How to Make Money as an Artist (24 Ways in 2020)

make money as an artist

If you are an artist struggling to make money, then this article is for you. I will be showing you 24 different ways how you can make money as an artist, without paying anyone anything. I wrote this article from my own research experience and knowledge in how to make money as an artist.


So, for those of you who are a little bit skeptical about making money online as an artist read till the end. Because I’ll be telling you how to use online platforms to make money in real life & physically face to face.

1. SELL original artworks on Saatchi Art.

So if you have a lot of artworks then take good pictures, upload on Saatchi art.

Why Sell on Saatchi Art?

  • Artists Represented in 100+ Countries
  • Works Sold to Collectors in 80+ Countries
  • 12M+ Monthly Page Views
  • 1.6M+ Monthly Visits
  • 1.1M+ Social Followers
  • Printed Catalogs Sent to 1M+ Households
  • 18 International Shows & Fairs Annually Reaching 150K People

You create a free account (again free) you don’t pay anyone anything. Once they approve your account you’ll be able to sell your works there.

Every month there are more than 1.6 million monthly visits to Saatchi art. I’m pretty sure you can acquire some of the traffic to your page and sell your works.

For each work so they take 35% commission. It might sound like a lot but is not too much considering that a real gallery would take 50% at least as a commission.

Also they arranged the pickup. Once the work is sold you put it in a box and the logistic company of Saatchi art will come to your studio to pick up the work and send it to the collector.

So for 35% Commission they arrange not only the traffic but also the pickup is a fair deal.


2. sell original artworks on Art Finder.

When you join Art Finder, you join the art marketplace: a friendlier, fairer world for independent artists.

Why you should join Art Finder:

  • Reach a global audience of more than 500,000 art lovers
  • Take control of your store, your pricing and listings and get performance stats and insights
  • Join an international community of independent artists and receive exclusive benefits, including partner discounts and access to our artist forum
  • Secure, fast and fair payments: Art Finder takes commission on artwork sales only (much lower than bricks and mortar galleries)
  • Dedicated support and tools to help you build your career*

They take 33% or 40% commission depending on the seller plan you have subscribed.

It’s very similar to Saatchi art but Art Finder has a slightly different clientele.

I would say it’s a younger, more lively also more affordable art collector.

So if your art is watercolor, smaller size then maybe it’s better to sell on Art Finder than Saatchi Art. It’s your choice.


3. selling Art on society6.

Society6 will pay you 10% as artists royalty.

Why Sell on Society6?

  • Showcase Your Artwork: Whether art is your main focus or your side hustle, we offer you the opportunity to exercise yourself creatively and showcase your work on an ever-expanding range of products.
  • Variety of Products: We offer a best-in-class array of wall art, home decor, furniture, apparel and lifestyle products for you to enable; and our dedicated merchandisers are always looking for new and high-quality products to add to your shop.
  • Focus on What Matters: Wherever you are in the world, we have a team of experts that will fulfill, print, ship, market and handle customer service—all for you so you can get back to creating.
  • Find Your People: We attract millions of diverse, art-focused customers from across the world looking to discover new artists and add unique designs to their everyday.

You don’t need to do anything. Once you hit the button upload and sold your artwork.

They will print your artwork and ship them to buyers. All you need to do is wait for the money to you.

10% passive income is not so bad considering that you don’t need to do anything.


4. selling art on Red Bubble.

Red Bubble is the biggest rival it’s the biggest competitor to Society6.

And they are very very similar.

However Red Bubble gives you 20% payout with some modifications, depending on different scenarios but 20% is better than 10%.

If you would like to get more money possible out of the royalty so Red Bubble maybe is a better choice for you

5. selling commission works on Facebook.

Perhaps you know Facebook You can sell on marketplaces you can sell secondhand, new things or artworks or whatnot.

However maybe you have not tried the groups you can join the niche groups or local groups such as the digital artist group, the oil painting group, the landscape group, there’s so many groups you can join.

Then you just share your artworks within the group, so that people can tell you how much they love your work.

Some customers might be getting in touch with you directly on Facebook for commissioned pieces.

I know some artists who are making a full-time living from selling commissioned pieces on Facebook within the groups.

And in the future you can charge ‘Libra’, which is the currency of Facebook.

So keep your eyes open maybe one day you’ll be making a lot of Libras on Facebook.

6. asking for monthly donation on Patreon.

You can ask for a monthly donation from your followers on social media to ask them to pledge 1 to 5 to 50 dollars every month.

So you can support yourself as an artist and meanwhile you can give back to your community.

Some exclusive content or you don’t have to give anything if you don’t want.

But you just have to find ways to retain them so you can have monthly patrons to give you.

7. asking for one soft donation on Kickstarter.

There are many website like Kickstarter, like IndieGoGo, GoFundMe.

If you have an interesting project that would require a lot of funding that you don’t have, you can ask our Kickstarter.

For example if you are a photographer you want to go to Antarctic to create a photo album.

You can say you’re going to launch this project you need $50,000 and for each donor you can give like art print or photo album.

Whatever that you think is appropriate for the different tiers and then attract them to give you a donation.

The thing is you must fulfill the project if you don’t carry out, you’ll face serious problems not legally but with your reputation as an artist.

So make sure that you will carry out the project and see it through.

8. selling online courses on Skillshares.

I’m talking about online courses I’m not talking about your online courses.

You can sell other people’s online courses. And each new subscription you refer to you will get $10 commission from Skillshares.

Of course you can also launch your own courses on Skillshares and receive a portion of the profit on Skillshares.

But it’s depending on how many minutes people watch your courses and it’s really hard to predict.

I cannot tell you how much you will be making, but what I can tell you for sure is for each new student they give you 10 bucks.

9. selling more courses on Udemy.

Udemy is the largest online II course platform they have over 30 million students around the world.

Udemy is more like the marketplace for everything. but Skillshares is slightly more towards the art and craft skills.

So Udemy is bigger but it’s not as niche. You have to see if there are existing courses that you want to launch to see you the level of competition.

If Udemy got you a student you get 50% that means the 50% is the commission.

If a student purchases your course with a coupon code that you provide then you get 97% that is to say you only pay 3% commission to Udemy as the service.

So it’s really minimal that they ask if you have a lot of potential students who want to study with you Udemy’s better than Skillshares because you get paid 97% it’s a really good deal.

10. tutoring online using Preply.

Preply is an online educational platform that pairs students with private tutors on the internet using video chat.

So you don’t really see the students, but is a real-time face-to-face online tutoring.

If you enjoy talking to other people on the Internet instead of facing a computer like on camera then Preply is a better choice for you.

They take a 100% commission on the first course of the first time student and after that they will take 18% to 33% depending on how many hours you teach.

And how many students you have, the more student you have the less commission you pay with Preply.

11. licensing your illustration on iStockphoto.

I have used iStockphoto before and I thought it was only for photos. but now there is a special section for illustration.

If you’d like to license your illustration at iStockphoto you will receive a small artist royalty for each download.

And the good thing is if they use your artwork they mention your name and the fact is they pay you to promote your work, I would say it’s one stone two birds.

You get the money and you get the exposure that you always wanted.

12. applying for artist residency with stipends on ResArtis.

This is a bit of controversy personally I don’t like this idea that you will apply for residency again and again to get stipends.

I think it’s not a sustainable way because what if one day you settle down you want to start a family you’re not gonna take your one-year-old to the artist residency just to get the stipends.

It’s not sustainable, but in case if you are a young artist or if you want to travel to a foreign country but you don’t have the money then maybe it’s a good idea.

ResArtis is like the Wikipedia of or the Airbnb of artists residencies.

Many artists residences pay ResArtis to list on their listings.

So you can see they are fairly legit because they pay to publish their listings.

Choose the ones with stipends and apply individually.

13. creating videos on YouTube.

After acquiring 1000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours you will get monetized using Google Adsense.

If you’re not sure 2020 if it’s a good idea to open your YouTube channel as an artist. Don’t worry this is the best time to start your YouTube channel.

This is a good idea if you are creating content anyway and you’d like to share on YouTube.

Just be patient because you will need approximately 1 year to reach the 1000 following and 4000 watch hours.

14. brand endorsement IN Instagram or other social media

Instagram is the most popular for visual artists.

That’s why I say Instagram typically once you reach 50,000 followers on Instagram people will start to DM you.

Saying hey can you give me a shout out for 50 bucks a 100 bucks 200 bucks.

And it’s your choice to accept or reject those brand endorsement and deals.

15. make money streaming videos on Twitch.

You can become an affiliate, a partner or streamer on Twitch. Basically people pay to watch your live streaming on Twitch.

And if you can attract enough people to pay you.

You can make decent money really depending on what kind of content you stream online.

If you have enough people interested both using Twitch and interested in your niche.

Really depends so I cannot tell you how much you will be making but there are a lot of potentials.

Because Twitch is growing more and more as a social media

16. print on demand store using Printful.

You can make print on demand merchandising, art prints using Printfy.

You need normally a store front like Shopify, Big Cartel and attract your followers to click on those links and purchase.

It will be fulfilled directly from the Printfy warehouse to the clients and it does not go through you.

So you do not need to worry about the logistics.

17. affiliate marketing on Amazon.

If you would like to do product reviews and you like to try out new gadgets or new art supplies.

Then it’s a good idea because you can try them out and then make your own review on YouTube or any other social media.

And then drop a link down below for every purchase provided using your link Amazon will give you a share of it, so it adds up.

I know people can make a full-time living using affiliate marketing of certain art supply and canvas and books and whatnot on Amazon.

18. self-published your photo album or art book using blurb.

Blurb is an American self-publishing platform. that enables you to share publish produce promote.

And whatever you want with your content and publishing a book.

So it’s like the Printfy for books. It’s very useful if you want to make like children’s books or photo albums.

You can easily produce eBook using InDesign or the Blurbs it’s own online kind of plug-in.

I have used the blurb to produce a photo album before for a private event and it worked pretty well so I like them and I’ll say it’s a good idea.

19. freelance design work at Upwork.

Upwork is a trending market place for freelance gigs.

It takes 20% commission for the first $500 billed with the client, 10% for the earnings between $500 and $10,000 and 5% for earnings that exceed $10,000.

I would say is pretty fair the more you earn the less commission.

You pay you can dedicate some time over the year and earn some money doing freelance design works.

Logo design illustration jobs and make 10,000 and pay 5% commission it’s really good deal.

20. micro gigs on Fiverr.

I have used Fiverr personally and I think it’s pretty cool you start with 5 dollar gig, micro gig.

And then after once you complete you will unlock the possibilities of charging more than 5 bucks, you can charge 50, 500 however you want Fiverr takes 20% commission.

21. offering other freelance works on freelancer. is for freelance works, I mean it’s like no-brainer.

It’s the world largest freelancing and crowdsourcing platform in the number of users and projects It has over 16 million users globally.

I would say that’s a lot of people using

Freelancer works with large corporations like Microsoft SAP PWC.

So if you are a good team worker and you have experience working in companies.

also if you have some kind of certification saying that you can work in a team like Prince2.

I’m just saying like that, you can become like art director and you can work with large corporations that is also good for your CV and contacts.

22. making art and craft experiences on Airbnb.

Airbnb experienced is like another branch apart from Airbnb main service for the rooms and apartments.

You don’t need to provide your room you can say you provide a museum tour experience a street art hunt experience.

Photo experience those kind of experiences that you don’t even need a physical place to host and you can charge $20 $50 $60 per session for the museum tours you can include some light beverages if it’s like a sit-down workshop.

Go and do a research on Airbnb Experience and see what other people are doing in your local community so you can come up with your own ideas

23. hosting art events are talks and workshops on Meetup.

Personally I pay $9.99 every month to use meetup service as a host.

However if you don’t want to pay anything I tell you a trick.

For every host (paying host) there is a 3 meetup group allowance that is to say if I only have one meetup group.

I’m wasting two group opportunities, if you want you can get in touch with other people and say hey you’re not hosting 3 groups, aren’t you?

So I can host with you and I’ll give you like share for example or anything.

I’ll give you like you know how much you wanna give and you negotiate you can charge people for art workshops, children drawing, figure drawing life drawing kind of sessions and you can charge anything from 5 bucks – 50 bucks or 150 bucks per session.

You can share the profits with the co-hosts who is paying meetup, so you don’t have to pay anything upfront and in the future you can pay $9.99 every month this is the probably the best app you can use so $9.99 is really a good deal.

And depending on different plans where you’re in the world you will pay more or less but it’s not a lot of money considering how much you can get from them last but not least.

24. teaching art using Heytutor.

Heytutor is one of the many website help people find local tutors.

So if you want to become an art tutor you want to draw with a young kids adolescents or young adult.

You can become a tutor and then select your student.

If you are outside of the USA you can just search another equivalent of heytutor in your local area.

Go to the search engine and say ‘art tutor near me’ or ‘find me an art tutor’ and you will see many websites in your local area the best part is you can get to sit down with a young person and you can have a major influence in their art career.

That is really the perks of being a tutor I personally enjoy teaching very much because of the influence the impact.

Also I learned so much from teaching someone else so for those of you who want to do more face-to-face things you can host Airbnb experience, Meetup workshops and Heytutor or other kind of tutor sessions using those online platforms.


Now you have heard 24 different ways to make money.

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