The best way to get your art to sell....basically the ONLY way to get your art to sell is to make certain a LOT of people see it.
- Let me stop for a moment and say that James, Jaime and Joe are all giving you valuable pieces of the puzzle. Copy what they said on a piece of paper and tape it to your wall where you can see it every day! -
I do work with a lot of people who need marketing to get their businesses to 'take off' and several of them are artists.
So, you are trying to start in a competitive market where the best rewards are reserved for the few who can capture the public's fancy. ...the rest of the artists have a small niche of followers who buy enough so the artists can keep buying materials...but not enough that they can quit their day jobs.
I have one guy who is really good...but he cannot seem to sell a thing...and I have one guy whose stuff is...(I've seen my dog throw up better stuff)...but he sells quite a bit commercially.....AND I do work for a gallery that features 'new' artists.
(There is a book by one of the artists in the gallery called 'Now You Can Work from Home'...there is a link to it on the Excellence-Success site...you should read some of the articles on that site)
So...anyway THIS is what I see them do - The 'commercial artist' that sells a lot..puts his stuff on Deviant Art. He also takes his work to craft fairs and shows, and sells ....not the originals....but prints. He gets those made at Walgreens. He has business cards made with his art...and he has brochures. He goes to restaurants, bars and apartment buildings and tells the management how great their places would look with his art and offers them discounts on prints. He ALSO has his own website and blog and he stays engaged with his followers....he does things like announce a show and then announce the first 5 people will get one of his prints made into a poster.
The guy who is good, but doesn't sell...does not go to shows...he has his work priced very high and does not want to sell prints because he claims that dilutes his work. He goes to the various galleries and hands out cards and tries to get them to sell his work. he is mean-tempered and has been know to be upset at gallery owners who do not want his work...and that prevents him form ever going back to that gallery. He does have his own website...but no one yet has paid over $400.00 for an original by an unknown artist...except his step-father.
The people who have the gallery have teamed up to pay the rent and run the place...each artist has to put in one day keeping the place open and clean. They all have their own websites AND they all do shows, in ADDITION to having 'events' in the gallery. they offer the originals and they offer prints on canvas, prints on posters, prints on glass, and they even have found a way to put artist work on tee shirts, mugs and gift wraps.
Every 2 months they come and work with me on producing a new flier or brochure or some type of mailer to keep engaged with their customers...and they have kept the gallery open for 3 years now.
So, be prepared to do shows. Be prepared to advertise. Be NICE to people. Make a website. Find a place thet will take 'high res' picture of your art and reproduce them faithfully ..
and finally - you will still need a 'day job'. see if you can find an art store or gallery that is hiring. See if you can find that book.