In 2022 alone, the global art market generated nearly $68 billion. Needless to say, the demand for unique art is alive and well in countries all over the globe.
The problem for many artists is figuring out exactly how to turn their passion into a business that makes money. While art school is obviously an amazing place to learn how to perfect your craft, far too many programs cut corners when it comes to the business aspects of how to sell art for a profit.
The irony is that it's now easier to sell your art online than ever before without having to rely on the assistance of major gallery owners. Whether you're a beginner or a professional artist, we'll clue you in on how to start selling your art to customers all over the world.
From online galleries to ecommerce platforms, there are now many different sales channels for original artwork - but there's also a lot more competition.
Finding ways to stand out in the art world is an essential element of turning your artwork into a profit.
Working with a print on demand (POD) partner allows artists to feature their artwork on a wide range of products, from prints to apparel, that can be sold to customers all over the world.
The POD model allows you to sell your art without worrying about product printing, inventory management, or even shipping orders to customers.
Whether you're a painter or graphic designer, making money selling art online is possible - as long as you have a proper business plan. One of the first secrets to turning your art into income is to start thinking outside the box when it comes to where to find potential customers.
Don't get us wrong: Art shows, galleries, and art fairs can all be wonderful places to find potential buyers. But there are now plenty of other options for emerging artists who want to make money from their work.
While you can still sell your original piece to a single buyer, why not also consider selling art prints of the same piece to multiple buyers at a lower cost? Other ideas for cashing in on your work include:
Creating products like photo books of your art that you can sell on your own website
No matter which approach you choose, there are several things that every artist needs to know to sell art online successfully. Here we'll break down some tips and tricks for launching a successful online art business.
As independent artists everywhere will tell you, if you want to break into the art world, it's essential to create your own website where potential buyers can check out your work. The perk of setting up an art website is that it can serve as both a portfolio and an online art store where customers can purchase your work directly.
There are now plenty of online tools that can help you set up your art store/portfolio, such as:
These are just a few of the many choices now available. The important thing is to choose a platform that helps you create a website where you can both sell and show off your custom art with high-quality images and strong branding.
If you're already more established and looking to sell original art online, it's worth considering a partnership with an online gallery like Saatchi Art, Artsy, or Singulart. But if you want to sell your art online independently, your website must make it easy for art buyers to purchase your work.
Many online platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce offer ecommerce tools allowing you to sell original artwork directly from your website. If you don't already have a large following, you might also choose to feature your work in an online art marketplace.
Art marketplaces like Etsy have the advantage of allowing you to open your own online shop on a site with an established customer base. Just make sure you familiarize yourself with Etsy's pricing model, as the site does get a cut of the profits every time you sell your art to a customer.
It's also possible to create your own online store through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Choosing the right online marketplaces for you will also come down to the type of products you intend to sell on each.
For instance, while Etsy may be a great place to start if you want to explore selling your art on t-shirts, there may be a better platform for you if you're an experienced artist looking to sell art online for five or six figures. The important thing to remember is to find and focus on the venues where your target audience is already purchasing art online.
While online art sales have plenty of opportunities, be prepared to come up against plenty of competition. In order to sell art online, it's essential to create a strong sense of branding to help yourself stand out.
When crafting a brand around your online business, think about things like:
Your values and personality
Which art medium are you most known for?
How would you describe the style of your art (street art, landscapes, abstract, etc.)?
Who is your audience? What type of people tend to connect the most to your work?
Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers here. The key to effective art marketing is to figure out what type of image you want to curate and then use that information to help promote your brand.
Selling your art online doesn't always mean offering an unlimited number of reproductions. In fact, creating limited edition prints from time to time can be a great way to drive online sales by creating a sense of urgency.
Art collectors love knowing they've scored a piece of original artwork that not just anyone can get their hands on. This can be an excellent way to sell artwork to a broader audience while creating a heightened sense of value.
Whether you decide to sell prints in online galleries, through your own website, or via an online marketplace, offering limited editions occasionally can be a great way to boost sales.
From fine artists to graphic designers, plenty of other creatives out there know what it takes to sell art online successfully. Joining online art communities is a great way to share and promote your art, receive feedback, and meet other artists and art lovers.
No matter where you live, it's time to use your social media savvy to connect and collaborate with other independent artists. You'll quickly discover that building a sense of community can go a long way to getting advice on everything from how to start selling to how to promote your art online.
Check out social media platforms for artists like DeviantArt, which features over 61 million registered global artists. ArtStation is a popular networking site for digital artists, while Renderosity is a top choice for collaboration.
The internet is also full of information that can help you sell your art online. Sites like Dark Yellow Dot, for instance, have plenty of amazing free resources designed to help you launch your own art business.
Many artists discover that pricing art can be one of the more challenging aspects of owning your own business. Figuring out how to reasonably sell your art will primarily come down to the type of products you intend to sell.
In addition to feedback from other artists, visiting art marketplaces and online gallery sites can be a reliable way to get an idea of the average prices your competitors are charging for similar work online. For instance, Saatchi Art might be a helpful resource because the online marketplace often sells both original artworks at full price alongside prints of the same pieces priced much lower.
This could give you an idea of how much to charge for print products in relation to the value of your original art. When you first start selling your art online, try offering several different sizes and types of art at different price points in your online store.
By tracking your online art sales over time, you'll better understand which products and prices are the most successful among your audience. In the next step, we'll reveal how to offer plenty of different product options without spending a fortune on inventory and hoping it sells.
If you want to sell art online, the print on demand (POD) model is a great way to do it. Print on demand companies make selling your art online much easier by taking care of everything from printing your art on the product of your customer's choice to shipping it directly to them.
When you work with a print on demand partner like Gelato, you simply upload scans, photos, or digital files of your art to your POD account, then connect it to your online store. You can then choose which of our many products you'd like to offer your customers the chance to have your artwork printed on, such as:
You can even choose to have your art printed on a range of customized products, such as apparel like t-shirts and hoodies, accessories such as tote bags, or drinkware like water bottles and coffee mugs. When you make online sales, Gelato will take care of everything from product fulfillment to shipping.
Print on demand apps and websites make it easy to sell art online without worrying about inventory. When you use print on demand services, you get to focus on making art and drawing in customers while your POD partner handles the rest.
Gelato is a premier POD partner that makes selling art online to a global audience easy. We use a network of over 130 different print providers in 32 countries to ensure that whenever you sell art on one of our high-quality products, it will be delivered to your customer quickly and sustainably.
It's an exciting time to be an artist, as online art marketplaces and POD companies make it easier to explore different strategies than ever before. Whether you focus on selling art prints or featuring your work on t-shirts, there are plenty of great approaches.
Many artists even continue selling their original work at higher prices while selling art online in prints or merch to a broader range of clients. Much like art itself, it's all about experimenting until you find what works for you.
Ready to generate more sales by leveraging print on demand to create physical art prints or custom products featuring your designs? Sign up for a free Gelato account and explore more ways to get paid for your creativity!
The print on demand business model offers plenty of benefits when it comes to selling your art online. Rather than earning a lump sum for each piece of artwork you produce, POD can help you sell additional prints of the same piece to as many different customers as you'd like.
You don't have to worry about investing in expensive printing equipment, canvases, or merchandise to print your artwork. POD providers like Gelato offer a transparent pricing model showing exactly how much each product will take to produce, allowing you to factor these overhead costs into your retail prices.
Best of all, you only have to pay for something once it's sold, saving you from worrying about ordering too much or too little inventory.
Whether you want to sell art online as a side hustle or a full-time job, how much money you'll make will largely depend on the effort you're willing to put in. While a POD partner can make it easy to feature your work on print on demand products, you'll still be responsible for pulling in customers!
This may mean using marketing tactics like search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure your website enjoys higher rankings on search engines or running paid ad campaigns to draw in a larger audience. No matter your approach, it's up to you to get the word out about your products!
Aside from your marketing efforts, how successful you are at selling your art online will also depend on factors like your price points and the quality of your art. While making a full-time income from your art is possible, it's important to be flexible and persistent as you get your business up and running.