There are a little over 2 million professional artists in the United States. While that number may sound high at first, it’s less than 2% of the overall workforce, which means that being a successful artist isn’t all that easy.
The good news? If you know multiple ways to make money as an artist, you increase your chances of being a successful one. That can help you get your art career off the ground, or even maintain it, which of course is what you want.
As you might know, I started my career in advertising, rising up to Senior VP Creative Director in my late 20’s. I credit my background in marketing as my big boost for making it as a bestselling author. I offer 1-on-1 consulting for artists, authors and entrepreneurs if you want further support. Learn more here!
Below I will tell you about 7 different ways you can make a living off of your art. That way you can pick a few different ideas to pursue, creating multiple revenue streams in the process.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to start making money as an artist, look no further than selling prints of your art online and in stores.
Getting prints made up of your artwork is affordable, especially when buying in bulk. And the ability to get them out to customers quickly means you can maximize your profits and make more money on each sale.
If you can, try to find somewhere local you can set up a store. People love supporting fellow locals and it should help you get more sales. Having an online store for your art is a good idea, too, even if you have tons of success with your local market.
Prints aren’t the only way you can monetize your art. Selling various merchandise items with your art on it can be quite effective, too, especially items like clothing and stickers.
A pro tip? If you don’t think your art would look good on things like t-shirts and cups, create something new with those items (and this purpose) directly in mind. That way you can create another revenue stream without having to sacrifice putting art that means a lot to you on something like a hoodie.
Are you good with words? Does the idea of writing about your art often interest you? If so, consider starting an art blog that you can eventually monetize using Google AdSense.
Again, blogging is another creative and effective way to earn money as an artist. It can help you grow your brand online, allowing users to find your website, and your store, using search engines like Google. It also allows you to talk a bit more about your artwork, or the process of making it, which can help you sell your work more easily to online users.
As an artist, you have a set of skills and a ton of knowledge that other people would pay to learn. If you’re someone who is patient and good with people, teaching art to others may be the best way for you to make art your career.
People want to learn to make art and will pay money to do so. And if you’ve got an online presence or a local connection, teaching courses to other aspiring artists can help you earn some extra cash or even make a full-time living.
Looking for a platform to you can use to teach others how to be better artists? Want to advertise your art to millions of people around the world? Creating YouTube content can help you do both!
Of course, if teaching isn’t your thing, you don’t have to offer tips and tricks on your channel. But people love watching art videos online, so you can’t go wrong with this path if you’ve got an interesting process or a unique presence.
The best part? You can even monetize your YouTube channel, allowing you to make money off of your views as well as the art that you sell.
Regardless of where you live, odds are there are tons of businesses looking for help in the art department. From logos to flyers and other branding materials, businesses are always looking for someone to help improve their overall look and feel.
Sure, creating a logo for an HVAC company down the street might not be your idea of “making it” as an artist. But it can be a nice side hustle that allows you to further pursue a career in art that better suits your passions and interests.
On top of that, you can never go wrong with meeting people in your community and making new connections. You never know, you may catch the eye of someone important who can help you take your career to the next level.
Another creative and fun way to monetize your art is to create kid-friendly items that you can market toward parents. We touched on this earlier, but clothing items specifically made for kids can do really well if you’ve got a knack for creating art that kids enjoy.
Things like picture books, comic books, and even coloring books are worth considering, too, especially if you’re passionate about any of the three. Finding someone to handle coloring book printing, for example, is easy as well, which means you can focus on the art and let someone else handle the manufacturing for you.
Well, there you have it! Those are 7 creating and different ways you can make money as an artist!
Remember, as an artist, the more revenue streams that you have, the better. That way you can increase your chances of being successful, and even make more money, which is always a good thing.
Want to be an artist? Hire me for 1-on-1 consulting – here!