Last Updated on
There is a misconception that it is difficult for artists to make money.
The starving artist, stereotype, could not be farther from the truth.
You can make money with art skills, and multiple opportunities are waiting for you.
How To Make Money With Art Skills
By the end of this post, you will know…
- Different opportunities an artist can make money with art skills
- Including selling original art, selling prints, social media, to name a few.
Sell Original Art
The first way you can start making money from your artistic skills is by selling your original artwork.
There are a few different ways you can do this.
Your first option is to build a website.
The easiest way for you to build a professional online art gallery is to purchase hosting through BlueHost and launch a WordPress site.
Starting a WordPress site is easier than you might think.
If you purchase a shared hosting account with BlueHost, Bluehost will install WordPress automatically upon the completion of signing up for an account.
There are other hosting services available. But BlueHost makes it easy to launch a WordPress site, and you will also receive a free domain for one year.
Related Post: How to Choose a Perfect Artist Domain Name
After you have your WordPress site live, you will want to consider purchasing a premium theme like StudioPress Themes.
You do not have to purchase a premium theme to start selling your art on WordPress.
However, premium themes offer more features, which makes it easier to build a unique brand, and your site will be optimized for SEO and be more secure.
The last step is to install the free WooCommerce WordPress plugin.
Wocommerce is a free plugin for WordPress that allows you to showcase and sell your artwork on your WordPress website.
- WordPress Themes – SEO Basics for Artists Selling Online
- How To Add WooCommerce WordPress Categories
- How To Install WooCommerce On A WordPress Artist Website
- WordPress SEO Basics
- WordPress Dashboard Guide
Another option for selling art online is to build a website on a third-party platform like Shopify.
Shopify is a subscription to a software service that offers you to create a website and use their shopping cart solution to sell, ship, and manage your products. Using their service, you can get access to easy to use admin panel where you can add products, process orders, and enter store data. (Source: WebsiteSetup)
If you do not have a large following, you might want to consider selling your art on Etsy or even eBay.
Related Resource: How To Start An Etsy Shop
I would suggest building a website after you have grown your fanbase because it will be easier for you to drive traffic to your site.
Galleries and craft fairs are other places you can sell your original artwork.
A great way to make extra money is by selling prints of your original artwork.
Your goal is to make the most profit out of every piece of art you create.
Selling prints is a great way to continue making money from a piece of art you have already sold.
When you sell an original painting or drawing that is it, but you can make an unlimited amount of prints and continue to make money off of the original piece you created.
The two options for selling prints are:
- Limited Edition Prints – Limited edition prints are when you only offer a specific amount of prints. After a certain amount of prints have been sold, there will be no more available. Most artists sign and number the print on the back. Signing and numbering limited editions makes the print more valuable to the buyer.
- Unlimited Prints – There is no limit to how many prints are available for purchase. You can continue to sell prints of your artwork for as long as you wish.
How to make prints of your art:
- Print your prints at home – If you have a large fanbase, you might want to consider purchasing a high-quality fine art printer.
Related Resource: Best Printers For Art Prints – Selling Art Online
- Print On Demand Sites – If you do not have the funds to purchase a printer, you can sell prints of your art on a POD (print on demand) site.
Sites like Printful will print your art on fine art paper or other merchandise and ship it directly to your buyer with no upfront costs.
When a print is sold, you pay for the costs of the materials and shipping fees. The extra money from the sale is yours.
For example, if it costs $10.00 to have Printful print and ship your item and you are charging $20.00 for the print, you will make $10.00 from that sale.
Related Post: How To Sell Art Prints On Etsy With Printful
- Printing Shop The other option is to go to your local printer and purchase prints in bulk.
Commissions are a great way for you to earn extra money from your art skills.
Instead of creating an original piece of art that you hope people will be interested in, a client will hire you to create a specific piece for them.
A commissioned sale might include a portrait, a family portrait, a pet portrait, or even a landscape of a place they visited.
Offering commission work is an excellent way for you to earn extra money, and it is always a guaranteed sale.
One of the problems you might encounter is that you become overbooked.
This happened to me in the past.
I was doing dog portraits, and I found myself booked for two years in advance.
This created a lot of stress, and I could not adjust my prices because they were already locked in.
Now I only except one commission at a time.
Develop a strategy that will work best for you.
Optimizing Social Media
Social media is vital for artists to grow a following and build their trust.
Social networks like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, are the most popular networks for artists selling art online.
The larger your following becomes on social media, the better your chance of having certain brands sponsor.
The problem you are going to face is that it takes a lot of work and time to build a following on social media.
Social media keeps changing, so your marketing strategy will have to adjust to the changes.
Below are some online courses you might want to look into to help you learn more about social media marketing:
- Selling On Social: A Complete Guide with Mei Pak
- Connect With Your Customers on Social Media with Erin Dollar
- Your Social Media Bootcamp with Jasmine Star
- Build a Social Media Plan That Actually Makes Money with Ryan Deiss
- Hype Your Brand on Instagram with Sue B. Zimmerman
If you feel comfortable in front of a camera, YouTube might be a great income source for your art business.
Not only will you be able to reach a larger audience online, but if your videos are popular enough you can make some decent money from ads and sponsorships.
To be eligible for monetization on YouTube you need 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours in the past 12 months. Youtube has imposed this rule in 2018.
It will take some time to reach 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours per year. But until then you will be getting better at creating videos and you will also learn what type of videos your audience likes.
Video ideas for artists:
- Favorite Art Books
- Art Giveaway
- Art Studio Tour
- Art Supply Reviews
- Art Supply Unboxing
- Drawing tutorials
- Painting tutorials
- Supply cleaning tutorials
- Art marketing tutorials
- Packaging art for shipping tutorials
Above are just a few ideas to get you started.
I have learned over time that the best videos are instructional videos. Videos that help solve a viewers problem tend to get a lot of views.
Try different strategies to see what works best for you and your art business goals.
Patreon is a way to get paid for creating the things you’re already creating (webcomics, videos, songs, whatevs). Fans pay a few bucks per month or per post you release, and then you get paid every month, or every time you release something new. (Source: Patreon)
If you enjoy making “How To” videos, Patreon is an excellent way for you to earn some extra income. But Patreon will only work if you already have a following.
One strategy that works well for artists is to build a following on YouTube than start a Patreon channel that will provide more value.
eBook And Online Courses
Creating a tangible product like an eBook or online art course is another opportunity to earn money from your art skills.
You can sell tangible or downloadable products on social media, your WordPress artist website, or even sell your eBooks on Amazon.
So if you have a specific skill and you like to talk about it, you can easily create an eBook or course that you can continue to sell and make passive income.
Blogging is essential for any business selling products or services online.
A blog is the fuel that drives traffic to a website.
If you are only relying on social media to drive traffic to your site, you are missing out on reaching a lot of potential buyers.
One of the most effective ways to build brand awareness while providing relevant and useful content to your target audience is through consistent blogging. Blogging is an inexpensive way for small businesses to drive traffic to their site, enhance inbound marketing efforts and attract more prospective customers. (Source: CBO)
Blogging provides a way for people searching on Google to discover your art website.
The content you publish will build their trust, which will turn a potential buyer into an art collector.
Not only will you increase your sales by blogging, but you can also monetize your blog posts with affiliate links, ads, and sponsorships.
Related Source: 28 Day Blogging Challenge for Visual Artists
If you’re unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, the concept is pretty simple: Promote products/services on your blog. Add special links to those products/services in your content. When your readers click those links (or purchase products after clicking those links), you get a cut of the profits from the merchant. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
New artists are always searching for the best products to use for their artwork.
Why not earn a few cents when you are talking about your favorite art supply, art books, art classes, or even art marketing classes?
All you do is sign up for an affiliate program (most large businesses offer affiliate programs) and link affiliate links to products you use and trust.
Top Affiliate programs:
- ShareASale Affiliates
- Amazon Associates
- Shopify Affiliate Program
- Rakuten Marketing Affiliates
Teach Art Classes
If you like to teach but do not like to be in font of a camera, teaching local art classes or one-on-one classes is a great way to earn weekly income.
Do some research and see if there is a local place that will allow you to teach art classes.
Another option is to provide one-on-one art classes from your studio or travel to their house.
The ideas above are a few different ways you can make money with art skills.
There many more opportunities waiting for you.
Think outside of the box and try different ideas.
Popular Art Marketing And Sales Tutorials
Below are some of the most famous art marketing courses that will grow your online art business:
Most Popular – How to Make a Living Selling What You Make by Megan Auman
Most Popular – Build a Successful Creative Blog by April Bowles-Olin
How to Build a Business While Learning Your Craft by Megan Auman
Pinterest Marketing for Makers & Designers by Megan Auman
28 Day Blogging Challenge for Visual Artists
Are you ready to start building an online presence?
Available on Amazon or Download your copy today.
The Productive Artist How to Live Your Dreams
The right mindset and time management skills are essential for any business. These topics are often not talked about but are critical elements for your success. You will learn how to have a winning mindset and time management skills necessary for operating a successful art business.
Get More Done in Less Time The Part-time Artist
Proven strategies that will help you to get more work done in less time so you can sell more art and earn more money.
Available at Amazon or Download your copy today.
Did you enjoy this article? Don’t forget to sign up for my free weekly newsletter.
You can also join me on:
Learn how to start, grow, and monetize your online art business.