It’s time to change the old paradigm about artists die poor, today anyone can learn how to make money being an artist.
It’s true that you love to spend the time thinking and working on your art most of the time, you might be a some time artist and you already have a good collection of your work at home, and you think it would be great if you could get some sales from it.
Or you can be a beginner (no matter how young or old you are), and you would love to know the way to make a living doing what you love to do: art.
When the time to think about making money doing what we love to do, artists and crafters will see some problems ahead, it’s so hard to get hired by a company as an artist.
Unless you’re a well-known artist, you won’t have many opportunities to get hired by a big company to pay you for your work.
Some companies know that to own some art is a good investment and they love to hire some artist to get their new collections, and they are willing to pay any price for it!
Don’t get depressed about the idea that you won’t get hired by a big company or a multi millionaire to get all your work, just write this point as a future goal. I like to think that if you place your vision high, one day you’ll make it happen.
Another thing is, that being an artist you won’t get to attracted by a “regular job”, your vision is to be able to make a living doing what you love to do all the time.
As you need to pay bills every month, you need to find the way to get the money rolling into your bank account while you do what you love, so lets talk about a few ways you can make money from home (from your studio) while you work on your art.
First, let’s take a moment to talk about what skills you need to learn to make this happen.
As an artist you might be born with the talent to do your art or you might have attended a university, and you got a degree as an artist.
But in many schools for artist, you will learn how to make your art, but you won’t learn some skill about how to sell your art and how to get the best clients that will be willing to buy from you.
Some knowledge about marketing, sales and administration will help you to learn what to do to get your work known by your client.
I point out here “by your client”, it’s good to know in advance that you should not try to sell your art to everyone, you need to know who is your client and show and sell your art to that group of people, 10, 100, maybe 1000; and that’s it.
If you get 1000 people interested to buy your work, you won’t have any money problems at all!
It doesn’t matter what type of art you make, any kind of art can be sold if you do the right work to get it on the right market.
Artist and crafters are lucky today to have all that knowledge open to be learn anytime, just make enough time every day to learn the ropes about how to start a website and how to make a marketing plan that works for you and for your art.
What do you need to start making money being an artist.
Your work might be the best in the world, and not only for you and your family, we artists know our families are our best cheer leaders, but they can’t be supporting us all the time, so we need to show our work to the world.
If you have a big collection of your art at home, the chances are your work will stay there and nobody will know about it. You need to show your work to the world, you need to own your own website.
So that is the first thing you need to add to your list, if you already have one website, skip this point, but if you haven’t, take the time to learn how to build a website and build one for your work.
You will need to learn about:
- How to write a Home page. Here’s where you can start selling your art.
- How to write an About Me page. This page will get many visits from the public, people want to know about the artist.
- How to write a blog. People and clients want to know about your work, why you do it, how you do it, where do you work, and for who you do your work, on a blog you will share your work but you also can share some of your moments while working on a new work or a trip or something you’re doing new.
- How to write a blog post – It’s not about just sitting in front of your laptop and write, you need to learn to whom are you writing and how to write so your client find your blog and get connected with you as an artist. This is another art we all artist and crafters need to learn to do.
- How to make a Marketing plan for your work. If you’re serious about selling your art and making a living from it, you need to get sales, learning and working on a Marketing plan will help you to make sales in more that just one way.
- How to make more money from your work. It’s not just about making a piece of art and sell it, today you can learn how to make money from your work and keep your own private collection. Isn’t that awesome!
- How to make money on the digital era. There’s so many ways today to make money, but just focus on one at the time.
Different ways to Make Money As An Artist:
1. Sell your art in a Gallery.
I don’t want to skip this step, there will be always good options for any artist to get represented by an Art Gallery and sell your art.
You will learn how to work with each Gallery your involved with, the % they will get, and the cost of a “solo show”, but you can make good sales working hand in hand with a Gallery, and it’s also a good way to get your work known by art collectors as most of the Galleries have their own collectors portfolio and they already know a few people that will be interested to buy your work.
2. Selling your art online.
Today you can sell your art or crafts online.
If you’re already a well know artist, and you have already a group of followers, you will get some request to buy your art from your own website.
If you’re a beginner and you don’t have yet a big group of followers, an online marketplace will always help you to get some sales from your work.
Some online marketplaces you might be interested to try will be:
With a strong platform where you can start your own account with a few steps to follow, you can start uploading photos of your work.
You will add a description of your work and when you learn about how to write product descriptions with SEO, keywords and writing product descriptions thinking about your client, you can get some sales soon.
Etsy.com will get a commission from your sales, but it’s a safe website where you can get some sales from your work,
(I have done a few sales on Etsy.com and I got my money in my bank account with no problem at all)
Ebay is a well know online platform where you can show your work and get some sales, once again you will need to learn how to write a product description using SEO, keywords and thinking about your client.
3. Sell prints.
If you’re interested to make more money from your work and get it to as many people as possible, you might give a thought about starting to sell prints from your work.
Anytime you finish one piece, you can take some photos from it and make prints from it.
You can sell a limited series of prints from each one of your works, these prints will get a higher price, but you also can sell an unlimited series of prints and you will need to restock it as soon as you finish selling the prints you have at your home or studio.
You can learn how to make the prints by yourself or you can outsource it. Quality is a must here.
You can also get some of your work to those sites that sell prints on demand.
All you need to do is to upload your photo into those sites, and let your client know where they can get a print from your work.
On these sites, your client will not get only prints from your work, but they can get T shirts, mugs, notebooks, and tote bags with your work printed on them.
These sites will print each item as they get the request, they will also handle all the shipping, they will get a % from your price, but it’s a good way to start making money from your work while you keep yourself busy creating more work.
4. Social Media.
Today, it’s very important every artist builds an audience with lots of followers, so if you haven’t started your own account as an artist or crafter;
These Social Media platforms will help you to make your work known by your client, as you keep working on it, you can get more followers interested on your work, and you will get some sales from them.
Social Media today will help any artist to get there work known by the world, but more important by your client.
Keep your Social Media for your work, and just don’t get hooked on any bad stuff going around. (Well only if your work is related to it, then it might help you to get to your client)
When you work with Social Media to share your work, as your audience grows, your followers will increase, it takes time to grow an audience.
Don’t get discouraged if at the beginning your account stays still with just a couple of followers and doesn’t grow at all, all the beginnings on Social Media can be hard, but any account will get better and bigger with good work.
Once again, you will need to learn how to create a good post for your art business, and what to write on each post to create a reaction from your audience.
As your audience grows, you will grow your business into a brand, then as you keep growing, you might get some brands interested on you and your work.
Not only to buy your work, but will talk to you, you might get sponsorships and you might get represented by those brands.
If you get a sponsorship from a big brand, you can start every month without thinking about money at all!
You also can get all the supplies to create more work using those brands materials, that’s also a good win for any artist!
As you keep working in your art, you can decide whether or not to work on commissions, you might get contacted by a client who loves your work but he or she wants a special commission from you.
You can be prepared in advance and set a page in your website where you set the rules to accept commissions from your clients, like:
- Waiting list
- Delivering time
When you work on commissions, you don’t need to worry about creating new work, you can work to create a calendar and to get to know how many commissions you can accept every month, year, or so.
You make the rules.
You can work on:
- Family portraits
- Pets portraits
- Keep memories
- Still life
This is a good way to know your work will sell.
6. YouTube Channel.
Many artists will be interested to teach their art to others, you can start setting some teaching hours schedule for a one-to-one student, or for a group.
You can also get a job teaching your art to some schools or universities, that is a good way to teach what you love to do, and help other people to become artists.
Getting a job as an art teacher is also good as a second income, but it’s a job on the old paradigm, one-to-one job, and you don’t get paid if you don’t attend to your class, and you won’t make any more money from it. You will get paid by the hour.
Have you thought about starting your own YouTube channel teaching what you love to do?
Many artists have their own YouTube channel and they are growing good.
YouTube is the second search engine today on the internet, and whether or not you’re interested to teach on it, a YouTube will help you to grow your business.
If you start your YouTube channel, you can share some moments from your work while you work on it, you don’t need to show all the process to create one of your pieces, but just a few moments from it.
YouTube is a great way to get your work known by your audience and a great way to get people to follow you, some of them will become interested to get some work from you.
But YouTube is also a way to start making money from your videos, as your audience grows, you will get more views on your videos, and with a few steps to set up your account to display some ads on your videos, you will start making money from your videos.
You will need to have patience while your channel grow, it might be slow or fast for your channel to grow, follow YouTube rules and in some time you will be making some money from your channel.
There are many good examples from artist who are making a full income (and way (more) than that) from YouTube.
Language is not a problem at all, people will follow you from any part of the world.
It might take you some time to learn about all you need to create quality videos, but I have no doubts at all that you’ll be doing great soon.
7. Start a Patreon
So you have already your website up, and you have been working on Social Media, and you already have a good audience of followers that follow you and they buy from you, but you also have built up a good audience of followers who are interested to learn from you.
Any art or craft technique will get many people to learn how to create art or crafts like you do.
When you reach this point, you might get interested to create an account on Patreon.com and build an audience of sponsors who will be interested to support you monthly in an exchange from you to share some more information about how you work in your art.
Let’s say that when you create a Patreon account is like having a private club of supporters, your sponsors will be willing to support you month by month with donations from $1, $5, $10, $100 or even $1000 monthly.
In exchange, you will be creating some content they will be the only ones to see!
This way, you’ll know how much money you will get every month in advance, as you grow your content on Patreon.com you can use your Social Media to let your audience know there’s another way they can get some private content from you to help them to learn more about how you create your work.
You can take a look to Kirsty Partridge Patreon account, she has over 1,400 sponsors who follow here on her account and she is making over 8K monthly there!
So the rule of get 1000 clients to support an artist is proven here.
By the way, patreon.com is not only for artists, no matter what you do or what is your online business, you always can share some good tips to help others to grow their business here, and they will be willing to support you.
The tips here, you will be creating high value content to give in exchange for their support.
If as an artist, you’re looking for a good way to make passive income, Patreon.com will be a good option for you.
8. Create a product
Have you thought about creating a product like a book.
You as an artist will have many things to share in a book, from tips for new artist on your niche, to how to books on your technique.
Have you thought about creating or writing a book to sell it off and online. Today you can self publish a book and you can sell it on Amazon.com and from Etsy.com or from your own website.
9. Create an online course.
Many artists are taking the time to create an online course to share it on a platform like:
From how to draw, how to watercolor to any kind of art, you can make an online course to sell on any of these platform that sell courses online, they will get some % from your sales, but it’s a good way to make a passive income from your art.
It might take some time to learn how to create an online course, but I see this platform is helping many artists to make enough money from their courses, so they can focus to work more on their art.
10. Affiliate Marketing.
Have you thought about how much money you spend on the materials you use to create your work?
What about if you start making money from them?
Yes, today any artist and crafter can make some money from their websites or Social Media accounts when they share some moments from their work and the followers see some materials the artist uses to create his or her work and they will get them from them.
Well, not exactly from them, but those artists have learned how to recommend some materials, and how to share affiliate links where anyone can purchase the same materials to create their own work.
If you’re working already on your own website, and you share some content to help others to create some art and you recommend using this type of paint or that brand of paint, all you need to do is to learn how to sign up for affiliate account and to share the links where your audience can purchase the same material you use.
This is how you create a passive income.
You can share those affiliate links on your own website and on your YouTube channel. Soon as you create a big audience you will be making some profits.
Some artists and crafters know there’re already people who would love to spend a day at the studio with you, just watching you working on your current piece of work.
By watching artists working on a current piece of work, young artists or artists who want to learn a new technique can learn a new skill.
Some artists have been working this way by setting a day to allow a small group in their studios and giving a workshop, yes it will be a paid workshop.
When you do this, you will be working with the students and you will get a few tasks to do to make that day memorable for the students.
But what about doing the same from your studio, and people around the world could watch you from their homes (smart phones).
Technology allows us to do this today, you can grow your audience and there will be people interested to watch you sharing your “how to” and some tips.
You can set a day on your calendar and let your audience know they can sign up for a webinar where they can watch you working on a current work.
You will get a list of people who will be interested on it and you will let them know in advance they can support you by making a donation.
The point here to get people to get interested in signing up for that webinar, and that you always share value content for your audience.
Help others to grow their art and their art business, they will be happy to make a donation to help you to keep working on more live workshops in the future.
Well, I think now you will have a more clear idea on what to do to start making some money while you keep working on what you love to do: your art (or crafts)
There’re (more) than just one way to make money from art today, today we are so lucky!
Now that you have this information, get a piece of paper and a notebook and write down your ideas, what you could do for a start.
Don’t let these ideas vanish in the next days while your mind goes back to your work, yes as an artist, that happens to me very often. I get so hooked by what I love to do, that the next moment I forget about the list of things I need to work on to get my art business rolling by itself.
Don’t try all these ideas to make money from your art business at the same time, take your time to read again the list and pick one, yes just pick one!
There will be a few tasks to work on to get this first idea to work for you and it will require from you work and time.
Be patient to give this business idea to get strong and start working for you.
Once you know everything you need to, and you can work on it efficiently, then come back to this post and pick a second one.
Do the same process to get the second idea to work as you did on the first one.
To get an online business to work like a charm and making lots of money for you, it will require knowledge, work and time.
Don’t get down if you see something doesn’t work as you want it to the first time, there will be things that you will need to work on them (more) than once, just don’t quit.
The last but not the least, artists and crafters are strong people and we all know how to keep working on what we want!
If you want to save this article so you can find it later to come back to pick the second point to work on, you can save it on your Pinterest account, so you can find it later.
If you need to learn more skills to work on your website and turn it into an online business, you can sign up to the 10 lessons FREE course with Wealthy Affiliate, I’m part of that big community and I’ll be there to help you to build your online business!