Are you interested in making a career selling your art?
Or are you hoping to earn extra money on the art and handmade crafts you create?
Whether planning on making art your career or selling art part-time, you will have to face the financial aspect of operating a business.
Learning how to optimize your sales and keeping track of money coming in and going out is crucial for the growth of your business.
Financial planning might not be your strong point. But with some simple financial tips, you can feel confident you are making money selling art, not losing money.
7 Financial Tips For Artists Selling Art
By the end of this post, you will know…
- What your financial objectives are
- Cost of doing business
- How to increase your profit margin
- Pricing strategies
- Different revenue streams for artists
- Budgeting for tough times
Creative Financial Planning
Selling your first painting or drawing is your most exciting feeling as an artist.
The first sale shows you are good enough to make money from your skills.
How does it feel knowing that people are willing to pay for your crafts?
You have dreamt of this day for years while enhancing your artistic skills, and now the time is here.
You are generating income doing something you love to do.
Before I talk about some financial tips that will help you make money instead of losing money, I would like to mention that you must have the right mindset.
If you plan on selling art online, you must think like a business owner.
It doesn’t matter if you sell art online or at craft fairs. Selling art is a business, and you must treat it as a business.
If you fail to do so, you could lose a lot of money.
Having a business mindset means you are willing to do the work needed to get business done. (Source: Thrive Global)
Creative planning starts with learning how to start and operate a business.
You must learn how to make money online as an artist.
Know What Your Financial Objectives Are
Before you decide to sell your art, you must figure out if you can afford to create the art you will sell and the costs of promoting and marketing your art business.
Whether you plan to sell your art full-time or part-time does not matter. It costs money to create art and operate a business.
The costs associated with an art business include craft supplies, marketing, website costs, and craft fair fees (if you plan to sell your art at fairs.)
Below are some questions you will want to ask yourself before starting an art business:
- How much money are you hoping to generate from your art business?
- How much money will it cost you for supplies?
- How much will it cost to market your art business?
- Are you going to purchase a domain name with BlueHost and build a WordPress website or use a third-party platform like Shopify?
- Are you going to use a premium email service like AWeber of, a free service?
- How much will you charge for your art to reach your financial goals?
- How much art will you have to create to reach your financial goals?
- Are you going to have different revenue streams?
- Who is your target audience?
- How much is your target audience willing to spend?
- What is the cost of your studio space?
- What software will you use for your accounting?
Document The Cost Of Doing Business
The next step is to document the costs of doing business.
The answers listed above will help you to create a spreadsheet of your business costs.
I use Excell for my list, but you can also use Google Spreadsheet.
The rows going across should be titled:
Business Costs – Monthly Costs – Cost per Item
The columns going down should be titled:
Rent (If you are renting studio space)
If you are working from home, you will want to keep track of:
- Domain name
- Website costs (If you own your website)
- Premium WordPress Plugins (If you own your website)
- Third-Part sites like Shopify (If you have a storefront on a third-party platform)
- Premium email services (If you use a premium service like AWeber)
Document the costs above in the monthly column.
- Art supplies
- Packing Supplies
- Shipping Costs
- Craft Fair Fees (If you sell your art at craft fairs)
Document the prices above in the cost per item column.
Financial Freedom – Know Where Your Money Is Coming From And Going
Like I have mentioned earlier, selling art is a business.
If you want financial freedom and watch your art business grow, you will want to separate your business and personal finances.
It is easy to open a separate business account, and doing so will make things easier.
With two different accounts, you will be able to see where your money is coming from going.
Use tools like QuickBooks to keep track of your business finances.
I have been using QuickBooks for over 15 years, and I can quickly see how my art business is doing at any given time. Plus it makes it easier at tax season. All I must do is hit print and give it to my accountant.
Operating an art business is less stressful if you know your money flows in and out.
Increase Profit Margen By Reducing Costs
The easiest way to increase your profit margin is by reducing money going out.
An easy way to reduce money going out is by becoming a savvy shopper.
For example, instead of going to your local art supply store, shop online at sites like Arteza® Art Supplies, CreateForLess, or Blick Art Materials.
Before I start shopping, I look for coupon codes for the stores I mentioned, and I purchase from the store that provides the best deal.
Don’t forget to look at the shipping costs. Blick Art Materials almost always has a free shipping deal if you purchase a specific amount.
I purchase most of my shipping supplies through Amazon and include the shipping costs in my prices because I offer free shipping.
It would be best if you decided what will work best for you regarding shipping costs.
Pricing Your Art Work
At this point, you know exactly how much it will cost you to do business.
The next step is developing a pricing strategy to produce a profit.
You are starting a business to make money, not lose money.
This financial tip is crucial for the growth of your art career.
Take all of the information you gathered above and start researching what other artists are charging for similar art.
Find as many artists as you can with a similar artistic style and use the same medium.
Take all of the prices and average them out.
The price you get will be a good starting point.
Now take that number and compare it to your costs.
Will you make money selling your art at the price you came up with or will you be losing money?
If you are going to make a profit, that is great.
If you are going to be in the red if you sell your art, then go back and see if you can reduce any costs.
Pricing art is a challenge for many artists. You will change your prices for the next few months until you discover your target audience’s willingness to spend on your art.
Increase Revenue Streams
You have worked hard to enhance your artistic skills, and you are now at a point in your life where people want to purchase what you create.
This is fantastic news, but you are now in business and have to make money.
There will be times when sales will be slow and other times when sales will be up.
What do you do when nobody purchases your art for a couple of months?
The easiest way to fix this problem is by creating multiple revenue streams.
For example, you can sell prints of your art through a Print on Demand site like Printful.
Printful allows you to sell prints, framed prints, and prints on merchandise at no upfront costs.
You decide what you want to sell and how much money you would like to receive for each sale.
When someone purchases a print, Printful will complete the order and ship it to your customer. After the order is complete, you will receive your markup in PayPal. It does not get easier than that.
There are many ways you can supplement your income. You must think outside the box and decide what strategies will complement your business goals.
How An Artist Can Supplement Their Income
Where To Print Prints From Etsy
Put Money Aside
As I said earlier, there will be tough and good times.
Over the years, I have learned what to expect for different seasons.
I have a good idea of when sales will be down and when sales will be up.
I have developed a budgeting strategy that compliments the good and bad times.
Knowing when my peak months are, helps me to keep on top of my financial responsibilities.
You will have to do the same.
It will be more difficult at first because you will not have any records of when your busy and slow periods are.
Take detailed notes and put some money away for emergencies.
Final Thoughts On Financial Tips For Artists
Every small business owner often stresses money.
Not knowing when the next payment is going to arrive will create anxiety.
However, if you know the costs of doing business, have a profitable pricing strategy, budget properly, and follow the financial tips highlighted above, you will have a better chance of succeeding.
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- The Ultimate Roadmap to Gallery Representation for Emerging Artists
- How to Get Your Art in Front of Your Ideal Audience
- The Benefits Of Using Print-On-Demand For Your Art Business
- Show Your Love for Wildlife with a Fine Art Print of a Cardinal Pastel Painting