image credit alexanderdrachman
“I just don’t know how to get started!”
This is probably the number one thing I hear from artists around the world when it comes to selling their art. Now, I’ve written a number of blog posts about how to sell your art, but I figured that it would be good to get some perspective from artists who have been at it for a while with some success. I put the word out to some of the artists I admire most, asking them “Knowing what you know now, how would you start selling art?“
Here’s what they had to say:
“I would start with offering prints first and allow my originals to start at a no reserve price (in auctions) because momentum and anticipation are so priceless in selling online. You can’t rush the process of building your fanbase. Ever!” – Natasha Wescoat
Being online has been the #1 game changer for me. It has provided the opportunity for thousands to see my work (much different than a few years ago when I depended on local galleries with a couple of hundred people visitors in a month’s time!) and the beauty of the Buy Now button (folks don’t have to hunt me down to see if a) if I want to sell and b) if they can afford it).
I would select three things to focus my time on when online—-building relationships is the key and if you try chasing too many things at once (Facebook, blog, website, Google plus, Instagram, Linked In, Pinterest, newsletter, etc, etc) you can spread yourself so thin that you won’t make an impact much of anywhere.
Be yourself: Be your lovable self in all that you do. Create what you love, not what you think will sell. If you blog (and I do believe in blogs), write like you’re talking to a dear friend—because you are.
Be consistent: Whatever tools you decide are best for selling your work, do it often and do it regularly. Being sporadic, hot and cold, in posting on either Facebook, your blog or sending out newsletters will not have the same impact as a consistent, steady effort.
Be brave: I have learned to take some plunges, do some things that scare me a little (sometimes a lot!). Not everything works, but a nervous YES opens up a whole lot more opportunity than a scared No does— every time!
First, make a body of work–a group of pieces exploring a particular theme from several perspectives. Next, find a venue to show these works in and send out press releases for your exhibition. It’ll be easier for art writers to write about your show since it has such a clear and fascinating thesis, and getting this press is the key to selling your art. People like what they like, and they like buying from people they like, but, also, they like being told that something is worth liking by someone who is supposed to know what they’re talking about.