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A Newbies Guide to Selling Artwork

Whether you participate in a local art fair, create an online shop, or agree to take on commission work, making the decision to sell your art is a scary one. Knowing how to price your work is among the biggest challenges you’ll face as an artist. Here are a few things to consider before you try to sell your art.

Setting the Price

Knowing how to price your work is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face as you’re getting started. After all, you want your work to be appreciated and valued by your buyer, but at the same time, it’s normal to feel a little uncertain or even worried that you’re overselling yourself if you set the price too high.

While there’s no formula for determining what your work is worth, it’s important to remember that as the artist, you, not your buyer, determines what your time, effort and talent is worth.

When you’re selling your work, there is a direct correlation between how much your buyer values the piece and what they paid for it; a buyer who bought a piece for $300 will feel quite a bit differently about it than they would if they’d paid $15 for it.

The price you set tells your buyer how much to value your work, so be sure to use your pricing to tell your customers that your artwork is an investment, not garage sale fodder.

Know Your Strengths

Especially when you’re just getting started with selling your work, it’s easy to get excited when someone asks you to take on a project for them, even if you’re not entirely sure that you can deliver what they’re asking for. Biting off more than you can chew sets you up for a ton of stress, frustration, and even embarrassment, and it’s not a great experience for your buyer either.

You can avoid this stress by being upfront with your skill level. Show your clients good examples of your work before you agree to do any commissioned pieces for them. If someone asks you to complete a project that you aren’t completely confident that you can take on, don’t be afraid to let them know.

Get Your Commission in Writing

Being your own boss has some awesome benefits, but there are also some unique challenges. While a majority of your clients will hopefully be wonderful to work with, every once in a while, you’re bound to get a client who wants to change the terms of the agreement you came to when you decided to work for them. Some may not pay you, while others may want to change the agreed price after the work is done.

When you’re working for yourself, you have to be your own advocate. Protect yourself by getting the terms of your agreement in writing, including the timeline, how much you’ll be paid, when you’ll be paid, and what actions will be taken if your client is unhappy or doesn’t follow the terms of the agreement. Your contract should be signed both by you and your client, and you should each have a copy of it.

Marketing Yourself

Art enthusiasts love to know the behind-the-scenes details of the artwork they’re purchasing, and you can deliver an engaging experience using the Soundwave Art app. Choose a piece that you want to make interactive and upload it here, then choose a video clip to pair it with. Use video to educate your customers on your process or inspirations, tell them about different techniques that you use, or even provide a tutorial; the possibilities are endless. Anyone with the Soundwave Art app can see your video, making it a great marketing tool as you’re getting started with selling your art.

Selling your artwork for the first time is exciting, and by following these tips, you can be sure that you get off on the right foot.

Mike LaTour - Co-founder Mike LaTour  Soundwave Art
2019 Finalist - Digital Innovation In Art Award

I spent 17 years in the music industry and have always had a love of art. Combining music, sound, and art was a perfect fit.

I’d like to thank you for visiting us and invite you to have a look around. Express your creativity and record a sentiment that will last for generations!