Selling your work online: a how-to guide for artists

With our Working with Artists process in place, we’re in frequent contact with both new and established artists. For those retailing their works for the very first time we’re often asked, ‘where do I start?'.

Producing work that people want to purchase is one thing, but setting up an online store often feels daunting or unobtainable for first timers. That’s why we’ve created this post, Selling your work online: a how-to guide for artists, to show just how simple it is. 

When you work with Format we handle the production, packaging and distribution of your work (right to your customer’s door) which is half the challenge. Now all you need to do is create a site so your eagerly awaiting customers can access your work.  

Before you start 

As a practicing artist it’s likely you’re already equipped with an ABN and registered as a sole trader. If you’re not retailing under your own name, secure a business name. Decide on how you will manage your accounting. Now is the time to do your due diligence. If this is foreign to you enlist the help of a financial professional (trust us, it’s better now than down the track!). 

Select your platform  

If web development and coding feels like a foreign language, we suggest you use a simple all-in-one website builder like Squarespace or Shopify. Through these platforms you can register your domain names, host your site, set up G-Suite emails, and purchase or select a template (all the nitty gritty that, if done externally, will magnify your workload and stress levels). 



Get planning 

Before you begin building your site think about the content and page structure. As a new artist you can keep things simple and visual. At a minimum, make sure customers can easily find and shop your works, and contact you if need be. 

As a guideline we’d suggest - 

  • Homepage
  • Store (including each individual product) 
  • About 
  • Contact 
  • Terms (privacy policy, copyright, terms of purchase etc.) 

As you become more comfortable you can add more pages and marketing integrations over time. 

Build your site 

If you’re using Squarespace or Shopify, select a theme and begin to create the pages from your site map. 

As these platforms are intuitive and user friendly, you’ll be able to easily find your way and populate each page with copy and imagery. 

For the visually-inclined, Squarespace allows for drag-and-drop page building. Well-designed outcomes are easier to achieve than in Squarespace.  

Take time to enter important settings like shipping costs and connect with your accounting software or payment gateway (like PayPal).  

Both Squarespace and Shopify have considerable documentation online to guide you through the set-up process and a good support team for any hiccups you might encounter. 


Add your products 

In the products (Shopify) or commerce / inventory (Squarespace) section of the site add your products. Set up a new product for each individual work. Then create variants for that product. Variants would include the sizes and frame colours that you offer and their respective prices. 

For your reference, our frame sizes are - 

300 x 300mm 
300 x 200mm
(Frame profile: 15mm face/ 30mm deep)

600 x 600mm
600 x 400mm
(Frame profile: 15mm face/ 30mm deep)

900 x 900mm
900 x 600mm
(Frame profile: 20mm face/ 38mm deep)

1200 x 800mm
(Frame profile: 20mm face/ 38mm deep)

They come in natural, white painted or black painted. 


Connect with Format 

Once your site is up and running, contact us at to introduce yourself. We will come back to you within two business days to formalise an arrangement. 

Together we establish a shared Dropbox folder of high-resolution imagery with files names matching your store’s product titles.

In your eCommerce platform simply add to your order confirmation notifications. 

Start selling 

With your site live, now is the time to promote your works to drive traffic to your site and create sales. 

When an order is placed, we’ll be automatically notified and will send you an invoice within 24 business hours.

Once paid for, we will commence printing at our Melbourne workshop. 

We giclée print to a to a Ilford Prestige Galerie 310gsm 100% Smooth Cotton Rag stock, dry mount to an acid free 5 mm foam board using an archival adhesive film and then handcraft your shadowbox frame from FSC certified Victorian Ash and museum grade UV plexiglass. 

We then securely package using sustainable materials, either white label with your branding or with our own, and provide free express delivery Australia-wide using a fully trackable, 100% carbon neutral courier service. 

Your work will arrive at your customers door within two weeks! 

With the production and distribution managed through Format, creating a site and building an online presence is all that you need to begin retailing your works. 

If you have any more questions around how we work with artists, produce editions or provide certificates of authenticity, download our PDF here or email us at

Featured works from Australian artists Scottie Cameron, Kane Alexander and Chris Pennings, as part of our Format Art Editions collection.