How to Make Art Sales

You’ve spent hours thinking about the artwork you’re making, and now you have a chance to put it out in front of the public and get a reaction. If all goes well, it will sell and you’ll get paid for all your efforts.

What do you need to know to make a sale happen? You may have never thought about it. When it comes to selling, knowing something about what considerations people have and their motivations to buy will help. It can help you handle a selling situation with greater sensitivity and finesse when you are in the position of trying to sell your art. You may be nervous and hopeful, But thinking about the client is important. They’re worried about themselves, and so you want to switch your thoughts from your own desires for a sale to your client’s thoughts. Try to get your head into “what’s in it for them?”

How do people decide to buy your work of art?

For most people, buying a work of art is a big decision. Because art is not a necessity like food and clothing, it falls into the category of being a discretionary purchase. Many people are uncomfortable and often anxious or reluctant about making such a purchase. Even if they seem to really want the art and have made an emotional connection and truly seem to want to own the art, they might be filled with resistance. They may be afraid of what someone else will think, so they want to be sure they are doing the right thing. And if a sizable amount of money is involved, they want to be sure before they go spending their money on the wrong thing. A lot of people aren’t not sure about their own tastes. Your role is to project a level of professionalism and experience that tells them they are doing the right thing.

Your job is to help the process happen and make the client feel comfortable. Create a connection with the client. Alleviate their fears. Make them feel confident about what they like, and validate them by showing them that other people have bought your art and enjoyed it, and they will, too.

Understanding something about how people make their decisions can is useful. You might think that cost is the main factor, but it is not usually the case. What is more important is perceived value, which can be influenced by what you say and do. Your professionalism, your exhibitions record, and the sales you have made to other people will substantiate how people perceive the value of your art.

Tips on Making a Sale:

  • Be courteous, gracious and willing to help provide information
  • Be prepared with stories and details about your art
  • Have supporting documentation available
  • Show your appreciation when people complement you on your art
  • Talk about your art, but don’t overdo it with details. Keep it engaging, and then keep the sales process going.
  • Be prepared with what you’re going to say

Hold back from saying some of the things that can get in the way:

  • Letting it be known that you never sell your art
  • Showing that you need to make a sale & want it badly
  • Fear that you will say the wrong thing & turn them off
  • Evading answers when you are asked a question

Put yourself in as many opportunities as you can that will give you practice to sell your art. Working with and practicing with a mentor can help you develop some sales skills and make you feel comfortable by knowing what to say. Preparation can save you a lot of anxiety and prepare you for the opportunities that come up that will lead to sales.

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Hate sales? Making sales is a skill that can be developed. For help and guidance, consider Coaching with the Art Ambassador to help you master the process. Gwenda Joyce is the founder of the Art Ambassador ~ For Artists Who Are Going Places. She has helped artists double and triple their sales in art fairs and open studios.

Need help moving forward in your art career? Apply Here


I was frustrated with my lack of direction and progress when I started working with Gwenda. She has such patience and understanding. She reminded me of the value of art and being an artist. It has gotten me back on track with my own work, and I am starting in a newer, grander direction working on a series of larger canvases.
Pam Fingado, Painter

I’m loving this [Coaching]! What we have done is amazing to me! All artists should have this kind of support. I’ve been in a starved environment. What I’m doing with Gwenda is SO necessary. I’m so happy; it settles my soul!
Alex Heria, Fine Art Photographer

Working with Gwenda Joyce has obviously been life-changing for me! She is soft, empathic, firm and so effective! Our talk has buoyed me up all day! Kelly Leahy Radding, Artist

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