Many people enjoy making visual art simply as a means of relaxation and creative expression. And many people wouldn’t mind letting the creation of the work itself be the extent of their artistic output.
But if you’re reading this article, then chances are you want something more from your work. You most likely want the world to see your work and make some money in the process.
Here’s a guide for how to sell art online and make money with little more than the art itself and a consistent internet connection.
The internet offers a unique opportunity to gain an international audience without spending money on marketing campaigns. Let’s get started.
Create Relevant Work
First of all, you need to make sure that your artistic work is relevant to the modern world. If your work tends to be high art, there’s still a large market online that may be interested.
But if you enjoy creating visual art based on current events and elements of pop culture, then you have a much better chance of gaining widespread attention and seeling work quickly.
Examine the work of other contemporary artists and take note of their prominent themes.
Even if you don’t want all of your artwork to be immediately relevant and based on references to pop culture, then you might still consider making a few such pieces each month. This can help you strike a balance when it comes to content.
Get Your Name Out There
Before you actually start to try selling your work online, it would be advisable to establish an online presence first.
This can involve setting up multiple social media accounts specifically geared toward your artwork, not personal accounts that just show your day-to-day activities.
You should also try to set up a professional portfolio website where you can display the best work you’ve done in the past.
This will help the public become familiar with your artistic work before you start selling pieces.
If you start to attract a following, then your fans will be very excited to learn later on that they have the option to own an original piece of your artwork.
Sites to Use
Now we can get to the meat of the situation. Here are several sites you can use to sell your work online.
As you start to sell work, adjust your prices widely to get a better sense of what people are willing to pay for your artwork.
Over time, if you continue to sell pieces consistently, then you can start to increase your prices, bit by bit.
Redbubble has been around for years now, and you may have even purchased something from the site before.
The site’s main draw is that it takes original artwork and designs from users and prints them on various pieces of merchandise after they’ve been ordered by customers.
From coffee mugs to t-shirts to mousepads, this site does most of the work for you.
Redbubble isn’t meant to be used to sell original artwork, meaning the actual canvas you’ve painted, etc., but instead to spread your brand via common merchandise objects that people will see every day.
We tend to think of Amazon as the go-to e-commerce site where you can buy just about anything you can think of for your home, your video game console, or your car.
But not as many people are aware that Amazon is also a great place for artists to sell their handmade goods.
Selling your work via Amazon is inexpensive and it also guarantees a fairly large number of views, just based on Amazon’s daily international traffic.
Shipping individual pieces that have sold will be entirely up to you, but Amazon makes it easy to put together shipping labels that will make sure your artwork gets delivered to the right person as quickly as possible.
Etsy has long been the number one site for individuals artists to sell their work. It’s easy to make an Etsy account and in just a few hours you can place multiple pieces on offer.
Additionally, you can include a link to your Etsy account on your other various social media profiles. That way, the social media profiles can be the main space to display your work, and Etsy can serve specifically as a shop.
If you’re fed up with the limitations of selling your work via a larger site that features thousands of other sellers, then Shopify is for you.
Shopify is an online software platform that allows you to design your own online store, just for your work.
Shopify does include a subscription fee, so you may want to wait to make your own online store until you’ve already started selling work.
The advantage, of course, is that you’ll get to make all the decisions about how your site will look and how easy it will be for customers to complete purchases.
Artsy is a website designed for well-established artists. In fact, many of today’s most famous contemporary artists have work for sale on Artsy.
The site’s great advantage is that it can serve as a catalog of all the work you’ve ever released to the public as well as a way for fans to track where all of your pieces are currently located and which pieces are currently for sale.
It would be a good idea to hold off on creating or requesting an Artsy account until you’ve already succeeded in gaining a dedicated following of fans and more than a few real-life exhibitions.
Selling your own artwork online can seem incredibly intimidating at first, and it certainly takes a lot of confidence to put your work online in the first place.
But once you sell your very first piece, you’ll be much more motivated to continue creating artwork, knowing that there are people who appreciate your work and want to add it to their collections.
Try selling your artwork on a few of these sites at once. You’ll soon find out which site is getting you the most views and the highest number of completed transactions.