How to Make the Most Money from Your Artwork (and control your own destiny)

If you're depending on galleries and art marketplaces like Etsy and Fine Art America for your art income, you've got a problem:

You're not positioning yourself to make the most money from your artwork. 

One thing most artists/photographers we talk to have in common? They do a whole lot of trying, and very little succeeding.

How to Make the Most Money from Your Artwork (and control your own destiny)

If you're depending on galleries and art marketplaces like Etsy and Fine Art America for your art income, you've got a problem:

You're not positioning yourself to make the most money from your artwork.

Here's a few of the thoughts we hear most often:

» I have sold a few pieces here and there, but nothing substantial and certainly nothing consistent

» I’ve never sold anything from my own website

» I’m questioning how to sell art online, and if art even sells online at all!

» I’m on Etsy and making a few sales, but nothing significant enough to base a career on

» I gave Fine Art America a shot and got no traction

» I’m looking into other art marketplaces and hoping they will work, I think I just need to find the right one

Sound familiar?

The curious thing is that these reports are totally contrary to the successes we see everyday from Art Storefronts members:

💥 Photographer John Martell sold $45,000 last holiday season alone.

💥 Artist Allison Cantrell sold all 20 of her available commissions within a day of opening up her orders.

💥 And fine art photographer Karen Hutton (seen below) is lining up her biggest year yet.

→ So, what are they doing that everyone else is not? What about their approach to business is creating more consistent results than those who continue to struggle?

It’s simple: Artists and photographers that adapt to the modern way of building an art business profit enormously from it.

Trying vs. Succeeding

I'm guessing that if you have found this article and read this far, you, too fit into that group – the photographer or artist that’s had enough “trying” and is ready to get to the “succeeding” part. 

What I am here to tell you is that selling art consistently is very much possible, given you have three things:

The Right
Art Gallery Website

The Right
Marketing Plan

The Right

We’ve made it our objective, mission, and obsession to master all three of these elements – combining them into a single, all-in-one system that works.

Bill Wensel - artist

Photographer Bill Wensel (Art Storefronts member since 2017) increased his print sales by +807% year over year.

Artist Megh Knappenberger

Artist Megh Knappenberger (Art Storefronts member since 2017) sold $50,000+ of art her first holiday season

The Bad News: The "trying" still isn’t done for you, there is no silver bullet that will change your life overnight. 

The Good News: We believe the "succeeding" is within reach for artists that fully leverage these 3 components.

So let’s get into it. The how and the why – our journey to learn how valuable art businesses are being built.

It all started with a bit of research…

Searching for Artist Success

Who's selling, and how are they doing it?

From the beginning, we wanted a clear and honest understanding of the state of the art industry. What we found was strangely contradictory.

Art wasn’t just available for sale online, it was booming.

All the way back in 2013 the BBC reported more art was being sold online than in galleries. 

The value of the online art market was $1 billion and expected to grow to $2.64 billion by 2015. These growth expectations  were quickly surpassed.

Great! So where are all the successful artists? We wanted to find out how they're doing.

We talked with and visited them - tens of thousands of artists and photographers from every niche imaginable located all across the USA, Canada, and overseas.

We looked at their websites, got into their sales reports, broke down the data. What did we find? 

Nobody — and we mean NOBODY – was having any consistent success selling art from their own websites.

The only significant success stories we could find were coming from traditional, offline channels.

The exact channels that were quickly being cannibalized by the
explosive growth of the online market!

So, if individual artists weren't benefiting from the online growth, who was?

how to sell art online

Our research revealed a large portion was being sold by the big art retailers –, SaatchiArt, uGallery, and GreatBigCanvas, to name a few.

We reviewed their websites and made a key discovery:

The buying experience being provided by these leading online art retailers was vastly different to the standard websites utilized by artists and photographers.

The retailers were offering features like live previews of different media types, in-room visualization tools, framing tools, easy sharing tools, and much, much more.

Artist websites, in contrast, were more like coffee table books – nice to look at, but lacking any tools to actually help a customer shop and purchase artwork.

In other words, simply putting your art up for sale is not enough.

Art is a product with inherently high "buyer friction" – there is a lot of stuff that gets in the way of closing a sale. Stuff like:

I can't tell what size print would look best on my wall...

❌ No Sale

I love it, but I need my spouse to sign off. I'll have to remember to come back later....

❌ No Sale

I'm not sure how this piece will look with my paint color, furniture, other artwork, etc.

❌ No Sale

Canvas gallery wrap, metal, acrylic...I don't know what any of these media types actually look like...

❌ No Sale

This is a lot of money, how do I even know I can trust this artist with my order?

❌ No Sale

The big art retailers had features to address every single one of these common issues.

Artist and photographer websites did not.

This distinction explains the contradiction: the online art market is booming, but individual artists aren't equipped to take advantage of it.

We decided to do something about that.


Your own art gallery

Mathieu Laca - Artist

Art Storefronts allows you to be your own art gallery so you aren't dependent on other galleries. You don't have to wait to be discovered, or called, or emailed by any galleries. You don't have to fit any of their aesthetics. You are your own gallery.

The Problem We've Solved


After realizing artists and photographers were stagnating while the industry moved on without them, the need became clear for a company that could give them the exact same toolkit the big retailers have.

A company that could put artist success first - teaching them to leverage the strength of the online art market rather than be whittled down by it.

At first, we thought that meant we should be a website provider.

But when we put some serious thought into what it takes for modern artists to achieve success, we realized that even the best website in the world still only addresses one of the three success pillars. Remember?

The Right Art Gallery Website. The Right Marketing. The Right Community.

If we were going to become THE company that artists and photographers turn to when they're ready to grow their business into something sustainable, we needed to address all three pillars. 

And so we did:

The Right Art Gallery Website


artist website example

Professional features that allow you to offer the same incredible buying experience art collectors expect from the biggest art retailers in the world.

Industry-leading innovation, like Live Preview with Augmented Reality - the first in-browser AR tool that allows buyers to try out your art on their walls.

The Right Marketing Plan


Everything you need to run successful marketing campaigns, summarized into straightforward checklists.

Our tactics are based on data from thousands of actual artists and photographers. We find what's working out there and bring it to you so you can get back to creating your work.

The Right Community


Marketing fb group for artists

private Facebook community for Art Storefronts members and our professional art marketing consultants.

Share your ideas and get realtime feedback from fellow artists and marketing professionals alike. 

We'll also keep you on pace to succeed with The Weekly Agenda.

How It All Turned Out

We completed our software and officially launched it in November 2014.

After only a short period of time, some of the results that came in were epic. We had artists and photographers who previously sold next to nothing through their own websites, who transitioned their site over to Art Storefronts, and immediately began selling thousands in their first month.

But it wasn't enough for us. We wanted a much higher percentage of our customers to be seeing meaningful growth.

It wasn't until we added in the other two pillars (marketing and community) that things really began to take off:

After years of struggle, Bill Stidham sold over $17,000 his first holiday season on Art Storefronts

Jim Pescott - painter

Painter Jim Pescott earned his first ever online sale through his Art Storefronts site

Today, our members are following our marketing checklists to take the guesswork out of building their audiences, they're getting professional advice every step of the way from our marketing consultants, and they're closing every possible sale through their cutting-edge Art Storefronts websites. 

Our journey took years of thought and plenty of pivots - just like your art business, but today we're proud to say we offer the most complete system anywhere for artists and photographers that are tired of leaving money on the table.

Want to see a demo?

Click Here to Request a Demo and see how (and why) thousands of artists are using Art Storefronts to grow their fine art businesses »

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