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How does selling art work on SL?

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I'm not as new as I seem here.

But I have lost my old account info.


I have made art on IMVU for a very long time,
how ever they usually want anime style art and I would wish to do more artistic pieces.
People have been telling me to try it on SL, but I can't really figure out how it works.

On IMVU I make art prints and sell them on the forum,
they are usually of a size so you can print them on big formats to actually put up inreal.

But I understand SL has a different way of doing art.


Please see my tumblr for some of my work.



Ty for your time.


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From what I've seen in SL, generally people create a prim (a box) in world, stretch it to the size they'd like their art to be, then upload a picture - their artwork - and add it to one side of the prim box that they've adjusted. The rest of the sides they can add a frame or just black or whatnot... 

Then, they place the box for sale at a certain price and add it to a shop. (If you don't have a shop, you can add it to the marketplace at http://marketplace.secondlife.com by obtaining an xstreet magicbox.)

Sometimes art gets showcased in galleries or shows - there are some gallery or arists groups in world to find out more about those types of things. 

I know, I'm a little vague, but hopefully that will get you pointed in the right direction. If not, please feel free to IM me in-world and we can go through it together :) 

Good luck!

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The problem with selling traditional art in SL is that you get virtually no profit from it. What people are willing to pay for a "framed picture" to hang on their virtual wall in SL is mere pennies in real money - rarely even a single US Dollar's worth of L$ for each "art item". So unless you sell hundreds or thousands of copies of the item, you simply don't make enough to pay for the time it took you to create an original work of art. Virtually no one will pay you a realistic comission for a custom "portrait" of their avatar in SL. Why should they, when they can make a "snapshot" in-world for L$10? Your art is good quality, and original. Maybe it would sell multiple copies in SL. Maybe not. But don't expect anyone in SL to be willing to commission you to draw a picture just for them, and to pay you more than a couple of dollars for it. 

In SL, you are only going to be able to import images as textures up to 1024 x 1024 pixels in size - not adequate for a very good quality real-world art print. So you don't have the added value that they could print the work and frame it at home. And SL Marketplace prohibits selling tangible, real-world merchandise, so you can't sell real-world art prints or higher-resolution jpg files to be delivered outside of SL. Anything sold on SLM has to be deliverable in-world, for use in SL.

For most uses in SL, a 512 x 512 pixel texture or even 256 x 256 pixel texture is quite sufficient. Any greater texture resolution is wasted, because one rarely looks at the picture close enough to see that many actual pixels on the computer screen.

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You may not sell your any RL product on the marketplace or in these forums but can do it in world.  I've had someone I know in SL give me a gift of a RL limited edition print this way.  I also received a copy of it in world that was guaranteed to be a one of a kind reproduction.  The artist was an established RL artist who already sold on the web and the person who bought the gift for me paid RL money for it.

There are a number of art groups in SL for serious artists.  You can find them by searching groups.  It would be beneficial to hook up with a group and talk to some experienced SL artists.  They may be able to give you advice on marketing your work, point you to art galleries that will exhibit your work, as well as a realistic estimate of how much you could make.  Some galleries allow you to sell your art, and others are for exhibit only.  But most have rotating exhibits so you can't rely on them for anything other than exposure for a limited time to people interested in art in SL.  You will also probably need to own your own gallery or shop or join a cooperative of some sort and share the cost of a venue with other artists.

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These things may sound pretty discouraging at first, but I want to tell you about the opposite side of the spectrum: the amazing art galleries that exist in SL that are under water, on other planets, in completely weird, scary, whimsical or plain settings... all the many different things you can do with art that is interactive or, creates a special mood,  about the friends you can meet through your art and the things you can learn about yourself.

All of that exists in SL, and though it isn't anything lucrative, art galleries do have patrons and sales.  People who buy there aren't buying because they want an ultra-high resolution file to print. They buy art for the same reason many people do in RL -- because it gives them personal satisfaction, they feel good about supporting the artist or gallery, feeling a personal connection to them or wanting to own a piece of something awesome for their SL home, collection, or something along those lines.

Don't give up, have some fun exploring in SL and have a go at making friends with gallery owners & artists at places you like. Before you know it, you'll be where you wanted to be.

PS: For these same reasons I already went over, art doesn't really sell very well at all at the SLmarketplace (the website shop). Even the few people who might type in "art" in the keywords, will get 68949 results, then go "ughh" and close it. You need that personal connection above all to make it happen for your art in SL.

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I have tried to sell my art in-world and it's honestly pointless. Anyone who wants it is just going to take a snapshot and upload it for L$10, no-one will pay L$11 never mind the few hundred it's really worth.

However, if you are selling art in the real world (prints etc), a SL gallery can be a good showcase to advertise for RL sales. By all means set up a gallery to showcase your portfolio but don't expect to sell anything.

You might also want to put a "watermark" prim in front of each picture to prevent theft.

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