As an artist, finding ways to make a living doing what you love can be challenging. Art is often seen as a hobby or a passion, but not necessarily a career. However, with the right approach and mindset, it is possible to turn your art practice into a profitable venture. In today’s world, there are more opportunities than ever for artists to monetize their work. The rise of social media, online marketplaces, and digital platforms has created a more accessible marketplace for artists to showcase and sell their creations. Whether you’re a painter, illustrator, sculptor, or graphic designer, there are so many ways to make a living from your art.

Of course, it’s not as simple as putting your art out there and waiting for the sales to roll in. Like any other business, it takes effort, creativity, and patience to make your art practice profitable. But with the right approach, you can create a sustainable income from your art and turn your passion into a career. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most popular ways to monetize your art practice. Each approach has its pros and cons, and what works for one artist may not work for another. However, by experimenting with these different methods, you can find what works best for you and start building a successful art career.

1. Sell Your Artwork on Online Marketplaces

One of the most straightforward ways to make money from your art is to sell your original prints. Online marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon Handmade offer artists a convenient way to sell their art to a global audience. By setting up an online shop, you can list your original artwork, prints, or other creations for sale, and take advantage of the built-in traffic and search functionality of these platforms. These marketplaces provide a convenient way to sell your art without the need for your own website, and they have a large and established audience, which can help you reach more customers. However, competition might be tough with other artists and you may have to pay fees or commissions to the platform for each sale you make.

Key Takeaways:

  • Online marketplaces are convenient and need very little set-up to get going.
  • They often have built-in features like advertising, SEO, and analytics to help you promote your art and optimize your sales.
  • Profits may be smaller because of fees and payout restrictions.
  • You may have limited control over the look and feel of your online shop, which could impact your branding and marketing efforts.

2. Accept Commissions

Another way to make money from your art is by accepting commissions. Commissioned work involves creating custom pieces of art for clients who pay for your services. This approach is an excellent way to build a portfolio of work, gain experience, and get paid for it. This can be a great venture if you have a really unique style, as commissioned work can help you build relationships with clients and lead to repeat business. You can also set your own rates and choose which projects to accept, giving you more control over your workload and income. However, the downside is that you may need to create art that isn’t necessarily your preferred style or subject matter, and you may have to deal with difficult clients.

Key Takeaways:

  • You can get paid directly at a rate you think is fair for your artwork.
  • Commissioned work often involves collaboration and communication with clients, which can help you develop your creative skills.
  • You may face difficult clients who are demanding or don’t respect your artistic vision.

3. Grow Your Audience on YouTube and Show Your Process

YouTube is an excellent platform for artists to showcase their work and grow their audience. By sharing your process, you can attract new viewers who are looking to learn, or those who just appreciate your artwork, and in turn build a community around your art. Additionally, you can monetize your YouTube channel through ad revenue, sponsorships, and merchandise sales. This is a great tactic to try out because more than likely you’re already creating artwork, now you’ll just need to film and upload it. Keep in mind that creating content for YouTube can be time-consuming and requires some technical skills, such as video editing and camera work, but those are learnable skills that may be worthwhile!

Key Takeaways:

  • YouTube can help you build a following and increase your visibility as an artist.
  • You can showcase your artistic process which can help you establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
  • Building a following on YouTube takes time and effort, and success is not guaranteed.
  • Creating high-quality videos can be time-consuming and their may be a learning curve for editing videos.

4. License Your Artwork

Licensing your artwork involves selling the right to use your images to companies or individuals for a fee. For example, your art could be used on products such as t-shirts, mugs, or phone cases. Licensing is an excellent option if you’re looking for a passive income stream, and it can lead to significant profits if your artwork becomes popular. There are websites like and CafePress where you can license your artwork and start earning royalities, and if you’re looking to learn more about Art Licenenscing, you can also check out this Skillshare course on the subject. One thing to note is that it can be challenging to find companies or individuals who are interested in licensing your work, but once you do it can be a great way to earn passive income.

Key Takeaways:

  • Licensing can provide a passive income stream without the need for ongoing marketing or sales efforts.
  • You can potentially earn money from multiple sources by licensing your artwork to different companies or publishers.
  • Licensing revenue may be inconsistent or subject to changes in the market.
  • Licensing may require you to give up some control over how your art is used or displayed.

5. Teach Others Your Art Skills

If you’re an experienced artist, teaching others your art skills can be a lucrative way to make money. You can offer one-on-one classes or create online courses and sell them through platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, or your own website. Teaching can also help you refine your own skills and gain a better understanding of your craft as well as creating a space for you to share your passion for art and inspire others to develop their own creativity. It’s important to keep in mind this is much less passive than the other options as it requires time, effort, and preparation, but it can lead to a much more defined and lucrative opportunity for monetizing your practice.

Key Takeaways:

  • Teaching can provide a stable income stream and help you build a loyal following of students.
  • You can share your passion for art and inspire others to develop their own creativity.
  • Teaching can help you expand your skill set and refine your own techniques.
  • Building a following and filling your classes may take time and effort.

Final Thoughts

Making a profit from your art practice takes time, effort, and patience. However, by utilizing these methods and staying dedicated, you can turn your passion into a viable career. Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, so experiment with different methods and find what works best for you. Good luck!


What are the best ways to sell my art?

There are several ways to sell your art, including selling your original artwork, selling prints, accepting commissions, or licensing your work. You can sell your art online through marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, or your own website. You can also sell your art in-person at art fairs, galleries, or other events. The key is to find a platform that works best for you and your art style.

How do I set prices for my art?

Pricing your art can be challenging, but there are a few things to consider when setting your prices. Consider the materials and time it takes to create your art, your level of experience and skill, and the market demand for your work. Researching what other artists are charging for similar pieces can also give you a good idea of where to start.

How can I get more exposure for my art?

Getting exposure for your art is crucial to building a successful art practice. One of the best ways to get exposure is to build a social media following on platforms like Instagram or TikTok. You can also participate in art challenges or competitions like those hosted on Doodle Addicts, collaborate with other artists or brands, or showcase your work at art events and exhibitions.

How can I turn my art practice into a full-time career?

Turning your art practice into a full-time career takes time, effort, and patience. It’s important to build a solid portfolio, find your niche, and build a strong online presence. Networking with other artists and industry professionals can also help you gain more opportunities and exposure for your work.

What are the most important skills I need to have to make my art practice profitable?

To make your art practice profitable, you need to have strong business skills, including marketing, budgeting, and customer service. You also need to be able to create quality work consistently, manage your time effectively, and adapt to changes in the market. Building relationships with clients, galleries, and other artists is also crucial to building a successful art career.