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How do artists sell their work? I’ve often wondered why one artist is hugely popular and makes a ton of sales while another is barely able to get their sales off the ground. The one glaringly obvious reason that I was totally blind to – and I think a lot of other artist are also – isn’t the kind of artwork or even the quality, but the personality of the artist.

I always thought that being an artist is the one profession that personality wouldn’t mean anything, that the art would speak for itself. That is absolutely not true! Now that I’ve thrown myself into the deep end I’ll explain myself … hopefully well.

Let People Know Who You Are

How does personalty help artists sell their work? When I say your personality will determine your success I don’t mean that you have to have a super magnetic personality that everyone is attracted to. What I mean is you have to let people get to know “YOU”.  Let them know your likes and dislikes, but give them a reason why you like/dislike. It’s those little insights into your life that make people want to know more. Those things that give people a feeling that they are connected to you and what will make them want to buy art from you instead of a total stranger.

An example, Pablo Picasso, hugely famous artist and almost equally famous for not getting along with the women in his life. Anna Mary Robertson (Grandma Moses) a famous artist that started painting in her mid 70’s. Two very opposite personalities with very different styles. If I didn’t know anything about either one of them I don’t think I would find their art work any more or less outstanding then other artists of the time.

Things are Not Different

I don’t think things have changed too drastically from their time, as far as people creating art with what they have at their disposal (charcoal, oil, graphite etc.). There were a lot of people creating art then and there are a lot of people creating art now. So what made the difference, and don’t say money, because if you say money you might as well give up now. Or better yet, take out a “SUPER BIG” loan and see if it makes a difference in your art sales – I’m kidding! Don’t do that.

I think that those individuals who became successful were the ones that took the risk and put themselves out there. It could have been the artist that walked on their hands and painted with their feet (I’d watch) or the artist that simply took the time to talk to someone about their day while looking at their art.

As far as where their art is displayed, successful artists have said everything from galleries to restaurant bathrooms. A special place to show your art that guarantees huge traffic doesn’t seem to exit. It’s just those places where eyeballs will naturally land on your artwork.

So, how do artists sell their work? Being multi-lingual, ambidextrous, and a world class athlete certainly helps to break the ice and if you need that to start your art career, that is a perfectly acceptable way to go about it. I would much rather ease into it and I don’t think it’s too painful to ask how someone’s day is going then, maybe, tell them a little something about yourself.