FIRE'S OUT by Julia Chuquis

Commodifying Your Original Artwork

Margot McCallion November 09 2022


Selling original artwork is not easy. Connecting with art galleries to be featured in showcases and exhibitions is becoming less doable, particularly following the Covid-19 Pandemic. Accessibility to these opportunities is largely reduced due to the fact that in-person options and events for selling art are held less frequently and with lower capacities. Digital art marketplaces are a perfect alternative to more traditional (in-person) methods for sales, however, the high competition on these sites solicits the need for different commodification opportunities. This article will shed light on some unique techniques that emerging artists can capitalize on to increase the visibility of their artwork.

Finding a Supplier

While selling your original artwork can produce a large profit, customizable prints online as well as reproducible items can promote your work and simultaneously act as a secondary income. In terms of producing these items, there are endless options online that can handle the production and leave you with control over creative direction, as well as others that manage everything from design to shipping. Depending on the supplier you choose, you can have many options for the types of products you can sell and whether they are custom or mass-produced. For example, printing one of your pieces onto tote bags, t-shirts, and other clothing items can be done relatively easily by an online supplier, while you, the artist, or (alternatively) the buyer, can curate custom coffee table books, depending on your desires. Take your time to explore the various websites available to you until you come across a platform that suits your needs. You can explore the brands of artists who inspire you to see what they may be doing in terms of e-commerce and borrow ideas in terms of suppliers and products.

Building a Brand

Taking advantage of e-commerce as an emerging artist can allow you to turn your art into a brand that represents your original artwork and image. How you decide to curate this brand is entirely up to you and will hopefully attract the niche audience that will most thoroughly enjoy your original artwork as well. Maybe you will create humorous graphics to be printed onto clothing for people to enjoy. Or you may produce high-quality digital prints of your original work to be hung as posters or framed. The options are truly endless for how you can define your commercial individuality. Whichever kind of products you go with, remember that maintaining the same style across your platform will be what solidifies your brand identity.


Second, after determining the quality and design of the products you will sell, you need to decide how to market these items. To successfully execute the commodification of your artwork, you must promote your product and connect with your buyers. As mentioned in previous articles, social media is a great way to advertise without breaking a budget when access to art galleries is limited. Also, Bidgala’s tips for photographing your artwork and writing attractive descriptions of your pieces are perfectly transferable with commercial variants of your original works. If you capitalize on these marketing techniques, your product sales will only rise, and the visibility and success of your original art will grow with it.

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