What do your potential buyers need before they'll buy your art online? They may love your work all the way to the moon, but if they can’t imagine it hanging on their own wall, you will have a hard time selling it to them. Good news — you can use mockup software to create beautiful product presentations. I asked my friend Tobias Waaentz, creator of Mockup Editor, to walk you through your options so you can sell more art online. Be sure to read Option 4! Here's Tobias.
In today's internet world, you can find unlimited ways to market your art. Maybe you already have a few, and maybe some of them are working well for you. But no matter how great your marketing is, if your art is not presented well, you will have a hard time converting your online followers into buyers.
You would never post photos of your art in a messy room, or post photos with bad lighting, right? And if you take a photograph of your art in a room, you make sure that the items you place in the photo complement your art and speak to your audience, don't you?
Lots of amazing artists miss out because they don’t want to spend the extra time to do this. Others say it seems fake, and that art should be viewed on its own in an isolated environment. They simply crop their photo to show only the canvas, thinking this will be sufficient for their followers. But you can do much better than this—using mockup software.
Your buyers are visual beings, and they need to relate to your art
Most people need to see a piece of art inside a realistic environment. Your potential buyer may love your art all the way to the moon, but if they can’t imagine it hanging on their own wall, you will have a hard job selling it to them.
Instead, help them sell themselves on it. You can do this by displaying your work online in an environment that your buyers can easily relate to. [Tip: If you know who your ideal buyer is, you’ll have an easier time putting together the perfect presentation photo. If you haven't made use of Cindy's ideal buyer worksheet yet, I recommend it. Get it for free here:]
If you haven’t experimented with mockup environments yet, give them a try! They could make all the difference for your online sales.
Art by Steve Johnson: on its own (left) and in a mockup (right)
Your options for excellent art presentation
Option 1: Create your own natural settings
Before you head out the door with all your paintings in one hand and a camera in the other, there are a few things worth knowing. Today, you don’t actually need to be a photographer to get a perfect photo done. All you need is a browser, a tablet, a phone or computer, and you are good to go.
If you have access to some great photo locations that resonate well with your buyers, go ahead and use them as your scenes. Just make sure to use daylight to avoid any yellow glare in your photos. If you use a DSLR camera, I would recommend that you use a 50mm lens. This is the closest you can get to how the human eye sees. Anything less than 24mm will turn into a fisheye effect, which is highly undesirable.
Pros: You have full control.
Cons: Time consuming — finding a good location can be hard.
Option 2: Use a Photoshop mockup file
As much as I like Photoshop, I have to warn you about its learning curve. It can be a challenge to work with if you are not familiar with Adobe software. Frankly, I can still get overwhelmed despite my 15 years of experience. However, if you do use Photoshop, here is a list of kickass mockups I've put together for you. I personally love Photoshop and use it every day — but if you like to keep your focus on your art, this can be a time thief.
Free Photoshop files
Paid Photoshop files
https://crmrkt.com/EzqlWg (has flexible frames)
https://crmrkt.com/zNl535 (has flexible frames)
Pros: Many choices available (if you know how to use Photoshop)
Cons: Learning curve — most Photoshop mockups have fixed frame sizes, so your art needs to fit into their sizes.
Option 3: Use flat stock image apps
For a long time, it was only possible for artists with Photoshop skills to use stock images as mockups. This could easily take hours and sometimes it still does. If you don’t want to use Photoshop, here are some apps/web services that are programmed to help you make mockups. They do all the hard work for you while you just play around and place your art where it looks best.
iOS app for iPad and iPhone with more than 50+ 3d generated rooms. It allows you to try premium rooms with a watermark before you decide if you like to buy, which can be quite useful. You can scale your art and add frames in any size you like.
$59.99 per year (no free options)
This iOS app comes with 50 3d generated rooms in it. It is easy to add your art and you can scale it to any size you like.
$599.99 per year (3 free options available with watermark)
This app is used a lot by wall decorators, but can be used to showcase your art too. It currently has 31 3d generated rooms and allows you to change the color of some elements in their scenes too.
$74.99 one time fee (has extra in-app purchases for more rooms)
Lots of free creative mockups, created by individual photographers from all around the world. Photographers can use a special online editor to turn their flat photos into online browser-based mockups, that you can use directly in your browser. They offer both digital and print mockups, and they currently offer more than 200 art related mockups available for free. Frames are not resizable though.
$228 per year (530 free options available in HD, 200 of which work for art)
A great free site, but mostly made for funny effects. If you browse their “Gallery” section, you will find 50+ free mockups you can use for your art business. Some of them are in HD, but you are not able to change the size of the art frames.
Option 4: Get creative! Build your own mockup scene
This is your best choice if you don’t want to mess around with Photoshop, but you want to take advantage of all the features available. With Mockup Editor, you can create your own environment from scratch, or simply use one of the many pre-made templates available. You can create your art frames in any size and change their style to complement your art.
How artists hacked my mockup software
I created this app for creatives like you. I originally made it as a Photoshop file for web designers, but artists “hacked” it to make it work with their art, so I decided to create an online version that anyone could use — even my grandparents (no kidding — they actually use it sometimes).
I have photographed all the items from the exact same angle with the same light setup to give you the most realistic look and feel. You can download your final photo in HD if you need to print it or show it on a retina screen. See MockupEditor in action here:
Example of Mockupeditor.com in use
Features I'm especially proud of:
- Create art frames in any size, and change their style to fit your art
- You can change the color of any items that have color in them
- Very easy to use — no learning curve. This is built for artists, not for computer experts.
- Lots of pre-made templates available (designed by my wife)
- Hundreds of items and backgrounds to choose from
- You are 100% in control of your environment
- Works in your browser on PC, Mac, tablet or ipad — no software needed to install
- Download your scenes in HD for retina screens and prints
- Upload your own background
- Works with Etsy
Features we're currently working on:
- More room types. Even though the current scene is highly customizable, we still want to add a lot more, like kitchens, bedrooms etc. Feel free to send me suggestions.
- Resizable items. Right now all items are placed in the size they are photographed in. This gives a more realistic look, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to resize a bit.
There are hundreds of items to choose from in Mockup Editor
A gift for all of Cindy’s readers
I could go on and on about mockups and art, but instead, I will close with a special voucher, exclusively for Cindy’s readers. Click here to receive 14 days of unlimited access to Mockupeditor.com.
Or if you are ready to invest in better marketing material now, get 50% off when you pay for a full year of Mockupeditor.com.
Most important of all, I hope this has given you insight into what mockups can do for your art business.
Tobias Waaentz attended art school for eight years as a kid, but ended up falling in love with computers and graphic design instead. Today he combines art, photography, mockups and programming into online web services that help other creatives present their artwork better. Find his mockup software at www.Mockupeditor.com.
Thanks, Tobias, for opening up the world of mockup software for artists!
Have you got a question for Tobias? Post it below.