Many artists and creative professionals struggle to make a living from their art. They might be working as artists or designers full time, but they can barely pay the bills.
It can seem impossible at times, especially when it seems like there is no market for your work. And yet, many successful artists have been able to not only survive on their art alone but thrive in this tough economy, and you can too. Luckily for artists, the world is changing, and more opportunities are arising for artists to make money from their creativity.
The change is good news for creatives because it is difficult to rely on original art sales alone. It’s essential to come up with different ways to monetize your art business to achieve financial success.
In this blog post, we will explore 9 different ways to diversify your income streams with some creative ways that will help ensure both your artistic success and financial security.
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How To Make Money As An Artist
There are many ways an artist can supplement their income, but not all strategies work well for all. Take a look at the list below and see what might work best for you.
Sell Your Art Online
Selling your original art online might sound obvious, but it’s one of the most lucrative ways to make money.
The best way is to sell your art through websites like Etsy or eBay, but you can also set up a more personal profile on Artfinder and Artsy that will feature only your own work. You’ll be able to offer custom commissions from customers without any middleman fees determining how much you’re paid for each sale.
Many artists have gone back and forth about whether it would be better to use WordPress with BlueHost for hosting (3.95/month) or go with an all-inclusive platform, such as Squarespace ($12/month). The truth is that both options are good (and free), so think about what features you need before deciding which route will be best for your art business goals.
Many artists are building an artist website for their fine art on platforms like WordPress because WordPress lets you update the site as your business grows.
Other artists do well on platforms like Etsy. However, it isn’t easy to create multiple revenue streams on Etsy.
Sell Art Prints Of Your Original Paintings
Besides selling original art online, offering reproductions of your artwork is a great way to make money as an artist. There are two ways you can market your prints: as a limited-edition or open-edition.
Limited-edition prints are prints signed and numbered by the artist, so no more prints are produced when they’re sold out. Open-edition prints are not limited to a specific number of copies. For example, if you sell 100 open-edition prints, then another set of 100 could be created after those have been purchased.
The benefit of selling original paintings is that there’s usually always an emotional connection between the buyer and the artwork.
However, this also means that as an artist, it will take longer before your earnings from art sales begin to grow because most people don’t want or can’t afford to spend thousands on a painting. But selling art prints will allow you to reach a broader audience and make a larger profit. By not offering prints of your original paintings, you could be losing out on a large group of potential buyers willing to pay for the art you create.
Offer Commissions For Custom Pieces
Offering commissions for custom pieces for those who cannot purchase an original painting can help you earn some extra income.
This is a great way to diversify your revenue streams and reach new potential buyers of your artwork!
If you don’t already offer commissions, it will take time and effort with marketing on social media sites like Facebook or Instagram. But as long as the commission fee isn’t too expensive, this could be a worthwhile investment that pays off in the future.
Create A Blog And Sell Advertising Space On It
You are here because you want to learn how to make money as an artist online.
So far, we have talked about selling original art online, selling prints, and doing commission work.
But there are many other ways to monetize your art.
One of them is by creating a blog and selling advertising space on it. Not only can blog posts drive thousands of art collectors to your website, but you can also earn passive income with advertisements and affiliate links.
The best advertisement companies for blogs are Google Adsense, Monumetric, and Media.net, as they will give you the highest rates for your blog’s advertising space.
The best affiliate companies for blogs are Amazon, ShareASale, Commission Junction, and LinkShare.
You can also make money with blog posts by creating a membership site, start a graphic design business, print on demand products, or selling your own products. There are endless ways to earn money blogging, but the most rewarding feature of a blog post is the traffic that it can bring to your website.
Teach Classes At Local Schools Or Community Centers
Are you interested in learning how to make money with art skills? Teaching online courses or one-on-one lessons is a great way to earn extra money but keep in mind that you will have to put in extra hours during the week.
To get started teaching in your local area, find a local school or community center looking for an art teacher. All you need to do is contact the director of the organization, tell them about your qualifications, and then email samples of your work for consideration.
Skillshare offers online courses in anything from cooking how-to’s to entrepreneurship tutorials with industry professionals like Gwyneth Paltrow’s former assistant Emily Winters. Share what skills you have and which courses would be best suited for you by taking their quiz on skill matching.
Thinkific is a platform that offers video courses in various topics, including languages, web development, and art tutorials.
Teach One-On-One Art Classes
Learning how to make a living as an artist is easy, but putting in the long hours can be challenging. Searching for potential clients, creating new art, Writing blog posts and newsletters, promoting your work on social media, and finding different ways to supplement your income takes time and dedication.
While you are waiting for art sales to come in, you can devote an hour or two a day to teach young artists one-on-one. To get started teaching one-on-one, all you have to do is create a profile for your website and add your qualifications and pricing to the page. Share the page with everyone interested in learning how to paint in your area.
You can build a large following quickly by asking the people you teach to spread the word for you. In return, you can give them a free session for every new client you receive from their referrals.
Make YouTube Videos And Monetize Them With Ads
Monetizing YouTube videos is becoming more popular with each passing day. This is because more and more people are using YouTube videos to learn how to do things or just for entertainment.
If you make a few videos on topics that interest your audience, you can monetize them with ads to generate money every time someone watches the video. You’ll need at least 20,000-30,000 views before an ad campaign starts making any significant amount of money, but it does work if done correctly.
Before you can monetize Youtube videos, you must have tallied 4,000 hours of overall watch time on their channel within the past 12 months and have at least 1,000 subscribers.
Create A Patreon Account
Artists who are doing well on YouTube are starting to earn extra money by creating a Patreon account. Patreon is a membership platform that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service. The company is more than just another way to monetize your YouTube channel. It’s also an opportunity to build up subscribers and other forms of engagement with the artist’s fanbase to make money from multiple sources.
License Your Art
Another popular way to earn money from paintings that have already been sold is licensing your work. Licensing art is a legal agreement between the artist and the company interested in using their work. The artist agrees to allow the company to reproduce, distribute or display their art as long as they are compensated for the product.
Final Thoughts On Making Money As An Artist
The more you diversify your income streams, the less risk there is. This article highlights a few ways that artists can expand their revenue streams and earn money in new ways. Let us know which of these strategies have been helpful for you.
A full-time artist no longer needs representation from galleries to earn a decent salary. If you are willing to put in the work, you can earn a living from your art skills.