes you have to look further and work harder to get there.
But don’t let that get in your way, with the internet, the world is at your fingertips.
Read Anita Dat’s interview – Featured Artist Of The Month Anita Dat
Belette- Do what you like. So simple. Sales are capricious, and there are no guarantees that you are going to sell something only because is fashionable.
Obviously, it is a business, I recommend to use common sense and make your best.
Take it easy and breath: this is a long-term investment. It´s very important to be patient.
There can be very good months and very bad ones, sales are very fluctuating but with time and effort, you get regular sales.
The biggest effort is made at the beginning but it’s worth it.
A small income is always better than none.
It depends on the time you want to dedicate. You are your boss.
Your store is the only place where you put the rules. Be free.
Read Belette Le Pink’s interview – Featured Artist Belette Le Pink
Sabrina – Get organized early and talk to other artists.
You can’t do this alone and the art world is full of competition but also people who are generous and
willing to help out a fellow artist.
It comes down to getting your work in front of people and using the resources available to you.
There are apps out there designed to help us spend more time working on our art rather than on the
computer so go find the ones that work for you and invest in good ones to save yourself more work
Read Sabrina Frey’s Interview – Featured Artist Sabrina Frey
Stacie – I would suggest for new artists to be patient and connect with a mentor who can guide them through the many processes.
Artists need to know their worth and be confident in your value and subsequent pricing.
Use public platforms wisely, educate yourself and use the learning tools the sites offer as a foundation.
Be aware of and become knowledgeable of copyright laws to protect your own work and ensure you
don’t fall into a gray area when creating or selling your art.
Stay true your own hopes, needs, and desires, educate yourself on all aspects of art from creating to
marketing and selling, and don’t be afraid to take risks or ask questions from those who have
There are a host of learning opportunities online free of charge regarding any and all aspects of art.
Finally, don’t worry about what other artists are or aren’t doing, follow and focus on your dream.
Read Stacie Raglione’s interview – Featured Artist Stacie Raglione
Helen – Paint what you like, because you can never predict what people will buy. If you like what you paint then you’ll be inclined to produce more work.
Make sure you know your prices before promoting your artwork for sale. Also, make sure your prices cover all your costs, otherwise you’ll be supplementing your art from another job.
Let all your family and friends know you do art and are looking to sell it. It’s fine to offer a discount to family and friends, but remember you want to make money from your art.
Promote your art on social media platforms, see which platforms work best for you.
Do your research before approaching galleries, are they a good fit?
There is no easy answer to selling art, it takes a lot of work and promoting.
Read Helen Parry’s interview – Featured Artist Helen Parry
Joshua – Always find ways to share your work with the public.
Don’t fear criticism, you can’t avoid it.
Just keep doing what you do best and things will happen.
Read Joshua Lance’s interview – Featured Artist Joshua Lance
Monica – Creating the artwork is important and fun – but it is just as important to spend time on the business end of art-making.
Be organized from the beginning so it’s not too overwhelming. Keep records of the art you plan to sell and devise a number reference system for each piece. Also, learn how to take good photos of your artwork.
Read Monica Vernay’s interview – Featured Artist Monica Vernay
Deborah – Patience! It’s been slow going but I know from reading other’s blogs and articles that patience and practice are key.
Also to keep promoting yourself no matter how uncomfortable that might be.
People quickly forget that painting you posted last month so try to keep putting new stuff up or
blogging to keep their interest and someday they’re going to decide they have to have that one you just
Read Deborah Bergren’s interview – Featured Artist Deborah Bergren
Michele – The main thing is to enjoy whatever it is you’re creating and that there will be ups and downs, but you’ll find your feet eventually. And believe in yourself!
Read Michele Bourke’s interview – Featured Artist Michele Bourke
Tina – Know how you want to present yourself as an artist and stay consistent.
When you decide to use a platform (social media, creating a webpage or business cards) they will be easier to set up and you will have fewer changes to make.
It is more professional and less confusing to others.
Decide where you feel comfortable selling.
You can sell online such as eBay, Etsy or sell in person at a local art show or fair.
Start on one platform at a time so you can prevent feeling stressed and remain professional.
Be patient, but also be prepared to sell your art. Know all about pricing and how to properly package your art for shipment.
If you decide not to display your artwork online, always remember to take great photos of your art for future use.
Read Tina M Dimas’s interview – Featured Artist Tina M Dimas
Tania – Go for it! Put it out there, there will be someone who will want whatever it is that you have created.
I know it’s hard to take that first step, but as long as you are happy with what you have created and you know that you have done your best, then be proud to show the world.
Unless you happen to be fortunate enough to own your own gallery or studio space, then finding out if there are local galleries which are ‘newbie friendly’ is a great help.
Galleries can be very intimidating places, and I have encountered a few which are run by people with vast egos who think that unless you are a member of the Royal Academy, or can show some highbrow qualifications or connections then they all but slam the door in your face.
Well, that’s ok, because while it’s annoying and frustrating, you also know that people like your work and you can tell yourself that it’s the snobs who have lost out on their sales commission.
There are lots of areas which run an Open Studio type event, such as I mentioned earlier.
This is a great way in.
I also think that changing the focus from being ‘I really want a sale’ to being ‘I really want to get my work seen by as many people as I can’, will help save your sanity a little bit!
By finding ways such as donating pieces to local charity fundraiser events, joining shared exhibitions and/or finding galleries which actively promote local artists, you are putting your work in front of an increasing audience, and by doing so you are more likely to get a sale.
It’s also just so satisfying and confidence-boosting to speak to others about your work.
Read Tania Wight’s interview – Featured Artist Tania Wight
Anne – Get as much exposure as possible.
Take a business course.
Say yes to many situations that come your way, keeping in mind who you are as a person.
Read Anne Brawer Schwartz’s interview – Featured Artist Anne Brawer Schwartz
Kirsten – Be more confident than I would be a start!
Believe in yourself and don’t let setbacks get you down. Just keep doing what you love and the rest will fall in to place.
Ask advice from fellow artists in person and via social media.
I am always happy to help if I can! I have learned so much from the amazing group of artists I consider friends on social media.
They are a great source of help, friendship, laughs, support, and encouragement.
My little Cutie book would not exist if it wasn’t for them.
Read Kirsten Sneath’s interview – Featured Artist Kirsten Sneath
Sandra – Perfect your craft.
Value your skill, don’t undercharge. Be humble, always – confident, but humble.
Say yes to opportunities, but do not overcommit.
Look online for shows and galleries, and always read the prospectus or submission rules carefully, and follow them or be immediately disqualified.
Be courteous of other people’s time, and thank them for giving it to you.
Do not try to sell, try to communicate and connect with the viewer, that is when they become a buyer.
Your art should tell a story that touches the viewer– you won’t reach everyone, but some.
Write a description of each piece while it is fresh in your mind, post it with the image.
Always appreciate when someone values your art enough to make it a priority in their budget and their life, this is high praise.
And stay in touch with that new collector, through newsletters and mailings.
Treat them like a friend, and they may become one, as well as collect more of your work.
Read Sandra Pearce’s interview – Featured Artist Sandra Pearce
Julie – If you want to sell through Print on Demand make sure your work can be transferred to digital.
Large paintings, for example, might be difficult to photograph or scan.
So create work specifically for that medium.
After that, I would just say start throwing up as much work as you can and build up a portfolio.
Then start sharing it on social media and find out what is resonating with your audience.
Read Julie Erin’s interview – Featured Artist Julie Erin
Minisa – The art world can be fickle; try to stay patient, persistent, and always true to yourself.
What you love to create may not sell well, and you may sell a lot of items you really don’t like making.
Try to find the balance between passion and paycheck.
A lot of my favorite pieces still haven’t sold, while I’ve sold many designs that I’m not crazy about.
I often work on multiple projects at once and I flip between a passionate project that is personal to me, and then switch to another project that customers like to purchase.
This helps an artist to pursue personal growth while bringing in some cash at the same time.
Try to say “yes” to those opportunities that take you out of your comfort zone.
Each opportunity for you to share your artwork with others is an opening door; you may not know where it will lead, and it might be challenging, but go for it!
There are many successes in my art career that would have never happened if I was too afraid to attempt a new challenge.
Also, know your limits. This may be a contradiction to my previous statement, but there’s a difference between accepting a new and challenging opportunity and taking on more than you can handle.
Be bold, but be smart. Only you know how much you can handle. I’ve experienced “burn-out”, stress and panic as an artist, and none of them are good. Try to look to the future while taking care of yourself today.
Read Minisa Robinson’s interview – Featured Artist Minisa Robinson
Elizabeth – Don’t wait. Just do it!
Learn as you go.
I’m not suggesting you give up the day job until you are established and earning but get out there.
Get your work out there.
Tell the world about your art.
Read Elizabeth Grima’s interview – Featured Artist Elizabeth Grima
Ivan – I think that a new artist should start with friends and family to get the first sales, then build up from there.
Having a portfolio of work both new and sold is very important.
It is hard starting off, and finding a gallery that will exhibit your work is also difficult but there are so many websites and blogs (like your Dave) out there that give inspiration to new artists.
Oh, and of course having a website and a social media profile is essential!
Read Ivan Jones interview – Featured Artist Ivan Jones
How To Market Your Artwork
The best way to learn how to market your art is by learning from others and trying different strategies to see what works for your unique art business.
Not all art marketing plans will work for everyone.
You will have to develop a strategy and see how it resonates with your audience.
If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you will have to be willing to revise your plan.
Know what your objectives are before marketing your art online.
Have a clear idea of:
- What you will be selling
- How much you want to generate per month
- How much you have to sell to reach that goal
- What platforms you will use for marketing your art
Once you know what you are working for you will be able to make better business decisions.
Art Marketing Plan
Your art marketing plan is the goals you set for your art business.
A marketing plan is a comprehensive document or blueprint that outlines the advertising and marketing efforts for the coming year. It describes the business activities involved in accomplishing specific marketing objectives within a set time frame. (Source: Wikipedia)
You will want to create a marketing calendar after developing a blueprint that outlines your marketing efforts for the near future.
Below are some additional resources to help you become a marketing expert so you can reach your goals.
How to Make a Living Selling What You Make online video course by Megan Auman
Build a Successful Creative Blog online video course by April Bowles-Olin
Brand Your Creative Business online video course by Megan Auman
How to Build a Business While Learning Your Craft online video course by Megan Auman
Pinterest Marketing for Makers & Designers online video course by Megan Auman
The Art of Selling What You Make online video course by Tara Gentile
Popular Art Marketing And Sales Tutorials
Are you ready to take your art business to the next level?
Investing in marketing courses and tutorials will maximize your profit and speed up the growth of your business.
Below are some of the most popular art marketing courses that will grow your online art business:
Most Popular – How to Make a Living Selling What You Make by Megan Auman
Most Popular – Build a Successful Creative Blog by April Bowles-Olin
How to Build a Business While Learning Your Craft by Megan Auman
Pinterest Marketing for Makers & Designers by Megan Auman
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