12 Ways to Sell Your Work
Here are my top 12 recommended ways to get your art seen and sold:
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1. Art Galleries
Galleries are a great 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.
2. Boutique Retailers
This is 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.
3. 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.
4. Pop-Up Shop
Create your own exhibition opportunity by setting up a Pop-Up shop. 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.
5. Cafes / Restaurants and Local Businesses
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. Your Own Website
Every artist and creator should have some web presence… even if it's just a blog or a single landing page. Use your online real estate to create your own portfolio and art gallery to sell your work.
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 use social media and your emailing list to drive people to your online store.
11. Open Studios
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.
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 supports creatives wherever they are on their journey to realizing their goal of being a working artist.
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