How To Sell Art Online?

When Dayna Winter graduated from art school 15 years ago, she mastered color theory and watercolor techniques, but knew absolutely nothing about business. As a project, she then learned how to create a very simple portfolio website. No e-commerce – just samples of their work and a contact page.

In the current article, Dayna takes us on a new journey. Their conversations with other artists and their own experiences have turned into a comprehensive guide that serves as inspiration and gives many valuable tips for selling art online. Here we go!

In my very first week as a real adult and working artist, I learned a pretty hard lesson:

To be successful in art, you have to be successful in business too.Dayna winter

Dayna winter

And my pitiful little Flash website just wasn’t enough for that. E-commerce wasn’t that accessible 15 years ago, and social media was still a fairly unknown term. For unknown artists like me, it was mainly about commissions for companies and advertising productions.

The ability to simply sell your own art online has completely changed the game. Nowadays the starving artist is a dying species – and that’s a good thing! 

E-commerce and selling on social media have become increasingly powerful tools for independent artists. In this way they can finance their craft independently and, above all, gain the independence to sell their works of art directly to their audience.

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For galleries, the changes over the past two decades have made it possible to represent more artists and invest in affordable prints to reach a global audience.

How to sell art online

Many new artists are expanding their presence on social media by consistently sharing their work and getting involved in artist communities online. According to seo company in Lahore, many artists have approached to them to promote their work through the online medium. They mentioned that Shopify stores and Instagram stories have proved to work for designers and artists.

Maria Qamar , also known by the name Hatecopy , gave up her career in advertising when her pop art images became increasingly popular on Instagram in order to focus fully on painting.

Working with galleries

“If you’re interested in having your art represented by a gallery in addition to selling prints on your own website, you should do your homework and be professional,” says Ken.

  • JA: Take a look at the social media presences of galleries:  “If you have more followers than this gallery, or if this gallery generally does not have many followers, that should be a warning signal.”
  • NO: Do not contact galleries via social media:  “It is really amazing how many people try to reach us on Facebook Messenger or tag us in a post on Instagram and ask to review their work. Although social media is an important focus for us, it’s not a very professional way of contacting an artist. “
  • YES: Do your research and only contact the galleries that exhibit works in your own style .

Packaging and shipping of art

If you want to send original works of art or prints and canvases via a printing and shipping service provider, but rather yourself, you should be particularly careful with the packaging.

Prints and posters are best sent in cardboard shipping tubes, smaller prints in rigid cardboard shipping bags. Use glassine (a water and grease resistant paper) or clear cellophane sleeves to protect the prints inside the packaging.

Framed works and canvases require additional precautions. Packaging supply stores offer packaging and shipping materials such as cardboard corners and special size boxes that are specifically designed for art.

There are tons of little tips and tricks that can help keep shipping costs down for art collectors. For example, the cost of shipping a large painting drawn onto canvas can be quite substantial – especially when it comes to oversized dimensions. Sometimes we take out the canvas, roll it up in a tube and ship it that way, which dramatically cuts shipping costs. The customers can then have the screen stretched again locally. ”- Ken

Shipping insurance

Insurance is important when shipping original works as a lost or damaged package cannot simply be replaced.

Many shipping service providers like DHL offer fairly basic insurance for most packages. In any event, traders should be concerned with the specific additional costs and limitations of each insurance provider. For higher quality works of art, Ken takes additional measures to ensure their safety.

“Sending works worth more than a thousand dollars is definitely difficult. This is about something that is quite valuable. So financially it makes sense to hire a private shipping company or a shipping company specializing in art. ”- Ken

Plagiarism and copyright protection

The artist Tuesday Bassen took up the fight against imitators (large retail chains had used their original motifs without permission) by hiring a lawyer and bringing her story to the media.

But for both Maria and Ken, imitation and plagiarism are just an unfortunate reality of their business lives. Maria only took legal action once before changing her mind:

“In the end, it took me my whole life to learn how to do this. It took many years of practice and discipline and a career in advertising, then unemployment, to shape me into who I am today. The technical skills required for my work cannot be learned overnight. If someone copies me, they’ll have to sit down and study for themselves, because sooner or later you’ll run out of ideas. If I don’t publish anything, what is there to copy? “

Artist as entrepreneur

Growing your business as an artist means constantly creating new work to keep your fans as repeat customers. To do that, says Maria, one has to stay inspired:

“It’s good to see the world from other perspectives. It helps to form your own opinion about what you like and what you don’t. One of the things I always love to do is bring a person into an art gallery who normally wouldn’t do it on their own. Everyone sees art differently. One should therefore keep visiting new exhibitions to open one’s mind, look around and see how other artists look at the world. That can cause you to think a little differently about your own point of view. “

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