How are you making money from your art?

As a gallery owner, my attention is focused on generating sales in our galleries, and helping artists learn how to get into galleries and build great relationships with gallery owners. As I’ve had the opportunity to interact with thousands of artists over the years, I’ve become fascinated with the many different ways artists make money. Some of those ways are by selling their art in unique ways, and others are art-related but not directly through the sale of art.

I will be writing more about some of the various ways artists generate cash flow, but I need your help.

Here is a list of seven ways that I’ve seen artists making money:

1. Selling artwork directly to buyers
2. Selling prints or reproductions of artwork
3. Selling products with artwork on them, such as t-shirts, mugs, or phone cases
4. Selling artwork through an art gallery
5. Selling artwork through an online art marketplace
6. Licensing artwork for use in commercials, films, or other media
7. Teaching art classes

How are you making money from your art?

Are you making money using the methods above? Which are currently most effective for you? What other ways are you making money from your art? Leave your experiences in the comments below. Your comment will help me with upcoming blog posts – thanks!

 

About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of reddotblog.com, and founder of the Art Business Academy. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business.

7 Comments

  1. I enjoyed the article. I think another very popular way artists are making money is by offering custom artwork to customers- it is my primary source of income and I’m sure others do this as well.
    Thank you for the article.

  2. My most productive days of selling art was when I was associated with galleries. I was in 4 different galleries they all closed for different reason other than lack of funds. Now I have a shop gallery and an occasional show. These formats are very slow for sales compared to my realationship with galleries. I found it exciting to be in galleries and interact with the gallerist about what people are saying and how I might present my work in a different way. It was a very much of a growing time for me in how I saw my work. But it was very frustrating to see a gallery close and then be on the hunt for the next one, really, it wore me out. I realize I need to jump on the horse again. It was a good time for me as an artist to interact with possible clients and the gallerist.

    1. Thank you for your honest feedback! It sounds like you really enjoyed being part of a gallery community and found it beneficial to your career. I’m sorry to hear that the galleries you were associated with have all closed – that must have been frustrating. It sounds like you’re considering getting back into the gallery scene, which is great! I would encourage you to reach out to galleries that you’re interested in and see if they have any openings. I’m always here to help!

  3. Hmmm – in answer to your questions above, I’m making money from my art by:

    1. Selling artwork directly to buyers
    2. Selling prints or reproductions of artwork
    3. Selling products with artwork on them, such as t-shirts, mugs, or phone cases
    4. Selling artwork through an online art marketplace
    5. Teaching art classes

    I’ve been exhibited in galleries, but have never managed to sell anything through them, although I have to admit that the galleries have been limited to local public galleries rather than commercial ones.

  4. Well, the question is addressing the best way I generate income from art.

    Not that I am getting much, well not enough to live on, that is, but the following are my ways in this order:-

    1. Online sales of paintings
    2. Sales of prints
    3. POD

  5. #1 Selling original artwork directly to buyers in person at art festivals. That leads to
    #2 Selling through my website mostly to people I have met at festivals who are now ready to buy.
    #3 Selling through art galleries, an area I want to increase.
    #4 Commission artwork through contacts made at shows and galleries.
    #5 Tiny bit of print sales.
    #6 An occasional workshop, they take away studio time so I don’t schedule them very often.
    #7 Zero dollars from selling commercial products or licensing.
    I am a full time artist and pay all the bills with my art income.

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