Vanessa Turner - Artist & Coach

© All rights reserved. Vanessa Turner Fine Art 2022

Click "Enter" to submit the form.

6 Reasons Your Artwork Isn't Selling - Woman Painting

6 Reasons Your Artwork Isn’t Selling

Is Your Artwork Collecting Dust?

Today I’m sharing the Top 6 reasons your artwork isn’t selling so that you can stop going in circles and finally see results!

You’ve spent hours putting your blood, sweat and tears into a new body of work and sharing it with the world, only for it to sit and collect dust in your studio or home. The traction and response hasn’t been what you wanted or expected.

Our work as artists is an extension of ourselves. So naturally it can feel very disheartening.  You may be feeling as though there’s no point in trying. Through discontent you have even resigned yourself to saying you’re happy to remain a hobbyist and don’t want to reap the rewards of your effort. 

But why sell yourself short and deny yourself of your dreams?

Let’s figure out where things may be going wrong so that you can find success in what you love most!

No matter how great your work is, there are a number of factors, both inside and outside of your creativity practice that will impact sales. The reason your art may not be selling is likely a series or combination of these factors. So, if you aren’t seeing the return you’re hoping for, you could be making one of these 6 common mistakes:

6 Reasons Your Artwork Isn’t Selling

6 Reasons Your Artwork Isn't Selling - Woman Sitting Thinking

1. You’re Disorganized & Have No Plan

I see it time and time again! You want to sell your art, you want to create either a primary or supplemental stream of income from art sales. You know EXACTLY what you want. – However, you have no plan! You haven’t defined the HOW.

This is what I call ‘the big lie.’ Because what on earth is a goal with no plan?

If this sounds familiar, then it’s time to put a comprehensive sales strategy together that is intentionally designed for YOU.  Forget the template approaches many of the online DIY courses have sold you,. It’s important that your strategy be tailor made for your style of work, your audience and your preferred communication styles.

2. You Don’t Leverage Your Uniqueness

 Try to envision your work online like a catalog.

  • Does it seem like a collection of random thoughts?
  • Does it feel as though each piece was done by a different artist?
  • Can we easily understand your value and the impact of your work?

Within each artist, there’s a uniqueness that no one else can replicate. That uniqueness is the power of your artistic identity. If you do not harness it, and leverage it your audience may have difficulty seeing your value and how you distinguish yourself from the sea of artists.

3. You Don’t Value Your Work Correctly

 It’s possible that your art might not be selling because of a lack of exposure, but if you’ve wholeheartedly been putting your artwork out there, and your work still isn’t selling, it could be a reflection of your prices.

Pricing art can be very challenging. The art industry has various markets. These markets range from high end fine art which is known to have very high price points, to lower priced art and everything in between.

What price point will you be selling at? Have a look through your portfolio and the pricing lists of artists creating similar work. Decide where you’d like to position yourself. Have you tested this price point to determine its validity?  Have you selected selling venues/platforms that are representative of your prices? If you have a few sales at your current price point, then you’re on the right track.

 Once you’ve identified the correct pricing strategy for you, you’ll be well on your way to increasing sales!

4. You’re Using the “Build it & They Will Come” Strategy

You’ve heard the term “build it and they will come.” Well, that doesn’t work in art so throw that idea straight into the trash! You can not simply post new art and expect it to fly off the shelves.

Unless buyers are familiar with your work and specifically seek you out, chances are, they won’t find you. Often, we’d love to tuck ourselves behind our easel and focus solely on creating. However, it’s necessary to actively market your work to help people find you. Consider building a marketing strategy that allows you to showcase your work, build your artist brand and reach potential buyers. Your strategy may include your website, social media, guest appearances/talks, events etc.

6 Reasons Your Artwork Isn't Selling - Woman Holding Paint Pallet

5. You Haven’t Truly Identified Your Market

It doesn’t matter how great your artwork is if you’re marketing it to the wrong people in the wrong places. Having a marketing strategy that doesn’t align to your audience is the same as having no marketing strategy at all! This is a critical aspect of your sales strategy. 

  • Who is your ideal buyer? 
  • Where might you typically find them? 
  • What is their buying power? 

Take time out to think about your answers to these questions and then factor it into your plan.

6. You’re More Invested in Reasons than Results

You can have reasons or you can have results, but you can’t have both! I first heard those words recited by motivational speaker Les Brown

When we fill our minds with excuses and limiting beliefs, then we’re simply going to end up with reasons. However, when we make decisions and take actions that supports the life we’re trying to create, we get results.

Even though you may not see the progress happening over days, weeks months, one thing is for sure, the results will come!

Do you want to be more invested in reasons? Or do you wish to be more invested in your results?

It’s Time to Level Up!

These 6 mistakes can render even the most beautiful of portfolios undiscovered and void of sales.

It’s one thing to sell a couple works of art here and there. But it’s another thing to build a long-term, sustainable art business that supports your passion and gives you the financial freedom to live the life you want.

If you’re ready to clear the table of these 6 mistakes and see the results of your effort, I’m here to help! Let’s chat about how you can develop an authentic marketing strategy that brings your greater creative fulfillment and financial reward simultaneously.

Leave a Comment.