Making a living as a fine artist can be difficult but, with some marketing knowledge and business savvy, you can definitely become successful at selling your masterpieces. Yes, in order to make it in the art worlds and reap the financial benefits of your artistic talent, it is essential that you treat your art like a business and be always on the lookout for opportunities.
Gone are the days of starving artists. With so many online avenues, including social media channels which you can utilize to your advantage for free, artists have a plethora of ways to sell art online, in addition to traditional routes like having an exhibit in a local gallery.
Aside from artists, art collectors and those who have inherited fine art pieces can also benefit financially from selling the art that they possess. In this article, we provide a complete guide on how to sell your art, whether you’re someone who creates, collects, or has inherited a piece of painting or sculpture.
How Artists Can Sell Their Own Art
Just how much do fine artists make depends on how you’re able to market your brand. In this day and age, the key to surviving and thriving as an artist is to acknowledge that your art is not just your passion, but your business as well. Artists who have an entrepreneurial mindset and are constantly looking for opportunities to promote and sell their pieces are more likely to become successful than those who rely on exhibits to sell their masterpieces.
Here are a few ways you can sell yourself as an artist and, consequently, your art:
- Promote your brand and introduce yourself as an artist in business and social settings.
- Hand out your business cards as you meet new potential buyers, members of the press, bloggers, and, of course, gallery owners.
- If your budget permits, invest in brochures.
Create Your Own Online Gallery
- When it comes to where to sell fine art paintings online a website is the best place to start.
- Having your own website to serve as your only gallery is not only a must, it also tells the world that you are serious about selling your work.
- There are several DIY website platforms you can use to create your website without having to hire the services of a web graphic designer or html expert, such as WordPress.
- Be sure to have a Gallery page dedicated to showcase photos of your work, an About page where you share why and how you make your art, a page for your artist statement, and a Contact page for interested buyers, exhibitors, and press.
- Post high-quality images of your works. Nowadays, you can use your smartphone to take high resolution photos of your art without having to hire a professional photographer.
List Your Original Works Online
- One way to ease into the business of selling contemporary art is to list your work on popular online creative marketplaces like Etsy, Big Cartel, and the Fine Art Department on Amazon.
- This is a more convenient way to sell online than having to add a shopping cart on your website.
- These marketplaces will collect the payment from online sales while you pack and ship the artworks to the buyers.
- As these sites have high-traffic and a lot of artists selling their works as well, get ahead of the competition by promoting your listings on social media.
- If you are aiming for the high-end market, consider a curated site such as Hamilton-Selway which makes it easier for artists to get their art out there through their worldwide contacts.
Participate in Art Shows, Fairs, and Exhibits
- Having your work included in art shows will not only give you exposure to attendees, but it also offers the possibility of recognition and generate news for your social media feed and artist website.
- Participating in street fairs is a great way to meet potential clients and see how people react to your work.
- Being accepted by a gallery can be a meticulous process but it is worth the effort as the gallery will do the marketing, publicity, and sales for you while you focus on creating.
How Collectors Can Resell Their Art
It’s not only the artists who sell fine art. Many times, art collectors themselves decide to let go of their prized possessions for various reasons. If you’re someone who buys art and collects them and you’re currently asking this question, “How to sell my fine art collection?” Read on.
Other Art Collectors
- If you know how to negotiate and ensure payment, selling directly to another art collector is the best route for you to take as it will result to the most returns for you.
- Before you sell, make sure to get your piece of fine art appraised.
- One of the advantages of working with an art dealer is their extensive knowledge and network within the art world.
- Art dealers can leverage their connections to get high prices for your fine art.
- Auction houses are one of the most common places where you can sell your art collection piece on the secondary market.
- These auction houses can bring experienced collectors together in one place and drive huge prices for your art.
- While art galleries mostly work in the primary market, they also have a stake in the secondary market.
- Some galleries maintain an inventory of pieces by a specific artist, and so they may be interested in acquiring a piece from your collection if it happens to be by one of the artists that they feature.
Museums and Universities
- These institutions often maintain a permanent art collection and are a great place to sell your art, as it will have a lasting educational legacy here.
- Keep in mind, though, that these organizations often have people donating their art to them, and so they may not pay as high compared to commercial options.
How to Sell an Art Collection Your Inherited
While inheriting art can be a very meaningful experience, you might not want to keep the entire collection and the process of deciding which pieces to sell and how to do so can be quite stressful. Here are a few tips to help you.
Have Your Art Collection Appraised
- This is the first step you need to do – even when the person who bequeathed their collection over to you already had their collection appraised and inventoried – because appraisals should be up to date for tax purposes.
- It is best to find a seasoned appraiser with one of the three major professional organizations of appraisers: the American Society of Appraisers, the International Society of Appraisers, and the Appraisers Association of America.
Decide Which Ones to Keep and Which Ones to Sell
- There are many different factors to consider for choosing which ones from your art collection to choose to keep and which ones to sell.
- If you find yourself in a dilemma, working with an appraiser or an auction house specialist will help you decide based on the value of these pieces.
Whether you’re the artist looking for ways to sell your creations, or you’re an art collector or inheritor, you’ll find that there are many ways you can monetize the fine art in your possession. It’s just a matter of knowing who to connect with and which channels to showcase the art you’re trying to sell.