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How to Make Money as an Artist

15 min read

Making money as an artist can be challenging, yet rewarding, for artists. Most artists pursue art as a career due to their passion for creativity. Turning that passion into a living, or at least secondary income, is a dream come true for many. But figuring out how to make money as an artist today is not always easy.

The most successful artists can become rich from their work. But for artists just starting out or individuals looking to make some supplemental income off their art, what’s the best option?

Contrary to what you may have heard, there are actually several viable avenues to making money as an artist. Here are some of our best tips on how to make money as an artist offline and online.

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How Much Money Can Artists Make?

The amount of money you earn as an artist can vary drastically. According to recent surveys, the average monthly income of an artist in America is $5907. But there is a tremendous range in artist earnings, and the majority make less than that total.

How much money you make as an artist depends on several factors. Most notably, the amount of time you devote to art and how you choose to sell your artistic skills have a big impact.

How to Make Money as an Independent Artist

When most people consider the question of how to make money as an artist, they likely think of selling artwork. While this is one way to make money as an artist, it is not the only avenue an artist can pursue to make money.

Selling your own original artwork can be immensely rewarding, but many artists rely on other means to make a living. Here are a few of the best methods for making money as an artist.

Become a freelance artist

Being a freelance artist can be appealing for a couple of reasons. First, being a freelance worker gives you great schedule flexibility. A freelancer can pick and choose projects that suit their preferences and schedule. This makes it great for somebody who is simply looking to make money as an artist on the side. But even full-time artists can make a living as a freelancer under the right circumstances.

Individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations all seek the services of freelance artists for various occasions. Finding steady work as a freelancer is a great way to keep supplemental income rolling in while growing your portfolio. The more experience you get, the easier it will become to find more work in the future.

Some freelance artists may struggle at first before they establish themselves. But once you are established and trusted as a freelancer, it can be a great stepping stone to larger projects.

Sell at art fairs

Art fairs are a great venue for new artists to gain exposure. Unlike other options on this list, selling your work at an art fair does not require an established reputation beforehand. If you set up shop at a local art fair, you can let your art do the selling rather than relying on reputation or recognition.

Even better, art fairs are an active market for buyers. Everybody in attendance will be interested and prepared to buy art. Of course, some research and preparation is still required. Understanding the tastes and preferences of the audience at an art fair is a big determining factor for your sales. Choosing pieces that are best suited for the particular audience at an art fair can be very important.

That said, art fairs are a great option for those wondering how to make money as an artist offline. Selling in person allows your art to make a more immediate impact and can also be a valuable networking experience.

Create a brand

Branding is crucial if you’re trying to figure out how to make money as an independent artist. Establishing a brand as an artist opens up many doors to additional revenue streams for artists. If you create an established brand, you can do things like sell branded merchandise and create branded content. Creating a brand also helps to establish a loyal following, which leads to more opportunities to sell your work.

But how does an artist go about establishing a brand? The first thing for anybody looking to make money as an artist will always be the art itself. Beyond that, there are several things you can do to build your own artistic brand.

Creating a blog is often another essential step for artists who want to establish a reputable brand. A professional blog is a great venue to share your art and grow your following online. But a blog can be more than simply a showcase for your artwork. It can also be a place to generate sales and a platform for sharing other art-related content. Artists can share blog posts where they discuss things like art history, art movements, other artists, or anything else related to art.

When creating a brand for yourself, it’s important to keep in mind who your target audience is. What is the best way to reach your audience, and what kind of content will be most appealing to them? Having a consistent style and voice is very important when establishing credibility and recognizability for any brand.

Become an educator

Another way to make money as an artist that doesn’t involve making your own artwork is to become a teacher. This does not mean getting a job as an art teacher at a school (although that is an option). The internet is a great tool for self-education. Not everyone can afford to go to art school, and many people online are wondering how to make money as an artist without a degree.

Every day, millions of people seek out educational resources online from experts who are happy to share their knowledge online. You can become one of those experts by creating educational content and sharing it across online platforms. Becoming an online art educator can also lead to opportunities to teach in-person art classes or workshops and vice versa.

Art can be a career, but it is also a great hobby that many people have an interest in. Being able to share your passion and knowledge while helping others fulfill their desire to learn more and become better artists can be immensely rewarding. Becoming an online art educator can also be a major step toward establishing your brand as well.

Create an online store

Creating an online store is one of the simplest and most effective ways to make money as an artist. With an online store, you can create listings for prints, designs, and original artworks for interested buyers. Setting up your online store often goes hand-in-hand with other money-making strategies for artists.

You can easily link to your store from blog posts and other digital content you share online. This can be one of the best methods for converting interested buyers into customers online. An online store can also help establish credibility for potential clients if you are working as a freelance artist.

Creating an online store is also easy and affordable, thanks to Ecwid’s free plan. Ecwid users can set up a custom, professional-looking store with up to five product listings for free.

How to Make Money as an Artist Online: Techniques and Platforms

As you can see, there are quite a few avenues that artists can take to earn money. But, for those wondering how to make money as an artist online, what are the best platforms to do so?

There are several great platforms online that can help artists earn a living. Here are some of the best options to choose from.

How to make money as an artist on Etsy

One of the first places people turn to when it comes to selling arts and crafts online is Etsy. Creating an Etsy store is easy to do and gives artists instant access to a large market of interested buyers. Etsy is a great platform for selling both digital and physical copies of your artwork.

To create an Etsy shop, simply go to Etsy/sell, click “Get Started,” and follow the instructions from there. The process is designed to be highly intuitive and allow sellers to get started selling as quickly as possible.

How to make money as an artist on Instagram

Instagram is an intuitive platform to use for anyone wondering how to make money as an artist online. Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms on the internet, with over 2 billion active users.

On top of that, it is also a highly visual platform, which makes it the ideal place to share artwork. Instagram even has its own built-in sales interface to facilitate sales on the platform.

Of course, making money as an artist on Instagram depends on building a strong following. To do this, artists will need to identify their target audience and share consistent, compelling content.

But, when done right, Instagram can be an artist’s best friend when it comes to building a brand. From there, you can easily redirect followers to other platforms, such as your online art store.

How to make money on Fiverr as an artist

Fiverr is an online platform that connects freelance workers to businesses or individuals seeking freelance services. Fiverr is an ideal place for freelance artists to find work for all types of work. Fiverr clients are often in search of graphic designers and artists for various projects.

Getting started on Fiverr is relatively straightforward. The first thing you’ll need to do is create an account and profile. Your profile will give you a chance to stand out, as it allows you to share your work and explain who you are.

Once you have a Fiverr profile, you can create a Gig, which tells potential clients what type of work you are looking for. Once you start finding work on Fiverr, your portfolio will grow, and you will have more opportunities to negotiate higher rates.

How to make money on Patreon as an artist

Patreon is a popular platform for all types of content creators across the web. Patreon allows supporters and followers to pay their favorite content creators in a number of ways.

Artists can use Patreon as a place to collect donations and commissions from their online audience. But it can also be a platform to share content as well. Patreon has excellent earning potential for artists, but exactly how much you make depends on your following.

Creating a Patreon account is free, with the platform taking a percentage of user earnings. However, the money-making potential Patreon offers more than makes up for the fees in most cases.

How to make money on YouTube as an artist

Artists can make money on YouTube by creating art-related video content and vlogs. YouTube, of course, is the internet’s largest video-sharing platform. While YouTube is not a venue to sell your artwork, it is one of the best online platforms to grow your following.

Artists can use YouTube to share educational content, art analysis, how-to tutorials, or anything else they can think of. From there, you can redirect viewers to other platforms, like an online store or a Patreon account, to convert views into sales. Successful YouTube channels can also earn ad revenue from their videos.

How to make money from NFTs as an artist

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a relatively new digital product that has changed the way artists can make money online. NFTs are unique, original digital products that use a special digital identifier to guarantee authenticity. Artists can create NFTs of their original artworks to be sold on NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible.

Selling NFTs gives artists excellent control over their original artwork, as well as a large marketplace for selling. To get started, artists simply need to choose their NFT marketplace and create an account to sell their artwork.

Build a Brand and Create an Online Store With Ecwid

For those wondering how to make money as an artist online, establishing a reputation is very important. Having an online store to direct interested buyers is one of the best ways to capitalize on your other efforts. Ecwid is one of the best tools for anyone looking to build their own online store.

Ecwid is a free, easy-to-use ecommerce platform, great for building custom websites or integrating with existing platforms. Read more about getting started with Ecwid to learn more.


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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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