Selling art online is easier than you think
So you want to sell your art? For an artist just starting out, the art market can be a fairly intimidating place. Dealers and collectors are often impossible to reach – and even if you do manage to connect, they might not be interested in engaging unless you’re an artist they already know. But for a savvy artist, selling possibilities are endless, and the outlook is bright in today’s booming online art market.
To sell your work online is a big step for any creative, but it also brings impressive returns. Apart from actually earning a living for what drives you, it is a chance to reach entirely new audiences, get unlimited feedback from customer engagement and get your unexpected “big break”.
Right now, there is a dozen online platforms to sell your art, from status-bearing ones like Saatchi Art to user-friendly platforms like Artfinder and Society6. The .ART team lists some of its top choices and researches alternatives.
Where to sell your art?
Saatchi Art identifies itself as “the world’s leading online gallery”—and it is certainly one of the biggest and most prestigious. It also boasts the most comprehensive suite of tools, from a seamless iPhone app, a constantly updated blog that routinely features new artists, to an online manual that covers everything from packaging your work to establishing a fair price for it. The target audience is versatile, with prices starting at $40 for prints and reaching over $100,000 for originals.
Artfinder brands itself as a dating site for art and, as any dating site, you will find there what you are looking for. With more than 300,000 works by over 10,000 artists, and more than 500,000 subscribers, it really is a mecca for both amateur art collectors and aspiring artists. It uses AI technology and personal shoppers to match buyers with art they’ll like.
Yes, it is owned by the vodka company with a mission to broaden access to contemporary art. Absolut Art collaborates with artists to produce exclusive, limited-edition artworks that are signed, framed, and delivered to the collector’s door. The company promotes itself more as a tool for collectors to find new art to buy, not as a way for artists to promote themselves, but there is an artist application available online to be among the website’s 150 featured artists.
Society 6 is great if you don’t mind seeing your art on cushions, beauty bags and all kinds of everyday objects. The platform will take care of everything from printing your work to shipping, marketing and handling customer service. Society 6 is an open community where anyone can sell, and all you need to do in order to start is literally to upload your work.
Shopify is the most popular full-featured ecommerce platform for small business. It is a great choice for the artist who is, or is planning to, sell in volume. Being a top ecommerce platform, it’s full of features designed to make online selling an organized affair. Whether you produce and sell installation pieces, mass-market works, customized items, print-on-demand goods, or digital downloads, Shopify makes it all hassle-free. It also makes selling on Facebook, Pinterest, and Amazon push-button easy.
How to sell art online from your own website
The choice of online art selling platforms might be overwhelming, while it has long been established that having your own website is a clear foundation for an aspiring artist’s career development. Your website is home to your unique brand and a place where you have complete control over the content. Plus, with your works front-and-center on your own website, you aren’t vulnerable to competing listings, high commissions, unexpected art marketplace or online gallery closures.
Plenty of .ART adopters are already using their websites to sell their art, here are some of our favourite examples.
Christian Schaffer and her website will make you feel like you are missing out on life. Having quit a corporate Abercrombie & Fitch career, she travels the world in search of her next temporary home, adventure, and creative projects. Her website tells a story and gives a chance to own part of it – through purchasing print of her best photography.
Based in Salisbury, Sally is known for her instantly-recognisable style – capturing the essence of her subject with a unique efficiency of line. Her website quirky and fun to browse through, while the shop is almost impossible to leave without a purchase!
You can also see how to easily set up your online art portfolio in 4 simple steps here
Also published on Medium.