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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Selling Art and Buying Art Online

Selling and Buying Art Online

Don't be a starving artist any longer; with all these resources at your disposal, you can easily put yourself and your artwork out in cyberspace for all to enjoy (and hopefully, purchase.)  Here are some  places to display and sell your artwork, in a variety of mediums:  painting, drawing, sketches, digital art, prints, woodcuts, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, and even a few have fiber categories.  

Now, do be sensible and be sure to check out any monetary cost or commitment before signing up with any site; many are free to display, but there may be other fees to consider, such as a transaction fee, monthly fees, and a commission to consider if you make a sale.  And, since there can be money involved, just be cautious about who you will provide your personal information to.   And, do note when you will get paid for your item; there may be a 14 to 30 day hold, because of customer return policies.  

And be prepared!  If you are going to offer a painting, for example, be clear on the logistics (and cost) of shipping the item if you sell it.  It can be very expensive to safely package and ship a large painting.   Be sure to find out who will handle the shipping; if the site does not, you  will need to factor in a shipping cost to your pricing.
And even if you yourself are not the artist, browse these art sites anyway, because YOU might become the owner of 'the next big thing' in the art world with a purchase from any artist brave enough to share their soul with the world.   

Now, the caution for art buyers:  As with any online purchase, be clear on what you will receive.  Will it be the actual, original work of art, or simply a print (some print prices may have you believing you will be getting the original!).  If you opt for a print, will it be on archival-quality paper?  There are many affordable ways to get art into your home, just be sure you will be satisfied with the product you will receive. 
And lastly, if you love art but have run out of wall space, don't worry.  Many of the sites have wonderful options to have the image put on a t-shirt, tote bag, greeting and post cards, and so much more.  Surround yourself with it!

This list is in no particular order of significance:

www.artsyhome.com - 'Original art for home, work, and life'
This site offers a free plan to set up and list.  There is a 25% commission fee, and processing fee for sales.  It has a clean, inviting interface that is easy to navigate.   They accept listings for a wide variety of creative mediums, including paintings, woodwork, jewelry, and more.  Of interest is that Artsy Home creators state that they focus on marketing your work to buyers, not only to produce sales, but to increase your search rankings and to drive traffic to your own website and social media sites.   They state they will  expose your work  to upscale homeowners, interior designers & trade professionals.   They indicate that they are a division of Distinctive Living Magazine, Inc. , a magazine for homeowners , "along with developing and managing websites dedicated to helping them find high quality goods and services."

Upload your original artwork for them to make prints and posters to sell with a free basic plan that has few  limits.  I did notice that uploading images was pretty slow with my connection.   If you have a Flickr account, they can import those photos.  The site interface is clean and easy to navigate, with clear, friendly  instructions on how to do each process.  It's clear that they are eager to maintain the site's offerings as a quality product. 

www.foundmyself.com -   "Buy art directly from our artists.  Our artists sell their art commission free, so 100% of your purchase goes to them."

 This relatively new site has an interface that is bright, colorful, and easy to navigate.  It is free to sell, and they have a unique opportunity to offer digital prints with a 50% commission to them (you must send in 3 of your best images for a quality review first).  As far as uploading images, my images uploaded very quickly.  They feature a community style theme where others can comment and view your work, with a forum-style atmosphere.  The Found Myself  blog features great articles about using Twitter, art theft,  how to protect your images online, and other topics worth reading.

This site has a very professional feel; they tend to curate what is selling and what is not, so everything seems very trendy and fresh.   There is a 30% commission on sales.  To sell here, you must submit an application. 

This site offers a free plan, and also a Silver and Gold Plan.  The basic free plan only allows 6 images, but as the site states, this free plan is "Great for artists who wish to show a small sampling of their art, contact information, and a blog. This basic ArtId is best used as an online business card."

This site has a clean, bright interface, and is easy to navigate.  It has a very European feel, but is open to artists worldwide.  You can list 10 artworks for free at the entry level plan, and art categories are varied, even including jewelry.  If your images are fine resolution and large, they may take some time to upload. 

If your tastes in art run a little on the wild side, this site is for you, whether you are an artist or an art lover.  As their site declares: "We are an unapologetically addictive experience. Our world is a festival of originality where everyone can revel in the freedom of artistic expression. We are the deviation of creativity that shatters the confines of expectation. We can’t help it—it runs through our veins and compels us to nurture it in others."  I just love that, a 'festival of originality'!  You'll find anime, illustration, digital art, and much more here.  My advice here is to pour yourself a relaxing beverage, sit back, and take a wild ride as you browse the blast of creative and inspiring content. 

The list above is only the tip of the cyberspace iceberg of outlets for artists; I'll be discussing more in the future; in the meantime, go forth, be bold,  and be creative!