How do I know if my art is good enough to sell?
Bogdana Nosenok , Artist
03/12/2023, 11:35 AM
We understand why artists should sell their art. Because this is obvious. But there’s one pressing question left unanswered: what if you are unsure that your art is good enough to sell? If you have ever felt this way, rest assured that you are not alone. Every artist throughout history has experienced self-doubt, but the ones who make it big push past that feeling. It’s time for you to do the same.
Is My Art Worth?
However, before we proceed, let’s face a simple fact: not every artist is ready to sell their art right now. So how can you determine whether you are ready or not? Luckily, it is straightforward: if you can answer yes to the following questions, then you are ready:
- Have you been drawing regularly for a year or more?
- Do you draw at least once a week?
- Do you have more than 10 friends or followers on any of your art-related social media accounts?
- Are you actively striving to improve with each drawing you make?
If you have answered affirmatively to all of these questions, then you’ are already good enough, regardless of how much further you aspire to improve.
👁🗨 But, let's be honest: you still don’t feel like you’re good enough. But let us share with you a little secret that few working professionals admit: nobody ever feels like they’re good enough. We certainly do not too.
The problem with waiting until you feel like you are good enough to sell your art is that “good enough” is a constantly moving target. You will never feel like you have truly arrived. As artists, we are always progressing, gaining experience, and refining our craft. We may get better, but there is always room for improvement. The truth is that you will never feel good enough because all you will see is what you still need to work on.
📌 REMEMBER. If every drawing is imperfect and each one is a little better than the last, at what point do you stop improving? The answer is never. So if you wait until you feel “good enough” to start selling your art, then you will never start. You will never be satisfied with your own work, but fortunately, you are not the one who will be buying it.
It is crucial to understand that sales do not depend on how you feel about your artwork. In fact, it might surprise you to learn that sales are not even based on how your audience feels about your work. While many people may admire your art and appreciate it, that does not automatically translate to sales. However, if you are receiving validation in the form of likes, comments, and followers, then you are good enough to sell your art. But to actually make sales, you need to take action and put your art out there for people to buy. Simply creating art is not enough.
How to Sell My Art?
We can recall one case: about a talented artist seeking help in selling his work. Although he had years of experience and a unique style, he had only sold a few pieces despite receiving likes and comments. After assessing the situation, it became clear that he wasn’t doing anything to actively promote his art. He believed that good art would sell itself and that his role was solely to create. However, this is a common misconception. Nothing sells itself, no matter how good it is — not even luxury cars, books, movies, or clothing, and definitely not art.
Car companies, for example, spend billions of dollars each year to persuade potential customers to buy their products, even though cars are in high demand. They match each car to a specific audience and make big promises with their ads to convince people to buy. The artist’s case was no different — he needed to actively market his art to the right audience to make sales. Although his work was excellent, he had to convince people to buy his pieces.
Apple Case: Why It Is Successful?
Let’s examine a company whose products seem to have an innate ability to sell. For example, Apple. Undoubtedly, Apple products sell like hotcakes. Whenever a new product is introduced, throngs of people gather outside stores eager to part with their hard-earned cash for the latest innovation. Apple products are evidently of a high enough standard to sell, but can they sell themselves?
Regardless of whether you love or loathe them, Apple products have changed the way we live. They are creative, well-crafted, and often revolutionize the product category in which they are introduced. The iPhone transformed the mobile phone industry and, almost overnight, rendered landline phones virtually obsolete. Prior to the iPhone, everyone had a landline, but now, it’s rare to find anyone under the age of 50 who still uses one.
The iPhone 1 was not the first mobile phone on the market, and arguably, it was not even the best one available at the time of its launch. Apple recognized they still had more work to do with the release of the iPhone 1. This is apparent when comparing the iPhone 6 to the iPhone 1. When they launched their first product, Apple presented the best they had to offer at the time. It was good, but was it perfect? No, not by a long shot. Despite its shortcomings, it was an immediate success. However, the iPhone was not Apple’s inaugural product. Its prosperity was built upon the prosperity of the iPod, which was built upon a foundation created by the sales of their computers — and their computers were founded on the very first Apple product ever sold.
You can verify this information by simply googling “Apple 1 computer” if you are skeptical. In March 1976, Apple launched their first product — the Apple 1 — which went on sale in July of the same year for slightly over $650. The device had 4kB of RAM and no accompanying hardware or software. No keyboard, no monitor, not even a case!
- Can you believe it? 💬 Yet, they sold out of them.
- Was the Apple 1 the best product it could be? 💬 Did it sell itself?
Fast forward three decades and while Apple’s products have improved, they still do not sell themselves. Apple has always had to market their products to generate sales. The reason for their success lies in their marketing prowess. From their very first computer, Apple has been adept at marketing. Their marketing strategies are just as inventive as their products. They carefully plan each product launch and create excitement with deliberate leaks and disinformation. It is remarkable how people eagerly await each new Apple device, despite not knowing exactly what it is. Apple knows how to create buzz because they understand that no product, no matter how good, sells itself.
What can we learn from Apple?
So, we can learn two things:
- First, do not wait until your product is perfect before selling it. Your standards may not be the same as your customer’s.
- Second, every product needs to be marketed. Apple’s success story is a testament to this. Had they waited until they invented the iPhone before selling their products, the world would be a different place, and Apple would not be the company they are today. Instead, they released what they had and improved as they went along. Apple knows that there is no such thing as good enough, only good for now and better next time.
So, do not wait until you think you are good enough to start selling your work. Start selling what you have now, because it is good enough for now, and now is all we have got.