How to sell your arts online – Brand Vs Platform

By Ehtan S. Auston - Last Updated March 16, 2021

Doing business is an art but doing art is not a business!

If you already have a day job and you are doing some artwork part-time, you can afford it.

But I have seen soo many artists hating their job and wants to make a full-time income from their artistic work.

I can understand, selling your art is not an easy job. Especially if you are just starting. I have talked to some artists and they feel like they are painting for a ghost town until they get some traction.

To find the right audience for your painting and figuring out why would someone pay for a piece of art designed by me, things can get easier for you as an artist.   


In this article, I am going to cover how an artist like you can make their work public and earn money whether you do it full-time or part-time.

I know, there are a lot of platforms that help you in selling your art. But if you don’t know what you are doing, getting ripped off is inevitable.

Here are a couple of options you must explore to sell your art.

Building your Brand

You probably don’t want to hear this but building your brand is the best way to sell your art online.

Building a fan following and a brand needs a huge amount of effort and legwork before you get some sales.  If you are on a budget and just starting, I’d recommend not going down this path to avoid using money and time.

Do you know, learning and teaching a language is also an art? There are tons of schools online helps you learn new language, this is great way to sell your artistic skills. Aprende hablando allows you to take online classes and learn spanish without having to visit physical school!

As a startup, you don’t want too many failed attempts. Go with other options, save some money, maybe ask our friends to support you to start.

These new drag & drop tools make it easy for a normal person like me to build a website from scratch.

Minor changes can be done using a platform like Shopify and woo-commerce, however, for more complex modifications you need to hire a designer.

There are examples of businesses selling handmade crafts. For example, JudaWeb Store based in Israel sell shofars & sedar plates which can be used as dinner plates and as a decoration piece as well!


You don’t need to be a designer or a programmer, there are a lot of tools that help you to create a simple-looking e-commerce store online.

I know artists aren’t tech-savvy in general so you still need to hire someone to set up a store for you but it is relatively less expensive.

Selling on third party websites

There are a lot of 3rd party websites that help you to present and sell your arts for example eBay, Amazon & Etsy, etc.

If you are just starting and don’t have the money to invest in your brand and want to make money right off the bat, putting up your art on these platforms is the best option in my opinion.

The downside of using a 3rd party platform is that you don’t have any control over your inventory, they can ban your account overnight without giving you the reason.

Here is list of platforms you can use to sell your arts

  1. Fine Art America.
  2. ArtPal. …
  3. Amazon. …
  4. Etsy. …
  5. Storenvy. …
  6. eBay. …
  7. Minted. …
  8. Society6

These companies are infamous for kicking their sellers off their platform without solid reasons. The reason being is, these giants are afraid of getting sued by other companies so they keep an eye on their sellers making sure they aren’t breaking any rules.


The result is a lot of false-negative. They just outright ban a legitimate seller.

Using Etsy or eBay can be a good option if you want to get some arts out of the door but I don’t think you should consider doing this for years. 

I’d recommend setting up stores – money some money and create your brand down the road.

Conclusion:

If you are just starting and don’t have the budget to set up your store, I’d recommend putting up your stock on 3rd party websites.

After getting feedback and demand, create your brands. Using these platforms you can get your hands on a lot of data about what works. What type of products are in high demand which you can leverage on your website later.

Ethan is business graduate, who talks about gadgets, technology and startups. He's an exception track record in content creation and readers engagement and have been previously contributing to HBR, INC, Entrepreneur, and alike.
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