Tips on Setting up a Custom Artwork Business

  • Carrie Jackson
Custom artwork has grown in popularity; people love commissioning personalised pieces of their pets, particular locations, memories, or loved ones. Online marketplace websites such as Etsy have made it easier than ever for budding artists to advertise their skills and sell custom prints, paintings or drawings to people all over the world. This article has some tips if you’re thinking about using your skills to start up your own custom artwork business.

Decide what to focus on

Businesses that sell products need a unique selling point to attract customers; the same applies to custom artwork businesses. Choosing a particular niche will help you to advertise and get new customers. It will also help potential customers get a good idea of what the final artwork will look like. Your niche will also allow you to become better and more efficient, enabling you to do more commissions in a shorter amount of time and eventually make more money.

Create a place to sell

Once you’ve decided what to focus on, you need to create a place where you can showcase your previous work and let everyone know about the services you can offer. People need to be able to find you effectively online for your business or side project to work. You could choose to use several different channels or a single platform. Social media platforms are one option, or you could set up your own website. Some artists choose to keep things simple and use profiles on pages such as Etsy to sell and advertise their work. It is essential to add examples of your previous work to the listing to attract customers and showcase your skills and style as an artist.

Set out precise details and timings

Wherever you decide to sell your art, you should set out precise details of exactly the service you offer and the timings required for you to complete a custom piece. Make sure when committing to deadlines they are achievable. We live in a very impatient society, and people expect things to be delivered immediately without considering what they’re asking. Take the time to set out realistic time frames for completion, and remember, if you have a full-time job as well, you will want to make sure you have spare time and aren’t going to burn yourself out by taking on too much at once.

Test out packaging

One potential issue when creating custom artwork for people is sending it successfully in the post without it becoming damaged or folded. Postal cardboard tubes are one option if you can roll your artwork without causing permanent damage. If you use canvases, a well-protected box and wrapping of the item might be good enough to keep it safe. Whatever you decide, it is good to test it out before bulk buying the packaging or committing to a particular option with your customers.

Briefing document

To make things simpler when taking a brief from a client you might want to create a briefing document and template. This way, you can keep all of the details about a specific piece together to avoid confusion if you work on several pieces at once or take several briefs in a single day. Keep your notes and specifications together with contact details so you can avoid sending out artwork to the wrong address. Make sure to write in your listing all of the questions and, or imagery you require from a client before they contact you; this will help to save you valuable time and conversations back and forth with clients.

Ask for reviews

Any small business relies on positive reviews to grow and encourage more clients to trust your services. This is especially important during the early stages of starting a new business; kindly ask happy clients to fill in reviews and share your business on social media. This will help you attract more clients and grow your business further. Most clients will be more than happy to help any small business during its early stages, especially if they are delighted with the outcome. You can also ask clients for feedback and anything they believe would improve your business. Don’t be afraid to take criticism during the beginning stage; this can help you develop and enhance your services.


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