Friday, May 1, 2009

Selling Art Online

So I have only just begun to think about really selling my art online. I tried a few years ago to sell on eBay, but mostly it was just stuff and not art.

As I look to this new bright future with my art going out into the world, I am overwhelmed by the choices available.

Here is a quick list of free or pay per sale places that I have come up with:

Deviant Art

Then there are also the pay to be a member ones:

Boundless Gallery

And there are the ones where they make your art into stuff that people buy like T-shirts and coffee mugs:

Cafe Press

I am sure that there are a million more of each of these categories. This list does not even include when you sell art from your own website or Google shopping cart. So many choices!

Your Turn:
Help me sort these out! Any suggestions on which one of these is worthy of my time to turn my art viewers into art buyers? I am also looking for art exposure more than quick sales if that makes a difference on which one to choose. Share your knowledge!

Overwhelmed by choices - but still Creatively yours ~ Jaime Lyerly


  1. Jamie,
    You're on Twitter and have your own Blog, use your blog to showcase some of your art pieces...I always start from the shallow end of pool to see how things work out. If you can create a website to showcase your art that would be good too. Link all these tools together. That's basically what I am doing...I designed my website in 1995 as a Genealogical site, and it's changed a lot as I learned html and went through several html software programs, and then completely changed to my ArtWorks site in 2000. I've worked it over several times since in prep for my retirement working for others in 2005 when I started working full time on my art again. I've been doing computer work for 15years and always kool stuff to learn. I created a Blog about a year or so ago and you notice I recently joined Twitter. My idea is to make my art seen by more people and with Twitter to interact with other artists, like yourself. For a long time I, too, had awful luck with eBay. I started to try to figure out what I was doing wrong..a little soul search :)
    I finally learned how to use the keywords and get my work in the right slot, not among the hoards...and I started to use a program called Garage Sale..makes for a nicer presentation for eBay (google it)'s all how you present your work and price it...don't give it away tho! My day is spent working on the creative process and the marketing process...through trial and error you will see the fog open up!

  2. There's another one called Zibbet to check out - they charge a % based on a sale, not on membership like ArtFire does. I have accounts with half the ones you listed, but I haven't been on the ball about marketing lately, so they're pretty stagnant.

    Cafe Press is good for making cards or mugs of your prints, easy & simple to use.

    I prefer the blog to write the story & have a gallery of sorts, but don't judge by mine, the website still needs a lot of work & most of my sales still come from word of mouth off-line.

    Looking forward to see what directions you choose and why they work for you - as an artist, I keep looking to find what fits, too.

  3. Thanks Claude and Heather for your feedback.

    I do have a website which uses a template from the It is simple enough to use but I cannot change the template to include tabs like artist statement without knowing html code. Thus my website gets no activity and my very easy to use blog gets more.

    Plus since I am showcasing art on the blog, I forget (or are too busy) to put it up on my website. This is a no-no, since now my website if someone finds it looks even more dead than before.

    Will still have think about how to sell online and post my progress. Thanks! Jaime

  4. I've stuff on and, they take a % fee. and are free.

    Most sites want you to enjoin their online community. It is impossible to do it on all of them at the same time.

    I have a homepage too.

    Used all of them and blog too, I blog slowly, by project or separate body of work, e.g. Consorts to the Mountain Goddess. But this is more an online index of stuff going by.

    Also looks interesting but who has the time.

    See you all on twitter where I do have the time for online folk.

  5. Thanks for the links Meika.

    I have joined a few Ning social networking sites, most recently the Encaustic Art and Mixed Media. I really want to participate in them since they are my "niche market." But there is only so many hours in the day! I cannot find time for it all. This is also not even selling my art, but just promoting it. Still at a loss for what place is worth my selling action.

    I am a member of the BeeTeam on which is great. They may be the winners for my encaustic art. But I don't just do encaustics, so what then?

    Anyone else have a suggestion?

  6. well, I read somewhere that one should spend 20% of one's time on marketing, that is an awful lot, sure hope blogs and twitter count...

  7. I personally think Cafe Press is a waste of time.. good for advertising but that is about it, because of the base price. The volume you would have to do to actually make money would have to be a lot to make sense. So.. I think why waste my time? I have a website where I offer note cards and small posters but otherwise am concentrating more on originals. I made my living for 20 years selling potter. I had 8 contracted workers and.. yadda yadda. I had reps and I think that is key for making money with crafts or any art that can be done with an assembly line mentality. Unless a person really gets it on how to market online. A website, be it on Etsy, Cafe Press or one of your own is like spit in the ocean if you don't have knowledge of SEO's. I could go on and on about this... ahh me. The best way to improve your SEO is by blogging and writing articles and posting them on ezines.. the best one is Ezine Articles. I brought my main website up to 7K hits a month doing that. It has to be continual though.. so ug sometimes. Now... I am concentrating on originals only and have a rep for my art in NY.. so I am not sure I care to continue with trying to sell cards and stuff anymore. One day at a time and I change my mind all the time.. onward though.. onward.

  8. I'm afraid I don't have much to add on this as I'm very new to selling online and I'm certainly not an expert. I've always thought it's best to have a secondary outlet where you can be known as well, a group of people who might in the future after getting to know you, be interested in seeing and perhaps buying your creative wares. Etsy or Artfire seem like a good places to serve partially as a gallery as well as selling places.


Have something to say? You rock! I am all ears....