From paints on canvas to stitch work, art is definitely in. Over the last decade, the number of people moving towards careers in the creative arts has been gradually growing, as more and more people choose to tread off the beaten path.
With this increase, there has been a corresponding increase in the awareness and appreciation surrounding art products. Families clamoring for handmade wall hangings, businesses requiring murals and students looking for customized t-shirts and merchandise has resulted in a ripe and booming market.
For an artist just starting out, the only burning question is “Where do I begin?”
Here is a list of 7 different ways in which artists can earn their keep via their art.
1. Get your art out there
The first step any budding artist will have to go through is to find a way to showcase their talents. In times long gone, this may have required galleries and exhibitions, but in our age of social media and networking, all you need is a website or a social media page.
Start off with an Instagram handle, document and display all your creations in the best light possible. This will require a good sense of aesthetics, a quality common among artists. To increase reach, you could also post tutorials and time-lapse videos of the process itself, both of these being popular trends. If and when your profile gains a large following, you will be approached by companies to advertise their products as well as have customers enquiring about private commissions.
As any entrepreneur will tell you, the key to a good business is networking. Interact with other artists, build your circle and in turn widen your reach among the masses. The more people you meet, the more clients you will find.
Attend events where you are likely to meet like-minded people, interact, build knowledge. This lets you get in touch with other artists, potential clients, and Business blogs that can help draw attention to your work. A community such as this can also help you during dry spells.
3. Sale platform
Set up an account on popular sale platforms. A popular website, Patreon, allows fans to pay a subscription fee to view and access an artist’s posts and content. The subscription fee is usually a basic affordable amount which encourages more fans to pay it. Unlike most other platforms and contracts, Patreon does not place restrictions on your art. The company deducts 10% of the artist’s total annual earnings. Further, websites such as Etsy allow you to sell your art to customers across the globe. Other ways of generating revenue through art can include designing advertisements, tying up with companies that require logos and designs on their products and clothing design (for instance, customized design t-shirt prints). Well established artists use a mixture of these methods to generate revenue through their creations.
Another way artists can earn money is by setting up tutorials and masterclasses on reputed online portals. Courses aimed at various experience levels (beginner to expert) can be developed and marketed to followers and art schools students. If you can find the time, you can also focus on offline classes for interested students in and around your neighborhood as a way to generate extra revenue. Guest artist programs can also be rewarding if you are given such an opportunity. If this is a medium you particularly enjoy, it is possible to turn it into a full-time career as well.
5. Co-op galleries
Co-op galleries are formed by a group of artists that have come together to exhibit their art. Being a part of such a gallery and having your creations on display contributes a fair amount to your public presence, interested clientele and commissions while simultaneously saving on funds and resources that would have been required if it were a solo exhibition. Take part in local flea markets by setting up a stall to sell your art.
6. Private Commissions
Once you have built your public presence, private commissions will be a part and parcel of your daily life. Improve your negotiation skills, set up a channel through which interested individuals can approach you and always ensure that you never spend more than what you earn through a commission. This can be extended to include customized designs, portraits, and tattoo designs.
7. Publish a book
The final method on this list of earning money through art is by creating and publishing your very own book. Based on your particular skill set, the book could be a guide for art, a graphic novel, a comic book or simply a collection of your work. You could also collaborate with a writer or a publisher that requires illustrations and book covers.
While this list comprises of a few ways artists can earn, it is definitely not complete. For the more motivated artists, there exists a master class on how to successfully pursue a career in art. Many sites offer help to budding artists to reach their full potential through their course. They even give full artist career information. The course covers details on how a working artist can get noticed and sell their creations.
Contrary to popular belief, pursuing a field in the creative arts is not a whimsical fantasy leading to only dead ends. There are numerous ways to support yourself with art, the only limiting factors being your own creativity and hard work.
He is a blogger who loves to write in different verticals. He co-authored Supercharge Organic Traffic: A popular course focusing on Organic Traffic for E-commerce.. His hobbies are traveling and reading novels.