How to Get Paid As an Artist?
There is this idea about artists being broke. Well, it happened to be mostly true some time ago, for the reason that art wasn’t considered valuable for most of society. It was either a hobby or a luxury but was left outside of ordinary people’s perspectives.
Since then, fortunately, we have normalized the attention to arts, and many of its fields became as stable as any other professions. The way to make money from it is just the same as anywhere else: do a good job and sell well.
It is safe to say nowadays that an artist can, by all means, have a decent income doing what they are good at. But for the same reason, there are many of us trying to achieve that level of our professions, so it might also be hard to market ourselves properly.
For those of you who paint, draw or sketch but don’t know the ways how an art piece can bring you money, I wrote this article. I’m not saying the path of the artist is easy. It has never been. But it is possible, especially in our era of the Internet.
Create your brand
If you wish to be a full-time artist, building your brand around it is a must. It is not like building a company’s brand but reasonably similar.
Because having a polished image will be beneficial to your marketing, to your business and your income.
When people see someone who knows what they’re doing, they trust them more and are more interested in what they can offer.
As an artist, it is crucial to create your personal brand and start talking about your art as part of it.
Start taking yourself seriously. We can sometimes be pessimistic about what we do, and it can be hard to think about our artwork as a business to gain on, but it is just about time to act like the owner of your creativity and realize how powerful that is.
What do you get out of other artist’s art? Thoughts? Imagination? Emotions? Inspiration?
Well, that is exactly what you can give to those who are interested in your work too. Quite something.
Of course, it is not enough to merely state that you’re a professional artist. Mindset is the first step, then comes the rest:
Learn and practice as much as you can.
While you might be anywhere on the experience scale, there is always space to grow. If those who follow you see that you’re constantly developing yourself and are trying to find new ways of your creativity, you will sell more artwork for sure.
Professionalism will also give you an idea of how you should present your work both in words and in action.
First, you talk about your occupation appropriately then you present it in a way you also would want to buy.
I’m 100% certain that we don’t need expensive equipment to create valuable pieces. But when selling any of them, it has to be neat, packaged well to prevent damage, treated correctly to keep the artwork from destruction and so on.
If you’re not already occupying the online space with your work, then you should. Imagine how amazing it is that we have the opportunity to show our art to people across the planet. Now, thanks to technology, we can send our creations to someone who we wouldn’t even know exists. That person will gain so much from what we’ve created.
It is almost mean not to give your art this opportunity, to inspire those so far away from you. Not to mention sales.
Create a website, show your work on social media and get those eyes looking at your creations.
You can also sell on all those alternative platforms that serve as a middleman between you and your buyer. Websites like eBay, Etsy or Amazon are great places to start, especially if you don’t know how to manage the selling process yet.
These platforms also let you advertise your work. They will require an amount of percentage, but it is better than sitting at home with a hundred unsold paintings.
Go out there
I think we now have more opportunities online than offline, but let’s not forget the latter. Being known in your local atmosphere is still an easier one.
You must talk about what you do to everyone around you. Let them know this is your passion, your profession. Tell them you’re good at it and you’re selling your work. Be careful not to overwhelm them with verbal marketing, but let them know.
Contact local galleries or shops to acquire places there for yourself. You might need to go around a while, but when you find even just one galley or coffee shop that puts your painting on the wall, you will feel incredible about your work.
And then, of course, the circle will be whole because you can incorporate this in your online presence, showing that your painting is displayed at that venue. That’s great marketing.
Think outside the box
While old-school trading is the principal option for most artists, if you are willing to take an extra step for your potential customers, you could make custom artworks for them.
That is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s alright. But you can consider it. Not doing anything, but, let’s say, creating your piece together with your buyer to their taste. That’s even more income.
Some artists also sell merch items created from their artwork. That’s a possibility too. Again, not for everyone, just an idea.
You can also sell your work to other artists, like illustrating a book cover or cooperate with them somehow.
The point is to be creative in all areas of life, not just on paper. Think of ways to get your value and meaning to the most viewers so that you scale up your probability of sales.
Selling your art is an entirely different job than creating them, with all the new obstacles you will face. It can be stressful but worth your time if you do it step by step. You will need time to learn how all these procedures work and do them accurately. So be patient with yourself and get the help you need.