How to sell art WITHOUT social media

Selling your art is easier now than ever before! You don’t need to be represented by a gallery, or have an art degree to start selling your art. You just need some art and the right mindset! Let’s dive in. 

Have Art to Sell (in a wide range of prices)

The first tip that I can offer you and it may seem a little Captain Obvious but you have to have work to sell!

Not only do you need to have artwork to sell, but you need to have artwork at a wide range of prices.The reason that this is so important is you don't want to price yourself out of somebody's budget. The last thing you want to do is have a body of work and every single work within that body is $2,000 or more. When you do that, realize that people who want to buy work from you may not be able to afford that $2,000 dollar price point. You want to make sure that you have art at various price points so that if people like your work, they can support you. 

One easy way to do this is if you make Originals mostly and maybe you want to start selling prints for example. Selling prints of your original art is a great way to lower your price point. Another great way to price art affordably is to start including items  like merch, stickers,  notebooks or greeting cards. 

Creating a range for people to shop your art is so important. If somebody likes your work and they want to support you, by providing art at various price points, you’re making sure that you have something for everybody to meet them where they are. 

Research local shows and sign up for them 

This is such an underrated way to sell art that I wish more and more artists would focus on. You don't have to have a large social media following, you don't even have to have a website to sell thousands of dollars through local art shows. 

Research your local shows and start signing up!  Here is a link to an amazing resource that I've used in order to find shows both locally, regionally and nationally. You can search based on which state or city you're in, or how far away you want the different shows to be.

One thing to keep in mind as you’re applying to these local art shows is the cost to apply to some of these shows. Some art shows are $10, some are $35 to apply. It really just depends on the show.

These shows range from local art walks all the way up to really nice, juried shows.

After you apply you may not get into the show. Your application fee is non-refundable so think of that as a way for you to put yourself out there. 

If you do get into the show however then you have to pay for booth space. Booth space can be a hundred dollars it can be all the way up to over a thousand dollars. (The highest I've ever paid is $750 to $800)

Me at local show in Southern, CA

Once you establish the booth space, most of these shows are BYOB (Bring your own booth). 

Typically the shows want you to have a white tent canopy booth, and a lot of the shows ask for walls. This could be something like Pro panel walls or fence chain walls. You will need some sort of wall in order for you to display your work.

If you’re on a budget… don’t freak out! Keep reading….

Reach out to local breweries or local coffee shops 

Nine times out of ten, local breweries or coffee shops will be supporting a local artist. What they do is they will feature you and your art for an entire month! You get to hang your art on their walls for up to a month. 

A lot of these businesses will do really cool things like opening nights for artists and live painting nights. I've met some amazing people doing these types of shows, had great turnouts and every single time I've sold paintings! 

My art hanging at a local brewery in Southern, CA
Opening Night

The amazing part about this is two or threefold:

  1. It's completely free 
  2. You get exposure to people that are either local to the area or in town traveling to the area that otherwise would not see your work 
  3. They don’t take a cut of your work. 

These breweries or coffee shops are really here to support you as an artist. They want to have art on their wall to bring people in the doors.

They don't want a cut of your work they're there to support you and to Showcase you so again as long as you have a body of work and you have it in different price ranges you can show it and share it entirely for free you don't have to have a social media following or even a website to do this this brings me to point number three was that three or is it 

Make sure you have a way to take people's money

You can’t make a sale if you can't transact!  This can be as simple as aa card reader like a square reader or PayPal or venmo. It could even just be simply cash.

If you have a way to take people's money, you can sell artwork! It's really that simple. Make sure that you set up test transactions before you start to show your work and make sure that everything's working smoothly and you're able to accept their payment.

Have a business card 

This could be a QR code that's a screenshot that you have on your phone, or even a handwritten business card. It doesn’t have to be fancy when you’re starting out!

Get your name, your number and your email on a card so that if somebody wants to purchase work from you or they're interested in learning more about you while they're at the brewery, they can get in touch with you. 

You never know who will  reach out to you to ask questions or inquire additional details about your work while it’s hanging at a local coffee shop. I know it seems so basic, but you have to have a way in which people can get in touch with you.

 

Example of client email from a scan-able QR code business card
Example of client email from a scan-able QR code business card

Conclusion:

You don't have to have a large social media following or even a website to start selling your art today! You just have to have the few things mentioned above to start selling your art.

Are you selling your art currently? Drop a comment below as I'd love to hear from you!

Best of luck and stay creative!

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