Artist, are you limiting yourself to traditional galleries, museums and art fairs to sell your art? Or maybe you’ve ventured online?
While these are good places to start, there are so many more opportunities to sell your art if you know where to look! All it takes is a little creativity and outside the box thinking.
For instance, have you ever considered selling your art in a hospital or a hotel? What about selling your art in an airport or to an interior designer?
The most successful artists I know don’t limit themselves when it comes to where they sell their art. In this article, I’ll introduce a few different opportunities for selling your art in unexpected places.
Sell your art in airports
The great thing about airports (unlike museums) is that they’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and get a lot of foot traffic (especially now that travel restrictions are beginning to loosen up).
With bored travelers wandering around the terminal while they wait for their flight, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get eyeballs on your work and sell your art in an airport. Some airports even do self-guided art tours! For instance, Phoenix’s airport showcases art across all three of its terminals, providing travelers with a unique way to find new art for their collections.
In fact, I once had some work hanging in an airport and happened to be passing by on my way to a flight when I heard someone admire the piece. And I stopped and made a sale! On my way to vacation! Now, I’m not saying you will have the same amazing timing as that incident but… there’s a lot of people with nothing to do at airports…
So how can you sell your art in an airport?
Most airports focus on local artists because they want to reflect the culture of the state, city or country where the airport is located.
Your best bet is to research what’s available in your local area. It may be possible for you to approach the airport directly (particularly if you live in a rural area) but for large international airports, have a look at their website and see what they have on offer. There’s probably a submission policy posted.
If the airport you’re looking at doesn’t currently showcase any art, what a great opportunity to start something new in your community (and sell your art at the same time!)
Sell your art in hospitals
Believe it or not, hospitals provide a great opportunity to sell your art. In fact, 56% of all hospitals, hospices and aged care homes have a budget for buying paintings and other artworks now. I love that the healing aspects of art are being more and more recognized and valued.
Similar to airports, hospitals are a great way to gain more exposure and sell your art, because they’re open 24/7 and receive a lot of foot traffic.
Some hospitals even offer art tours, perfect for visitors who are killing time while their loved one receives care.
Again, many hospitals focus on procuring art from local artists, so if you’d like to sell your art in a hospital the best place to start is your nearest hospital.
What’s the process for selling your art in a hospital?
Start by enquiring with your local hospital to see if they do rotating exhibitions in their public areas. Lots of hospitals do and this will give you the opportunity to reach a wider audience and sell your paintings.
If art therapy is something you’re interested in, some hospitals offer art recovery programs where patients can make art with other artists to process the trauma of treatment. These are usually volunteer positions.
Of course, it’s always nice to receive monetary compensation by selling your art, but it’s also rewarding to know that it’s providing comfort and solace for many people who are going through a rough time in their lives.
Sell your art to interior designers
The interior design market is huge, particularly in the US, and the need for new art is seemingly endless. Depending on your style, this could become a great opportunity for you to sell your art.
Interior designers aren’t typically fussed about your credentials or experience, if your style works well with theirs they will become repeat buyers!
So how can you sell your art to interior designers?
Start by paying attention to the latest styles, colors and trends in design. If ‘purple’ is the hot color of the season, interior designers will likely be looking for art that complements their purple furnishings.
The next thing you’ll want to do is hang out where interior designers hang out. That could be at a trade show, studio tours or even gallery openings. I myself joined my local interior design chapter as a vendor and was able to attend network events.
You could also try googling interior designers in your local area. Check out their websites and determine whether your work might complement theirs. Also take note of what artwork they showcase in their design portfolios, this will give you valuable insight as to whether they might like your work too.
Sell your art to hotels
Another great place to sell your art is in hotels. Hotels love showcasing the work of local artists. The lobby, restaurant and even the guest rooms provide prime real estate for your art.
How do you sell your art to hotels?
If you come across a private hotel that already hosts a large number of artworks, chances are the hotel owner is a collector. You may even be able to sell your art to the hotel owner directly, who in turn might showcase it in their hotel.
So don’t just go for the large ‘Hilton’ type hotels. Many small inns and bed and breakfasts need art to. This is often the best place to start when you’re looking to sell your art in hotels. Approach the smaller mom and pop style accommodation venues where you’ll likely be able to chat to the owners directly.
Another great way to sell your art to hotels is to get in before a new hotel even opens its doors. If there’s a new hotel under construction in your local area, find out who the owner is and get in touch. You might get sent to the design team or someone else, but just keep following the trail.
Where will you sell your art next?
I hope this list has inspired you to start thinking a little more creatively about where you might sell your art next. Get inspired, get out there, and most importantly sell your art!
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