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1| 5 Ways to make money as an artist

Updated: May 30, 2023

Photograph: Martine Kiers

Take a moment to appreciate how amazing it is that through creating your art, you can express and develop yourself. And hey, if you can make a living from it and earn some serious cash, that's a double win! Over the course of 3 blogs, I will share various ideas that can help you with that. Because if you want to achieve or sustain that, it's smart to explore multiple income streams. So, ditch the whole "starving artist" stereotype and embrace the art of entrepreneurship!

Working on commission A person, company, or organization hires you to create a piece. Now, take a moment to think about how you want to approach this. Do you want to be the artist with complete artistic freedom. Or do you find joy in bringing the client's vision to life, tailoring your creations to their desires? Perhaps, the sweet spot lies in finding balance between the two. Don't forget to utilize a contract that clearly outlines the expectations of both parties. This prevents miscommunication during the project. Application: Quick to medium-paced | On location or from your workspace | Active income

Physical Products

Options abound when it comes to selling physical products! To start with offering your "originals" at a premium price, while also creating prints of your artwork to make them more accessible at a smaller cost. This way, you can cater to a wider audience. Want to increase the value a bit? Turn those prints into "limited editions" or add handcrafted touches like a signature or some extra details. And let's not forget about merchandise! Stickers, tote bags, t-shirts, sweaters, cards, and buttons can all add extra flair to your artistic brand.

Application: Quick to medium-paced | From your workspace | Both active and passive income possibilities


A fun way to bring people together and expand your community. Workshops can be executed both online and in-person. This allows you to introduce others to something they haven't experienced before or use it as a teaser for a longer-term option. However, it's important to consider whether you feel comfortable leading a group of people. If you find it a bit nerve-wracking, it can help to start with a small group or do a trial run with friends.

Application: Quick | On-site or in your workspace | Active (Offline & Live Online) and Passive (Online) income.


Can you envision yourself standing in front of a classroom? Don't worry, you don't have to abandon your artistic pursuits and dive into teaching full-time. Consider the option of giving guest lectures or teaching a class once a week. It offers a bit more financial security while allowing you to pass on your knowledge to others. Just imagine the joy of inspiring children to embrace their creativity! And remember, you don't have to be an expert—just having more knowledge than those you wish to teach is enough.

Application: Medium to long term | On location | Active income


After gaining years of valuable experience, you could support aspiring artists with less or little experience. You can offer one-on-one sessions or create a mentorship program to guide others along their creative path. Prepare a document that clearly outlines the support you offer and the time commitment involved. Just like with many things, it's can easily become more time consuming, leading to a loss of time for your own creative pursuits.

Application: Medium to long term | On location or in your workspace | Active income

Curious about the rest? Click here for the other blog. Do you have a method that's not mentioned here? Feel free to share it in the comments, and who knows, someone else might benefit from it thanks to you

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