How to Make Money as an Artist

how to make money as an artist

There was a time when making money as a professional artist was practically impossible. Times have changed and thanks to a growing demand, art business is no longer a low paying hobby. Artists all over the world are using digital and offline opportunities to boost their income with creative business ideas.

How Much Money Can You Make as an Artist?

On average, artists make about $50,000 a year. Of course, the number differs based on artistic talent. Popular artists who have successfully built their social media presence make good money every month.

How to Make Money as an Artist Online

Social media channels have opened up a host of opportunities for upcoming artists, giving them a platform to reach their audience and make good money with a high average artist salary. In the pandemic period, in particular, demand for artistic skills and art prints has gone through the roof. Find out about these channels and learn how to use the platforms. And remember there are outlets for many different kinds of art. So, learning how to sell on Redbubble can come in handy if your talent covers multiple skillsets. Let’s look at the various options available online to earn money.

1. Sell Art Online via Social Media Channels

With so many outlets online, where to sell art online can be a bit daunting. Artists from different parts of the world are using social media as an online marketplace. Instagram, in particular, is a leading destination for buying and selling art. Not surprisingly, millions of artists have set up their Instagram account to connect with potential clients. To be a successful artist on social media, though you need to build your follower base, which takes time and effort.

2. Start an Art Blog

Artists who have been successful in leveraging the potential of digital media understand the importance of showcasing their art. One way to do so is through a blog. With an art blog, you can make passive income and demonstrate your work. If you think creatively and combine the potential of blogging with email marketing and newsletters, you can build a strong follower base that can improve your earning further.

3. Start an Art YouTube Channel

Most people follow other artists to learn from them. This is where YouTube has been extremely successful in bridging the gap between artists and followers. Simple tutorials and tips can come in handy when you are trying to grow your base. Once you’ve accumulated a good number of subscribers, you can boost your earning considerably on YouTube.

4. Host Online Workshops

Online courses have gained momentum in the last two years. And as the number of people signing up to join workshops have gone up, more artists have benefited from this new enthusiasm. Hosting online workshops is easy and with many platforms requiring minimal setup, artists are finding it easier to conduct online course.

5. Freelance Graphic Design

Artists specializing in digital art are in high demand these days. From small businesses to large enterprises, everyone is looking for skilled graphic designers who can help with branding and digital projects. As a freelance graphic designer, you can make good money in very little time.

6. Print on Demand

With the world slowly starting to open up, businesses are again looking for promotional assets to get the word out. Print-on-demand services are gaining traction again. Building print-on-demand websites or joining forces with these service providers can help improve your earning.

7. License Your Artwork

Many artists use stock websites as a means to earn passive income. Stock websites pay decent amount of money for images and clips. Your ability to make more money on these websites depends on the popularity of your artwork. In other words, the more people buy your art the more you’ll be able to make.

8. Create an eBook

One simple way to build an online audience for your art is to share insights that your prospects value. eBooks come in handy for art marketing because they help the audience gain a deeper understanding of the art. You can use eBooks to promote your art pieces and drive the audience to your art classes.

Ways Make Money as an Artist Offline

There are of course many offline ways of making money as well. Art fairs, private events and competitions are some of the traditional options available to earn money. Let’s take a look at some of these opportunities.

9. Sell Art at Art Fairs

Art fairs have traditionally been the best places to connect with art enthusiasts and buyers. Art fairs are especially useful for artists trying to sell paintings. Given their popularity, you may have to prepare yourself for competition from fellow artists trying to sell traditional art.

10. Sell Fine Art Drawings

Fine art drawings are popular with home owners trying to elevate their decor. By catering to this growing demand, you can find an opportunity to make some extra money.

11. Sell at Art Galleries

Another option is to tie up with art galleries to sell your art. Art galleries are particularly useful when you are a new artist looking for prospective buyers. By selling your artwork at the galleries, you will be able to access prospective clients you may struggle to reach yourself.

12. Become an Illustrator

A number of businesses engage freelance illustrators on an ongoing basis. As a freelance illustrator, you get to work on a host of creative art projects. This may include spatial branding, website and stationery.

Start Making Money as an Artist Today

With the right amount of preparation, you don’t have to spend a lot of time to start earning money as an artist. Wondering how? Let’s take a look at what you need to get started.

  • Invest in the right equipment: To entice your target audience through your YouTube channel or online classes, you must ensure you have the right equipment to create videos. Lighting, microphone and a good camera are some of the equipment that can help you create top-notch videos.
  • Post often and frequently: You cannot build followers with infrequent content. To keep them engaged, you need to post often and frequently so they keep coming back for more.
  • Create a portfolio: As an artist, you cannot completely depend on just one avenue to make money. You need to keep your options open and start thinking about building your credibility. To do so, focus on creating a strong portfolio that can help you bag commissioned assignments that pay pretty well.

Image: Depositphotos

Shubhomita Bose Shubhomita Bose is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers key studies and surveys about the small business market, along with general small business news. She draws on 8 years of experience in copywriting, marketing and communications, having worked extensively on creating content for small and medium sized enterprises.