12 Ways to Sell Your Work
from Alicia Tormey Studios
1. Your Own Website
Every artist and creator should have some form of web presence… even if it's just a blog or a single landing page. Use your online "real estate" to create your own portfolio, online art gallery and create a “SHOP” page to sell your work. Look for ways to create virtual events on your site. Remember to set up a way to accept payments and have your shipping process in place.
2. Open Studio Events
Host your own Open Studios event or team up with other artists and invite the public into your space. Many collectors want to get to know the artist behind the work and this is a great opportunity to connect with the public.
This can be done virtually with a video tour and live feed broadcasts as well.
3. Boutique Retailers
When the economy opens up again... small retailers will be a great alternative to the traditional art gallery. Retailers typically get more walk-in traffic than a formal art gallery, so this can increase exposure for your art. The commission rate is often the same as a gallery with the retailer taking 50% of the final sale. Try negotiating for a smaller commission with retailers since they are not having to invest in the “inventory” of your work and your art is placed on consignment with the retailer.
4. Museum Shops
Museum shops are always on the lookout for quality makers and innovative designs, so don’t be afraid to approach your local museum shop for consignment opportunities.
5. Cafes / Restaurants and Local Businesses
When the economy opens up again...these establishments can provide wonderful exposure for your work and generally get more foot traffic than conventional art galleries. Don’t be shy about approaching businesses in your area for exhibition opportunities to show your work.
6. Pop-Up Shop Launch
Launch a collection and create your own exhibition opportunity by setting up a Pop-Up shop. This can be done online and in the real world. You can also look for a temporary location to hold your own show. This could be an empty retail space or within an already established shop or retailer. A Pop-Up shop event could last for just a few hours, a long weekend, an entire month, or more. Think about ways you could collaborate with others to form your own Pop-Up event in your community.
7. Calls For Art
Take advantage of public Calls For Art to submit your work for consideration. Many municipalities have an Arts & Culture department that periodically asks for art submissions for their public collections. Get on their mailing list to be notified of art opportunities.
8. Arts & Crafts Fairs
Many collectors are turning to art fairs to purchase artwork. You can participate in fairs with your own booth or pay someone to represent your work at fairs. Arts & Crafts fairs vary widely from local organizers to international exposure. Try googling art fairs in your area to find a fair near you.
9. Social Media Sites
This is great way to reach potential collectors of your work. You should have a presence on all the major social media networks and zero in on the one that you enjoy most. Actively engage with your audience and share your work frequently. Periodically let your followers know when work is available for purchase, but be careful not to over do the sales pitch on social media. You will lose your audience if they feel you are always just trying to make a sale.
10. Etsy, Amazon, Ebay, etc.
Collectors are accustomed to finding original artwork on these platforms, so establish an account and then use your social media and email list to drive people to your online store.
11. Art Galleries
Galleries are a traditional way to get exposure for your work. This is the first avenue that most artists think of when it comes to selling your work. It can be challenging to get into a reputable gallery so you may want to consider other options on this list before approaching galleries. Do your research to determine which galleries may be the right fit for your work. A 50% commission on art sales is industry standard when selling through an art gallery. I go into more depth on this topic inside my private mentoring program. Join OpenStudio today for monthly art business mentoring & coaching.
12. Art Reps, Designers, and Independent Dealers
Art reps typically work independently and have active relationships with designers, architects, and businesses that regularly purchase artwork for their clients and special projects such as hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and corporate offices. Try reaching out to some of your local design firms to see if they are looking for new artists for their roster.
Alicia Tormey is an internationally recognized artist and teacher who helps creatives improve their work, develop art careers and grow creative businesses. Together we thrive!
Nurture your art practice and grow your studio into a thriving business. Join the OpenStudio Program now and start selling more art and build your art career. Learn more about the OpenStudio Mentorship Program
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