How to Know When You’re Ready to Sell Your Art

If you’re just starting your art career, you’ve come to the right place.

Today begins a regular Monday Art Biz Blog feature for those of you taking the first steps toward selling your art.

biz basics

Q: How far along do I need to be in my skill development to sell work?

You can start selling art at any time that feels comfortable for you. If someone wants to buy a piece and you believe in the quality of the work, sell it.

But there’s a difference between selling art and marketing it. (More on marketing in a minute.)

A selling scenario might include a friend coming to a private dinner party at your home and falling in love with your most recent piece. You agree to sell it to him at a certain price.

Cheryl Brooks Designs

Cheryl Brooks Designs courtesy of Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.

Go ahead and sell the art, as long as:

1. You’re confident in your materials.
You don’t want a piece to fall apart in a year because you didn’t know that two different media didn’t play nicely together.

2. Your work is your own.
If your art looks too much like your instructor’s, you probably need to work in the studio a bit longer. You need your own ideas. It’s uncool to sell class projects that are based on the instructor’s work.

3. You’re proud of the work.
If the new owner tells everyone you made the piece, you’ll be thrilled.

4. You’re okay with the price.
Most artists don’t get big bucks for their first pieces. That’s okay. You’re getting your feet wet. Years down the road, you may regret the low prices of your early work, but you’ll be happy that you took those first steps.

Marketing is much bigger than selling.

Marketing requires a conscious effort to promote your art to a targeted audience. Marketing asks that you are registered as an official business, that you know how to collect sales taxes, that you have a system in place to keep inventory and contact names.

Above all, marketing requires that you have a solid body of work and the discipline to make more.

Stick around and check out other posts here for lots more on marketing.

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