How do Artists Make Money in 2020 (13 Ways)

Posted in Blog on December 17, 2019
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Artists Make Money in Modern Times

How do artists make money in modern times?

This is a question that many people in the art industry ask themselves. 

After all, not all audiences can appreciate good art.

However, every artist has his way of making money and reach the right audience. 

With the proper audience, an artist can reach his or her goals, which in this case are profits.

How do Artists Make Money?

Many people think making money with drawings or painting is impossible, and if you think so, you are wrong. 

First, you can work independently as an artist or belong to a company. 

However, most artists prefer to work independently because they have more freedom.

Yet, there is another option where an artist can work in a dependency relationship for a company. 

Below, we have discussed modern ways artists used to make money.

1. Selling prints of drawing and paints

Selling prints to fans is one of the most commonly used methods by artists. 

We can make the sale in physical stores or online stores. 

Online sales have grown a lot because of the convenience they provide to the buyer. 

Therefore, many artists recommend setting up an online store to make money. 

It is worth mentioning that online sales reach a much larger audience than physical stores and even have a lower maintenance cost.

2. Ordering Drawings

Another way artists make money from art is to create custom designs. 

This form of income comprises the replication of an image chosen by the client, and from it, the professional artist replicates according to their style. 

With the drawing ready, the artist can deliver to the recipient and get some money out of it.

3. Give classes online

With the Internet, teaching aspiring drawing and painting has never been easier. 

More than ever, people look for teachers with knowledge in the creative world to help them take their work to a new level.

Through online courses, reaching a wider audience has become cheaper because of the economics of traditional ways of teaching. 

With the development of online platforms, artists now can create online materials, whether in digital books or video courses, which will be accessible by the student.

This has enabled artists to make money with their unique creation of the material. 

The artists can further make these materials available for others to sell, but known as affiliates, as a scalable way to monetize their art without being involved in person. 

Some artists have even turned their teaching into a full-time work, launching membership services where people have access to private tutorials.

4. Face-to-face workshops

There are some artists who like to teach, but they don't like connecting and creating activities to be uploaded to a website.

These kinds of artists can give face-to-face workshops. 

They create these workshops for different branches of art, and the audience pays a fee to attend. 

With these, artists can make money by sharing their knowledge and skills to other people.

5. Gives talks in conferences or universities

As the art industry is growing and getting recognized, some artists make money by exploiting their artistic vein, by giving lectures or keynote lectures on a topic related to their passion. 

Be it painting, drawing, among others.

6. Exhibitions

Art exhibitions are very common nowadays. 

Artists have taken this as an opportunity to earn themselves money. 

Exhibitions have been the best events for artists to make their name known in the art scene and also sell their work. 

In art exhibitions, many professionals attend, and several people want to gain their art. 

It is also interesting that in these same exhibitions, artists can increase their contact list. 

This helps them have more people spread their work or even become close partners.

7. Contests with awards

Another way artists make money is by taking part in different contests in this field. 

There are several possibilities for artists to expose their work. 

Many contests make entries available to artists from different industries, who will compete for cash prizes most of the time.

Through contest entries, the artist can receive extra value for his work, but also increase visibility.

After all, several people may have access to your work and may create interest in it.

8. Social media influencers

We cannot ignore social media in this era because in this world, it's virtually impossible to find a single person who doesn't have some kind of social network.

It can be a Facebook or an Instagram, and you will always find people with any of these networks.

Artists with experience in social networks and a good following on networks like Instagram can become influencers, thanks to what they do and post. 

However, it is important to create different social networks to have more contact options. 

Good artists get closer to their customers by having a more direct conversation, receiving suggestions, and compliments from their audience.

Because of their large following, they can take advantage of big brands offering to sponsor them to improve sales.

9. Become a Youtuber or vlogger

Another relevant social channel where artists make money is through YouTube. 

Artists can perform live how to draw or paint on videos they create. 

Drawing is a constant movement, and nothing like a video is the proper medium to explain. 

Artists can monetize their videos and earn some money. 

What they require is to have quality content and not affect or violate any YouTube rule. 

These are monetized by visits and by followers, depending on how influential you are.

Besides, just like an influencer, brands contact YouTubers and pay them for just naming them or recommending their products.

10. Write an eBook and sell it

Some artists are not interested in starting online or face-to-face classes but are good at writing. 

Writing an electronic book is always an opportunity for them to write and earn some extra cash by using their skills. 

Many beginners and amateurs look for references not only in video tutorials but also in books that can explain techniques and the occasional basic concept, helping them to be well informed in what they do.

11. Blogs

A blog is a great way to get the word out about the work the artist does. 

Artists who can have a blog can create interactive content with their audience, talk more about their art, tell certain artistic facts, and give some tips on how to do their work. 

For all this, visibility will surely reflect on the sales of the artist's work and also on advertising. 

That way, the artist will win an audience and will have yet another way to make money as an artist.

Every artist can take advantage of this and have his or her blog because people would prefer images to words.

Fortunately, the artist can combine the useful with the pleasant. 

Since not all people absorb knowledge in the same way, the author will disclose it. 

In addition to social networks, simple ways to learn how to draw through a simplified step by step can be a good way to attract people to blog.

12. Search freelance websites

There are freelance websites where customers can buy or request a project, and artists can search the list of offers. 

There are many artistic works required in sites of this type. 

Many will be short-term projects, but sometimes there will also be long-term opportunities. 

Whatever the case might be, artists can use their skills and get money.

13. Partner with Designers

This doesn't matter if it's offline or online. 

Many artists make money by partnering with other professionals to broaden their range of personal or professional contacts. 

These artists have succeeded by positively taking advantage of the influence of others who share the same common interest. 

If you are an artist, you can develop a realistic drawing style and join others who use the same technique. 

Thus, the target audience is more targeted and shown to establish future contacts.

How to get hired as an artist

In artistic works, your portfolio is as or more important than your curriculum. 

Through your portfolio, you show your potential employers your abilities and your talents. 

If you have worked before, it will be easier for you because you will build your portfolio with the best illustrations that you have done so far. 

However, if you do not have the experience, you can use some web pages that are specially designed for artists.

In them, you can create an online portfolio for free.


As an artist, they require you to use your creativity to promote your art. 

The means to reach a larger audience are endless, and you have to use all your creativity to reach these people for you to make a penny. 

Put your imagination on paper, and you find that many will not only admire your works but will also be inspired to buy.

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