May 25, 2018


Artists do what they do because they love to paint or draw or however they like to create. They'd do it whether they were getting paid or not, because art is so much more than money, it's being able to express yourself.

But being able to earn money from your passion is vital for your happiness and let's be honest, we all need money to survive and the more money we have, the more we can give and share our talents/serve the world around us. It means we can buy ourselves more time to spend creating art and enjoying life!

There has long been a stigma associated with being a 'starving artist' that you will be poor if you pursue a career in the arts. But that is far from the truth. There are many different avenues you can choose to go down with a creative career, we are living in a magnificent time where the internet has opened up even more ways in which we can be financially independent, especially if you ae a creative person.

So I am going to share with you 10 ways in which I have personally made money from my artwork and how you can to...


I started selling my artwork around 9 years ago. I was pregnant with my son and spent so much time creating art anyway. I needed extra income and I also needed to cover the cost of my materials to be able to keep doing it so often!

I opened up an ebay store and started uploading little drawings to begin with and then I started selling paintings. I was shocked they were actually selling and it was my first real confidence boost that the stuff I was creating was actually liked by other people. I used to put things on with a small starting bid and see how they went in an auction. Other pieces I would list with a 'buy now' price.

This was way before social media like facebook or Instagram was even around or as popular as it is today. Ebay was used a lot more back then as well.

But it's definitely still an option you could try and I know there's still a lot of artists that sell their art on ebay.


Etsy is a creative marketplace which is great because there is already a community there, you have a great chance of your products being found by people looking for similar products.
It is also really easy to set up an etsy store and create listings, without the hassle of purchasing domain names and website plans etc.
There is only a very small fee to post an etsy listing (I think like 0.15c) so it is a great way to start selling your art and dip your feet in the water.

Of course if you do have a social media platform/following, you can drive your traffic from those sites over to your etsy store to help generate sales.


These sites are great because you can upload an image to the site, whether it's an image of your artwork or a photograph and this image can be used to be printed onto a canvas, a greetings car, different print sizes or even things like mugs or notepads.

Once you ave uploaded the image, you can choose what products and what price to set for the product and if someone orders it, the site handles the order and ships it out from their warehouse and you receive a percentage of the sale.


This is my personal favourite and the method I use to generate the most income in my business. The reason I love having my own website so much is because it gives you the most control and also you get to keep every bit of the profits!

I love every part of having my website. From choosing images, setting out the products, choosing graphics and fonts and of course the sale notifications! I also really like having everything all in one place, kind of like a central hub to showcase who your are, your story and of course your artwork.
Like most creatives, we are visual people and I find it so satisfying having an array of the images I have created, arranged in a beautiful way.

It's great because your work can be picked up in search engines, all aspects of your work. For instance my websites home page is the 'store' it is the place where you can purchase original artwork, canvases and also prints.

But I do have separate pages that showcase the different services I offer like commissions, with examples of commission work I have done.

There is also a contact page where anyone can contact me with an enquiry or a question.

I am also an author and my website has separate pages that lead to amazon where my book is sold.


If you find an agent or art representative, their job is to hook you up with work that you wouldn't have had the chance to get otherwise.

So if you are an illustrator this is a great way to build up regular clients and a reputation. Of course the agent will take a percentage of your earnings.
Your agent may help promote your oil paintings or canvases if that is your usual type of work, help with promoting exhibitions etc. for a portion of the sales.


If you enjoy making videos, it's a great idea to film things like the process of a painting and chatting people through it. Or to film a painting tutorial,  a sketchbook tour or videos on how to create a piece of art that you find easy, that you can share your skills on.

YouTube has billions of users and I know personally that I spend a hell of a lot of time using youtube, I use youtube probably more than I use google, as there's an answer for any question you have on there.

So it can attract new people to see your work, but also give them an insight into you as a person, your story, your passion for art etc. and often, people really need that connection before they purchase something from you on your website. For a more passive income, you can actually monetise your videos.

Which basically means that you can have an ad popup before your video and you will get paid a small amount of money for every person that views it or clicks on the particular ad shown.

If you're getting a lot of views, this is a great way to earn some decent money every month.


A blog works in a similar way. If you allow ads on your blog you will get paid a small amount of money.

But the main point of your blog is to share your skills, your insights and your story, gaining an audience that fall in love with you and your work.

People really love to see the inner workings and the humans behind a business and art is no different to that.


Having an exhibition is really fun. If you have an agent this maybe something that they will help you with or even the cover the cost of. But you can still have an exhibition by organising it yourself.

You need to find a venue, create a theme for the exhibition, you could even team up with other artists to share the costs.

Invite your friends and family, your work colleagues, put signs up, contact everyone on your mailing list and it helps if you provide free wine to get guests through the door.

You can sell original pieces on the night, as well as prints, meet new people and you will probably end up with more followers on your social media in the following days too.


Teaching your skills is a great way to make some money from your art.

In the past I have run workshops for children and teenagers, teaching them to draw basic skills, and I've even done fashion illustration for teenagers which was super popular and a lot of fun. That led to teaching private art lessons too.

You can also teach online. YouTube is a platform you can start but there are other sites that you can use such as skillshare.

Or you can create courses or membership sites where you teach your content and have people purchase it as an online course.


This is a very broad topic but freelancing is the quickest way to earn some money.

You will need a portfolio of work (you can show this on your website) and advertise the services you offer.

There a re many sites where you can advertise your services such as

I hope this has been helpful, if you are looking to start growing your art career and making some money!

I would love for you to come and hang with me on Instagram


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