Making a decent living as an artist can be tough, especially when starting out, it can be daunting to realise that your stream of income heavily relies on your ability to create popular artwork that sells.
For this reason many artists have to find ways to support their passion, such as having a second job. I used to work in a factory while I was studying for my degree & building my Art & Design business to a decent level.
I have discovered that there are many other ways to create income from your passion, meaning you dont have to work a terrible job just to support yourself. Here are 10 different ways of creating a stable income to help you make a living from your art.
1. Freelancing websites
The downside is it can be hard to make decent money with most clients looking for the cheapest fee. But if your lucky enough to find the right clients, you can find some
really great paying jobs and possible stable work.
I was able to land many art and design jobs and have made some new friends in the process. I would highly recommend using the following websites
2. Selling prints
Selling prints online has never been easier, there are many websites that you can submit your work too and they take care of the production and shipping of the artworks for a small cut of the sale. You can of course produce your own prints for sale, but for some people it makes sense to use the following websites.
3. Digital Wallpapers
I noticed my artwork was constantly being downloaded from internet without my consent, people would crop chop and edit my work and use it as digital wallpapers on their phones/computers and tablets.
Now this of course is practically unavoidable and comes with the risk of sharing your work online. So I thought maybe if someone liked my work that much, they would pay £0.99 for a high resolution copy of my work. It actually worked well and I was able to make a small income from selling HD resoultion copies of my work.
4. Online courses
I had many people asking me how I create my work and how could they do something similar. So I decided to start teaching everything I knew about digital art. This is an ongoing development, as my skills expand so do the courses.
So far the response has been amazing, and I am planning to push this project further.
Commissions are perhaps my favourite source of income as they pay well and give you the chance to connect and make someone happy. I get a number of varied commissions from individuals, companies and publishers.
After several years of creating and developing my portfolios I realised I actually had an extensive catalog of work which was just sat there and not really doing anything for me. So I decided to start licensing my work, people can pay to use my work in their promotional material, for example I have one company who regularly purchases my work to use for their Facebook advertising. It is a great way of earning extra income on pieces of art that are just sitting there!
I had reviewed several digital art products in the past, some of these reviews caught on well with the public, as a result I have had more companies commission me to write about or demonstrate their products. This can be really fun, it pays well and is a way of establishing yourself as an expert in a certain field.
Most online products now have an affiliate system, affiliates work by recommending other people to a product, when they buy the product a certain percentage of that sale will go to you. On one of my reviews I had an affiliate link that generated a really healthy source of income. But be careful not to rely on this income, if a company changes it’s affiliate system you could lose that stream of money.
9. Design services
I graduated with a First in Graphic design, when I was 16 had plans to make a living as a designer. But as my art started to take over I now use my design skills to make my own business material look great, and to support my artistic development.
I get a lot of web and print design clients which pay well. So think about other creative talents that you have that could generate extra income.
10. 1 to 1 Tuition
Recently I have been able to start charging for digital painting tuition sessions. People meet with me and I guide them through the basics of digital painting or design
specific lessons that target troubles they are having.
And most importantly: Network, promote, commit!
The key to making a living as an artist today is to constantly network and promote your best work when ever possible. Once you have fully committed to making a living from your art, make it obvious to the world how serious you are. Be polite, professional and kind to others and you will receive the same treatment back.
To sum up…
So as you can see there are a lot of streams of income here, some are more major than others but they all play a part in boosting my profile and supporting my lifestyle.
Since going self employed I have made so many interesting clients & connections and have built many new friendships!
I am 23 years old so hopefully I will discover many new ways of supporting my art career to share with you all 🙂
Thanks for reading.
He aims to inspire positive self development through his art, design and writing. Louis loves to work with other like minded people and businesses, helping them communicate their messages with the world through inspiring visionary art.
His artwork has been featured in magazines such as Digital Arts magazine, and is regularly shared around the internet.