Making money off of art seems like a wonderful, distant dream. Like many other aspiring artists I’ve long looked up to people that seem to have made it, wondering how on earth i could ever be a full-time, freelance artist.
Often times if you ask an artist how they did it, they’ll simply tell you to practice more or gain a social media following, but how exactly do you do that? What are the secret steps to making money off of your art? Whether you’re looking to make some side money, or go full time as a freelancer, here are my top five secret tips and tricks to making money off of your art.
Warm Up Every Day
Do you ever feel like you just can’t draw today? Maybe your art was fantastic yesterday, but today you can’t even draw a circle? Here’s what’s going on; you might be awake, and ready to draw, but have you told your brain and your hands that yet? The same way you need to stretch before going for a run or working out, you need to warm up your hands and brain to start thinking in a 2D space. Wondering what the best art warm-ups are and how to do them? Check out my favorites right here.
Post Your Art Everywhere
And I mean everywhere! Every social media account you have should have your art posted on it at least once a month, to remind your followers that you make things. If you’re running both personal and art accounts, try cross-posting or adding links to your art account from your personal accounts every once in a while, this helps to let people know that you’re serious about what you do. If posting your art on all of your accounts seems like too much work, try using an app like Buffer to post on all of them at once. If you’re not too tech-savvy and are looking to learn more about where you should be posting your art, go ahead and check out my write up on The Places You Should Be Posting Your Art.
Take On Challenges
Art challenges have grown immensely in the past few years, with the rise of social media making art more of a community event than ever before we’ve also been able to make it a more fun. Challenges such as #DrawThisInYourStyle and #SixFanartsChallenge have taken over Twitter and Instagram, and are a great way to connect with other artists and grow your following. How does it work? Just find a challenge you love, participate and post it with the proper hashtags. Thousands of people scroll through these hashtags daily, which means if you’ve posted it to multiple social medias 10,000+ people could be seeing your artwork, giving you more chances to interact and make a sale, which leads to tip #4:
Have A Store, Even If It’s Empty
Deciding what kind of art you want to sell and having a place to sell it is the most important part of making money off of your art. When it comes to where you’ll sell, there are thousands of options (I’ve written about my favorite here), all of which have pros and cons. But the important part isn’t where your store is, but that you have one. Just having a storefront set up tells people that you’re planning on selling and makes them far more likely to try and buy from you. Thanks to technology selling art has become easier than ever- no time to print and package orders? Use a service like RedBubble that prints your art onto almost any product imaginable whenever people order it. It’s true that you’ll make less profit this way, but you’ll earn an almost completely passive income. This leads us to our final and most important tip:
Sell Bad Art
And good art. And art that’s somewhere in between. The truth about making money as an artist is that getting started is terrifying, and sometimes the pressure to produce “good” art to sell is so stifling that we never try to sell anything. So go make something terrible and try to sell it, break the ice and step out of your comfort zone. You might not get any sales- especially if you have no audience, but you will get more comfortable with the idea of posting your art for profit, as well as putting your name out as someone that sells art or takes commissions.
The truth is that it’s not easy to get started making money off of your art, and there’s no shortcut to do it. However you can strategize and be smart about the way you run your social media and market yourself and your art to make the journey more successful.
Go make art!