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How to Promote and Sell Art on Instagram


Succeeding as an artist in the modern, fast-paced world is about promoting art as much as it is about creating art. These days, anyone can become an artist, as long as they create high-quality pieces and put them in front of their online - and offline - audience.

There are many ways for artists to connect with their audience and build a fan base but Instagram is one of the best. Artists are using Instagram to showcase their work and their artistic process. Many artists sell their work directly through Instagram, posting it to their feed and accepting offers from viewers.

Here are some pointers to consider when posting art on Instagram:

It Should be Interesting

The photos you post should be relevant to the overall image you want to present as an artist. Instagram is ideal for sharing works in progress, finished images, the inspiration for art, and some of the other things happening in your life. It's about your brand and daily life as much as it is art.

Use High-Quality Images

It sounds obvious, but you want to be sure that the images you post are high-quality images that reflect your vision and overall work. People are expecting high quality curated photographs when they open Instagram. It's all too easy to make images look great thanks to filters. Low-quality images aren't as accepted on Instagram as they would be on a platform like Facebook or Twitter.

Consider the Caption

Instagram is about telling a story through images. Give your photos an interesting and engaging caption or story that gets followers engaged. The people on Instagram all love to interact and are happy to share, like, and comment when they find interesting posts.

Images Should Represent You as an Artist

Given that Instagram is all about the images, you want to be sure that the images you post are ones that represent you as an artist. Even something as candid as what you're eating or the sky should be presented in an artistic fashion.

How Often You Should Post Art to Instagram

You want to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to posting on Instagram. Post enough to keep people engaged, but consider skipping something that you don't feel is all that good. Aim to post every day, preferably between 2AM and 5PM EST; the best time to post according to the Huffington Post.

Promoting Art on Instagram

Even if promoting your artwork is the only reason you created an Instagram account, you must avoid over-promotion and shilling to establish a solid, long-term fanbase. Successful people on Instagram understand the importance of building a brand and style that engages the audience. It's only then that you can make the most out of promoting your work.

A great way to promote art through Instagram is to focus on the entire creative process. Share photos of works in progress and keep people updated on how things are coming along. Use hashtags like #ComingSoon and #SneakPeek to make followers feel like they are getting an exclusive peek at your work and build hype for the finished piece.

One reason Instagram is so effective is the lack of pressure put on followers to make a purchase. Followers respond to their authentic enjoyment of your work. It brings artwork to the masses with just a few clicks and gives artists more control over their artwork compared to dealers and shows.

How to Sell Art on Instagram

Instagram is fantastic for selling art. It doesn't work for everyone, but there are a number of Instagram artists out there who sell art - and plenty of it - through the platform. If you aren't sure about how to sell your art on Instagram, then keep reading to learn more and make the most out of your artist Instagram account.

Serious collectors and buyers, as well as people who love art in general, use Instagram to discover artists, learn more about them, and see what kind of art they create and post to see how consistent their art is and how productive they are as an artist. As mentioned earlier, they are able to assess the art without any pressure and without anyone trying to explain what makes the piece significant and what it all means. Instagram eliminates the pretense and forces an artist to make the case for their work by themselves, present themselves in a visually engaging manner, and connect with people on a personal level. Basically, Instagram is great for showcasing your talents and skills to the world and also your commitment to being an artist.

Don't worry if you feel you don't have a story to share. Think about your inspirations, how you decide what you'll make, how you prepare it, how and where you make your art, etc. These are things people are interested in knowing. They are your story. Share them on Instagram.

Patience is key when it comes to selling art on Instagram. Practice makes perfect and you need to experiment to find out what works best. Don't be afraid to try out new ways of posting. Keep trying until you hit on something that really engages viewers. It'll take some effort and you'll make mistakes, but you'll get there.

Being open and honest is a vital part of getting more likes on your posts and building an audience. Show people where and how you work, post works in progress and other little looks at your life. You don't need to tell the masses everything, but they will appreciate getting to see the person behind the art and their world. New followers will flock to you when you are unselfish. Give the masses what they want and it won't be long until they start spreading the word for you.

As far as selling art on Instagram is concerned, you can expect to sell art for a variety of price points; possibly even thousands of dollars. Artists also use Instagram to garner commissions, invitations to exhibitions, offers for art to be used for commercial purposes, and other things that make them money. Interested parties will generally message an artist directly about their work, and the artist can learn more about the prospect through their profile. Talk with the prospect to put together the final deal.

An important part of selling art on Instagram is that you have to be prepared to sell it as easily as and immediately as you post it. You should already know how much you want for the piece, how the payment can be made, how you will package and ship it, and have answers for common questions and concerns. Everything moves fast on the internet, and you don't want to break the momentum by not knowing what to do next.

You should also regularly update the art available for sale, preferably on another site such as your personal website, an art website, and other social media sites. Add new works and take down the sold art pieces from your gallery and move them to the gallery of sold art. Keep your followers updated about what you are doing next and put art up for sale on e-commerce sites such as ArtPal, Shopify, and Big Cartel. PayPal is a great way to receive payments for your artwork, even if the buyer doesn't have an account of their own with the service.

When used properly, Instagram is the perfect way to share, promote, and even sell your artwork. Put it in front of the public and it will soon find its way into the collection of someone who is sure to love and value it for years to come. If you haven't already signed up to Instagram, what are you waiting for?

Stephan van KuykThis article is courtesy of
Stephan van Kuyk is a Berlin-based art consultant and artist. You can follow him at @stephan.vankuykNew window or get his book on selling art online here: window.

He also hosts a pretty cool tv show @berlinafterdarkNew window