Make Money Selling Your Own Artworks

Imagine how much money Vincent Van Gogh would have made if he had sold even a fourth of his close to 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches while he was alive.

For the record, his painting of his physician entitled “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” sold for a record US$82.5 million during the 1990 auction at Christie’s New York.  In contrast, the only work he actually sold when he was alive was the “Red Vineyard at Arles” (now housed in Moscow’s Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts) for 400 Francs.

Ending up as one of the world’s renowned artists and fetching millions of dollars for your art work might be the farthest thing in your mind right now, but you can still enjoy your passion and make a living from your talent.

Thousands of subject matters like nudes, portraits, landscapes have already been painted, drawn and sculpted by thousands of artists.  The good news is that there are equally as many subject matters, styles or media for expressing one’s artistic flair as there are artists.


Be Unique

So what separates the popular artists from the obscure?

It’s their UNIQUENESS.  People buy artwork that is different from others especially if these are not works of renowned artists. It could be hand-painted denims and t-shirts, jewellery, graphic designs for computer or cell phone wallpapers, clip art, fingernail art, or even art work using printers and copying machines.  If you don’t have any idea about how to get started, surf the web.  There are literally hundreds of sites which can help get your creative juices going.

Get Noticed

Nowadays, you need not display your work along a busy street or art gallery to get noticed.  The web can help you multiply your efforts without leaving your home. is one such community that’s open to everyone.  You can exhibit your art here and share it with others.  The site also lets you put together your free online profile and portfolio, establish connections and networks, interact and solicit feedback on your work and comment on others as well.

And then there is the ever reliable Facebook, Blogs and Twitter.  You can also set up shop in a local flea market where hundreds of customers flock during weekends.

Wear It, Walk It

Another fun and visible way of getting your artwork noticed is to wear it, and walk it.

Have samples of your pieces printed on t-shirts, painted or embroidered on jeans and slacks, or transformed into fashion earrings.  T-shirts in particular are part of just about everyone’s wardrobe especially if it’s comfortable and made of good quality, so this could be a good medium for your artwork.

Art Galleries

If you decide on getting your art displayed in a gallery, avoid simply walking into one and submitting your portfolio.  No matter how professional looking it may be or how unique your artwork is, there’s a big chance your portfolio will end up in the “Important But Not Urgent” file.

While galleries are always on the lookout for new talent, they also have an array of activities and concerns to attend to.  Paintings to unpack.  Shows to hold.  Frames to order.  Customers to attend to.

The best way then is to get your work endorsed by artists who have had their work displayed in the gallery you have in mind.  Getting that person to put in a good word for you brings you closer to your goal.  Word-of-mouth and referrals by reputable individuals are sure to catch a gallery’s attention.


There is no hard and fast rule on how much you should sell your pieces.

Depending on how you and others value your work and what your intended market can afford, charge what people are willing to pay.  Don’t make the mistake of selling your work for less than what the average price of similar works are selling in the market for or you risk having your pieces seen as worthless.  Once you make a sale, never sell your other works for less.  The price should increase, so that it is eventually seen as a good investment for art lovers.

Limit Your Items

Another helpful tip is to limit the number of pieces you sell.  Assuming it’s worth the investment, your pieces will eventually go for a higher price because of its limited number.  If all goes well, you may soon find yourself making more money selling less of your work but at a higher price.

Making money from your own artwork requires a lot of self-confidence, patience and perseverance.  But one thing is for sure.  Buyers and patrons of your work will not be far behind if people find your work interesting and appealing, and know where to find it.

Are you making money selling your own art works or thinking about doing so? Be sure to share your comments, thoughts, ideas below…

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