How To Sell Art Online

In this blog post, I’ll explain my top tips for becoming a successful artist and how to sell art online.

I have been a professional since 2017 and a hobby artist a few years prior. In this time, I’ve sold over $3 million in original art and signed royalty contracts with over 20 print companies for art print reproductions world-wide. I’ve discovered a great range of skills, techniques and insights in both art and business. I aim to share as much of what I’ve learned with fellow artists in this blog post as I can in one post. I hope my experiences can help all other artists out there find a new opportunity, perceptive and challenge to take on. 

A Brief Background On Me

I have worked in many fields before becoming an artist. I must admit, I never planned to become an artist, rather I stumbled across it in my late twenties as a therapeutic hobby. I worked as a drama and math teacher, worked for Google in tech and mapping, governmental investigation officer, worked as a chef, builder, photographer, musician and toilet cleaner to name a few. Although these jobs were quite different to working as an artist, I’m able to apply many skills and attributes from each role in the business side of selling art. Cleaning the bottom of a toilet is so similar to creative block, you only see the S#!@ 

It is important to consider your natural, developed or developing skills and attributes from your previous or current work or duties in life. It is also important to consider the differences you may have to myself. You can use this to your advantage or may need to work harder to approach challenges and overcome them to achieve your goals. Finally, please consider what your goals or aims essentially are. Reading my advice and insights below is only useful once you know what you seek. Think deeply about what your goals are as the trade offs and sacrifices are sometimes not compatible with your personal life or desire.

Find Your Unique Artistic Style

I spent much time early in my art career intentionally making mistakes and just playing around with ideas to come up with a truely unique artistic style. I highly recommend every artist try to find their own artistic style. Unfortunately, I see many artists copying successful artists like myself or incredibly famous artists like Banksy- only to become creators of almost replica styles. The sense of satisfaction in creating your own truely unique style can not be matched. Find your own voice and let art collectors and fans feel your authentic passion within. Art collectors will feel this and connect with your work. 

Try a different medium, try a different surface, paint in different locations, change the patterns of creation, intentionally make mistakes or play around with ideas, find what feels good and develop it, avoid copying other artists. 

Set Your Goals As An Artist 

Write out your goals clearly with a timeframe and strategies to get there. I set out a monthly goal on how much art I will produce, The diversity of artistic themes, the variety of colours and even the music playlist I use to motivate my creations. I used to set sales goals earlier in my art career as motivation and an understanding of progress. These days I just let it ride. But I do recommend you set some monetary goals as this will help you work out if your art is liked and your time value. 

Work Harder Than The Other Artists 

Just like anything, if you want to be great at it, you need to work hard. I typically work seven days a week and rarely have time off. I work every day on social media, emails, websites, print company uploads, research, stock purchases, shipping, packaging, collaborations, photo editing, canvas preparing and oh, I create art too. I usually work from 6:30am to 10:30pm M-F and then 8-5 on Saturday and 3-10pm Sunday. I have time off for the gym and meals, though even as I’m writing this, I’m eating my lunch. You have to put in more effort than others to be successful. So be prepared to sacrifice your time with friends, family and your favourite activities. Once you become established as an artist, you can work on better work/life balances. If you’re like me, you live to create and your dearest and nearest understand. 

Comparing Online Art Galleries For Selling Art

I recommend joining as many online art galleries as you can. Join them and upload consistently to them. I have joined over 16 online art galleries throughout the past 6 years. I now am selling with zero! So why did I say to join them all? Well at first, you need to be discovered and the best way is to have your art published all over the internet. As you grow, you’ll work out which online art galleries are wasting your time, and which are helping you progress in your art career. I started with Artfinder, Artfido and Bluethumb art galleries back in 2014/15. I sold my first artwork with Bluethumb Australia for around $50USD and was elated! I then sold an artwork with Artfido for $200 to Poland and then Artfinder for a similar value. I picked up early on that selling on many platforms helps collectors find me. With that said, I also learnt which galleries to avoid due to high commissions, dodgy tactics or not suiting my style. I have a list of the major galleries below stating their commission rates as I last encountered, their fees and how well I sold with them. 

Bluethumb Australia 

I sold with this gallery (largest online gallery in Australia) from 2014-2021. I may have been the biggest selling one year or close to it. I can’t remember now. I found the staff and CEO to be absolutely amazing! Great online gallery when starting out and even for those wanting to sell online with ‘moderately priced’ artworks. They had low fees, shipping fees, commission take and overall expenses when I sold for them. I recommend Aussies join and become discovered! I even think USA residents can join. The only negative is price point. I found my art was becoming too highly price for regular sales with this online gallery. Keep it between $200 and $2000 for regular sales. 

Saatchi Art

I sold with this huge online art gallery from 2016-2021. I received personal support from the head curator Rebecca Wilson when starting out, which was amazing. She has an eye for rising stars, though doesn’t like to share her talented artist with other galleries I found, which is understandable. I sold quite often with Saatchi and found their commission rate very fair, good shipping rates and highly professional staff. I recommend joining, but be patient. It takes months to become noticed, if at all. They sold most of my $800-$6000 artworks. They also sell prints. Make that available too! I would often sell prints each week, with a 40 or 50% commission I think from memory. It may be different now.


I joined Singulart in late 2019 by invitation. I was their biggest seller in 2021, though they made a mistake about this when publishing (not a surprise there). I am also told by some staff that I was their biggest seller overall from 2017-2022. I found the company to be magnificent when starting out. Great support, amazing sales volumes and a very wide reach on art collector locations. I sold art in the price range of $300-$11,000USD. The 50% commission was hard to swallow compared to Saatchi, Bluethumb and Artfinder, but the service made up for it. 

However, as many reading will know, Singulart have made significant changes in recent months to include a ridiculously high shipping cost (up to 25% of artwork price in some cases) and include VAT charges to artists. The direction of the online gallery is concerning, which lead me to suspend my account and focus on my personal sales, collectors and also my new physical gallery representations in USA and Australia. For now, I’d recommend avoiding Singulart as the fees and commission they take are too high. I was averaging 28-44% profit on my last ten artworks sold in 2022. This is too low. It should be 50% or higher. ALWAYS factor shipping cost in final price as to compare with other online galleries selling with “free shipping”. 


I joined Artfinder in 2015-2021. I sold many artworks with them and made the top 10 list in their monthly ranks at times. I felt the commission rate was ok. However, there is a lack of support, so essentially you’re paying for a fancy arts specific ‘Google Ads’ campaign. If you’re not great at self advertising, Artfinder is good. If you’re ads savvy, just use the website to gain some traction and use it for what it’s worth. It also has limitations for shippers in that they don’t provide the art collector’s email account. This made it difficult for shipping internationally I found. They are more concerned about artist’s having art collector’s details than actually providing the essentials for effective shipping. This caused an occasional shipping issue, of which Artfinder don’t assist with. So I’d join if you live in Europe and possibly avoid if elsewhere. 

Local Online Galleries 

I joined many ‘local’ national galleries in UK, Germany, USA and so on. I found most were quite amateur and lacked support. However, I was attempting to sell in their country from my location in Australia. I do recommend you join your largest local online gallery to sell. For me it was Bluethumb. For you, I recommend heading to Google and typing what any art collector would in your region “Art for sale near me” or “art for sale online”. ArtGallery UK was quite good for me. As was Artmajeur in France. Both would sell around one artwork per month in 2019/2020.

Remember, consistency is key with these online galleries. It’s important to upload every week or so, write information about each artwork, provide several close up photos and make your profile look professional and engaging. Their PR or curator team members will notice you if you put in the effort. 

How to Sell Your Art On Social Media 

This is by far the most enjoyable way to sell art. I love connecting with art collectors via message and discuss their commission requests, interest in an original artwork or even just chat about what they are interested in for the year. I recommend creating an Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest account straight away. Upload content 1-5 times a week. Upload the same time each week and make sure it’s your best content. Create reels, short videos, artwork in context photos, close up photos, behind the scenes or even blooper mistakes in the studio. You never know which video or photo will go viral, so keep at it. I just had two Instagram reels go viral at 4 and 5 million views recently.

I now have my new Youtube and TikTok accounts created and they are taking off well. Keep at it, respond to every message, like every comment and connect with people. This will help you grow and find the art collectors that speak your artistic language. Check out all my social media accounts (Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest and TikTok) to see how I work and what you can adopt from my success. I will respond to every message sent. So don’t be shy, ask away and I’ll give you my time to help build your art career. 

How to Sell Your Art On Your Own Website

This is a must have! Seek a WordPress website builder or take a chance at building yourself. I built my website with WordPress and continue to improve it monthly. I now have hundreds of sold artworks on there, links to prints and a few blog posts. I recommend linking to Paypal for payment safety and provide discounts on older artworks in stock. I usually provide a 10% or more discount on artworks older than 1 year. Most of my art sells within 1-20 weeks, but some of my large works or weird works take some time and often require a discount to entice the right collector to acquire their unique desired creation. Finally, update your website each week in some way with new art or a blog post. Even just a photo of yourself in the studio helps people know what you’re up to and what art is coming next. 

Reinvest and Reimagine 

My final bit of advice for now is to reinvest in yourself. If you sell an artwork privately for $2000, consider how much the gallery would have taken (including shipping and taxes). Artfinder, Bluethumb or Saatchi would have taken around $600-$850 of it, leaving you $1150-$1400. Singulart around $1100-$1440 of it, leaving you $660-$900. For a private sale, you need to take out shipping fees, so consider $1800-$1900 remains. I would reinvest at least $400 back into Google Ads, Social media advertising or other promotional improvements. Considering the huge percentage Singulart takes, imagine reinvesting $1000 back into your art career. This is what would have been taken by Singulart minimum for one sale. $1000 of Google Ads or Instagram Ads gets you a whole lot of eyes and a whole lot of potential to grow. Don’t spend that money on new shoes. You’ll just get paint on them anyway! Spend it on reinvesting in your artistic future. Let that money find the art collectors that love your art and connect to your vision. 

Sell Your Art Images To Print Companies

This is so very important! You should be gathering high definition photographs of all your images and saving them for future use. I did such thankfully, then in 2017 I started uploading the 300DPI 5000+ pixel images to Redbubble print website. I made $20 my first month. This actually meant I sold 2 prints and received $20 in royalties. Now I estimate 2000-4000 of my artwork prints are sold every month judging by my royalty payments. It’s constantly growing and proves a great way to gain regular income, and also gain new fan and collectors of my original paintings.

The prints are marketed, produced and shipped by the print company. All you have to do is upload the high quality image of your painting. After some advice from a well known and very successful Australian artist (Jover), I began uploading all my artwork photo files as prints for various other websites. I am now with 20+ print websites of which have access to over 1000 of my artwork photo files over the years. I get between 10-20% royalties with them all, though be prepared to only get 7% on most when starting out. You’ll need to negotiate your way up as you become more popular. I’m now the biggest seller of art prints on a few of these company sites, outselling some of the greats like Monet, Picasso and Van Gogh at times. You can do the same if you keep at it! Don’t give up!

Head to my prints page and look at where I have my art available as prints. Take note and apply to make a contract with them. They’ll assess your art and files and hopefully take you on. I recommend having at least 50 artworks ready in 300DPI 6000px+ sizes. Mine are now all 9000px in max size as I bought a high end digital camera to ensure the best quality of art image. Oh, and buy high quality room lighting and photoshop. You’ll need to colour correct your images to ensure they look just like the actual artwork. This takes many attempts to master. I’m only just mastering turquoise art colours now! Please make sure you only sign contracts for NON-EXCLUSIVE rights on your artwork images. Never go exclusive unless you are established. Also be caution of any company outside of my recommendations on my prints page.

The Best SEO for Artists 

This section is for the advanced! Well, it isn’t really, anyone can learn this. It is just not common practice from what I’ve seen. 

Make sure you implement great SEO skills in all your uploads. To become discovered, you need to think like the discoverer. Name your artwork appropriately. If it’s blue, name it something related. Red banana tree is not a great name for a bright blue landscape of gum trees. Just name it ‘Beautiful Blue Gum Day’ or something like that. Then consider the words you use to explain the artwork. Write about the colours used, the materials used, the inspiration, location, size, feeling, style specifics and searchable terms. All this information is picked up by search engine bots to find your artwork when someone types “Blue Gum Landscape Painting For Sale”. Remember to name your artwork photo image file as your artist name and artwork name. This is also searchable on search engine image searches. I often rank on the first page for ‘ballerina art’, ‘ballet paintings’ or ‘tree paintings’. Name everything in a relative manner. 

Finally, approach hashtags on social media and online galleries in the same perspective. What are people going to search for when they want to find an artist like you or artworks like yours? Use hashtags that relate directly to your art style, colours, inspiration or detail specifics. 

To sum it all up. Don’t give up! Keep at it and your art will improve, your market will improve and your heart will grow. It’s great selling art, but it’s even better connecting with people that love what you do. It makes the artwork fails worth it and the artwork successes even more sweeter. 

Take care

Ashvin Harrison 

Please note, the comments box below is disabled. Please email or even better, Insta message me if you’re seeking advice or just want to say hi. 🙂 

Please note: This blog post was last updated March 15, 2023

Ashvin Harrison is an Internationally acclaimed Australian artist living in the Sunshine Coast, Australia. His unique expressive creations of charcoal and paint examine the human condition through philosophical and emotional inspirations. Ashvin is a self taught artist whom has created and sold artworks in over 40 countries since becoming a full-time artist in 2017. Ashvin Created this unique genre style, referred to as 'Motusrealism', in 2012.