12 Ways To Make Money As An Artist [2022]

12 Ways To Make Money As An Artist [2022]

The art industry can be a highly competitive field, and many creators find themselves struggling to monetize their artwork.

We've identified 12 ways to make money as an artist.

Here they are:

How Do I Get My Art Business Started?

First and foremost, you need to learn the basics of running a business as an artist. If you're starting out, you might want to consider ways that won't cost too much money or time, but will still allow you to make money.

Additionally, it's vital that you take some time to strategically plan what kind of artwork you are most passionate about and that will create a stable income for you. Once you plan the logistics, you can start finding ways to make money as an artist.

If you're interested in learning the fundamentals of starting your art business, check out this guide.

How Much Money Does an Artist Make?

One of the most common questions aspiring artists have is "how much money can I make as an artist?"

How much money your art work will bring in depends on a lot of factors:

  • who you're selling to (target audience and demographic)
  • the demand for your specific niche and type of art
  • your overall profit margins and how you price your artwork

Ways to Make Money as an Artist

1. Sell Your Original Pieces

This is probably the most obvious way on how to make money as an artist, but it's also one of the most rewarding. Selling your original pieces can be difficult especially if you're just starting out with no experience.

You might want to consider selling smaller, more affordable pieces first in order to test out the waters and determine what kind of art is in demand before you sell your bigger, more expensive pieces.

  • Market Competition [8/10]
  • Earning Potential [7/10]
  • Experience Required [Intermediate]

2. Sell Your Prints

Selling your prints is another good way to make money as an artist. Aside from the fact that it's fairly easy, this option can also bring in a lot of cash really fast. If you're not sure what kind of art would sell well as prints, just look at popular artists who are already making lots of money and try to replicate their style. Once you have an idea of what works best with the print option, you can start your way to making money as an artist with this method.

  • Market Competition [7/10]
  • Earning Potential [6/10]
  • Experience Required [Intermediate]

3. License Your Art for Stock Websites

One of the most underrated methods on how to make money as an artist is selling your art to stock websites like ShutterStock and iStockPhoto. You can license your art and images directly to these websites to sell as stock photos for a price you set. If your art style is unique and easily identifiable, this might turn out to be one of the best ways to make money as an artist.

  • Market Competition [7/10]
  • Earning Potential [5/10]
  • Experience Required [Beginner]

4. Private Commissions

One of the best ways to make money as an artist is through private commissions. If you're skilled, you can earn quite a bit by drawing personal pieces for people. The good thing about this option is that it's not limited to your art style or subject matter like selling prints or doing stock photography. You can do anything from rendering someone's portrait to drawing their children's characters.

  • Market Competition [7/10]
  • Earning Potential [6/10]
  • Experience Required [Intermediate]

5. Teach an Online Class or Start a Workshop

If you're skilled in something, why not teach others how to draw or paint? You can start online classes and workshops through video sharing websites like YouTube. If you want your videos to earn a decent income every month, you should partner with a website that lets content creators get a percentage of the ad revenue their work brings in. This is one of the best ways to make money as an artist.

  • Market Competition [6/10]
  • Earning Potential [5/10]
  • Experience Required [Expert]

6. Offer Tutorials

If you're not interested in teaching classes or hosting workshops, offering tutorials is another good way to make money as an artist. You can do this through your blog or through video sharing websites like YouTube.

You'll want to look for websites that partner with content creators and let them keep the majority of the ad revenue instead of giving it all away. These types of websites are the best for making money as an artist.

  • Market Competition [5/10]
  • Earning Potential [4/10]
  • Experience Required [Expert]

7. Create Your Own Blog

Running your own blog is another good way to make money as an artist. You can start a website and get paid based on the number of page views you get every month or through advertising.

This method works best if you already have an audience who's familiar with your work and wants to see more from you. If that's the case, you can use that to your advantage and offer paid subscriptions to exclusive content.

This is one of the most profitable ways on how to make money as an artist.

  • Market Competition [3/10]
  • Earning Potential [5/10]
  • Experience Required [Intermediate]

8. Create and Sell an Ebook

Once you have an eBook ready for sale, just upload it to a website that lets people buy digital content like E-Junkie, PayLoadz, and Sellfy. You can even use a WordPress website to set up a blog and offer your ebook as a free download so people will have the chance to get to know you.

  • Market Competition [6/10]
  • Earning Potential [5/10]
  • Experience Required [Expert]

9. Coaching and Mentoring

Another good way to make money as an artist is by offering one-on-one coaching and mentoring. This method works best if you're skilled in something specific like painting or drawing.

If you know what you're doing, you can use the internet to connect with people who want to learn how to draw or paint like you do.

  • Market Competition [5/10]
  • Earning Potential [4/10]
  • Experience Required [Intermediate]

10. Consulting and Art Direction

You can also make money as an artist by consulting and providing art direction for small businesses with tight budgets. This method has become quite popular in recent years, so there are already websites that connect artists to people with these needs. If you have the right connections, this is one of the best ways on how to make money as an artist since you won't have to share your earnings with a website.

  • Market Competition [7/10]
  • Earning Potential [8/10]
  • Experience Required [Expert]

11. Work for Online Marketplaces or Galleries

You can also make money as an artist by working for established online marketplaces and galleries. If you're skilled, they'll know that clients will pay a hefty price to get your work on their walls or in their catalogs.

There are already a number of websites where you can offer your services to buyers looking for art. You can do this by submitting your work to online galleries and marketplaces.

These sites have a reputation for paying their artists well, so this is one of the best ways on how to make money as an artist.

  • Market Competition [6/10]
  • Earning Potential [7/10]
  • Experience Required [Intermediate]

12. Work for Magazines and Blogs

Another way on how to make money as an artist is by working for established magazines and blogs. This method has become incredibly popular in recent years, so there are dozens of websites that need talented artists.

Some of these sites let you get creative and write about the art you like. Others let you do both: write and provide criticism so readers can learn more about the art they love. If you have a large following on social media, this is another good way to make money as an artist.

  • Market Competition [4/10]
  • Earning Potential [6/10]
  • Experience Required [Intermediate]

How to Make Money as an Artist Without Selling Artwork

The most profitable way to make money as an artist is by getting paid for your opinion. This method has become incredibly popular in recent years and can be a great way to make easy money as a knowledgable artist.

Some of these websites let you write articles about the art you like. Others ask for articles and reviews from professional writers they can publish on their website. This is one of the best ways on how to make money as an artist. You can get paid for doing what you love without having to sell your paintings or drawings to interested buyers.

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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