How to Build Multiple Revenue Streams as an Artist

Artwork Archive | December 12, 2016 (Updated September 20, 2022)

Imagine if Walmart only sold groceries. Wouldn’t the company be missing out on a giant opportunity to make money on clothing, electronics, home goods, and more?

While it’s on a smaller scale, the same goes for artists. Only exploring one way to make money as an artist excludes you from a number of great opportunities that can bring in more income and allow you to make a living doing what you love.

From accepting commissions to teaching workshops, check out these six substantial ways that artists can build multiple revenue streams.

1. Start with the Basics

When it comes to making a living as an artist, more than likely you’ll begin by creating original works of art, then try to gain gallery representation and sell at art fairs. This is a good starting point. But, there is more that can be done to increase revenue from your art.

2. Promote Your Online Presence

This day and age, selling your art online is the next logical step. The more eyes that come across your art, the better, and the internet is overflowing with potential art buyers. That’s where the right social media channels come into play, as well as a polished and professional site like Artwork Archive to share your art.

3. Create Commissions

Creating custom works of art is a viable option for those interested in expanding their revenue stream. Plus, it’s always a great feeling to know where the money is coming from ahead of time. But, commissions aren’t for every artist—and that’s ok. Answer these ten questions to see if you should accept an art commission.

4. Gain an Artist Grant

Another practical option? Apply for an artist grant. These grants allow you to worry less about running your art business and focus on creating art. These 5 sites will help find the right artist grant for you.

Next, the less expected revenue streams.

5. Teach Workshops

Teaching an artist’s workshop is not only a great way to bring in some extra income for your studio, it also gives you the opportunity to meet new artists and potential buyers alike—all while gaining exposure for your art business. To learn more, check out “Preparing to Teach Your First Artist Workshop.”

6. License and Merchandise Your Art

Another unexpected, but fun way for fine artists to add a revenue stream is by having your art printed on products and sold in stores. This could be anything from clothing and home goods to greeting cards and prints. Art business consultant Laura C. George explains how to get started in art licensing on the blog. And for more advice, take a look at the success stories of artists Robin Maria Pedrero and Tyler Wallach.

In the end…

It comes down to what Art Biz Coach Alyson Stanfield emphasizes: taking on these additional income streams is a lot of effort, and they must be done well if you are actually going to make money from them. And, the best way to do so is by staying organized. Keeping track of your art inventory, your to-do list, and the sales you make with a system like Artwork Archive will ensure that your art business is on the path to success.​

Keep your art business organized and on the right path. Sign up for your free 14-day trial of Artwork Archive today.

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