How To Start Selling Your Art: A Guide For Fine Artists

So you’ve been thinking about how to start selling your art, and you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. You’re certainly not alone!How to sell art

Whether you want to learn how to sell your art locally, nationwide, or how to make money selling your art online; there are a number of different paths you can take.

Learning how to start selling your art is a little different to other business models. That’s why today I wanted to share with you a simple roadmap to help you start.

1. Get your business plan ready

How does that old cliche go; ‘Those who fail to plan, plan to fail!’

Before you start selling your art, it’s important to have a plan in place. Believe it or not, many artists who decide to go professional don’t realize that what they’re actually becoming is a business owner.

If you’re keen to find out how to go pro and make money selling your art, you’ll need to have at least a rough plan of how you’re going to make that money.

Creating a business plan doesn’t need to be too stressful or complicated. It’s about numbers and execution. Grab a notepad or your laptop and start jotting down ideas for selling your art and your dream career as an artist.

2. Set up a professional website

It’s going to be difficult to start selling your art online if you don’t have a professional website. Yes, it’s great to post your art on Saatchi or Etsy or another platform, but you also want to show your images on your own platform. It’s a sign of professionalism.

Remember, your website is often the first impression that potential buyers will have of you, so it’s important that it looks professional and clear.

You can hire someone to build your site, but if you want to learn how to do it yourself, there are plenty of cheap platforms that make it very easy for beginners.

Here are some things you should include on your site:

  • Your artist statement, bio and a headshot
  • High quality images of your work with titles and sizes
  • An easy way for people to contact you if they’re interested in buying a piece or commissioning work

3. Create a pricing strategy

The next step in selling your art is to work out your pricing strategy. When working out how to price your art, you’ll need to consider the cost of materials and how long it took you to create the work. You also want to consider what other artists are charging for selling their art.

If you’re not sure what other artists are charging for similar work, try looking at their websites or in galleries where they sell. They’ll usually have information about pricing and dimensions of the piece so you can get a sense of how much money goes into each one.

But remember, pricing art isn’t just a matter of charging what everyone else is charging. You really need to consider your experience and your market.

4. Decide how to start selling your art

Once you’ve made a body of work, it’s time to decide how to start selling your art. You have lots of options for getting your artwork out into the world.

Selling your work through a gallery is one option; selling online is another. You could also try selling your art locally at markets or fairs, or directly to private collectors by reaching out directly with an email or social media campaign.

You may even want to try all of these methods to find out where you have the most success.

5. Host an exhibition

An exhibition is a collection of your artwork in one place, usually in a gallery or alternative venue like a pop up or an art fair. You can host your own or join one organized by somebody else.

Hosting an exhibition is a great way to start selling your art and gain exposure for your work; however, it can be difficult to get started and does require a lot of work to organize. You’ll be responsible for everything including finding a venue, mounting your work, promoting the event, insurance, and so on.


6. How to sell your art locally

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. And that’s priceless.


7. Keep an eye on the competition

When learning how to start selling your art, it’s important to keep a close eye on the other artists. You should know what your colleagues are doing right, but also what they’re doing wrong.

From here, you can begin to see how you can improve your own marketing strategies by learning from their mistakes. You’ll also be able to identify any holes in their strategies that you may be able to capitalize on (business is business after all).

It’s not always easy to learn how to start selling your art as a fine artist, but it is possible

Make sure you have a business plan in place that outlines the steps you’ll take to start selling your art, who your customers are and where they might be found both online and offline.

Set up a professional website that makes it easy for interested people to contact you and put some thought into your pricing strategy so that you’re not working for nothing when you do sell your art.

Remember, selling your art and growing your business as an artist takes patience and perseverance. I always say that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. But with the right mindset and the right strategy and by taking the right actions, there’s no reason why you can’t start selling your art like a pro.


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Working in the international world of contemporary art, Crista Cloutier has spent her career selling art and marketing art to art galleries, museums and private collections. 

Using her professional experiences, Crista has created The Working Artist Masterclass, where she’s developed a global reputation as an artist’s coach. Crista can teach you how to be an artist; including how to sell your art, how to sell art online, how to sell photographs, how to price your art, how to succeed at art fairs, and even how to find your art style. 

Crista has worked with established, blue-chip artists to raise their profile and attract greater opportunities. And she’s also helped thousands of emerging artists to build a professional art practice. To learn more, visit https://theworkingartist.com

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