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1. What kind of art sells best?

How to make art that sells: Creating art for commercial success

Selling your art is a unique, cost-effective way to reach art collectors and enthusiasts around the world. Some artists may struggle to create art with a commercial intent rather than creating art with personal meaning. However, it's completely plausible to do both; to challenge yourself creatively and build a profitable business in the process is a dream come true for many artists.

Whether you want to sell art online, in person, or a combination of the two, you'll need to have a few highly sellable pieces to make a significant profit. Researching market trends and understanding what consumers want to buy is mission-critical in the art world.

Let's explore how you can create art that sells so you can do what you love and make an impressive income.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • A unique artistic style will ensure art buyers and the community feel connected to your work.

  • Establishing and maintaining an online presence is crucial to solidifying yourself as a credible artist.

  • Asking for feedback from the art community can help you polish your style in order to create highly sellable art.

  • Partnering with a print on demand provider can help you scale your art business quickly with minimal upfront costs while providing high-quality products.

What kind of art sells best?

The art market can be a challenging business venture for many artists, mainly if they need to focus more on their target audience and, instead, create art for the masses. Understanding the market ecommerce trends and what consumers are shopping for is the best way to succeed in selling art.

Selling art is a lucrative business, but it's beneficial to understand what art buyers are looking for when they browse for both digital art and original work. The best-selling art subjects include:

  • Traditional landscapes (beach scenes, rolling hills, impressionistic landscapes)

  • Animal paintings (pet portraits, paintings from photographs)

  • City maps and local scenes (hand-drawn or digital art)

  • Wall art (handmade pieces, customized wall art)

  • Contemporary art

  • Art deco

  • Abstract art

Don't sweat if your art form doesn't fall into one of these categories. There is still a significant opportunity for you to sell art; it just may take longer for your business to catch on than if you were utilizing the popular art subjects listed above.

Making art that sells: Nine tips for more sales

So, how do you ensure your artwork sells? Keep reading! From developing a strategy for your art marketing to knowing the most popular art subjects, here are our top 9 tips for making art that sells.

1. Know your target market

To make art that sells, you have to understand your target market, what they're shopping for, and the styles they connect with.

You'll be most successful selling art in the niche where you feel the most passionate. For some artists, that may be abstract paintings, art deco, or painting animals. You may have more broad interests and need to narrow them down in order to create top-selling paintings and digital art.

Once you know your niche, no matter how tailored or broad, you can begin researching your target market demographic. Knowing as much as possible about your market will help you understand what they want to buy. Important details about your target market include:

  • Ages

  • Interests

  • Likes and dislikes

  • Medium preference (digital art, paintings, etc.)

2. Leverage print on demand

Leverage print on demand

If you are creating and selling digital art, establishing a print on demand business model can help you leverage your existing art and sell it quickly and efficiently to a broad audience.

The benefits of using a print on demand supplier are significant. Artists don't have to deal with inventory management, order fulfillment, or shipping out orders. With a reliable print on demand service, everything is handled by the supplier, allowing the artist to continue creating and doing what they love.

Once you've created a design that sells, you can offer it as a single item, like a piece of wall art, or print it on a range of other products, like t-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, and more. Offering various products rather than just one opens the door to more visitors to your shop and will drive more sales.

For a reputable print on demand (POD) provider, look no further than Gelato. We partner with a worldwide network of printing suppliers to promote sustainability and local shipping. We strive to offer superior customer service regardless of how big or small your business is. Our product catalog allows sellers to add their designs to thousands of custom, in-demand products.

3. Establish a unique art style

Having an established style is one of the many challenges of being an artist; with a concrete style, you can make money selling your art.

Your artistic style is what makes your original work stand out from other artists; it's how your audience recognizes your work and creates a memorable brand identity that you can lean into for your art and your business.

To find your unique style (if you don't already know it), create a lot of art in various styles and experiment with different mediums. Over time, you can narrow your focus to the elements and style that inspire you and commit to that particular niche.

Many artists regularly analyze their art to see how their style changes. You can do this by creating a poster board and hanging up your recent creations, then comparing them to the art you were doing six months ago.

Exploring your style and examining how it changes can help you when speaking about your work and while adapting your art marketing strategies online.

4. Be active online

Be active online

To gain exposure and build credibility as a professional artist, an online presence is essential as you start out and gain traction with your business and the art world.

Start by building a professional website to showcase your online portfolio full of your best work. You can also share details about your background and education, where you find inspiration and other important information that your audience will find interesting, and to build rapport with your audience.

Stay active on social media platforms and interact with your followers on your pages. Engage with your audience through polls, Live chats, in your DMs, and any other way you see fit. Ask for feedback on pieces you're working on, drop new designs or paintings, and create polls asking what your audience wants to see.

Like anyone they buy from, consumers want to feel connected with an artist before purchasing their work. Showcasing your art online with a behind-the-scenes look at your creative process gives your audience a unique look and can create powerful connections.

Lastly, showcase your art on online platforms like DeviantArt and Saatchi Art, where you can network with other artists and art buyers in the community. The more people you know, the better!

5. Offer various prices

It's crucial to settle on a price for your art that is appealing to your audience and profitable for your business.

This is another perk of working with a print on demand supplier; you can offer smaller pieces (like a phone case or calendar) with your art printed on them rather than only large acrylic paintings at higher price points. In doing so, your customer base can afford your art on different budgets, and you can still make a solid profit.

Offering art at various price ranges will expand your appeal to different art buyers and increase the likelihood that they become repeat customers.

6. Work with other artists

Work with other artists

Whether you're looking for a new art piece to sell in your shop or want to explore new art mediums, collaborating with other artists can help you tap into new markets.

When collaborating, working with artists who have similar styles can help you grow personally and professionally. You can also learn a lot from an artist in a totally different niche than you; every artist has something to teach and something to learn!

You can work with other artists to benefit both of you in a few ways. These include:

  • Create original art with other artists through original paintings, graphic design work, photography, etc.

  • Share a booth at local art fairs to gain insight into networking and talking about your art with potential buyers

  • Team up for a series of classes where you provide tips and tricks on creating original artwork for your audiences using the same subjects

7. Create limited edition prints

Limited edition prints are a designated number of prints created from original artwork. The concept behind limited edition prints is that no more will ever be made once a certain number is printed.

Offering limited-edition prints is a genius sales strategy because it incentives potential buyers to make a purchase fueled by a sense of urgency. It also promotes a feeling of exclusivity in the art world, where once limited edition prints run out, they'll never be made again.

Depending on your work and how much you want to sell, you can offer between 20 and 250 limited edition prints per piece of art.

8. Focus on quality and consistency

Focus on quality and consistency

When selling art, quality and consistency are key.

In 2022 , global online art sales reached $10.8 billion, with in-person art galleries becoming obsolete as time passes. Independent artists are able to sell art by showcasing their work in a custom online gallery, avoiding commission fees, and making more money.

However, without the ability to see a piece of art in person and evaluate it, some consumers are disappointed in the quality of art they purchase online.

As an artist with integrity, creating visually appealing, high-quality art is what you strive for whenever you pick up your pencil, brush, or camera.

To create art that sells, ensuring your pieces fit your style and offer consistent quality is the best way to build an art business today. With a reliable print on demand supplier, offering digital art printed onto various products will foster happy customers and repeat buyers.

Creating emotionally-charged, captivating art that sells is no simple task, particularly when building a brand and establishing your unique style.

Selling prints and original paintings can make some artists feel vulnerable. Still, if you take steps to offer quality and consistency every time, you'll be fine connecting with art buyers who appreciate your work.

9. Seek feedback

Feedback from other artists can be beneficial to understand how to make paintings sell and where you can improve your creative process. Art sells best when it inspires viewers; other artists can help you modify your creations in small ways.

Seek artists' feedback from online communities, like DeviantArt, a social network designed for artists and art enthusiasts to connect, learn, and draw inspiration from each other. Share your art online in forms like Reddit to gain constructive feedback and opinions directly from your target audience.

You can also ask for feedback on your art at art exhibitions, art fairs, art shows, classes, and other in-person events where you can showcase your art gallery.

Meeting other successful artists to learn about their art business and how they create best-selling paintings and digital art can drastically help you understand the industry and your audience.

Scale your online art business with print on demand

Many best-selling artists will tell you that finding a happy medium between your passions and creating art that sells is feasible. You may be lucky, and those two collide in your work. Or perhaps you'll have to pivot your art medium and style slightly to match what your target audience wants to buy.

Either way, creating art that sells is a great way to earn a profit and continue doing what you love. Implement a few of our suggestions and strategies in this post and watch your art business soar. Don't forget to offer options to your customers; offer products like canvas prints, posters, or greeting cards, and watch your art sell like hotcakes.

Creating a competitive art business takes hard work, dedication, and creativity. You'll also need a top-tier POD supplier to cast a wider net and reach more interested buyers. Art sellers can leverage Gelato's sustainable print on demand services to take their art business to the next level. Get started today.


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