5 essential tips for the artist who wants to sell work!

I’ve already written a fair bit about pricing and selling your art, craft and other creative products.

My experience of running a venue and gallery for nearly 6 years has shown me so much about what sells, what doesn’t, and why.  It’s all stuff I wished I’d known when I started exhibiting and selling my own work, which is why I now share my experience on this blog!

Getting advice about pricing, photographing your work, connecting with potential customers and and getting over your money baggage is well worth doing for any creative person who wants to start selling work – whether you want to make it your main job, or just get money to buy more costs and develop your skills.

In among all this talk about money and marketing, it can be really easy to forget the most important thing.

You have to make really good work.


I’ve seen many makers spend ages getting great business cards, hundreds of page fans, keep a great blog, share photographs regularly on Facebook – all the stuff they should be doing…

….and still not sell enough.

Now, as I type I’m aware how much your ‘not good enough’ Blockmonster is enjoying this post.

Tell that Blockmonster to go and have a look over your neighbour’s fence to critique their garden design for a while and read this little checklist of just 5 simple things you can do to make your work for sale much better.

1) Keep making work as much as you can.  Artwork improves with time and it’s a case of just getting your head down and making more, so that you can improve.

2) Make work sturdy.  It seems obvious, but some of the artists and makers we’ve had in at The Art House have made lovely work, which falls apart or looks shoddy from the back.  When you are selling work, make sure it’s worth the money!

3) Package and display work well.  Your work is precious and should be treated as such – find the best packaging and display materials you can.  This is an area it is worth spending some time and money on, as it can mean the difference between healthy sales and no sales at all.

4) Use good materials.  Penny pinching on materials isn’t really worth it for a handmade item.  Whilst you must make sure you are pricing well enough to cover your materials costs and still make a profit, this shouldn’t be done by buying your clasps from a cheapie internet supplier or your paints from the pound shop.  Cheap materials do show, so invest a little in better ones – you don’t have to buy the most expensive materials on the market, but make sure you’re not buying the cheapest, either.

Shani's bangle - wearable, signed artwork!5) Sign, initial or label your work.  If at all possible without ruining the design, put your initials, signature or other identifying mark somewhere on your work.  For paintings, you can put a label on the back with your name and links to your website.  For crafts, you may need to creative with the packaging and labels.  Too many makers fail to make their mark and this means two things – you miss an opportunity to emphasise the handmade nature of your work, and you pass up the chance to stay in touch with your buyers.

This is a great example – a bangle made for me by Shani of Dragonfairy’s Designs

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5 essential tips for the artist who wants to sell work! — 2 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for the mention 🙂
    Another really helpful post to add to my Jani folder 🙂

    I think two of my worst blockmonsters are starting to shrink at last!