Steps to Sell Art

Although many artists may be intimidated by their own business, it is not impossible to earn off the ground as a business based on art. These eight most successful startups keep thriving and inspire future artists to pursue what they love. Like any business, one must first plan, create a solid business plan, and then execute the plan to make it successful. These businesses follow a basic structure consisting of the artist or creator as the CEO or founder, a business development company that brings together investors, artists, dealers, and a marketing company that promotes the artist or creator’s art.


Illustrator is one of the most successful businesses in the field of art. The artist, who often goes by the name of either Jim Shore or Tony Hardestweaver, creates artwork for commercial clients and paintings that are hung in homes and businesses. An artist interested in becoming a business owner will need to have a strong understanding of the business world and marketing. While commercial clients will require art that is eye-catching, unique, and appealing to clients, an artist may choose to focus on selling art to dealers instead. If an artist chooses to sell art to dealers instead of customers, he or she will need to have a thorough understanding of both sides of the art buying and selling business.

If an artist wishes to become involved in the buying/selling aspect of art, he or she will want to find a dealer to work with. In order to find a good dealer, an artist should look through the telephone book under “handmade art” or “fine art.” There should also be listings in the local phone book under “art dealers.” When looking for a good dealer, artists should consider the reputation of each individual dealer, the quality of his or her work, and how easy it is to contact the dealer.

Once the artist has found a good dealer, he or she will need to make a down payment. This will be a one-time payment that covers the cost of all materials needed to sell the art, including expenses such as advertising and transportation costs. The balance of the down payment will be kept by the artist as payment for future sales. Most dealers prefer a small down payment, which allows the artist to focus on making the sale rather than worrying about finances. However, some dealers prefer larger down payments, especially if they offer rare or collectible pieces.

Once the artist has decided on a price for the piece, he or she will start looking for potential buyers. A good art buyer should be able to determine an artist’s market value based on the art’s condition and appeal. For this reason, dealers often carry reference photos of their works. If the reference photos are not available from the dealer, an artist can use other means of determining market value, such as photos provided by other dealers or art collectors.

Once a reasonable number of buyers have been secured, the artist and dealer should set up a meeting. In this meeting, the artist should present his or her work and discuss how the deal with the dealer will go. The artist should also discuss the details of the sale and any compensation to be given at the closing. In many cases, a dealer will offer a print of the work as a bonus for selling art. The print may serve as the artist’s proof, or a way for interested buyers to evaluate the art.

Before selling art, an artist should research his or her market. This will help to determine a realistic price. If the art is rare, the dealer should offer an increased price. If the art is a contemporary piece, the dealer should price it at a more reasonable level. On the other hand, if the artwork is something from a particular period, the price should be adjusted accordingly. By researching art before selling art, an artist can ensure a successful sale and a return on investment.

Many artists choose to sell art in an online gallery setting. For these artists, selling art online saves time and costs because the artist does not have to travel to meet with potential buyers. The artist can instead focus all of his or her attention on creating the best art possible. Other artists can choose to publish their art through traditional galleries or sell directly to the public through websites. Regardless of which method is chosen, a dealer and artist should prepare for the sale of art by taking a number of important steps.