Remember the old days when people believed that making money as an artist was almost impossible? Today, artists are highly appreciated, and many succeed in making a killing by selling their art. The vibrant digital age enables artists to build a solid follower and client base online.
So, if you’re a creative soul, you may quickly cash in your skills. By turning your talent into a lucrative occupation, you can bring yourself fame and money. You don’t even have to sell your art per se. You can teach other people your craft, become popular on social networks, and more.
Table of Contents
- 1 Can You Make Money As An Artist In 2021?
- 2 Learn How To Start Making Money As An Artist
- 3 Become A Social Influencer To Make Money Online
- 4 Make Money Online As An Artist
- 5 Sell Your Art And Merchandise Online
- 6 Sell Your Digital Art And Photos Online
- 7 Start Making Money Locally As An Artist
- 8 Work In The Art Industry
- 9 Final Words
- 10 FAQ
Can You Make Money As An Artist In 2021?
There are many revenue streams to tap into as an artist. It is also possible to earn six-figures or even more as an artist this year. Although it seems easy to go out there and show your art pieces, it’s possible to get lost in the crowded, super-competitive web. You need hard work, perseverance, and the right strategy to get discovered and sell to prospective clients.
There are multiple reasons why only a handful of people manage to make money doing what they love. Even if you create masterpieces, those may remain locked in your warehouse or hard disk if you don’t develop your marketing skills.
In case you’re wondering how to earn cash as an artist, we suggest you stop thinking like it’s a hobby. What you must do is start acting like a business owner. The sooner you grasp the basics and methods of selling art, the sooner you’ll reach your target income.
Learn How To Start Making Money As An Artist
Lockdown periods have been challenging for everyone this past year due to Covid-19, particularly for artists. Artists had to come up with new ways to promote and sell their art from home. Luckily, several methods can help you in the process, and you can have more than one income stream.
Whether you work part-time or as a full-time freelance artist, we present you with what you need to learn how to generate cash from your art.
Find Your Specialty Or Niche
It’s usual for creative people to have many skills and talents. Such individuals can be passionate illustrators or painters who work as graphic designers. Or a well-proven architect who takes fantastic photos.
Often, unexpected opportunities lead us on the right path to earning for life as an artist. So, think about your artistic niche and how to offer something special and unique. Also, ensure you build a solid client base that intends to buy what you offer.
If you find a specialized niche or you create something new and innovative, you have the perfect setting to start. In that case, you must work harder to attract prospective buyers. The upside of this strategy is that if you finally make it, you’ll stand out fast since there won’t be much competition.
Acquire The Basics Of Running A Business As An Artist
Many artists don’t make money out of their passion because they work long hours honing their artistic talent. However, they spend almost no time learning the fundamentals of what it takes to make money fast.
So, if you wonder how to make money with art skills, don’t lose time and sharpen your business skills. Check out valuable sites online that equip you with the essential selling tactics. Try out free resources at Udemy, which has dozens of business classes for free or reduced prices. Above all, you must have a business strategy with short and long-term goals that drive results.
Though it may be overwhelming initially, don’t get discouraged and confused in the chaotic web. Follow famous artists online and pay attention to how they sell their work. Don’t just examine their artwork and technique; see how they market themselves.
Every person you know can be a potential buyer or someone who can recommend you. Art is an attractive topic, and many would get excited to discuss it with a painter or jewelry designer. Use the opportunity to describe your work and ensure they remember you. Consider distributing your business cards or sending out your portfolio.
If you believe paper cards are outdated, try using those in creative ways to show a sample of your work. Be imaginative and use postcards or photos instead of a classic business card. Using your creativity is your best asset to make money as an artist.
Moreover, social media are the ideal spots to promote your work online and attract buyers. Online events are also excellent places for networking and reaching out to professionals interested in art. Pros are constantly recruiting new talents or fresh content, so this may be your chance to shine.
Fine Tune Your Art Skills
Whether you’re a novice in the art field or have a lot of experience, polishing your skills is paramount. Explore new techniques and try out new digital tools to further enhance your art pieces.
Your talent would be useless if you don’t improve consistently. Most proven artists experiment with and develop their styles, but they also stay updated with new trends. Meaning, you must take advantage of the latest software, apps, and technology. It’s also essential to be productive and have a volume of work created before you start selling.
Determine Your Pricing
Whatever art you create, you’ll have to adjust the prices several times before you reach your final rate. If you have no idea of how pricing in your field works, learn what competitors are charging. By visiting sites that display your peers’ art, you can get a clear idea about fair pricing.
Overall, the art market is far more complicated than other industries. There’s no uniform answer to the dilemma ‘how to make money from art.’ The same artwork can be too expensive or too cheap, depending on the artist’s name and reputation.
Indeed, most people buy the artist and not the piece of art itself. In case you decide not to promote yourself as an individual artist, things are different. When you sell photos and illustrations to stock markets, prices are more fixed. You will probably sell for cheap at first, and if the demand increases, your rates will go up.
Now let’s move on to ideas on how to make money as an artist.
Make sure to prepare well before you start your adventure. It’s important to start networking, build your brand, and determine all revenue streams.
Become A Social Influencer To Make Money Online
Online influencing has become a real profession, with thousands of people earning a living. So why not use your skills to make money on social media and monetize on your influence? Above all, focus on posting relevant and good-quality content to keep your followers engaged and loyal. Here is how and where to start making on social media.
Sell Art On Instagram
Usually, Instagram comes first to your mind when you think about selling art online. What you first need to do, apart from creating a profile, is to build an audience. The larger the audience, the higher the chances you get to sell the products you display in your profile.
With an audience large enough, you may attract sponsors. Product endorsement is another way on Instagram to make money from sales.
Earn Income With YouTube Tutorials
Suppose you know how to create videos to teach your audience different “how-to” art techniques. In that case, YouTube is probably the go-to platform. Posting a YouTube video does not automatically generate income as the videos are free to watch. But once you reach a certain number of followers, you start generating revenue through YouTube ads.
Sign Up With Patreon
As an artist, you can look into Patreon to make money by selling art through its subscription-based model. On Patreon, the subscribers pay for an exclusive experience and behind-the-scenes content. There, you can sell art on your terms and keep 90% of the profits. Patreon retains 5%, while transaction fees are also around 5%. Indeed, there are multiple money-making ways on this platform.
Make Money Online As An Artist
In these challenging times, everyone seems eager to know how to make money as an artist online. For artists and craftsmen, being able to operate online has become an essential part of their lives. Here are several ideas on how to cash in your artistic skills online.
Offer And Sell Classes Via Email
Start making lessons with videos and illustrations with a step-by-step guide on how to draw. Then, you can make a campaign and start offering the classes via email to students or anyone interested.
MailChimp has an option to automate lessons for easy delivery. You can also include personal reviews to students as an additional service. Interaction between tutors and students is essential since it adds weight to the service and is an excellent incentive to buy your lessons.
Hosting Online Workshops And Classes
Hosting online workshops and online art classes is an excellent way to make money from art. Here, you should only pass the knowledge methodically and make good videos and lessons. The more attractive you make the videos, the more interested the audience will be to buy them.
Nowadays, these workshops come in different forms, either as recordings sent by emails, video courses on subscription platforms like Udemy or even as a live-stream on social media platforms.
Writing eBooks For Artists
If you are offering lessons via email, then you are a step away from collecting all those lessons into an eBook. An eBook is trendy, and most importantly, you can find placement on various platforms, such as Amazon.
By putting your eBook on Amazon, you promote and market yourself at one of the most visited websites for online purchases. Other than Amazon or similar ebook platforms, you can still sell it through your website or even online bookshops.
Make An Art Blog
Make a personalized blog to promote your work. Having a blog is a good marketing strategy to attract clients nowadays. A blog will create your audience, make a community of people who appreciate your work, and promote it. It is not a no-brainer concept, at least not if you want to make it right.
A blog requires to target the right audience and give them what they need. A blog with a lot of traffic may become a profitable business. Yet, blogging requires hard work and dedication through ads, affiliate links, and sponsors. Today, even vlogging has become an increasingly popular way to earn quick cash.
Sell Your Art And Merchandise Online
Back in the day, artists faced limits on how and where to sell their art. If somebody wanted to advertise their craft, they had to find a way to get to clients in person. Thanks to the Internet, it’s never been less demanding to share artwork online with art lovers and businesses that support artwork.
Let’s consider a few basic methods to sell artwork online and get the money from that sale right into your pocket.
Sell Your Art Through Your Website
Having art displayed online enables you to reach a vast audience through your artworks without any physical presence. Selling art online will allow you to focus more on your work and eventually be prepared to exhibit in galleries.
As an artist, having a website leaves a better impression on the customer. Nobody denies the popularity of social media platforms but clients buying directly from your website gives it a more personal touch.
Engage Print-On-Demand Companies
Print-on-demand companies will make any product you choose, with your art on it. To start, register with an account, upload your art and choose what items should contain your artwork: cups, glasses, t-shirts, bags, or face masks.
The best part about print-on-demand companies is that they deal with the shipping of the items. Usually, these companies charge a base fee for the product you choose to have your artwork printed on. Conversely, you can decide the amount you get for each sale.
Selling Artworks Or Crafts On Etsy
If you want to sell your works via online shops, then consider Etsy. Etsy is the most renowned site with almost 40 million users. Here, you don’t need to advertise or spend money on marketing – the platform does it alone.
On Etsy and other e-shops, listing your products is free, but there are specific fees they may charge you for each sale. Indeed, do your research before getting on any of them.
People don’t only pay for final products. Many of them would pay just to see you paint or to get your skills, so that’s another way to earn money as an artist.
Sell Your Digital Art And Photos Online
With a wide array of options available for every art genre, the choices can be overwhelming. Thus, we are here to help you narrow down the options, explaining the ups and downs of every selling art channel online. This way, you can eliminate stress and focus on creating a great website to market your art. Scroll down for our advice on places to list your artwork.
License Your Art On Stock Websites
As a graphic designer or illustrator, you already have a portfolio of works ready. So, the answer to the question “how to make money selling art” is online. If you feel exhausted from dealing with clients, take a break, and start selling your vector arts to stock agencies. Alternatives are practically endless, and you can get good money for your masterpieces.
Let’s pin down the best sites to sell photos online. The following are some of the most popular websites to start selling your art online:
- Adobe Stock is an ideal place to sell digital art for free. By selling photos here, you can reach millions of buyers and get exposure to the world’s largest creative community. Artists typically earn a 33% commission on the images they sell through the site.
- Stocksy accepts only the best. If you get approved, that means you have genuine talent and can earn a lot. The emphasis of Stocksy is on quality, and the photos featured are exceptional. It offers an excellent 50% standard earning rate, one of the best available across the web. You must also remember to guarantee exclusivity.
- Creative Market is a favorite among designers and a brilliant place to sell your designs online. Whether you create graphics, fonts, photos, or 3D assets, try out Creative Market, and it will show up in front of five million members. There’s no exclusivity restriction, and you set your prices and earn 70% of sales.
- Shutterstock is a top-notch stock photography site for selling photos to millions of users. Yet, here, artworks tend to be cheaper and non-exclusive. The primary way to boost downloads is by offering many images. Don’t expect to earn a fortune, but it’s an excellent place to start if you’re learning how to sell stock photos. Payouts depend on your earnings and range from 20% to 30%.
- iStockPhoto is the micro-stock offshoot of Getty Images. The significant difference is that your photos on iStock are non-exclusive. You can sell photography with other sites, too. Note that you’ll probably earn a much lower commission than with exclusive photos. The commission varies from 15% to 45%, depending on the uniqueness of photos.
- Zazzle is another major player in the print-on-demand world. It’s free to register for and easy to create an online store on Zazzle. The website offers powerful tools to sell your art on T-shirts, stamps, posters, mugs, calendars, tote bags, and hats.
- Society 6 is a popular online platform for creatives to sell design work. It’s free to set up, and all products get produced, made, shipped, and managed on your behalf. Your only task is to do the design. The site takes a small percentage of the sales so that creatives can get their work featured on a vast range of products.
- Getty is often at the top of stock photography with incredible quality images and an impressive range of clients. Although the commission is 20%, you can still earn a decent income. All photos are exclusive, so you cannot sell artwork anywhere else if uploaded to Getty Images. Also, the photo approval process is more lenient if images show exceptional artistic qualities.
Start Making Money Locally As An Artist
If the Internet is too overwhelming for your taste, why not try to make money locally? Consider our suggestions if you have superb negotiation skills and prefer doing business face-to-face.
Selling At Coffee Shops, Restaurants, Boutique Stores
There are many cafes and restaurants with a concept that allows you to display artwork in their locale. In short, this is like having a personalized exhibition, and it’s so cool! You can exhibit your pieces, leave your leaflets to give more info on your work and yourself as an artist.
If you want, you can even put price tags so anyone interested can buy it on the spot. Look for such places, speak to the owners, and find out how it works. There will probably be some service charges, but it pays out to have a promotion free of charge.
Selling During An Open Studio Event
Open studio events are fun and exciting since they draw many visitors from all backgrounds who may buy your work. Try to offer various forms of art to attract more customers and to show your diversity. Keep an open eye to upcoming events, get in touch with the organizers to get a corner, and display your crafts.
Make-up artists are always in high demand, and they can make big bucks around wedding and prom seasons.
Work In The Art Industry
There are lots of art-related jobs beyond the world of art. Artistic vision and design skills are a must in fashion, media, film, and architecture. Take a look at some other arts and creative careers you can try out. If you’re interested in other areas such as drawing, writing, or music, seize the day right away!
Write Articles For Magazines
Writing articles for magazines while getting paid for it is an excellent opportunity to start networking in the art industry. Don’t fear the idea of writing as it is easier than you’d think.
You can start by becoming active on relevant websites, blogs, or social media platforms. Also, you may engage in various activities and participate in groups and discussions. That’s how you can get noticed and become part of a writer’s team.
Drawing caricatures is an art form that never gets out of style, and the audience plays a decisive role. One of the upsides is that you can do them pretty fast, and you will not exhaust your creativity or inspiration. You do not need to have the client in front of you while drawing, you can ask for a picture, and that’s it. It is of high interest to the audience since it’s not as expensive as getting a portrait.
There is a high demand for portraits as much for caricatures. However, there are differences in the requirements and prices. To draw portraits is more expensive than caricatures. The process would usually require the client to be seated opposite of you, and you make the portrait in real-time. In some instances, you may even have an audience around you.
Art Gallery Curator
Selling, promoting, or curating is another form of working as an artist and making money from art. This job is especially beneficial as it gives the artist a more close-up approach to art. You can be a part of the community that will open doors to new opportunities. Do this job to go deeper into the industry to branch out and get higher up in the rank.
Become A Public Speaker
If you take part in public speaking events besides artwork, there’s no need to wonder how to make money from art. Various platforms host events where you can be a guest speaker or even hold a university presentation. Make a presentation, combine it with a workshop, and turn it into a full-day activity to prepare the lecture’s topics.
After that, search for organizations that would be interested, but don’t only look for art places. Widen your horizons and make your clients believe that you were the part missing from their puzzle. Be persuasive, and jobs will come.
Your much beloved freelance art career is your chance to pursue your dreams. So, even if the feedback isn’t impressive immediately, be patient and avoid selling yourself short. The golden rule is to always rely on several income streams. That way, if one revenue source lacks steady earnings, you can switch to the others. Ideally, ensure that at least one source is passive income.
How about you? What ways have proven efficient in your endeavors to sell art online? Share them in the comments below. Register for our newsletter to learn how to earn in creative ways.
How do upcoming artists make money?
Regardless of whether you’re just starting or have completed significant artwork, it’s never too late to upgrade your earnings. We suggest you begin by selling art on Instagram and other money-making social media. Next, you can try out teaching art online or face-to-face. Also, don’t underestimate the value of applying for grants and competitions, which may further boost your income. Last, sell other merchandise with your art.
Can an artist become a millionaire?
Anyone in love with what they’re doing who works hard enough can become a millionaire. Set off on the artistic journey by creating space in your life to do what you enjoy doing. It’s also essential to develop a business model that works for you at the very beginning. Then, act on your commitment and be aware of the importance of being consistent and disciplined about the artwork. Occasionally, do minor changes and experiments and double down on what works. Last, know when to expand the market and set long-term objectives.
Can you make a living as an artist?
Supporting yourself as an artist and maintaining a high-quality life with finances from the artwork is possible. Indeed, generating artwork money happens all the time if you pursue the right marketing strategy. However, success doesn’t come overnight, and until your career gets rolling, you’d better earn a living through other creative means.
How much money do you get paid for being an artist?
The average artist salary in the United States stands at $81,758 as of February 2021. However, the range typically falls between $68,410 and $100,564. Income may vary widely depending on education, certifications, and additional skills. The number of years dedicated to your profession will also set your ultimate rates and earnings. To determine your exact pay target and options, check out online, real-time compensation data.