How to make money as an artist

How to make money as an artist – 10 ideas!

Let’s talk about how to make money as an artist. I bet you head from a lot of people that you cannot possibly consider making a career out of art! I absolutely believe that if you want to you should definitely monetize what you create. Whether you want it to pay the bills or as a side income is completely up to you. There are many paths you can take and it all depends on how much time and effort you want to put into it!

10 ideas how to make money as an artist

Print on Demand sites like, or sell your designs on physical products. You upload your art and each time someone buys a product with it, you earn a small commission. Let’s face it, it’s really hard to make a large income through these sites. However, it can make a nice addition. All you do is upload your designs and the POD sites handle all the rest so it’s a fairly passive way to make money as an artist.

Licensing your art

Another idea is to license your art, depending on what you create. For instance, if you make patterns you can reach out to companies who produce bedding or clothes and pitch your work to them. If you feel that pitching on your own is stressful you can also consider hiring an art licensing agent who will do it for you.

Taking commissions, doing custom work

If people enjoy your work and style they might consider ordering custom pieces from you. Make your offer known on Instagram or through your own website. Describe the process of ordering a custom design from you so people will know what to expect. It will make them much more inclined to order from you!

Selling your art via Etsy or your own website

Consider either selling your art in digital form (printable wall art or scrapbook pages) or as physical products. The downside of selling physical products yourself is that you need to find a reliable and good manufacturer and order in bulk. However you can get a much higher income once you sell the products yourself then on all the POD sites! You can offer your products on Etsy or set up a shop on your own website.

Become a teacher

Share your knowledge with orders and monetize it! You can make a class and share it on websites such as or You can also consider doing workshops either online or in a venue. Or what about an ebook where you share your tips, tricks and techniques?

Exclusive, paid content via Patreon

Share tutorials and behind the scenes of your work exclusively on Patreon. It’s a wonderful way to connect with your fans and cater to their needs. You can use polls and Discord chat to build a true community. Share what you are making, create vlogs for your Patrons, teach them your ways, give them access to open files of your art – the only limit is your imagination on what you can offer there.

Sell digital assets

Anything you make or design can be sold on sites like creativemarket or design cuts. Patterns, clip art, mockups, logos, textures, brushes, social media bundles – you name it! Keep in mind that most of these websites require you to apply with your portfolio to make sure your art will fit their marketplace.

Publish a zine

You can publish your drawings and sketches in form of a zine. There are different formats to consider – digital zine (as PDF) or a printed form. Digital format does not require you to invest money up front, while you need to pay for printing before selling your zine in physical form. However you may also consider on-demand printing via

Sell your art at conventions and art fairs

See if there are any conventions or fairs in the city where you live or however close is comfortable for you. See if you can get a booth there (for which you will have to pay) and show off your products. I think it’s a great way to connect with people and get your name out there.

Offer your services on fiverr or upwork

You can offer your services in places like fiverr or upwork. You never know what you can find if you start browsing through different project offers – there might be something really interesting or fun to do and earn money! The more work you do on websites like these the higher rank you get and the easier it gets to keep new projects coming your way.

Here are all the ways how you can make money as an artist – from commission work, through print on demand, teaching and art conventions. It all boils down to how much time you want to devote to make money from your art. And remember it’s always hard when you begin, and there will be times when it will all seem impossible and quite discouraging. How much you make from your art does not define how good of an artist you are. All of these ideas require a lot of patience and perseverance, which I wish to all of us!

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