How to Make Money as an Artist [career or side hustle]

Those trying to pursue a career in art may have to deal with a lot of discouragement. Parents may wring their hands together and wonder why their children didn’t decide to become a doctor instead of an artist. Peers might warn you that the business is very competitive and there are not very many opportunities for artists to make money.

Yet many artists are passionate about their art and choose to pursue these careers simply because they love creating. And for those people, there’s good news. There are some great ways you can make money with your art. 

Read on to find out more about starting your career or side hustle as an artist.

Sell Original Pieces

You can start your own web site or try to promote yourself through word of mouth, but the best way to sell artwork will be to make it available on an established online marketplace that already has a lot of traffic. ArtPal and ArtFinder are just two examples of websites that offer these services to artists.

License Your Art for Stock Websites

Art from stock websites is very much in demand. There are many websites that sell stock images and you can approach them to find out if they will carry your images. Then you can generate income every time someone pays to use them. 

Shutterstock and Getty Images are just two examples of the websites you can talk to about carrying your artwork.

Private Commissions

Once you made a name for yourself, you may start getting commissions from individuals and companies to create artwork from scratch. You may be paid to create logos, album or advertising art and more. If you have painting or illustrating talent, you may get hired to create street art or interior and exterior mural paintings and designs. 

You can approach companies or get the word out on social media to try to get work in this capacity.

Teach an Online Class or Workshop

A skilled artist can make money by teaching their craft to other people. If you have an audience that follows your artwork through social media, you can begin selling tutorials in pdf, video and webinar format.

Alternately, you can offer live art classes. You can host these in your own home if you have the right kind of space and equipment, or if you can find a cheap studio to rent out, you can hold workshops to make a profit.

Create a Blog

Creating a blog can be a great way to promote your artwork and connect with fans and other artists. Once you develop a following, your blog can bring in even more money through sponsorship’s, affiliate marketing and selling ad space.

Create and Sell an eBook

As an artist, you can write an eBook to teach art, provide information on how to make money as an artist and more. Although there are a few options for self-publishing, Amazon is probably the easiest and most profitable route to take. Artists with a following will have an easy time finding readers interested in purchasing their book.

Consulting and Art Direction

As you develop your art skills, you will become more knowledgeable about the latest trends in art. You can use this knowledge to advise individuals and companies giving them guidance on the best paths to take in their artistic projects.

Work for Online Galleries and Marketplaces

Although these jobs may not require you to work as an artist in a creative capacity, you will learn a lot about the industry, and you may be able to make connections that can help you become successful.

Work for Magazines and Blogs

Not only will working for a magazine or blog allow you to use your artistic talent to make money, it will also help you get your name out to a broader audience. While applying to these companies for a position may help you get a foot in the door, it is a good idea to interact with them through social media. Blogs and magazines are most likely to hire someone from their own audience. 

It can be challenging to find work as an artist, but it’s not impossible. The internet has provided many possibilities for artists to sell their work online and there are various ways to make personal connection to help you advance. Good luck using your talent to bring in some extra income while making the world a more beautiful place.