I Want to Sell my Art—where do I Start? Help!!

Published on Sep. 7th 2007

So you want to sell your art online. Or would you just like to sell your art, period, but don’t know where to start?

The good thing is, there’s already a lot of information available to artists who are ready to begin showing and selling. I know, because I’m just starting along that path, too. There’s an avalanche of advice on the web, there are books, tutorials—oh, and advice from your artist friends too. The list is endless.

If you’re like me you’ve been building a website, reading up on how to contact galleries, thinking about blogging, worrying about optimizing your name for that top listing on Google, and submitting artwork to exhibition calls—just to find yourself wondering when in the heck you’ll ever have time to paint again.

Whoa! Don’t get too overwhelmed, there’s time for all of it as long as you do a little prioritizing. So pull out an old fashioned pencil and notebook and make a list.

Write down all the different things you envision yourself doing to get your artwork sold, then ask yourself a simple question: what’s the most important thing to do for your art to be seen by the public?

Look over your list and number each thing in order of its importance—don’t worry if you’re not sure which ones are most important right off the bat. Just take your best guess; your priorities will come into focus after a little research.

For me, the number one priority was getting my own website.

I started researching how to do that after running across a “little” website called Artaissance which accepts artists’ submissions of decorative and fine art. The folks at Artaissance happened to mention in passing that they prefer to accept artwork from artists who have a website, and so off I went.

It’s taken me a few hours a week to create my web layout (granted, it’s somewhat basic) but today’s page building software is fairly simple to use, and I’m now at the point where my site is up and on the web.

And once I’d gotten a good start on my first priority, I started on the next point on my list—finding local venues to sell my art.

It’s easy to access local artist associations and non-profit art galleries in your area with an internet search. Most of them have active websites where you can gain information about upcoming exhibits with artist calls.

When I searched for “Georgia Artist Associations,” for example, I got a list of about 60 or more links leading to sites for membership, classrooms, art societies and the like. Do a little weeding, bookmark the ones you want to follow up on, and gradually start contacting the ones who can help you get your artwork in front of the local public.

And here’s one thing that EVERY artist should check out (at the library, that is)!

First published in 1983, Caroll Michels How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist should be a desk reference for all of us. Her fifth edition claims to be updated for an artist interested in online marketing, too, with over one third of the book’s pages devoted to all subjects from advertising to software and everything in between.

And if some of the computer information seems a little behind the times, her descriptions of pricing strategies and negotiations with gallery owners are timeless.

Well there you have it, those are three points in my list, and short of marrying into a family of gallery owners I think I’m off to a good start. After only a few weeks I’ve already begun to see where my priorities lie, and all that overwhelming stuff I need to do just doesn’t seem so. . . overwhelming. . . anymore.

I think I’ll head upstairs to my studio and paint for a little while.

See Corinne’s artwork at www.CorinneGallaStudios.com, or read more at her blog.

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