So, You Need to Make Money?

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Commissions and freelance and workshops – oh my!

If you are looking for ways to make money as a creative (and ensure you actually get paid), we’ve got your back. We’ve compiled a list of different methods you can experiment with in order to fund yourself through any chosen art form.

  1. Commissions: Commissions for visual artists, photographers, and writers are a great way to make a little extra cash. However, since this is more client-based, make sure you have a plan to ensure you get paid. For instance, charging 10-50% of the full price upfront (so you can guarantee payment for the work you are about to do) – then charging the remaining balance once you complete the project. Make sure to take into consideration how established you are when considering your deposit percentage – but be careful not to undervalue yourself, either. Don’t forget to additionally send pictures of the progress you have made to ensure client satisfaction. We recommend checking out this article from for an in-depth, step-by-step approach to tackling commissions. Also, check out our article on Intellectual Property for Creatives to protect your work.
  2. Freelancing: Freelancing as an artist is a great option for those who want to make a somewhat steady income from their art practice. Check out this helpful article from ArtStation Magazine for a more in-depth look at how to be successful in the freelancing world, and you can additionally browse this reddit thread on freelancing for helpful insight and conversations direct from the freelancing community. Here are a few websites we recommend to help you find freelance work:
    1. Fiverr
    3. Upwork
    4. Toptal
    5. 99designs
  3. Create a workshop and teach your craft! If you find yourself frequently being asked how you do/create “____”, then offering workshops may be the perfect route for you to go. You can check out this article from The Abundant Artist, where they discuss everything you need to know about making money teaching art online. We additionally recommend these two platforms to use for teaching purposes:
    1. Crowdcast is an amazing platform for doing exactly that – where you can create your own live events and workshops that are either free to join or require payment.
    2. Patreon is another great platform used by TONS of creatives to create a monthly income for themselves. Patreon works by having the creator offering exclusive perks and benefits to those who are patrons. To find out more about Patreon and building your online community, check out our article on online communities.
  4. Sell your work online: If you haven’t opened up your own online shop yet, now is definitely a great time to do so! With online purchases skyrocketing, it could be a great investment to start selling your work online. Whether it’s brand merch with your band logo on it, or prints and original artworks, there are tons of platforms where you can get started on building your online store. Here are a few examples of the most popular websites used for selling handmade goods:
    1. Etsy
    2. Shopify
    3. Square

If ordering your own merch/prints/etc in bulk and selling them on your own seems overwhelming, check out some of these websites that handle all of your printing and order fulfillment and give you a commission for each sale:

  1. INPRNT: Our first recommendation for visual artists looking to sell prints, as it offers artists as much as 50% commission on each sale. Learn more about their earnings breakdown here.
  2. Redbubble: If you want to have your artwork/brand on everything from stickers, to pillows, to mugs, to phone cases, and more – Redbubble may be the way to go! Learn more about their earnings breakdown here.
  3. Society6: Another good platform for getting your work/brand on a plethora of goodies and merch. Learn about their earnings breakdown here.
  4. LeGaleriste: Boasting an environmentally-friendly platform, LeGaleriste allows you to create your own art-derived products! Learn more about how profits work here.

If you are looking for an immediate source of income to fund a project, as well as opportunities to get your work out there, we would additionally recommend checking out the following resources available on our website:


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