View Your Art as Something Worth Selling
In the recent month we’ve discussed Imposter Syndrome and learning how to call yourself an artist! Self-discovery allows us to assess and remove some of the limitations we’ve placed on ourselves and our work. Now that we can acknowledge and step into ourselves as artists, we can begin to look around and explore new opportunities that may be arriving for us!
Think About Why You Want to Sell
Do what you love and never work a day in your life is a commonly known phrase, however, selling art for money can add a layer of pressure to your practice. Take some time to think about your motivation behind selling. Are you looking to move some of your work into other’s homes and out of your hands? Trying to find an additional income? Looking to fund more art supplies? Launching a new career? Defining your motivation behind selling can help you decide what the best format is to sell your art and who your target market might be. There are tons of books on how to get started selling and narrowing down the basics. Finding out why you want to sell will help you discover the rest - who am I selling to, what am I selling them, how much am I selling for and where am I selling to them.
When you think of selling your art, what do you see? Maybe you imagine a large work on a gallery wall in a well-traveled town. Perhaps a crowded auction and a high price tag! Possibly a farmers’ market in a small town with a lot of local traffic selling prints? Assessing your current definition of “sellable art” may help you realize that your mindset may subconsciously be limiting you. Often, we put other people’s art on a pedestal and put our own works down (only to have them do the same!). Realizing that sellable art is everything from your quirky pet portraits on oversized refrigerator magnets to hand-painted sarongs to prints of your artwork in sizes collectors can afford to greeting card packs to, yes, gallery sized (and priced) works. Sellable art is a broad range and odds are, your art fits in there somewhere.
Some say comparison is the thief of joy, but I’ve always found that there’s a lot to be said for looking around at what is selling! Seeing the wide variety of work and mediums for sale at a local art show or online at Etsy will help give you an idea of the sheer range of work that people are buying. Did you know the first step to someone buying your art is you being brave enough to give them access!? That’s right! You can’t sell your art if you’re not showing it. Look at what is being shown and what is selling in the avenues that feel right for you. Does it align with your work and still feel fun to you? Consider starting a note in your phone or in a journal – jot down ideas that you see that might work well with your style! Feeling brave, post a few works on Etsy or sign up to exhibit your art nearby!
I didn't know that I was ready to show my work in a gallery until the opportunity came to me. I was in a local gallery to see if they could fix a canvas that had been ruined when it was shipped to a client. The painting was not fixable, but the curator of the gallery asked if they could represent me. I told her I wasn't quite ready, but I would let her know when I was. It was about a year later, that I decided to give it a go! I had no idea that there were people out there that would collect my art, or ask me to paint commissions. Sometimes, you just have to try new things, or say yes when an opportunity comes knocking. The image above is of me at The HeART of Orange County artist exhibit that Chemer's Gallery hosts every year! This is also the gallery that currently represents my artwork. I am grateful for the opportunities!
Do you have other ideas to share with out community! We want to hear them! Please comment below!
Thank you, this was nice insight to many questions i find myself pondering
I am so happy that you gained new insights!
Thank you for sharing this! It gives me so much more confidence to proceed. I feel beyond fortunate to have stumbled onto your site of amazing classes! Thank you for EVERYTHING!!
I am so happy you stumbled onto my site, too! So happy to have you here and watching you grow as an artist!
Finding the WHY & WHAT about selling my art has shifted throughout the years and leads me to some very interesting places, to be sure. Great article, great reminder!
I am so happy you found it useful!