Should I Sell my Artwork?
What do you do with paintings left in your storeroom? We paint because it's a lifestyle. It's a way of communicating and challenging the norm. We do it as we take a bath every day. It's just what we do.
Now the question is - my paintings are accumulating. And non artist parents or spouses are breathing down my neck to clear the mess of "useless" artworks.
If you've come to that point, you should probably start considering putting your artwork for sale. While we all have emotional attachment to our past work - our first piece, our first foray into another subject, milestones in our lives put in painting, a strong view of social trends - it's time to put those away and move on to accumulate more experience. Of course, keep the few that you absolutely must.
We've come to realise that moving on and a continual reinvention of yourself and artwork is necessary bring yourself to a higher level. Putting past works for sale feels liberating.
If it's the first time you're looking to sell your artwork, we've provided a quick list of how you can do this:
1. Galleries and Dealers
Galleries are a good first step. Though they're careful in their selection, you'll never know if your style of art is in demand. Gallery owners know industry trends well and they're in touch with the art buying market so it will do well to at least show them your work. You never know, you may be lucky enough to be represented.
A disclaimer though - as the gallery interviews you, you should also interview the gallery. Some galleries are transaction based, while others put in effort to nurture and to continually display your work (maybe in overseas branches as well). The good ones also find opportunities for you to work with other artists take up commission work and look to place your art in museums.
Look at their financial stability. The gallery business is not a stable one due to the uncertain nature of the industry. The average lifespan of galleries has come out to be about 2 years.
Pick a good gallery and you won't go wrong.
2. Personal Networks
Leveraging on personal networks is a powerful way to sell your work. You will probably get some sales from friends and family who are happy to show you their support. However, as an artist, its most flattering if a stranger approaches you to buy your art. Family and friends, as much as I would not like to say this, would be more biased to you, especially if they come from non art backgrounds.
We all start with personal networks. It's amazing to see how this can lead you to a gallery or dealer interested in your work.
Post your artwork for sale on Facebook or on your blog for friends and family. Get them to Share your art with their friends.
3. Self-Serve Platforms
Do it yourself. Leverage on e-commerce platforms. Seek out good online platforms that are built to help artists like you. Many artists go on to be represented formally by galleries.
However, stay clear of platforms that bring the value of your work down. The design, products they carry, artists they have, and all, play a part in positioning your work. For example, putting your work on E-Bay is not a good idea due to the large variety of factory produced art and generic products they carry.
When you've found one, invest time in writing about yourself and your artwork. It'll do wonders in the long run.
About the Author
The writer, Nico, is an art consultant at Artyii. He is specialised in Asian art and advises artists on how they can effectively brand themselves for the art buying market in the U.S and U.K.
Asian Art | Wall Paintings
Artwork for Sale
Pricing your Artwork for Sale.
Frequently Asked Questions...
For the other artists out there- How do you mail paintings?
I'm an artist and was thinking of putting some of my artwork up for sale online. If anything did sell, what is the best method to get that painting to the person? Do I just take it to a UPS store and let them package it? Would that cost an arm and a leg? Or would a regular post office be able to package it for me? What do you do? Thanks for your polite answers.
also, if you do have to package it yourselves, where do you get the supplies to do so, and how do pack it so it doesnt get damaged? thanks!
It depends on what material this art consists of. If it is a thin paper, it is best to roll it on a sturdy cardboard tube and there are tube boxes to send them in. If it is thick watercolor paper, then you should purchase a flat box for it, which you can get at a UPS store and online. There are also boxes that fit dimensions for stretched canvases. It is generally better to choose UPS or Fedex, rather than U.S.P.S.