Selling your artwork on online galleries

My ‘Daughter of Woman’ series is for sale on Saatchi Art. Saatchi Art is an online gallery where artists can sell their work globally. The gallery commission in 35%, which isn’t bad, some galleries take 50% +.

Creating an account.

Creating an account and uploading my work was simple and the website was easy to navigate. Be ready with all the details of your work, including descriptions and your artist bio. Ensure the photos of your work are high res 300dpi and at least 1500 pixels on the long edge. Photos are extremely important, make sure they are evenly lit, high quality and sharp.

Keywords are important

Think of keywords which buyers might search for and attach them to each artwork listing. You can use up to 12, try and use them all – the more links to your profile the better!

The cons

There are a thousands of artists on the site and hundreds of thousands of artworks.

The only way I could find my work was by searching my name. Keyword searches brought more than 50 pages of artworks (I stopped scrolling at page 50!)

Getting noticed by buyers seems to be very challenging, unless you get featured. Saatchi feature artists regularly, but with the thousands of artists to choose from, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd.

Other galleries

Other galleries require you to apply and be selected. I have applied to two other online galleries: Drool and Artfinder.

For bot, I had to fill in an application form, with links to my work and reasons I think I would be a good fit for their gallery. A reply could take weeks or months – Artfinder said 6-8 weeks.

Multiple revenue streams.

What this process has taught me so far, is that I won’t earn my living from one gallery or even a few. Being able to see your art across multiple revenue streams, multiple places is a must.

I don’t know what they all are yet – but I learning new stuff each day!!

If you have any tips or advice for selling your art, please leave them in the comments!

Take care,

Michelle

My finished pattern design

I finished my first repeating pattern with Anne LaFollette’s mini course!

I’ve learnt lots about Adobe Illustrator, and I’ve come realise I want more! I can see how big this creative program is and how it is the programme used in the graphics and illustration industry.

I going to have to invest in it, as I feel not using it is now a step backwards, away from my goals for my creative business.

I’ve got one more lesson left on the mini course, ‘saving work’. But I want to continue creating patterns and illustrations.

What next?

I’ve started watching Bonnie Christine and signed up for another mini course with another pattern designer.

Anne’s academy course sounds amazing, but I’m not ready to invest $1000! A bit more research and development is required before I invest that sort of money!

Using Adobe Illustrator for pattern design

It’s lesson 2 of Anne LaFollette’s ‘From Doodles to Dollars’ free mini course about pattern design.

As I had thought, the lessons are from her Skillshare course ‘From Sketch to Wrapping Paper’. Consequently, I am running ahead a bit as I know most of the techniques in this course.

I’m using Procreate on the iPad to draw my sketches, saving as a JPEG, and then importing into illustrator using the ‘place‘ tool.

Using Procreate before Illustrator

What’s been cool about using procreate, is that 1) I don’t have to photograph my sketches, 2) I can also import my colour ideas from Procreate into Illustrator using the same ‘place’ technique. I can then place it on the outside of my artboard and use the dropper tool to create swatches to use in my designs.

I find it much easier to find colours and colour plates on the iPad right now.

A screenshot of what I’m currently doing in Illustrator.

The more I’m using Illustrator, the more I like it – I wish it didn’t cost so much!

Adding sketches to Illustrator

Once imported, I used ‘image trace’, selecting black and white logo from the default and ignore white. I then went to object>expand>ok>object>ungroup.

Now the four sketches are separate images and I can move them around using the move tool.

More courses!

Anne mentioned another pattern designer, ‘Bonnie Christine’, who has more in-depth courses on Skillshare. So, I’ve started watching her course, ‘Intro to Surface Pattern Design’.

Many thanks to the member or Anne’s Art Community Facebook group who suggested I add a ‘Genko leaf’ to my design. (That’s the yellow ones – I had to google what one was!)

I’ll update you with the next part of the course and how my pattern is going in Illustrator soon.

Take care,

Michelle

Teaching yourself pattern design

I’ve started Anne LaFollette’s pattern design mini course, ‘From Doodles to Dollars’. For day 1, I created sketches to use in a pattern. I drew them on my iPad Pro using Procreate and Apple Pencil. Anne works on paper and photographs her sketches to digitise them.

I took inspiration from my daily walk in the woods with my dog and baby boy. I collected leaves and berries to sketch at home. I find it much easier to sketch what is in front of me than from memory.

I have started with simple shapes, Anne says we can always get fancier later!

Having already taken Anne’s course, ‘From sketch to wrapping paper’, on Skillshare, I can see this is the same course spilt over 5 days.

The design is created in Adobe Illustrator, I have downloaded the free trial to have a go. It is over £200 a year to buy though, and I already pay for Photoshop and Lightroom so I think I will just a play with it for now.

I’ll upload what I’m creating on the course soon.

Take care,

Michelle

Learning surface pattern design

I’m starting Anne LaFolette’s surface pattern design mini course ‘From Doodles to Dollars’ on Monday!

I’m excited to learn about this area of illustration and design and to see if it’s something I would like to delve deeper into.

It is a 5 day commitment, Anne will be setting homework assignments! I’m a bit nervous about that, as I struggle to fit my art in around my home life at the moment, with two little ones running around!

But even drawing for just 30 minutes each day is helping me learn and progress. I’ve heard it so often, but consistency really is the key. I believe that if I keep practising and keep creating everyday, I will a career is art and design 🙂

I’ll write about what I do on the mini course and post on my blog.

Until then, here is a little surface pattern doodle.

Take care,

Michelle

Using Lightroom for commercial photography

I did some commercial photography recently. The first time for years! The images were for the website of a new business, plus marketing materials. 

I edited the majority of images in Lightroom and used Photoshop to clean up a few with the clone and healing tool.

Lightroom

Lightroom is great for editing lots of images that require similar changes. It speeds up the process and is non destructive to the original photos. I hadn’t used Lightroom since I shot weddings a few years ago, and it has had some nice updates since then. The spot healing brush and gradient tool were particularly useful for brightening and cleaning up images quickly.

It is simple to import images into Lightroom for editing and to export the finished photos to a folder on your computer. Collections are a useful way of dividing up your images into sub-categories or clients. Particularly if your are processing groups of image differently.

I like photographing objects and spaces. Finding interesting compositions and perspectives appeals to me. I’m more nervous photographing people!

I enjoyed a step away from fine art photography and it felt great to help someone with a new and exciting endeavour. However, I do love the freedom of fine art photography, and the fact I am only accountable to myself!

Take care,

Michelle

Selling limited edition prints

My ‘Daugter Of Woman’ series is the first time I have created work to sell as a limited edition series.

Wife Of Woman – 20x20cm Limited Edition Giclee print – Artist Proof

So I had to do some research on how to work with limited editions and what mine would look like.

Things to consider when selling work in limited editions:

Size

  • Will you sell one size or different sizes?
  • What sizes will you sell?
  • Will they be printed with a border?

I have created 3 sizes in my Daughter Of Woman series: 20cm; 40cm and 80cm. I’ve written down now, I have too stick with it! It has been so hard to choose sizes. I wanted to offer 3-4 sizes, with one, small affordable print.

Having border is also a consideration. I started out with a 2cm border in my artist proofs. But I think I’m going to change that to 5cm. This is due to framing. After doing some research, I think it will be easier to frame with a thicker border, plus I think it really draws your eye into the image. It’s such a personal decision!

Paper

What paper will you print on?

Generally speaking an archival grade paper is advisable. This means the ink won’t fade over time. A thick paper, above 180gsm gives the print stability, durability and a looks lovely too.

Edition size

How many will be printed in each size?

Each of the sizes in my ‘Daughter of Woman’ series has a different edition number. The 20x20cm images have an edition of 50, this is my affordable size. The 40x40cm have an edition size of 15 and the 80x80cm have an edition size of 5. Generally speaking, the smaller the edition number, the higher the price of the prints.

Edition numbers often reduce as the size of an image increases.

Editions sizes are totally up to the artist, there is an element of personal preference and trial and error to see what works! I’ll let you know how it goes!

Pricing

This is another tough one to think about and get right! Price too high and you risk your work not selling. Plus it doesn’t look good when an artist lowers their prices! Price too low, and you miss out on income, Ahh!

Start lower, if they sell like hot cakes, you know you can up the price of your next edition.

Think about:

  • How much the image cost to make – props, location, models. Will you pay yourself an hourly rate? How many hours did you work on the image?
  • How much it cost to print. Include the border in the print cost calculations, as you pay for the total amount of paper used – that caught me out!
  • How long you have been making fine art for and how well established you are? I am just starting out in the Fine Art world, so I won’t be attaching a premium to the cost of my limited edition prints.
  • Rarity – the smaller the edition, the more value it becomes because of how few there are in the world. An edition of 2, will be more valuable than an edition of 200.

I have been backwards and forwards for weeks and weeks on this. I just to take the plunge and commit to a decision, and see how it goes.

You don’t need to stick to the same edition and pricing structure for every image / series. So if this doesn’t work out, I can change things for my next series of work.

If you have any tips of selling limited edition prints, I would love to hear them!

Take care,

Michelle