Alternative Ways To Make Money As An Artist

Give this writer a pencil or a paintbrush, and he will provide you with something that can only be described as abstract art. The trouble is, he was attempting to create a straight-up portrait of a bowl of fruit, so clearly, art isn’t the career path he should be taking.

Comiccon Artist Fair Event Dortmund Drawing Comic

If, on the other hand, you actually have artistic skills, you may be keen to take your creative skills into a career, as we discussed on one of the recent articles on our website, which can be found here: Being able to use your creative skills is one way of having a career you love. However, it isn’t easy. Particularly in the world of art, you can’t expect to make money straight away, as many struggling artists around the world will tell you. It takes time to get noticed, and as with any creative endeavor – writing, music, etc. – you sometimes need to focus your skills elsewhere when starting out on this career path.

One day you may have an art gallery filled with your paintings, and fame and fortune are bound to follow. In the meantime, we are going to tell you about some of the ways you can make money while waiting for celebrity status. You still need to eat and pay the bills after all. A part-time job or a little bit of savvy when it comes to your freelance status will help, so if art is your dedicated passion, consider the following.

  1. Create a website

A website is your online portfolio, and until the art gallery gets in touch, you do need somewhere to showcase your work. With clear, high-resolution images, display your artwork, and perhaps consider using services such as to sell prints of your work.

Alternatively, mark your work up with a competitive price, and pass word about your site through social media, art schools, dedicated web forums, etc. You will still need a day job from one of the other options on this list, but your website is your first portal when thinking about selling your work on a freelance basis.

  1. Become a tattoo artist

Become a tattoo artist
To become an accredited tattoo artist, you will need to take an apprenticeship course, as there is clearly more to it than having the ability to paint a nice picture on somebody’s skin. It’s also illegal to operate without registration. However, if you do take the appropriate training, you should be able to find work at a tattoo shop near you or open your own business.

Companies such as Barberdts will provide you with the resources and tattoo ink that you’ll need if you decide to go on your own, though you will need people skills as well – a little bit of TLC is needed with both the needle and your manner when you’re dealing with the general public.

  1. Become an art teacher

There are a number of ways you can go about this. The most obvious choice is to take a teaching qualification, whether it’s children or adults you want to work with. This will give you a decent salary and a job with plenty of security. Of course, you need to be prepared to take several years out to train, and you will need to compete with others to get a job after you have graduated.

Alternatively, you could set up a dedicated website and offer tutorials to other would-be artists. This could be in the form of videos, which can be streamed or downloaded for a fee to others.

Or, you may set up a personal tuition course, where you have a more hands-on approach to teaching your students, with homework and feedback. If the idea of running your own online school intimidates you, check for hiring positions with other online providers, such as, as they may be interested in your particular style of art as a teaching course.

  1. Hit the streets


Graffiti, no matter how pretty, is often considered an offence. However, it is still possible to pave the walls and streets in your city, provided you have permission from the local council. Take a look at some of the fantastic looking street art people have created on this website; If you have the skills to brighten up public areas, you may find the local authorities are keen to hire your services.

Alternatively, you can provide temporary pieces of art to give the public something to gawk at when they are walking down the shopping street, and get tips (monetary, not vocal) from them as you work.

Of course, you can also set up a stand and paint caricatures of any interested members of the public. Whatever you do, you are letting the outside world see your work, and you may make very useful contacts if the right person sees what you are doing.

  1. Consider literature

There are several routes to take here. You might write your own book, giving advice to other artists. While it can be difficult to get published the traditional route, it is becoming increasingly common for writers to self-publish, using the online tools provided by companies such as Amazon or

If writing isn’t your forte, you could collaborate with a freelance writer, and have them write the book while you provide the artwork within. Alternatively, you could become an illustrator for other authors.

While a degree in art or graphic design will be helpful, you may find clients on freelance sites, such as, where you can find one-off or continuing projects. The options here won’t generate a large income immediately, but they can be used to showcase your work on your portfolio, and give you a step up within a career.


We have given you a few ideas for your artistic ability, but speak to a careers service or research online for other avenues you could take. No matter what your long-term goals are, using your specific creative skill can help you earn money, while satisfying your creative urges as well.

This post has been contributed by Ryan Gatt, it may contain affiliate links.



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