How to Start Earning Money as an Artist

earn money as an artist

We all know about that expression that if you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life. That statement couldn’t be truer, but it isn’t always easy to follow your career dreams. This is especially accurate if you are an artist.

How many times have you heard it from your parents or close family members that it is amazing that you are talented and passionate about art, but that it would be better to go to law school or business school, and to keep practicing art as a hobby?

Of course, anyone who gives you this type of advice only wants the best for you. They believe that by being a lawyer, for example, you will be able to make for a living and possibly even more, since art simply doesn’t pay off. Well, the good news is that this isn’t actually true.

You can earn money as an artist and we bring you a few tips on how to start.

Find out what you do best

This practically means determining what your specialty and your niche are. You may be an incredible graphic designer, but an even better painter.

Moreover, if you are passionate about photography, you need to know if you are better at and prefer pop art in the style of the great Andy Warhol or whether you can make astonishingly beautiful portraits and fashion photography, similarly to the unique pieces of Annie Leibovitz.

Defining your niche is of much importance because it will help you grow and develop as an artist, but it will also make it easier to advertise and sell your art.

You may want to create in a niche where what you offer will be in high demand and where there are a great number of artists, who have similar preferences and goals to you, or you may want to opt for something new and unique, which is rarely seen and only a few people can represent competition.

In any case, finding your creative niche is something you must do in order to profit from your art.

Invest in your art

Invest in art

This means developing your skills and also financially investing in your equipment. Exchange opinions with fellow artists, educate yourself and keep up with the trends.

Networks as much as you can, as this will be fruitful for you both regards art as well as business.

In addition, you cannot expect the profit to come if you have had zero financial investment. If you are, for instance, a photographer, you should spend on a top-notch camera.

On the other hand, if you are a painter, it shouldn’t be a problem for you to find top-quality canvas online and some excellent paintbrushes and invest your money into those necessary pieces of equipment.

This is crucial because investing in high-quality tools and equipment will result in art that is phenomenal and admirable.

Take internships

This will be useful for those who are about to or have recently graduated from art school. Working closely with artists and professionals in your area of art will teach you a lot, but it will also provide you with great connections that will be of much benefit later on in your career.

In addition, if you take an internship in an art gallery, you will be able to learn so much about how the business of selling art pieces functions, you will get a relevant insight into the market, and of course, you will get the opportunity to make many significant connections.

Ultimately, the best outcome may happen and you may get offered a permanent position at the studio or the gallery where you have spent your internship.

Sell your art online

sell online

In a world where almost everything is digitalized, it is no wonder that much profit can come from online sales. With putting your art on one or more websites, you will make it easier for people and potentials customer to get to know your work and to purchase your pieces.

The more followers you get, your sales will get higher and higher. Of course, you should always remember to stay true to yourself because only that will pay off in the long run.

In addition, you should know that it will take some time to get the following you expect and to begin making serious money.

So, get started, be patient, and have faith. You can opt to start with websites such as Amazon, Etsy, or eBay or you can go choose websites that exclusively sell art.

As there are a number of platforms that sell art online, for instance, Society6 and Azucar Gallery, make sure to do your research to establish which platform offers what and to determine which one or ones are the best for your artwork.

Note that a lot of these websites sell prints and enable your art to be transformed into merchandise that may attract a wider audience to you and finally, result in a higher income.

Start teaching art classes

Do not get influenced by the general misconception that those who can’t do, teach. Teaching can actually help you immensely, bringing you a consistent and valuable income.

By being financially stable, you will be able to invest more time into creating art and you won’t feel the pressure to make an immediate profit from selling your artwork.

Teaching will also provide you with precious experience and may even help you make valuable connections. In case that nearby you there are potential students, you can teach one-on-one classes.

In addition, take into consideration that the e-learning market is on the rise, so you may want to start online teaching. Find a creative online teaching platform that suits you best and gets started.

Make lesson plans and reach out to your future students. Social networks such as Instagram and Facebook and even the YouTube platform can be quite helpful in not only promoting your artwork but also attracting people who are interested in your art classes.

Finally, if you have a degree in art, you may want to look into whether there are any open teaching positions at a neighboring university or a community college.

Who knows, you could even discover teaching to be your true calling.

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Akash Saini
Akash is an editor of Ok Easy Life. He is an atheist who believes in love and cultural diversity. Reach out to him at