One surefire sign of success as an artist lies in the ability to sell your work. And that’s no easy feat. It involves finding places to display your art for sale and creating a buzz around it to capture the attention of prospective buyers. So, where do you start?
From selling platforms and marketing tips to managing your inventory; we’ve put together a list of handy resources to help you turn your art into a profitable creative business.
1. Art Biz Success
Art Biz Success is run by art business coach Alyson Stanfield. Over at Alyson’s website, you’ll find a plethora of advice and tips for marketing your work, getting recognised and building a profitable business. As well as a range of online business programmes, there are tons of blog articles to read – as a starting point, you can download a free guide on pricing your art.
2. The Artist Business Plan
A weekly podcast for artists and art entrepreneurs, The Artist Business Plan is a constant stream of art business tips. It’s hosted by Alex and James, who offer straight-talking advice to help you grow your business and attract the attention of collectors.
3. Lori McNee (Fine Art & Tips)
Lori McNee is an American artist whose work covers still life, landscapes, nature and plein air oil paintings. She’s also an author, blogger, social media influencer and art educator. On Twitter, Lori shares helpful fine art tips and business strategies learned during her career. She also offers a range of workshops and masterclasses where you can learn all sorts of painting techniques. Read Lori’s blogs.
4. Art Money Success
This is a highly popular book by Maria Brophy that includes a range of art business strategies and non-conventional wisdom to help you boost your art sales. You’ll learn how to connect with the right buyers, how to license your art and sell it, how to negotiate nicely and much more. Art Money Success scores 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon and has achieved many excellent reviews from working artists that have used the book to transform their art business.
5. Empty Easel
Another good place for finding art business tips is Empty Easel, a website that helps new or unknown artists reach a wider audience. The site is also for art lovers looking to hone their skills and knowledge through tutorials and educational articles. As an artist, you can ask for your work to be showcased to get more exposure.
Also from the creator of Empty Easel is Foliotwist – a simple website builder for artists. While there are lots of web builders out there, like Wix, WordPress and Jimdo, this one really makes creating a website a piece of cake. The reason being, the setup process is pretty much hands-off.
The team at Foliotwist create your website for you after you send them a few photos of your art. Then they walk you through how to add more artwork to your site and manage it yourself going forwards. There’s a one-off fee of $59 for the website to be built and then a recurring fee of $19 per month for hosting.
7. Artwork Archive
Artwork Archive is an online platform that can help you organise and accelerate your creative business. You can upload and share your artwork, track inventory and sales, and generate reports. There’s also a stack of blog articles and resources that provide tips and insights to help you achieve your business goals.
Artfinder is an online marketplace that helps independent artists make money doing what they love while enabling art seekers to discover and buy original art, whatever their taste or budget. Through the platform, you can set up an online store and gain exposure to an international audience of over 500,000 art lovers. Payments are managed through Artfinder and a 33% or 40% commission is charged for each sale made. Commissions are reinvested back into artist promotion.
This is a website where you can share your art and sell your designs on all sorts of products, like prints, wall art, phone cases, tote bags, mugs and even home furnishings. Society6 aims to empower all creators, so whatever your medium – paintings, illustrations, photography or pattern designs – you can sell your work.
Society6 takes care of fulfilment, printing and shipping, so this is a relatively passive way of making money from your art. You’ll earn 10% of the retail price on most product types. But for art prints, canvas prints and framed prints, you can set your own markup.
Focused on fine art, Artsy is a selling platform geared up for galleries, art fairs and other institutions. It’s a leading marketplace for collectors to discover and buy work at auction from emerging, established and blue-chip artists. At the time of publishing this article, Artsy doesn’t partner with artists directly, but if you’re already represented by a gallery, you can ask them to join.
Wondering what to read next? Browse the Journal, or if you’re just starting out, check out our Masterclass on Legal Basics for Creative Businesses. It covers topics such as choosing the right business structure, intellectual property rights and more. You’ll need to be a member to access our Masterclasses – find out more about joining Creative Entrepreneurs.