Wondering how to sell your art locally? With so much emphasis on selling online, it’s no wonder many of you have overlooked the advantages of selling your art locally.
But selling your art locally can be really fun. And profitable. Fun and profit are my two favorite things!
Whether you exhibit in a local gallery, art festival, or even a restaurant, selling your art locally can be a rewarding experience. When I worked as an arts dealer, I primarily sold work nationally. But I still made sure to show it locally. And it wasn’t just for the money. Though that helped!
Selling your art locally can help you to form real connections, find true support and develop your reputation within your local art community.
That’s why today I wanted to share this guide with the sexy title … ‘How To Sell Your Art Locally’. Keep reading if you’d like ideas and inspiration for places to sell your art locally. And I’m also going to share some of my tips for making the process successful.
Where to sell your art locally
Here are some ideas to get your inspiration flowing. There are plenty of places to sell your art locally when you start to look around your community.
Local Cafes and Coffee Shops
No, I’m not talking about your local Starbucks – think the quirky, independently run coffee shops where other artists might hang out. Be prepared to get to know the owner and see if the business is open to displaying work from artists. If they are, have a portfolio of completed works ready.
Your artwork should be priced and ready to sell so you can show the owner or manager that you’re prepared and professional.
Local art fairs, shows and exhibits
If your community has an art society this is a great place to start if you want to sell your art locally. Art societies often organize local art fairs and shows, where you can rent a space to sell your work.
Joining an art society or club is also a great way to meet other artists and make new connections.
But how do you find out if your area has a local art society? There are some online platforms you can search such as the National Endowment for the Arts (if you’re based in the United States) or simply google ‘Art Society in your area’ and see what comes up.
Often local art supply stores, libraries, and galleries will also display information about art societies and clubs in your local area.
And if your community doesn’t have any local clubs you can join, why not start your own? I did that when I first moved to England and it was an amazing experience.
Local Art Galleries
Be sure to do your homework before approaching a local gallery – there’s no point in wasting your time or the gallery’s time if your style and aesthetic is completely different to the gallery’s aesthetic. Visit the gallery in person if you can or have a look at their social media to get an idea of who they are and what they’re about.
If you’ve done your research and you feel that your art will complement the other artists they represent, there’s no harm in asking. Galleries can be intimidating places, but once you open up a dialogue more often than not you’ll find that the managers and owners are very nice people.
For more information on how art galleries work, check out this article.
Selling your art at local markets
Farmers’ markets, flea markets, neighborhood festivals – these can all be great places to sell your art locally.
Some local markets will charge you to rent a space, so it’s worthwhile checking out the market first to see whether the people that visit the market are likely to be art lovers. If you know any other artists that have had booths at the local market you’re considering, ask them if they had good results or not.
Be sure to register well in advance as many markets have waiting lists for vendors. Most markets won’t allow you to just show up on the day so it pays to be prepared.
Retail Shops and Boutiques
Just like coffee shops, retail shops and boutiques can also be great places to sell your art locally. Again, you’ll want to go for the smaller independently run boutiques over chain retail stores.
It’s worth noting that you may not have as much luck hanging your art in a retail store, as owners are less likely to be open to it (unless they already sell work from other artists).
At the end of the day though, shop owners want to make sales, and if your art looks good on their shelves you may find that they’re interested. Don’t rule this route out until you’ve given it a go.
Who doesn’t love an art party? It’s a place to hang out, hob nob with other art folk and look at art.
If you’re interested in hosting an art party, you might want to approach it as a social event with food, drinks and entertainment, and use the space to sell your artwork.
The other option is to host an art party where your guests come and create their own art. If you decide to go for this option, there’s no reason why you can’t have your work still displayed prominently and for sale.
The most successful art parties focus more on the party aspect than on the art itself. Of course, the real point of the soiree is to sell your artwork, but if your guests are having fun and enjoying themselves, they’ll be happier and more receptive to purchasing your work – plus they’ll be more likely to come back for future parties and recommend them to their friends.
I hope this guide has given you plenty of ideas for how to sell your art locally. Many artists find more success selling their work in person over online, so this may be a path you wish to explore further.
Of course, there are advantage to selling your art online too – so don’t rule anything out until you’ve tested multiple selling methods. But for now, get out in your neighborhood and start selling your art locally!
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