How Much Art Does An Artist Need to Sell To Survive?

Artists make art but they don’t always realise how long it will take for a piece of art to sell or how much of their work needs to sell in order for them to survive as a freelance artist.

How much artwork Does an artist needs to sell in order to earn minimum wage?


Now, how much art does a visual artists needs to sell to earn minimum wage?

  • Original art – 1500 USD a piece – 2 pieces of art a month without gallery representation and  4 pieces with gallery representation.
  • Limited edition prints of art or photography – 150 USD a piece – 11 pieces of art
  • Unlimited print of artwork sold through Etsy – 25 USD a piece – 64 pieces
  • Photographs – 5 to 50 USD a print  –  320 to 32 photographs

Although Etsy and Ebay have fine artists selling work on their sites, a majority of the art sold through these websites are priced in the target range for impulse shopping.  With prices hovering under 100 USD, the artwork found on ebay and etsy are mostly smaller pieces, prints or limited editions.  Artists can use this technique to build name recognition and find collectors who might be interested in their larger art pieces.

For artists who want to focus on selling their higher priced artwork,  exhibitions, open studios and word of mouth sales are the major forms of distribution for higher priced fine art.  One of the problems with this form of distribution is that  a substantial portion of the artist’s sales goes to a gallery as a commission (up to 50 percent of the sales price) or is eaten up by the expense of setting up and promoting the art event which doesn’t always attract serious buyers.

If you are an artist or an art collector, share your thoughts with us on Facebook about buying and selling artwork.  Do you have a favourite way to buy or sell art? Lets us know!




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