“In 2017, the starving artist is a dying breed. E-commerce and social selling have become increasingly effective means for independent artists to self-sufficiently fund their craft, and most importantly, to gain the independence to sell the work they want to create directly to their niche audiences,” said storyteller Dayna Winter in a recent article on the Shopify blog. And this is something we can all agree on. The opportunities today don’t even begin to compare to the “pre-Internet” era. Digital artists come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are self-trained, others have gone through university to obtain a set of skills and experiences that set them apart from the rest and makes their art unique. Digital art is a field where you can make money nowadays both as an artist and as an art curator. So how can you sell your art as a digital artist?
Working with the Right Mindset
I know this isn’t easy and I’ve often heard talented artists say they don’t paint or create art for the sake of money. But hey, nobody complains about monetizing their passion in the end. Then, there is the topic of “being good enough.” Many artists go through a state of self-sabotage where they believe they are not that talented. As Jon Burgerman once said, “if you can’t be good, be different.”
Another thing worth mentioning is the failure. Nobody is born knowing everything and to err is more than human. Type guru Erik Spiekermann had an excellent reply when he was asked about artists failing: “Failure is part of the process. I’ve made mistakes to the moon and back but it’s the only way to learn.” Couldn’t agree more.
But what if this is too much to bear? Designer Dan Rubin says: “asking for help is not weakness.” And to add my own two cents, living your life with “what ifs” isn’t the right choice for your creative career either. There is no right time to be doing what you love and sharing it with the world. And you only have Today.
Finding Channels to Advertise On with No Additional Costs
The best way to get people to notice you is to become visible where your ideal audience hangs out. Social media is a powerful tool. Look for vivid Instagram communities, Facebook Groups and Google+ Collections.
Instagram art communities to follow include @artforum, @surrealismartcommunity, and more. Instagram artists to get inspired by include @yuumeiart (a personal favorite that I’ve been following since DeviantArt days), and these 20 other digital artists. The hashtag #digitalart has over 10 million posts.
And they are a must-have in your marketing strategy. Of course, you can do blogger outreach or contact local/international organizations that support artists and promote art.
Where to Sell Digital Art and What to Sell
Here are the top places to sell art:
- Online galleries
- Facebook groups
- Shopify & e-commerce platforms
- Physical galleries
- Your website/store
- Online stores
- Other people’s stores/websites
- Art communities
- Exclusive art group members
What to sell:
- Original artwork or reproductions
- Prints (giclée or canvases), limited or open editions
- Digital downloads and stock images, from wallpapers to prints, backgrounds, images etc.
- Custom and Commissions in digital or traditional mediums
- Prints on fabric or wallpaper
- Merchandise – pins, brochures, mugs, t-shirts, hats, bracelets, you name it
- Licensed work and collaborations with other creators.
Good to Know
If you are an art curator, then you should keep in mind your commission rates (usually about 30% to 50%), and the costs involved in the process. However, the game works in similar ways, as you must do the sales and marketing work yourself or hire a team to help you.
You can save on taxes based on where your customers are located, and the transactions you make per month. Conduct research in your local markets to see what the most advantageous choices are.
With these tips in mind, you should be on your way to selling your art online. But most importantly, you need to go out and create and discover. Because without having art, you won’t have a business in this industry online.
Image source: Pixabay, reimagined in Canva.