This is the question all artists ask themselves. Not only are artists searching for ways of selling art now, they are questioning how it will be selling in the future. Will you be selling it yourselves, through art galleries, or will you sell your art online?  Whether you are creating paintings or handmade jewellery the way you connect to a collector or customer will continue to change.


ARTPRIZES.COM   recently conducted a survey of artists asking the question “In 3 years time how do you think you will sell more of your artwork?”

This graph illustrates the results

Art Prize survey asking artists where they think they will sell their art in 3 years time.

As humans when we hear stories to which we relate , we put them on like a t/shirt. For instance, if we hear another artist say they are having a really bad year, we assume everyone is having a bad year. We don’t take into consideration that the artist in question might be making poor choices in their art business. We’ve all heard the stories about galleries being in trouble, artists not selling, bad economies, no one will buy in this retail climate. What stories are you telling yourself ?… Are they true?…. And how do you know? Do yourself a favour, research it. You’ll find most of those stories are exaggerated or just untrue. We have done our research and there a lot of galleries out there doing really well and selling a lot of artwork. They have adapted to the new normal and modified their goals, to coin a phrase, “They are changing with the times”.

Time to Adapt

One of the most used words in 2020 is “ADAPT”. Here at Manly Harbour Gallery we are continually adapting to meet the challenges of this current retail environment and have learnt a lot and worked hard in a very short period of time to maintain our resilience. When we had to close our Brisbane art gallery doors due to the Covid 19 outbreak we took a few hours to feel sorry for ourselves and then took a deep breath and made a plan (including a marketing plan) and set new goals to adapt, and pivoted more effort into our online art gallery.  We focused on increasing our rankings in Google search results especially for selling paintings, for selling art online, and local artists.  But we also took the time to increase our rankings for people to find our Brisbane art gallery as well, ready for the days when we could reopen the door. Our strategy has paid off!  So far this year we have sold many more artworks than our previous year and had increased sales in designer gifts. That’s during a pandemic with our doors closed for 5 of those weeks.


Individual artists need to do the same thing. As professional artists ourselves, we understand how hard it is to gain attention in this very overcrowded space but artists have always faced challenges in the journey to have their artwork noticed and sold. It is easy to sit back and play the blame game and we are all good at doing that. You can blame outside forces, but a successful person succeeds by finding a way no matter how hard it is to realise a dream.


Turn your dreams into goals and take action…

ACTION is like the petrol you put in your car to take you on that road trip, without the petrol you will go nowhere. Knowledge is also valuable so do your research and make an annual plan, goals don’t work without action, and action without a plan is of no value. Break every goal into small action steps, then prioritize the steps and what you will work on each week. Read your goals weekly no matter what then you can adjust them as you go. Visualise your success, you have to believe in your goals, think about how you will feel when you succeed. Visualization is the most important part of setting your mind to success.

Learn to Market your Artwork in Collaboration with a Gallery

Go back to the graph above, professional artists believe that this is the way forward if you are wanting to sell your work, you are in the art business. So the way to make a business successful is to market your work. Marketing is part of the action plan. Expecting buyers to show up on your doorstep is not reality. Even just putting your art on the wall of a gallery and expecting them to promote you is unrealistic you have to take charge of your own plan of success. And you will find the sum of the parts can be greater than the whole.  If you spend one day in five working on self promotion in conjunction with galleries, you will see some major changes to your sell rate.


So set your goals, make the action plan, set aside time every week for marketing and most of all ADAPT and be willing to embrace change.


And if you are still asking yourself “Where can I sell my paintings or artwork?” and are interested in working with our Brisbane based art gallery or being part of our online shop then please look at our application details.