Guest Post by Eileen O’Shanassy
Being an artist is rewarding work. It can also be hard to market your goods and make a living from your craft. One way to show the world your art is by listing on website galleries. However, there are over 300 websites that sell original art online. Which one is the best and how do you get started? Consider these suggestions when looking for an online art gallery and selling your art over the web.
Choose Reputable Outlets
How do you know what type of reputation an online gallery has? Google galleries and have a look at the websites. If the work presented seems low in quality, chances are, the clientele is only looking to fill their walls. These sites will also fail to promote you as an aspiring new artist or will offer very little for your work. On the other hand, reputable outlets are usually an extension of a physical gallery. If they show a location close to you, by all means contact them and ask if your art could be displayed. Many visitors who buy art from reputable websites get a feel for an artist’s work by visiting an actual gallery before surfing their online site.
Reputable art sites like Artfinder set their commission at 30%. This may seem high for doing only part of the work but keep in mind that in return you are receiving the same notoriety as in a brick and mortar gallery. Posting pictures, merchandising, and promoting your biography are worth the money as opposed to trying to sell on your own.
Non-Curated Online Art Galleries
A non-curated online art gallery is a site where you are in charge of promoting your own work. Places like Etsy and Artsy provide the basic platform for you to show the world your work. It is up to you to drive traffic to the site and help people find what you are offering. This can be done through social media or making contact with area galleries and art collectors. You can also place your work on curated sites where a commission is charged while working on growing your audience on a non-curated gallery.
Online Art Auctions
Ebay continues to be a site where you can receive exposure. However, drawing a select group of art lovers is not as simple as choosing a specialized site that deals with only art. Artnet Auctions is one site where art collectors merge to find paintings and prints of a contemporary nature. They offer top of the line artists with bids starting at $1,000. Etsy also hosts auctions for members that have an active account with them. If you are unfamiliar with art auctions, this would be a good place to start. See if getting business internet services might be a good option if you are on the road a lot, but want to stay up to date on these kinds of auctions.
How you wish to be recognized as an artist is important in taking those first steps in presenting your work. Many art websites ask for a biography on who you are. Have you had any formal training or is there a well-known mentor that you worked under for a period of time? If not, do not be ashamed to tell the world that you are self-taught and list a little background on what drove you to have a passion for the trade. Some regular visitors will soon associate your art with your name and story. Always be consistent with this information when placing your items on different online art sites.
Types of Art
Not all art sites are created equal. Some will accept anything from anyone, but some sites concentrate on particular styles. They may represent only pottery, mosaic works, paintings, or sculpture. Only by searching through a website can you be sure you have found a good representative for your work. Further, selecting the right category of styles and genres will help to draw the right audience. For instance, if a site strongly features traditional scenic art, it would not be safe to assume that a New Media collage would gain any recognition.
Also check into services like shipping. Many art sites leave it up to the artist to properly package and ship their items. However, some will offer this service. Artmajeur and UGallery are two exceptional art websites that provide shipping aid to artists. You can find framing and print services to get a professional, polished-looking piece ready to go.
Online galleries have the ability to advertise through search engines. This makes the job of marketing easier for artists. Remember, online art outlets are just a way of presenting your goods to the public. Some artists are disappointed to list their work and never receive any sales. Promoting your business is still up to you. Be consistent in showing your work on social media and consider starting your own website. Sign up for art shows and have a booth at fairs and local programs. Keep a stock of business cards on you to pass out to interested people. The potential is there through online art websites and your will to succeed.
About the Author: Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy. For more information on getting an internet service to support an at-home business or shop check out these options.