New Year, New Opportunity to Create the Career that You Dream Of!Jan 05, 2023
Happy New Year! It’s a New Year and a new opportunity to create more of the art career that you dream of.
I was recently speaking with an artist who is a mother of two young kids, who works a full-time job and takes care of her family each day when she gets home from work. She has flexibility some evenings and weekends as she and her husband balance out their schedules, so she has time to make her art and do simple business tasks to market it.
She had what I call the “bitch voice” going on in telling me all the reasons why she could not make money as an artist. I let her get ALL of her excuses out, and then spent the next hour coaching her on what the possibilities were for her to make money as an artist.
I know making money as an artist can be a challenging endeavor, especially if you're working a full-time job. However, with a little bit of creativity and determination, it is possible to monetize your artistic skills and passions.
It will take planning, a little bit of scheduled time and being committed to your overall dream of becoming a full-time artist and quitting your day job.
Here are some of my suggestions on a few ways you can make money as an artist while working a full-time job:
- Sell your art online: One of the easiest ways to monetize your art is by selling it online. Besides setting up your own website and offering your art directly for sale using a direct sale portal such as Shopify, there are many websites and marketplaces where you can easily set up a shop and sell your art to a global audience. Some popular options include Saatchi Art and Fine Art Audience or more commercial sites such as: Etsy, Society6, and Redbubble. Having storefront to your website is now easier than ever as an artist. There is a great artist CRM (for those of you who don’t know what that means it is: Customer Relationship Manager) system and company called Artwork Archive. They give you the ability to set up a storefront, send pdf’s to customers, create sales invoices and receipts and put your customer addresses and emails in one place as well as easily updating your artworks on your website, your resume and other essential items you need in being a creative. I love what they do so much that I brought them into my private Art MBA group for an interview to share how CRM’s can help artists make more money and they very generously offered artists in the group a 20% off discount for an entire year to sign up through a link and I am happy to share link here: Art Inventory Management Software for Artists | Artwork Archive
(Here is my blog post discussing CRM’s and what they are/do for artists: Why Inventorying Your Art Benefits Your Career! (bridgettemayer.com))
- Offer art commissions: Another way to make money as an artist is by taking on commissions. You can advertise your services on your personal website, your social media accounts or on websites like Fiverr and Upwork. You can print out a card with examples and announce you are now ‘taking on commissions’ and send out to your network!
Teach art classes or workshops: If you enjoy teaching and have a particular area of expertise in art, consider offering art classes or workshops. You can teach in person at local studios, galleries or non-profit spaces or even schools, or you can offer online classes through platforms like Skillshare. I helped one artist I coach set up workshops every quarter at one of her galleries she is represented by. She teaches a Saturday late day class with wine and an artist talk and a lesson she gives to the attendees. They come out with a beautiful work of art they have made and have a great time. She charges $150.00 for each attendee and gives the gallery $25.00 for every registrant. The gallery has sold her artworks from people coming through for her event, people have actually purchased the ‘example’ artwork she creates in the class (She offers it at a discounted rate and her gallery gets 50%) and it has been a tremendous win/win for her, her gallery and the community. She estimates that she makes an additional 15K a year from this one class in teaching, 5K from the sale of her example paintings and adds approximately eight new clients a year from her workshop alone who purchase her art!
License your art: If you have a large portfolio of art, you can consider licensing your work for use in commercial projects. This can include everything from book covers to product packaging to advertising campaigns. There are a number of websites that can help you connect with potential clients, such as Artlicensing.com and Artrepublic.com.
Participate in art fairs and exhibitions: Local art fairs and exhibitions can be a great way to get your work in front of a larger audience and potentially make some sales. Be sure to research the fair or exhibition beforehand to ensure that it is a good fit for your work and target market. You can google it per state or area you live in and also check with your local chamber of commerce to see if they can let you know of any local art fairs. One couple, who I coached to grow their income to over 500K a year, had a schedule of art fairs and exhibitions that they applied to and travelled to yearly. They made it a part of their lifestyle and the return on investment was tremendous as those fairs accounted for 60% of their yearly art sales! Perhaps you can get creative and team up with a friend or colleague to share the investment and the action items you need to do it.
Remember, the key to making money as an artist is to be consistent and persistent. It may take some time to build a following and establish yourself as an artist, but with hard work and dedication, it is possible to monetize your artistic skills and passions.
If you are interested in being part of a like minded community of artists who are growing, sharing business ideas and networking, consider joining my ‘go at your own pace’ yearlong course called Art MBA. If you want to set up an information call to learn more about it and if it’s the right fit for you, click here to calendar a 20 minute time slot: https://calendly.com/courtney_clark_artmba/30min