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Jonathan Holmes 75
Jonathan Holmes 75 Otomo Director
1y Story
How to Sell Your Art to an Interior Designer

Have you ever considered selling your works of art to an interior designer? We share the secrets and insights on how to get started in this lucrative market.

An interior designer can work on either commercial or residential project. They might be paid a fixed sum, by the hour or they might add a markup to the items they purchase on behalf of the client, for example, furniture, accessories or any other items. Whatever they do they need to be able to source a variety of products, from rugs to lighting, to original artworks in order to create the space that the client is looking for.
Since designers are purchasing items on behalf of their client's projects, they will normally look for pieces which keep with the style and feel of the project. This can mean that even though an artist is producing beautiful pieces of work, if it’s not suitable for the client's style, then it won’t be bought. An artist can seek to build relationships with interior designers, but they should keep in mind that designers are looking to prioritise their client's needs.

How to begin working with interior designers?

One of the most important attributes an artist needs to possess before they think about working with interior designers is to be adaptable. Designers will often have pre-conceived ideas of what they want the artwork for their projects to look like. This might mean the artist has to be flexible and willing to change substrates, sizes, colours, process and even the cost of the final piece. If the artist wants to continue working with a designer on a long-term basis, then all of these requirements need to be adjustable as required.

A desire and willingness to work as part of a team are vital, as well as ensuring your ego takes a backseat in any discussions. If you don’t want to compromise on some details, this type of relationship and work is unlikely to be a goof it. There is a big difference between preparing your work for an exhibit versus trying to have your work included in a commercial or residential project overseen by a designer.

However, if you feel you must stay true to your artistic integrity and create only pieces that inspire you rather than tailoring your art to meet specific requirements, all might not be lost. If making drastic changes to your art is not something you’re comfortable doing, then you need to seek out designers that are looking for art but are not seeking to make the pieces adhere to their vision, instead they are able to appreciate the original art as the artist intended and not something that needs be adjusted to meld with the décor.

Unsurprisingly finding these interior designers can be challenging and will require more research. Your starting point should be interior design magazines, having a look through the pages should give you an idea about which designers are using original artwork. You can normally tell if you are familiar with the artist's other works, does it look like something they would have naturally produced or was it specifically tailored for that space.

What do interior designers do to find artists?

We’ve found that interior designers that are on a strict budget will avoid art galleries where they can expect very little direct access to the artists. Designers will more often seek to support local artists, this increases their chances of having one on one contact and the possibility of building a long-term relationship. This is where social media comes into its own, it’s very easy to build a portfolio of artwork on Facebook on Instagram which allows for prospective designers to browse existing work.

Having direct access to an artist means a designer can reach out request pricing and enquire about reproducing work in other sizes, using different materials or on different mediums.

As an artist it’s important to develop a network on social media, this will allow anyone looking for a local artist to find you with relative ease. Be the facilitator of these networks, reach out to other artists, designers, artisans, fabricators and businesses. Every contact that you possess increases your reach and can greatly increase your chances of working with designers on projects.

It’s worth considering the markets that your wall art might compliment. There might be specific industries that you focus your wall art around, if the interior designer knows this then they can better utilise the work for niche projects. For example, a nature photographer might find their work is a great fit for the healthcare industry due to the potential calming effects of their photo’s.

Is your artwork a good fit for this type of project?

Flexibility, good communication skills, and a professional work ethic are the must-have qualities for an artist that wants to work with interior designers. Following these tenants will reward you with endless opportunities.

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Jonathan Holmes 75
Otomo Director

CEO and Director of Art at

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