by Bill Hudson
I stopped doing art festivals a year ago. For a retired 75-year-old, outdoor shows became a burden jurying in, loading, traveling, setting up, staying in a hotel, manning the booth for 2 to 4 days, packing up, traveling home, and unpacking. However, I miss the fun of meeting hundreds of people (often repeat customers), talking art, and selling in events attended by thousands of art appreciators.
I began 2020 returning to traditional brick and mortar art galleries … the
Gallery Andrea, a consignment gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the
Cove Gallery, a co-operative gallery in Laguna Beach. Then, as quickly as I had transitioned, art galleries were mandated closed and art shows were cancelled. The virus also eliminated opportunities for artists dependent upon workshops for income.
I believe some of the best art is being created right now by exceptional artists with excess time, few deadlines, and possibly no other outlets. As venues slowly re-open, artists will be returning to a reconfigured world with fewer surviving traditional galleries and events.
Personally, I have only two remaining sources of revenue from fine art … sales and commissions from my website
and the print-on-demand service
. Both rely on the internet which has become the “go-to” alternative for many business choices during this pandemic. Many of these online solutions developed in response to COVID-19 will become standard practices.
The relevant question for income-dependent artists is:
“How can I sell more art online?” Actions taken to survive the pandemic will benefit sales both now and in the future.
There are many reputable
services. Until now, I have been content using only
Fine Art America
for the past 8 years. I submit my image and authorize them to print and sell that image on: prints, greeting cards, throw pillows, duvet covers, shower curtains, tote bags, phone cases, T-shirts, beach towels, yoga mats, spiral notebooks, blankets, battery chargers, carry-all pouches, coffee mugs, tapestries, and now,
. FAA also offers custom framing. For each product, I simply define my profit which is automatically deposited in my PayPal account. FAA provides a 30-day customer satisfaction guarantee or money-back policy.
Among many other successful print-on-demand companies are:
Printful, Printify, Redbubble, Zazzle, TeeSpring, Society6, Sunfrog, Teefury, Threadless,
Design by Humans
Originals Sold Online
I believe every brick and mortar gallery should have an online gallery selling available work by the resident artists. Many of those same galleries are selling space in their online galleries to additional juried artists
Stand-alone online galleries are on a rapid increase worldwide. The largest is
which charges a 35% commission and requires the artist to pack sold work for shipping. Other online galleries include
VSUAL, Singulart, OnlineGallery.art, Artfinder, Azucar Gallery, Artsper, Shair Art, and U Gallery.
The world of art is changing quickly. During this lockdown, professional artists have been given time to create art and to embrace marketing alternatives.