How to Sell Printed Fine Art in the Digital Age
The need to show your art at a gallery to get your name out there in the art world is long gone. While we advise everyone to show your work publicly as often as possible, if you want to build a fanbase you must take advantage of the social media and an e-commerce website. You no longer need to rely on in-person sales in a gallery, your work should speak for itself in the digital and physical space. Here are several resources with their pros and cons that will help you sell your creation:
How to Print
Printing fine art can be a treacherous road to go down. When it comes down to it, basing your decision on how to print your art should be a decision based on knowledge, experience, budget, time allotment and tech know-how.
A great place to start is by glancing at your local listings for fine art printers. Depending on how many prints you want to make doing limited or large runs, it is likely your local printer will be able to help you. While this is not the most affordable route, it is most likely the easiest.
Printing from home is going to be your most time-consuming option. The benefit of printing from home is that you control the process from start to finish. While the initial cost can be pricey, depending on your printer needs, purchasing your own paper and ink will always be more affordable. Owning your process will keep you in control of quality and shipping
Printing online can be a tricky but quick route to fulfill sales. There are two ways to print online. The first is printing and shipping through a drop shipping company like Printful. If you aren’t familiar with dropshipping, it is a business model that prints, ships, and does customer service products for clients e-commerce stores. All you need to do is market your product. The second way to print online is going to any number of websites that you can upload your image and order prints from, just like you would through your local printer but without the storefront. The cost here can vary so do your research and compare your prices.
Where To Sell
So you have created your portfolio website to show off your work but you’re not getting as many orders as you thought. These days many people do not realize how easy it is to create an e-commerce site. Utilizing any one of the website platforms out there like Shopify, Wix, or Squarespace, you can sell prints of your site directly through the internet. This provides a customer funnel that more people are accustomed to, along with all of the information you need to to be a successful e-commerce seller. It’s a great way to get started selling online with little entry cost.
When selling online your logistics is one of your prime concerns. Shipping FedEx and UPS should be considered for your rush orders, but utilizing USPS and stamps.com is a great starter for getting the stamps you need to ship your prints regularly.
How To Sell
Now that everything is in place for you to print, sell and ship your work, all that’s left is getting people to your page. Of course, if you haven’t been living under a rock for the last almost 15 or so years, social media is a great way to attract people to your website. Your website is a great place to show your art, but social media is an even better outlet to grow your audience. Finding your audience and learning their interests and engaging with them will not only help you develop your artistic style, but it will also grow your business at the same time. Engaging with people honestly will grow your business 100 times more than any website will.
How To Price Your Work
Last but certainly not least a question most artists toy with on a regular basis “How do I price my artwork?” There is some “simple” math to find out this answer. Time + Materials + Experience = Price. This should give you a relative base price for your artwork. How much time you put into the actual artwork, plus how much you spent on materials to create it, plus your relative experience (degree, years honing your style and skills) will give you a general price. Now take this with a grain of salt and just look at how much you are charging for your work and if you are not comfortable with the price certainly charge more. But this is only regarding selling digitally reproduced fine art, selling originals is a whole other ball game.
We hope this helps you get your start selling your amazing artwork online and gives you a small gleam into what many have turned into a full-time job or at least a great side business. Building a following on social media is never an overnight process of fame and fortune. It takes hard work to create, engage with, and grow your audience, but through perseverance and insight, it is easily within reach.