Have you been contemplating on selling prints of your original artwork? In this article, you will discover, how to sell art prints online and make money.
Sell Art Prints Online
Do you love being an artist?
I can not think of anything I would rather do than to create art and have someone own my work to enjoy in their home.
I have been selling art online since the early 2000’s and I have enjoyed every second of it. I am not going to lie and say it is easy. You will want to learn everything you can about digital marketing so you can make an online presence. If you are willing to put in the time you can do very well selling your art online.
The opportunities for artists to generate an income selling art online is better than ever. There are almost 4 billion internet users in the world. Over one billion people are on Facebook. As long as you have a computer and internet access, you have everything you need to have your art seen by many people all around the world.
I know you will enjoy waking up in the morning realizing you made a sale while you were sleeping.
It is an amazing time we are living in and there is no better time to be an artist.
Who Should Sell Art Prints Online
Many artists feel that if they sell prints of their original artwork, the value of their work diminishes.
Other artists feel that generating extra income from a piece of artwork that has been sold helps them when times are tough.
No answer fits all in this situation. It totally depends on your vision and mission.
You might decide to only sell your original art part-time at craft shows or fairs.
Maybe you want to make some extra money so you can afford vacations every year. In that case, you might want to sell prints of your original artwork.
Maybe you will only want to sell prints after the original art has been sold, and that is ok.
You might want to offer prints so people who can’t afford your originals can still enjoy your work.
As you can see there are many different views.
Take some time and think about your goals. Where you would like to be in five ten or even ten years from now.
Ask yourself, “Is selling prints right for me?”
You will be the only person who can answer that question. There is no right or wrong answer. You can always change your mind in the future. If you are selling prints now and you decide in five years it will be better for your career if you don’t sell prints all you have to do is stop offering them.
There is no right or wrong answer. You can always change your mind in the future. If you are selling prints now and you decide in five years it will be better for your career if you don’t sell prints all you have to do is stop offering them.
The answer you give today is not etched in stone. Your business decisions will change as your business grows.
If you are ready to start selling prints of your art online and make some money, continue reading. You will learn everything you need to know to get your art prints seen around the world.
Preparing Your Artwork for Prints
For you to be able to sell prints of your art, you will need to photograph or scan your art.
The options available for you to make money from your original art are endless.
You have the opportunity to sell art prints online and generate extra income while you are waiting for your original artwork to sell.
Different ways to sell Pints of your art:
- Framed art
- Merchandise like mugs, shirts, calendars, keepsakes etc.
- Greeting cards
Before you can start making money selling prints you have to digitize your artwork.
Here are two ways you can create a digital image of your art.
If your art is larger than A4 paper (A4 paper measures 11.69 inches x 8.27) you will need to photograph your art.
Taking a picture of your artwork can be a challenge. You might want to consider hiring a professional photographer if you are having difficulties.
The other option you have is to learn how to photograph your art yourself or ask someone you know to do you a favor.
Keep in mind, art sells because of the quality of the image representing the art. People can not see the art in person or touch the work if they are shopping online. They will have to trust the image that is being showcased.
You have an opportunity to sell art prints online to people around the world. The quality of the images you showcase and print will be the reason why it will sell or not sell.
If you are going to be taking photos of your artwork you will want a decent camera. It is an investment but it will be cheaper than hiring someone to photograph your artwork.
Visit 3 Best Digital Cameras For Photographing Artwork to learn about cameras that might be best for you.
Photographing Art Tips:
Don’t place your art in direct sunlight or use a flash.
Photograph your art in the shade or a well light room with natural light.
Line up your art so it will be easier for you to crop.
Take multiple pictures using different lighting. Digital images are free and you can easily delete the ones you will not be using.
Here are a couple of articles to help you learn more about photographing your art:
The quality of your image will determine if your artwork will sell or not. You might want to consider spending some time learning how to take pictures like the pros.
The time you spend learning will greatly increase the chance of you landing a sale. Practice makes perfect. The more you do something the better you will be. Do not get discouraged at first. You will be learning as you go.
The good news is, if you do not like the images you took, you can take another one at no extra cost. That is the great advantage of digital cameras. You can take endless photos at no cost. When you capture the perfect shot, start making prints and post them online.
Editing Your Digital Image
You will need to crop, resize for print and adjust the contrast and color to get your image to look as beautiful as your art does in real life.
Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom (Amazon Affiliate Link) provide the best photography tools to organize, edit and enhance your photos.
You will need to crop, resize for print and adjust the contrast and color to get your image to look as beautiful as your art does in real life.
Adobe Photoshop is a powerful software and will take some time to learn everything you will need to know about enhancing your images.
The end result will be well worth the time you invest in learning the software.
How Do I Do That in Photoshop? The Quickest Ways to Do the Things You Want to Do, Right Now! (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Photoshop: Absolute Beginners Guide To Mastering Photoshop and Creating World Class Photos (Amazon Affiliate Link)
If your art is smaller than A4 paper, you will be able to scan your art.
I use and recommend the Epson Perfection V600 Color Photo, Image, Film, Negative & Document Scanner – Corded. (Amazon Affiliate Link) for scanning my graphite drawings.
- 6400 x 9600 dpi for enlargement up to 17” x 22”
- Scan slides
- Removes appearance of tears, creases, dust, and scratches
- Scans in greyscale
- Scans 9 x 11 paper
Read, How to Share Your Drawings Online for more information on how I scan my artwork and the tools I use.
After you have a digital image of your artwork, you will be able to reproduce your work.
The options you have are, printing the images yourself, using a printing service or using a POD site.
There are pros and cons for each, and you will need to determine what will be the best for you.
How to Sell Art Prints Online
You have a few different options when it comes to printing your art.
You can have a local printing service make prints of your digital images. The downside of using a professional printing service is that you will have to come up with the money upfront. If your prints do not sell you will be out of the money you spent.
Another option is to make prints yourself. There are professional printers available at very reasonable prices. The positive for printing your own prints is that you do not have any inventory. If someone orders a print online all you have to do is print the image and ship it. After you have covered the cost of the printer everything is profit minus the cost of the paper and ink.
The other option is to use a POD service.
A POD service allows you to sell your prints with no upfront costs. People will purchase directly from the POD site.
The POD site will collect the money, print the item and ship the product directly to the customer. All you do is wait for your commission to be sent to you. The profit is low using a POD service but you have nothing to lose. This might be an option you might want to look into if you are just starting.
After you decided how you will be printing your artwork, you will need to decide where you would like to promote and sell your art online.
There are many options that are available for you.
You can sell your prints at craft shows, fairs or online.
Even though more art is being sold online, it is still a challenge for many artists to be noticed online and land a sale.
You need to build an audience, build relationships, build trust and have images that accurately represent your work.
Sell Art Prints Online – Websites
If you are selling your art online, you might want to consider owning a website. You will have total control of your site and you will have the option to sell original art as well as prints of your art.
If you are just starting out and you are not familiar with WordPress or building websites from scratch, you can start an Etsy shop very quickly and start selling original art and prints online in no time.
Etsy is a third-party site that was created for artists to sell originals. Etsy quickly built a large following. Collectors around the word learned that they could find unique original art and crafts from artists around the world.
In the beginning, Etsy would only allow artists to sell original artwork from the platform. Over time Etsy decided to allow artists to sell prints of their original art.
Art collectors will be able to view and purchase your art directly from your Etsy Shop. You will have to produce and ship the prints to your buyers.
For a step by step guide on starting your Etsy store visit, How to Open an Etsy Store Step by Step.
Are you ready to start your Etsy Shop?
Starting an Etsy Store can be intimidating and confusing, I wanted to make it an easy process for you so you can start selling your artwork. There are 6 videos that will go over everything from start to finish. I will walk you through step by step. There is also a PDF that you can download and print with some extra valuable information.
- Video 1 Intro with PDF
- Video 2 Shop Preference Page
- Video 3 Name Your Shop
- Video 4 Add Items to Your Store
- Video 5 Select a Payment Method
- Video 6 Set up Billing
- Open Your Store
Print Your Art
If you are going to sell on a platform like Etsy, craft shows, fairs or you just think it will be more profitable for you, you will need to print your own prints or have a company print your work for you.
It is easy for anyone to produce high-quality prints and it has become very affordable.
Once you have paid off the printer your profit margin will be much higher than working with a POD site.
Epson Artisan 1430 Wireless Color Wide-Format Inkjet Printer (C11CB53201) (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Epson Stylus Photo 1400 Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer (C11C655001) (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II Inkjet Photo Printer (3295B002) (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Epson Stylus Photo R2880 Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer (C11CA16201) (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Fine Art Giclee Printing Paper:
Hahnemuhle William Turner 310gsm Deckle Edge 8.5″ x 11″ – 25 sheets Available in different sizes. (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308gsm Deckle Edge – 8.5″ x 11″ – 25 sheets Available in different sizes. (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Hahnemuhle German Etching 310gsm 11″ x 17″ 25 Sheets Available in different sizes. (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Hahnemuhle Museum Etching 350gsm 13″ x 19″ 25 Sheets Available in different sizes. (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Hahnemuhle Fine Art Bamboo Fiber Natural White, Smooth Warm Tone Inkjet Paper, 290gsm, 8.5×11″, 25 Sheets Available in different sizes. (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta 325, Ultra Smooth High Gloss, Bright White Inkjet Paper, 325gsm, 8.5×11″, 25 Sheets Available in different sizes. (Amazon Affiliate Link)
11 x 17″ Photo Rag Baryta Fine Art Paper (25 Sheets) Available in different sizes. (Amazon Affiliate Link)
The other option you have is to sell art on Third Party POD websites.
POD sites (Print on Demand) are companies that will do all of the transactions with your buyers, print the product and ship it directly to the buyer. You will not make as much of a profit selling your art with Pint on Demand services but there are no upfront costs and you will not have to do any extra work.
Popular POD Sites:
One thing that makes Art Storefronts stand out from other POD services is that they will pay you immediately after a sale, Some POD services will pay you monthly of you have to reach a required limit before getting paid.
Orders are printed on archival-quality inks and media.
Fine Art America is a name know by artists and photographers around the world.
Prints are available on:
Art prints, posters, canvas art, framed art prints, metal prints, acrylic prints wood prints, paintings, drawings, photos, digital art, greeting cards and mixed media.
Fine Art America has recently started printing on merchandise on tech items, homes décor, and bags.
The next few POD services are similar to Art Storefronts and Fine Art America. Take a few minutes to look at what each service has to offer before you decide on signing up for an account.
These next POD services are a little different than the ones above. Redbubble, CafePress and Zazzle are known for providing prints on over 100 different items.
Many artists have made a lot of money selling prints online with these services.
If you are planning on selling your art online long-term, you might want to consider owning a website. You will have total control of your sites look, feel and you will have the option to sell original art as well as prints of your art. The possibilities are endless.
I recommend beginners to learn how to build a presence online with a platform like Etsy, and learn everything about building a WordPress site and digital marketing. In the long run, you will be better off building a business on land you own versus building a business on rented land.
While you are operating your Etsy shop you can start becoming familiar with all of the tools I use for my online business by visiting Art Marketing Resource.
How to Price Your Artwork
If you want to sell your art prints and make a profit you will need to become familiar with the market. Take some time to research what people are paying for art prints and what artists are charging who have a similar artistic style as you.
The information you gather will give you a good idea where your pricing should be. Many artists price their artwork without knowing what people are willing to spend. After some time when their prints are not selling, they start to change the prices. Changing the prices of your artwork on a regular basis will only confuse your audience and scare off potential buyers.
A more productive plan will be to learn how much your artwork is worth and price it accordingly. Keep in mind your art is only worth what someone is willing to spend. Do not price your art with your emotions.
To create excitement, you might want to consider holding specials throughout the year. Providing specials will help you to generate extra income while showing the buyers your regular prices. The buyers will feel they are receiving a discount instead of becoming confused with sporadic price changes.
Here are some articles that will help you with pricing your artwork:
Online Marketing Strategies
It does not matter what platform you are going to use to sell art prints online. For you to see any type of results you will need to learn how to market and promote your art online.
You can have the most beautiful art in the world and if no one knows it exists it will not sell.
Selling art online is easier than you think. It does take work but you do not need to have a marketing degree in order for you to be successful selling your art online.
Are you new to selling art online?
There are five areas you will want to become familiar with so you can build a solid art business foundation.
Once you know what to focus on your job will become easier. Focusing and putting your energy into these five areas will separate you from your competition.
To make this learning process easier for you I came up with Sell Art Online Startup Plan.
The Sell Art Online Startup Plan is absolutely free and packed with easy to understand information to help you build a solid foundation for your business.
It does not matter if you would like to sell art online for extra spending money or if you are trying to build a career being an artist, you will want to take some time and become familiar with the startup plan.
Schedule sometime during the week for learning about all of the different types of online marketing strategies available. You will not be able to learn it all in one sitting. Learn what will be productive for your business today and build on it.
There are a few key online marketing strategies you will want to learn about so you can build brand awareness and drive traffic to your listings.
Are you ready to make some money?
Don’t make the same mistakes many artists are making.
They think that just because they have a good image of their work online, it will sell.
Uploading an image of your artwork is just the first step.
You need to promote your listing. People will not buy your art if they do not know it is available for sale.
You will want to schedule some time during the week to promote your art. Decide how much time will work best for your schedule and stick to it.
Keep in mind artists spending time on their art marketing plan are going to reach more people than artists not spending time on marketing.
Do you want to sell art online, or do you want to be the artist who just says they have art available for sale online?
Selling art prints online can become a good source of income for you. Many artists are taking advantage of all the tools now available to generate income being an artist.
Not only can you have people around the world see your art, you can also sell art prints online with no upfront costs.
Like you have heard me say many times, “This is a great time to be an artist.”
If you decide on selling, prints read the articles included in this post to help get you started.
You might also be interested in:
- How to Sell Paintings and Make Money
- When to Increase Art Selling Prices
- Art Marketing 101 Build a Strong Foundation
- Selling Art Like a Pro Best Strategies
- How to Sell Art Online with Pinterest
Graphite Art by Dave Nevue