Creating art is a gruelling process. It takes months, sometimes even years to create something that satisfies you on a personal level and after all that you still have to figure out how to sell it.
Being an artist isn’t easy, but that’s never stopped the best work from getting out there. So, if take some time to do your research and figure out how to sell art online, you could probably reach out to more people than you ever imagined.
So, here’s what you need to know about selling art online.
Online art is still growing
Online sales make up less than 2% of all art sold in the world today. That’s a pretty small market share and it seems there’s a lot of opportunity for it to grow. Startups like ArtSpace and Paddle8 are getting involved and letting artists from around the world sell their work online. Even Amazon got involved a few years ago and launched Amazon Art. Millions of dollars are invested in creating the perfect ‘online auction house’, because there is reason to believe a lot more art will be sold online over the next few years. As the tech catches up, you need to be on the lookout for the most successful online platforms for artists.
Don’t confuse networks with selling platforms
People will never buy art from your instagram account. Rather, use your social media as a way to connect with people. Network and talk to people online to create a network that may help you in your career. But to sell, focus on the dedicated online auction sites and never undercut prices that you offer in galleries. The offline art market isn’t going away, people still want to see a new artwork face-to-face. When Axisweb asked art buyers who had never bought art online, 79% of them said they refused to buy art without physically inspecting it. So you can use online to complement your work and help enhance its potential.
Now, the latest Hiscox report showed that the traditional art market was cooling down, but sales online were just getting started. Last year, online art sales jumped 24% and now amount to $3.27 billion.
Spread your options
Spread your options and try to sell on as many platforms as you can. Reach out to people in different networks. Saatchi Online is a great online gallery, while Axisweb and Visual Art Trader are both fantastic networking tools. Keep your mind open to new, innovative ways of marketing.
Be proactive and reach out to people
There’s a lot of online platforms that will let you sell your artwork. Try these platforms out but remember that selling art is very different from selling shoes online. You need a real network of people who know your work. The best way to do this is to be proactive on social media and offer people a chance to see you work and get involved in the process.
You can upload pictures of unfinished work to Instagram and tweet out your latest ideas. A report by Hiscox showed that 92% of online art buyers made their decision based on the quality of the images presented on the website. Another recent survey found that more than a quarter (24%) of all art buyers found new art through social media. Millennials are mainly responsible for this shift away from art galleries and to social media platforms. There’s potential to get across to the right crowd. Kevin Kelly famously said that an artists needs only 1,000 followers to start making a decent living online. Once you have this following online, you can keep them updated about what you sell.