What does it take to sell art online? When I launched this creative business in June of 2020 I had no idea what I was doing and I was filled with doubts.
However, I have always been a fan of winging it. So here I am a few months later looking back. I started out with zero experience. I couldn't quite shake my fears and doubts. No one will like or want what I have to sell. I am not as good as other artists. Who am I to call myself an artist when I have no training, no grand gallery shows, no helpful connections to the art world (excepting my lovely friend Alla whose work may be found here), and the dazzling, talented people that live in it? And perhaps the most illuminating question of all - what is an artist, exactly?
It is hard to overcome fear and doubt. It is hard to learn as you go and keep up the momentum when you feel like you're new, inexperienced, and not yet very wise. It is hard to sometimes not screech in a Wizard of Oz fashion, "DON'T LOOK AT THE ARTIST BEHIND THE CURTAIN" as the wheels to your art bus embarrassingly fall off and all your passengers stare at you as you fumble about trying to put a spare on when you don't know how.
That is what it is like to start from ground zero in the art world. Hello, my name is Marisa, and I don't know what I'm doing. But would you care to look at this illustration of a mermaid I have over here? (Is it an illustration? Or an ink drawing? Or both? Hmm...)
I am however realizing that many of us are hiding within our selves secret sparks we've been holding onto for years, if not decades. Sometimes even lifetimes. They are the little sparks of light and life that make us different from others and at the same time connect us. Tiny sparks that not everyone else appreciates. (And some may even try to destroy). These sparks are called dreams.
The world is not built for dreams, but it is built of them. How do you take a dream and make it into a reality? How do you take something no one can touch and put it in their hand so that they can realize that it's real?
Strange things begin to happen when you put yourself, and your dream, out there. People find you because of what you are doing. They buy the things you make. They compliment your work or tell you to keep your day job. Others will shyly say to you in confidence that they've picked up a paintbrush for the first time since they were a kid because you inspired them to be less afraid.
So, how do you sell art online?
For me, the first step was believing that I could. I may not have had formal instruction in art past High School, but over the years, I have kept up my art. I learned how to do things by picking up books, watching other artists, and taking online classes. Then I would try to do it myself.
The same method applies to selling art. It is something you can learn to do. It is a skill you can build on and potentially profit from. The key is to stay curious and keep trying. And, of course, have fun.
In the coming months, I will be adding a few "How To" posts for those interested. I will link them to this article as I go. I am a big fan of sharing knowledge and helping others find their way. I may not have all the answers, and I am still learning as I go, but perhaps the path I take may help you on your own.
Be well, have fun, and chase after those inner sparks like a child chases fireflies.
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