Having your artworks properly listed on Artsy is the best way to drive success and exposure for your business. This article will help you strategize which artworks to upload and when to upload them.
For technical instructions on how to use CMS, refer to this article on uploading.
Data point: Having more artworks published increases your chance of a sale. Our research shows that having the maximum number of artworks on Artsy gives you the most possible chances for a collector to find and fall in love with an artwork you’ve listed.
When to Upload Your Artworks
Your uploading strategy is determined by the best way to have those collectors discover your artworks.
- Artworks by artists with established demand: For most artworks by artists with significant, established demand, particularly secondary market artworks: upload and publish them as soon as possible and as they are available. This allows collectors the most opportunities to browse and discover your artworks through matchmaking.
- Note: Recency is not a determining factor for artwork listings. We do not recommend holding back artworks with established demand and uploading them bit-by-bit. “Artworks by artists with established demand are most often purchased by collectors who come to that Artist’s Artsy page through a Google search or a direct search on Artsy. Once they arrive at that page, these collectors prefer to see all available works, which is why it’s important to upload works as you get them.
- Artworks by artists with emerging demand: If you have primary market artworks by artists with emerging demand, we recommend uploading your artworks over several weeks or months, usually as they are available for sale, or as they are featured in your programming. Artworks by artists with emerging demand are less likely to be served to collectors based on specific searches for an artist. In this case, recency can help you benefit from the bell notification feature on Artsy that notifies logged-in users when new works are available. On Artsy.net, logged-in users see a bell alert notification, allowing them to view and inquire about newly uploaded works in their activity feeds.
- Tip: Build your artists’ following by linking to their Artsy pages in emails, social media posts, and on your website. When your audience follows artists on Artsy, they’ll receive notifications when you upload new works and help build establish your artist’s demand on Artsy.
Note: Not sure if your artist is considered emerging or established? A general rule of thumb is if your artist has fewer than 75 followers on Artsy, they can be considered emerging.
Priorities: Which Artworks to Upload First When You’re Short on Time
If you have a lot of artworks to upload and you’ll need to upload them in increments, which should you upload first?
- Artworks by artists with demand on Artsy will serve you best if they are uploaded as soon as possible.
- Any artworks for upcoming shows and fairs to support your general programming should also be prioritized.
Tip: How to determine existing demand for your artists on Artsy
Artists with clear demand in the art world, in general, will also have demand on Artsy. If you aren’t sure, you can ask your liaison or partner support, or research:
- Check artist follows on Artsy
- Check your Artsy analytics for pageviews by on works by that artist
- Consider SEO research or research on Instagram
- Plus and Premier galleries can review their most in-demand artists with their liaisons using ArtDemand data
Things to Avoid
- Don’t limit the number of artworks you have online.
- Limiting selection does not provide an impression of selectivity or quality to collectors, nor does it tend to imply scarcity and demand.
- Quote from the online art collector report: our data demonstrate online buyers are driven by specific inventory and are willing to transact quickly if the inventory is available. Uploading all available artworks by an artist offers the best opportunity for collectors to find artworks they love.
- Most collectors browse by artist, rather than by viewing a specific gallery page. The more artworks you have the more chances you will show up in a search.
- Make sure your artworks are available for sale.
- Do not upload artworks that are ‘reference artworks’ or otherwise not yours for sale. Collectors are typically looking for artworks to purchase, and if they inquire about a work that is not actually for sale, they may be disappointed.
Making the Most of Artwork Metadata
Artsy uses artwork metadata to offer personalized recommendations to every user on the Artsy home page, fair pages, artist pages, and related artworks on individual artwork pages.
Tip: Make sure your metadata is complete. Missing metadata can cause artworks to be hidden from searches and excluded from personalized recommendations.
For instructions on editing metadata, browse this section of the help center.
Categories are part of the classification system that powers Artsy and helps match artworks to collectors we think will be most interested based on their personal preferences. Categories vary depending on the medium type of the work, and are not meant to be exhaustive.
The options ensure that your artworks can be suggested to collectors viewing similar works. We recommend choosing categories that you see as the best fit for your artworks.
Best practice is to select one or two broad categories that best fit your work (e.g. Abstract Art, Lighting), along with one or two specific categories (e.g. Staged Photography, City Scenes). This allows your work to show in general browsing, while also ensuring it will show up in more specific searches.
Tip: Make sure your categories are accurate. Do not add categories that are marginal, or do not really apply to your work. Collectors are unlikely to inquire about or purchase listings that are incorrectly categorized. These listings may also be flagged for review.
Feeling unsure about a category? Hovering your mouse over the categories when making our selection in CMS for descriptions of what each category is.
To list your price, or not? While a price is mandatory on all listings, displaying your price (or price range) to collectors is optional for certain subscription plans.
Data point: Artworks with public pricing are 4-9 times more likely to sell. According to Artsy’s sales data, artworks listed with public pricing are between 4 and 9 times more likely to sell than those without.
Wherever possible, we recommend displaying the exact price on Artsy. Data shows that collectors prefer exact prices, and artworks with price information are more likely to receive serious inquiries. Including the price speeds up the inquiry process and lets you focus on the work and artist rather than collectors asking what the price is.
While you may also offer a price range, or even hidden pricing, our data consistently shows that collectors prefer to have as much information as possible when browsing online. Hidden information turns collectors off and discourages them from purchasing or reaching out about a work.
Tip: Always add accurate price information to your artworks. Even if you hide the pricing, accurate price information is still important. The price information is used to recommend artworks to collectors. Adding an arbitrary high or low price can cause your work to be hidden, and listings with inaccurate pricing can be flagged for review.
In general, the more detailed, useful information about an artwork you have available, the easier it will be for collectors to search and find what they’re looking for, and the more confidence they will have in reaching out and purchasing it.
The most important metadata required for collectors to feel confident when purchasing a work are condition, signature and inscription information, edition number, and materials. See below for more details.
For more detailed information, read this article about artwork information.
- Artist: A work should be attributed to the entity, typically a person, who created the work.
- Title: Most searches on Artsy are in English—so add your title in English, if possible, or in the original language with the English translation in parenthesis.
- Date: Add the date of the work. Dates are used for personalized recommendations to collectors—for instance, if they are interested in certain time periods.
- Medium type: Artworks with incorrect Medium type are not displayed in popular categories or artwork exploration hubs.
- Medium/Materials: Medium/Materials is displayed on the artwork page. Use this to describe the work in a helpful way to browsing collectors. The more information about a work they have, the more comfortable they will be reaching out to purchase it.
- Dimensions: Dimensions are used as a search filter, so be sure to add correct dimensions.
Tip: Don’t add depth dimensions to 2D works. If your work is 2-dimensional, such as a painting, photo, or print, do not add a depth measurement: this will prevent collectors from using Artsy’s Augmented Reality “View in Room” feature.
- Classification: Artwork classification gives buyers crucial information regarding the level of artist involvement that they need to inquire with confidence.
- Condition of the work: Be sure to accurately describe the condition of the work. Inaccurate descriptions may result in a return.
- Signature and Inscription: Collectors often ask whether or not a work is signed, and where applicable, numbered. Select the appropriate checkbox and add any additional information, such as placement, in the open text field.
- Edition Number: It is incredibly important to include the total number of copies that exist for a given work. Additionally, when applicable, be sure that the number depicted in the image is the same as the number for sale. Inaccurately listing the size of an edition and/or the number available from the edition, may be grounds for a return.
What’s next? Listing Artworks.