Sell your art online and beyond, to hotels, interior designers and print on demand sites | Kelly Witmer | Skillshare

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Sell your art online and beyond, to hotels, interior designers and print on demand sites

teacher avatar Kelly Witmer, painter, ceramicist, writer, etc

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project - Let's work Together


    • 3.

      Fine Art Print-On-Demand companies


    • 4.

      Discovering Smaller Companies


    • 5.

      Contract - Things to Watch Out For


    • 6.

      Working with Hotels


    • 7.

      More on Art Consultants


    • 8.

      Etsy, Society 6 and Interior Designers


    • 9.

      So Long, Farewell...


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About This Class

This class is for artists looking for new ways to sell your work online and create income streams outside of the traditional gallery route. After having many fellow artists ask me for advice on how I've reached success selling my work through so many outlets, I decided to make a class sharing what has worked for me as well as what hasn't.

I made this class to feel like a friend sharing their experiences and discoveries selling art ( a friend who rambles too much... but unlike IRL, here you can increase the speed of the video!) .

You can follow along with my latest work on instagram, or see more of my work on my website.
In the class I discuss selling my work through Anthropologie, Artfully Walls, Saatchi, Minted, some smaller art print on demand companies. I also go into working with several art consult agencies to have images reproduced for hotels, plus info about working with interior designers. I discuss why I still sell on Etsy and Society 6, even though I haven’t been very successful with either.
Selling your work as prints online is fantastic passive income, because you can travel and make your work anywhere… scanning and uploading new work while still earning commissions on your old work.

See the project page for a list of the websites I’ve mentioned in this class, and join the community by sharing new sites you find.

Remember that it takes a while to build up income from your art online. Think of it as long term investing in your art career. Don't sit back and let it run on autopilot! Set goals for yourself, to spend an hour a day, or a few hours a week updating and adding new work to different sites.

And don't forget that the online world (and the real one) is ALWAYS changing! Companies go out of business or change direction, so be on the lookout for new ones. And what sells great for you today could become old news in a few months, so keep creating!

Meet Your Teacher

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Kelly Witmer

painter, ceramicist, writer, etc


I'm a visual artist working in various kinds of media, but I'm best known for my abstract watercolors which you can find on many online print companies and the Anthropologie catalogs. I received my BFA from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, and now I split my time between Los Angeles and Joshua Tree. I published my first Skillshare class during a 6 month stay in Mexico - I love to travel and experience new cultures! Join me on Instagram to see my latest work, or take a look at my website!

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1. Introduction: Hi. My name's Kelly and I'm an artist and I make a living selling money abstract paintings through Prince Online through various fine art print on demand companies. The most successful one has been through the Anthropologie catalog, and I'm going to take you through how that came about how I got started with these other companies. I worked with how I've gotten my work into hotels and design projects on start working with interior designers. So this class is for artists who are looking for new ways to sell their work online. You may already be so York Online, but there are so many different opportunities. It's good to explore them because the art world is constantly evolving, especially on the Internet. So you need to evolve with it and be aware of new opportunities. So I'm going to take you through the good and the bad with companies that I worked with, how to make sure you get paid who's not so good at paying you. How did not get screwed with their contracts? And I'm actually just open up some of my accounts and show you what I've made because, like, I don't know, I might end up editing that out later. But, I mean, I feel like we don't want to know, Like, how do you make money as an art, Especially if you're starting out you when you're not. You know, it's like, how do other artists make money? Because, like I said, you have to keep changing. So I'm gonna show you how I make money on Hopefully that will help you make money, money, money. I mean, it's it's about the art first, but, you know, we gotta make a living on, you know, a print on demand is great because it's passive income. You can be anywhere like I am in Mexico right now. This lovely hacienda. I've been here for four months, and I just scanned my work on, uh, I'm still making commissions off stuff that I made years ago, So, um, it's pretty good d All right, Let's, uh, dive right in 2. Class Project - Let's work Together: Hey, welcome back. Glad to have you. Okay, So where the class project, We are going to do some research and find some new websites. Or look at the list of sites that I'm gonna talk about class and submit your work, Teoh At least one. Whether they have they might have on online form. Or you might have to write a little cover letter and mail them a link to your work. And I really I know nobody does projects, but please do it, and I'm gonna already did one on I got a rejection, so I'll share that with you in the project section. You know, it's gonna happen. You just shrug it off like a bad tender date. Keep going. So I'm actually gonna do another one, maybe two. We'll see. I'll share it. But put it in the project section because then it helps everybody, especially if you're finding new places and sharing it because, you know, they say a community over competition, and it's true. It's really true. I've discovered that that trying to make connections with people, especially though even if it's not in real life, you know, it is really beneficial for advancing your way as an artist and it helps to because it's a lonely business when you're paint by yourself all the time. But I digress. What? So a few things you need for the project You need to have a website. Uh, you want to sell work online? You have a website and e you could try and get around it. But I use squarespace, which is pretty easy. I'm gonna be working class how to do that. But I also like to some other classes down Balu, Uh, where you on still share where you can learn how to do a squarespace site? I used to dio wordpress, which you could do for free, but it got to the point where it was just It was too complicated when something would go wrong to figure out. So there's more support with squarespace. It's like about $20 on. Also need to know how to get to work ready for reproduction. Very important, extremely important. So if you don't do that, there's also trying to add some links on how to do it. And I'm also gonna be working on another class on how Teoh I mostly working watercolors and I scan alone, so I'll show you how I get ready in photo shop because you want your prints to look good or they won't sell. And, uh, yeah, so please, like I said, uh, I hope you do the project because you got to get off your ass. And that's the first step is putting getting your work out there. But if you're not ready, you know, try, try doing so let's get started. And I'll start showing you all the different sites, Yeah. 3. Fine Art Print-On-Demand companies: Hi. Welcome back. Okay, so I'm starting with artfully Walls because that's the company that I've really been most successful with selling prints online. Um, this is one of mine right there. People are always asking, How did you get into anthropology? Well, it was through artfully walls, because there they work with them, um, for their their prints that they sell. So there's been several of my pieces over the past few years that they put on to in the Anthropologie catalog and website, and that's a lot of my sales on here, which I'll show you in a minute. But I just want to show you if you want to sign up with them, go to the bottom and look at the artist's information and, uh, so low. They have a link here with an email. So you just have to write and send them a link to your work. So you have to have a link to work. But they also explain everything you get paid through pay, pal, which is pretty convenient. However, um, I'm gonna be Let's see my account. I'm gonna be completely transparent and show you how much I've made with them. This is over several years. Ah, that, um, so 1500 uh, items and, um, gonna show all the different items now, uh, 15,000. Doesn't sound like a lot over a few years, But keep in mind, this is all of them printing and shipping. I do nothing. It costs me nothing. So that's pretty great. Um, this is one that's been really popular on anthropology. And you can This is how that works. You can see each one that sold. They keep track of it and show your commission. So, um, so you see, some are popular. Some art. This is in anthropology from a few months ago, and we've only sold 12 So not good. Um, but let's see something else. Someone new explained to you that if you do get on artfully walls when you, um, are putting your work in, So, uh, you follow the instructions to add new work, you upload a new image, and, well, I'm not gonna take you through all that. It's pretty self explanatory. But then it takes you back to this page. And, um, first it'll say it'll say, unpublished or published anyway. You have to click on publish and then it'll look like this. It will say published not for sale approval pending. Um, And then once they approve it and put it on the site, then it'll look like this. This one they approved. Now, this one I put in a the same time. But it still says pending. Well, it's not pending. They didn't want it. This one I just put in. So, um, but you see a lot that I put in, they don't want they reject a lot of it. So it's a real pain in the ass because you have to fill out all the stuff, the description and and everything the tags, which is important, and only to have them just ignore it, which really pisses me off. But, you know, like I said, I have done well with them, so I shouldn't complain. And also one other thing. Do you point out, um, to get paid? And I just see it'll show pending for withdrawal and available, which is something with their timeline. You have to, um, on and I just did it. But you have to click it and asked to be paid, or you won't trust me. You won't. That's how a lot of companies work. Unfortunately, so I just want to point that out for you. Sochi is another one. Um, and let's talk about Sochi. Well, we're on the subject. Um Ah. Let's see, where is my profile Here. Where's my sales dashboard? I haven't done no well, Sochi, but I keep trying. Um, I want to do what was such a I have mostly sold originals, but, um yeah, Okay. Thanks. I do occasionally sell prints. And, like, here's one, this is one that's been on here forever. Uh, they just sold print for 200. I'm getting 92 for it. I haven't gotten it yet, but I I believe that I will. But again, they have this whole thing where you have Teoh request to pay out and and then wait a month and then requested again. It's they they make you really jump through hoops to get paid. Which really kind of irritates me about Sochi. But, you know, here I've sold. I mean, I'm showing you again. What? I what I've made. So, um, I need to say about this because I just sold that print. It reminds me that I should be putting more work on here that I could be sold. They give you an option anytime you upload something that if it's an original, like this one taken by the original eight by 10 or they can get a print. And as you saw, your cut is pretty big if they sell a print. So I need to add more stuff on here. Okay. Another one I want to talk about is meant it because that's another study income for me. However, they're super complicated. Um, Teoh. A lot of what they sell, as you can see here, is stationary. They sell pillows, they sell all kinds of stuff. But, um, they do so a lot of prints. And to so on here, you have to win a competition. For some reason, that's how they do it. Um, so you have to participate in one of these ongoing um, it says, submit your designs, open challenges. You see, most of them are for invitations, cards, etcetera, etcetera. And they occasionally have one like here's one that waiting to hear. They haven't announced the winners yet, but that's with West Elm. So if I entered a bunch of stuff, so if I get in there, then I'll get into West. Don't. Here's one that they had with Pottery Barn. I spent a ton of time. I did a bunch of stuff, especially for it, and I didn't get anything, but, um, in the past, I I have won prizes. Let me show you my artist dashboard. So once you win some prizes, I guess I won. What? I want some jury prices. I seem to call. I got a few $1000 just straight for the prizes. Plus, I get commissions then for when they sell, um, show, you know. So this is the work, like these air ones that I've won. And so once you win, you can open up a shop, and then you can launch these other pieces. Um, but obviously they pretty much get ignored. And I really just sell that. I saw these boring ones that have won over and over again. So, uh, and here's another important thing, like this one. Um, this is one of the first. These were the first ones that I want, and I just sold a print of this 10 minutes ago, and I wanted, like and one of three years ago. So it takes a long time for this stuff to pay off. But But if you're patient, it will. However, this one I got a message from them saying, Hey, ah, you're selling this on your website and you can't cause we own it. I was like, What? Um, I'm sure there was some, like, a little check mark that I did when I submitted it to the contest. But I didn't realize that now they own it. Um, so I can't even sell it. So reminder to read the fine print. Oh, is 4. Discovering Smaller Companies: all right, I'm back. I really recommend that you do some research to try and find some smaller companies to sell your prints or originals rather than the big, giant ones where you tend to get lost. There's a lot of smaller ones that have more of a curated. Um, it's, um you know, you know, you can find your niche and, uh, this is uprise art. I have not submitted to them. It's I've been wanting to for a while now, and I keep saying, Oh, I'm not ready. But actually, I'm gonna get off the pot and do it for my class project. So, um uh, well, then update it let you know if I was accepted or rejected. I don't know how it will go, but, you know, you don't know until you try. Um, but here's something I just wanted to show you that I did, because I was having a hard time finding smaller places with searches. And so I looked on uprise. Here's an artist that I like. Um, I would say it's similar to my work, but it's kind of similar aesthetic. Anyway, I did a search of her work on Pinterest. Okay, on. Um, here's when I clicked on. And then when they show more of it, they, uh they showed Appraiser, what's that one, Um, anywhere. Oh, here. I found this leave shop, which sounds familiar. I thought maybe I'd heard of it. Um, this is that website. It's a store in New York, and they also sell original artwork and prints on I really like their aesthetic. And wow, I would like to be there to, um so I I'm gonna apply to them as well. Um, another one. I was just doing some searches and I found this that I'd never heard of. Um, they have prints, and it's a mix, but again, it's like sort of a small curated collection. Ah, so I did. I dug around on the bottom of the website where they say artists just email us. So I did that and wrote the middle cover letter, and they wrote back and it said, Oh, really like your work. But I forget what the but waas. But it was something like, we'll get back to you in a few months, so I don't know if that was bullshit or not, but I tried, so I don't know if you want to put this place on your list. Juniper Print shop or not, why not give it a shot? 5. Contract - Things to Watch Out For: So I would like to talk a little bit more about small companies and a little bit more about reading your contracts in the fine print. Um, this company image conscious is, um, a small company in San Francisco. Well, I don't know how small it is. I was contacted by another artist that sells on artfully walls. Um, and she I don't know if she's the owner or just involved with company, but she asked me if I would be interested in selling with them. Um, So she she sells her own work on here? Like I said, um, where my way at the bottom. And, um so ah, she selected some pieces, and these had actually all been rejected by artfully walls. So I figured, what the heck? And so I sent her high resolution scans. I didn't hear anything for, like, six months I wrote just said, Oh, it takes a while. So I finally got my first cheque from them last month for, ah, $73. I think it was. So this is after a year. So, I mean, maybe it's gonna build up, and, uh, that remains to be seen, but my point here is. While I was searching other places, I found all these same prints on art dot com. Um, and I thought that's weird. I found it in a Google search. I never submitted my work to art dot com. So since it's the same prints, I assume that they're just still, Um, and I am guessing that maybe, um, art that the print, whatever this orders this other image conscious gives me 10% of the sale. So I'm guessing that maybe that they're selling them and other websites and then getting 10% and then giving me 10% of the 10%. I don't know. I I looked at the contract they gave me, and it's huge, you know, like 11 pages and legal speak. I can't see where it says they can do that, but I can't see where it says they can't. So I guess I'm going to write to them and, um and ask about that, so it's just something to be aware of. 6. Working with Hotels: Hey, and welcome back. I'm going to try to take you through the process of how I've gotten my work in Do some hotels. Um, this is in the walls on, um, they get work into hotels, restaurants, residential workplace. Um, they have a very complicated system. Another one. Um, I'm not sure why they do it this way, but, um, you know, if you get on the site and follow this, um, it gives you an application Teoh to sign up, actually, And they also explain how it works, which is just you have to enter your artwork, and then you can pitch to these different open calls. Now, um, I'm gonna show you. Here's my account. And here's some of the pitches, um, that I've sent for their open calls. See anyone? I suppose anyone count put an open call on here. Like for a hotel or an office or someone's home. Um, sometimes it's a mural. It's it's really all kinds of things. Come. And, um, So you so you picture work. Like I said, I've pitched a bunch, and I haven't gotten any of, um um So why am I showing you this? Um, the reason Why is because I have gotten work through this company through one of their curate, er's said with air quotes, contacting me. Ah, this one guy. He contact me several times telling me he was interested in and different work, that because once you have an account, you can put up different, uh, different works as much as you want. Um, here's one of the ones that, um, his client was interested in. That's what he said. And they just wanted prints of this piece. And when you fill out, each work you can say is theory. Jinling available how much you can also check to sell a license print, which I did, and then you can choose how much you want to sell it for, Um, I put that you could do by the square inch. I have it at 25 cents a square inch, which is kind of low for a small print, but then it gets pretty high. Um, I saw other artists were going up to a dollar a square inch, but I wanted to be competitive and kind of get the ball rolling here first, so I priced it cheap. Um, however, when he now. He contacted me about several different jobs. It took a while when he finally did, um, Havilland go through. They there were several. They did this. It was a bunch of paintings that they wanted large prints off, and my total commission came out to $4000 on, and that was for me doing nothing. You know, um, but dealing with these emails. But again, it's this long process of applying and having it up here. If I hadn't done that, then it would have been found. So I'm not saying that that's the definite way to go about it. But the more places you have your work, the more opportunities come about. Um, but as a side note, to get that $4000 it took, like, six months after the original emails from him and then sending the files and contracts. And then for some reason, they just have it set up that they pay you 30 days after the actual installation of the work. And, um then that was delayed. I don't know. It took six months, so I was still believe that I was ever going to make anything from them. But I did So that's why I'm explaining this whole complicated system to you. Um, I will also note that, um, one of the for some the open calls. I mean, these air so frustrating because a lot of these, like, there'll be tons of open calls that, um, like, I think I entered stuff and they're accepting that means was from I mean, it'll. I think people put out these calls and then just don't follow up, and they never hire anybody, and they just sit there for, like, last visited five months. Um, anyway, I digress. Where was I going with this? Um, yeah, and the walls. 7. More on Art Consultants: Okay. Welcome back. Now I'm gonna talk somewhere about art advisers, consultants and the hospitality industry, which is hotels, mostly. But it can also be restaurants, office buildings, health care hospitals. Usually sort of a separate thing, which I haven't gotten into. Um, so this is Jack or D A. C Don't know what they prefer, but it's one company that I've worked with and they found me through, etc. Believe it or not, which is, um, the reason why I try to keep my, uh, few listings going on my etc profile, because you just never know how someone's going to find you. And in this case, um, it was Hotel Figaro in Los Angeles, and they wanted local artists, this company, why they hired a company in Georgia to get the art, but eso they were looking on, etc. For the artists on, um although I think you know now instagram would be probably more the place to go for that . But they also contacted a friend of mine who They also put prints of hers in the hotel. And I mentioned that because, um, they contacted both of us said we want these images. Um, this many prints and we'll pay you like it was, like, $1200. And I said, Okay, great. And she said, No, I want more. I didn't find out till later, so she got more. I don't know how much, but sometimes you can get more if you ask. But that doesn't always work for her, because, um, sometimes she hasn't gotten jobs and didn't know if it was because she asked for too much. So it's a tricky subject. Um, all right, so, uh, eaten fine. Art is another a company that I've worked with and this and all of these companies. Well, that this index, they I've had several different people from the company contact me many, like many different times about different projects. And they want particular images, and they talk pricing and sizes and all that. And then I never hear from them again. Andi, I think that's just really common, I think, because though pitch Teoh, you know, a project, and maybe it doesn't happen. Or maybe they pick other artists work. I don't know, but so don't be discouraged. And don't break out the champagne when you get one of those emails because just wait till you get paid. Um, and I do recall this company gave me 50% upfront, and, um and then I had to kind of hassle them second part of it. And it may have been the same with that, too. I'm not sure, but, uh, cow, Sure, I have worked with once recently, and, um, so you can see upon the upper, right? They have a submit your work. And the last two also seems to be same thing upper, right? They have a contact, and I believe there. They also say on their site that they're looking for artists, so these are all places that you can apply. Um, and, uh, once I submitted my art didn't hear from for a while, but then, um, got a job, and by she gave. And the way this worked is she gave me a list of images and sizes, just like the others. But she asked how much I wanted for them, so I wasn't really sure how to price it. So I just did it with the 25 cents per inch that I'm getting on in the walls and calculate that out. And, um, I propose that she was okay with it. So, um, that were great, although which didn't disappear for two months. So sometimes these jobs take a long time to complete. Um, also with this company they paid me and full right after I sent the files from as I mentioned in the walls. It took six months after I sent the file. So, um, there doesn't seem to be a normal procedure assed faras payment. Orosz faras prices. So it's a tricky world that I'm still navigating, but it can be pretty profitable because, you know, there's new hotels coming up all the time, and existing ones are I'm redecorating every few years and getting new art. So when you do get a job, it can be a big one and profitable. So looking into 8. Etsy, Society 6 and Interior Designers: okay, We've got at Sea Society six and interior designers. Not that they really go together, but, um, they ended up together because this is the final section. Um, as I mentioned before, I do still have some work on ETC. I when I first started selling my work online, This is how I did it. And it was pretty good for a while. It was never great, but it's so much work, you have to be updating it, adding new work all the time and constantly renewing work on. And there's just a sea of art on here. So you you get lost. But, um, you know, I think some people do well and it is like it's one more place where you have your work where people might find you. Um, so I was reminded of that while I was making this class. So hey, actually, just put these listings up the other day. Um, I I will also say when I used to sell on here, I was doing the printing myself, and that can be I mean, it makes more financial sense if you're getting a lot of orders. If you're not, if you're just starting out, I would say, Have your work printed and drop shipped at a company like this and you're gonna make less money, but it's a lot less headache. It's not like you get an order, and all of a sudden you you're out of ink on and, um, or paper this or that, um, and society six, which is, you know, super popular and a big money maker for a lot of people. Um, it hasn't been for me. Um, e I don't know. I think I've made, like, $31 on society six. Um, but I haven't kept it up, just like etc. I mean, it's something that you need to be if you have to keep adding new work on being active on a site to be successful on it. So, um, you have to kind of pick and choose on. Do you know I don't blame society six. I probably haven't put enough work into it, but I must have not sure from my work really works for it. And then it's like, Do I want my stuff on a mug? It's not like thes watercolors are political statements or anything, but I don't know, Um I have mixed feelings about it. I'm back to This is the minted site because commissions, if you're looking to get commissions, this is one place that I've gotten them. And it's also a place where I've had several interior designers. Contact me. It says how it works, which I cut out here. But, um, if you scroll down, it's ah, you know, you can send a swatch of your couch and tell the artists what you want 50% up front and, um, then you get 50% when it's complete, and, uh, it's a nightmare. To tell you the truth, it meant it takes 30%. And then even though the person commissioning pays when it's completed and shipped, you don't get paid for like, another month or so I have had into your designers. Contact me like I said, and, um, it has led to some jobs, but, uh, and finding interior designers, there's if you search online. There's all these websites that basically go to, like, sell you their secrets on how to I mean, I don't think there are really any secrets. I mean, um, you know, it is a good industry, and it's a lot different than selling to an individual collector. And, uh, it's probably great if you conform some relationships interior designers and get work like in this scene, like put up top of the room like that with a poorly thought out space. Anyway, um, another way to find interior designers is to stop them on Instagram. And I think that's the good. And that's what another artist told me that he does, and I mean, I don't stalk them, But I have, um, you know, look, you know, I just follow them and, you know, maybe common a little. I did have some luck doing that. I've been in Mexico the last few months. I when I first got here, I looked up some interior designers in Porto Vallarta where of staying and found a few that , you know, with the work that I like. So I followed them and like, their stuff. One guy, I guess. Then it drew him to look at my site. Um and then he contacted me. Teoh to do a commission on it was a nice big job. So, um, you just never know. It's again. There's so many different things that you have to put tons of work into, and maybe you'll get something out of it. So, um, yeah, I'm just trying to share the different ways that I have found some work and hopefully it will help you. 9. So Long, Farewell...: Hey, are you still here? Just getting No, thank you so much for getting all the way to the end. Um, this is this is Bruno. I'm holding him because he was cheating on a phone. Last video I made here. Yes. Thank you so much. Like I said, she keep going. You know, uh, they say percent of success is showing up. Actually, it was Woody Allen who said that. I guess you could spend the other 20% doing stand those things with women. Yeah. Okay. So, yeah, I really hope that you will get out there on start selling work. Got any questions? Please Just put it in the comments section on. I love to hear love. Help. Um, it's been really Thanks a lot, Chow.