The Art of Selling Art

By | 8:06 PM
By Rept0n1x (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0via Wikimedia Commons


The aim of these five tips is to help you talk about your artworks, and sell them. Artists anxious in regards to speaking about their art should definitely pay heed to these ideas presented in this article. Many artists find it is not easy to discuss the meanings and themes within their artworks due to the personal nature of the artistic process. However, it is the artist’s own story that is most compelling and intriguing when it comes to their own art. So, in order properly promote you own artworks it is imperative to keep in mind that buyers wish to understand the art they add to their collections.

  1. If you hope to effectively speak about your art, first write down what your art is about. The exercise of writing forces one to articulate what goes on in your creative minds. Include whatever is important to you processes. If you feel that your story must tell how you came to work in your current medium, what your primary techniques are, who influenced your work, if you use themes, what your art education is, or who has taught you methods and skills that you use now then include these things and anything else that comes to mind when thinking of your art.  Putting this information down on paper will help you find what points you wish to emphasize in telling the story behind your work.
  2. See yourself as others see you. If you are about to present your work, it is good to practice talking to a friend or even in front of a mirror beforehand. Use your passion about your work and allow your face, hands and body to freely demonstrate this excitement.  Giving a dry or flat delivery of your story is as bad, if not worse, than no story at all.  In order to sell your art, you need the buyer to be at least as thrilled about your work as you are.
  3. Focus on how your work relates to the prospective buyer; it needs to be more about them, not you. In speaking about your art draw the potential buyer into the conversation helping to connect them to the artwork. People typically do not want to purchase anything that they are unable to relate to.  You have to learn about the person you are speaking to, ask them what they like about it and discuss these things further. Make sure to maintain a positive tone and do not point out any perceived defects or adopt a posture that will make them feel less enthusiastic about buying it. It may kill the sale also if they detect you are anxious to sell it. Only present works you know you feel in your heart you are ready to send out into the world.
  4. Always have your artist bio and statement on hand.  Some people who are experienced art collectors will look for it and may even ask for these. If these are on your website, that is fine, but you want to actually have one showing in person so as to not confuse your customer about how to get more information about you. Remember, you are the artist so meeting you in person should be the best and most thorough access to learning more about you and your art.  Having a plaque or framed version of your statement and bio on display is standard practice and expected. Every artist must have a portfolio, and this can be another place for you to have your artist statement available. It is a tremendous impact for an art buyer to see you have one prepared and on hand. This way the buyer can easily understand where you stand as an artist, and by having this insight into your background, they will feel comfortable in knowing what they should expect.
  5. Art should be a natural and enjoyable experience. Whatever you do, do not pressure someone into buying your art. The immediate impression will turn the perception of your work from art into mere product. No one wants to come to a sales show, or a sales gallery.  The art is first and foremost and some people only want to look and be left alone with their browsing. It is best only to talk about price and previous sales if you are asked. This also includes the practice of upselling; do not try to wheel and deal to get your buyer to purchase more. If they ask if you do any combination discounts or have any specials then that is another thing altogether. At a market or vending event you can certainly have signs which inform about this upfront, but again, do not be pushy and do not try to force the additional sales.  You may lose your initial sale, and worse, you may make them so uncomfortable that they never return or refer anyone to you.


To be able to market and sell artworks, artists need to be able to present and keep the buyer interested. With this article, I hope that you feel better prepared to explain what your art is about to other people. Not only in how to get started doing so, but also in an effective manner which allows you a better chance to connect with a buyer and make everyone involved feel better about the sale.




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