Whenever someone expresses a desire to become an artist, especially if they’re pursuing the vocation in an educational setting, a friend or relative will invariably say: “That sounds good, but what about making a living?” This question can be grating, and often ignorant, but it’s not totally unfounded. After all, the concept of a “starving artist” has been around for centuries. Fortunately, though, the days of having to rely solely on a wealthy patron are long behind us. Thanks to the internet, there are countless opportunities for artists to make money. Here are three great options that aspiring creators can check out right now.
1. Painting photos
It might be surprising to some, but there are multiple sites on the internet letting customers order a painting of a picture they snapped with their smartphone camera. This unique service turns personal photos into high-quality canvas paintings. They make for a great gift or a way to immortalize a special moment. The wild success of these sites means that they need to employ a lot of artists. Just set up an account and start painting!
Benefits: Since you’re creating a painting of a photo, there’s absolutely no confusion about what the client wants. This completely eradicates the hassle of last-minute changes or unrealistic demands that often comes with typical commission work. Plus, many of these sites allow you to choose your own hours and pick which projects you want to take on. Photo painting may not be the most creatively expressive endeavor a painter can undertake, but the pay isn’t bad and the ability to turn your phone photo into painting is pretty cool. Besides, it will allow you to hone your abilities, fill out your portfolio, and make money at the same time!
2. Selling on Etsy
Etsy caters to artists and craftsmen of all kinds. If you make it yourself, then you can sell it on their site. They provide you with a store-page of your very own and give you the means to reach customers around the world. Opening a regular shop is free, but there is also a Plus version with additional perks that cost ten dollars a month (a Premium version will be available in 2019)
Benefits: Etsy gives artists all the tools they need to effectively advertise, sell, and ship their unique products. They do charge a twenty-cent listing fee, as well as some other minor charges once an item sells, but, considering they carry the financial brunt of hosting everything, that seems only equitable.
3. Online art galleries
In terms of listing and selling work through a site, online art galleries work a bit like Etsy. However, there are a few prominent differences. You can only sell traditional art like paintings and sculptures, and they typically cater to a more high-brow and monied clientele. In this regard, an online gallery is much like an art gallery in the traditional sense. This is advantageous for many reasons.
Benefits: If you sell your work through an internet gallery you have the potential to make thousands of dollars on each piece! Even small drawings can go for several hundred. Granted, this means a cost-of-services deduction on each sale that’s larger than usual, but the overall profit is still enormous. These sites also do a lot to promote their artists for free, such as exposure on social media, popular editorial features, and personal recommendations made to potential buyers.
You’ve got this!
All it takes to become a thriving artist today is Wi-Fi and a relatively solid work ethic. This doesn’t mean everything you make will be particularly lucrative, or that you won’t have to pinch pennies for a while, but a creatively fulfilling and monetarily stable life is more possible now than ever. Don’t let financial fears stop you from following your dreams!