Selling Art Online: Is it Worth It?

Many artists, maybe even you, grapple with the question "Is selling my art online worth it?" 

After opening my online shop last November, someone asked me this very question. At the time, I didn't yet have the words to describe my feelings and what was driving me to sell my art online. I knew in my gut that it was worth it for me, but I didn't know how to answer her question. To be honest, I was too deep in the process, too overwhelmed by other doubting questions in my head like "What are you doing? Is this going to work? Will anyone even buy anything? Is my art even good enough?" to stop and think about the bigger picture and whether or not my efforts were worth it. Three months later and little more perspective between my then-overwhelmed self and today, I can honestly say "it" was worth it for me. 

So what is "it"? "It" is your time, money, and peace. You will have to spend time, money, and frankly, forego some peace in the beginning to sell your art. If you've never done it before, setting up an online shop takes a little work, a little money, and being a little discomfort while learning new things. You don't have to spend a lot in the beginning compared to other business startups, but will there be a return on your investment? The answer to that question has everything to do with your goals and your perspective. 

Let's start with your goals. You wouldn't be reading this if you haven't already considered selling your art. So, what would selling art do for you? Could it help you achieve your goal of being a full-time artist, supporting your lifestyle on your art income? Or maybe it could simply help you offset your material costs so you can continue to make the high-quality art that you love to create. Could it help you achieve your desire to be recognized regionally, nationally, or even globally as an artist? Or maybe what you're looking for is to simply build your confidence as an artist, and people buying your work will do that for you. Would selling your art help you make residual income and diversify your family's income streams, or even allow you to have extra money to give back to the non-profit causes you care about? 

What if you sold your art and your ultimate goal was realized. Would that have been worth it for you? 

Whatever your goals, selling your art online can get you there, but it also takes perspective. I won't sugar coat it. You will have to do work, you will have to learn new skills, and you will have to do things you maybe aren't familiar with and make you uncomfortable at first (unless you pay someone a lot of money to do it all for you). But you know what, personal growth is a great thing!

You will learn and you will adapt and you will grow, and all of these things make you a better and more well-rounded person. There is no better investment than to invest in growing your knowledge base. While I now offset my art materials costs and get to support causes that I'm passionate about with my art (you can read more about that here), some of the most rewarding returns on my initial time, money, and happiness investments are the technology skills and confidence I have gained from the experience. If you start selling your art online, you will certainly learn new skills in web platform setup, building brand awareness on social media, and growing an online community. In a world full of growing technology, these skills are highly transferable and would benefit you in unexpected ways. 

So, if the thought of learning new skills, becoming more adaptable, and growing in a way that sets you up for more success in this ever-changing world excites you, your perspective is aligned to make online art sales worth it.

In the end, the decision to sell your art online is deeply personal, rooted in your aspirations and willingness to embrace growth. It's not just about the tangible returns of time and money; it's about investing in yourself and your dreams. Yes, there will be challenges and uncertainties along the way, but each obstacle presents an opportunity for learning and evolution. Whether your goal is financial independence, artistic recognition, or simply personal fulfillment, the journey of selling your art online offers invaluable lessons and rewards beyond the bottom line. So, as you contemplate this path, consider not only the potential outcomes but also the person you'll become in the process. Finally, I have to ask you, would you regret it if you didn't at least try? If the answer is "yes," then you already know my answer. You'll never know if you don't take the first step.

I am working on a free step-by-step guide to setup your online art shop and make your first sale. Sign up to be one of the first to get it below!

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