April 2023: How to buy original art online

How to buy original art online

How to buy original art online has peaked with the rise of artists selling work through their websites. Here’s how I began selling my paintings online.

Being able to sell my art online has been a game-changer for me. However, it took a while to get my head around this because I originally thought ‘How could someone buy a painting without physically seeing it?’  How to buy original art online is an area which needs some delegate navigation and this is where the wonder of technology steps in.

How to buy original art online

Mirrored, oil paint and oil bar on canvas, 80x80cm

My experience of selling art online

Covid changed a lot of things and had an immensely negative effect on many. For me, it turned out to be the wake-up call I needed. Pre covid I was selling work through galleries but I was looking for more autonomy for what I was creating. 

I had a website and an Instagram account but I didn’t understand how to use these tools. I was actually a little intimidated by them as I am not a technically-minded person plus I was also very unsure about trying to sell my work myself. 

I had spent 6 years studying fine art and at no point had anyone discussed how to buy original art online and what you would need to do this as an artist. The gallery was the hierarchy as it had been for decades and the idea of selling art online was only beginning to emerge. There was a general sense of looking down upon online art sales and I was a part of those conversations- I have since eaten my own words!

How to buy original art online

Swings and Roundabouts, oil paint on board, 40x40cm

I graduated with my master’s fine art degree in 2014. Since then the development of the online marketplace has soared and e-commerce is fuelling most businesses. If I was to ignore this I would be doing myself a disservice. I work full-time as an artist and needed to be selling my work to be able to continue doing what I love.

How I began selling art online

So in 2020 during the first lockdown, I decided to expand my online presence, put myself ‘out there’ and try to connect with online art collectors.

I learned how to manage my website (it’s a love/hate/ work in progress relationship as there’s always something new to figure out!) learned a little about marketing and began posting with a purpose on my Instagram. There’s an irony in this as putting work up online is marketing but I had never connected this before.

How to buy original art online

A Photograph with Life, oil paint on board, 40x40cm

Building Virtual Art Relationships 

I began connecting and virtually meeting private art collectors and people who choose to buy art online. I learned that the more people saw me & not just my work the more people engaged with what I was doing. 

It took a while but once I found formats that I was comfortable using such as talking live from my studio things began to really grow. I grew my subscriber list, made sales, and had people come to my studio to see work after finding me online. I’ve had lots of positive feedback but the main thing I keep hearing is that it’s great to see what goes into making a painting rather than just buying the finished artwork. 

Moving myself and my work online has been great but not without a few digital bumps along the way! Thanks for reading, Aisling

Aisling Drennan is an award-winning abstract artist with a London, UK-based art studio.

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