When it comes to how to make huge money as an artist, many people who aren’t artists wonder how artists make money, and many seasoned artists wonder the same thing!
Of course artists know that to make money, you must sell work. But there other methods of making money that you may not be aware of.
Aside from the doubts, artists are also told by their friends and loved ones often times that they can’t make a viable career out of their passion.
The truth is that while some artists might struggle to make ends meet, others make a good living by selling their work, and supplementing their income.
Which is why we described in details the different methods that artists can diversify into to make more money from their passion and line of business below:
(1) Teaching Art – Both Online or Offline
Teaching is one of the major ways to make money as an artist when it comes to how to make money as an artist because teachers earn a consistent income within the art world, so you can consider teaching art for financial stability.
However, it is important to make sure you have some experience for the role; lots of new graduates apply to teach art but just don’t have the experience. Normally these positions are very popular, so you need an edge to be considered.
If you are the proactive and extrovert type of artist, finding students shouldn’t be a problem. But first, you have to establish which type of teaching will be more suitable for you.
1a) Teaching Art Offline
If you have a closer look, you’ll probably find that your neighborhood offers opportunities for making some money with art. Even better if you have an attractive niche like astrophotography, calligraphy or street photography.
Some ideas on how you can contribute to the social life of your community while gaining experience and earning money:
- Offer painting (or whatever is your specialty) classes or one-day workshops to adults, kids or high-schoolers in your local community center.
- Organize an exhibition – alone or invite other artists to participate.
- Offer short, interactive art workshops for corporate events and parties.
- Organize “plein air” painting workshops in the nature.
1b) Teaching Art Online
Teaching online courses can be a better option for reaching a wider audience. However, tutoring several people at the same time will be much more difficult online than face-to-face.
Another option is to turn your teaching into a form of passive income. You’ll have to prepare the material once, and it can bring you income even for several months or years.
Some ways how you can become an online art tutor:
- Sell courses on platforms like Udemy and Skillshare.
- Create your own YouTube channel to give weekly lessons on different techniques.
- Sell guides and tutorials on your own website or Sellfy page. These can take any form – video tutorials, ebooks, step-by-step guides with images, etc.
(2) Network with other Artists and Creatives
Networking is one of the major ways to make money as an artist because it gives you the opportunity to talk to established artists, representatives, and buyers of art. They will give you insights into buying and selling art, and they may be willing to help you with exposure.
As you speak to more people at events and exhibitions, your career will start to gain momentum. Artists rely on the art community to thrive and succeed, and the only way to join the community is by networking.
(3) Take Internships
This method has to do with future planning as it helps artists plan for the future even before beginning the business. Therefore, It is useful for artists to think about how they will make money a few years before they actually graduate.
One of the easiest ways to make connections in the art world is to take an art internship, as you get to work alongside established artists and representatives.
Interning with galleries will also give you the chance to work behind the scenes of art selling, which can teach you about how to market your own art.
If you want to do an internship, apply for as many as possible; often these positions are oversubscribed, so there is no guarantee that you will be offered a place.
(4) Applying for Grants and Competitions
This method cannot be neglected as it also plays a major source of income for artists when it comes to how to make money as an artist.
Many international programs, local communities or non-profit organizations offer grants for artists. The aim of these is either to support young artists, promote culture or address a particular problem.
Other times local institutions need actual pieces of art to decorate new buildings or give a nice touch to an event.
How to apply to these programs?
Try a simple online search like “grants for artists” or “artist contests”. To narrow the search down, you can add your specific country, state or city. You will probably find at least several contests or programs that you are eligible to enter and win cash or other prizes, and the chance to show your work.
Also, be sure to follow the news on social media and your artistic or professional circles, like the university, artist association or NGO.
(5) Sell your Art Works at Commercial Galleries
Selling your art works at commercial galleries typically means selling the artists’ works at a commission. The typical commission that galleries take is somewhere between 40% and 50% of the sale of the work.
This is determined by the contract. Whether you submit your work for sale by consignment or enter into an ongoing relationship with a gallery, the parameters should all be written down in a contract.