Being an artist can be one of the most glamorous as well as satisfying jobs. There is a certain sense of romanticism attached to people who call themselves artists. However, many artists make barely enough money to cover their monthly expenditure. And if you are a budding artist who dreams of making it big in the world, you will need to have a well-thought-out plan for making money in this field. Below, we look at four simple and effective ways you can make money as an artist.
1. Sell Through Galleries
Your first option is to sell your artwork through galleries. There are two ways you can do this – through commercial galleries or nonprofit galleries. When you sell through a commercial gallery, you will typically be charged up to 50% of the sales price as commission. This is ideal for artists who create conventional, classic art. In contrast, if you are an experimental artist who creates artworks that only a few people might like, your best option is to sell your work through non-profit galleries. Such places are more likely to showcase cutting-edge, new forms of art. However, even though they are called non-profit galleries, they do charge a commission. Fortunately for you, this is mostly limited to 30% of the selling price.
2. Sell Direct
If you wish to avoid the huge commissions charged by the galleries while selling your artwork, you should try selling it directly. This can be done in two ways – selling through your studio or through an online store.
- Studio Sales: If you have a private studio where you do your artwork, you should convert it into a store. Just clean out the front section of the studio, make some space in the front for displaying your artwork, and your art store is ready. If your artwork is truly attractive and eye-catching, the people who see it will eventually visit your store for a closer inspection. You should also promote your art store through posters and advertisements in local newspapers. You can also advertise on the social media to promote your store. This will give your store more exposure, pulling in more visitors and generating more sales.
- Online Sales: You must also explore online selling options. This can be done through sites like eBay and Amazon, where you can list your artwork and get offers from interested parties. In addition, you should also open an online store with strong personal branding. This will help you not only to sell your artwork but also to collect the email addresses of interested parties and regularly mail them information about your newest artwork on sale. You can also make use of social media to popularize your work. Smart marketing through sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. can expose your work to millions of people worldwide. And many of them can end up visiting your online store and buying your artworks. So, check out some of the popular Facebook or Instagram artists with good design sense and find out which of their artworks get the most likes and shares. This should give you a good idea regarding what is trending, enabling you to make a plan accordingly.
3. Private Commissions
You can also do artworks for private commissions. If a person likes your portfolio, they might approach you to do an artwork for them. And if you think you can do the artwork as per their directions, you can easily charge a good fee as a commission for creating the piece. In addition to individuals, business organizations such as corporations, trusts, and other associations may also assign you works on commission. Plus, you may be invited to create artworks by public bodies. According to many US state laws, 1% of the cost of constructing a new building can be reserved for artworks. As such, you can expect a nice fat paycheck if you are commissioned by any public organization to create art for their building.
While the first three ways require you to create and sell your artwork, there is still a way for you to earn money without doing such things – teaching. Art schools pay well for highly talented teachers. If you have a knack for educating people on all aspects of art, then this is an excellent way to make some money. And unlike the first three options where your monthly income will fluctuate based on the artwork you sell, teaching will guarantee you a fixed income every month. However, you don’t have to limit yourself to teaching at art schools alone. Instead, you can start a private art class right in the studio and make a supplemental income while doing your regular artworks.