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How to sell your art
Gallery or no gallery?

For the artist launching a career in fine art, one of the most important decisions is whether to sell their own work or to seek gallery representation. Twenty years ago, the only realistic path for artists was to seek gallery representation. Today, with the development of the internet and internationalization of the art market, the industry has drastically changed. Because there are so many other art-buying alternatives than galleries, gallery sales have fallen into hard times with a number of commercial galleries declining especially in non-art destination markets. With the number of commercial galleries declining and the number of artists increasing, the competition for gallery slots has never been so intense.

Selling your own art may not only be viable, but also the best and sometimes the only option for many artists. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of selling your own art versus gallery representation?

The most obvious advantage to selling your own art is that you keep all of the sales. Most galleries charge the artist 50% commission on their sales. When you include the cost of the frame and materials, there's not much left over for the artist especially when you consider the prices that emerging artists usually get for their work.

Although selling your own art can be a real challenge, your still have greater control over you own art life, and do not have to depend on the efforts of others. You also have more creative control in your painting. You paint what your want to paint not what others want you to paint.

Another advantage is that you don't have to spend time and effort in recruiting galleries to represent your work. For many artists the process of seeking galleries is extremely stressful. Placing yourself under the scrutiny of gallery directors can be unpleasant. You also avoid the problems associated with gallery representation that are covered later in the article.

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