Where Artists Sell Art: A Web Survey of Nearly 300 Artists

By admin in Art Business Advice > Selling Art Online

Several months ago I posted a survey asking artists where they sold their art. The response so far has been incredible, with over 270 artists taking time to respond.

After analyzing the poll, here are some of the more interesting results I found.

More artists sell art than not.

The survey shows several groups of artists who said they aren’t selling art.

Some didn’t explain why (4) a few said they were choosing not to sell their art (3) and many others indicated that they hadn’t sold any art yet (34) or hadn’t sold enough to really make a difference (42).

While the number of “non-sellers” was quite significant (83 artists all told) I think it’s encouraging to note that the number of sellers was far more (188).

More artists sell art offline than online.

Of the artists who voted that do sell their art, two groups emerged—those who mostly sell art on the internet, and those who mostly sell art offline.

Offline sellers (110) beat out online sellers (78) by a good margin, in part because of the high number of votes for traditional art galleries (27) art festivals (15) and word of mouth selling (17).

Another significant group of offline sellers (24) indicated that they used a variety of methods including showing at galleries, festivals, open studios and juried shows.

More artists use their own website to sell art.

I was pleased to see that the biggest group of online sellers were artists who owned their own websites (24). I assume, but don’t know for sure, that this number includes both blogs and portfolio websites.

The second largest group of online sellers was made up of eBay users (16) followed by Etsy users in third (9).

Several other community-based art websites and online galleries were mentioned as well, including BoundlessGallery.com (5) CafePress (5) Yessy (4) Imagekind (4) RedBubble (4) and Zazzle (3) just to name a few.

The meaning of it all. . .

If this survey has proven anything, it’s that there are MANY ways to sell art. And there’s definitely no right or wrong way.

Sure, the results show that traditional galleries and personal art websites are the most popular methods among artists, but if you find a different method that works for you, great! Use that instead!

And if at first you don’t succeed, try something else—like direct marketing (4) or royalties from posters (2). Or even something as simple as striking up random conversations with strangers (8) or networking other artists (6).

There’s always a way. You just have to find it.


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