Selling art through Galleries vs. Freelancing

Selling your art can be a challenging and exciting experience. As an artist, you put your heart and soul into your creations, and it’s natural to want to share them with others. However, there are different approaches to selling your art, and it can be challenging to determine the best path to take. Two popular options are selling your art through art galleries or selling it yourself. Each approach has its pros and cons, and in this article, we’ll explore them in detail to help you make an informed decision.

Selling Your Art through Art Galleries

Art galleries are a traditional way of selling art. When you sell your art through a gallery, you are essentially partnering with them to showcase your work. Galleries have the advantage of providing a physical location for people to view and purchase your art. They also handle the logistics of sales, including negotiations, contracts, and payment processing.


  1. Increased Exposure

Galleries have an established audience of art enthusiasts who visit their exhibitions regularly. By partnering with a gallery, you can tap into this audience and potentially increase your exposure. This can lead to more sales and a broader following of your work.

  1. Credibility

Being represented by a reputable gallery can lend credibility to your work. It shows that your art has been vetted by experts and is considered worthy of display in a professional setting. This can be important for establishing your reputation as an artist.

  1. Networking Opportunities

Galleries can also provide networking opportunities. You may be able to meet other artists, collectors, and curators, which can lead to collaborations and other business opportunities. This can be invaluable for artists who are just starting and need to establish themselves in the art world.


  1. Commission Fees

Galleries typically charge a commission fee of 50% or more of the sale price. This can be a significant cost for artists, and it may not be sustainable in the long run. You’ll need to factor in this fee when pricing your art, which can make it more challenging to be competitive.

  1. Limited Control

When you partner with a gallery, you’re relinquishing some control over how your art is displayed and marketed. The gallery will have its own aesthetic and branding, which may not align with your vision. You may also have limited say over pricing and other aspects of the sales process.

  1. Limited Availability

Galleries typically have limited space, and they may not have room to display all of your work. This can limit your exposure and potential sales. Additionally, galleries may have a limited audience, which can also limit your reach.

Selling Art by Yourself

Selling art by yourself is a relatively new approach to selling art. It involves bypassing traditional galleries and instead marketing and selling your art directly to buyers through online platforms, social media, and other channels.


  1. More Control

When you sell your art by yourself, you have complete control over how it is displayed, marketed, and priced. You can present your work in a way that aligns with your vision and brand, and you can be more flexible in your sales approach.

  1. Lower Costs

Selling your art by yourself can be more cost-effective than partnering with a gallery. You won’t have to pay commission fees, and you can save on other costs associated with gallery representation, such as shipping, framing, and insurance.

  1. Greater Flexibility

Selling your art by yourself allows you to be more flexible in your approach. You can experiment with different sales channels, pricing strategies, and marketing tactics until you find what works best for you. This can be especially valuable for artists who are just starting and need to test different approaches.


  1. Limited Exposure

When you sell your art by yourself, you may have limited exposure to potential buyers.