10 Ways To Grow Your Art Business

Written by Talia Ackerman


Posted on September 20 2019

Staci Maxwell began over a decade ago with just an artist and a paintbrush into a thriving business. During those times, I have learned how to become the artist I want to be. I have made a passion into a living — But how do you expand from creating art into a business? Everyone would love to just create art but learning how to grow your work into $$$ is another business altogether. Here are a few things I’ve tried:

1. Find a niche in the marketplace 

Finding a niche in the marketplace helps develop your art business and maximizes your sales potential. There are more challenges when venturing into spaces that other artists are already dominating. For example, if your business is selling animal art, there are plenty of artists in the world selling animal artwork. Ask yourself what makes your artwork different from other artists. Whether the niche would be to offer a different substrate or a lower price. Figure out your interests and skills. Next, find a solution to the problem you are solving. You could start by scrolling through websites examining trends and markets that sell varieties of artwork like art.com. Find out what the world is missing and provide it.

2. Create

The best part of being an artist is that you have the ability to make a statement, change a perspective, cause a reaction, and connect with people through your work. Whether you have a billion ideas or one, never stop creating. The world always welcoming new content and fresh ideas. Your work could be what the world is waiting for. The first step is to take one. Try something new.

3. Building a space to sell

Having a space to sell your artwork is important. That space could be in-person, social media, websites, and etc. I think the best question to ask is what is the fastest and most accessible way to reach my customer? Make sure to know your target audience and how that audience prefers to purchase artwork whether they like online sales or art galleries. Approach your selling space from a customer’s perspective— Ask yourself how I can make this a great experience for my customer. 

4. Growing your fan base 

There are hundreds of ways to grow a fan base unique to your niche. I've learned along the way some tips to help that process. First, limit your transactional content— Most people don’t want to be sold too, they want engaging, entertaining content and experiences. Think of the content and experiences you enjoy and consider how those businesses are working to keep you interested. Next, talking about your art business — share your work with friends and family, word of mouth is more powerful than you think! Lastly, teaming up with other artists — I know you’re saying why would I team up with the competition. Most of us are amazing artists by ourselves but we are more powerful together. Other artists have new perspectives or even connections to new business opportunities. 

5. Making products

A common struggle is what product to sell your art. Whether you sell original pieces, commissioned artwork, or reproductions; Ask yourself how big do I want to expand my art business and who is my target audience? In order to expand your art business, you need to understand how much art you can make in a reasonable time frame and if your customer base can is within your price ranges. For artists, who have less time or just don't have the means to produce products, I've used art drop shipping sites. These sites produce and ship your art images on different product formats on your behalf at a reasonable price. Here are a few I’ve used in the past to get my products to customers: 

Printful: High variety of products, easy to use, reasonably priced, no signup fees

Society6: High variety of products, platform to sell your things, low profit, no signup fees 

Create With New Rain: Low variety of products, great customer service, great pricing, $19.99 monthly fee 

6. Start with intentions to grow 

As artists, we began selling one by one, however, it is challenging to make a good living selling art without a business plan. Start with the intention that your art business already has 100 customers ordering every day. How will you produce enough quality art in a timely manner for those customers? Build a plan for your business with the intention to scale. If you are creating original art producing a new piece every week, what could you do to mass produce that art for your customers? A possibility is creating reproductions of your artwork and selling the piece to multiple customers.

7. Connect with your audience 

Connecting with your audience is a huge part of creating revenue. The most convenient way to contact customers is by email. I have discovered that running email campaigns can lead to sales. What kind of emails do you send? You could inform people about new artwork or a sale you're having. It is essential to find ways to engage your customers with you whether that be social media posts or mailing out postcards during the holidays. There are multiple ways to connect with your audience, so be creative. A great way to start connecting with your audience is to have a designated space for people to view your work and get in contact with you.  

8. Lead generation 

Lead generation is how you attract new people and convert them into customers. This is how you get new people to invest in your work. As artists, we have admirers, but sales determine how successful our art business becomes. You have to engage your prospects, people who have shown interest in your work and lead them in your sales funnel with great content such as blog posts, coupons, live events, and online content.

9. Nurture your customers

Your customers are the people who invest in your work and the most important part of growing your business. Nurturing your customers could be updating them on your business plans and successes. Let your customers become your top priority before creating art or doing art shows. Your customers are your supporters and investors, therefore show them you care.

10. Learn from your mistakes 

Creating art is one thing but learning how to make a living selling art will come with challenging days. Learn from the mistakes you make and become the artist you want to be. It will not always be simple and easy, but these 10 steps should help conquer some of your battles and turn your passion into a business. 



  • The Artwork is Outstanding!! I’m Loving your Artwork Staci Maxwell!! Keep Up the Excellent Work!!

    Posted by Ava | November 15, 2020
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