3- How to Make Money as an Artist.

how to make money as an artist

My goal is to make money as an artist and become self sufficient by doing what I love. Up until now I made money trough a day job or freelancing. The idea is to first start a small online business related to my art.
I will have to digitise my art and learn the ways of the internet.
Once I succeed, this gig will provide the income I need. Then I will be able to go back to my roots and start selling my art in a more traditional sense if I still want to.

3.1- Finding a Day Job as an Employee.

Most creative people starting an artist career find themselves trapped in a day job. We want to become artists but we lack the time and energy to realise our dreams.

Quitting a day job to become an artist right away may be to big of jump. So, maybe we just need to change that day job to something else that doesn’t take so much time and energy. Something that will allow us to start our career as an artist on the side.

We might, temporarily, choose to do another job to enable our creative activities. This may be something that could be considered taking a step back. Something easy, maybe even a bit boring.

As long as it goes well alongside our creative endeavours. I would even suggest to go for a job that is practically the opposite of our art making activities.

Remember that our day job is only meant for paying the bills. It’s not a career and we should certainly not confuse it with our identity. We ARE always artists and sometimes we HAVE a day job. Set out to find the best day job for you.

3.2- Making Money as a Freelancing Creative.

An alternative to a mundane day job could be to try and set up a practice as a freelancer and work doing commissions. Something that comes closer to what we really want to do.

Maybe we might be happier that having a normal day job for a while but we have to realise that such jobs demand a lot of time and energy. And note that, even if the word ‘free’ is part of the word ‘freelancer’, there is very little freedom in this way of working.

There is still a boss, or client in this case, that will tell us what to do and our income depends on our ability to satisfy that customer.

Although not a perfect situation, this can be better dan having a day job and we can consider it as a temporary phase in our career so it definitely a good idea to explore the possibilities of becoming a freelancer.

3.3- Alternative Incomes For Artists.

Government grants for artists refer to financial support provided by government organizations or agencies to artists to support their work and help them pursue their careers. These grants can cover a wide range of activities, including research, development, production, and distribution of creative projects. 

An artist residency is a program or opportunity that provides artists with time, space, and resources to focus on their work. This can take place in various settings, including museums, galleries, cultural centers, universities and rural retreats.

Another very interesting form of alternative income for artists is crowdfunding. This is where followers turn into fans.There are many sites where anyone can donate an amount of money to support an artist. Learn how to set up a crowdfunding campaign.

3.3- Becoming a Self Employed Creative.

In the old days, an aspiring artist had no choice but to work really hard on their craft and hope that some day some of that artwork would be selected by the gate keepers to realise their dreams.

Think about the actor that depended on a studio to star in a movie. The writer who needed a publisher to sell books. The musician who needed a record label to record an album. Or the visual artist who needed a gallery to showcase their art.

Nowadays, any creative person can create anything and post it on the internet. Don’t get me wrong, we still have to work hard, and that’s ok because we love it. And the work still needs to be good, that is understandable. But the good news is that we don’t depend on the gate keepers anymore to create the project of our dreams. To do this right it’s almost inevitable to become self employed and start a small art business.