Whether you really want to know how to make money as an artist or how to upgrade your current carrier efforts, here are ways how artists make money. Whether you are aiming to be the future rapper, or a movie star, or even the best selling painter, there are ways to become one without much effort.
When big names in the industry discuss how to make money as an artist, they mention ways such as teaching online, selling your designs and products, and building a community. Many of the big names have followed these tips to get there as well. Others have thrown their work out into the world, and even without selling many records or paintings, they get loyal followers who will later bring other followers.
At the end of reading this post you will be able to know how to make money as an artist.
How to Make Money as an Artist: Start
You may have to follow two distinct paths as an artist: a commercial path or a fine art path. The commercial path is usually in the entertainment or media section of the business. This is path is for those who do art for the print media or for people who are into the ad business. While the fine art path is for those who do art at their expense. These are not hired, in fact, they do art that most of it doesn’t see the light of the day.
When you take either path, you need to keep in mind that success is long-term work and it needs constant trial and error and progress. The primary step to finding your path. What do you plan to create? What is your interest? You can acquire knowledge and skills through formal education or by studying yourself. Businesses and individuals these days don’t necessarily look for a credential from some fancy college.
Rather everyone is looking for beautiful art that has the capacity to captivate. I have come to know hundreds of artists whose prior paths were never what they are doing now. Some were architects, and not whey make money selling their photography skills.
They leveraged their social media accounts to create a following. Others are graphic designers. They used their skill in rendering their architectural students’ works and used it for the advertising company. Others went to painting.
Once you decided on what you plan to become best at, then you start making money in the following ways.
Online education has become the most wanted feature on the internet. It is not surprising that people are looking for education through the tools that they already have at home that is the internet. Many people don’t have the time and the money to participate in the formal educational clutter. Instead, people are looking for a way to solve their problems without wasting thousands to obtain a degree.
The online degree comes into the picture here. How can I paint my portrait? How to make a photo album. How to remove the background from my pictures? These all are questions with a potential paying client. How can you give a value that they will not shy away from and get paid in the process? This is the way how to make money as an artist: provide value.
What skills do you have and what problems do people have out there. Here we don’t look for your skill only. Instead, we solve a problem that already exists. This means you don’t need to make a curriculum, a module, a youtube video that you are interested in. Instead, start from what people are looking for. Therefore, the problems they face every day.
If you are looking to teach how to paint, then you need to ask who is the audience? What do they want to learn? Do they afford to pay? To answer these questions, you don’t need to go far. You simply have to visit tutorials and course-based platforms such as Udemy, and youtube.
Udemy has a feature that will show you how often a certain topic is searched on the platform. For example, if you are interested to teach about colors, and if people are looking for black and white drawings, then guess what, you will go to the latter one without wasting much of your time and money.
The other advantage of teaching on the internet is, you will still make money even years after you created the courses. The platforms will get a cut from the sales, therefore, they will market the courses to their thousands of users and potential users.
Here is how artists make money by creating online courses. First, visit websites such as udemy, skillshare, or even youtube. Then research the popular and trending topics on the platforms. The other way to figure out what people are looking for is to do keyword research.
The course ‘Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from Zero to Hero in Python 3’ on Udemy has more than a million students. And the course sells at 20 dollars. Calculate how much the teacher made on the course.
The course ‘Machine Learning A-Z: Hands-On Python & R In Data Science’ has about 740k students and the course sells at $12.99.
The course ‘ The Complete Digital Marketing Course’ has more than half a million students, and it sells at $20.99.
The course ‘Character Art School: Complete Character Drawing Course’ has about 250k students, and the course sells at $17.99.
Once you decided on a certain topic, follow your intuition and create the best course out there. Use good graphics, good camera angles, good color and lighting, and whatever makes your video watchable. Limit each of your videos to under 10 minutes. Give assignments at the end of each video. Make students feel that they are progressing through the course. Imagine as if they will graduate at the end of the course with the specific skill they are learning from you.
I believe this is the best and probably the easiest way how to make money as an artist. Once you finish the painful stage of creating a course, the rest simple. Just submit and see what happens.
If you chose youtube, then be consistent and get better at the algorithm. Once the engine trusts your channel, you will see more followers. Any progress on youtube may take up to 6 months. In that period, keep working on your videos, and building a community.
#how to make money as an artist: Teach
Social Media: Instagram
Instagram is one of the tops used social media platforms out there. Acquired by Facebook, the company has changed its face into a more advertisement-focused image-sharing platform where users are indirectly encouraged to waste a lot of time on it.
To maximize its revenue, Instagram and Facebook are repeatedly said to use an algorithm that tracks user behavior. Based on your past interest, or past search, Instagram will serve you new related posts. This is specifically designed to trap you into using the platform as much as you can.
Have you ever began watching a funny cat video or two kids fight on street video, and two hours passed till scrolling and double-clicking images to express appreciations?
This is good news and bad news. Let me say the bad first, trapping attention for profit seems bad trading in the long run. But guess what, this could also be an opportunity.
By 2021, a billion users are on Instagram. From which a third are between the ages of 25 and 34. This is a potential ground for marketing and selling products and talent. (source)
There are many ways that you can make money from Instagram. Here is how to make money as an artist on Instagram. First, decide what you need to communicate to the world. Is it an art, acting, or your model body, your makeup routine, your hair routine, a talent?
Then, Use the IGTV, video posting, and image posting features to boost your followers. Stories are one of the best ways to get random attention. Whenever you have new posts, share them on your story and people will pick them up and move to your posts.
While working on Instagram, focus on getting more legitimate followers, Don’t buy followers or don’t cheat the system. This is not only to be a law obeying Instagrammer, but this is the only way to build loyal, real, and buying customers. What is the use of having a million followers with not a reaction to your post, or to your work, or even to who you are as a person? This is how artists make money. They build a brand then post high-quality images.
When ever you post, remember these five criteria.
1- Is my image the best quality? The optimal Instagram post sizes are 1080 pixels wide by 566 pixels to 1350 pixels high. The maximum resolution is 1080 pixels wide. Use a 1.9 to 1 ratio for landscape images. Use canva for best and easy practice.
2- Do the images have a good caption and description? Search engines don’t pick images, but their captions. Without a description, images are almost nothing on social media.
3- Use hashtags. I can’t stress this one. Hashtags are how relevant users will find you.
4- Ask for feedback or comment. Ask users something? ‘what is your best skincare product?’, ‘how often you exfoliate your skin?’
5-Use the best bio ever. Add your product page, your website. Say what your purpose is in few words. Promise something for the users that decide to follow you.
How to make money as an artist: use Instagram to sell and market. However, this is not the fastest way to get money. Getting followers is not easy either.
#how to make money as an artist: Get clients on Social
Sell your Art
You probably have thought of selling your art. But where do you begin? Selling your art is easier these days. What you need to do is log on to some artwork marketplace and upload your artwork. I wish it was that easy. In fact, in parallel to the introduction of various platforms, and competition is growing as well. Artists get attention from various places including Instagram and youtube.
Unless you have a prior exposition to the market a fast sales may stay a dream. Therefore, I advise you to look out for other platforms to set your brand. Get followers on Instagram. Then link your art to social media and ask people to purchase it. This is how to make money as an artist by selling your art.
Sell a framed version of your artwork, or print your work on clothes, or other utensils. So, where do you sell your artwork?
Etsy is one of the oldest platforms on the internet. Every month thousands of painters, artists, designers go on to the platform to buy and sell their products. Etsy gives you a big advantage to get noticed in front of thousands of art enthusiasts. At the same time, you need to work harder to break out of the shell to get attention. Since this is one of the few ways how artists make money by selling their art, the competition is high as well.
Not only that, Etsy has fees to list your artwork. You also pay transaction fees and payment processing fees when your art is sold.
Amazon is one of the largest marketplaces on the internet. Amazon has a business model where they share profit with you. This means when every you sell something they get few cents out of you. (Amazon pricing.) This is good news. Amazon will be working for you while you are away from marketing and selling your product on the platform. In fact, the website will promote and sell your product for you without any prior fees. You only pay less than a dollar per sale for your fine art.
Do you have manuals, ebooks, videos, or handmade artwork? What do you already have at your house that you need to sell to make make money. Amazon makes it easy how to make money as an artist. You can sell books and clothes with your art.
What makes Shopify different is, you actually own the shop. Let me explain. On Etsy, you are poting on some platform that you didn’t design. But on Shopify, you set up the platform. Shopify is one of the top eCommerce platforms that host eCommerce sites for individuals. When you register on Shopify, you will get to choose already made designs and you setup your shop based on these designs. You can redesign and change colors. You brand it to look uniques.
Then you list your artwork on your website. Shopify will give you your own domain name hosted on their network. What makes it unique is they take care of the technical part for you. You need to focus on marketing and sales.
Shopify makes it easy the way how to make money as an artist. They have a monthly subscription fee for their services from $29 to $299. When you sell your art or your product, you will get paid through Shopify payments. You can also use an external payment gateway, with a small number of transaction fees.
#how to make money as an artist: Sell art online
Start an Art Blog
Blogging is one of the best ways to get readers. One of the top qualities of a blog is you own it. When you set up a blog and build your reader list, you have their info, their names, and more. Even if your website goes down tomorrow, your communication address stays.
Not only that blogging helps you communicate your life, your work in detail in whatever way you like. Here you won’t have a word limit or a size limit for your posts.
Starting a blog isn’t as hard as you might think It is a simple upload and launch process where you control the process. The platforms such as WordPress make it easy to launch and manage your website.
To start your website follow these simple steps.
1- Choose a domain name and purchase one.
If you are lucky, you will get your name unregistered. JohnSmith.com is an example. If your name is registered ass words such as artistjohndotcom or artbyjohndotcom
However, not using your name in the domain name is advisable as well. This is because when you plan to sell the website later. Names may ruin your chance to sell at the price that you desire.
- Domain Name 101: How to Choose a Great Name for Your Blog
- How To Find Best Blog Name Ideas That Matter Beyond 2020
2-Host your website
Buying a domain is not only enough. Now we need a server that hosts our website. This is where webhosting comes in to the picture. Choosing Hosting company is easy.
Bluehost is one of the best hosting platforms out there. It is reliable and cheap as well.
3-Setup your website and launch the design
Install WordPress on the website, and launch your theme. Create menus, the homepage, and other important pages.
4-Start making money.
Making money from blogging may take time. But it is possible. Here are the top 5 Ways to Make Money From Blogging.
For detail process read :
Once you created your blog, include your portfolio. Make it easy for people to buy your work as well. Therefore, link your artwork in your posts. Show them as examples and encourage them to purchase. You also need to link to your artwork on other platforms like Etsy.
#how to make money as an artist: Start a blog for passive income
Sell Your Art at Fairs, and Festivals
How passionate and dedicated are you as an artist? Because this process is needed How long would you stay at one place for days, and convince people to buy your work?
This is why you also need to research what your community is looking for. If you impress people and stay relatable, people are okay to purchase your work. This is probably the easiest way to how to make money as an artist.
First, research what kind of festival is in your area. Then research what kind of people come to visit. What is their lifestyle and what do they do. Are they affluent or employees? Then prepare the work for the group. Give appropriate prices based on how much they are willing to pay.
Then contact people you know and spread the news. Tell them you will have your artwork displayed at the venue. Ask them to come and visit. Start from family and friends. If you insist, you will surely sell at least 10 for your closer 10 relatives and friends. Ask your church, your community group, or any group that you are in to support your work by purchasing one.
Sign the painting for them. Give them cards or small artwork as a bonus. Handmade everyday products, kitchen appliances, and even garments are well-selling products.
The negative aspect of selling at fairs and festivals is sometimes people come to visit. Others to get entertained. These events donot necessarly demand anyone to buy your artwork.
The solution is to find events dedicated to artwork or artists. This is how artists make money this day. They gather and market their work. They make Ads get attention. Then they sell. In events with a focus on artists may get fewer visitors, but art enthusiasts. Rather than shouting to get the attention of the general population, you simply sit there and see art knowers argue on your work.
#how to make money as an artist: Sell offline
Tips on How to Make Money as an Artist
Here is the short cut to how to Make Money as an Artist.
1- Start from where you are. First of all the way how to make money as an artist is dependent on your skill and your effort to get attention. What can you offer the world? What skills do you already have? It doesn’t have to be perfect. It should only be a place where you will need to start from.
Then continue to document your art. What have you done in the past? Do you have a portfolio? Choose the best of your works and think about how to make it a business.
2-What are people looking for. This is the second stage of how to make money as an artist. Any business should be a response to demand. People don’t want to buy fancy art, they want to be part of something. They want you to solve their problem. how can you do that? Instead of asking them to buy your painting, how can you communicate with them from their viewpoint?
3-Reach out to potential clients. Why wait till people ask? You go on and ask them to view your art and if they are interested in buying it. Use email or social media. Many learned how to make money as an artist right after they began contacting potential clients. People will tell you what is good and shat is not. They also refer you to people who may need your art.
4-Set your social. This is another important step to how to make money as an artist. Social media has millions of users who have similar passion like yours. Set your profile, then join groups with similar interests. Look for accounts people are already following, and study their followers. Contact them and ask if they are interested in your art. and ask if they buy one.
5- Sell your art. Like we discussed above, there are many websites that are happy to sell your art for a commission. You set up your account and post your work. They market your work to millions of users they already have. And when you sell one, they take a commission. This is a good way of making money. They usually have a guide on how to make money as an artist. Read and follow the guides.
6- Teach. Teaching online is not hard. thousands of students are already out there looking for tips and tricks and tutorials. Start from the platforms we discussed above and launch courses. This could be one of the easiest ways how to make money as an artist.
Finally on how to Make Money as an Artist
There are simple ways how artists make money. However, it needs constant work and patience to get where you plan to be. You need to choose a path and follow it. Then make money by teaching, selling, and collaborating. In this post, we saw how to make money as an artist. Follow the steps and become an entrepreneur using your gift.
Do you have other ways how to make money as an artist? What was your experience? Please share.