5 Selling Advice from Pro Artists

Art has evolved dramatically over the years, from Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso to Kenneth Noland and Gunther Forg.  Many artists have since emerged to showcase their work, with some becoming successful and others not so much. Art is a form of self-expression of the society and the creator’s mind. What’s more, there are different forms of art today, ranging from drawing, painting, crafting, woodworking, and metalwork. As a form of self-expression, art often outlives the artist, hence ensuring it gets to more people to enjoy it by marketing it properly. 

As an artist looking to make an income of your passion, you will find various avenues to sell your art, such as a gallery, art exhibition, online shops, open studios, and even coffee shops. However, it may not seem as easy as it sounds, the real-world money market walks in, and you don’t know where to start as an artist. It’s important to know where your art fits in and how the art industry’s market works to cut out the costs of hiring a manager. Check out a few ways to help you put a buck on your art.

1.Some Fundamental Questions

 As in any business, art marketing included, the first step to attaining success is answering a few why’s and how’s. Ask yourself some fundamental questions that will guide you along the way to your financial success. Such as:

  • Which pieces of your art do you want to print?
  • What sizes are you offering your clients?
  • What kind of paper will you use?
  • How much are you going to charge?

If you have the answers to these, the next steps will be easy. Be honest with yourself and know your limits. Ask a friend for help if you need to meet your goals. 

2.Know Your Worth

 Most artists lower their prices due to a lack of confidence in their work. Be sure not to undervalue your work and gauge where your talent lies as you aim to improve your skills and abilities. Do not shy away from knowing what your mind’s imagination and creativity are worth. An excellent place to start is to put a price tag on your time, cost of labor, and cost of raw materials. All these are valuable resources worthy of fair compensation. Calculate a reasonable hourly rate, add the cost of materials to get your asking price.

 Always factor in the cost of material needed to come up with a masterpiece. In addition to that, include your estimated labor charges and any other miscellaneous expenses adding up to the overall production cost. This is a simple way of effectively pricing your art pieces.

Another strategy of putting your worth into monetary value is to calculate a standard pricing per square inch. It is simply adding $1 per square inch of your product + your supplies’ cost by charging a dollar per square inch. 

Multiply the length by the width of your painting to get the area of your yield per square inch. New artists and those trying to break into the market should start slightly lower than $1 per square inch. As you progress as an artist and become well known, you can charge significantly higher on-demand. Keep track of your expenses of materials and your overhead costs such as rent, utilities, calls, internet, paint, and other resources. 

3.Diversify Your Streams of Income

The best way for a steady income is by creating multiple income streams. Concentrating on one stream of income may be dangerous because it may not always be reliable. Marketing platforms such as Etsy have high and low seasons of selling, and so if you heavily rely on it, you may have little to no income during its low seasons. Here are some other sources you can check out as an artist:

  • Esty
  • Instagram 
  • Tumblr
  • Online course
  • Skillshare classes
  • Book royalties
  • Mentoring authors 


Preselling is a form of selling through email that gives you a high-quality luxury print without spending outside your budget or having to charge your clients twice as much if they only need one. The fundamental idea is that you have a limited amount of stock on your product.

Due to a limitation in time and other resources, you allow clients to purchase the service and pay before the product is finished. It works like crowdfunding. Have a few people on your contact list and email interested in your art and send them a pre-selling email over time.

5.Plan Ahead

Do your research first to avoid pricing your work last minute. Last-minute rush can follow current moods, your economic situation, or your desire for attention. It is best to plan and know the market by comparing yourself with other artists in your area. Even though your art is unique, it is essential to compare your work to other artists, to help you order for your price structure to get a good idea of the marketplace. 

Prices vary from region to region, with smaller art pieces fetching lower prices than top city art pieces for gallery exhibitions. Comparing your work and studying your area of expertise will increase your demand as an artist of different genres. 

Final Thoughts

Selling art does not have to be a complicated process as long as you understand your niche and target market. Position the pieces correctly and attract the right buyers easily.

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