If you choose to sell your work exclusively through shops and galleries, then you don't need to know much about how to sell your art. The galleries and assistants will do this for you, all you need to do is supply the work and pick up a cheque at the end of the month. While this may seem appealing to some, it does usually involve giving around 40% of your earnings back to the gallery, which makes it harder to earn a living as an artist, unless you are selling a lot of high-end artworks, fairly regularly.
One of the best parts about being an artist for me, is seeing the joy my work brings to the people who buy it. Whether it's for themselves or a gift for a loved one, I never tire of seeing their response, understanding their connection to a piece and hearing about the pleasure it brings them. I regularly receive photos of newly acquired artwork hanging in people's homes, and I love that.
When you sell through a shop or gallery, you rarely get to hear about the people who buy your work and what it means to them. You certainly won't get access to their contact details. While I understand how hard galleries work for that 40%, I believe the next generation of artists will have the skills to promote, market and sell their own work, and therefore have a much better chance of making a sustainable living as an artist.
If you decide to go down the route of independent artist, and want to sell your work yourself, then here are my top tips:
Taking quality time to educate yourself on being a business owner is a good investment of your time as an artist, and for the first time in history, we now have a direct line to our customers through the genius of the internet. Let's use it to our advantage!