Skip to main content

Become a Working Artist

Lesson 16 of 22

More Methods to Sell Work & Pricing


Become a Working Artist

Lesson 16 of 22

More Methods to Sell Work & Pricing


Lesson Info

More Methods to Sell Work & Pricing

A great way to bring your work to a new audience is to sell your work through a retail shop um when you sell your work through a retail shop, this is considered a wholesale account. What is wholesale all wholesale means is that the shop is buying your work in bulk several pieces at a time most likely reproductions like prince or note bit books adorned with your art um at a reduced price typically at fifty percent of the retail price and then the shop then sells the art or products for a profit. So we'll talk about selling original art, which you can do wholesale, but you might consider doing it on consignment because consignment works a little differently if you're interested in selling your work wholesale um you want to make contact with potential shops? I recommend doing a lot of what lisa said yesterday when you're researching galleries, the same thing goes for stores re shirt research stores that you think might be a good fit for your work. You might want to start your local commun...

ity or in your city shops that you think might might be interested in selling your work that it's a good aesthetic fit um you want teo make sure that they're not selling a lot of stuff already that's too similar to what your work looks like um and you want to make sure that, um that um they also are not don't have exclusivity and we'll talk about that in a second you may give up some control um and that means that once you so a bunch of stuff let's say these air journals and I have the journals printed myself this is not licensed work this is something that I had made and I paid toe have made and I have fifty of them and I have found a store that wants to sell this journal it's a blank journal it's blank inside and they wanna buy ten of them they retail normally for fourteen dollars so I'm going to sell them for seven dollars each then they're going to sell them for fourteen dollars um for the most part that's how it works you set the price but you may give up control. They may decide that they want to sell it for sixteen dollars and eventually if not all of them sell they might decide they want a mark them down to four dollars. So once you sell your your stuff, you give up control. If it's important to you that the price of your product never changes, you have to get them to sign off on that like if you never want your thing to be marked down on sale, make sure that they know that if you never if you want to make sure that it's always said at a certain price you need to make sure that they don't market up usually stores will ask you is it okay if I sell it because they want to make even more of a prophet? Is it okay if I sell it for more money? So get clear on that because you do give up control um as I said earlier, you want to get clear on exclusivity so sometimes shop owners have requirements you may have requirements, they may have them two for example, they may request that they are the only shop in the region or the neighborhood that sells your stuff they want to have an exclusive on you some stores don't care about that at all they don't care if every other shop on the street is also selling your stuff, but a lot of stores do care about that. So you want to make sure that you understand that and what their requirements are because if it's your goal toe have your product in every shop in your neighborhood um some shorts in a knot be down with that so you just want to get clear on that and usually they'll tell you but it's always good to ask, do you have an exclusive? Can I also sell this down the street? Ok, any questions about wholesale? Yeah um so my question is about when selling wholesale say you have your own retail shop on your site how do you kind of um do you have, like a member area? I know that that's kind of like so that wholesalers can log in so they can see your wholesale price yeah, some people have a wholesale option on they're in actually he has that option. Two you could set up a whole cell area on etsy. I didn't mention that, but that's a great point and a lot of people will set have that if you haven't integrated shop on your site you can have a hole you can have your developer create like a log in area for wholesalers. So great question yeah um all right consignment consignments similar to wholesale but slightly different I'm not to spend very much time on it, but here's, what it's about so consignment is in agreement with the shop sometimes with a gallery you maintain ownership of the artwork and if it doesn't sell this is actually how it mostly works with galleries and sometimes shops if it work doesn't sell, you could take it back into your possession. Um this is great for original works where you might not want to have you know you might not want to sell your original work to somebody who can then sell it for however much money they want, you know, you may want to maintain control um reproductions I'm recommend staying away for from consignment for the most part um because you only get paid his things so and um you know some brick and mortar shops when they're first starting out will on ly do consignment and if you really want to be in a shop you khun do it but it's a lot more bookkeeping you need to keep an inventory what you reconcile against the monthly payments you get so typically shops pay monthly you have to trust that they're going to pay you when your stuff sells that they're keeping track of what selling that you're getting credited for it and then it comes out in their bookkeeping system so it's okay to ask a lot of questions if you do end up doing something on consignment about their track record or ask who's sold consignment with them in the past that you could email for you know as a reference because you really do talk about giving up control you do give up a lot of control you don't give us much control up around pricing our ownership it's more trusting that that store is going to pay you and keep track of what stuff of yours sold so I think it's great sometimes for original pieces um that a storm might want to carry um because you can always take them back if they don't sell you don't have to see them mark down toe like nine ninety nine uh uh that doesn't happen instead of marking them down, they give them back to you if they haven't sold and then you can figure out another way to sell them. Okay, so that's consignment it some it's best for original artwork, I think and requires tracking inventory and reconcile ing against payments from a retailer um, commissions I'm gonna spend a little bit more time on commissions. A commission is when you create a piece of work specifically for someone if you enjoy making work that is specifically for other people than commissions might be a good fit for you. So what is the commission? Commission's come with some risks so the client somebody emails you and they say and some people actually have whole commission area set up on their website um some people their entire career is just doing commissions portrait commissions, for example. But the idea is that someone basically is like I want you to make a painting or a drawing for me or a pot for me or whatever it is you make or a wall hanging or a weaving or you know, whatever your art for ms and they agreed to pay you for the most part before that work has been created, so talk about trust, right? Um it can create the expectation and pressure that they should like the work in the end and that can sometimes feel really nerve wracking to people who do commissions raise your hand if you've done a commission before, okay, do you know what it's? You know, a lot of times that starts with family and friends, and then some people make entire business is out of it. It's, much like commercial illustration cause you have to ask for art direction and make sure that you've got all your ducks in a row before you start regardless, it's important to remember that you're entering a business relationship with your client, your ability to communicate with your customer well, ultimately determine if your commission is successful. So you want to listen, teo, and respond, teo there understand, are there needs before you begin? You want to listen to and understand their needs before you begin? So you got the commission? These are the things I recommend getting in writing before you start, especially if you don't know the person and even if you do. And if it's a big. So I just got hired to make this giant painting that I've been talking about. I didn't just get higher, but I got hired last spring. Um, that was a commission for a big development company who was building a building in san francisco in which the painting will sit in the lobby and I had not just in agreement but a contract in that case because they were also agreed to pay me a lot of money so if it's a corporate commission you definitely want a contract and you might even want to consult a lawyer but if it's a personal commission for a piece of art you always want at least get the agreement written down in an email um you want to get clear on price structure and purchase policies how much are they gonna pay you if they're not happy with the computer pleaded piece or they obligated to pay you do they still owe you one hundred percent if they're not happy that's up to you you get to decide what you want to get clear on that from the beginning I know these are difficult conversations to have with people but if you don't have them in the beginning you might feel like you're in a really bad pickle in the end so it's also common to require a nonrefundable upfront fee of twenty five to fifty percent down and that way if they're not happy in the end and they don't want to take the piece um you've at least been paid for part of your time even if you don't make one hundred per cent of it and you've got to be really clear that it's non refundable when I don't do portrait commissions anymore but I used to do a lot of them and when I did them I always required an up front fee because could I sell a corset of somebody's mother to somebody else if they don't want it if they didn't think I did a good job, I couldn't um for my abstract commissions which I pretty much exclusively what I do now I don't actually require an up front fee because my abstract sell pretty quickly and if I don't sell it to this person I make I'm pretty sure I can sell it to somebody else and then I don't have to deal with giving the person their money back um I have never been in a situation where that's you know what I've had to do that or the fourth person has turned it down but it's always nice to know that you've either you've either been paid or you can sell it to somebody else if it's something that's not specific to that person you want to set a time frame for completion they may say I need this in, you know, three weeks and you're you know that this kind of work given your work schedule on everything you've got going on is going to take you three months so make sure you could get very clear and if they can't agree to the time frame then you don't want to do the commission don't try to force yourself to do something in less time than you have um you want to get art direction questions I recommend asking are what specific subject matter do you want? What style of my work would you like me to emulate? Get them to send examples? Don't be afraid ask questions we'll talk about this again in the illustration segment, but always whenever anyone gives you a job, whether it's a fine art commission or an illustration job get really clear on what they want you to dio you save yourself a lot of time in the end. Um, more questions and fewer questions is better and if you're doing a portrait commission asked for high quality, high res images once I did a portrait commission for someone and um she the photo she chose was one of those old nineteen early seventies, late sixties photos of her mother where her mother was about this big and being naive at the time, I was like, oh sure, that's fine, because I'll just scan it it like seven hundred d p I and blow it up and print it out. I did that and her mother just looked like this except really blurry and big and I was so embarrassed I did ask her, do you have another picture of your mom's face? That's it higher rez and I tried to, but it just it didn't go well I struggled with the painting um I don't think she was happy with it in the end she sort of pretended she was but I could tell it didn't work out and so from that day forward I was like I'm never I can't work from photos or images like that you know I wanted to make the likeness of her mom and I couldn't because I couldn't see what mom's face looked like because the photo was too small okay um aren't craft fairs so again these are affairs like renegade your local craft brewers informal craft fairs again more formal affairs like art basel in miami or freeze in london those art fairs are for artists were represented by a gallery generally or an art dealer and are quite prestigious you may have aspirations to show at an art there someday if you have fine art dreams and that's great these are the ones that are far more accessible for pretty much anybody who is interested and that's what I'm going to talk about there's like renegade where you apply tohave a booth okay um they are great for exposure and building a new audience remember I was talking earlier about etc and how or even instagram and how often art directors or curator is will will troll etc for talent the same is true for our fair so if you're just starting out and you want to reach a new audience it's not just about selling stuff and making money this is about growing your email list you might have that sign up for that this is about sharing what you do people who wholesale walk through those bears just to look for stuff they could potentially buy wholesale so if you're interested interested in doing wholesale uh, craft fairs like renegade on there are others are great places, and again, people also have been created in two shows and gotten licensing deals from people who from companies who walk around looking for new talent, so they're great places for exposure and that's in addition to how much money you could potentially make at these affairs um carry chapin teaches a class here on creative live where she does the whole segment are even more potentially I think about selling your work in art and craft fairs, and I recommend taking her class if you if you are interested in and that and always going to say fur wholesale. Megan almond teaches a great class on wholesale, so if wholesale, if something you're really interested in she's got a great creative life class about selling your work to retailers, both of those people will go into a way more depth than I can about um about these formats and how to do them well, but super important to plan ahead for these and I know this from experience you want to apply early lot of these shows are to certain extent curated by organizer's so just because you apply doesn't mean you will necessarily get in um so you want to make sure you apply early and get your application as top notch is possible they'll usually ask for images of your work and some other information about what you sell in how you sell it you want to always think about inventory I recommend asking people who've been in the show before or you know if it's christmas show there's always do our holiday show those always do really well because people are seeking gifts but you know ask people who've done shows before you know what there you asked several people how much inventory they had and how much you think you should bring and it depends on the show and what time of year it is always bring mohr than you think you're going to sell you can always sell later wholesale or sell it through your etsy shop and also know that preparing for craft fairs is extremely time intensive I always think oh I can pull it together in one week or whatever and then like I'm it's two o'clock in the morning and I'm still like labeling everything with prices and it's because you've got to get all this inventory together packaged for people and then you also have to think about your payment methods how am I going to take payment now there's these great things called square you know and papale I think also has there may be others where you can take payments that those all always require internet access which usually the venue of the professor will give you um and um you want to think in advance about your booth set up so I recommend also practicing you know knowing exactly how big your table's going to be and if you don't have a table that size at home marking off that area on your floor and thinking about height and how things were going to be displayed and what props you're going tohave and making your book booth look really inviting and potentially you know you want to also that every fairy has different requirements for where you know what you what you can and can't hang in the background and you want to read all the fine print about that and really prepare for that particular fair make sure that your name is is it's front and center as well but I recommend them especially if you're first starting out I used to do them a lot I don't do them anymore because there are a lot of work but they are great for um for exposing your work to a new audience on dh again if you're not into social media um you know are you not interested in doing it a lot? This is a great way teo meet people khun travel to different ones in different cities some are local all right, somebody talked about pricing when we talk about pricing, we get a collective sai right okay on dh that's because artists so subjective right? We've talked about this a little bit there's no easy mathematical formula for attaching a price tag to a piece of art and it's nothing more than an educated guess, but educating yourself is key, so always start by thinking about price based on what you think the worth work is worth and not where the work is being sold. As lisa said yesterday at least a solomon said yesterday, no matter where your artwork is sold, it should always have a consistent price tag. I can't emphasize that enough inconsistent, inconsistent pricing will only confuse buyers, and you'd be surprised how many people pay attention to the fact that your work is priced differently in different places. Many buyers do research before they bye artwork and so if they see your work has disparate pricing and different venues, they may question its value altogether. It's also helpful to understand how people who buy art make decisions about what they're going to buy and how much to spend some people bye art because they're looking for something that's going to look pretty over there sofa like it's purely an aesthetic visual experience for them some by art for financial investment um some buy art for um uh mention decoration or just pure love of art um that they really connect with the piece um so it could be a calculated decision there are people who really think hard about this especially if it's a financial investment and they're spending a lot of money it can also be a very spontaneous a decision I mean, how many of you have walked into an art show before and seen something and fallen in love with it and either bought it or really wished you could a lot of people like you have a connection with the piece of art, you want it you might even like you like I don't have five hundred dollars but I'm gonna find five hundred dollars because I have to have this piece so really important to understand the big picture of the art market and this goes for print reproductions, products or originals you must be able to evaluate the relevance or popularity of your work in relationship to the larger our market. Do you have a fan base for your work? Obviously if you end up working with the gallery or gallery prices, your worker helps you price your work, but you wantto familiarize yourself with what other artists are creating um whether it's selling and you'll be better prepared toe price your own work so in the real estate market degrade analogy is the real estate market so in the real estate market home prices are based on what had a real estate agent what's around it, the comparables in the neighborhood. So you want to look for comparables in your neighborhood, and the way to find comparables is again to do research. So research and police have said yesterday is a really important part of your job. Um, you want to look for other artists who make similar work in similar genres who have a similar level of experience or schooling? Is you who have similar followings and find out how much are their pricing their work for? And is it selling? So do your research um, you also and don't take this the wrong way you want to start low, and that doesn't mean you want to make your work cheap. You just want to start low as opposed to high so in the range that you might come up with for a print or an original um, start on the lower end, because once you've set a price, I think we talked about this yesterday as well, you don't you want to stay there, you never want to lower the price. You might want to raise the price eventually and that's something that I cover a little bit more in my book about when it's, when is the time to raise your prices? Usually when you're selling a lot of that thing. You may want to just stick with it if you're selling a lot of that thing but there may come a time when your work becomes worth more money and you want to raise the prices um for the most part you never want to lower them you want to offer work at a variety of price points to some people um I really want to be ableto buy something of yours and they can't afford the big ticket items so you want to make sure that you offer stuff at a variety of price points um they may come back to purchase something more expensive later those folks who who initially only bought a print may come back for original later if they love your work. Um and also conversely, this seems counter intuitive but you always want to have more expensive options just a few and that's because some buyers are drawn to more expensive work because they're looking for pieces with prestige or you know they attach value based on the price sometimes you know, of course all of this has to be within your comfort zone and what you feel is right for your work based on your research um but I recommend do off, you know, to offer a lot of different price points, so gotta shop what do you think this is going to say so that's harkening back to the last segment I'm gonna run through some tips for running a successful shop and then I'm going to take questions so first stand out from the crowd and what this means is you know, we were talking yesterday about the words unique everybody thinks they're unique but really are you offering something that is different and how is it different you need to be able to express that not just to the person sitting next to you but in some form or another in your description of the items that you're selling you want to stand out, you want to make your work different in some way we just talked about varying price points not going to talk about that again showcasing your art and what I mean by this is like make your art in your shop the centerpiece if you're photographing it, you want to use natural lighting and clear away clutter and style the shot nicely um you don't want any props you use if you use props um to detract from the thing you're actually selling. Um people need to know what's for sale essentially your your piece of art should be the should be the focus if you, um if you scan your work so like if you look in my etsy shop he won't see like for the most part you will not you just see a cropped image of the piece of art and that's, because most of my work is scanned, and then I like color corrected and photo shop, so that what people look at on my site looks exactly the same as what I print out and sent to them, because people get really tripped up over colors, and if I can't get it right, so for example, I do use some neon colors in my work, and what do we know about neon it's? Easy to photograph it's, easier to photograph, but scanners do not like neon does not translate when you scan it and terrible a photograph of my work, so I like to scan it for the most part, and the neon doesn't always translate, so I'll always say in the description, the pink in this piece is especially if it's an original that matters less if I'm printing from that same image because the pink is not goingto print very neon, but if I'm selling something original, I'll say the pink in this piece is a little bit more fluorescent. Then it appears in the photo on that way, if they don't like it in the end, they want to send it back. That's fine, but at least I've told them, you want to make sure that you're clear about any inconsistencies in your work as well, that people need to know, um, oftentimes work especially if you sell things on the on the phone or even on a computer the images that they're called thumbnails um are small, so you want to make sure that your art still looks good and translate the size of a postage stamp, so always ask your friends I have this photo it's about to go on a listing can you tell what it is? Um, especially for etc. You wanna leverage tags and key words? Um, it gives you this option and etc toe tag things, um, you know and right keywords, and when you're writing a title tags or item description, um, you want to include obvious keywords, like the type of art you're selling, a painting, a print, a ceramic pot, a leather belt, a photograph or the medium paint collage clay or he colors, but to generate a list, I it's great to do brainstorming exercise because that's, how people are going to find you is through the tags and key words. If you don't list a word somewhere in your listing of your item, people aren't gonna be able to find it if they unless they typed in that word, so you want to get the right words to describe your item and here's a trick if you use at sea, you can type if you have a hunch about what somebody might actually type in to find your item it's good to give that some thought like how somebody going to find me what what might they take type in start typing it in and then do you notice that auto fills those are always the most popular search words so keep record of those and use them because those are the things that are going to bring people to you um you descriptive of course preemptively answer questions that people may have just the other day I found out because one of my customers let me know that I had a listing that didn't have any dimensions in it and I've been selling it like crazy and the whole time people were just buying without knowing how big it was gonna be I think they could probably figure it out by looking at the prices of similar things in my prices are very consistent and formulaic and my my ass to shop but I was like, oh my god, I didn't even put how big this was dimensions details media if it's one of a kind or reproduction is super important, you know this is an opportunity for you to share what inspired they are but you never likely said was saying and terry were saying yesterday you never want to tell people how to experience your art of what they should feel about it that's really important whether it's your art statement or description on etsy let people build their own relationship to what you do and connect with it in their own way um shipping I cover shipping extensively and our ink but you know, invest money in packing materials like sturdy boxes and sturdy envelopes and do not bend our our fragile break stickers uh selo sleeves and um chipboard for backing um if you don't invest money in packing materials it will come back to haunt you you may get lucky, but for the most part things do bend they will break um so you want to take extra care and invest the money ahead of time so that you're not replacing or eating the cost of things. Speaking of which you want to clearly state your return policies, your exchange policies I like to say the customer's always right if somebody doesn't like something then um that's okay um they can return it as long as I get back, I will refund their money, not necessarily the shipping. This is all laid out in my policy area on my shop. Um I don't want anybody to have my work in their home that doesn't like it, and if you get something, you don't like it, I'm fine with that it rarely happens, but it happens um if something arrives damaged, I no questions asked, especially if it's a reproduction or a print I replace it, they don't even have to send the damage thing back to me. If it's an original, we deal with out on a case by case basis. Um, so you want to articulate all of that ahead of time and how you deal with that. And if you sell things over the internet like somebody sees something on your instagram feed and say they want to buy it and you just arrange payment over paper house outside of your shop, make sure they know also what your policies are, those people our customers to don't forget to tell them I sold a painting once over instagram, and then we did a papal transaction, and then a week later, she said that she didn't want the painting anymore. She actually wanted the painting. It turns out she was sorry she spent two thousand dollars on it, and we ended up working it out she's a lovely woman, but first I was like, oh my god, what am I going to do? I already deposited that thousand dollars for my paypal account into my personal account and do what will I do, I want to just delete this transaction or do I need to hold her to it? And I realized I had never laid out to her because it was this email sale. What? My policies were so I said, you know what? That's okay, I'll give you your money back and she ended up changing your wife and figuring out how to get the thousand dollars toe, you know, whatever. So it worked out, but, like, even in those transactions, you want to clearly state your policies. Um, and I like to ship once a week. So I also post that on my on my shop policies every I ship every wednesday and that's clear. People don't necessarily read thatyou ship every wednesday, but if they go back and look, they can see wanna personalize your customer service, make sure that people know you care. And what do we say yesterday? Respond promptly, politely and professionally. Okay, um, I think one of the greatest things I have going for me in my shop is not that my work is particularly unique are amazing. I think you know, there are lots of unique and amazing work on etc. And out there I have great customer service. I anjali answer emails promptly, I try my hardest to make. People who encountered my shop know that I care, and I e mailed them back, even if I can't help them with their particular question people really, really, really like that, even when people are angry or don't like something that they got, I try to be really kind and understanding, and that goes a long, long, long way in your brand in general. Um all right, that's, a lot of input that I just gave you. We have a couple minutes for questions, either internet land or hearing that we have a lot that came in here let's try to get through a couple of them. Now, this is a user on facebook, and the question is, how do you decide when to make something a limited edition or an open edition print? We also had a similar question about signed copies and any advice for people when you're selling products like the great question there's a whole section again in our ink that covers that in more detail, but I think limited edition prints are great, especially if you want to continue to keep your work exclusive. You may not have signed with a gallery yet, but maybe your goal is to be the kind of artist whose work is exclusive and becomes expensive in that case, I would never do open edition print. You always if you sell reproductions of your work, you want to keep them limited because you khun cell limited edition prints for more money because they're worth more because there are only ten, fifteen, twenty, fifty in the world. The larger the addition, the less valuable they are, except if you're super famous, um and well known and have a huge following. So I have a number of prints in my shop that I I think, you know, I have printed on nicer paper. I have them professionally printed. I have a professional grade printer in my office, but I but this guy uses an even nicer printer. I sign all of them, I number all of them and they sell for more money than my regular prince. My open edition prints because there will only ever be twenty five of them in the world on once they're gone, they're gone and you one of twenty five people have them, their prince in my shop that I've sold thousands of literally over the course of a few years and those are open edition prints. I don't have aspirations necessarily. I just want to sell my work and make a living, so for me, it's not that I like to have some limited edition prints, but it's not that important to have my work be super exclusive so you know so I don't you know when I still some lemon edition prints through venues like twenty by two hundred which is a curated um and little collector which is also a curated print shop um so it really depends what your goals are and I again I go into more detail in the book but I think if you just want to sell art open edition is is a great option. Great. Now I know that you mentioned shipping and all that but joanne and a few other people in the chat room were curious about how you manage international pricing with the different currencies shipping internationally. Any advice? Yeah. So there are ways to find out how much it's gonna cost and sometimes that requires knowing how much the thing always I mean, it really comes down to a weight on also of course where your shipping in the u s postal service. I think even you can probably do this on fedex or u p s sites and other shipping sites. You if you type in if you have a scale and I recommend getting a postal scale if you don't have one and you weigh things if you weigh the item as it's boxed up in some times again that requires doing a little work ahead of time but if you weigh the thing um and you can enter the numbers it will tell you on that particular shipping service website how much it's going to cost and then you'll know how to price it um prints are much easier to ship internationally because they're much later that you could just do a test package of one print in your standard envelope and find out how like I know that all of my eleven by fourteen prints way eight ounces if there's one print inside and I know that that costs a certain amount to shit to canada and a certain amount to ship mostly everywhere else I have a standard price for the u s I have a standard price for my prince, which is mostly what I sell for canada and have a standard price for everyone else in the world is it the same everywhere else in the world? No in some places actually going cost a little less than my shipping price and in some places it's gonna cost a little more and it sort of evens out sometimes you lose a little money sometimes you make a little money on shipping but you can't possibly lift list different shipping prices for every country, its too much now when you're dealing with original art and it's bigger and heavier, sometimes you can negotiate extra shipping with the person who's bought it um but you have to do your research ahead of time and you have to get a scale and enter numbers but thankfully, all of these shipping services have functions on their website that allow you to tto find out how much something is going to cost to ship it. And then you just add that to the listing price. All right. Any questions in here? I think we have time for one more anywhere. Students have won. Yes. Do you think it is a good venue for selling original artwork? Yeah, I think. It's a great venue for selling original artwork. Yeah, absolutely. What price points? Any price point there are. There are people on it. Cease who sell original works and handmade furniture and all kinds of things for thousands thousands of dollars and do quite well. And there are people who sell things for five dollars, and you quite well, there's. The potential is great because again, people confined you through the marketplace. It's also great to list the same items to keep track of inventory, but you could list the same items in another shop. If you think somebody would be turned off by etc, give them another option by by opening up the cartel shop that looks a little fancier and, um, more just you and not, you know, so did you have I'm sorry on I had a quick question go for it. Are there any other considerations you need to take care of when you ship internationally art like maybe some migration from something like that or you just shipped them and left them on some on cuss on us customs forms, you have to describe what the item is and is accurate away as possible, um, and off, and you have to list the value of the item, and people often in other countries have to pay a fee when they come pick up their thing at the post office that has arrived and there's like fees and duties that they have to pay for because something has come from another country, and occasionally you'll get an angry male like I had to pay twelve dollars to pick this up for this cost me sixty extra dollars, but I like to mark the value of things as a little lower so that people don't have to it's always in relationship to the value that you declare on the customs form. So if you declare the value is cheaper than what it's really worth, because that doesn't necessarily affect the insurance or anything that sort of separate, then they'll have to pay less fees and if technically a few market as you can't do this on etsy using their system, but if you mark it as a gift, often they don't have to pay fees at all. If it's considered merchandise than some countries, don't make people pay fees when they, something is sent to them from another country. But some countries dio, and most people who order things from you on the internet in other countries understand that that's the way it works. So I think in the beginning, I used to get if my business. I used to get far more complaints from international customers that they had to pay some duty or some kind of tax on whatever it is, I sent them. That happens way less now. And I think there's, just more awareness about international shipping on at the part of everyone.

Class Description

"This is an incredibly helpful class for anyone who feels intimidated by all the "giants" in the land of art, and wonders if it's really worth keeping trying to make money from their talent. Lisa breaks everything down into manageable steps, while not dumbing things down. Her manner is very approachable, so that you can imagine yourself doing what she does. Her generous spirit means too that she is sharing really useful stuff - not just some fluff, and keeping all the good ideas for herself!"
 - Janet and Craig Mathewson (CreativeLive Students)

An enthusiastic audience that appreciates your art is waiting for you. Join Lisa Congdon, illustrator, artist, and author of Art, Inc. for Become a Working Artist and learn everything you need to know to make a living as a fine or commercial artist.

In this class, you will find out exactly what it takes to break into the art world and reach new, diverse audiences. Lisa will show you how to:

  • Identify the characteristics that make your style unique
  • Map out the vision and goals that will drive your artistic career 
  • Navigate the fine art market and break in to it
  • Land and negotiate art licensing deals
  • Develop effective techniques for promoting your work
Every artist faces rejection and setbacks on the road to finding an appreciative and paying audience. Become a Working Artist will teach you how to navigate the inevitable disappointments and push through to build a vibrant, rewarding career in art.

Making money as an artist doesn’t have to be far-fetched dream, Lisa Congdon will show you how to make it a reality.  



I was very happy and inspired to be able to attend to this class! It helped me so much to understand which are my goals as an artist and what I need to make to make them happen. Lisa is amazing and I cannot be happier to have been part of this, thank you so much!! I am now more than inspired to create beautiful things and make the tasks I need to make to become the professional artist I aim to be. Thank you Lisa for your wonderful generosity and Creative Live for hosting and creating such a wonderful event!


This course was fantastic! The format was great and Lisa was extremely helpful, knowledgable, and engaging. I was so inspired and loved that she gave very real information and great advice. I came away with a great new plan for my business and a renewed excitement for growth. I would highly recommend this class!

Simply Stated Architecture, PC

Professionally, I am an architect, but I also dabble in some watercolors as well as wood and metal work. When I started my own architectural office, I found good resources for business information were scarce. Most of what I found applied to retail or service businesses that really did not apply to a creative professional. One of the best resources I have found has been my local art guild - The Yellow Breeches Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. I found that the painters, jewelers, potters, fiber artists, and other artists faced much more similar issues to what I was dealing with than the contractors, store owners, financial planners, insurance salesmen, and other business people that I was finding in business groups and classes. Lisa Congdon's class is the first CreativeLive course that I've taken. I had signed up for the CL email recently and Lisa's class just caught my eye. I'm glad that I took the time to sit through the sessions. A few of the segments - such as that on illustration and licensing or fine art - really did not have any practical application to my own situation. But there were items of value in pretty much all of the segments that I could take away to adapt in my own business. For someone just starting off in a creative profession, I'd highly recommend Lisa's course as a roadmap of items to keep in mind and plan for in their business. But by no means should you consider this to be a "beginner only" course. I started my business four years ago and I really wish that I had found something like this course in those first months or first year. But even after four years, I found great value in this course. The information on setting goals, actionable tasks, and the final segment on managing your success were extremely valuable and gave me many items to work into my own business in the coming weeks and months.