Sell Your Art Before You Create It Using A “Patron Plan”

Sunset Sparkle Style, layered photographs using iPad sketchbook pro drawn shadows , 13” x 19”, by Nancy Staub Laughlin,

Why wait to sell your art after you create it? Instead, reverse the order and you may discover one of your favorite tools in your art marketing kit.

If you’re a pragmatic artist who enjoys creating art in a cohesive series, meeting deadlines, and having financial security, this idea is perfect for you.

The goal is to create a “Patron Plan.” It’s an innovative, fun campaign that aims to build a community of loyal buyers who will continue to add your new works to their collection. If this plan is performed properly, you’ll reap many rewarding benefits for years to come.

How To Do It

Before you embark on your new series, estimate how many works of art you’ll be creating for it, the medium, dimensions and completion dates. Give the series a descriptive and attention-grabbing title. Decide on the total income goal you want to reach with this series and your “pre-creation prices.” Determine the terms of payment including the initial down payment and installment payments you’ll be offering.

The next step is to notify people who have purchased from you before as well as those potential buyers who have expressed interest in your work. Provide a detailed description of the series and when they will be finished. Offer them the opportunity to join your “Patron Plan” and reserve one of the works in advance at a special and reasonable price.

Spread the word about your “Patron Plan” series using personalized notifications, email newsletters and social media blasts. Treat it like a campaign using hashtags or set up a page for it on Facebook. You may want to devote a page to your website and a series of blog posts about this program.

When you confirm a presale contract and accept pre-payment from the buyer, keep them notified of your progress. Share preliminary sketches or maquettes and images of works-in-progress. This is key to maintaining loyalty and trust. You must also do whatever it takes to complete the piece by your promised deadline.

Congratulations! After you successfully complete your first “Patron Plan” campaign, repeat the process often and watch your “Patrons” blossom. Enjoy the fun and freedom you’ll gain from selling your art before you create it.

Be imaginative and envision the possibilities. I know an artist who ran a successful “Patron Plan” for many years. She created several series of art during her travels around the world. Her presales covered her transportation, lodging and more.

Even if your first attempt generates only a few sales, don’t give up. Adjust the plan and try again.

This “Patron Plan” idea is one of many from my upcoming e-Book about selling art that will be published in the fall, 2017.

Renée Phillips, The Artrepreneur Coach, helps artists attain their fullest potential in private consultations, coaching sessions, articles and e-Books found on She is also founder/director/curator of Manhattan Arts International and The Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS. Follow her on Twitter @reneephillipsny, join her on Linkedin, reneephillipsartcoach, and on Facebook ReneePhillipsArtCoach.