How to Scale Your Art Business

By Carolyn Edlund

Do you make and sell only original work? Or do you sell each of your images many times over, thus earning more income for every studio hour?

 

Artwork by Robin Pedrero

 

If you sell reproductions of your artwork, you are part of a time-honored tradition. Whether in the form of open or limited editions, prints, matted or framed art, giclee on paper, canvas, aluminum or other substrate, reproductions are a great way to cultivate many collectors of your art in “hangable” form.

Do you license your art? Licensing leverages each image for use on products from shower curtains to shoes, housewares to outerwear, bedding to backpacks. Royalties are the form of payment for this type of work, which largely depends on the efforts of manufacturers, a sales force and retailers to sell.

Do you scale the impact of your work through the use of Print on Demand providers? Anyone with a shop on Zazzle, Fine Art America, or any one of other similar websites has instant access to technology that makes creating a “one-off” easy, and holding inventory non-existent.

 

"Raven Lunatic" scarf by artist Robin Pedrero

“Raven Lunatic” scarf by artist Robin Pedrero

 

You might consider having your artwork reproduced in different formats, creating products for sale on a retail and/or wholesale basis. Florida-based artist Robin Pedrero is selling her work in all of these ways, creating streams of ongoing income from her existing body of work. She has located domestic sources for manufacture, including Sew What Studio in Pensacola, Florida to produce handbags, and Scarves by Marlena to create gorgeous silk scarves featuring her art.

As of now, Pedrero is selling these products online to retail customers, but has also considered entering the wholesale market, which has the potential to open up her audience to store buyers and retailers, allowing her to leverage her portfolio even further.

 

"Escape" handbag set from Robin Pedrero

Robin Pedrero also offers handbags and accessories featuring her art. This design is called “Escape.”

 

I recently asked what made her consider entering the wholesale marketplace, and she responded, “The realization that I could diversify and build an income source from several streams using digital images of my originals on products. Offering my work on home décor, handbags and silk also gives me the aspect of being a designer.”

Are you using the power of leverage to scale your art business for greater income? How are you accomplishing it?

 

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