Selling Art: An Oversimplified History

Selling Art in the Distant Past

Selling Art in the Recent Past

Selling Art Today


Count your lucky stars to be a working artist today.
You might complain about having to keep up with everything, but what's the alternative? Returning to a day when the power was in everyone else's hands but the artists?

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17 thoughts on “Selling Art: An Oversimplified History”

  1. As I’m going through my art-history classes in school, I can definitely see this progression. While it might seem like we, as artists, have to work harder now, we also have the opportunity to take control of our careers.
    I’m beginning to realize this, and am in the process of creating my ever-spreading “web”.

  2. I love the illustration, it really brings it home! We as artists have it *so good* these days. We have so many options for marketing literally at our fingertips, we need only zero in on those avenues that work best for us and just go for it.

  3. Pingback: Approaching Art Galleries: Selling Yourself — Art Biz Blog

  4. Alyson Stanfield

    Jim: Yikes! That’s one convoluted picture. I could have made mine in a similar fashion, but it needed to show up at 420px wide. 😉
    Fiona: Send them over! You never have to ask about that.

  5. I love that there are other selling avenues to add too! Yes, it can be hard to keep up with everything, but you’re right, I wouldn’t trade it.

  6. Good in formation about selling art. I do what ever it takes.
    Recently I spoke to a group of docents, I took my shoebox paintings with me. At the end of my presentation, I told the group about my little treasures.
    Long story short, I walked away with $400.
    Not bad for an hours work.
    Selling art is an artform. If one wants to heat and eat as an artist they better learn how to sell.
    There is a neat little book titled-How To Sell Anything to Anybhody.
    The author is Joe Girard. Where ever he say car, insert the word art.
    I read this book often, to keep my selling game tight.
    Cheers and Art
    Bob Ragland-Non Starving Artist, on purpose.

  7. When I graduated in the ’80s, we had nothing like this.
    Definitely young artists today have an advantage.
    I started blogging recently, and I love it. It also motivates me to finish each painting as I can’t wait to blog about it.
    In the past, a new unrepresented artist did not have such a great and easy avenue to show their work – plus the gratification is immediate!
    I love it!
    I recently read a book called The World is Flat, which explains the effect the internet has had in turning the world into a global village and how individuals now have power they never had before.

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Karen: I understand. I graduated undergrad the same time. I haven’t read The World Is Flat, but I’m a huge fan of Thomas Friedman.

  8. Oh then you will probably enjoy the book.
    I recommend it – it was very informative and very readable and made me think. It highlights the economic rise of China and India and I wish the guys running my country would read it and apply some of it’s principles.
    Interested to know you graduated same time as me.Makes us similar in age. Would love to know how you became a successful gallery owner – isn’t it a tough business?

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