People don’t buy art, they buy products; not that they don’t buy art, it’s just they buy products.
In other words, at any point an artwork is for sale, it is a product. And it is better for you–the artist–if you acknowledge this sooner than later.
You may put aside your artist ego, false knowledge, misconceptions, holier than thou attitudes, etc. because there is #NoShame in selling art as a product. And please don’t start with that being an illustration and commercial-thing crap, fine art is also a product. Galleries sell art. Get over it.
Unless you are filthy rich or have other sources of income (aka not a full-time artist) you have to sell your art to be able to create more art, it’s common sense.
Because nothing is free, right? Nothing.
Anyway, so, yeah. I get it, my art is my product. Now what? How can I sell it?
You sell your art just as anyone sells anything—by giving the people a reason to buy it.
In other words:
1. Define what the product is.
2. Figure out who is it for (the target market) and what makes it unique (the selling point).
3. Pitch the product to the right market, in the right way.
But one thing we need to understand, first, that people don’t buy products, they buy emotions.
Alright, I know, I said people buy products, but we are getting a layer deep now, bear with me. Everything is about emotions–feelings run the market.
I mean, think about it, it is all about the feelings. Every time we buy something for personal use, we pay to buy a certain feeling, mostly a good kind of feeling. And the more emotions we get from a product, the more we cherish it.
So if at any point you want to sell your “artwork” you need to focus on creating products and selling emotions. Huh? But how can you sell emotions, right? And isn’t it wrong?
Yes, it is wrong if you fake it. But can you? Because to sell emotions you need to put in a lot of emotions in your work. (Duh.) The more love you put in your work, the precious it becomes. And others can feel it. People are good at feeling; they can judge crap from real art, well, most people can.
So what should I do? Be original?
Um..nope. Don’t try to be original or different, that’s BS. Just be authentic; be genuine; enjoy the process of creating the art, and you’ll be fine.
Your work has to come from a place of truth. And that means you cannot fake it. You either have to love what you create or you have to create what you love, but it has to be genuine. In other words, you have to love everything about it, so much that you don’t even want to sell it.
That’s the irony, to be able to create artwork that sells, you have to create a product that is not for sale. You have to invest your heart and soul to your work. If you love it so deeply that you don’t wanna let it go, people will want it! Because we always want what we cannot get. 😉
PS. Not to mention you have to get out there and let people know you exist and that your work is for sale.
PPS. Don’t be a dick. Not exactly related, but like, in general, it helps.