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One of the amazing things about living in the digital age right now? It’s become a million times easier to make money online, especially for artists!
Even compared to 15-20 years ago, we’ve come a long way in learning to monetize our skills as creatives. So, today I want to share with you 5 different ways you can make money online as an artist! 🙂
1. SELL ART PRINTS/STICKERS
One of my all-time favorite ways to make money online is to sell art prints/stickers!
This is a fantastic way to make money with your art because you only have to create something one time, then you can continue to sell it over and over again. If you were to just sell the original artwork, you’d have put in all that hard work only to profit from it once.
There’s basically two approaches to selling art prints online- you can either use a Print On-Demand service, or you can make and sell them yourself.
A print on-demand service basically does all the work for you. Once you create the artwork you want to sell, you can upload it to a website like Redbubble and they’ll create products using your artwork and also distribute the products once they’re sold.
So basically, you just create the art, upload it, and your job is done! This can be great if you don’t want to invest a lot of money upfront. Also, you don’t have to worry about keeping inventory in your house or packing a bunch of orders on your own.
There’s some negatives to this method, though. For one, the company takes a portion of each sale you make because, well, they’re the ones making and shipping your merch. You also have no way to really customize your packaging, customer service, etc. Also, your shop’s reputation is kind of in the hands of the company you choose, because if they mess up an order or something, it can reflect poorly on you in the eyes of your customers, even though you really have nothing to do with it.
The other option is to make and sell your prints/stickers yourself. This is the method I use to run my art shop! There’s a bigger upfront cost to doing it this way (buying packaging supplies, printing/buying art prints to sell, etc.) but I’m able to have more control over my business which is really important to me. Also, I really enjoy customizing each package, including freebies, etc. so it’s much more fun!
Overall, it really just depends on your lifestyle and how much work you want to put into your shop. If you don’t feel like you have time to really package orders, a print on-demand company like Redbubble might be better for you!
2. SELL CUSTOM BRUSHES
Personally, I’ve never sold custom brushes, mostly because I usually purchase other artists’ brushes. But if you’re a digital artist who likes to create your own brushes on softwares like Procreate or Photoshop, then this would be a great income stream for you!
You can sell your brushes on websites like Gumroad, or even add them as an incentive for a more expensive tier on Patreon (more on that down below!)
3. TEACH ART LESSONS
The cool thing about being an artist is that we’re always learning. There’s not a single artist on the planet who can say they’re a master at EVERYTHING. Which is kind of amazing, and also means we can all learn from each other.
So, teach an art class! Even if you’re not amazing at everything, you could be amazing in a certain area that you could teach others about.
It doesn’t have to be only about art skills, either. I’ve taken classes from artists who teach about their workflow as they create pieces, productivity tips, and even just career advice for artists specifically.
There’s lots of platforms you can use to teach classes! Skillshare is a popular one, and would be great even if you don’t have a huge social media following.
4. START A PATREON
Patreon has become one of the best ways to make money online as an artist, especially if you already have a good following online.
If you’ve never heard of Patreon before, it’s basically a platform for creatives to sell their products/services via a monthly subscription. Artists can either set up a tier system (where the more expensive tiers offer more stuff) or just a flat fee where you offer the same things to everyone who signs up.
Some common things artists offer are:
- never-before-seen sketches, studies, etc.
- tutorials and how-to’s
- discount code to your online shop
- early access to social media posts
- advice for artists
- art packages (art prints, stickers, etc. that you send to your patrons each month)
If you need some inspiration, you should check out Loish‘s Patreon! Not only is she an amazing digital artist, but she provides real, helpful video tutorials showing her process and how others can improve their own art.
Commissions are a HUGE part of making money online nowadays, and I think that’s because it’s becoming easier for young artists to find clients via social media.
I’ll be honest, selling commissions online is not my favorite. I think there’s a bit of uneasiness around commissions just because there’s a bit of trust required between both parties. Sometimes people commission something and they end up not liking the final result, which can end up with some issues regarding payment/redoing the piece 20 times.
So, if you take this route, be sure to create some ground rules and even go as far as creating a contract for your clients. This saves both of you from being screwed out of either payment and/or an undesired piece.
I hope these ideas help inspire you! Is there another way you make money online as an artist? Let me know in the comments down below!