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How Do I Sell My Artwork?

Having been in and around the art world for most of my life and now back studying it again, the question which always surfaces is “What are going to do AFTER you finish studying?” I don’t have any passion to teach, well, not formally, so becoming a professional is an obvious choice. And this article has come out of that decision...How Do I Sell My Artwork?

(Obligatory Insertion of Authors Artwork...)

This is graphite (pencil) and Charcoal on paper. It's has been adapted from a life model drawing. Playing with repetition and the planes and space in and around the figure.

I went online, did a lot of research and found lots of DIFFERING opinions. And if you have found this article in the hope that I can give you a formula; Step 1, step 2, step 3, then look elsewhere. It’s not that there are some things that you can do and manage by yourself. Get a website or a facebook page or google+ or twitter or ello, and the list goes on. Yes, you need to be socially networked. But my searching also pointed out some questions that I would not have normally asked, by myself.

“Who should you sell your art to?” According to one fellow artist this question, rarely considered, or at least the answer to it is the key to success. What they are saying is, if you are a painter then it’s pointless trying to show your work in photo galleries or sculpture galleries. This may seem like common sense but you’d be surprised, apparently, by how often artists don’t research the type of work a gallery usually likes to show.

I found ideas from all over the spectrum. One site suggested making it more expensive, thus exclusive and collectible. One site could not emphasize enough the importance of a mailing list and newsletter. Paying for a professional consultant was also up there, and could be well worth the cost if you are serious or perhaps pay for a manager (that would be cool, and maybe even tax-deductible). Also, the idea that galleries no longer hold the power they used to because artists can do a lot of the social/marketing/promotion themselves, on-line, without the expense and hefty commissions.

You may need or use one or all of these and still find it hard going because no matter what “they” tell you, there is no guarantee. At the end of the day, people buy art for many reasons and if you try to “cater” to some part of the market in the hope of selling more art than I think you have lost sight of your goal for creating in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, if you want to pander to an audience, even a culturally sophisticated art one, you can but that seems like swimming in the shallow end of the pool and that’s really where the kids should be.

For me what made the most sense was being able to communicate and educate people about the work, your story, the passion you have to create and what that is. Don’t get too overbearing as soon as someone shows interest. Most people are intimidated by art for fear of looking or sounding stupid, so it’s important to make it a conversation and stay open for questions. I know I will be reviewing all the info on my website and my bio to make sure it communicates the Truth of my vision because I sense I can get a little too much in my own head and forget to translate the picture with enough down to earth language.

I know this article probably hasn’t helped you to sell your art, but what I found was all artist go through the same process and if making a lot of money was your goal, I don’t think art is the right place for you. Payment comes in many forms and many ways and if you stay tuned in to the creative force that drives your need to express then I think you will be OK. Listen for that guidance and do the thing that is in front of you, does that take Trust? Sure, but isn’t that ultimately the whole creative process?

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