What kind of Art should we sell?
Updated: Feb 19
The easy answer....sell art you LOVE!
For me it feels icky to sell artworks that I don't like. It is why I cleared my archive in my online Artshop and my physical archive of old work I really didn't like anymore, that no longer represents who and where I am now.
I have also met several artists who were labouring away selling art they did not love just because it sold. These guys would paint stuff they loved behind the scenes, for themselves, but found a formula of art that was pretty generic and impersonal and so sold to a wider audience. They produced this work quickly, at low cost (so often reproduction prints) sold them cheap and paid their bills. Does this sound familiar? Does this sound just like the rat race of doing a boring, unfulfilling job just because "that's life", it's the norm, it's what we do to pay the bills. And that's totally ok if that's what you want. And there are other ways.
As customers we know the difference in feeling of buying something generic and basic from a shop and buying something handmade from the maker who just loves what they do, who has imbued their work with their love and enthusiasm.
Sell work that you LOVE, because, trust me, others will love it too!
And THEN...make sure it is the best it can be, that it is professionally finished. So if it is a canvas, consider the edges of the canvas. Either pop it into a floating/cradle frame or paint the edges. I prefer to use the deep canvases that are 45mm deep and make a feature of the edges of the canvas. I now prefer to extend the painting around these deep edges, as these are very visible once it is hung on the wall. Art is not only viewed from front on. I have also experimented with painting the edges with white or black gesso, depending on the overall light or darkness of the painting, or painting the edges with the predominant background colour. There is no correct way. No one is the boss of you...maybe try each of these and see which you prefer, or feel into which feels right for each painting. I would add though, if you are aiming to create a cohesive collection, I would prefer to see mine finished the same way, personally. I feel it looks better, more considered, cared for. Show the love in your work.
If you are working on paper, have them professionally framed or if not framing, for posting, ensure the paper is well finished, clean, tidy, fix any loose mediums such as charcoal or soft pastels.
Sign and date your work and ideally name it. I mostly name things from a piece of music I am listening to as I paint! Just something I enjoy, especially as I love to paint to music. On paper, as it may be stuck to a backing at framing, I suggest signing on the front, wherever works. Again, you don't have to ALWAYS sign bottom left or right, just where it works....just not across the middle of the painting! Canvases, sign front or back. I prefer to name, sign and date in pen or pencil on the back of the canvas as this will still be visible when taken off the wall whether in a cradle frame or hung straight on the wall.
I also like to go the extra mile. When I sell a framed or canvas painting, as well as including the obvious business card or promotional postcard I hand write, on the back of a small card cut from an unwanted artwork, the name and details of the painting and a few words around the inspiration behind the artwork. Some artists like to print a formal certificate of authenticity. This is a less formal, more personal version of this. It goes in an envelope and is delivered with the painting. I picked this idea up from other artists that I have bought from and it made it all feel extra special. I felt the love of the artist. Share the love!
So if you want to sell your art....sell what you LOVE and do it well!
Do browse my Artshop on my website. New artworks are coming soon. Art Shop | Kate Moores Artist
Above is "Compass Point" a framed original painting available here