How to make money as a visual artist – earn a living with your talent!
Making money as an artist isn't just about financial gain; it's about the opportunity to share your unique vision with the world while sustaining yourself creatively. With determination, strategic thinking, and a dash of entrepreneurial spirit, it's possible to turn your artistic talent into a sustainable source of income. Keep reading to learn more!
What kind of artists this article is for
In this article, we will focus on artists specializing in visual arts – painters, graphic artists who draw and use other techniques, such as crayons, and digital artists. You will also find lots of valuable tips if you are just starting out as an artist and looking for ways how to show your craft and support yourself in the future. This article will be helpful to those who are ready to make a little bit of a change and take some risks while learning something new and testing new strategies.
Sell your art online
Nowadays selling your art online should be one of the first things that pops into your mind when thinking about how to make money with your art. There are several ways to do that, let’s discuss some of them!
Etsy is a platform that is built for artists therefore it is the perfect place where to start selling your art. On Etsy people will search for specific ideas they have in mind, so make sure you use good keywords that describe your art well. It is best not to give your artwork specific, poetic names like “In my dreams” (at least not in the title!), better describe the art, for example, a painting of a horse in pastel tones.
If you are worried that you need a broad assortment of art, don’t worry! You can start an Etsy shop with just a few items. Just make sure you fill out all the fields about yourself and your art, so people can get to know you and learn more about your specific artwork. You can also create a listing for individual orders, and make personalized art pieces.
You can sell on Etsy physical as well as digital artwork.
Artplode and similar online art galleries
There is an option to sell your art at online art galleries. For example, one of them is Artplode. At Artplode you can list your artwork for a one-time fee and have it there until it sells or you decide to remove it from the site. Artplode won’t take any extra commission for selling your work which is a big plus since often art galleries work on commission-based deals. They also offer other services, for example, you can hire a consultant who will help you price your artwork right and even help you find the right buyer for your art pieces.
Artplode is just one online art gallery. Make your research and find one that speaks to you!
Attend art fares and festivals
Don’t be shy to roll up your sleeves and go out to get yourself some clients! Attend art fares and festivals, or have a booth at a trade show. Look for options to attend places where might be people in your target group. To choose a target group consider the price of your art as well as what kind of art you do. Is it more classical or whimsical? Is it rebellious or futuristic? Based on that attend festivals and other events that align with your artwork and your goals for it.
If you are not a people person at all, consider hiring a salesperson for your art or giving your artwork to another festival attendant which might be a good fit. In this case, you will need to share the profits – that’s something to take into account.
Print on demand dropshipping store
Creating a print on demand store is for those who are ready to do something different with their art and offer it as a part of a practical item. No matter what your art style is, you can digitalize it and print it on a t-shirt, tote bag, or hoodie. And voila! You have an idea for a creative business.
How print on demand dropshipping works
If you want a print on demand dropshipping business, first you need to find a print on demand partner, for example, us – Printseekers.com. Then you check out the items and rules for printing (for example, can you print the sleeves, how big the files have to be, etc.). After that, you can start creating specific artwork for the items or adjust the ones you already have to the printing requirements. Once you get an order, you pass it on to your print on demand partner, and they will print the item and ship it to your client.
A platform where to showcase and sell your products
To run a print on demand business you will need your own e-commerce store. It can be a website or you can use, for example, Etsy as your platform. There are benefits to both approaches.
If you choose to do your own website, it will demand more work upfront to create the website, but you will own everything on the website and will have creative freedom in how it looks, for example, the style, colors, layout, etc.
If you choose, for example, Etsy, you will need a lot less work upfront to start a shop, but you will have only the freedom in what texts you write and what pictures you add to listings. Everything else will be determined by Etsy.
Create viral TikTok and Instagram videos
Nowadays, social media can offer so much business-wise. If you use this tool wisely, you can reach thousands if not millions of people that can become your potential customers. At the moment video content is in high demand, and as an artist, you can easily exploit this option, for example, by creating eye-catching, sped-up drawing videos.
All you need to do is to create your art and just film the process. In the end, you speed up the footage and post it on social media. Add a link to your website or information on how the art can be bought, and you have yourself a nice deal!
Another video content option is making a Youtube channel. For Youtube, you can create relaxing videos that show you painting paired with soothing music. If you feel the calling, you can also teach about art on your channel or tell more about famous artists and art styles. Find a niche that suits you the best, and explore the option of digital content creation!
Teach drawing and art
A lot of great artists have taught their craft to students, and you can be one of them! If you have the patience and maybe even the knack for teaching, it can be a great option for you. You get to work a flexible schedule and talk about the subject you love the most and earn some money in the process. If you teach grown-ups you might even find some clients in your student group.
There are options to teach in a real-life classroom or create an online course. A real-life classroom will give you a connection with other people while an online course, once created, can run and you don’t have to pay so much attention to it. It will give you more free time for painting and creating art.
Work on your PR to get clients
Another option how to sell your art is to make yourself more visible. You can do it by using social media strategies including ads, having shows at art galleries, or taking on projects that will give you good press. You can participate in a movement that is covered by the press and that needs an artist, for example, a project for children to create art on the walls of their school but they need an artist who can supervise and give tips. Or maybe you can participate in a charity auction or other events as an art consultant.
Another option is to participate in government or private projects. It can be painting something in the streets of your city, or a similar large-scale project. The main goal here is to give yourself visibility, showcase your style and mention that you have artwork for sale as well. The more people will know you, the more likely some of them will become your clients.
Create art for stock websites
Original artwork is always needed, and there are lots of websites that have a stock of different artworks from images to graphics. It is another option to explore. You can create, for example, patterns for fabrics or sell images on stock sites. You can also create graphic illustrations.
Find work as a digital artist or graphic designer
Sometimes it can take time for you to be able to live off just your personal art. So it is a good idea to find a job in the creative field so you can still do what you like, but make it a bit more practical. A good option is to become a graphic designer or illustrator. You can earn good money and invest it in your personal art and slowly grow your art brand from there.
Your artistic journey is uniquely yours, and there is no one-size-fits-all formula for success. Embrace your individuality, stay true to your vision, and trust in your ability to create something meaningful. Keep in mind the entrepreneurial tips and if you need help with the practical side of business, don’t be shy to ask for help or find a partner!