How to Sell Art Online and Make Money

How to Sell Art Online and Make Money

While some people would like to dedicate themselves exclusively to art and enjoy the benefits of technology, they might struggle to sell art online and make money.

This article will explain the best forms of profiting by selling art online. We’ll cover from deciding what to sell and pricing it to creating an online art store and leveraging the power of print-on-demand. 

Ultimately, you’ll be able to navigate the internet confidently, making your talent known and profitable.

New Markets Redefining the Art World

Office workers sitting around a desk strewn with charts and graphs in front of a screen that displays a page for “NFT Marketplace.”

The global online art market is more promising than ever. Online art sales received a boost after 2020 and the pandemic. Meanwhile, the crypto art and NFT sales kept the online art segment growing to $13.3 billion, roughly a fifth of the total market. 

That removed some obstacles for many artists, like obtaining access to physical galleries. Any artist now has the means to sell art with digital marketing and the right partners.  

So let’s look at the necessary steps for selling your art online effectively.

How to Make Money With Art Online: Learn From Other Artists

Studying successful artists who sell their work online helps gain insight into their marketing strategies, pricing, presentation, and customer engagement. 

Check out Laura’s case, and get some inspiration on how to sell your art online based on her strategies and experience:

Decide What You're Going to Sell Online

When adopting a strategy and deciding what to sell, the principal factors to consider are your target audience, artistic goals, public persona, and the platforms on which you intend to sell.

Graphic designers may profit differently from painters dedicated to the fine arts. At times, fine artists will need to complement their income by selling visual assets on other platforms.

Original Artwork

Artist standing in front of her canvas, adjusting her glasses while painting.

Selling original artwork is the first idea that comes to mind when thinking about making money with art. That may apply to a range of artwork, including paintings, photography, sculptures, drawings, or digital art. 

Sometimes, that way may be the hardest even for mid-career artists, requiring networking and visibility, besides specific skills and talent. 

Nowadays, many platforms make it easier for artists to sell original artwork. Online galleries, art platforms, social media, and website builders give resources for marketing and reaching potential customers. 

Modern technologies like print-on-demand have made it possible to sell original art for a higher price while still commercializing prints of it.

Art Prints (Reproductions)

Art prints or reproductions can conveniently be sold in an online gallery or independently using print-on-demand services. Artists who sell art prints on platforms have increased visibility to an established audience. However, these platforms charge subscriptions that may be steep, especially for new artists. 

POD, on the other hand, requires minimum upfront costs. A product is printed with a custom design only after a customer orders it from an online store. 

Print on demand frees artists from handling inventory and calculating shipping costs, saving more time for the creative process and implementation of marketing strategies. It also expands an artist’s reach worldwide.

Make It Happen Today!


In addition to custom canvas prints, posters, and reproductions, independent artists can earn money by selling customized merchandise such as t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, or other items that fit their niche. This merchandise can also be distributed as branding in live events or art fairs.

Digital Art

Digital artist and her advisor learning how to sell art online.

Professional and amateur artists alike can develop a good source of passive income by selling digital products, downloadables, or printables

These digital products range from actual artwork to be sold and exposed online to printables answering daily needs like graphic elements. 

Digital art can also be sold as NFTs on specialized platforms like OpenSea, Rarible, or SuperRare, and marketed on social networks.

Learn more about NFT merch and how to sell digital art in our blog. 

Custom Art

An artist sketching in a notebook while looking at her laptop screen for reference.

Throughout centuries, lucky artists have sold their work on commission for people and institutions willing and able to pay for it. This practice remains today as a way for artists to profit from their work, but the internet made it more accessible. 

Artists nowadays can sign up for online art marketplaces such as Saatchi Art or Artfinder, showcase their pieces, and receive requests and commissions. Other services offer similar work for graphic artists and illustrators, more on the business side. 

Commissioned artwork requires some caution. Use platforms’ resources for creating and signing contracts and, if necessary, look for sample contracts from reputable art institutions. 

  • Prepare clear contracts stating the price, advance payment amount, and additional expenditure. The contract should clearly state what rights the artist retains. 
  • Communicate well with customers to avoid unnecessary conflict. The one commissioning the artwork always has a say, but boundaries should be defined beforehand through well-detailed contracts. The contract should include clear timelines with checkpoints, an approval date, and a final deadline. 

Decide Where to Sell Artwork Online

Selling art can be challenging, whether online or in physical locations, especially for artistic individuals. However, there are various places where you can find art buyers and sell your art.

Your Own eCommerce Store

An elderly artist in her studio, using a laptop to learn how to sell art online.

Having your own website is relevant for branding and building an artistic presence. Artists selling reprints, digital products, and branded merch, in particular, should create their own websites with portfolios, an online store, and a blog. 

Some popular website builders focused on eCommerce, like Shopify, wouldn’t be the most suitable choice for these cases.  

Look for website builders that, beyond eCommerce functions, have good content management, blogging capabilities, and SEO optimization. 

The best builders for artistic standalone websites are the following:

  • WordPress + WooCommerce – WordPress is the leading platform for content management, blogging, and SEO. The WooCommerce plugin adds limitless eCommerce functionality. Both are free but require hosting and have a steep learning curve.
  • Squarespace – The user-friendly platform is targeted towards creatives, and its sleek aesthetics have made it a favorite among artists like Bjork. Squarespace provides excellent content management, gorgeous portfolios, and reasonable SEO functionality but is limited in eCommerce and localization. The builder is better for US artists.  
  • Wix – The platform is priced similarly to its main competitor Squarespace but is an all-in-one solution. It gives better eCommerce functions and more scalability under a user-friendly experience, but its visuals are less curated than Squarespace’s.

Check out some of the best sites to sell online.

An Online Marketplace

Artists can sell prints, branded merch, printables, and digital products directly in online marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon. 

These platforms have consolidated traffic and can attend to niche audiences of art lovers. Sellers can set up storefronts relatively easily. 

Depending on the platform, there are no subscriptions, but different fees may apply when selling a product. 

  • Etsy targets handmade and vintage items and resonates well with creatives. It’s also an excellent space for selling digital products and prints. 
  • Merch by Amazon lets artists sell visual assets like digital art and vector designs that will be applied to Amazon merch.
  • eBay is a great virtual space for selling items in auctions – which may, in turn, increase the selling price of pieces of art. 

Any of these platforms have strict internal rules that should be understood well under the risk of banishment. Also, due to the stiff competition, artists should use other channels and marketing materials, such as social media platforms, to increase visibility and drive sales.

Online Art Marketplaces and Specialized Art Platforms

Saatchi Art is a leading platform for serious artists online, offering everything from traditional mediums like paintings, photography, and sculptures to NFTs. 

Artists go through an application process and receive 60% of the profits but must cover the packaging costs. Saatchi Art covers shipping costs and insurance. 

The leading online art gallery offers a curated experience and plenty of filters for potential buyers to find what they want – including style, subject, medium, artist country, or artists featured in collections.

Interestingly, finding a list of artists can be challenging and requires searching on the live fair page, “The Other Art Fair.” However, artists’ profiles can be accessed directly by clicking on specific artworks.

Artfinder is a genuine online art gallery. It commercializes and promotes paintings, printmaking, photography, sculpture, drawings, limited edition prints, digital works, and collages from artists worldwide. The platform gives users neat and thorough filters. It’s possible to look from the art medium and subjects to artists, location, and budget. 

Artfinder’s filters also select artists who accept commissions and offers or sell in physical galleries. Artists sell on the platform through plans ranging from no monthly charge and up to 30 artworks (but a commission of 42% per sale) to monthly $12 (with a commission of 35% and unlimited artworks).

Artwork Archive specializes in logistics and the business side of art. They assist artists, collectors, and organizations in organizing and creating exposés for artwork pieces. 

They also can track where the originals are located and exposed, digitize and record originals for online expositions and safeguard, and assist with bookkeeping. 

Artwork Archive is a good option for established and emerging artists, but it can be expensive for beginner artists struggling to sell. Still, it should be considered an option for those willing to escalate.

Artists dedicated to the fine arts can find commissions with Art Please. The platform is self-described as a “collector-to-collector discovery platform for blue-chip fine art.” It has curated but modern aesthetics. It sells art for individuals and galleries and intermediates transactions, handling bureaucratic issues on behalf of artists and collectors. 

Besides sections where artists showcase their style, it has an area with “Wanted artworks” that allows unknown artists to apply for commissions and get discovered even without large portfolios or collections.

Art Platforms for Selling Graphic Assets

Creative Market is a platform where creators may sell art and other visual assets like vector designs, mockups, 3D objects, or fonts. 

The platform has a broad scope and lets artists create shops and set their own prices. The application process requires just a few clicks, and submitting a website with a portfolio takes around one business day.

ArtCorgi has a clear-cut proposition – it provides customers with custom portraits made by skilled artists. Customers can order portraits of themselves in different settings, such as characters from blockbusters, accompanied by people, celebrities, pets, or whatever they choose.  

Besides that, graphic designers and artists showcase several pieces that can be purchased.

Artists&Clients is a commission platform focused on providing illustrations and job listings. It’s straightforward and informal, targeted at younger audiences or clients driven to comic or manga-like aesthetics.

Other platforms worth checking for selling art and monetizing digital products are  Gumroad (including NFTs) and SendOwl.

Merch Platforms

Society 6 and Fine Art America are print-on-demand services that offer arts-themed products. Artists and illustrators provide visual designs or sell original art that the platform applies to merch. 

These platforms leverage POD to target people interested in art but are not online art galleries. 

  • Society 6 has the broadest range of products among the two, including rare products in POD, like furniture.

    The website gives users broad (and inclusive) categories for searching for artists, like “Black” or “LGBTIQA+” artists. The “Shop by Artist” gives other categories, like “3D Artists,” “Best Selling,” or “Curator’s Picks,” but no filters.
  • Fine Art America offers merch and reprints of public domain works from Renaissance artists like Botticelli to 20th-century American illustrators like Norman Rockwell.
    The marketplace also offers NFT resources and a cool system for generating AI images and applying them automatically to merch. Its “Artists” section is a mixed bag, ranging from the aforementioned public domain works to a database of over a million artists. There are no search filters except for a glitchy “geographic” search. 

Besides the possibility of earning some side income, both options give few benefits for artists regarding artistic visibility. A dozen artists are featured monthly. Besides that, the chances are that artists will be found only by those especially looking for them. 

Other options – like setting up their independent POD stores or partnering with truly art-focused marketplaces are far more advantageous and promote more exposure.

Start Selling Artwork Online With Print on Demand

Price and Market Your Artwork and Art Business

There’s no escape – to be an independent artist, you’ll need to become a business owner and sell your art, time, and knowledge. 

We’ve selected some tips and resources to help you with business and marketing tasks.


  • Costs and commissions If you’re starting to sell, make your artwork as affordable as possible so you can break even. Include fixed and variable costs in your pricing, including gallery commissions ranging from 35 to 50%
  • Formulas One popular example of calculating artwork prices: based on the picture area, attribute a cost per square meter or inch, depending on your reputation and the kind of work. Check other artists with similar styles and experiences to have an idea. Sum this to the price. 

    Factor in costs with materials, double this cost, and add it to the final price – otherwise, you’ll subsidize the buyer or art collectors by giving the materials.

Learn more about POD and dropshipping profit margins on our blog.


Use all the marketing tools and channels your platform provides that you can manage consistently and adequately to market your artwork and brand yourself. 

That includes social accounts resonating with the target audience, a personal website, a blog, and a YouTube channel. Consider other strategies like email and influencer marketing

  • Learn from successful artists with an online presence, regardless of age and artistic experience. Adapt when necessary, but keep your own voice and originality. 
  • Network and develop relationships within the art community. Participate in art fairs and stay in the loop, online and in person.

Learn more strategies on how to make money as an artist on our blog, and consider broadening your reach with podcast merch.

How to Sell Art Online With Print on Demand

Create a POD store with Printify by following these steps. Remember, you have to have a sales channel beforehand.

1. Digitize Your Artwork

Depending on the print-on-demand products, there are specific design prerequisites, including colors and measurements. Check our Design Guide for key requirements and get acquainted with our free merch maker to get the most out of your creations.

Artists starting in the digital world may benefit from tips on digitizing images

Also, check out our video tutorials for more actionable information.

POD is the most convenient form for artists to produce and sell, from prints and reproductions to branded and even company merch. It’s fundamental to pick the right partner to provide the best price while ensuring quality.

Printify is the partner you’re looking for, from the ensured best profit margins among POD companies and quality promise – to stellar 24/7 merchant support. Create an account at Printify in a few minutes for free and start selling art online.

3. Connect Your Own Online Store

Open a store with Printify by clicking My Stores in the right-hand menu. You can create up to five free stores, add products, and integrate them with sales channels.

A sales channel is where you’ve created an online store or storefront. Printify integrates with eBay, Etsy, Walmart, Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, Wix, and Squarespace 

4. Pick and Create Your Products

After you’ve created a store, choose your first product in our Catalog, and check the Print Providers and the product characteristics. When you decide which to pick, click Start Designing to customize the merch with the Mockup Generator.

Upload custom designs, create slogans, or use the Shutterstock integration to customize the merch. Preview it, change colors, make any adjustments, and save it. 

Edit the profit margins, prices, and descriptions, and review if everything is ok before publishing the final product.

5. Publish Your Products

Click Publish to synchronize the product with your online store. Depending on the sales channel, additional tweaking may be required directly on the platform. 

Pay attention to any customizations possible on the platforms, as they’ll impact the SEO and your product visibility.

6. Sell Your Art Online While We Do the Rest

At this point, you have your own online shop and sales channels configured. Market your art and products on them, spread the word, and relax while we handle logistics and product management.

Sell Prints and Merchandise With Your Own Art Today

You’ve just learned how to sell art online, including how to digitize artwork and what and where to sell. 

You also learned how Printify could assist you in creating a profitable and rewarding online business with art. 

Take your time, create an online presence, and sell your art with all the resources available to modern artists.

Start selling online with Print-on-Demand services

Share the article



  1. Tracy
    November 17

    Oh my word! I have just spent an hour searching online with regards to my 2 totally different artist clients. This article is gold! A wealth of knowledge and guidance. Thank you!

    August 1


  3. Shoshanah
    August 25

    Thanks for an informative article. The one detail that has me stumped is copyright.
    Do you have any tips for artists to protect their art? If you have to send a high resolution image and that gets put on line to promote, how is one’s art protected?


    1. Elina Stafecka
      September 13


      Your artwork files are not published anywhere publicly. If you want lower resolution product images placed in your eCommerce store then you don’t automatically publish high-resolution mockups from Printify platform to the eCommerce platform. In general, copyrights are protected the same way as in other web platforms, and there’s new artwork copyright directive coming for the EU to protect your rights. Hope this helps!



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