When I started selling my art there was no internet. OMG.
Well, at least most people didn’t really have their own internet set up yet, and if they did it was dial up. Certainly artists didn’t have their own websites yet.
Fast forward to these-a-days and if you don’t have a website to show your art, you’re missing out on a crucial component to being a selling artist. Unless you’re the ghost of Picasso, can I get an amen?
If you’re just starting out, or if you aren’t into the whole art scene gallery hustle, maybe you’ve been poking around looking for where to sell your art online.
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There are so many places to sell your art online and it can be a little confusing all the way up to absolutely infuriating to figure out where to start. Luckily Auntie Jeanette is here to give you a few suggestions, and all I ask in return is that you send me a hand-written thank you note. Or you can share this post on social media or with your weirdo art friends. That would be nice of you.
I’m going to start with a list linking out to just some of the places I know where you can sell your art online, and then we’ll have a nice little chat about the pros and cons of each type of place.
Online Art Galleries
The Saatchi website is set up beautifully. I want to buy all the art I see whenever I go on there, and they do a great job of showcasing new work, and emailing you when artists you follow have uploaded new work. This means when you upload new work, they will let your followers know.
This is a high-end site, so there is a bunch of pricey artwork on there (let’s all give a little happy holler for not undercharging) They also sell art prints.
Fine Art America has a little bit of everything. You can sell you original art, your art prints and products. They don’t take a fee on sales of your original artwork, which is awesome. They also offer a membership option of only $30/year that gives you more website, shopping cart, and email access, plus unlimited image uploads.
Artfinder sells original artwork by artists, and it seems to be geared more toward up-and-coming artists. The price point is on average lower than on Saatchi. Their site is organized well, and I like that they emphasize giving art as a gift (maybe it’s just this time of year, but still.)
I like Ugallery. It seems accessible, a bit less schmancy than some other galleries, and cleanly organized. It has a vibe to it that is welcoming and inclusive. I would probably start here if you’re just starting out trying to sell your art online.
Do you not immediately think of art when you think of vodka? Maybe you should. Absolut mentions several times on their site that they strive to make art accessible for everyone and take the whole freaking art world down a notch. Okay, maybe not that, but they are anything but snobby. And they sell cool art.
I love when big companies have side passion projects like this, because you know they’re legitimately into it.
Ooh, I like Tappan Collective. It’s got this light, clean, airy vibe to it. They’re highly curated and designy- totally my style, but if it’s not your style as an artist, move on to the next online gallery.
Print on Demand
With print on demand sites, you upload images of your artwork to sell as prints, t-shirts, wrapped canvases, and all sorts of other weird things like leggings. These sites are all very similar, with slightly different vibes and approaches to uploading your work.
They take a little bit of time to figure out and get into a workflow, but once you’ve uploaded a few images, the process goes much faster.
This can be a great way to sell prints of your work without having to do the printing and shipping yourself. So worth it.
Society6 and Redbubble seem very similar to me. In the world of print on demand, they feel like a step up from CafePress and Zazzle, and that’s probably because they curate what they feature on their sites really well.
There is some seriously wonderful stuff on Society6, and I would play around with uploading some items here to see how you like it.
Redbubble is my 15 year old daughter’s favorite place to online shop. Partly because she can find obscure items that she and her posse like, but mostly because they send a free sticker with every order. Who knew this was such a brilliant marketing tactic.
Similar to Society6, you’ll need to spend some time trying it out to see if you like the way your work looks on print on demand products.
Redbubble has a great blog offering lots of information and tips for sellers.
Am I wrong in thinking Zazzle was the first print on demand site to hit the scene? I’m honestly too lazy to goo see if it was Zazzle or CafePress. Anyheehaw, they give you about twenty trillion products to upload your art onto. My advice is: focus at first on the big sellers like mugs, t-shirts, and prints. You can always add more later.
CafePress. Well, shucks. Maybe this was the first print on demand site. I don’t know. (Remember: too lazy). Basically just see what I wrote for Zazzle. Actually, similarly to Redbubble and Society6, each of these sites has their own methods for uploading images to sell on products, and you may find you prefer one over the other.
Minted is similar to Redbubble et al, except they mostly offer buying art in print or card formats as opposed to mugs and gifty things. The gifty options they do offer are classy. Their style tends to be more modern, lovely design. (Picture your favorite lifestyle blog’s Instagram feed.)
Minted designs are voted on by the public in ongoing design competitions. Basically, they are looking to see what people want to buy and offering it up. Smart. Savvy.
If you are chosen as an artist, you receive a cash reward, your own Minted shop, and ongoing commission from sales.
Standout feature: I love that you can sell your artwork on lampshades.
I use Printful for my shop. I am fairly new to Printful, so I can really only tell you my few-month-old experience. They are super easy to use and they connect seamlessly to my Shopify storefront.
I didn’t really know where to stick Printful, since you don’t have a shop on there exactly. You do upload your designs to them and sell them through your own online store (see next section).
Your Own Art Gallery Website
Art Storefronts is essentially your own art website – you are paying a monthly (yearly) fee to use their store/gallery templates, but they also offer a lot of great art marketing advice and education. Listen to the Art Marketing podcast; it’s fantastic.
Hi, Shopify. I heart you. So do many other online sellers I know, and for good reason, They are easy to use, reliable, and work seamlessly with other apps and programs.
WooCommerce is a plugin you use on a WordPress site. You can use this free plugin to create gallery pages of your artwork within any WordPress site. Sounds easy, huh? I’ve had the worst time with WooCommerce being glitchy in different ways, and you also will most likely end up spending money on apps or hiring someone to help boost what you can do with Woo.
Many people use and love it; I just found it to be too stressful for my little self.
They charge a monthly fee for more products and more features.
Here’s the list of places I wrote about above, but in quick-link- format, in case you want to zip down it and check out each site in succession.
A Curated List of Where to Sell Your Art Online
Are you wondering why I didn’t mention Etsy? Meh. I think Etsy works for some creative items, but not necessarily artwork. It seems to have become a more crafty place for people to sell artwork. I think a bunch of artists feel like they need to be on Etsy and they charge far too little for the amount of time and effort put into making art.
Please feel free to leave a link below to where you sell your artwork online now, and if you have anywhere to add to this list.