Artists Speak Out About Selling Through Instagram

by Carolyn Edlund

Artists share their experiences selling their work through this social media powerhouse. What’s your take?

Instagram is currently the largest social media driver of online art sales, demanding attention as a potential source of revenue. I asked artists who have sold on the platform for their opinions, strategies and experiences. Here’s what they shared:


Instagram feed artist Susan Porter


Susan Porter   Follow on Instagram

I am increasingly finding I am selling more of my paintings through Instagram rather than through Facebook. By using the right tags, my work is seen by a much wider field of people who don’t necessarily even follow my page. This has in turn brought buyers to me from all over the world, that I did not even know had seen my work. The added bonus is that there is no commission to be paid to an online gallery!


Instagram feed artist Kevin Abbott


Kevin Abbott  Follow on Instagram

I am new to Instagram and do not have a large following. I also have yet to master some of the technical aspects. Despite this, I have already made several sales as a result of Instagram posts. A more visually specific platform, Instagram seems a nice alternative to Facebook. Like Facebook, I have made both direct and indirect sales. A “direct sale” is when someone contacts me about a post and ends up purchasing the piece. An “indirect” sale is when a post intrigues someone enough to motivate them to see the work in person.


Instagram feed artist Cindy Grisdela


Cindy Grisdela   Follow on Instagram

I’ve sold several pieces through Instagram. Sales aren’t my focus there, but I find that sharing my work, my inspiration and my story sometimes results in a follower asking to buy something.


Instagram feed artist Ekaterina Ermilkina


Ekaterina Ermilkina   Follow on Instagram

Instagram is a great platform for artists. I was lucky to be contacted by an art gallery from Florida, and as a result I am selling now original paintings at the gallery and giclees at Neiman Marcus. Also, I signed contracts with printing companies and several clients contacted me and purchased my paintings directly via my website. Instagram gives you unlimited opportunities.


Instagram feed photographer Nayeem Siddique


Nayeem Siddiquee   Follow on Instagram

I love Instagram because we can share photographs more and talk less. We are connected there to see photos or learn something from others. I do sell my prints, and really enjoy it when someone whom I don’t know says they love my work and want to buy. It’s tough in my country (Bangladesh) to print something and export it (taxes are high) so I look for a way to transfer a good quality image safely and more cheaply.


Instagram feed artist Jackie Goldman Kaufman


Jackie Goldman Kaufman   Follow on Instagram

Instagram is the place for getting your art seen throughout the world. It is fast moving so you must grab people’s attention right away. It is all about the image and how to pull your potential collectors in with that image. Words and descriptions are not necessary initially. After you have pulled them in with the image and they contact you, then you can sell with your words.


Instagram feed artist Jessica Boehman


Jessica Boehman   Follow on Instagram

I use Instagram as a way to share artwork, and my profile links to my website and shop. Last December, one of my old posts went viral. To capitalize, I reposted the image with a “welcome new followers” message, and boosted the same post on Facebook. I received over $10,000 of sales in three weeks, and it would have continued had I not had to close my store for Christmas.


Instagram feed artist Irene Raspollini


Irene Raspollini   Follow on Instagram

I recently added a shop to my website, and the first order came from a lovely Hong Kong lady that discovered me on Instagram. I began to work daily to grow my account organically to reach new prospects, and I’ve sold three originals and a print so far. Since it’s based on visual content, I’m positive that Instagram has a huge potential for artists in terms of self-promotion and sales.


Instagram feed Hot Glass Alley


Hot Glass Alley   Follow on Instagram

We have found Instagram to be an electronic business card. For us, it is about building the brand, staying in front of the audience daily, and engaging the customers. They then contact us or come to the studio, or we send them to galleries that carry our work. We keep records of how people hear about us; Instagram is definitely in the top two. Marketing in 2019 and beyond is all about social media.


Instagram feed artist Audrey Dowling


Audrey Dowling   Follow on Instagram

I have sold through Instagram, and also have people who’ve gotten to know my work through Facebook and Instagram. There are always people who come up to me and introduce themselves at shows or come in to my gallery because they have followed my work on social media. I recognize their names from people who have responded favorably to my work on both platforms.


Instagram feed artist Eric Sher


Eric Sher   Follow on Instagram

Some of the best sales of my career have come via Instagram. Like anything, it requires consistency, discipline, great content and time. The beauty is the power of the hashtags. You must consistently target the people you need. I got on Instagram fairly late, so now I aim to devote an hour a day on marketing. It’s so worth it, though.


Instagram feed artist Mary Mirabal


Mary Mirabal   Follow on Instagram

I do not sell directly from Instagram, but rather direct my followers to visit my website via the links in my Instagram profile. I have had success with fans visiting my website from my Instagram account that have resulted in sales. And, I even picked up a commission this way. I think Instagram is a very important tool for artists who sell their art online.


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  1. I too love Instagram but have yet to sell something as a direct result of that platform. While it’s encouraging to read the artists’ positive experiences I would have enjoyed knowing *how* they feel they turned the corner from sharing to selling. Which hashtags did they find worked best? Did they use a “shoppable posts” service like Shopify, or were they just telling folks to DM with inquiries? Thank you~~~

  2. Thanks for the post! I have long had a Facebook profile but haven’t yet set up Instagram. This was a reminder to make that a priority. I’d love to see an article on how artists are integrating their Instagram and Facebook posts. (Are they posting the same images? At the same time?)

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