It is common for artists to have multiple sources of passive income, as the art industry can be unpredictable and unstable. Many artists have a day job or side hustle ideas to supplement their income from their art.
This can include teaching, freelance work, or other creative endeavors. Some artists may also sell merchandise or offer commissions to monetize their art further.
Let’s dive into the top 25 side hustles that artists can use to monetize their talent:
Starting an artist’s YouTube channel can be a great way to share your work with a wider audience and potentially monetize your content through advertising revenue and sponsorships.
To start a YouTube channel, you must create a Google account and set up your channel by choosing a name, creating a description, and customizing your channel art. Once your channel is set up, you can start creating and uploading videos.
Some ways to make your side hustle more interesting and engaging include:
- Creating regular content: Consistency is key in building an audience. Try to upload new videos regularly, whether once a week or once a month.
- Showcasing your art: Use your channel to showcase your art and share the process behind it. This can include time-lapse videos of you creating art, walk-throughs of your studio, and more.
- Engaging with your audience: Respond to comments and messages from your viewers. This can help you build a community around your channel and foster a sense of engagement and loyalty among your viewers.
Creating an online art course as an artist involves a few steps:
- Determine the subject or focus of the course: This could be a specific medium (such as watercolor painting or digital art), a particular style or technique, or a broader topic like composition or color theory.
- Plan out the course content: Break the course down into lessons or modules, and plan the topics and activities for each. Consider the level of skill and experience the target audience has and ensure the course is accessible to them.
- Create the course materials: This could include written lesson plans, videos, images, and other resources. Include plenty of examples and demonstrations to make the material easy to understand and follow.
- Choose a platform to host the course: Many platforms are available for creating and hosting an online course, such as Udemy, Skillshare, or your website.
Sell your art on Etsy. First, you must create an account and set up a shop. Once your shop is set up, you can create product listings and set prices. It is important to ensure your listing has clear and accurate photos of your work and a detailed description of the item.
Next, you will also need to set up payment and shipping options for your shop.
Etsy charges a small fee for each listing and a transaction fee when an item sells. You can also promote your shop and listings on social media to drive more traffic. It is also a good idea to read Etsy’s guidelines, policies, and best practices before selling.
Hosting virtual art shows is one of the best ways for artists to showcase and sell their work online. Here are a few steps to help you get started:
- Choose a platform: Many platforms allow you to host virtual events, such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Facebook Live. Choose one that you are comfortable using and that works well for your audience.
- Plan and promote your event: Decide on a date, time, and theme for your virtual art show. Create a promotional plan to inform your audience about the event through social media, email, and other marketing channels.
- Set up your virtual space: Create a visually appealing virtual background or gallery space representing your art. Make sure the lighting and sound are good.
- Engage with your audience: During the virtual art show, interact with your audience and answer any questions about your work.
- Sell your work: Set up a way for your audience to purchase your work through a website or an e-commerce platform.
Fiverr is one of the best ways freelancers can offer their services to a global audience. To start freelancing on Fiverr, you’ll need to create an account and profile.
Here are some steps to get you started:
- Identify your skills and services: Think about what you can offer as a freelancer and how best to market your skills and abilities.
- Create your profile: Fill out your profile with information about your skills, experience, and portfolio. Use clear and high-quality images and videos to showcase your work.
- Create your gig: A gig is a listing for a specific service or product you’re offering. Be sure to include a clear and detailed description of what you’re offering and information about pricing and delivery time.
- Promote your gig: Share it on social media, your website, or other platforms to drive traffic.
- Communicate with buyers: Respond promptly to any questions or concerns from potential buyers. Make sure to be professional and friendly in all your interactions.
- Get paid: Fiverr will handle the payment process and release your earnings after the buyer confirms that they are satisfied with your work.
Keep in mind that on Fiverr, you will be competing with many other freelancers, and you need to have a competitive and attractive gig and a professional profile.
Starting an art blog can be a great way to share your artwork and connect with a community of art lovers.
Here are a few steps to get you started:
- Choose a platform: There are many platforms you can use to start a blog, such as WordPress, Blogger, and Squarespace. Choose one that is easy for you and has the features you need.
- Choose a niche: Decide on your blog’s specific focus or niche. It could be a particular medium, style, or subject matter. This will help you attract a specific audience and make your blog more niche-specific.
- Create content: Start creating content for your blog, such as a tutorial and behind-the-scenes looks at your creative process. Make sure to include high-quality images and videos of your work.
- Promote your blog: Share it on social media, email, and other platforms to drive traffic. You can also join online art communities and share your blog with them.
- Engage with your audience: Respond to comments and messages from your readers and encourage them to share their artwork and thoughts on your blog.
- Monetize your blog: You can monetize your art blog through affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and advertising.
Selling digital designs can be a great way for artists and designers to monetize their work online. Here are a few steps to get you started:
- Choose a platform: Many platforms allow you to sell digital designs, such as Etsy, Creative Market, and Society6. Choose one that fits your design style and audience.
- Create and upload your designs: Create high-quality digital designs, such as patterns, illustrations, and graphics. Make sure they are in the appropriate file format for your chosen platform.
- Set up your shop: Set up your shop on the platform and create listings for your designs. Make sure to include clear and accurate images of your designs and a detailed description of each item.
- Promote your shop: Share it on social media, email, and other platforms to drive traffic. You can also join online design communities and share your shop with them.
Creating custom logos is a great way for artists and designers to offer a valuable service to businesses and individuals. Here are a few steps to get you started:
- Develop your skills: Brush up on your design skills, especially in creating logos. Study design principles, typography, and color theory.
- Research your clients: Research your potential clients and their target audience. Understand their brand and what they want to communicate through their logo.
- Create a portfolio: Create a portfolio of your previous logo design work. This will help you showcase your skills and attract potential clients.
- Establish a pricing structure: Determine how you will charge for your logo design services. Consider your experience, the project’s complexity, and how much time it will take to complete.
- Reach out to potential clients: Reach out to businesses and individuals needing a logo design. You can use online platforms, social media, or traditional methods such as cold-calling or direct mail.
- Create the logo: Once you have a client, work with them to create a logo that aligns with their brand and appeals to their target audience.
Creating Lightroom presets for sale as an artist is a great way to monetize your editing skills and share your creative vision with others. Here are a few steps to help you get started:
- Learn Lightroom: If you are not already familiar with the Lightroom app, take some time to learn the basics of the software and how to use it to edit your photos.
- Develop your style: Develop your unique editing style and vision. This will help you create visually distinct presets and stand out in the market.
- Create your presets: Use Lightroom to create a variety of presets that showcase your unique style and cater to different types of photography.
- Test your presets: Test your presets on various images to ensure they look good across different subjects and lighting conditions.
- Choose a platform: Many platforms allow you to sell Lightroom presets, site like Creative Market, Envato, and Sellfy. Choose one that fits your style and audience.
As an artist, one way to monetize your talent is to create and design ebooks. This can include illustrated children’s books, graphic novels, or art instruction books. These can be sold on online platforms such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Barnes & Noble Press, and Apple Books. Additionally, artists can create and sell PDF versions of their ebooks on their website or through platforms such as Gumroad or Sellfy.
The process of creating an ebook typically involves several steps:
- Planning and outlining your content includes deciding your ebook’s topic, structure, and overall theme.
- Writing or creating the content: This is where you will create the text, images, and other multimedia that will be included in the ebook.
- Formatting and design: This step involves organizing the content in a way that is visually pleasing and easy to read on various devices. You will also add design elements such as images, graphics, and typography.
- Converting the content to an ebook format: This step involves converting the final version into a format that can be read on electronic devices such as Kindle, iPad, or e-reader. Many software and tools are available for converting files to ebook formats, such as Calibre, KindleGen, and Sigil.
- Publish and distribute: This is the final step, where you publish and distribute your ebook. This can be done through ebook distribution platforms such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Barnes & Noble Press, and Apple Books or by selling it on your website.
When you become a freelance writer, you can monetize your talent by writing for various clients and charging them for your services. This can include writing articles, blog posts, web content, and other written material. Freelance writing can be a flexible way to earn money while pursuing your passion for writing.
However, it can be competitive, and it may take some time to build a steady client base. It’s important to market yourself effectively and always deliver high-quality work to your clients.
There are various ways to monetize your graphic design skills. Some options include:
- Freelancing: You can offer your services as a freelance designer to businesses and individuals needing design work.
- Selling merchandise: You can create and sell merchandise such as t-shirts, mugs, and other items featuring your designs.
- Stock art: You can sell your designs as stock art to be used in commercial and editorial projects.
- Online classes: You can create and sell online courses teaching others how to use graphic design software and develop their design skills.
- Starting your own business: You can create your own graphic design business and provide services such as branding and marketing materials.
Home staging prepares a home for sale by making it look attractive and desirable to potential buyers. This can include decluttering, rearranging furniture, and making minor repairs and improvements. The goal of home staging is to create a home that looks move-in ready and appeals to a wide range of buyers, increasing the chances of a quick sale at a higher price.
As a home stager, you can offer your services to homeowners, real estate agents, or builders. Some of the services you may offer include:
- Consultations: Provide advice on how to improve the appearance of a home and make it more attractive to buyers.
- Staging: Physically prepare the home for sale by decluttering, rearranging furniture, and making minor repairs and improvements.
- Redesign: Offer to redesign a home to make it more appealing to buyers and help it sell for a higher price.
- Virtual Staging: Create virtual images of a house with furniture and decor to help potential buyers visualize the potential of the space
As an artist with photography skills, there are several ways to monetize your talent. Some examples include:
- Selling prints or digital copies of your photographs online or through galleries.
- Offering photography services for weddings, parties, and corporate events.
- Licensing your photographs for commercial projects such as advertising campaigns or stock photography websites.
- Creating and selling photography-related products such as photo books, calendars, and other merchandise.
- Creating a photo blog or YouTube channel and monetizing it through ads or sponsorships.
Photo editing skills can be valuable for an artist looking to earn money. As a photo editor, you can offer your services to other photographers, businesses, or individuals who need to improve the quality of their images. Some examples of how you can monetize your photo editing skills include:
- Freelancing: Offer your services as a freelance photo editor to photographers, businesses, and individuals who need help editing their images. You can find clients through online marketplaces such as Upwork or by reaching out to local photographers and companies.
- Stock photography: You can also edit and sell photos on websites such as Shutterstock, iStock, or Adobe Stock.
- Online courses: Create and sell online courses on photo editing, teaching others the skills you have acquired.
Teaching art classes can be a great way to monetize your artistic talent. As an art teacher, you can share your knowledge and skills with others and help them develop their artistic abilities. Some examples of how you can monetize your talent by teaching art classes include:
- Setting up your art school or studio: You can rent a space and offer classes in various mediums, such as painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography.
- Teaching at a community center or school: Many community centers and schools offer art classes and may be looking for experienced teachers.
- Online classes: With the increasing popularity of online learning, you can create and sell online art classes, reaching a wider audience.
Web designing skills can be monetized in a variety of ways. Some examples include:
- Freelancing: Offer your web design services to individuals and businesses looking to create or revamp their websites.
- Working for a web design agency: You can work for a web design agency and create websites for clients on a contract basis.
- Starting your own web design business: You can create your own web design business, offering a wide range of services such as website design, development, and maintenance.
Selling print-on-demand (POD) is a way for artists and designers to monetize their work by creating and selling custom products, such as clothing, accessories, home decor, and more, without holding inventory.
In POD, the artist or designer creates a design, which is then uploaded to an online platform such as Redbubble, Society6, or Teespring. When a customer orders the product, the platform handles the production, shipping, and customer service. Artists and designers profit from each sale without worrying about the costs and risks associated with maintaining a physical inventory.
Licensing your art is another way for artists to monetize their work. Licensing involves allowing someone else to use your artwork for a specific purpose, such as on a product or in an advertisement, in exchange for a fee or royalty.
Some examples of how you can license your art include:
- Product licensing: You can license your artwork for clothing, home decor, stationery, and more.
- Corporate licensing: you can license your artwork for advertising campaigns, trade shows, and other corporate events.
- Stock art licensing: you can license your artwork to stock art agencies, who then resell the images to clients for use in various projects.
Adding affiliate links to your website is another way for artists to get paid. Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
You can earn a commission for each sale or lead generated through your link by adding affiliate links to your website. Some examples of how you can use affiliate links on your website include:
- Linking to art supplies: You can add affiliate links to your website for art supplies such as paint, canvas, and brushes and earn a commission for each sale made through your link.
- Linking to art-related products: You can add affiliate links to your website for art prints, frames, or art-related books and earn a commission for each sale made through your link.
Renting your art is another way for artists to make money. Art rental allows individuals and businesses to temporarily display original artwork in their homes or offices rather than purchasing it outright.
Some examples of how you can rent your art include:
- Renting to individuals: You can rent your artwork to individuals for use in their homes or offices monthly or annually.
- Renting to businesses: You can rent your artwork to companies for use in their offices, hotels, restaurants, and other commercial spaces.
- Renting through an art rental service: Art rental services handle the logistics of renting your art, such as ArtRentals.com, ArtLoan.com, or Artsy.net.
Becoming a forensic sketch artist is another way for artists to use their skills in a different field. Forensic sketch artists are trained professionals who use their artistic abilities to create sketches and drawings of suspects, victims, and crime scenes based on the descriptions provided by witnesses, victims, and other sources.
Forensic sketch artists typically work with law enforcement agencies and other organizations involved in criminal investigations to create images that can help identify suspects or provide visual representations of what occurred at a crime scene.
You can monetize your landscape designing skills by offering your services to individuals, businesses, and organizations. Some examples of how you can monetize your skills as a landscape designer include:
- Starting your own landscape design business: You can create your own business and offer a wide range of services, such as garden design, hardscaping, and outdoor lighting.
- Working for a landscape design firm: You can work for a landscape design firm and create designs for residential and commercial properties on a contract basis.
- Offering consulting services: You can offer consulting services to individuals and businesses looking to improve their outdoor spaces.
Painting houses is one way for artists to monetize their skills. A house painter and artist would use their artistic abilities to create visually appealing and high-quality finishes on the interior and exterior of homes and buildings.
The job of a house painter is to prepare the surface by cleaning, sanding, and filling any holes or cracks. Then they apply paint, stain, varnish, or other finishes using brushes, rollers, or sprayers. Artists who paint houses must know about color mixing, color theory, the types of paint and finish, surface preparation, and safety regulations.
An artist who paints houses can work as a freelancer, an employee of a painting company, or start their own painting business. They can also specialize in painting murals and ornamentation to cater to a specific market.
Becoming an art tutor is another income stream for artists. As an art tutor, you use your artistic abilities and knowledge to teach others how to create art. This can include teaching techniques such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking.
Art tutors can work in a variety of settings, such as:
- Private tutoring: You can offer your services as a private art tutor, working one-on-one with students to help them improve their skills and achieve their goals.
- Art schools and community centers: You can teach art classes at art schools, community centers, or other educational institutions.
- Online classes: You can also create and teach art classes through platforms such as Udemy, Skillshare, and Coursera.
There are several financial strategies that artists can use to support themselves and their art careers. Some examples include:
- Diversifying income streams: By having extra money, artists can reduce their financial risk and increase their earning potential. This can include selling their art, teaching art classes, and offering other art-related services such as graphic design or photography.
- Building a portfolio: Your work portfolio can help you attract more clients and get extra income. This can include creating a website or social media presence to showcase your work and make it easy for potential clients to find and contact you.
- Networking: Building relationships with other artists, gallerists, art collectors, and other art-world professionals can help you gain exposure and increase your earning potential.
- Saving and budgeting: Building an emergency fund and budgeting your expenses can help you manage your finances and prepare for unexpected costs.
- Investing in your art: Investing in your art career can help you grow and expand your business, such as buying new equipment, hiring staff, or renting a studio space.
- Applying for grants, residencies, and other forms of financial assistance: Many organizations offer financial aid to artists through grants, residencies, and other funding opportunities.
The art that makes the most money can vary depending on various factors, such as the artist’s reputation, the rarity of the artwork, and the current art market trends. Generally, high-demand art considered “blue chip” or “investment-grade” tends to sell for higher prices.
This type of art is often created by well-established, internationally recognized-artists with a strong track record of past sales.
Some examples of art that tends to sell for high prices include:
- Contemporary art: Paintings, sculptures, and installations by contemporary artists who have gained recognition and success in the art world can fetch high prices at auction or through private sales.
- Impressionist and modern art: Paintings by artists such as Monet, Picasso, and Warhol continue to sell for millions of dollars at auction.
- Old Masters: Paintings by artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer, considered masters of their craft in their own time, were also sold for high prices.
- Photography: Vintage photographs by prominent photographers such as Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier-Bresson can also sell for high prices.
- Street art and graffiti: Works by street artists such as Banksy and Jean-Michel Basquiat have become highly sought after and can fetch high prices.
There are many ways for artists to make money; the best options will depend on the artist’s medium and style. Some popular options include:
- Selling art directly to collectors or through art galleries.
- Participating in art fairs and exhibitions to reach a wider audience.
- Licensing artwork for commercial products such as clothing, home decor, and stationery.
- Teaching art classes or workshops.
- Creating and selling digital art and print-on-demand products through online platforms like Society6 and Redbubble.
- Freelancing for companies or individuals who need artwork for marketing materials, murals, and other projects.
- Creating and selling your merchandise, such as t-shirts, tote bags, and other items with your art designs
- Participating in art residencies, grants, and other programs that offer financial support.
It’s important to note that the most successful artists usually find a combination of these and other ways to monetize their art and build a sustainable career.
There are many ways for artists to make money, and the best options depend on the artist’s medium, style, and target audience. Some popular options include: selling artwork directly to collectors or through art galleries, participating in art fairs and exhibitions, licensing artwork for commercial products, teaching art classes, and creating and selling digital art.
With many gig opportunities available for artists, all it takes is a little creativity and patience and you can make some serious money.