There are more options than ever for artists and makers to create income. How will you earn?
Artists sometimes worry that due to a slow economy, their sales potential is limited. But the marketplace is now global, which expands your opportunities exponentially. Not only do artists have a broad new audience to sell to, but traditional and new vehicles for making sales still exist and offer more options than ever.
How many ways can you sell your art? Here are a few that you might consider:
- Retail shows and fairs
- Sell retail from your website
- Through art galleries, on consignment
- At trunk shows, pop-up galleries or other temporary venues
- Out of your own space at an open studio event or arts walk
- Through private commissions
- By personal referral from your existing customers
- Wholesale at trade shows
- Hire sales reps to sell your line to wholesale customers
- Selling wholesale directly to stores and galleries yourself
- Licensing your art – at trade shows, through licensing agents or directly
- Submit proposals for making public art
- Sell wholesale online (your own website or a third-party site)
- Sell retail online from third party website site, or your website
- Sell through corporate art consultants
- Sell art appropriate for commercial interiors to designers, architects and building managers
Artists can combine methods of selling to create different income streams that complement each other. This can help smooth over hills and valleys in revenue that can occur with only one method of earning. Multiple forms of income are becoming mainstream as we deal with the “gig” economy which exists today.
Some income methods can be passive, and easy to combine with more active forms of revenue. For example, licensing your art involves upfront time and labor, but can result in regular quarterly income for years after your part of the work is completed. Uploading art images into Print-on-Demand sites is quick and easy, but can bring in a regular stream of revenue that adds to your monthly income from other sources without much further time and effort on your part.
Other streams may be a main source of income and be a major focus, but also be seasonal. If you sell primarily through fairs and festivals, the off season can be painful unless you are following snowbirds south or have another plan in place. Wholesaling is often a complementary form of income that works well for artists in production.
How many ways do you earn?