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How to Make Money and Generate Income From Your Art
Sell your original artwork: The most obvious way to create income from your art is to sell your artwork. You can sell your original artwork through galleries, online marketplaces, or directly to customers. Remember that you can turn one piece of original art into other avenues of income through limited edition prints, canvas art prints, and even metal prints just to name a few. Look for companies that provide white label, drop shipping services where you can place a customers order and they will ship directly to them like this one here. Pricing your artwork correctly is important to ensure that you're making a profit, while giving the collector the best price possible.
Offer commissions: Many artists start out by offering commissions as a way to get their foot in the door and begin generating income right away. Doing this allows you to create custom pieces for clients based on their specifications for a guaranteed sale. Depending on what kind of art you create here are a few ideas: Pet portraits are popular and always in demand, live wedding paintings are becoming more common, landmark or landscape paintings meaningful to someone.
Several factors come into play when it comes to pricing these pieces. Remember that they are one of a kind and you are going out of your way to create a unique piece only special to the collector. Then, based on what you normally charge for artwork you should include a commission fee for your time and materials used in the overall price.
Sell digital downloads: If you create digital art, you can sell digital downloads of your artwork on your website, through online marketplaces like Etsy, or on digital download platforms like Gumroad. Consider things like downloadable files for coloring pages, art prints, planner pages, product label tags for makers, stickers and more. The possibilities are endless!
Teach workshops: If you have experience and expertise in a particular style or medium, consider teaching a workshop! This can be a really fun way to get out in your community, meet new people, and get your name out there. Places like art collectives and educational schools for lifelong learners, paint and sips, etc are some examples where you can share your knowledge and passion with others in a workshop style setting. You can teach classes in person or even online and charge a fee for each class and materials.
Create merchandise: Creating merchandise that showcases your artwork is another easy way to create income. You can create prints, posters, coasters, beanies, ball caps, phone cases, t-shirts, and so many other items featuring your artwork. If you can swing it, I suggest purchasing samples to make sure the product features your art in the way that you envisioned before putting in a full order. This way saves you money and hassle in the long run.
Another merchandise option is offering kits like paint by number kits, embroidery kits, punch needle kits, knitting kits, stained glass kits. Having these items are just another offering to add to your online marketplaces and gives potential customers options. Places like Redbubble and Society6 make it easy to sell merchandise featuring your artwork too.
When you do finally get accepted, you send them a high resolution image of your physical painting or digital piece to use your artwork for commercial purposes in exchange for royalties. For example, your artwork could be used on products like popcorn tins, fabric, puzzles, greeting cards or home decor items to name a few. Just make sure you are getting high-resolution images of your work before you sell it.
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I'm Chuck Black, landscape and wildlife artist based in Southwest Montana.