Selling Your Art Online

Prairie Sky © Beth Cole | 10 x 10 | Oil on Canvas Panel

Prairie Sky © Beth Cole | 10 x 10 | Oil on Canvas Panel

Selling Your Art Online
by Beth Cole

We just finished our art club’s annual art and photo competition, whew! We displayed over 130 entries from around the area, what a beautiful exhibition. Especially fun was the interest from young people, we had lots of grade school age entries as well as those in the high school years.

Which brings me to what I am writing about today. I was asked by a young person and others as well, “how do you sell your art online?”.

Whenever I’m asked this question I always think, there are lots of people who do a better job at this than me, I am always asking the same question! But I am glad to share my thoughts about what has and hasn’t worked for me.

The first thing I would say to any artist who wants to sell online is keep practicing as much as you can to create your best work, then save your best work for posting online. We have all seen WIP (work in progress) photos in our socials, and I have done this, too, especially when I was starting out. But seriously, people don’t read, they just scroll the photos, so if you are sharing works in progress, they probably aren’t your best work. Instead, if you want to show your process, share a series of photos from beginning to the end so people can get a true picture of your work in progress.

I also think good photography is important. You can stage your art in situ or just show a clean photo of the art without a frame. Always sign your work before taking a photo and give a description of the piece in the comments i.e. title, medium, size. I usually don’t put the price because if someone is interested, they will contact me.

I have found also that choosing a certain platform as your favorite and then sticking to it by posting regularly has really helped. I like Instagram very much and it is my choice for posting photos of my work. I also have a Facebook business page and personal profile. I post to my business page maybe once a week, and less than that to my personal profile. I don’t have a large following for my Facebook business page, but it is steadily growing as I am involved in more online and in person shows. My Instagram has grown more quickly, I think that is because of more consistency in my posts.

There are other online destinations available for artists. I have used Etsy, this is where I started in 2012 and I have sold small original pieces and lots of art prints from this site. I also created some hand drawn graphics for downloads and these have worked pretty well.

I have listed a few pieces on Saatchi Art recently and had a sale, this is a place I may invest more time in down the road.

There are many sites that offer print on demand services for artists such as Fine Art America and Society 6. Several artists I know have used these sites with success, I have not ventured into them yet.

I also have my website which is home base for me. I try to keep it updated with my work, and share through writing the blog and the monthly newsletter. This is a creative outlet for me that I really enjoy so it doesn’t feel tedious. I think an online home for your work is really important because it is an entry point for people to get to know you. I believe some people choose you just as much as your work when they purchase art. So it’s important to be yourself and do your thing and a website will definitely help you do that.

There are many free website tools such as Wix, Weebly or Wordpress. There are several choices for artists like FASO, etc. Google “websites for artists” and you will find lots of choices. Do some checking and see what you prefer. I use Squarespace and highly recommend it.

That’s about all I can think of right now, I hope these thoughts are helpful and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out in the comments or by contacting me.

Thanks for reading, enjoy the day.

Soli Deo Gloria