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The hazy and erratic life of an artist is filled with ambiguities and challenges. If you are an artist in India, the hindrances are even more. There is less recognition of art and people do not really care about an artist’s emotion and thinking until he/she is popular.

Unlike European nations like France, Italy, Germany, and UK, where art is recognized as a gifted talent and as a skill that only a few people can accomplish, India has an extremely small chunk of people who care about anything artistic.

The Indian art market is quite quirky and off-the-wall, mostly because this sector is still in its growing stage. Due to the colonial rule of the British for approximately 200 years, the ecstasy and shimmer of India artworks were kept away from the modern world for a long time. This doesn’t mean that Indian art didn’t evolve, it did, but the art was not able to reach the masses.

Post-independence opened up the gate for Indian art to self-establish itself. Bombay’s Progressive Artist’s Group, formed in 1948, with members like Souza, Raza, Gaitonde, Husain, etc., made art opened up to Indians like never before.

So, as an artist, you should feel overwhelmed and grateful that you are born in this generation, where the Indian art spectrum is slowly but steadily finding a safe land to place its feet in the global art market.

The beginning

Where to begin? Being a newbie in the market, it becomes quite important to see where you are taking your toddler steps.

Building a notable existence in the already saturated art market is quite challenging. However, the Indian market’s sluggish climb is both a boon and a bane to artists.

Since the market is slowly growing, it becomes defying to make a name for yourself because of low demand. On the brighter side, it becomes quite easy to enter the market as a healthy market will have much stiffer competition.

So, how to sell art in India?

Start with basics.

Prepare an artist’s bio.

Include what inspires you and write which art genre interests you most and why. This is the elemental step every artist should take when on the quest to sell art.

Your artist’s bio will come handy whether you are approaching a brick & mortar gallery or when you are trying to utilize the online platforms to showcase your talent.

The second step should be to get yourself familiar with the art community. For this, you can go through different art-related articles, blogs, magazines, etc., on both offline and online mediums.

The more you read the more comprehension you will gain vis-à-vis the Indian art community and how the market behaves.

Next step would be to get a real-time experience. Tie up your shoes (or wear a slip-on, I don’t mind) and visit the art galleries present in your city, town or nearby localities.

Going to such places will offer you immense experience. You will learn how to behave in such art galleries and what are the gallery owners’ expectations from artists.

Take a casual stroll in these art galleries and try to start a lighter conversation with artists present there. Do not directly ask for tips and suggestion. If you are an introvert artist, observe everything.

Practicing this on a regular basis will warm your feet and will get you going with the art community.

Pro tips

The online world

Artists born in this generation are blessed because of ample opportunities that exist today. Five or four decades back, artists didn’t have the liberty to use the internet as a selling medium (because it didn’t exist then).

However, today, the entire spectrum of ‘selling art’ has been revolutionised by the power of the web.

So, how to sell paintings online in India?

There are different ways. Let’s see them one by one:

Online art galleries

The internet has produced some of the best and exclusive opportunities for artists on a global level. Previously, only the brick & mortar gallery, auctions or prominent art exhibitions were the sources of income for the artists.

Indian artists used to crave for the slightest chance they could find to show the work. The situation was disastrous and the notion of starving artist prevailed.

With the emergence of web-based platforms, several online art galleries have emerged. Just write “How to sell paintings online in India?” and you will find thousands of results. These SERPs results show how dominantly online galleries have covered the web.

The upsurge of online galleries has influenced the business of brick & mortar galleries. This is so because the process of buying artwork has now become superiorly convenient.

So, what are these online galleries? These are the platforms that showcase the talent of Indian artists to the masses.

The good thing is that you will not be charged as heavily as by the offline galleries. Where the brick & mortar galleries take around 40% of the sale of the artworks, these online channels charge extremely less.

So, why would you approach these galleries? What’s in there for you?

The immense reach. For the first time in India history, artworks are available to commoners with such ease. Slowly but eventually, people are now looking to get hands-on exquisite artworks.

Also, artworks and paintings at these platforms are available in a wide range vis-à-vis price. So, if you are a newbie, you can put up your works on different prices.

Also, the shipping and delivery of artworks are totally done by these online galleries (for which they will charge a small fraction), means you don’t have to worry about a thing.

Social Media
Now if you ask me, “How to sell art in India?” – I would straightaway tell you to go on Instagram or Pinterest.

The power of social media lies in its reach. All of the social networking channels have become a golden platform for businesses to increase their comprehensive reach.

And when corporate CEOs are doing this, why can’t you? After all, out of the billions of people on social media, there will be art lovers too.

In fact, image sharing social media daises like Instagram and Pinterest have become Artists’ Eden. Emerging and established artists are using these social channels to showcase their talent and the response is overwhelming.

You can make a business account on Instagram and Pinterest (cover both platforms). This account will be like your virtual shop where you can display your work.

But making an account and putting up the work isn’t enough to taste success. Both Instagram and Pinterest run on the usefulness of hashtags. By putting relevant hashtags, you not just increase the reach but also filter it.

For instance, if you are an abstract painter, hashtags like #abstractart #abstractartists #abstractpaintings, etc would bring in art zealots looking for the same genre. Also, be very particular about post timings.

The frequency of posts should also be kept in check. As a newbie, you can experiment with timing and frequency both.

Art marketplaces

There are also different marketplaces like Artsy that offers artists like you to open up virtual shops where you can showcase your work. These platforms will only charge for shipping.

Digital prints

It would be quite unfair to you if I don’t tell you about the prints. This new genre of art is a by-product of an amalgamation of art and technology.

If you have heard that digital art prints are just copies of original paintings, this is both true and false. True because yes, they are the imitation of original art and false as these are much more than that.

The ideation of art prints started with the thought that not every buyer can purchase million dollar paintings, so there should be a way.

Also, from an artist’s perspective, this is a great chance to check out what’s interesting the audience and what’s not.

You can release a limited edition print for your original painting at a lower price and can see how the audience is responding.

So, the next time you are feeling down, confused and lost thinking how to sell paintings online in India, take a gander at these tips.

Share your comments and let us know if additional points can be added. Thanks! 

Tags: Sell art