How To Sell Your Art and Designs Online (Beginners Guide)

How To Sell Your Art and Designs Online (Beginners Guide)

Do you love to create art? But wonder if you can actually make money with it? Creating art is one thing, but selling it a totally different one. So how and where can I sell my art? This article aims to help those that are looking for ways to sell their art online. 



How to sell your art and designs?

There are different ways you can sell art online, one of the best ways is to sell prints. But to get people to buy your art, you first have to build a reputation. So follow the below strategy to have a higher chance of selling.

1. Create good HQ art

Although it might seem obvious, creating art that is of high quality is the most important part of selling art. If your art is so interesting and compelling, then it might sell on its own. But, you should not count on that. Even if you create HQ art, sales can still be slow. Mostly because people can't find your art.

If you want to learn how to make professional art and how to use the tools or get the skills. Head over to SkillShare, it has a ton of high professional video courses! Everything you need to become a great artist!

Definition HQ art

High quality art doesn't just mean, high resolution, it also means good composition, color use, professional, etc. Besides that, your art should be relevant and about topics that people care about. It should be unique and stand out. This is very hard for most artists, but with a lot of practice and research, you can create art that is commercially interesting and sells.

Tip. Have your own unique art style. That way people will more easy recognize your art, and you stand out more.


2. Build an audience.

As soon as you start creating art, you need to promote it. The best way to do this is by building an audience. This mostly will be on social media like Instagram or Facebook. People that like your art will follow you. And as soon as you build a significant audience you can start selling more. Make sure that you post frequently, this could be sketches, projects that you work on, inspiration that you found or anything that keeps you busy and might be interesting for your followers.


3. Promoting your art.

Promoting, also called marketing, is one of the key methods to sell your art. You can create the best art in the world, but if nobody sees it or knows about it, you're not gonna earn from it. So go out there and start promoting yourself.

One way you can do this is by getting into art magazines, by doing interviews. Or you might get featured in art blogs and websites.

Another way to self promote your art is by creating a YouTube channel. You don't necessarily need to talk about your own art all the time. But you could be a channel that talks about art in general. And with every video that you upload you can put links in the description. Or at the end of each video you can tell your watchers that you also create your own art. Be creative I would say. Or use TikTok, it's similar to YouTube and very popular as well.

Tip. Go to any of the platforms below and search for any keyword. This will give you good indications about what is popular and sells well. You have to do this kind of research before you start creating art. It will help you sell more.


Where to sell my art online?

Now that you know how to start selling art, here is an overview of places where you can sell art. Most of them are print on demand platforms. Which means that you do not have to worry about printing, shipping or even customer service. The Print on Demand platform will do that for you. 

The downside of this is that you don't have access to your buyers contact info. So there is no way for you to retarget them or build a customer list.




Below is the list, I ranked them by monthly visitors. BUT, that doesn't mean you should choose the site with the most visits, it is only an indication of the website's popularity. There are a lot of other factors that play a role as well. The best part, you can upload your work to all of these sites.


DeviantArt
116.97M visits December 2021

DeviantArt is a place to share your art, it's not focused on selling art. But it's a good place to build your audience, interact with them and share your art. You basically build a portfolio, with the option to sell your art as prints. There are other ways to earn money as well, for example you can offer HQ downloads.


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Redbubble
33.78M visits December 2021

Like most P.O.D. sites, Redbubble prefers a certain style. For example, most of the art that is featured on the front page are illustrations. If that is something you love to do, then you have a good chance of getting featured there, which will increase your sales significantly. If not, don't worry, you can still start selling your products here. They offer Some good insights and analytics, and you can even connect your Google Analytics account.


Zazzle
25.67M visits December 2021

Zazzle is a site that mainly focuses on graphic design products. Customers can customize the products they want before they buy. For example, you can add texts, logos, photos, change colors, etc.. You can create templates for customers to modify, or you can just upload your art here. Either way, it's a free way to get exposure and have more chances to earn.

Tip. Don't focus too much on designing your store front. Focus on optimizing your products keywords and findability instead (SEO)!


Society6
7.21M visits December 2021

Society6 is a great place to sell art, it has a ton of products available, and you can upload in any art style you want. They often change the style on their main page. So who knows, your art might get featured one day there as well. In the meantime, simply upload your work here for more exposure and more chances to earn. They don't have a Google Analytics option, which I hope they do one day.


FineArtAmerica
7.42M visits December 2021

FineArtAmerica is a great place to start selling your art, you can sell them as POD or as physical art. Most of the art is digital paintings and Fine art, like the name suggests. Still it's a good way to build exposure.




Saatchi art
1.93M visits December 2021

One of the smaller POD sites, yet still a good looking platform with chances to sell your art. Maybe your art sells very well here, who knows. Sometimes it's better to sell your art on not yet saturated marketplaces.




Other marketplaces to sell your art 

The focus on these sites is not art. Still these sites have a lot of traffic. And are opportunities for you to earn money


Amazon / Amazon Merch
2.89B visits December 2021

We all know Amazon, their traffic is huge, and you will have a good chance of selling your stuff there. They also have a Merch program that offers creators a Print on Demand shop. Simple upload your design and Amazon will do the rest. Or you can open a regular Amazon store and sell your products there, but then you have to do the customer service and shipping yourself.


Ebay
844.94M visits December 2021

Although eBay has become less relevant for sellers, it's still a marketplace with a huge amount of monthly visitors. If you like eBay more, and you offer products that fit in, you might be able to start a profitable business here. 

There is still a lot of art that is being sold on eBay. And I can imagine that original art sells the best. But again, it depends on your art.




Etsy
480.78M visits December 2021

After you set up your store, you can add your print on demand products with Printify or similar platforms. Printify lets you connect and integrate with Esty. 

If you rather want to sell your physical art, that is fine too, Esty sells a ton of unique and different art. From wall paintings to chess board sculptures. It all depends on what kind of art you want to create and sell.


A few worthwhile mentions:

Spreadshirt.com, imprinted.com, CafePress.com. These are more POD sites where you can upload your work and start making sales.


Conclusion

Like most projects, you have to take it seriously, spend time on it and slowly build it. Unless you are the new Van Gogh, (which wasn't famous right away too...) it will take hard work, consistency, commitment, and time to sell your art. You have to become your own brand, your own business, and thus an entrepreneur. 


Good luck
Ron.



About the author: Ron Hoekstra

About the author:
Hello, my name is Ron Hoekstra, founder of The Liberty OnDemand. I hope you like my content, if you want to know more about me, please read here or subscribe to my newsletter where I will keep you up to date with new posts and other useful content.