The Internet offers a wonderful opportunity to sell your art! Here are some ideas for you to use. Please note that inclusion of a website does not imply an endorsement since this list is intended as examples of possibilities and is certainly not complete. Many sites are free or a free version with limited features is available. Some ability to edit images of your work is usually needed – for help on that see the last section.
This guide is divided into five sections:
1. Artist websites (blogs, photo galleries, and personal websites)
2. Online art galleries (collective)
3. Online stores
4. Auction and classified ad sites
5. Helpful guides and resources
Artist websites (blogs, photo galleries, and personal websites)
The most famous artist blog is the “Painting a Day” concept site by Duane Keiser. An example of a local artist is the Nancy Standlee Art Blog. Blogs are easy to use — they’re much like composing an email message. Digital photos and images are loaded easily. You can set up an email subscriber service so that interested parties receive your latest posting automatically. They provide RSS coding, which can be used by RSS reader sites, such as Google Reader. Some can coordinate with your Twitter or Facebook accounts. Some examples of free blogs:
An informal artist gallery can be constructed by using an online photo site. Editing of images is not required but, of course, they would look better if you do. Many of these sites actually have online photo editing tools. Negotiating payment with a buyer can be tricky. Payment may be arranged by email or phone; PayPal is a useful resource for this. Caveat: Some sites may permit the public to download your images or have photos developed. Some free sites:
PhotoBucket – Photobucket will link to eBay or blogs http://photobucket.com
There are many free sites where you can build your own gallery — your own telecommunications host may offer you one. If you don’t know how to do web design, look for a site that offers templates or website creation software. To find a local webmaster, check out the websites of other local artists. If you wish to sell art directly off your website, you can employ several payment methods: PayPal, credit cards, cashier’s checks and communication by phone or email. Many web hosting services offer free templates, as well as fee-based graphic services, shopping carts, and credit purchasing support.
There is much advice about the design of artist websites — just keep it simple, readable and professional. Don’t go overboard with personal details or your artist statement. If working with galleries, pricing is a sensitive issue for them so you may not want to display prices.
Keep in mind that unless you are well-known, personal websites usually receive miniscule amounts of purchasing traffic in comparison to online collective galleries, stores or auction sties. The problem with a group site is a different one – that of standing out amidst the crowd. To find free sites go to http://www.free-webhosts.com/, which is directory list of 300+ free web hosting providers.
Online art galleries (collective)
Absolute Arts – free or premiere membership for 15,000+ artists. http://absolutearts.com
CritiqueMyArt – a free place where artists post their art and their news and other artists and art lovers respond. Very much like a community Blog. http:CritiqueMyArt.com
Dallas Arts Revue Member Pages – A gallery created by webmaster J R Compton. $100 for the first year and six images on their Member Page, and $75 each additional year, with one additional image per year. http://dallasartsrevue.com
EBSQ – Self Representing Artists – Includes artist directory and portfolios. Combines an online arts community atmosphere with easy-to-use tools to do DIY marketing and allow you to link to where you sell your art: eBay.com (has auction posting tools), etsy.com, Imagekind.com, Facebook, Twitter or your personal Blog or website. $89/yr. http:// www.ebsqart.com/
FASO: Fine Art Studio Online – Free basic website and tiered prices. http://faso.com
Fine Art America – Free basic account or premium account. http://fineartamerica.com
LicensArt.com – provides free space for artist portfolios to showcase their work to companies interested in licensing art for commercial use. http://licensart.com/
CafePress – You can add your artwork or designs to 250+ products such as t-shirts, calendars, etc. Free basic account and premium options. http://cafepress.com
Art Menu – Sell limited edition reproduction works of art on canvas or paper. Limited to 20 quality local painters and photographers. Dallas-based. http://www.theartmenu.com/
DeviantART – Largest art gallery and community in the world – As a member, you can collect favorites, submit art, and track your friends and favorite artists. Free and choice membership levels. Offers a wide variety of merchandise you design including photo prints, canvas prints, calendars, puzzles, mousepads, mugs, coasters, postcards and magnets. Membership $30/yr; Premium Prints Subscription Accounts $24.95/yr. http://deviantart.com
Etsy – Sell your art or handcrafted items or almost anything! Sign up – free, your own shop – free, listing an item – 20 cents, selling – 3.5% fee. All listings include up to 5 images and stay up for 4 months. Seller chooses what payment methods used; Etsy recommend PayPal, as it facilitates instant payment and offers anti-fraud protection. http://etsy.com
EtsyDallas, a local group that you can join, coordinates local publicity and sales events in Dallas. http://etsydallas.com
Imagekind – Create and sell art prints with your own framed designs – all with no upfront costs. Get a free online gallery and promote your art on your website or in our marketplace. Imagekind handles all product creation, credit card processing, shipping, and customer service! Markup your art, and keep 100% of the profit; earn 15% commission on frames, mats and glazing; nothing to buy, stock, or ship. Note: Limited no. of images free; more capacity with monthly ($8-12) or yearly fees ($95). http://imagekind.com
Lulu – Self-publishing site — create books and printed merchandise and sell them. Products include art portfolios, photo books, posters, calendars and art prints as well as other kinds of publications. Lulu produces each item when ordered, and handles all payment transactions and filling of orders. Markup the base price by the amount you wish to earn for each product you sell. Free accounts. http://lulu.com
RedBubble – RedBubble is an art community and online art gallery that makes it easy to sell your art, photos, designs and illustrations as high-quality framed prints, mounted prints, canvas prints, greeting cards, posters, designer T-Shirts and more. RedBubble produces each product when ordered, and handles all payment transactions and filling of orders. Markup the base price by the amount you wish to earn for each product you sell. Free accounts. http://redbubble.com
Auction and classified ad sites
Art by Us – Free to list, but optional features cost. http://www.artbyus.com/
eBay – The largest online auction site and also the largest art auction site – over a million postings of art and crafts items at any one time. Famous artists and lower-priced art are the best sellers. Typical bidding and Buy It Now format. Online store fronts also available. Special art categories. Helpful marketing tools and fraud deterrants. PayPal recommended. Fees for posting (based on initial selling price), selling (based on a percentage of the final sale price), hosting of images and listing upgrades. http://ebay.com
Craig’s List – Free classified ad service. Dallas – Fort Worth is one of the specific areas served. Ads can include up to four images; run 45 days; and are limited to one ad placed every 48 hours. Category to list in: For Sale: Arts+Crafts. Other art-related categories: Community: Artists; Jobs: Art/Media/Design; Services: Creative. Free accounts. A great resource for marketing locally. http://dallas.craigslist.org
Helpful guides and resources
Allworth Press – 300+ books to help creative professionals in the arts succeed http://allworth.com
“Selling Art Without Galleries: Toward Making a Living From Your Art” by Daniel Grant, published by Allworth Press, Nov. 2006. This comprehensive guide takes you beyond the walls of ultra-competitive commercial galleries. Learn how to exhibit and sell your work in a host of nontraditional venues, including online, through open studio events, on cruise ships, and in hospitals, restaurants, and art fairs. http://allworth.com
ArtBizCoach and Art Biz Blog: Art marketing secrets, research and motivation by Alyson B. Stanfield http://artbizcoach.com and http://www.artbizblog.com Check out Helpful Sites and Services for Your Art Business & Career; Web Sites, Blogs, and Technology for Artists. Both website and blog offer free email newsletters or you can follow by Twitter.
Art Print Issues: a business blog for visual artists by Barney Davey. http://barneydavey.blogs.com/
eBay: Art Selling Guide. http://pages.ebay.com/buy/guides/art-selling-guide/ (there are 1000+ user-created guides on buying and selling art on eBay – go to http://reviews.ebay.com/ and click on the category Art.)
How to Best Sell Art Online. By Barney Davey on the eHow.com site. http://www.ehow.com/how_4695109_best-sell-art-online.html
Selling Art Online: Information on Where (and How) to Sell Art on the Internet http://emptyeasel.com/selling-art-online/ Note: The Empty Easel site is dedicated to the business of art – sign up for the free email newsletter.
PayPal – online payment system for auctions and websites. The service allows anyone to pay in any way they prefer, including through credit cards, bank accounts, buyer credit or account balances, without sharing financial information. http://paypal.com
Fotoflexor – free online photo editing site http://fotoflexer.com/
Picnik – another excellent free online photo editing site http://picnik.com
Web Photo Resizer – free online photo editing site http://www.webresizer.com/
About.com: Graphics Software – Tips, tutorials and information on graphics software. http://graphicssoft.about.com/
Photographing your artwork: Angie Vangalis gives you tips on shooting your artwork with a digital camera. http://artgroupsdfw.com/nucleus/index.php?itemid=754
How to Photograph Art by J R Compton. http://www.dallasartsrevue.com/resources/How-to-Photo-Art.shtml
Best of luck to all of you artists out there!