5 Tips for Selling your Art

By Brittni • posted on 02/12/2024

michele maule

Hello! Are you ready to get busy with your business? I’m Tricia McKellar, founder of Wonder Thinking: indie biz tips for your success and indie biz owner, guest posting today on papernstitch. As an artist, I know marketing can be a challenge. How about five easy tips?

Five tips for selling your art:

1. Nail your elevator speech! Create a short description of who you are and what you do that you can say naturally and quickly. Don’t be a deer in the headlights when someone hears that you are an artist and asks what you do. You know they will ask; be ready. For example, “I’m Tricia McKellar, a photographer of southern landscapes and birds in flight.” Be specific and memorable. Use words that evoke images. Practice saying it in the mirror until it is natural.

2. Provide “about the artist” cards to your collectors. Create cards with a couple of sentences of information about you and your art. Include your website address. People who collect your art will want to tell their friends about their purchase, your card will help them remember your name (if your signature on the art isn’t totally legible) and will suggest some words to use to describe your work. People are sometimes not comfortable talking about fine art. Don’t say “here is some information about my art so you can talk it up to your friends,” just include a few sentences like you would in an artist’s bio or artist’s statement on your “about the artist” card that may help them when talking about your art. For example, “Mary Margaret is a mixed media artist from Minnesota. Her colorful, abstract paintings include oil, charcoal, and found objects and are her expression of finding joy in the unexpected.” If they are giving your art as a gift, they will be especially thankful for the card.

3. If you sell online, tell people where you live. If you are on etsy, use the location feature to make it easy for local people to find you. People may find you online then seek out your work locally. If they stumble upon your etsy shop and see that you live in their area, that’s a connection and you’ve scored some memorability points with that person already.

4. Seek out local exhibitions. You never know who will see your art or what connections you might make that will lead to opportunities down the line.

5. Learn to chat at your exhibition openings. The questions people ask are often really invitations to talk to them about your art. People may want to talk with you about your art and may not be sure what to ask or what to say so they start off with something that pops in their head. They may ask you how long it took you to create your painting. Answer the question and be sure to continue the conversation– tell them something more about the painting or your inspiration or why you love the color green. Keep the conversation going.

I hope you found these tips helpful. What are your tips to sell your art?

Image Credit: Friends by Michele Maule

9 comments | Click here to reply

This is really helpful. I’ve been wondering how to get our artwork up and running better online.

Thank You!


Great tips- I actually hadn’t heard a couple. Always learning. Thank you!

Wen Redmond

Wonderful post Tricia. Welcome to papernstitch- we are so happy to have you! As for everyone who has added to the conversation…what excellent observations. Schin, you are right about artists always being able to improve themselves and get feedback: so important. And Diana, you bring up a great point about having different price points. That does help to draw clients in and start collecting at an early age, and then once they begin living with these smaller pieces, they want more.

And of course, having some kind of online presence for your work helps as well. Whether its an actual website, a blog, an etsy shop, etc. Something that you can direct people to so they can look at more of your work and spend some time really browsing and contemplating.



I’m not an artist, just an art enthusiast. One thing my artist friends do bring up often is that along with your major works, have something smaller/affordable on hand for impulse purchases – postcards, prints, miniatures, whatever. It makes art accessible to more incomes and brings in a small cash flow between those big purchases.


Very useful tips 🙂 Also it doesn’t hurt to join artist forums and get and give critique. An artist who constantly improves is an artist that enjoys her/her work!


Nice tips, Tricia! Looking forward to more of them. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Pamela Viola

I am looking forward to your posts Tricia. I had never heard of the term elevator speech, but it sounds easy enough. You mentioned applying for local exhibitions and I wanted to share that local and regional fairs are a great way to get your name out there as well. Its less formal than exhibitions, so its easier to talk to people and turn them into future clients.


Hi Tricia! So excited to see you here. =) Your tips are so awesome, I eat them up when I get the emails from WonderThinking. Congrats on being a contributor!


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