How to make a living as an artist online

If you’re thinking of monetizing your artistic skills online then this is for you. How to make a living as an artist online is not as easy as it seems but it’s definitely doable. Before I go ahead I want us to remember that art on it’s on own is vast and is fast evolving. As a fine artist these days it’s not as easy as it seems to get commissioned work, and even when you do you end up getting underpriced.

I get so many artist asking how to make money doing art commissions; my response is always to diversify. The best way to make serious money as an artist is to spread your tentacles to different ends of creativity. That brings me to my first point:

1. Diversify

As a fine artist you need to keep up with trends and understand that Art it self is evolving. Technology has given alot of people many options to choose from. Some people will prefer using their phone cameras to snap and edit their pictures or even hiring a graphics designer to edit their photos than hiring a fine artist. These are just the few setbacks of being a fine artist.
It’s expedient you up your skills. If you are a graphite/ charcoal pencil artist, learn other new media that involves colors. As fine artist, add graphics design, motion graphics, photography and other visual forms of art; take it or leave it, there are times when you’ll stay for months without getting a single commission work. Your ability to diversify to other medium and forms of art will greatly increase your income.

2. Let people Know what you do

If you are an artist and you’re not making good use of social media, then you are leaving alot on the table. Social media is the future. Platforms like Facebook, whatsapp and instagram are important tools to push your art to the world. You can start with posting your art to your friends before getting a facebook page. People should know you are good in art. The more you let them in know, the increase the chance will be for them to patronize you.

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3. Consistency

One important virtue that can scale any business from minor to mega, is consistency. You have to keep pushing, Whether you make profit or not; Whether you get commission or not; whether you are discouraged or not. Keep increasing your portfolio. Share it consistently on social media among your friends. How to make a living as an artist online is greatly influenced by your consistency.

4. Understand your customer

Never make the mistake of creating art to satisfy your self. As an artist you should understand what your client is asking for. Take time to ask questions before commencing with commission. Enter in the head of your client to interprete what he/she wants. The way you serve your client will determine if they will refer you, or come back.
I know what you are thinking, some of you might still be saying “I know some fine artist who makes alot of money online with their art”. You are definitely right but not always as you think. One major complain I have gotten from artist is that people no longer appreciate fine artist thereby under.


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5.Determine your pricing

The truth is that the art market is a bit complicated that it seem. One piece of art can be too expensive or too cheap, depending on the value of the artist. Always know your worth as an artist. Never let potential client under price you. I have seen artists reduce their prices ridiculously just because they want to make money. Please never do that! Doing that is only bringing down your value before your client.
As an artist learn how to adjust your prices several times to get the price that suits your value for that time period.
Many artist don’t make money because to they don’t know how to market themselves to people. Please don’t be that artist.

6. Practice

This is a huge factor! I have seen “artists” who are still struggling to create decent sketches collecting commissions. Some of these green horns are just understanding the basics of art yet they are so in a hurry to make money. If you have not improved to a level for you to collect commissions, please don’t! At the end you might end up spoiling your name. Practice is very essential for growth. Even as a professional, you still need practice for improvement. There is no end to improvement.

Wrapping Things Up

How to make a living as an artist online depends on how you package your self. It’s possible for someone to buy a masterpiece from a particular artist at a very cheap price and another junk art for triple the price of the previous art. It all lies in value. How you value your self is how people value you. Don’t forget to diversify and keep practicing!

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