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How to sell your art online? 10 things you need to get right!

How to sell your art online?

Mountcutting

Mountcutting

Several years ago I decided not to try and get my works accepted by traditional galleries, but instead to try and sell them myself, directly, via online shops. This means I retain full control over each sale, including customer communications, the standard of mounting and framing, if applicable, the careful wrapping and safety of each consignment, and the settlement of any issues or problems which may arise.

Over the years, I have spoken to many artists, who have experienced problems with galleries who let them down, failing to sell their works or failing to return them, after the agreed term.  Galleries which closed and shut up shop, without notice, or who damaged re-painted or removed the frames. Not passing on the buyers details, and discouraging any direct communication  between artist and buyer. For reasons like these, many artists choose not to approach galleries.  That’s when they ask me “Q How should I sell my art online?”

There are at least 10 things you need to get right!

Chasing the Light Exhibition Postcard

Chasing the Light Exhibition Postcard

It is going to be a steep learning curve, so here goes:

  1. Choose an online shop gallery with care, compare charging structures etc,
  2. Learn to take high definition photos including, close ups, in frames, in home settings etc, and edit and correct the colour balance saturation etc.
  3. Learn how to present the works, thank you letters, certificates of authenticity, cellophane wrapping, cutting single and double mounts
  4. Wrapping and protecting the works, choosing delivery options, couriers, postal services, Insurance etc
  5. Creating a table of post, packing and insurance charges for each size or type of work.
  6. Deciding on standards of after sales service, how to respond if a customer wishes to return their work
  7. How to present yourself, your artist statement, your story, within the confines of your chosen shop.
  8. Decide on a pricing structure, who is your target customer?
  9. How will you market your online presence? Using Social Media? Create your own website & Blog?
  10. Choosing a mailing service for Newsletters, RSS feeds for your Blog, Build a mailing list.

OK so you’re thinking – Do I really have to do all that?

Well now you are starting to understand why many artists struggle to earn a decent living. By the time the sales and marketing is sorted, there’s little time left for creating original art.

I once read that the American artist Mark Rothko spent 5 days a week on marketing, and only 2 days in the studio? 

So now you know what to do – Take the time to learn how to sell your art yourself, or find a gallery who are willing to do it for you ! Not an easy choice to make!

Where to find my best Paintings? My best kept secret Uncovered!

Receeding Tide, Margate

Receding Tide, Margate Oil Painting

Hello again, Yes I’m often asked this question and I hand out my card so people can look up my web site and see my latest work. But there’s a catch!

When the weather is good I spend as much time as possible out doors in my ‘plein air’ studio – painting for all I’m worth! Why? Because like any crafts person I’m on a journey, of discovery, of learning, of improvement.

Updating my web site and writing blog posts, has to be done on rainy or cold days, or at night when it’s too dark to paint. But when I finish a painting the first thing I do is take high resolution photographs of it and put it in one of my online shops. So here is the Secret: To see my latest and best works – visit my shops online – You have a choice of two: Artfinder   click here  or Saatchi  click here

Now – about that journey of discovery, – The best way to learn is to practice, a lot, because the more practice you do the better you’ll get, bit by bit, little by little.

Sunset at Margate in Oils

Sunset at Margate in Oils

Think of the musician learning to play the piano or the violin, the same rules apply. Some used to say it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become proficient in music, to play with an ensemble or an orchestra for example. So if you are only practicing for say 2 hours a week, it’s going to take you 96 years, to get there, providing you don’t have a holiday, or illness etc, or you don’t waste time by not having a good teacher or mentor.

Don’t let me deter you from your chosen challenge, but if you intend to succeed at it, you need to put in the hours. There are no short cuts, but there are rewards, even if they are internal, ie inner satisfaction, the pleasure of achieving a valuable skill, etc. etc. So do keep at it – Remember that three years at art college, plus many hours of homework etc is an excellent start to a career, but if you didn’t go to college, like me, we have to work even more, to get to where we would like to be. Q Do you know where you would like to be on this journey?

– The subject of a future post!  Thanks for reading.

Roald Dahl said: Lukewarm is no good! – Go at it Full Speed, with both arms, become passionate about it!