If there’s one thing that artists hear a little too frequently, it’s that making a living off of their art is difficult and will likely prove fruitless. While the image of the struggling artist is a more common reality than anyone would like to admit, it’s simply absurd to assume that there’s no money in creativity.
If you’ve chosen a career path that allows you to pursue your passions, embrace your craft, and create your own schedule, the only missing step is making your ideal lifestyle profitable. Making ends meet is likely your bare-minimum goal, but for those looking to carve out a pretty profit, we’ve compiled a handy list of tips for ways to make money off your art while freelancing.
Tip #1: Create profiles on creative selling sites
One of the easiest ways to get your career off the ground is by making profiles on creative selling sites. Not only do these sites give you a platform to perform transactions, but it exposes your art to curious buyers and casual pursuers. Be sure to take high-quality photographs of your art and create alluring descriptions to convert potential buyers into happy clients.
Not sure where to get started? Try these two popular sites first!
Etsy: Based out of Brooklyn and raking-in $603.7 million in 2018 alone, Etsy has become one of the most popular sites for independent artists to showcase and sell their art. Since their inception in 2005, Etsy has become the go-to online marketplace for artists and buyers alike. Whether you’re looking to sell prints, paintings, jewelry, photographs, or posters, you’ll be in great company no matter what your particular niche is.
That being said, you should also expect some competition. To ensure your products are top-of-the-line, be sure to equip yourself with the highest-grade equipment, from poster printers to canvas frames
Society 6: Society 6 is a boundless marketplace for artists looking to sell their art on a variety of products. Not only can you sell a print of your most treasured painting, but you can also sell it as a tapestry, a mug, a blanket, a pillow, or a protective phone case. Society 6 has a detailed sellers guide that will walk you through the ins and outs of selling your art on their platform.
Tip #2: Market via Instagram and Twitter
In order to begin selling your art to people who aren’t just friends, family, or colleagues, you’ll need to branch out and venture into a few helpful marketing methods. Fortunately, the internet has become one of the most accessible and cost-free places to connect with other artists and buyers across the globe. Instagram and Twitter are great social networking platforms that are image-heavy— making your life easier when it comes to showing people your craft.
Create a profile dedicated to your artwork to make it easier for buyers and curious “window” shoppers to see everything in one simple hub page. You’ll need to work hard to grow your follower count, create intriguing captions, employ useful hashtags, and connect with commenters and followers alike. You want to create a brand that people will want to buy from, and that process is about as creative as your art!
Tip #3: Sell at a gallery
When you visit galleries, you either look at the pieces on display with great admiration or complete dismay— wondering how in the world that art could be gallery-worthy. Eventually, you get to thinking that if those sad clay sculptures could make it into a gallery, anything can! And you couldn’t be more correct!
Selling your art to a gallery is a great way to expose your art to true art lovers, and it’s a great way to start increasing your cash flow. There are several things to be wary of before jumping into the gallery game. Let’s break down the types of galleries you may (or may not) be interested in.
Commercial galleries typically sell artists’ work at a commission, usually taking anywhere between 40% and 50% of the final sale price. The commission is something agreed upon in a written contract as is required for those selling work by consignment.
Generally speaking, nonprofit galleries do not “represent” artists in the conventional way commercial galleries do. They will, however, collect a commission, but the rate usually tops out at 30%. Nonprofit galleries tend to be populated with art from younger, more cutting-edge artists who are trying to make a name for themselves.
Co-op galleries are usually made up of a group of artists who work together to promote, showcase, and sell their art. Co-ops are usually incredibly friendly spaces that offer community art classes and workshops. Some even offer on-site studios for member artists.
It’s time to start turning your art dreams into exciting, lucrative realities. With these three key tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward proving the naysayers wrong!