202: Selling Art Online

Saturday I received a call from an art collector and sold a painting he had seen on this blog. Although I consistently sell paintings via my traditional gallery this was the first painting I’ve sold via the internet. Many assume I have a thriving online art business since this blog has had over one million visits. I have received benefits that transcend finances but I remain astonished at how difficult it is to turn online presence into monetary success.

At my recent opening Alpine Art gallery director Susan Bohmholdt told me that several of her abstract artists are posting via Instagram and selling their work. She showed me how to set up an account, emailed me a montage of my work composed on her phone, and within minutes I had an Instagram image–with hashtags–that represented my work in a positive and extremely sharable way.

Later I downloaded some montage apps for my phone and began creating Instagram images. I have to admit I found this visual approach very appealing and harmonious with how most artists think.

Coincidentally I had been considering creating an account with Saatchi Art–one of the more prestigious art sellers online (read more about them here). I created an account, posted four images, and began my online sales efforts. Time will tell if this is an effective strategy. Intuition tells me there are many missing ingredients to this business model that are yet to be discovered. If you like what you see at my Saatchi site please click the heart button.

There are many positive aspects to the Saatchi site. But in many ways it still seems like an awkward way for collectors and artists to connect. Let me know what you think of the site.

UPDATE: I saw this ad in an unrelated page. I’m not sure if it was targeted or if Saatchi is actually randomly advertising images from its site. The latter scenario would mean Saatchi is truly interested in leveling the playing field for artists. The image below is a screen capture and is not clickable like the original banner.

Brad Teare–December 2014

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Updated: 12th July 2024
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