Ready to sell some stuff? Good, because your roommates are only going to put up with all the canvases and merch boxes you have stored up around the place for so long. If you don't sell that stuff soon, they'll probably bring it to the local thrift store or try to sell it on eBay for 20 cents. Oh, that reminds me. You should definitely consider selling your wares to homeless people. I mean online. The internet offers some huge opportunities. Come to think of it, there might be something to the thrift store angle too.
So anyway, when it comes right down to it, your imagination is your only limitation. Apply the same creativity you use to create art towards marketing and you should do fine. Oh, wait. You're the kind of people that try to pour out your anger and frustration on canvases. You might have to base yourself in reality again before going out and applying "creativity" to your marketing.
Anyhoo, here are a dozen places you can sell your work.
1. Art Galleries
You probably have other artist friends who've managed to score a gallery showing or exhibit. Instead of just looking on with jealous eyes, maybe consider asking for a hookup. Obviously a gallery showing is a great way to get your work seen, and a great place to load up on hors d'oeurves too.
2. Coffeehouses and Restaurants
Okay, so you can't get into the art galleries right now. No problem. You might be able to find some artistically minded coffeehouses or restaurants in your area that would let you put up your paint splatter. Then you can force the underpaid staff to sell any other swag you might have.
3. Your Home
Can't get a showing at the galleries or coffeehouses? Stop feeling sorry for yourself and set up your own exhibit in your studio or home. You can do cheap wine and moldy cheese just as good as - if not better than - the rest of them. Alcohol is a must-have, because drunken people wreck stuff make rash purchasing decisions.
4. Your Mobile Studio
And by mobile studio I mean the trunk of your car. Yeah, really. Evidently, MC Hammer used to do this very thing. And look how fast he parachuted to the top. That's why his fall from fame was so fast. Now you know. Just be aware of local laws and jurisdiction. Otherwise, this could turn in to a covert operation.
5. Local Businesses
You might have heard about musicians selling their CDs in bulk to Yoga classes or schools or some such. If there are some funky, artsy stores in your locality, you could always see if they'll flog your wares for you on consignment.
You don't even have to go to artist conferences. Just show up at all of the comic book, Star Trek and video game conventions with your wares, regardless of whether you were invited or not. Seriously. You'll fit right in at the comic book convention, Trekkies are already weird, and at the game shows they'll just assume you're a character from an upcoming title.
7. Arts and Crafts Shows
So if the conference or convention idea appeals to you, you could always get yourself a stall at a nerd and geek arts and crafts show too. These are probably better for promotion than they are for sales, though. You'd probably be on your feet all day talking to people. You'd think you were in retail or something.
You might be able to weasel your way into charity events. If so, wicked! God knows there are enough of them. What you do is offer to draw, paint or sculpt all day long and let people throw change in a barrel or whatever. It's a real subversive way of getting your name out there, because people will see your stuff and ask for your website or business card. If you're any good, it will happen.
9. On The Street
Since street art is all the rage right now, why not set up a merch table across from your pool-in-the-ground? If people can sell hot dogs on the street corner, why can't you sell your art on the street corner? Throw the ketchup, mustard and relish in for free.
10. Meetup Groups
So, like, there's these things where people get together and talk about their common interests. If you're particularly diligent, you might be able to figure out your target demographic (40-year-old brown-eyed women who enjoy tennis and macrame) and show up where those people meet (bring your heaviest sculpture with you, of course). Or you could just cop out and go to artist meetups and talk about cross-promotion, collaboration and other ideas to market your stuff.
11. You Website
Sheesh, get with the times already. If you're not selling your precious paintings and merchandise online, what are you waiting for? Do you need a written invitation? It doesn't matter if you just use PayPal buttons. Set up a blog or website where people can buy your work.
12. Social Media
Social media is usually kind of an indirect way of selling stuff. Sure, you could push for sales on social networks, but not too many people are going to listen. It could appear a bit spammy too. What you do is create some interesting content on your website and then share that so people will be directed to your website and find cool stuff they can buy. Sneaky, I know. It's content marketing.
Are there any other places you've been able to sell your work? Leave a comment and share your misguided tale.
Cover image by What What