13 Painter Success Stories 
Becoming a painter is more than earning a living; it's about creating your own art and enjoying the freedom of working for yourself.
Paintings are not just pieces of art that decorate the walls of homes, malls, or offices; they constitute a significant component of every economy.
Painting is an art form that has been practiced for centuries, but not everyone is familiar with it. In modern times, the craft of painting doesn't get the same attention as other art but still offers substantial contributions to our lives in both practical and artistic senses.
Here are some real-life success stories of starting career as a painter:
1. Innerglow Art ($51.6K/year)
Sarah Hickey (from Plano, Texas, USA) started Innerglow Art almost 7 years ago.
I’m Sarah, an artist from Plano Texas and living out my life long dream of being an artist. I am a stay at home mom to two; my oldest Elijah is 17 months and youngest Skyla is 4 months old. My husband is also an entrepreneur, so our schedules are pretty flexible and our children get to grow up seeing us both pursue our passions.
I am most proud of how my art allows for a connection with the buyer. To me, it’s more meaningful to know the artist and their process than purchasing a piece of art in a retail store or gallery.
2. Sarah Paints Pets ($42K/year)
Sarah Miller (from Atlanta, Georgia, USA) started Sarah Paints Pets over 5 years ago.
Hello! I’m Sarah Miller, aka the “sarah” in my small business, sarahpaintspets. I make a living painting custom watercolor pet portraits for the biggest of animal lovers across the United States and Canada.
I know how it feels to have fully loved and mourned a sweet, good pet. I take a moment every week to remember that feeling so that I can empathize and connect with my customers. Making Toby's portrait my logo is my promise to paint every pet as if they were my own.
Learn more about starting a painter:
Where to start?
-> How much does it cost to start a painter?
-> Pros and cons of a painter
-> Examples of established painter
-> Marketing ideas for a painter
4. Brush Tokes ($30K/year)
Kelly (from California, USA) started Brush Tokes over 5 years ago.
Brush Tokes is 420-Friendly art sessions created by artists - Kelly and Natasha.
The income for Brushtokes ranges on how many classes are scheduled a month. When we sell out of classes - it is up to $2500 per month and growing.
5. Twisted Boards ($12K/year)
David Cruickshank (from Royal Oak, Michigan, USA) started Twisted Boards over 10 years ago.
My name is Dave Cruickshank and I’m a police officer in Connecticut. I started a business called Twisted Boards out of my basement and have grown to a manufacturing plant and fulfillment center in Michigan.
The sales market has been quite a roller coaster but we’re currently in about 150 stores across the US and building an intellectual property portfolio that will help the business grow.
6. Lena Danya Store ($0/year)
Lena Danya (from Florida, United States) started Lena Danya Store about 13 years ago.
- I am a painting artist residing in sunny, warm [humid] Florida! My paintings are heavily inspired by nature and its beauty. I work primarily in oil paint, and sometimes watercolor. I prefer to work in a mostly realistic style and occasionally experiment outside of that.
- I talk about the various income sources that allow me to survive full time as a self-employed artist while painting a gouache study of realistic water.
Lena Danya is a realist painter who produces stunning figurative works, many of which prominently feature water in its many forms.
She uses a realistic style, seamless blending, and great attention to detail when painting. She focuses on nature when painting landscapes and waterscapes in particular.
Over the years, Lena has built a large online fan base of hundreds of thousands of people by utilizing a variety of interactive and connecting social media technologies.
On April 11, 2010, Lena launched her YouTube channel to share her artistic expression further. She initially began by publishing vlogs of herself dancing or drawing.
Lena has a solid social media presence, with around 293K followers on Facebook, 844K+ YouTube subscribers, and 123K followers on Instagram.
Watch the full video on youtube.com ➜
7. Kirsty Partridge Art ($36.7K/year)
Kirsty Partridge (from United Downs, Redruth, England, UK) started Kirsty Partridge Art about 8 years ago.
- Kirsty Partridge is one of the leading art educators on YouTube, with over 76 million views and 1.2 million subscribers on her channel.
- Since releasing her first video in 2015, the self-evident passion and talent she has for her art, plus an enthusiastic, easy to follow teaching style has led to the exponential growth of her audience and enrollment in her online art classes.
On Jan 9, 2015, Kirsty Partridge started an art youtube channel. Since then, she's gained over 1.3M subscribers and 81,296,486 views so far.
After she realized the growth potential of her Youtube channel, she launched her website, Kirsty Partridge Art, where she provides art tutorials, drawing guides, online art courses, and more.
Kirtsy also offers a personalized art course through her course Coloured Pencil Academy and to date, she has taught more than 21K+ students who have a deep love for art & drawing.
Read the full article on artismycareer.com ➜
8. Station 16 Editions / S16 ($4.2M/year)
Adam Vieira (from Montreal, Quebec, Canada) started Station 16 Editions / S16 almost 10 years ago.
Hi, my name is Adam Vieira, and I’m the creative director for Station 16 Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in Montreal heavily influenced by graffiti and street art.
We showcase original art, sculptures, and works on paper, which changes every month, sometimes every week. We also launch a new limited edition silkscreen print every month with international artists.
9. Art Lovers Australia ($1.92M/year)
Nancy Donaldson (from Gold Coast, Australia) started Art Lovers Australia over 6 years ago.
Art Lovers Australia is Australia’s Premier Online Gallery. We get excited about sharing the incredible talent of Australian artists and we make buying art easy for our art-loving community.
10. Bayard Art Consulting ($7.2K/year)
Steve Bayard (from Berlin, Germany) started Bayard Art Consulting about 4 years ago.
Hello, my name is Steve Bayard and I'm the founder of Bayard Art Consulting in Berlin, Germany. I started this business on the 1st of May 2019 with a series of small art exhibitions and public events in a private art gallery while taking a freelance art consultant role beside my call center job.
Preview of the new products created by Steve Bayard for Bayard Art Consulting in Berlin, Germany
11. Mapply ($180K/year)
Scott Wood (from Edinburgh, UK) started Mapply over 4 years ago.
Hello Starter Story! My name is Scott Wood and I'm the co-founder of Mapply - an Edinburgh-based map print company specializing in colorful map art prints of the world’s best places. We sell primarily city map prints, but also have since expanded to customized prints of anywhere in the world in a variety of striking colors.
We are also sold in numerous brick and mortar stores across Edinburgh and plan to expand to the rest of the UK and beyond over the next few years.
12. Iris Scott Fine Arts ($1M/year)
Iris Scott wants to inject a little bit of joy into the world with her exuberant, literally hand-painted works.
Iris Scott (from New York, NY, USA) started Iris Scott Fine Arts over 12 years ago.
Iris Scott is a finger painting artist who makes a living from this unique art form. The Brooklyn artist is renowned for her impressionistic works in psychedelic colors depicting the natural world.
It was a revelation for her when one day, she decided to finish one of her oil paintings with her fingertips rather than using brushes. This opened a new door for her artistic expression, and her choice altered her career.
After studying at the Accademia Italiana in Florence, Iris moved to a tiny apartment in Taiwan, from where she first launched her painting career before finally moving to New York.
Developing a social media following has proven to be a successful strategy for self-promotion. She currently has 346K fans on Facebook, and her Instagram has 241K followers.
Iris has been able to cross the $1 million revenue/year mark as an independent creative artist by selling her artwork and through business partnerships.
Read the full story on forbes.com ➜
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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