How To Sell Your Art — 7 Steps to get started selling your artwork for profit.

Artist Teresa Bernard
Bluemoon Original Oil Paintings

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7 Steps to Get Started Selling Your Artwork

1. Decide that you want to sell your artwork!

Now, I know this sounds ridiculous on the surface but look at it a little deeper. Many artists love just creating art, they have no desire to sell what they make. Selling their work becomes unfortunately a necessary evil. Suffice to say...Supplies, tools, food and housing costs money. If you want to be a full time artist you either have to have money saved up, work another full time job or learn how to sell some of your work. Many artists look at this last alternative as something they dread doing. I hear all the time..."I want to be an artist not a salesperson!" I couldn't agree more! But...and here is the big but...you have to learn easy methods to help you sell your art where the art basically sells itself.

2. Decide what you want to sell.

Many artists don't have a clue what to sell. This causes them a lot of stress. They will say that their work is too time consuming and they will never recoup the cost or time involved in making the piece. If this is the case, you will need to do some research to find out what is selling and if your work has a market for it. You should not create dozens if not hundreds of pieces to find out that there is no market or interest in that particular artwork. A little research ahead of time goes along way. If you have artwork that falls into the category of being one of a kind, expensive and time intensive to produce you will also have to decide the marketability of the piece. There are easy ways to do this research ahead of time you just have to be educated in the proper steps on how to do it. Failing to do it could bankrupt you before you get started.

3. Decide where you are going to sell it.

Once again, a little research goes a long way! For example, where do you think you would do better selling Southwest (United States that is) style artwork... in Phoenix, Arizona or New York City? Now some of you reading this may say well there could be some buyers for this type of artwork in New York City. And your right... there could be some. But isn't it easier to catch a fish where the fish are biting? In other words find the buyers for your style of artwork where they live, work or shop. You need to learn how to investigate art shows, galleries, websites and the like where your buyers visit. Not doing this crucial step will not only cause you heartache but lead to wasted opportunities. As you can see, this step builds upon the previous two. Now onto number 4!

4. Decide how much you are going to sell your work for.

Artists either do one of two things...under price their work or overprice it. Most never get it right from the get go. Trial and error seems to be the name of the game. Well, until you figure out the right prices for your work, much money or lost sales probably have slipped thru your fingers. There are several strategies to speed up this process to determine what price point will work best for your style of work. In my course I teach specific points in setting your prices from the start. I have heard that this information has created peace of mind for many people for it gives them a logical road map to follow. It also allows you latitude to know when to raise your prices and situations where you will be more profitable reducing your prices. Believe me, some of my best profitable pieces come from items that I could sell all day long for under $20. Now before you say, "I have no interest in selling for that price point..." What if I told you that these are pieces that I would normally give away and they take me less than 2 minutes of my time to make? Found money which exposes people to my more expensive pieces which I sell for thousands of dollars.

5. Set up an efficient shop and process to produce your work.

This sounds pretty simple doesn't it? But how many of you reading this could honestly say that your workspace is productive, efficient and could handle multiple projects at once? Artists tend to get rapped up in their work and lose track of time, space, equipment, materials and everything in between. I know I've been there. I would go into my studio about 7:30 at night just to complete a simple part of a project I was working on. I put on some "mood music", turn off the phones and get into the zone. The next thing I know it is 3 in the morning and I just can't stop. I love it! But the shop can become a disaster when I get going. Cutting glass for my stained glass windows, scrap glass lying around, airbrushes and the like...things pile up quick! Setting up your shop for production helps keep you working productively. Once I tightened this area up I was spending more time creating art and less time cleaning up and organizing all the supplies and materials that I just finished using. You are probably saying to yourself, "Steve, this sounds like common sense", and it is, but we all fall into this trap. If you are going to start selling your artwork you are going to need to learn to "tighten" up the shop. This will be the only way to be productive and profitable.

6. Organize your schedule.

This includes specific things such as: 1. Buying supplies and materials 2. Talking to prospective customers and current customers 3. Working on your art 4. Planning your marketing activities 5. Daily & monthly business activities such as taxes, bills, paying utilities, registering for art shows and the like 6. Having fun outside the studio! This step directly follows step 5 above. If you "fly by the seat of your pants" plan to be stressed and overwhelmed. Take time to write out all the tasks that you need to accomplish in a typical day, week or month and create a "to do" list. I have done this successfully for many years and have found it to be the most productive use of my time. Give it a try and watch how you multiply your accomplishments!

7. Create art and sell it!

This involves putting it all together. Just do it in a systemized fashion. The above will help you get started. Learning how to sell your artwork is really easy once you have the conceptual understanding and tools of how to do it. My advance course can easily help you do it. For the price that I am offering to you I truly don't understand why you have not gotten at this point.

Remember, FEAR is simply "False Evidence Appearing Real". The reason artists don't like selling their work is because of fear, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of the "I told you so" from family members. This fear is false! You can prove all your critics wrong and most importantly become HAPPY! Why not live the life you want, the life you dream about, the life you deserve. Happiness should not be a hopeful goal down the road but a major component of the journey. Isn't that what life's about? Go for it!

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