How to make money from your art: For Artists and Creatives

How to make money from your art: For Artists and Creatives

If you are an artist looking to make money from your work, then you’re at the right place! I’ve been doing this for a couple of years and I finally feel confident enough to let you in on how I monetise my skill as an artist. I hope this blog inspires or motivates you to give a shot at turning your passion into a business. Watch the video below, or read on to learn more. 

When it comes to making money from your art, there are two types of income you should know about: 

Active income is like getting paid for putting in direct effort and actively participating. For example, when you create and sell commissioned artwork or showcase your art at fairs, you're actively involved in the process of creating and selling your art, which brings in the money.

Passive income is about earning money through sources that require some (sometimes significant) upfront work but minimal ongoing effort or involvement. For example,  selling digital prints of your artwork or merchandise based on prints of your artwork through print-on-demand services like Society6. In this case, your work will include creating your artwork, turning them into prints, and making them available on the website. The printing, packaging, and shipping as the orders arrive will be taken care of by the merchant while you receive part of the revenue. 

Here are a few ways you can make money from your art: 

Selling your art

The first one is obvious, creating a piece of art and selling it. There are many ways to go about this. 

  1. You can create individual pieces or a collection of artworks that are connected in some way and market this to an audience. Everything you need to know about painting a fine art collection.
  2. Take on commissions where a client tells you what they want and you create it for them. For instance, a client paying you to paint their portrait. 
  3. Selling prints or digital downloads of your work. The customer can choose to use it digitally, have it printed as artwork, have it printed on merchandise like t-shirts and postcards, etc.  
  4. Creating and selling prints or merchandise based on your artwork. For example, printing your painting on t-shirts and selling it. You can also choose to use a print-on-demand service through which you can fulfil orders without having to maintain an inventory. 
  5. Licensing or selling the rights to use the artwork as they please to a brand or company. If you’re a small artist looking to try this, check out Society6. 

Monetising your skills

If you are an artist looking to make money through your art, then you are probably pretty good at creating art. And with a bit of confidence, you can teach. Not just how to create art but even other aspects of being an artist like marketing, setting up a studio, the business of being an artist, etc. You can do this in a few different ways,

  1. You can create a course as short or long as you’d like and teach it through a platform where an audience already exists. Eg: Skillshare
  2. Take physical classes and workshops. These work best if you already have an audience like followers on Instagram or Twitter. 
  3. Move these classes online and eliminate the geographic barrier. 
  4. You can also host your course using platforms like Kajabi and Teachable and sell it through your own website or shop. 

Monetising your content

If you are active on social media or if social media is one of your active marketing channels, you can turn your content into a source of income. While this one takes a while to establish, it is not only a great passive income source but also a great way to add authority to yourself as an artist. Here are a few ways you can go about it,

  1. Platforms like YouTube allow you to place ads within your content and will pay you per view or click. 
  2. Create sponsored content where you use, talk about, or endorse products and get paid for this. 
  3. Become a brand ambassador for products or services you use regularly and get paid for using them while creating content. 
  4. Create additional exclusive content that your viewers can subscribe to. This works best once you’ve established a good audience base. 

A couple of things to remember when creating content sponsored or otherwise is to verify the authenticity of the product or service you are endorsing and ensure that the content AND the product or service you are endorsing is relevant. 

With this article, I hope I’ve inspired you to think about turning your passion into an income source. Trust me, it is not only fulfilling but also a great way for you to stay inspired and explore your artistic inclinations further. It’s a win-win in every way! Watch the full video here : 

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