Christmas is often a hectic and stressful time, especially since it’s the time of year when you’re spending more money than usual—for presents and travel and enough food to feed an army. So what do you do if your artwork isn’t selling?
Here are ten ideas to jumpstart your Christmas art sales.
1. Hold a Christmas sale
An often overlooked, but simple idea is to hold a sale on your artwork. The easiest way to do this would be through your website or, if you don’t have a website, create a page on Etsy or a Hands Free Artist Website, and list a selection of pieces or prints at 10-25% off.
Send out a newsletter to your mailing list or, if you don’t have a mailing list (for shame!) send an email to everyone you know with a link to your store, and ask them to spread the word to everyone THEY know.
2. Participate in a Christmas market
Christmas craft markets appear all over my town in November and December, and they’re a great way to sell a few extra pieces as locals frantically shop for last-minute gift ideas. Check out our 4-part series on craft fair success.
3. Turn your work into Christmas cards
Contact your local print shop and ask about prices for making holiday gift cards, or order a set online from one of the hundreds of online services. You could sell your sets of holiday gift cards at local art galleries, gift shops, on your website, or as part of your craft fair stall.
It’s also a great idea to send a holiday card to your clients. This reminds them that you exist and shows them you appreciate their business. Who knows, they might come back with a big commission in January!
4. Bring your art into the office
If you still work a day job, you’ve probably been bombarded with other employees offering gift ideas. It seems that every other week someone brings in a fundraiser for their kids school or the beauty products they’re selling for extra money. . . so why not you?
Your colleagues have to finish their Christmas shopping at some point, and your artwork may be just what they need! Choose a selection of five small pieces to leave at your desk, or bring them around to show everyone. It’s sure to spark a conversation!
5. Create a Christmas “art commission gift card”
Some people want to give art as a gift, but they’re frightened of choosing artwork for someone else, since there’s no guarantee that the OTHER person will like it.
This is a great opportunity for artists to create a series of gift cards—each redeemable for a different sized commission piece, created around whatever concept is chosen by the gift card recipient. Most people don’t ever think about commissioning artwork. . . so receiving a gift card for a unique, commissioned work of art would be a truly memorable gift!
6. Create a Christmas art class
One thing that many people love to do leading up to Christmas is to get creative with their decorations and gifts. To make a bit of extra money, you could hold a special one-off art class where you create gifts or handmade decorations.
Advertise in your local newspaper, on your website and at the library, and pick a price that covers materials and gives you a decent profit. You’ll have a fun afternoon making things with crafty kids or adults, and end up with a nice little stash for Christmas shopping at the end of it.
7. Create Christmas tree decorations
When it comes to tree ornaments, everyone is looking for something a little bit different, and they’re not afraid to reach into their wallet to get it. People love high-quality, homemade decorations, so if you have a medium that’s easily scalable, why not create unique sets of tree decorations?
You could hang tiny canvases from ribbons, or create unique sculptures from found objects. Last year I created a series of ornaments made from polymer clay. . . this idea could also be extended into other Christmas decorations, like a handpainted advent calendar, or an artistic nativity scene.
8. Give your art as a gift
This doesn’t directly earn you more money, but if you’ve got spare art pieces hanging around, and a bunch of relatives and friends you need to buy for, then perhaps giving your art pieces as gifts will be the ideal solution. You’ll clear out space in your studio, save money on buying gifts, and give something beautiful and handmade that the person will treasure forever.
9. Create sets for your local theatre
Christmas time means Christmas pantomimes, and these are great fun for the whole community. They can also be a great opportunity to earn a little extra money painting sets or creating props. Pop down to your local theatre and offer your services.
10. Offer unique gift-wrapping
For some people, the art of gift-wrapping is even more important than the present itself. Turn your artistic hand to creating unique handcrafted paper and beautiful gift tags, and offer your services as a gift wrapper in your local community.
Alternatively, gift-wrapping could be a free service you offer to customers to entice them to purchase one of your unique pieces!
With a bit of creative thinking and marketing, you can earn much more from your artwork over the Christmas season than any other time of year!
Good luck, and Merry Christmas!