Maybe you’re a fine artist with too many pictures in your apartment or house, or you have a friend or relative with this dilemma.
The thing is, many creatives create more than they can sell, and when it comes to physical art like oil painting or other fine artwork, you need a lot of space, storage, and time to take care of the paintings.
Many Artists Have Difficulty Selling Their Work
If you think of a fine artist as someone who is represented by a national gallery or an exclusive art gallery, and who lives in a Park Avenue penthouse and drinks champagne while looking out over Central Park, you’re in for a shock.
Even Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol didn’t have that luxury until they became famous!
Fine Artist Does Not Mean Fine Lifestyle!
When you look at artworks by Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, or the Mona Lisa by old master Leonardo Da Vinci and the Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh, you see the fame, of course, but not the challenges behind the scene, like the hard work of an emerging artist to make it in the art world.
A fine artist often struggles to make ends meet selling their work, and most have second jobs. One of the main problems is finding an art dealer to represent the work and sell it.
When I was painting full-time, I expected that the main problem would be finding enough hours to paint – but it turned out that the biggest challenge was what to do with each canvas and art piece when I ran out of space!
Fortunately, I had other passions and eventually decided to focus on other creative activities. However, I know many fine art professionals who constantly face this problem, especially with oil paint, which takes a long time to dry and takes up a lot of room.
Another Challenge Is Money
Even if an art professional sells a canvas or two, high-quality oil paint can be expensive, and acrylic paint isn’t cheap either if you’re after top quality.
In the art world, it can take a long time for the first painting to be sold, and for the artist to make a name for himself or herself and find art lovers willing to pay enough to afford the painting material of his or her next art piece.
The reality is that most artists cannot make a living from their artwork, and that’s been the case throughout art history.
Some make it eventually, after years of struggle, but others are happy just doing what they love without worrying about money.
Either way, these happy people are the exception rather than the rule: making a living from art is hard work, and if you want to make it, you need not only talent but also dedication and perseverance.
Who Buys Artwork
Sometimes people say that buying art isn’t like buying other things. This is mainly because buying art isn’t something you can do on the side, and it’s not a necessity.
Buyers Are Usually Art Lovers or Art Investors
Rather, it’s about taking care of something that doesn’t need to be taken care of. And it’s also about the thrill of seeing an art piece in private, understanding its value, and potentially paying tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for something you’ve no tangible relationship to.
In Our Digital Age, an Emerging Artist Can Sell His Work or Create His Own Digital Art Gallery
The dream of every artist is to be represented by a famous art gallery or ideally by a national gallery in big cities like Paris or New York. But even though the modern art world offers much more, such as online representation, it’s still very selective at a certain level.
Art fairs and art festivals are a good place to sell your work directly and meet potential clients and other artists you can collaborate with on future projects.
However, it can cost a lot and it’s hard work to transport the visual art. The Internet has opened up the possibility for anyone to show their art online and even sell it!
There Are Many Ways to Sell Your Work Online
Etsy is one of the most popular options for this type of sale, but the fee structure can be prohibitive, so many artists create their own websites or sell on third-party sites like Fine Art America, Deviant Art, or saatchiart.com – you just have to remember that you’re handling the marketing yourself, which also means doing your own publicity via social media.
Art Websites for Emerging Artists
There are several ways to market your work. You can showcase your work on social media, have a website with a portfolio, or create your own gallery VR if you know someone tech-savvy enough to help you.
The advantage of the internet is that it’s free to market your artwork and you can reach people all over the world. You can also post all your old artworks, since there’s no space limitation, as in the physical world.
However, you shouldn’t expect to immediately set up an account on Facebook or Twitter and the sales will roll in. Artists need to build their own audience by connecting with potential collectors through social media and other online networks.
Artwork isn’t just for sale – artists can promote their work in a variety of ways: Art competitions, exhibitions, public lectures, workshops, blogs, and social media (Instagram accounts).
Ultimately, this is good news for artists: they’re getting more exposure than ever before and receiving interest from new buyers from around the world.
Artists Can Rent Out Their Art
Do you have an old artwork collection? Some agencies are specialized in renting artwork.
If you manage to sign with one of them, and it all goes well, your art could become a regular source of income – a great way to give your paintings a second life!
Rent to the Film Industry
The film industry needs a lot of art, modern art, mixed media, watercolor paint, craft, abstract painting, landscape painting, acrylic painting, pastel, as well as old painting styles. Props, costumes and set design! They don’t have much time to create all that themselves. Plus, producers are often looking for a certain look or feel – a vintage look, an art deco flair, or something that makes their project special.
This is where artists come in. If you’ve paintings lying around your home (or if you just paint more than usual), this is a great way to keep them from getting littered and make some money from them instead.
You could sell your artwork as props in music videos, commercials, TV shows, and even feature films! If you love making art but still need a full-time job to pay the bills (who doesn’t?), this is another way to make money off your work before it gathers dust.
Some Artists Use Their Art for Good
There are some artists who use their work to help others. You may not be aware of it, but you’ve probably heard of or seen examples of people using their art in this way:
- Art for Good. Many artists use their talent to raise money for charities or to raise awareness for specific causes they care about. In addition, art can also be used as a form of activism and protest against certain issues or policies.
- Healing through art. It’s been proven that creating art can improve well-being and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. For this reason, some artists use their skills as a form of therapy for patients struggling with physical or mental health issues, such as substance abuse and trauma healing. Other people find that creating puzzles, coloring books, or scrapbooks can have a therapeutic effect on them as well!
- Changing the world through innovation. Some visual artists collaborate with scientists to explore new technologies that can change the world today; they may develop medical devices like prosthetic limbs from a 3D printer! These innovations often require an eye for design so that it doesn’t feel like something was thrown together haphazardly without considering how it’ll look esthetically pleasing (and what purpose it’ll serve) when finished.
Images Are Sometimes Used as Covers for Music Albums
When it comes to finding the right artwork for a musician’s album cover, there are a few options. Or a musician could hire a painter to do his or her portrait for example, for his or her latest album cover.
For those who sell their music online, say on iTunes, there are no rules about what can be used as album art.
But to use another artist’s artwork on an album cover, things get a little more complicated. The musician will need the artist’s permission and a licensing agreement.
This can be a great partnership opportunity for a painter because partnering with another artist means not only will your work be seen, but you can both double the audience and income!
Art Can Also Be Used for Book Illustrations
For a book publisher, an author, or even a nonprofit organization in need of an illustration for educational purposes, finding artists to commission means extra work.
Finding communities that bring together artists and those looking for artists can be a solution for everyone.
It’s also possible to license artwork from stock photography and illustration companies that publish both traditional and digital media. There are also free sites that allow visitors to download images as long as they credit the copyright holders (you need permission to use someone’s work in this way).
The Modern Art World Is Starting to Use Images for NFTs
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) is a way to sell digital art.
The idea is that NFTs are tied to the blockchain, a digital ledger that records transactions using digital currency. By creating an NFT, artists can sell their image files in perpetuity.
I haven’t gotten into NFTs yet, but I know there are some pros and cons, and if you’re thinking about going that route, I recommend you do some thorough research.
The 21st Century Art World is Changing
The sums spent on art in the 21st century are staggering and continue to rise.
The record for the most expensive work of art was broken again this year by Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi.” According to CNN, it sold for $450 million at Christie’s auction house in New York City. These figures seem astronomical and are meant to shock and impress – to attract attention and attract new buyers.
You’re probably wondering how people can afford to pay such record prices for artworks. Aside from a few outliers who are really wealthy, most art lovers who pay tens of millions of dollars for a work at auction are wealthy collectors.