From what I have read and the questions that I have had, this is a popular consideration. I have read lots of articles on the subject and the answer is… it depends. What it depends on is your preference.
Wouldn’t it be fabulous to have all your art in a gallery and simply have people show up buy it? In an ideal world that would be so easy. So what if p to half of your selling price goes to the gallery, think of all the time you save since you’re not doing the selling, you can do what you love, make more art! For many artists, it is worth it.
Yea, but… How do you know if the gallery is honest, reputable? How much marketing do they do? Maybe your art just sits there with few shoppers ever seeing it. I know some lovely gallery owners, but I also know there are some gallery owners who I would not trust my art with.
Selling Art Online
The other option is selling on line, like Etsy, Ebay (website links), online art galleries and your own website. That sounds kind of easy, too, right? Just post your art and let people find it. If that was the case every fairly good artist would be successful! The thing is there are hundreds of thousands of other arts who also want to be found online.
The biggest challenge of selling art online is getting internet shoppers to find your art. Unless people google your name the chances of them finding you online is the needle-haystack scenario. Even if someone googles your name, unless you’ve been working on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), there is a high probability they still won’t find your art.
The amount of time it takes to get found online is crazy. If you share a name with anyone that is active on line, even a minor sports personality, for example, God help you. Change your name or get ready to spend time and/or money climbing the ranks of Google to get in page one results.- because page one is really all that matters. Most searchers do not go beyond page one.
What takes a lot of time to sell online is posting on social media, writing regular blog posts, maintaining account activity on your art selling sites, creating links to your content. Whew! Lots of time away from art. But it has to be done if this is the selling avenue you choose.
Having said all this discouraging stuff about selling on line, it can still be done. Although you should have a website with a gallery of your art, having a store on Etsy and selling on Ebay or one of the highly ranked online gallery sites is a good idea. Why? 1.) These sites are already ranked high in Google, so part of the battle is fought. 2) There are already shoppers going to these sites looking for what you are selling. Sure you still have to compete with other artists on these sites but if you create titles containing good search terms and you have lots of inventory posted your chances of shoppers finding you could be exponentially improved over selling only from your own website.
So now it is up to you to decide if selling through a gallery or selling online is best for you.