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December 14, 2013
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How To Sell Your Original Paintings

Sat Dec 14, 2013, 3:51 AM


How To Sell Your Original Paintings



painter by yinyuming


In this article I will be discussing how to sell your original paintings. If your a artist you know how intimidating this can be when you've decided to venture into sales. It may even leave you with doubts about your own work, lower your confidence as a artist, and a bit fearful. Well have no fear! I have some tips from personal experience, as well as online references and advice from fellow artists that will help with your sales.

:star:The First Step

Before we get into 'the meat' of things your very first step is Believe in yourself. Be confident about the accomplishments you've made. If your contemplating selling anything then you have to know you're good at what you do. Let that be your mantra as an artist. Understand that how you've acquired your skills, what you choose to paint, what your art looks like, and how you present yourself and go about marketing your art is entirely up to you. Your art world persona is whatever You want it to be, not what you think it should be or what the so-called art world wants it to be.

:star:Networking

This is one of the easiest ways to go about getting noticed. Connect with other artists on and offline. There are groups everywhere to be found online. DeviantART, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and more. Talking to one another can open up opportunities and even connect you with potential buyers.
One of the best things you can do before you begin to talk to anyone offline about your art is create business cards. Think of these as a greeting to all potential costumers. If you frequent a business then now is the time to tell them about your art and give them a card. Leave some in restaurants. Give some to friends and family who can pass them on. I never leave the house without some on me. Remember to include a valid email address, phone number and a web link to your work. 
Some great sites to create them, and they're affordable as well are:

:bulletred:Suggestions From Other Artists
barbosaart 'I have had success selling original paintings through the internet and have found that the internet is the only place I sell my paintings. I have tried many galleries and for a full time artist who leaves work in galleries, they do not sell fast enough for me to put food on my table or pay any bills so it's out. (keep in mind I am self taught, have no political connections or know anything about art history other than what I have read on my own and have spent no time hanging out in galleries to establish any connections with buyers, people etc.) I currently am leaving a couple of works in various galleries to see if they sell, but they are still sitting there. so the internet can be a big seller if YOU DO IT RIGHT! I have had to learn all the tricks of selling and it took me 10 years. 

Lou-in-Canada 'Anybody who's interested in selling their work: go to shows. The more artshows, the better. Get your work out there, make it seen. If nobody knows you're out there, or sees your work, it's not going to sell.'

keys2 by SamanthaJordaan

:star:Create A Website

When you create a website you want a good bio to represent you. Your art may be the first thing a client may notice but if they are interested you will find they will be curious about your personal history within the arts. How To Write An Artist Statement
These are just a few websites to get you started on creating your own.
Foliotwistwhich is geared towards artists and my personal favorite.

:bulletred:Suggestions From Other Artists
barbosaart*A good website* with high quality photos showcasing your work. Make it easy to navigate, set up gallery titles and a buy it now shopping cart to make it easy for collectors to buy your work.*A good biography* includes every art show, gallery exhibition, any kind of award, or anything at all you have done with your art! You must have an artist statement to put at the beginning of your bio. Get others to read it and work on writing a very good artist resume because that is what it is. This must be on your website to look professional and to have people read and want to buy your art. 
*Facebook* Extremely important to have a fan page. Build one up and post your work, pay for advertising campaigns and get people to come look at your artwork. Please note: you must have art for people to browse through before you advertise and have a website, blog or marketplace to sell from so you can post art with links to the buy page. Posting to Facebook should be done every 3 hours but if you cannot do that, post at least once a day a new work or maybe a coupon for your fans to use.'

Untitled by 1Creep

:star:Create An Online Store

Deviantart! Remember, if your going to promote your offline art make your online work look exceptional. I recently wrote a article about taking photographs of your art to make them look the best they can online How To Photograph Your Paintings Remember in the artists comments to let others know if the original of a deviation is for sale. You may also be interested in checking out

:bulletred:Suggestions From Other Artists
jane-beata I use way too many selling platforms, but the no.1 I'd recommend is selling via ETSY - they charge you with only 3.5 % fee. The downside is that you have to pay for each product that you're displaying in your gallery (0.20 $). I also sell via very similar Slovakian and Czech platforms, where I get more customers because there's less people and customers are more likely to support the work of their own country-mate. 
Another way to go is e-Bay, I sell sketches and smaller paintings in auctions. They take 10% fee on every transaction and unless you sell a lot and every month, they block your funds for 3 weeks after you sell the item (you still have to pay the postage immediately).
Than there's BigCartel, who allows you to sell 5 products every month for free. Try it out, if you're just starting and don't have tons of paintings for sale, yet'

DarkLiminality'I always recommend etsy for those just starting out, as they have very low listing fees and your work can remain on show for up to four months. I think this is much less risky than a site such as ebay where you pay much higher insertion fees for a much shorter duration, so you have to feel more certain you have something which will sell in a relatively short space of time to recoup your outlay. The only problem with etsy is that you have to make a lot more effort to direct people there to see your art yourself as the internal site traffic seems quite low, especially if you just sit there and don't interact much or don't post new stuff regularly'

Rothko by ArtByCher

:star:Business Cards

Once you have the business cards think of these as a greeting to all potential customers. If you frequent a business then now is the time to tell them about the work you do and give them a card. Leave some in restaurants. Give some to friends and family who can pass them on. I never leave the house without some on me. Remember to include a valid email address, phone number and a web link to your art. 
Some great sites, and they're affordable as well are:

A sealed thought by jane-beata

:star:If You Want To Sell Worldwide Start Local

Check out the community pages for your town online or in the paper. There are more art shows then you may have even thought to exhibit your work. One of the best places to begin is with the local library. Not only do they support the arts but many will let you hang the paintings for free. If you do this make sure you can place your business cards there. I've also found donating pieces too local charities/silent auctions will get you noticed. Every year I do this for a school. I leave business cards, and my sales increase along with print sales, shortly after the event.
Hang your art up in your home! I don't know how many times I have had a friend come buy and see my newest painting hanging in my living room and want to buy it right off the wall. 

:bulletred:Suggestions From Other Artists
bengjie 'The "easiest" and most effective way, for me, has been the vendor tables at local events. In my town we we have Fourth Fridays and in a town near to us they have Second Saturdays. Events like this (as well as other seasonal events) have been where I've made progress! My suggestion to those starting out is to hit your local events. It's a great place to learn! Go, support and enjoy! When you're ready, talk to an event coordinator or vendor, ask them how to get evolved.'

Sanctuaire by roon1305

:star:Advice From Artists To Artists

The greatest advice you can get is from other artists. I asked a few questions about selling original artwork and this is the feedback I received.
LauraHolArt 'I have my own website where I can sell my work (you can usually make them easily for free) and I have signed up to a couple of online art galleries that have sold a couple of bits of work too. I also have a few pieces in galleries which is always good as then people can really see what they are getting! Other than that, I am lucky, when people visit my house they quite often buy something and then friends, of friends, of friends...buy things too! It is all about promoting! I often give cards and magnets away on Facebook as you never know who might eventually see them. I have some hand made cards I have in a local shop, given a talk at a school, got published in some free magazines....generally spread your name around like mad! Getting displayed in pubs and restaurants is a great idea too. Most of all, if you are just starting out, don't give up! It might take a while before things start happening.... :D (Big Grin) 

jane-beata 'Most of my sales are in person, after an exhibition or to a friend's friend. I recommend not to hide at home but try to expose your art in public and regularly make locals know what you do and where can they find you

barbosaart '*Time* If you are just starting out, it will take time to put into all the internet things you need to sell, make a name for yourself! This is a full time job if you are looking to survive on it. Here is what I tell people: for me "ONE HAND ON THE MOUSE, THE OTHER HOLDS A PAINT BRUSH". If you want to do this part time it will just take longer but you still can do it. I don't want to put a time limit on this for success because each person is different. for example: a person who has a large family and a mega amount of friends can start selling to them over the internet and the word of mouth from them will really make them skyrocket to sales faster than a person who knew no one like me lol :0) I know alot of people now... I work my own business 7 days a week from when I Wake to When I sleep. Occasional days off, holidays only. I go to the gym twice a day so that helps me from going crazy, but if I don't paint and don't list, I starve - Literally - I Live To Paint and Paint to Live - if you have a partner who will help with half the work you will get farther than most. GOOD LUCK TO ALL'

RhynWilliams 'If I create work for clients away from my country, I make sure that I know what the price of shipment is because you need to make a profit, if you want to sell your work, don't undersell your work, because it takes a long time to produce, if you don't use a safe way of charging, ask if they are happy to send the money first before you send the art work away, send WIP images throughout to the buyer with a watermark, this will show that you are trustworthy'






PE 2010 stamp by projecteducate




I hope you enjoyed the article as much as I have writing it! A huge THANK YOU to all of the artists for sharing their suggestions! If you have any other suggestions on How To Sell Original Paintings please feel free to share in the comments.





Add a Comment:
 
:iconkandy899:
kandy899 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
So your not going to start selling art right off the bat, what about cartoon art, do you know if any of this is up for grabs or anyone would be interested in buying it? I see people love the abstract or realistic type, what about cartoon art?
Reply
:iconartbycher:
ArtByCher Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014   Traditional Artist
I had to whittle it down to one subject but I definitely think you can sell cartoon art just like any other types :) 
Reply
:iconchubbycake725:
ChubbyCake725 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much, especially the first tip on being confident.
Reply
:iconartbycher:
ArtByCher Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014   Traditional Artist
You are so welcome. I think we all feel like that at one time or another. I know I have.
Reply
:iconlinesa:
Linesa Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2013
It's a good tuto that can be helpful ^^
Reply
:iconartbycher:
ArtByCher Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2013   Traditional Artist
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconebbing-gale:
ebbing-gale Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
After reading this I thought ok I ought to try at least the etsy site. Now I'm stuck with how to decide prices. Maybe another  article Cher ?
Reply
:iconartbycher:
ArtByCher Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013   Traditional Artist
Thank you, Diane! I don't have another article coming up. I think if you ask anyone selling you may get a different answer on how they price. I set my base prices dependent on the size of the work. Example would be for my 10x10 I start at $50 and add all the materials I may need. I keep track of the time I spend on something too. For smaller works you may not spend as much time as you would on a larger piece. So the price tends to stay 50-75. I love to work with smaller pieces because not only is it affordable for the buyer but it's also cheaper to ship. You don't have a ton of shipping materials to purchase.
The biggest obstacle for me has been the shipping. The last painting I sold I didn't make much on it because I didn't give them a great quote on the shipping. So don't short change yourself.
I'm not sure if this helped or not but this links has some good basics www.artbizblog.com/2011/10/pri… :)
Reply
:iconebbing-gale:
ebbing-gale Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you Cher, for your input and the link. It really is intimidating to try and sell . I have not really kept track of materials and hours but I guess I'll start now. When I look at comparable pieces it seems the prices are all over the map and how do you judge your own work next to others. Middle of the road maybe ? I'm not sure I would try to sell if my husband wasn't saying I should do some thing with them.
  Good idea with the smalls and some how more comfortable.

Reply
:iconartbycher:
ArtByCher Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013   Traditional Artist
I'm glad I could help a bit. I think most people don't put prices online because there are fears it may scare someone who is interested. I tend to be a bit flexible when I chat with someone via email or PM.
Reply
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