How to Make Art That Sells

Making art that sells can be a difficult code to crack. It’s not something that just happens over night, but rather is a process that is created and refined over time. If you don’t know what your painting style is or how to build a cohesive collection, then you must figure this out first in order to sell your art.

Try approaching your art as if you were planting a vegetable garden.

I’ll explain.

The Garden Theory Approach

If you were to plant a vegetable garden, you would plant many different vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peas, carrots, cabbage, watermelon, and the list can go on and on. After a while you will soon realize you’re pretty good at growing a few of the vegetables, and not so good at others.

So, what you do is stop growing the vegetables you are not good at growing, and work more on growing the vegetables you are good at.

You would also realize you really enjoy growing, lets say tomatoes, squash, and watermelon. So then you would only grow those vegetables, and get really good at growing just those three vegetables.

In fact, you start to get noticed for growing those vegetables!

Over time and learning from your experiences from growing this garden, you become the ultimate expert at growing watermelons. You put all your focus into growing just watermelons. People from all over want your watermelon, and want to learn from you how to grow watermelon.

Now, apply the garden theory to your art.

Here’s what you do:

  • Start by painting everything you like in mini collections of 3- 6 pieces to a collection.
  • Show your artwork at art shows to get feedback from the public. (noting beats direct feedback from people in person looking at your art)
  • Develop the collections that you enjoy painting the most, and get the most positive feedback from the public to 12-20 piece collections.
  • Stop painting subject matter that doesn’t appeal to the public or yourself.

Repeat this process as many times as it takes to define your own art style that you love, and your customers love too.

That’s it!

If you would like to see how I have applied this very tactic to my own art check out my post: A Look at How My Art Has Evolved to Sell Full Time


4 thoughts on “How to Make Art That Sells

  1. Tracy,
    I was so happy to meet you today ….I love your art and will buy a few more pieces. The girl who does the lobsters lives in Maine, check her out….Her company is festive fish….Her last name is A.Bramhall…She is very much like you in that she wants to help the straving Artist like myself….Her fabic designs are awesome…She designs like my style…But I love what you do….So Cute. I will see you at Chester next weekend…Thanks so much …Keep in Touch!

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      I know exactly who Alison Bramhall is! She is a wonderful person, artist, and I’m also a big fan of her work! Yes, we have been in the same art shows many times.

      Yay! I look forward to chatting with you at Chester! The mornings there are usually crazy busy. If you come later in the afternoon I will have more time to chat with yeah!

      PS- It sounds like your work is bright colorful and a lot of fun! I bet I would like it:)

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is definitely inspiring. We believe we can’t financially sustain ourselves with our creativity but you are proof that is not true. I am inspired by your story while standing at a crossroad in my life. I have been debating about starting something new based on my art (photos and sculpture). The creative side of the debate typically loses but not now. Thanks to your post, I will give the creative a chance vs. a desk job. Additionally, thank you for providing the information regarding the equipment you use/recommend. It was very helpful as well!!

    1. Thank you for your comment April! I’m glad it helped. Focus on building your collection and at the same time start showing it. Before you know it you will learn exactly what your customers want and how to talk to them in order to sell. If I can help at all feel free to ask me questions. I’m happy to help:-)

      Good Luck!

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