Do you want to monetize your creativity by learning how to make money with art? You are in the right place.
If you are an artist (which I’m guessing you are), you might have been wondering; “Can I do what I love and be successful at the same time?” It can be difficult to figure out how to make a living with art.
According to a survey carried out by LinkedIn, the most important factor in a dream job for 34% of professionals is happiness, but just 22% of people working are lucky to work on their dream jobs.
If you have succeeded in turning your passion for art into a paid job, you are one of those few that are lucky to make their dream come true.
It is possible to learn how you can make money with art, but you must be ready to invest a lot of hard work and must also have a long-term strategy.
In this guide, we will consider how you can monetize your creativity in art.
1. Sell art on Instagram
Instagram is the leading social media platform for art lovers. This is great news for creatives because it makes it easy for them to showcase their works to a large audience within a short period. Instagram allows you to connect with buyers throughout the world.
However, for this platform to be effective, you need to have engaged followers. An Instagram account with engaged followers will be popular and that will give your art a higher demand. So if you know how to get more followers, then you can use Instagram to sell your art.
To make the journey easy for you, I have researched some tips that you can use to sell your art on Instagram. They include:
- Share high-quality images.
- When taking a picture of your work, use a clean background and natural light.
- Craft creative captions and tell stories.
- Stick to a particular brand or style. Use a filter, hashtag, and language that portrays your art.
- Use hashtags that are relevant to your art.
- Have an attractive bio (that is where your followers can click on a link).
- Post regularly (not less than twice every week).
When someone messages you on Instagram to signify their interest in your work, redirect them to your store or sales page.
Using Instagram to sell your art allows you to promote your work while walking your buyers through the sales process.
However, the drawback of this approach is that you may not earn significant income quickly, especially if you don’t have a large follower base. If you don’t have many followers, you can read my guide on how to Grow Your Instagram Account and Followers.
2. Teach art
If you are an extrovert and you are a proactive artist, you can easily find students. But you need to figure out the type of teaching that you want to use. You can teach art either face-to-face or online. Let’s see how you can use both methods.
Teaching art face-to-face
If you pay close attention, you will most likely discover that your neighborhood can help you make money with art. You can even earn more money if you are operating in attractive niches such as calligraphy, astrophotography, or street photography.
Here are some ideas that you can use to improve the social life of your community and also earn money:
- Offer painting classes to kids, high-schoolers, or adults in your community center.
- Organize an exhibition; you can do this alone or invite other artists.
- Organize painting workshops in nature, and
- Offer interactive but short art workshops for parties and corporate events.
See also: Ways to Make Money with Photography
Teach art online
Teaching art online allows you to reach a wider audience. However, since you will be teaching lots of people at the same time, it can be more difficult to teach art online than face-to-face.
You can also turn your teaching into a passive source of income. All you need to do is to prepare the material once, and it tends to bring you income for months or years to come.
You can become an online art tutor in the following ways:
- Sell art courses on Udemy and Skillshare.
- Create a YouTube channel to provide weekly lessons on various art techniques.
- Sell guides and tutorials on your website. These guides can be in the form of ebooks or step-by-step tutorials with images.
3. Apply for grants
There are many international programs, local communities, or NGOs that offer grants to artists.
These organizations aim to support young artists, promote cultural awareness, or address a specific problem. In some cases, local institutions may also need arts to decorate buildings or spice up an event.
To apply to these programs simply search online for ‘artist contests’ or ‘grants for artists.’ You can narrow down your search by adding your country, state, or city. You will probably come across several contests or grant opportunities that you qualify for and win cash or the opportunity to showcase your work.
Also, ensure you follow the artist association or NGO that you are interested in on social media.
You can check out the National Endowment for the Arts. They provide access to grants in all the US states.
4. Sell art with print-on-demand
Print-on-demand websites are a great way to sell your art online. Platforms such as RedBubble allow you to upload your artwork and when you receive an order, they will print it on the chosen object, and you will earn a percentage of the sale.
The best part of this approach is that you will keep the copyright of your work. You are allowed to sell the same design on many platforms. Selling your art on print-on-demand platforms is a simple process; all you need to do is to upload your artwork and let people know it’s on the platform. You will get paid when someone buys a product that contains your art.
Since print-on-demand platforms use a drop-shipping business model, you don’t need to hold any inventory at your home. Also, you don’t need to bother about customer service.
It is a great way of earning passive income with little effort. This method of selling your art gives you time to focus on your art.
Read Also: A Complete Guide on How to Start a Successful Dropshipping Business
5. Art commissions and licensing
You can also make money with art by selling your art online through commission-based work and official art licensing. Examples include getting magazines to pay for your art illustrations, partnering with companies (such as Urban Outfitters) to license your art for their products.
If you are doing a commission piece, you need to understand that it is not a passive way to earn from your art (unlike selling on print-on-demand platforms). You will be trading your time for money. Although you have the chance of earning big money, you will only earn as long as you keep working.
Also, you may need to spend some time and energy before landing your first commission. If you want to get professional commissions, you need to go beyond creating only art. You need to reach out to publishers and brand yourself to gain trust.
It’s important to have a website with your art portfolio, an Instagram account that highlights your work, and a YouTube channel where you teach art. All these portray you as a professional and reliable artist.
The more commissions you do, the more popular you will become. Doing more commissions will also make you more in-demand and you will be able to request high rates.
6. Lead art workshops
If you love teaching but don’t like the idea of planning a full course. Or maybe you enjoy the experience of engaging with students, then workshops might be an ideal option for you. It is a great way for photographers to increase their income, especially in niches like street photography or astrophotography.
Photographers, such as Cuma Cevik, lead destination workshops where they lead people to exotic locations and then shape the trip around a particular theme. Other artists, apart from photographers, can also benefit from workshops. Street artists can also run workshops and teach people how to cut stencils or use spray paint.
If you are an expert in calligraphy and typography, you can also give workshops on the basics of hand-lettering.
Think of your specific niche and the unique service that you can offer. If you plan very well, you can even incorporate workshops into your travel schedules and make a profit while on the move.
7. Public speaking engagements
If you love public speaking, you can take advantage of this opportunity and turn it into a lucrative side hustle by booking speaking engagements. You can share the secrets of your craft with people at corporate events or as a guest speaker at universities.
You can do this together with workshops, making a day filled with activities. Start by coming up with some lecture topics and setting up a short presentation on your work. Then find local organizations that would be interested in your presentation.
Don’t forget that it is not only arts organizations that will be interested in what you do. Think outside the box so that you can land more jobs.
For example, if your niche is wildlife photography or scientific illustration, you can get in touch with natural history museums or scientific organizations that would love to hear about the relationship between art and science.
Read also: How to Make Money as a Motivational Speaker
How do you start making money with art?
You can start by seeking commissions for original work. This is a popular strategy that many newbie artists and illustrators can use to make money online and offline. You can apply this approach by showcasing your artwork on social media.
How much money can you make as an artist?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, visual artists earn an annual salary of about $63,030 on average. However, the salaries range between less than $20,000 and over $112,000.
What is the best way to sell art?
It is possible to make money selling art online. Some of the best online platforms where you can sell your art include:
- Fine Art America (the world’s largest online art marketplace. It is also a print-on-demand technology company).
Do artists make good money?
Just like most careers, wages increase with increasing levels on the corporate ladder. In 2017, art directors earned an average of $92,500 per year (while the typical annual wage for commercial artists in the same year was $48,700).
I have just shared how to make money with art. I showed you 8 lucrative ways that you can use to monetize your art expertise both online and offline.
So, you can get started by implementing any of the tips shared or gathering more information on the tips shared.
But understand that you don’t have to read lots of articles or watch countless videos before you can start acting on and achieving your goals. Learn and earn as you go.
Lisa Clough, an artist that has over 1,650 patrons, earns over $7,000 every month online. She sells original artworks on her websites and also earns from her YouTube account.
Another artist, Peter Fitzer earned almost $500 thousand in his first year from selling over 25,000 Print On Demand products.
You may say these artists were able to earn such amounts because they have huge followers, or because they have been operating for many years. But the truth is that they also started at the bottom (just like you) and worked their way up.
If these people were able to make it and become big artists, then nothing stops you from achieving better results. If you don’t give up, you may be the next success story.
If you found this article helpful, you will also love: “Turn Your Designs into Cash.
Thanks for reading.