13 Ways to Make Money as an Artist in 2022 (Proven Methods)
As an artist the creative process likely comes naturally to you. You have an idea, you gather up the necessary components, and then turn your imagination into reality. For a lot of artists however, making money from that creation can be challenging as the world of business is a far different craft.
At Breathing Color we know that being an artist and a business person is difficult which is why we do our best to simplify the business side of art for you. In this article we’ll cover some of the various methods you can use to make money from your art.
Not every method will work for your situation but some will, so give them a try and see what happens. The more success you have the more resources will be at your disposal, and the easier it will be to spend time doing what you love. Let’s take a look at these money making methods.
1. Sell Your Original Work
If you’re an artist, this is the obvious first step. The simplest way to get paid for your art is by selling your original works.
Websites like Etsy and Fine Art America are great places to sell your originals online. If you use social media, try promoting your original art with a few posts. Your network is a powerful sales tool. If you’re looking to sell your art in person try setting up a booth at a local art show or event. Talking with local coffee shops and restaurants about displaying your art on their walls is another great way to get your original work noticed.
The more clearly you can communicate your story and the story of your artwork the more likely you are to sell it through these channels.
The best thing about selling your own work is that you get to keep 100% of the profits.
2. Sell Reproductions
Printed reproductions are a great way to create residual income without having to spend time creating a new piece every time someone wants to purchase art from you. By digitally capturing your original art you can the sell the reproductions as limited edition prints (250 signed pieces) or open editions (unlimited print runs). Printed art also allows you to sell art through any platform (art shows, online marketplaces, galleries, etc) while holding on to the original piece. By creating demand for your art with prints you can increase the value of the original work and wait until you are able to sell it for it’s true value to you.
Without residual income making it as an artist can be challenging which is why we encourage you to capture every piece of art you create. Check out our (BC Directory) for businesses that can capture your art for you and (Artzip) if you’d like a less expensive option that allows you to create high quality digital capture using your phone camera.
3. Host an Art Show
Art shows can be a great source of income for artists who have finished their collections and want to sell their work in person. They’re also a fantastic way for new artists to gain exposure and make sales, especially if they’re just starting out in the business.
There are many different types of art shows, from local craft fairs to gallery openings and everything in between.
4. License your Artwork
If you want to earn money from selling copies of your artwork but don’t necessarily want to go through the hassle of setting up a print shop or hosting an art show, licensing is another option that could be worth considering.
When you license your artwork, you grant someone else the legal rights to reproduce it on products like T-shirts, greeting cards, coffee mugs, and other items.
You’ll be paid a commission for each sale that’s made, with the exact amount depending on the product, who you license your work to and any special deals you may have negotiated.
For more info on licensing check out https://graphicartistsguild.org/license-it/
5. Teach Private Art Lessons or Classes
Teaching private lessons or classes is a great way to make money as an artist, but you don’t have to be an expert to teach. In fact, many people start out teaching with no experience at all and go on to make a full-time living from it.
Teaching private lessons or classes can be a great way to earn extra income because it’s flexible and allows you to work around your schedule. You can also choose what days and times work best for you — whether that’s weekday mornings or evenings after work.
6. Open a Gallery
You can open your own gallery as it is a perfect place for artists to display their work.
All you need is a space and some art that people will want to buy. People come to the gallery, see your work and can purchase it directly.
What’s more, if you do this right, you can rent out the space to other artists or even other organizations for use as a venue.
7. Do Commissioned Work
Commissioned work is when someone comes to you, looking for a specific piece of art. They give you a description of what they want and then pay you once it’s completed.
If you’re a good artist, this can be a great source of income. But it’s not easy to get started with this type of business. You need to have experience and be able to produce quality work on demand.
If you can do that, though, there’s no reason why commissioned work shouldn’t be an important part of your business plan.
8. Freelance for other Artists & Businesses
If you’re a painter, graphic designer or illustrator, you can help other artists and businesses with their creative needs. For example, if someone needs a logo designed, they could hire you to do that.
Or if someone wants a painting of their place of business, you could create one for them. This can be a great way to earn some extra cash on the side.
9. Sell on Stock Sites
If you have an account with a stock site, you can sell your artwork there. Many stock sites also allow you to set up a profile page where you can display your work and tell people about yourself.
Sites like Shutterstock and iStockphoto are geared towards photographers, but they also accept images from other types of artists as well. If you’re not sure whether your work fits into their categories, contact the site first before signing up for an account.
You’ll typically make more money on these sites than on other platforms.
10. Become an Influencer on Social Media
One of the best ways for artists to make money is by building a fan base that supports their work.
A great way to build your fan base is by using social media. Social media offers artists the opportunity to interact with their fans in real time, which is an extremely effect method of seeling art. But social media also provides opportunities to make money as an artist beyond just selling your art directly.
If you have a large enough following on social media, then you can begin making money as an influencer. This means that brands will pay you to promote their products or services on your channel. You can also use social media platforms like YouTube or Instagram to sell digital goods such as e-books or online courses.
11. Create & Sell an eBook
If you’re a writer, artist or photographer, you can turn your skills into cash with an eBook. An eBook is a book that is published in digital format and sold on the Internet.
Most eBooks are created using a word processing program such as Microsoft Word or Apple Pages, but some authors use desktop publishing programs or software designed specifically for creating eBooks.
The first step to writing an eBook is deciding what type of book you want to write.
Do you have a collection of short stories or do you want to write an educational manual? Once you have determined the subject matter, you can begin writing and designing your book.
12. Launch Tutorials & Courses
If you’re an artist with a large following, it’s easy to create a tutorial on how to use a specific tool in your workflow or how to do something specific.
Your followers will be thrilled to learn from you and will often buy your course or product as well. If you’d like to partner with Breathing Color in creating and selling an educational course send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
13. Start a YouTube Channel
Finally, if you want to take things a step further then you can launch a YouTube channel.
This does require some serious commitment. It’s not like it was even a few years ago when anyone could throw up a video and make money off of it. Nowadays, the competition is fierce and it’s harder than ever before to make a living off of content creation.
But don’t let that discourage you! If you’re passionate about something and believe in yourself, there is no limit to what you can achieve in life (and this includes making money off of YouTube).
As an artist, figuring out how to make money isn’t always exactly straightforward.
Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there, even if they’re not always the most obvious. Between those options, you can figure out what works best for you and your art.
Just remember that making money isn’t the only thing that matters—after all, true creative freedom is priceless.