13 Best Ways To Make Money As An Independent Artist
There are numerous ways for artists to gain money in their professions. While some artists hold down full-time careers, others perform at events or work freelance for customers they independently source.
It’s helpful to comprehend the various ways you might earn money in your line of work if you’re thinking about pursuing a career as an artist.
This article reviews the many artistic specialties, goes over how to make money as an artist, and lists 13 potential sources of income.
Various Art Disciplines
The most popular art disciplines include literature, visual art, and performing art, yet there are other kinds of art disciplines you can be interested in for your career.
These three creative specialties are well-liked among artists and allow you to employ both online and offline cash streams, despite the fact that there are other artistic specialties like textile art and cuisine. Here is a closer look at each of these disciplines and the various careers you could pursue within them:
- Literature: Written works of art are referred to as literature. Writers typically produce literature to entertain readers and provide vivid descriptions of their thoughts, feelings, and stories. Writing poetry, novels, or short stories for magazines and periodicals are a few careers in the field of literature.
- Visual art: To satisfy their audience, tell a story, or communicate emotions, visual artists employ pictures and structures to produce beautiful works of art in a variety of media. Sculptors, painters, photographers, and graphic designers are among the careers in visual arts you might think about.
- Performance art: Through performances, performance art tells stories that elicit an emotional response from the audience. People who work in performance art may pursue careers as musicians, actors, or dancers.
Steps To Make Money As An Artist
1. Planning Your Brand
It’s crucial to have a distinctive identity for yourself if you want to succeed as an independent artist. Because it standardizes your values, beliefs, and vision for your work, defining your brand can assist you in making crucial commercial decisions regarding your art.
Additionally, having a personal brand might help you better convey the value of your job to clients that share your interests, which can enhance your marketing.
If you’re an illustrator, for instance, your brand idea might focus on producing lively, captivating illustrations to enhance the immersiveness of children’s books.
By producing marketing materials that showcase your vibrant and captivating artistic style, you can sell your abilities.
Knowing the market that your business aims to serve will help you choose the right platforms to advertise your work.
2. Building Your Audience
Building an audience is an essential step in taking use of many of the revenue streams available to artists.
You may build an artistic brand and produce great digital advertisements using an online store and social media platforms to attract new clients who will support your profession by purchasing your art or tickets to view your art.
Another choice is to develop an audience offline by handing out fliers and posters about your work, going to live performances, and making connections with experts in your field.
Use your greatest work in adverts, whether you market offline or online, to draw in potential clients. Even if you want to work for an employer full-time and don’t want to depend on sales to generate a profit, the art you create will still be valuable.
3. Selling Your Art
Selling the artwork you create is a typical way to earn money in the arts, whether you do this by honing your abilities, accepting commissions from clients, or working on projects for your employer.
Selling your art can also indicate a variety of things, such as selling clients real or digital copies of your writing or works of art, tickets to your performances of musicals or plays, or your ability to produce works of art for your employer while working as a teacher or photojournalist, among other things.
To have a successful career as an artist in your chosen art form, you can select the selling strategies that are most effective for you.
For many artists, this may entail utilizing a variety of active and passive income streams in order to boost their earnings and build their brands.
13 best ways to make more money as an artist
1. Online Art Selling
Selling your artwork online through social media channels and online shops is one way to earn money as an artist.
It’s typical for artists who produce things, such as many writers and visual artists, to offer both digital and tangible versions of their work online so that consumers may buy them conveniently on their computers.
Performance artists may also upload recordings of their shows to websites or online shops for viewers or listeners to purchase.
2. Make a personal art sale.
Selling your work in person at different markets and locations is another way to generate income from your artistic endeavors.
The sale of tangible paintings, etchings, sculptures, and handmade crafts is common at art festivals, while musicians can perform at concerts and receive paid by the event’s organizer.
Compared to online sales, this kind of selling typically results in fewer prospective clients reached, but the connections you have with individuals who purchase your art may be stronger because they get to experience it in person.
3. Obtain royalties from art publications
Publishing artwork through conventional or internet publishers and earning royalties from sales of the artwork are passive revenue sources for artists.
Novelists, singers, and actors frequently receive royalties, which increase in value in proportion to the size of their fan bases.
Consider posting your artwork on a website that enables you to get paid when a consumer buys it if you want to use royalties as a source of income.
4. Guide the students
A fantastic approach for artists to use their knowledge of their chosen art discipline to earn money is through teaching or tutoring.
Art teachers and professors can choose to work in education as their full-time profession, but you can also provide classes on your art in person or online, make tutorials for budding artists to use, and give lessons to students who wish to improve their skills in your field.
Although teaching may restrict your artistic work, it’s usually a reliable way for artists to generate steady income.
If you are a teacher and want to earn online by teaching students, then you must read our article: How to make money by Teachers pay teachers.
5. Obtain Art Grants
In exchange for a finished body of work, several museums and other art institutions or organizations give grants—large sums of money—to artists.
A university’s art department, for instance, might award a grant to a muralist for a fresh set of murals on their campus.
You must typically look for these possibilities online or in art forums, then submit an application along with a portfolio of your artwork to be considered for an art grant.
You might have to get through a grant interview in some circumstances.
6. Put your artwork in online exhibitions
Another type of passive income for artists is income gained from customers who purchase your art from online galleries.
Photographers and musicians frequently post photographs and music clips on websites that allow customers to buy and use these images and sounds for their own purposes while maintaining copyright regulations.
For example, a film student may purchase your music from a sound gallery to use in the soundtrack of their film, which gives you money and exposure when they include your name in the credits.
7. Make a blog
A terrific method to promote your love of painting and earn money through affiliate links and paid adverts is through an art blog.
Your blog can cover any topic relating to the arts, but if you want to earn money with this strategy, you must have a sizable readership.
This is due to the possibility that readers who frequently visit your blog in an effort to learn more about your art and creative process may click on advertisements that businesses pay for you to place there or affiliate links to items you mention in your posts.
8. Design and Create Products
You can develop items out of your art and sell it through online shops or your website in addition to selling it as is.
Customers might appreciate seeing your visual artwork or allusions to your writing or performance art on clothes, phone cases, or other wearable or usable goods.
You can reach a wider audience by producing goods from your artwork for people who might prefer practical items to just physical artwork or who want to support your art with something they can display to their friends.
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9. Take Part in Art Competitions
Art competition participation can be a rewarding way to get money.
Companies may arrange competitions to find new art for the marketing and branding initiatives.
Many museums, institutions, and private galleries hold art competitions in which anyone can participate.
When you discover an art contest online or through contacts in your network, you frequently need to put together a portfolio and submit a piece of artwork that complies with certain requirements; judges will then look over your submission to determine the winner.
Depending on the competition, you might receive cash awards for your placement, but be aware that some may have entrance fees.
10. Provide commissions
Accepting commissions can be a terrific method for artists to make money and develop personal relationships with their customers.
For personal use, many customers commission works from artists. For instance, a bride can order a unique work of art to decorate the wedding venue.
When a project is commissioned, the customer and the artist work carefully to clarify the client’s expectations for the item, and the artist can decide on a fair fee based on the length of time, materials used, and difficulty of the creation.
11. Offer your services as a freelancer
Many creatives work freelance, which means they provide their talents to a variety of clientele with diverse needs, demands, and deadlines.
Artists who provide freelance services frequently collaborate with their clients to create contracts that outline a formal, legal agreement about the kind of work, the amount of time it will take, and the payment terms.
For instance, if you work as a graphic designer, you might create logos on a freelance basis for multiple clients who have individual contracts with you.
12. Work along with others
Working together on collaborations can be a terrific opportunity to collaborate with other artists and earn money.
For instance, a fellow local artist might approach you about working together and offer to compensate you for your contributions.
They might ask you to work with them on a project because you have complimentary skills, or they might do it because they think your combined efforts will help you both reach new audiences.
13. Publish a vlogging channel.
Starting a vlog can be a terrific strategy to diversify your marketing channels and increase your income if you enjoy producing videos.
This can be another option to supplement your income as an artist since many video hosting services compensate content creators based on how many people watch their films.
Some producers are compensated through sponsorships, which can be an additional source of income.
Your vlog can be centered on your artistic creation process, advice for other artists, product evaluations of art equipment, or the promotion of others’ artwork.
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