There are so many opportunities for artists these days, and this blog post will show you a few ways to make money from your art.
It used to be that you had to rely on galleries, or art shows, to market your art and build a following. If you weren’t successful with those, then perhaps you’d end up a “starving artist”. Now, however, with the internet and the opportunities that opens up for artists, you can basically choose anything (to a point). You can still have that traditional gallery representation, but you can also sell your art via your own website, run classes, courses or you can do print on demand. There are so many different things you can do, and so many levels as well.
Within that, the important thing is to make sure it’s aligned with you, your artwork, your personality and your goals. Rather than just following what everybody else is doing, say to yourself “I’ve seen this opportunity, I’ve seen people doing classes and workshops, or I’ve seen people doing print on demand, or putting their art onto these products. Is that me? Does it light me up? Does it excite me? Does it interest me, and also does it fit with where I am as an artist in terms of my brand?”. If you’re higher end, offering really low price products such as keychains and mobile phone covers are not going to work. It’s going to really confuse your customer.
Some examples of opportunities for artists include:
You might be an artist that has gallery representations, you do shows, and you support that with online art sales, you’re quite a sociable person in general, and you still love going out and meeting people, etc. You’re not going to want to do keychains and mobile phone covers because it doesn’t sit with where you’re at (and probably the gallery wouldn’t be very happy either!).
If you are an introvert and you don’t really like dealing with people socially, then you’re not going to want a business where you have to go to art shows and network in galleries. If you don’t want to do all of the in person events and the teaching of the shows or anything like that you’re not alone – for some artists it just kind of brings them out in a cold sweat! Your business may look like high volume, lots of different products, and it’s all online so there’s very, very little interaction with a customer. You may do print on demand, you may put your artwork on different products, you may offer bundles of things. All of this takes place online where customers buy, you fulfil the order, you ship it out. There’s no face to face contact.
Alternatively, you might be somebody who does workshops and classes. You like meeting people, going to live in-person events, and running them. You might decide you want to do some of it online as well, so that you can scale it to a much higher level. A single in-person event is limited (for example to the venue size, the local levels of interest in a specific area, your time as a person) but if you decide to do this online you can reach a much bigger audience and can scale it up.
With an online presence for your workshops and classes, if you record something once, whilst you’ve got a lot of work that goes into recording the material, you can then go on to sell that hundreds or thousands of times, just like you do with prints.
However, it’s not always about money at all. It’s about you enjoying the business you’re creating and making sure you’re not just going along with what everybody else is doing, you’re stopping to say, “Does this thing interest me? Do I want to be doing this or not? Am I just following everyone else?”.
So I always encourage the students in Passion into Profit to try and look at a real mix of offerings in their business. Include some more time-intensive that are going to be higher priced, and some less time-intensive that are more hands off and slightly more passive that are going to be lower price potentially, and also create this steady stream of income coming into the business.
So these days, it’s not about if it’s possible to make a living as an artist – it is totally possible. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of artists doing it.
There are so many opportunities as an artist – it’s just about deciding what you want. Setting yourself that goal and then reverse engineering it, which is basically working out how you get there, and staying focused on that path. Having a plan for your art business can help you save time and money.
Another amazing point to note is that you don’t have to stick to one thing – you can bring that blended approach into your business and just make it more fun, more creative and more exciting. With so many opportunities for artists available, you’ll be able to decide which suit you and your art business.
Don’t forget to check out my free masterclass where I show you four simple steps to make consistent art sales in your business, and I also outline some of the common kind of pitfalls I see a lot of artists make. Go give it a watch now!