How to Sell Paintings: A Beginner’s Guide
As an artist, one of the most common questions I get asked is how to sell paintings. It’s a tough question to answer because there are so many different ways to go about it. There are online platforms, brick-and-mortar galleries, art fairs…the list goes on. And then you have to think about pricing your artwork, which can be its own challenge.
In this post, I’m going to share some tips on how to sell paintings, find the right price, and promote your paintings online. Hopefully, this will give you a starting point if you’re looking to sell your work but don’t know where to begin.
How to Sell Paintings – Guidelines for Success
Selling Artwork – How to Develop Good Communication Skills
Being a successful artist is about being able to effectively communicate with your audience and being patient with the process.
One of the best ways to get your foot in the door is by spending time at art galleries, art shows, and other relevant events that will put you in touch with other artists and potential buyers.
Even if no one buys your art now, there’s always a chance they will in the future. Stay connected with your community and let them know what you’re up to – it could pay off down the line.
As an artist, it’s important to let your audience know that your work is for sale and how they can purchase it. Keep developing your skills to seal deals with collectors, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way. Be flexible in your approach to best serve your community of supporters.
Be aware of the different ways that collectors, galleries, curators, and art advisors work. Each one has their own individual needs, and the best way to establish a good working relationship is to be upfront and honest about your own needs. By doing this, you can create a mutually beneficial arrangement that works for everyone involved.
Now get out there and start making those connections!
How to Sell Your Artwork
Art sales can be a challenging process, but they can also be an exciting one.
I’ve been in the art business for more than 7 years, starting out as an independent artist, then as the co-owner of and director at an art gallery, and now as the owner and director of my own art gallery.
What I’ve learned from years of selling art is that it takes a lot of time and energy to get someone to actually buy your work. It’s not an easy process, but if you’re persistent and have faith in your art, you will eventually find success.
As you try out different sales tactics, remember to keep an open mind, be yourself, and have fun with the process. You never know what new opportunities might arise!
How to Promote Your Art on Social Media
The best way to let people know about your art is to create an online presence. You can do this by using social media, word of mouth, and print ads.
If you’re looking to promote your art, social media is a great way to do so. Not only is it free, but it’s quick and easy to set up and can help you reach a wide audience.
Lots of artists, including myself, have generated sales from Instagram without ever having shown their work in a physical art gallery.
Personally, I love following social media accounts that give me a glimpse into the artist’s unique personality. I feel like I get to know the artist on a more personal level and it makes their work all the more special to me.
When it comes to social media, I believe that it’s important to be true to yourself. By taking a more casual approach to your posts, you can let your personality shine through and avoid the pressure of creating an image that doesn’t reflect who you are. This will help build a connection with your audience and make them more likely to engage with your work.
Besides just sharing your own art, there are many ways to actively engage your fans on social media.
Art is subjective, and I believe that all artists should be free to post their work, whether it’s in the form of a formal review, a flyer for an upcoming event, or a candid photo from your critique.
While using social media is a great way to reach a wide audience, another way to put your work out there is by actually putting yourself out there.
Always introduce yourself first, even if you’re not currently working.
It all comes down to the fact that you’re your own best salesperson. Simply telling people that you produce art will prompt them to ask you what your work is, and where they can see it. You’re good to go!
This allows you to invite people into your recording studio to show them what you’ve made.
Displaying your works
A portfolio website is absolutely necessary for freelancers. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just functional.
When visiting artist websites, I look for clear presentations of artists’ work. This should include well-captioned images of their artwork, up-to-date resumes, any press coverage, and brief statements about their practices. Having all of this information easily accessible makes it easier to learn more about the artists and their art.
Artist websites should be designed with the user’s experience in mind. Viewers should be able to easily navigate through the website, viewing artwork without difficulty. This keeps the viewer engaged, and allows them to enjoy the work.
Keeping track of your progress
If you don’t have access to a good camera and aren’t confident with your photo-taking abilities, try finding someone to help you. It’s best to avoid only documenting your projects through smartphone photos.
If you’re unable to hire a photographer, try asking another photographer you know if you can trade. Oftentimes, other photographers are more than happy to exchange work, and this is a great way to get free, professional photos of your art.
There are plenty of ways to practice your pitch that don’t involve spending a ton of money.
If some of your work is difficult to capture in a photograph, make sure to have plenty of close-ups and detailed shots of your work so viewers can see what the piece looks like up close. Include multiple photos of different angles.
If you want to showcase your artwork, you need images that are high quality and show off all the nuance and detail.
One final thing to remember when documenting your art: always photograph your pieces before shipping them off to galleries or clients. You never know what may happen to your work in the future, so it’s best to have a record of it.
Sell your artwork directly through your website
If a potential buyer is interested in your work, don’t make it difficult for them to contact you. By providing a clear, up-to-date, and easy-to-find email address, you can eliminate any barriers that might otherwise get in the way of making a sale.
If you want to sell your work online, you may choose to use an online store.
This can be tricky, as you’ll need to set up a payment portal through a third-party service like Paypal or Stripe. This does allow you to accept payments from your customers, but you’ll have to give a portion of your earnings to the third party.
However, there are benefits to allowing website visitors to make purchases without having to email you directly. This can streamline the process and make it more convenient for potential customers.
An online store makes it easier for potential buyers to see your work and your pricing. This saves you time and avoids any awkward conversations.
Keep your store separate from your documentation, so it doesn’t feel like you’re selling a digital yard sale.
An online shop is a great way for artists to get their names out there. By offering products such as zines, art prints, stickers, or shirts, you can appeal to a wider audience than if you were only making $500+ pieces.
How to Price Your Art
In the world of fine art, the value of a piece is determined by a variety of factors, including its history, the selling price of past works, its size, and the cost of production. There is no one “right” way to determine the value of your work.
An emerging artist should keep their works priced low when selling online to make more sales.
While people may be willing to spend $50 on a 10″ x 10″ sketch, they are less likely to purchase a 40″ x 40″ $1,000 oil painting without seeing it first.
As you progress, your rates should gradually rise. Once you leave school, you will be considered a professional artist, and your fees should reflect that.
The more sales you make, the more you can charge, but do this slowly.
As you continue to make more sales and close more deals, be ready to offer discounts on larger orders. For instance, if you have ten 40 x 40 paintings and someone is interested in buying two of them, consider offering a $1,500 discount for both.
As a gallery owner, I allow each of my artists to offer 10% off for buyers interested in a single piece, 15% off for people interested in two pieces, and 20% off for anyone interested in three pieces. In addition, I offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
This formula can change depending on the collector and the work.
When setting your prices, make sure to consider how much the materials cost, as well as how long it took you to create each piece. If each of your drawings cost you $20 in materials and took you two days to make, then a $50 price tag may not be appropriate. Talk to other artists, gallery owners, or teachers for their advice on what to charge for your pieces.
Looking at other artists’ pricing is a great way to get a sense of how much you should charge.
You can find out how much art costs by browsing the artworks on the artist’s website, or by asking to see the price list at their gallery show.
Research the sales of similar artists to help you price your own artwork.
On working with galleries
When selling to art galleries, remember that they will usually take 50% of the profit of any sales.
If you’re looking to get your work in front of a larger audience, working with galleries can be a great option. While you’ll typically only earn 50% of the sale price, galleries can help you reach buyers that you might not have access to on your own.
They may be able to sell your drawings for $2,000 since they know what their clients’ needs are, and can help you gain new clients.
When working with galleries, be sure to have everything agreed upon and written down. This will prevent any confusion or misunderstanding about the terms of your arrangement.
Ask if they would be willing to consign your artwork with them. Be sure to cover all of the terms, including how long you’ll have your art on consignment, how sales will be split, and any applicable discounts.
If a gallery sells your work, they will provide you with a form with the buyer’s information so you can keep it on record.
Where to Sell Your Art Online
There are many online sites where you can sell artwork.
Some online art galleries require you to already have a portfolio that’s already been published in a gallery or an art show (such as on ArtSlant), while other galleries are more interested in marketing their artwork to a wide audience.
When considering which online platform to sell your art, be aware that each one has its own commission structure. Thoroughly research the pros and cons of each option to make the best decision for you and your work.
With the world of digital art and e-commerce growth, it’s essential to consider all of your options. While sites like Etsy and ArtPal are popular among visual artists, you can also sell your work on eBay or Amazon. Be sure to research each option thoroughly to determine which is best for you.
It’s also important to find a place where it will be easy to connect with people who are interested in buying your art. There are many different online platforms available, so do some research to find the one that is right for you.
While they’re not strictly for selling, artists’ w/ebsites or art portals like Artspace and Artsy are another way to get your work in front of potential buyers.
If you’re hoping to sell your art through online platforms, you’ll need to be a part of a registry. Applying and being approved is usually required. However, many art world people use these lists to find new works. They can also be a great launching ground for several great artists.
I’ve discovered a lot of talented artists and photographers through online platforms such as Instagram and Tumblr. These platforms are a great place to discover new talent.
If you’re an artist looking for how to sell paintings, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you need to price your artwork competitively. Second, you need to promote your work through social media and other online channels. And third, selling through online platforms is often the easiest and most effective way to reach buyers. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to successfully selling your paintings!