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How to Sell Art at Craft Shows and Fairs and Online

Updated on August 4, 2020
viking305 profile image

L.M. Reid is an Irish writer who has published many articles. She creates numerous crafts that sell well at craft shows.

Best Ways to Sell Art Online
Best Ways to Sell Art Online | Source

How To Promote and Sell Your Art Online

Below I have outlined where I successfully promote and sell my art work. I explain how to sell art online on Etsy and by creating your own Facebook Page. 20 Tips to Sell Art on Etsy Online. 10 Tips Every Artist Should Know. There are ideas of some places that might be willing to display and sell your paintings.

How to Sell Paintings at Art Exhibitions

If you are a member of a painting group do they hold any art exhibitions? If not then why not organize one. The art group I joined all those years ago is still going strong and holds an exhibition of the group’s paintings twice a year.

It displays the art work in the local library free for three days in their exhibition room. They also show and sell their work in the larger city library for five days within the main library itself. Two of my paintings sold within thirty five minutes of the opening in my first ever art exhibition a few years ago! This really gave my confidence a great boost.

Community Art Gallery I use to sell my art
Community Art Gallery I use to sell my art | Source

Selling Your Pictures in an Art Gallery

This type of art gallery is becoming very successful and they are opening all over the UK. why not inquire if there are any in the area and country you live in. It all started because local artists wanted to display their work but could not afford to set up their own galleries. Some of them got together and decided to set up a gallery in their area for local artists.

They rented premises and ran the gallery together on a volunteer basis. They displayed their own work and invited other local artists to do the same. The gallery I am a member of charges £5 a year to become a member and it costs £1 a month for each painting I have displayed at the stop.

Artists Who are Members

On show are paintings in acrylics, oil and watercolour. We also have ceramic art, pottery and other mediums of art for sale. In this particular gallery the commission is charged at 15% for each painting sold.

Each artist is only allowed to have three pieces of work displayed a month. But when they sell an item they can replace it with another one. This is because although this gallery is only open for just over a year it has become a very successful place to sell art. Therefore space is limited.

My painting of Pink Roses in acrylic
My painting of Pink Roses in acrylic | Source

Selling Your Paintings in Cafes

Because I have been selling my paintings regularly it has given me the confidence to find other areas to display them for sale. I have already agreed with a cafe on the sea front to allow me to put four paintings on their walls.

We came to an agreement of 25% commission for them with each sale. These will be ready for the summer months and the subject of these paintings are scenes of the local area. This is a very good promotion tactic because it is a great way to get your name as a painter known in the area. Even if customers do not have the money to buy your art work they will be sitting in the cafe long enough for your art to leave an impression on them.

Craft Shows and Fairs

I display and sell my paintings and other craft work I do at home once a year at a Christmas Craft Fair. This same fair has one at Easter and the summer but once a year is enough to earn me some decent money. Last year there were over 30,000 visitors to the craft show over the four days

When people come to a craft fair they expect to pay a decent amount of money for the handmade items. The one I go to is held in November so that many customers are looking for unique Christmas presents. They come prepared with lots of money!

Look online or in the local paper for crafts shows or fairs beside you. They are a profitable place to promote your art and crafts. It is hard work but very enjoyable too because over the four days you get to meet and chat with other people who make money from their crafts.

How To Sell Your Paintings Online

You can create your own Facebook Business Page to display your paintings. This is free and you will also get a lot of feedback which is helpful. When you sell your paintings online you keep all of the profit.

Click the link below for step by step instructions.

Facebook Business Page

Etsy and Other Craft Sites

These sites have the advantage of allowing you to take payment from customers easily and have a great reputation and network. They are free to create and set up but do charge a percentage of every sale you make.

Your Own Website

Yes it will cost money to set up and run but the initial outlay costs may be worth it in the long run. If you are a full time artist then this option could suit you best. You will not have to pay out commission to the galleries or shops that agree to display your paintings.

I am very fortunate that I can display my art work in plenty of local places so do not need to sell my work online. I do not paint full time so would not have enough paintings to make this way of advertising and selling worth it for me. But this is a good way of showing people what your work is all about.

They can see for themselves what kind of art you produce and if they wish they can buy it. A lot of artists would not be near enough to get to local shops, cafes or art galleries to display their work.

Where to Promote, Display and Sell Art

I have given you ideas for just a few of the places where you can display you paintings and other art work. I hope the above suggestions will help you earn an income from your craft

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      4 years ago from Ireland

      I find it very relaxing when I am painting. Thank you Delia for taking the time to leave a comment.

    • delia-delia profile image


      5 years ago

      Great information! Thanks for sharing your thoughts...I've been painting with acrylics for many years, mostly animals and pets. In the last few years I have been doing a lot of Plein Air painting, which I thoroughly well as donating my art to Event/Causes that are close to my heart.

    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      5 years ago from Ireland

      hello Thelma I am glad you found the article helpful. Good Luck with selling the paintings online. Thanks for the share too

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      5 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      This is a very informative hub which comes very handy to me. My husband is an artist and I am the one selling his paintings. I'm going on do what you have suggested here.Thanks very much. Voted up and shared in fb.

    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      7 years ago from Ireland

      There are so many ways to sell your crafts that are interesting and fun. Ladame thanks for reading and taking the time to leave a comment

    • ladame profile image

      Lisa Adame 

      7 years ago from the midwest

      Thank you for your tips. I am going to try a few of them!

    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      Yes selling our crafts and paintings is also a way of making some extra money. It is important to find out all the opportunities available to us locally.

      Thank you prasetio for commenting and your votes

    • prasetio30 profile image


      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I really love this hub. Actually there are many talented artists out there, but sometimes they don't know how to promote their work. If they have own gallery, they can easily put their painting in it. But they should be more creative by join the exhibition. Craft fairs is a good choice. Thanks for writing and share with us. Rated up and useful!


    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      Sgbrown, yes there are some good photographers displaying their work at the gallery. There are also some potters too. I love taking photographs but would not have the money to mount them on a good frame for display and sale. maybe some day.

      Thanks for your votes

    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      Peggy, great to hear from another artist. I spend less and less time painting now that I am writing online but still manage about one a week.

      Glad that you are successful in selling your own linocut art work too.

      I find it very encouraging when someone buys one of my creations because apart from the financial gain it tells me that what I am painting and creating is worth while in other people's eyes.

      Thanks for the votes and sharing

    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      Brett, There could be a similar art gallery where your friend lives. If he owns his own restaurant maybe he could contact other artists and hold an exhibition there one night every few months? Thanks for the share and votes

    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      truthfornow, it is a slow process to make money from my paintings but I do love it, so that helps. Thanks for commenting and your votes

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      8 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Very good information. Photographers could do the same thng with their framed photography. I have seem several very good photographers here. I am glad that you have found an outlet for your painting,it is excellent! Thank you for sharing your information with us. Voted up and useful. Have a wonderful day! :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Great ideas you have presented on how to display and sell artwork as well as homemade crafts. Those shared gallery spaces where you display and rotate your art along with others seem very reasonably priced. We have some similar places in Houston but the prices are much higher. I have been fortunate to have had a number of one person shows as well as some group shows in Texas with my linocut art. Some framing businesses are also amenable to letting you display some art in my experience. I have sold some other types of art in those venues. Thanks for answering my question with a hub. Voted up, useful and sharing this with my followers.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett C 

      8 years ago from Asia

      Some very successful and helpful tips here, I will be passing this onto a friend who paints, as his work is excellent, but he only promotes through his own restaurant.

      Shared, up and useful.

    • truthfornow profile image

      Marie Hurt 

      8 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      i always see artworks at coffee shops and other places around town. I am glad to know people are buying. I am sure you are very talented and will continue to do well in increasing your income from painting. Voted up and useful.

    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      Thanks Rosemary for reading. Yes I agree with you about changing the paintings frequently. At the art gallery I have my paintings displayed we have to change any that have not sold to new ones for the following month. It makes sense.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      8 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      You give some great tips here. I love to check out the artwork in local cafes. I think you need to change it regularly though, there too long and people don't notice it anymore.

      Good luck with your sales.

    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      I do agree with you Bob about some of the prices being too expensive but it depends what the artist can get for their work. They do need to make at least their expenses back.

      I have just finished a painting on canvass ready for the art gallery on 1st April. The canvass and acrylic paints for this picture cost me at least £35. It took four days to paint. I will be selling it for £95. This will give me a profit after commission of 15% of £51.

      I do love painting and would love to be able to make some decent earnings from it but as an unknown artist it is very hard. I spend two thirds of my spare time writing online and a third painting. The writing is earning me a good part time income though so I can't complain lol.

      Thanks Bob for reading and taking the time to leave a comment

    • diogenes profile image


      8 years ago from UK and Mexico

      I suspect the economy has more and more people, some gifted and others only marginally so, to turn to producing art, etc.

      The trouble is (my personal observation) is that unknown or amateur artists expect far too much for their work, especially when so much work is around these days.

      I mean, I see stuff on doctor's clinics walls, etc. For a simple little watercolor you see prices of $150 dollars and more.

      I understand the materials cost as well as the framing and sometimes the exhibitor asks for a commission, but artist's need to be very realistic these days.

      Good luck



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