9 Best Ways to Sell Art Online and Make Money
Making money as an artist can be a difficult task. However, if you focus on the essential principles, you will be well on your way to success!
How to sell art online and make money
I'm glad you're here! In this guide, I'm going to share with you four guiding principles that will help you find success as an artist.
We will discuss how to establish a brand, create quality artwork, create connection and emotion, and focus on trends. So whether you're a beginner or an experienced artist, there's something in here for everyone.
But that's not all! I'm also going to share 9 different ways for you to get started. Following these tips will help you sell art online and make money, and build a successful career in this competitive industry!
When it comes to making a living as an artist, there are no easy answers. However, two of the most frequently asked questions are:
"How do I know if I am good enough to sell art?"
"How do I sell art online and make money?"
While these are both difficult questions, there are a few things that can help you to gauge your level of talent and to find opportunities to showcase your work.
When it comes to determining your skill level, it can be helpful to seek out the opinions of other artists or art professionals. It can be difficult to be objective about your own art, so getting feedback from those who have experience in the field can give you a better idea of where you stand in terms of your ability to sell your art.
Four guiding rules to being a successful artist
Establish a brand
By clearly defining who you are as an artist, what your style is, and what you stand for, you will be able to better connect with your audience and build a following of fans who appreciate your work.
The power of your brand should not be underestimated, especially when it comes to attracting new opportunities. It will not only help you gain a following, but it will also make you more attractive to galleries, collectors, and other opportunity providers. Developing relationships with key people in the art world as well as fellow artists can help you to get your foot in the door and to start getting your work seen by potential buyers.
A well-defined brand will also give you a clear direction to follow as you create new work, making it easier to stay consistent and produce high-quality art that supports your overall career goals.
Quality of your art
Creating high-quality art is not about being the best artist in the world, it's all about focusing on one thing and doing it well. You don't need to be an expert in every form of art, just focus your attention where you're most comfortable with that particular skill set!
If you don't know what style of art you want to create, take some time to explore that and get focused on one particular thing in your creative process. Once you know what you're trying to achieve it will be so much easier to achieve it!
Create an emotional response
The work of an artist should make you feel something. Whether it be sadness, happiness, or anger; an artist's job is to evoke these emotions in others.
Focusing on issues and trends that resonate with the world we live in today will bring up your customers' emotions about what they are seeing around them and how this relates back to their own life struggles as well.
This is powerful stuff. I wouldn't think twice about dropping a few grand into a piece of art that inspired me every time I looked at it.
Focus on trends
There is no doubt that customers are drawn to products that are fashionable and in style. This is why artists who focus on trends and styles that are popular tend to make more sales. By focusing on the latest trends, artists can attract more customers and boost their bottom line.
Of course, it is important to carefully consider which trends to focus on and if they fit your brand and your style, and if you can pull them off creatively.
If you don't know what trends are current, try attending art fairs and galleries, or even just researching the work of other artists online can give you a sense of what is currently popular or in demand.
Think about keywords or phrases that people would use to describe the art and Google it to see what comes up. You can also use tools like aHrefs or SEMrush to dig deeper and find specific keywords on a topic.
For instance, when researching this article, I found that "money art" was a popular keyword, but the intention behind the search was actually for people wanting to buy art that featured money, rather than "how to sell art online and make money".
Want to sell your art online but don't know where to start?
Now that we've established the key principles, let's dive into some examples of how you can make money selling art. There are two main ways to go about this.
Get a job as an artist or illustrator
A career in art can be very rewarding. Not only do you get to express your creativity, but you also get to see your work come to life and had a stable and predictable income.
If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in art, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
- You need to have a strong portfolio. This will be your best way of showing potential employers your skills and talent.
- You need to be willing to hustle. The art world is competitive, so you need to be prepared to put in the extra effort.
- You need to have thick skin. Not everyone will appreciate your work, but that shouldn’t discourage you from pursuing your passion.
If you’re deterred by the corporate world, or mind holding down a 9-5 job, an art career could be the perfect fit for you.
Become Self Employed
If you are dying to know how to sell art online and make money, the best ways are listed below.
If you want to start selling art online and be a business owner, you'll need to get focused and think like an entrepreneur. These options take work, and you'll have to split your focus between being an artist and running an online business.
However, don't worry too much - it doesn't have to consume ALL your time. There are plenty of options for making good money online with a passive income as well!
1 Commission art and galleries
Commission art and galleries are a great way to sell your work online. You can reach a wide audience of potential buyers.
Gallery owners and commission art dealers will often take a percentage of the sale price, but this can vary depending on the size and type of piece you are selling.
To get started, you'll need to create a portfolio of your work and create a profile on each website. You can also promote your work through social media, online classifieds, and by submitting it to online directories.
Here are some of my favorites:
Art Corgi is a gorgeous service that connects customers to artists for commissions. Their aim is to make it easy to discover and order original portraits and art from up-and-coming artists with minimal hassle and risk. The process is designed to give customers exactly what they want while also letting artists maintain creative control and expand their portfolios.
They guide artists and clients through the process and make taking commissions easy. No more endless revisions and catering to clients' every whim! yay!
Saatchi Art is one of the world’s leading online art galleries, connecting people with art and artists they love. They offer an unparalleled selection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photography from over 40,000 emerging artists from over 180 countries. Its mission is to make it easy for anyone to discover, fall in love with, and own great art.
Here are some stats:
- Artists Represented in 100+ Countries
- Works Sold to Collectors in 80+ Countries
- ~12M+ Monthly Page Views
- ~1.6M+ Monthly Visits
- 1.1M+Social Followers
- Printed Catalogs Sent to 1M+ Households
- 18 International Shows & Fairs Annually Reaching 150K People
It's free to create an account and they handle shipping - you only pay for packaging. You'll receive 65% on every artwork sold, with no additional fees. They have a non-exclusive policy with secure online payments and artist protection included.
Indie Walls have an artwork catalog of over 140,000 works from independent artists around the world and specialize in connecting artists to commercial projects and interior designers.
They can help with art narrative and concept development, custom commission ideation and project supervision.
If you are a serious artist established work, this is an amazing place to find work.
Artists N' Clients
Artistsnclients.com is a marketplace that connects artists to prospective clients. On the site, artists can create profiles and showcase their work, while clients can browse through portfolios and commission pieces.
Think of MySpace for artists, but with a convenient way for people to commission work, it's a great place to go if you are just starting out and want to build your portfolio.
SINGULART is a leading online gallery for contemporary art, offering a wide selection of original works by nationally recognized artists. With an emphasis on security and authenticity, they provide collectors and art lovers alike with a trustworthy platform to purchase artwork in complete confidence.
In addition to featuring established artists, SINGULART is also committed to helping emerging artists from around the globe sell the work to art lovers.
They select artists using rigorous guidelines: number of exhibitions, artist residencies, awards, and inclusion in public and private collections. So you'll need to already be an established artist.
2 Art blogging
Blogs are a great way to generate passive income, and you don't need to even focus on selling art online. You can use affiliate marketing and ad revenue to monetize your blog, and eventually use email marketing to sell directly to your readers.
Having your own website also allows you to sell art online without having to pay commissions to third-party sites. Best of all, you can reach a global audience with your art blog, which means you can sell art to people all over the world.
You'll need to focus on creating high-quality content and doing proper SEO by researching keywords that people are searching for, and most importantly, building links from other websites to yours to maximize your success.
3 Create digital art
Digital art offers several benefits for artists who want to earn money online. Perhaps most importantly, it allows artists to sell high-quality images without the need for their own website.
This means that artists can reach a wider audience and sell online without incurring high costs or spending tons of time building a website and attracting customers.
You can sell your art as a digital file that is licensed to allow customers to print and display it, or you could create work that is designed to be used by other artists and designers.
There are also several online stores, such as Envato Elements or Creative Market that specialize in selling resources for graphic designers, motion artists or web designers.
There's a lot of demand for digital art templates, corporate illustrations or vector art that graphic designers can use in their projects. And the benefit is that once you create something you can earn money forever from it.
4 Build your own online store
Building your own online store has a lot of advantages. You're in complete control of your inventory, you can set your own prices, and you don't have to share profits with anyone else.
Consider building your own art shop where you can sell prints and wall art, and sell original art. You could even create your own online marketplace for local artists to sell paintings and other art online and benefit from the networking advantages of having many people promote the site. You could utilize the social media marketing of multiple artists and even collaborate on projects and events.
The challenges of building your own online store would be investing the time or money to get the website set up. That being said, there are plenty of free options to build a website. I suggest WordPress because of the sheer amount of things you can do with it.
It's a platform that can grow with you and you can get started for free. There are plenty of free WordPress themes and plugins that are extremely high quality and easy to get started with.
If you do go for WordPress, you'll want to use WooCommerce as the framework for your online store, which is also free. It can be a bit daunting to get started if you don't know anything about web design, so check out my guide on the absolute best methods for launching your shop.
5 Create a print-on-demand business
Have you ever wished you could turn your artwork into a physical product? Or maybe you've thought about starting your own line of printed products but felt overwhelmed by the cost of the printing process.
If so, print-on-demand might be the perfect solution for you. Print-on-demand is a type of printing technology that allows businesses to print products only as they are ordered, rather than printing large quantities of products in advance.
This makes print-on-demand an ideal solution for artists who want to sell their designs on t-shirts or other merchandise without having to invest in a large inventory upfront. There are a number of print-on-demand services and services available, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.
Many rely on integrating with your website, so it would be on you to bring in your own customers, but there are a few like Redbubble and Fine Art America who handle the marketing for you. All you need to do is create the art and build your listings.
You could also sell print-on-demand products through Etsy, which is a great option.
As with any of these ideas, you'll need to know who your customers are and what keywords they are searching for. If you have this information I have no doubt you'll do well!
6 Creative Market
Creativemarket.com is an online marketplace where artists can sell graphics, templates, ProCreate brushes, images, and software add-ons. It is one of the most popular platforms for graphic designers, illustrators, and artists, with over 700,000 members.
The site offers a wide range of products, including fonts, graphics, templates, and more. So not specifically a place to sell art, but give yourself some space to think creatively here. If you use a tool like ProCreate frequently you might consider creating a brush and selling it, or perhaps you've created a vector illustration, consider listing it and making some residual income from it.
It is a popular platform that is easy to use and has a wide variety of buyers, and the site offers good customer service and protection for sellers. Creators can set their own prices and keep a 70% commission on each sale.
As with print-on-demand, there's no need to build your own website, and you can benefit from having a presence here.
7 Sell art products
An online art store is a great way to tap into a niche market where you have knowledge and experience.
There are literally millions of people who enjoy being creative and expressing themselves through art. By setting up an online store, you can provide people with a convenient way to purchase all the supplies they need.
There are no limits to what you can sell, so think creatively about it. You can offer anything from paints and canvases to sculptures and jewellery-making kits, but perhaps some products are hard to find for a particular type of art. You could focus on that niche and specialize in being the elite provider of supplies.
If you don't want to build a store right away, try Facebook Marketplace or sell on Amazon. You could focus on selling items locally before you scale up to reach a wider audience.
8 NFT art
NFT art is a new and exciting way to buy and sell art online. NFTs, or "non-fungible tokens," are digital artworks that are stored on the blockchain. This means that they are unique, immutable, and cannot be replicated.
NFT art is perfect for art buyers who want to purchase art that is one-of-a-kind and has real value. In addition, NFT art is perfect for art collectors who want to add unique and valuable pieces to their collections. And for art lovers who simply appreciate beautiful art, NFT art is a great way to enjoy digital art in a new and exciting way.
There are some amazing platforms out there like Async.art which allows artists and musicians to create pieces that evolve or change based on parameters like the time of day or if it's rainy or sunny. They also have some gorgeous display options like a large digital wall display and an Apple TV app.
Whether you're an art buyer, art collector, or just an art lover, NFT art is a great way to purchase, collect, and enjoy art online.
9 Create an online course
If you're considering creating an online course to teach art, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Creating an online course is a great way to make a lot of money with your art if you approach it right.
Yes, many people are doing this, but none of them is YOU. You bring something unique to the world that NO ONE else has! So don't be scared, go for it!
The process is relatively simple and just requires a few steps: creating a course outline, creating the art and recording videos of the process, editing the videos, and uploading the videos to your platform of choice. There are tons of platforms out there to choose from, but you'll have the option to choose a marketplace style like Udemy or Skillshare, or opt for a self-promoting style like Kajabi, Teachable, or Podia.
If you don't already have a website, I recommend Podia as a great all-in-one choice!
Once you've decided on a platform and created an account, it's a good idea to think about promoting your course. The best way to do this is by utilizing social media platforms like Facebook (or Facebook Groups!), Twitter, and Instagram, or by using paid ads on YouTube.
You'll also need to carefully consider the price of your course, and do a bit of research on social media to find out what topics people are interested in before you build the course.
Make sure it's something that people are really interested in, but also something that you can teach with confidence!
So is it really possible to sell art online and make money?
Although it may seem difficult to sell art and make a profit at first, following these four guiding rules can set you up for success.
If it's right for you, getting a job as an artist or illustrator can be a fulfilling career path, and give you consistent income. Or if that sounds way too restrictive to you, becoming a self-employed online artist is a great way to take control of your career and make money doing what you love.
For more information on making money from your artwork, check out the articles below.
Can I make good money selling art?
Yes, many artists are incredibly successful. You don't need to be an Andy Warhol or Picasso to make a good living as an artist. There are so many amazing resources online to help you reach your financial goals. The key is to have a plan!
Is it worth selling art online?
Selling artwork online is not just about making money. It's also an excellent way to increase your exposure and get more people excited about what you have in store! Yes, it does take a lot of hard work and determination - you will essentially be a business owner as well as an artist.