It used to be that gallery representation was the best way to get your art from the studio and into the arms of a collector. However, in the ever-digitised world we now reside, there are many more paths Artists can take to market and sell their work.
One of the main paths being via an online Marketplace, of which there are a plethora to choose from based on the kind of art you make, the buyers you are targeting and how willing you are to give up a little of the profits.
I frequently find myself advising or researching these marketplaces for the Artists I help, and you could say I've become a bit of an expert. So over a three-post series I will be discussing everything from where to find them; how to choose them; and helping you decide ultimately, whether they're right for you!
First of all I thought I'd kick off with the ULTIMATE LIST, of all the marketplace's I think you ought to know about.
For Original Artworks
The following marketplaces are best for original artworks, sold either by Artists or Galleries.
Saatchi Art has established itself as somewhat of a leader of online Art Marketplaces, and showcases the work of artists from across the globe: allowing their buyers a huge inventory of works, and you, a huge audience of potential buyers. You can sign up and begin selling your art immediately.
Artsy has an equally global reach, but prefers their sellers to be galleries, auction houses etc. with established collections. Perhaps reach out to your gallery and see if they're making use of Artsy as a platform.
Rise Art is proving ever-more popular and has a really simple interface for buyers. Artists can apply to sell their work on the site, by sending a CV and portfolio. What's great about Rise Art is they use AI technology to find each collectors 'art personality', which means your art is often showcased directly to those collectors that would have a preference for your style!
ArtFinder boasts a global audience of over 500,000 art lovers. The marketplace is still pretty new and doesn't have a huge saturation of artists, so proves a great place to get noticed - especially if you're picked to be featured by one of ArtFinder's curators. Another great feature of ArtFinder is their artist forum, where you can get advice and tips from fellow creators.
Degree Art was one of the First Online Art Galleries in the UK, founded in 2003, for over 16 years they have stablished themselves as the market leader for student and graduate art sales. As well as their online sales, Degree Art runs an Artists' Residency and Exhibition programme from its gallery. If you're a student artist or a recent graduate (within the last 5 years) I recommend checking out Degree Art!
SingulArt likes to present itself as an Online Art Gallery rather than a Marketplace, and thus can be quite selective about who they include. Their Artist Liaisons also work with the artists to help market and promote their work within and outside of the platform.
ArtPrice is the world leader in Art Market information, and their website also hosts a marketplace where artists or collectors can sell works of art.
ArtPlode offers artists, gallerists and collectors a place to sell their works online with no commission charged, instead a one off fee is charged to advertise your artwork through their website. Buyers often love ArtPlode because of the nature of dealing directly with the seller.
Zatista operates much like Saatchi Art and RiseArt, allowing artists to reach a large audience of buyers. What they're particularly good at is marketing your work beyond their own platform, due to partnerships with Amazon Fine Art and Houzz, as well as offering additional paid advertising options for artists.
U Gallery is a curated online art gallery headquartered in San Francisco. Founded in 2006, UGallery is an e-commerce platform that connects artists directly with collectors on its website. The company positions itself as an approachable and convenient alternative to the brick-and-mortar contemporary art gallery.
FRAMD is pretty new to the scene but certainly one to consider. Their zero commission policy and focus on 'lovely local artists' rather than international moguls, is what makes them stand out, and might I say, increasingly attractive to buyers in the UK that prefer to take the sustainable approach.
For many artists, selling their original artworks in bricks and mortar stores is their forte. However they may look at online marketplaces to sell prints of their works, here are the best places to do so:
Print Club London
Print Club London, is a screen printing studio and online contemporary gallery that specialises in limited edition screenprints. Representing a diverse selection of contemporary artists and cherry-picking some of the UKs best talent ranging from street art to graphic design and illustration, they offer a bespoke and niche collection of prints. You can submit your artwork to be sold online too!
Artfully Walls is a great place for designers and illustrators to sell their prints online, without having the hassle of printing and shipping. Artfully handles all of this and even gives you options for printing materials, all whilst being free to sign up and display your work.
INPRNT provides both an online marketplace for artists and a fulfilment centre for printing. Meaning all you have to do is upload your works to your print store and INPRNT will handle the rest!
Society6 allows artists to upload their designs to their website and sell prints or an array of other objects such as phone cases, cushions and tote bags. Because they fulfill and ship all of their products, there is very little work involved for you. This is a great way to make passive income on your prints over time!
RedBubble is a marketplace I'm sure you've heard of before, as its quite popular. It works a lot like Society6, and offers even more products for your works to be printed on!
Imagekind is a commercial website that prints and sells images created by participating artists on-demand. It also includes a social networking and marketing site for artists and their customers.
Displate creates prints from Artists' works, with a difference, they're metal! A one-of-a-kind metal poster is produced and sent to your customers. You can sign up on their sight to offer this option for your buyers.
Pictorem, like Displate, offers a variety of printing materials for your works. So far their marketplace has been responsible for over 150,000 artworks sold in over 108 countries - so they're definitely worth checking out.
For Art / Artisan Objects
The final sub-section in this ULTIMATE LIST allows a little more thinking out of the box, and contains marketplaces that would best suit those who create art objects or artisanal gifts that can double as interior products. The audiences of these marketplaces are less art-collector centric.
Pamono is a marketplace and magazine specializing in distinctive design objects. Whilst they have traditionally catered to interior objects, they are beginning to widen the amount of art they sell on their site. You can apply to be a Trade Partner on their website.
Etsy is a well known online marketplace that deals in all things Arts&Crafts, as well as vintage items and independent designs. It's very expansive, but could be a great place to reach a new audience.
Artpreneur offers a place to advertise your creative services online, whether it be painting, 3D modelling, or photography.
Folksy is a marketplace for all things crafts! If you're art would be a great handmade gift, this is where it belongs.
Not On The High Street
Not On The High Street is also a great marketplace for art objects that double as gifts, as this is how all the products on this marketplace are marketed to their customers. If you're art object can be personalised, it will certainly do well here.
ArtFire is a marketplace, craft and maker community where people from around the world come together to buy, sell and interact. Acting as a mediator between shoppers and makers this is a great alternative online marketplace for all kinds of creators.
CafePress is a company that works with designers to bring the world millions of designs on hundreds of different products. Working a lot like Society6 and RedBubble, it is great for graphic designers and illustrators.
eBay is a place where you can sell anything! really! so why not try sell your art there too?