Ready to Sell Your Artwork? 4 Signs that the Answer is Yes

Hi art friends,

I talk to a lot of artists who are dreaming about selling their art and making consistent income from it, but they’re not sure if they’re ready or if their artwork is ready. If that’s you, then you’re in luck because today I’m going to give you four questions to ask yourself to help you decide if you are actually ready to sell your work.

So as an artist you are essentially self-employed and there’s no one coming to tell you when you're ready to get started selling your work and building your business. You are your own boss. You will need to make this decision on your own. And I get that it's hard. There are a lot of voices in your head telling you that this dream of yours isn’t practical, isn’t achievable, that you’re not good enough, and on and on and on. Sometimes we just want someone to tell us we’re ready. Since I can’t do that for you, I want to give you these four questions that I ask every artist I talk to who is interested in working with me. Because when the answer to all of these questions is yes, you’re ready to go.

1) “Do I love my work?”

And what I mean by that is do you love both the process of making your art and the final product. What I don’t mean is that you love every single thing that comes off your brush, but in general are you happy with what you create as a whole. A lot of artists love the process of making art, and they love trying new techniques or mediums and exploring new ideas. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all. That is certainly one of the most fun parts of being an artist.

But if you want to take your art from a hobby to a real source of income you need to also love the results of your explorations. Why is this true? Because when you go to sell your work—whether that’s online, at an art fair, or through a gallery—part of what you’re selling is your enthusiasm and excitement about what you make. And if you’re not truly feeling excited about it, people can tell. It’s really hard to fake enthusiasm for something you don’t feel good about.

2) Have I settled into a consistent style?

A lot of artists ask me if they have to stick to making one thing if they want to make money from the art. And the answer is both yes and no. When you put enough hours in, your art comes to a place where your preferences really come through. Whether that’s in your subject matter, your color palette, your brush strokes, or something else, everything you make will begin to look like you. And that’s not to say you can’t move from making abstracts to landscapes. Or from brights to neutrals. But you will need to do it all from your point of view. If you feel like you’re still really jumping around right now you might need some more time in the studio before you’re ready to move into selling.

3) “Am I able to produce new work consistently?”

Painting three paintings a year and listing them on etsy is an entirely different situation than creating art on a regular basis to market and sell. Are you both capable and interested in producing enough artwork to create consistent income? Be honest with yourself.

4) “Do I have the time and space, both mental and physical, to take this on right now?”

A lot of artists come to art (or come back to art) during big transitions in their lives. It’s a beautiful thing about art making, that it can support us in that way. But some life transitions free up more time and some take it away. So be honest with yourself and your situation. Is this a good time to just focus on your art-making? Or is this a good time to start selling?

When you’re answering these questions I want you to give yourself a little wiggle-room with your answers. A mostly or a probably counts as a yes. In working with artists I’ve come to realize that we often want to wait until we’re 100% sure about something before taking action. But that 100% confidence never comes. You must actually take the leap. The confidence is a result of your action. So take a generally positive answer as a commitment to yes.

If you’ve got yeses to those four questions, you’re ready to start selling your art and building your art business. If you’re wondering what your next steps should be check out my free Masterclass on the Building Blocks of Your Business

All my best,


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