How to Market Artists Who Sell Originals Online

If you’re looking to sell your artwork on the web, you’ve probably noticed there’s a big difference between selling your work on stock photography sites and actually producing unique artwork for sale. The former can be a quick way to make money online, but it doesn’t allow you to develop your craft and connect with customers. Today, we’re going to teach you how to market artists who sell originals online so you can focus on doing what you love.

The Downsides Of Stock Photography

Let’s be honest – stock photography has its perks! All you need is a camera, some free time, and you can be paid to take photos of things you’re passionate about. But sometimes, the convenience of stock photography isn’t worth the trade offs. Here are some of the downsides:

No Feedback

One of the major drawbacks of selling your work on stock photography sites is you have no idea how the customer is going to react to your work. The good news is you don’t need to rely on them to give you feedback, as there are several other ways to get feedback from customers. For example, you could ask them questions about their needs or wants, or you could give them the option to leave a review after they’ve purchased your product. While none of these options are ideal, they’re all better than none at all!

Lifetime Earnings

Another downside of stock photography is the lifetime earnings. When you sell your work on stock photography sites, you typically sign a contract that states you’ll be paid once your image is downloaded a certain number of times or viewed a certain amount of times. If you forego downloading any images or viewing any videos on your site, then you’re not going to make a dime from the photo stock agency. This can be a big downside, particularly if you want to be able to pursue your art career without any financial stress.

Limited Availability

Another major drawback of selling your art on stock photography sites is the limited availability. When you search for the type of artwork you create, you’re going to see a slew of results, and most of them are going to be of pretty low quality. If you want to be able to show your artwork to the highest quality potential customers, then you’re going to have to find a way to get it done yourself.

Limited Scope

A last drawback of selling your artwork on stock photography sites is the limited scope. Most of these websites are designed for product buyers, so they don’t have the talent pool to draw from that can produce the unique pieces you’re capable of creating. The result is you’re often going to be offered work that is rather banal and generic. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re not really connecting with the viewer or the product you’re photographing is lacking any sort of personality or story, then it’s probably time to find a new way to get your work out there.

The Upsides To Producing Your Own Artwork

While there are certainly benefits to using stock photography, there are also plenty of perks to producing your own artwork. Let’s take a look:

  • Full Control Of Copyright
  • Freedom Of Expression
  • Customization
  • Variety Of Mediums
  • Quality
  • Affordability
  • Trusting Relationship With Customer

Full Control Of Copyright

One of the primary upsides to producing your own artwork is full control of the copyright. When you sell your art on canvas, you typically give the customer full ownership of the piece after it’s been paid for. There are exceptions to this rule, of course, but it’s relatively easy to get a canvas print of something you’ve created and own all rights to.

The flip side to this is you have to be extremely confident you’re going to be paid once your artwork is purchased. It would be best to produce unique and high quality work that is limited in availability, so you don’t have to worry about your rights to be ripped off.

Freedom Of Expression

Another big perk of creating your own artwork is the freedom of expression. You’re not limited to the stock photos used by the agency when you produce your own work. Instead, you can use whatever you want, as long as it fits within the guidelines set by the artist. For example, if you wanted to take a photo of a dog wearing a dress, you could do so as long as your photo isn’t too sexually explicit or defamatory.

This is a great option if you want to be able to showcase your artistic talent without any restriction. It also gives you more freedom when it comes to marketing your artwork, as you can tailor your approach based on what feels right for the product you’re showcasing.

Variety Of Mediums

A last benefit of creating your own artwork is the variety of mediums. When you have the option of working with a variety of materials, you can shape the final product to fit any desired format or theme. For example, if you wanted to create a piece that was in the shape of a dollar sign, you could do so. Or, if you wanted to explore a fantasy element, you could use a variety of faux materials such as papier-mâché or plastic wrap to create a three-dimensional effect. You can use whatever you want for the base material, as long as it’s not too distracting from the overall theme of the piece.

This is one of the reasons why many successful artists went the self-produced route. They were able to find the perfect balance between having enough control over their work while maintaining freedom of artistic expression.


Another great perk of creating your own artwork is the quality. When you have total control over the process, you can be sure the end product is going to be of a certain quality. You can also take the time to get the details right, as there’s no one-click ordering on a budget when you produce your own work. It’s also worth noting that when you use a high quality camera and lenses, the overall quality of your photos will go up, no question about it.


A last perk of creating your own artwork is the affordability. It would be best to produce unique artwork that is limited in availability, so you don’t have to worry about it being expensive. Using canvas, for example, not only helps you maintain quality but also allows you to print large quantities without worrying about breaking the bank.

Trusting Relationship With Customer

Last but not least, it’s worth noting that when you create your own artwork and give it to the customer “as is,” you’re establishing a stronger connection with them. When you provide your customers with a unique and high quality product that they can personalize, you’re giving them faith that you’ll keep your promises, which helps improve your overall customer experience. This is why many successful artists went the self-produced route, as they were able to find the perfect balance between keeping their word and maintaining creative freedom.

While there are no hard and fast rules when choosing which route to take when marketing your artwork, it’s important to understand the pros and the cons of both options so you can choose the one that makes the most sense for you. Do you want to maintain total control over your product or do you want to take a more hands-off approach? Or, maybe you want to explore a combination of the two? It’s important to be objective when choosing this route, as there are certain risks you have to be aware of if you don’t maintain total control. For example, if you don’t own all the copyrights to your artwork, you could find yourself in trouble if someone decides to claim copyright infringement.