The biggest question of all, why is it so hard to sell art? This is a question that I get asked all the time so thought it would be a great one to touch on. I am going to share three main points that can help you look, overcome and gain more sales of your art.

People always say to me, they can sell but when it comes to selling their own art it just doesn’t happen. I know how this feels and it’s so, so frustrating. It’s also really common and happens to most of us at some point as an artist.

In this weeks Facebook Live I chatted through this issue. You can watch this video here or read on for more information!

Point 1) – it’s personal: 

The first point I wanted to touch on and why we find it hard to sell our own art is because it’s so personal. A lot of the time we don’t realise how we feel about selling and sometimes we start to look and become self-aware. We realise that we do have this weird relationship with selling and what selling actually means.

As an artist, it’s very, very personal. We’re creating and expressing how we feel and what we see and when it comes to selling a piece of art, it’s hard as it becomes a part of you. Selling something for someone else is easy as you don’t have that personal, emotional connection that you have with your own art.

Point 2) a different way of thinking:

When we come to selling, it’s a completely different way of thinking. This can really throw people off. We are so in the moment of making art, we don’t often think about what happens after and the process of selling. 

It’s very hard to flip the brain from being creative and making to selling mode. A lot of artists really struggle with the switch. 

The more self-aware you become and feel with the process of selling, you can really start to shift your mindset and understand why you may have this block around switching to sell your art. 

Point 3) art is something we desire 

Lastly, art is something we desire and it’s easier to sell things that fulfill a need rather than fulfilling a desire. 

So, for example let’s take Lloyd, one of our Hub members. He is a confident guy, runs a kickboxing academy and is a world champion kickboxer. Lloyd joined the Hub because he’s a portrait artist, alongside. He said to me: 

“I can sell my kickboxing Academy places and all of that, fine. My own art, the portraits, I just struggle. I can’t do it.”

It’s interesting as I get a lot of members saying the same thing. Let’s take the kickboxing as an example. There is a clear transformation with kickboxing. People will join the kickboxing Academy and Lloyd will help them to learn how to be a kickboxer, to get to a certain level and achieve the qualifying belts. This is a clear transformation, making it easier to sell.

When people sell, that is what it is all about – how a product or service will help or make someone’s live better. This is hard for an artist to understand and you’ll often be thinking ‘why is my art going to make someone’s life better?’

Again, this is down mindset. ‘This is just little old me and my paintings, something I’ve just scribbled down’. It doesn’t feel like anything of worth, but, actually to someone else it does have worth and it’s fulfilling a need and a desire to the person buying.

Your art is a transformation but in a different kind of way. It might be that it’s to go into someone’s home to bring colour and energy into a room, or it might be it reminds someone of a certain place or a happy time. To celebrate something in particular. It could be anything, but there will always be a reason why someone will buy your artwork. 

So, to sum up, selling your art is hard because it’s so personal to you. The selling part is a different way of thinking and lastly, it’s easier to sell something that fills a need rather than a desire.

You’ll hear me say it over and over again, it’s all about mindset as your mindset underpins everything!

Become self-aware of the negative thoughts and conversations that you may have around selling your artwork and start to reframe your mindset and address it. If you don’t you will always struggle to sell. The more self-aware you become, the sooner you can change your mindset around selling, the easier it becomes. It won’t happen overnight but over time you’ll start to see a massive shift.