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How to Make Money as a Print Maker in 2022

13 Ways to Make Money as an Artist in 2022 (Proven Methods)

As an artist the creative process likely comes naturally to you. You have an idea, you gather up the necessary components, and then turn your imagination into reality. For a lot of artists however, making money from that creation can be challenging as the world of business is a far different craft. 

At Breathing Color we know that being an artist and a business person is difficult which is why we do our best to simplify the business side of art for you. In this article we’ll cover some of the various methods you can use to make money from your art. 

Not every method will work for your situation but some will, so give them a try and see what happens. The more success you have the more resources will be at your disposal, and the easier it will be to spend time doing what you love. Let’s take a look at these money making methods.

1. Sell Your Original Work

If you’re an artist, this is the obvious first step. The simplest way to get paid for your art is by selling your original works. 

Websites like Etsy and Fine Art America are great places to sell your originals online. If you use social media, try promoting your original art with a few posts. Your network is a powerful sales tool. If you’re looking to sell your art in person try setting up a booth at a local art show or event. Talking with local coffee shops and restaurants about displaying your art on their walls is another great way to get your original work noticed. 

The more clearly you can communicate your story and the story of your artwork the more likely you are to sell it through these channels.

The best thing about selling your own work is that you get to keep 100% of the profits. 

 

2. Sell Reproductions

Printed reproductions are a great way to create residual income without having to spend time creating a new piece every time someone wants to purchase art from you. By digitally capturing your original art you can the sell the reproductions as limited edition prints (250 signed pieces) or open editions (unlimited print runs). Printed art also allows you to sell art through any platform (art shows, online marketplaces, galleries, etc) while holding on to the original piece. By creating demand for your art with prints you can increase the value of the original work and wait until you are able to sell it for it’s true value to you.

Without residual income making it as an artist can be challenging which is why we encourage you to capture every piece of art you create. Check out our (BC Directory) for businesses that can capture your art for you and (Artzip) if you’d like a less expensive option that allows you to create high quality digital capture using your phone camera. 

 

3. Host an Art Show

Art shows can be a great source of income for artists who have finished their collections and want to sell their work in person. They’re also a fantastic way for new artists to gain exposure and make sales, especially if they’re just starting out in the business.

There are many different types of art shows, from local craft fairs to gallery openings and everything in between.

4. License your Artwork

If you want to earn money from selling copies of your artwork but don’t necessarily want to go through the hassle of setting up a print shop or hosting an art show, licensing is another option that could be worth considering. 

When you license your artwork, you grant someone else the legal rights to reproduce it on products like T-shirts, greeting cards, coffee mugs, and other items. 

You’ll be paid a commission for each sale that’s made, with the exact amount depending on the product, who you license your work to and any special deals you may have negotiated.

For more info on licensing check out https://graphicartistsguild.org/license-it/

5. Teach Private Art Lessons or Classes

Teaching private lessons or classes is a great way to make money as an artist, but you don’t have to be an expert to teach. In fact, many people start out teaching with no experience at all and go on to make a full-time living from it.

 

Teaching private lessons or classes can be a great way to earn extra income because it’s flexible and allows you to work around your schedule. You can also choose what days and times work best for you — whether that’s weekday mornings or evenings after work.

6. Open a Gallery

You can open your own gallery as it is a perfect place for artists to display their work.

All you need is a space and some art that people will want to buy. People come to the gallery, see your work and can purchase it directly.

 

What’s more, if you do this right, you can rent out the space to other artists or even other organizations for use as a venue.

7. Do Commissioned Work

Commissioned work is when someone comes to you, looking for a specific piece of art. They give you a description of what they want and then pay you once it’s completed.

If you’re a good artist, this can be a great source of income. But it’s not easy to get started with this type of business. You need to have experience and be able to produce quality work on demand. If you can do that, though, there’s no reason why commissioned work shouldn’t be an important part of your business plan.

8. Freelance for other Artists & Businesses

If you’re a painter, graphic designer or illustrator, you can help other artists and businesses with their creative needs. For example, if someone needs a logo designed, they could hire you to do that. 

 

Or if someone wants a painting of their place of business, you could create one for them. This can be a great way to earn some extra cash on the side.

9. Sell on Stock Sites

If you have an account with a stock site, you can sell your artwork there. Many stock sites also allow you to set up a profile page where you can display your work and tell people about yourself.

Sites like Shutterstock and iStockphoto are geared towards photographers, but they also accept images from other types of artists as well. If you’re not sure whether your work fits into their categories, contact the site first before signing up for an account. You’ll typically make more money on these sites than on other platforms.

10. Become an Influencer on Social Media

One of the best ways for artists to make money is by building a fan base that supports their work.

A great way to build your fan base is by using social media. Social media offers artists the opportunity to interact with their fans in real time, which is an extremely effect method of seeling art. But social media also provides opportunities to make money as an artist beyond just selling your art directly.

If you have a large enough following on social media, then you can begin making money as an influencer. This means that brands will pay you to promote their products or services on your channel. You can also use social media platforms like YouTube or Instagram to sell digital goods such as e-books or online courses.

 

11. Create & Sell an eBook

If you’re a writer, artist or photographer, you can turn your skills into cash with an eBook. An eBook is a book that is published in digital format and sold on the Internet. 

Most eBooks are created using a word processing program such as Microsoft Word or Apple Pages, but some authors use desktop publishing programs or software designed specifically for creating eBooks.

The first step to writing an eBook is deciding what type of book you want to write.

Do you have a collection of short stories or do you want to write an educational manual? Once you have determined the subject matter, you can begin writing and designing your book.

 

12. Launch Tutorials & Courses

If you’re an artist with a large following, it’s easy to create a tutorial on how to use a specific tool in your workflow or how to do something specific. 

Your followers will be thrilled to learn from you and will often buy your course or product as well. If you’d like to partner with Breathing Color in creating and selling an educational course send us an email hello@breathingcolor.com

13. Start a YouTube Channel

Finally, if you want to take things a step further then you can launch a YouTube channel.

This does require some serious commitment. It’s not like it was even a few years ago when anyone could throw up a video and make money off of it. Nowadays, the competition is fierce and it’s harder than ever before to make a living off of content creation.
But don’t let that discourage you! If you’re passionate about something and believe in yourself, there is no limit to what you can achieve in life (and this includes making money off of YouTube).


Final Words

As an artist, figuring out how to make money isn’t always exactly straightforward. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there, even if they’re not always the most obvious. Between those options, you can figure out what works best for you and your art. 

 

Just remember that making money isn’t the only thing that matters—after all, true creative freedom is priceless.

Podcast

Breathing Color – Introducing Our New Podcast

Listen to our new and improved podcast now. 

Breathing Color would like to introduce you to our new podcast host Demetrius Judkins. He will be re-launching our highly informational and highly entertaining podcast discussing all things fine art.

 

Demetrius is a 32-year-old photographer, content creator, and account manager here at Breathing Color. He has 5 years’ experience in the print & design field, 10 years of experience as a professional photographer, and a brief stint as an amateur stand-up comedian. Over the years he’s worked alongside some very knowledgeable artists and tech people and is looking forward to sharing what he’s learned along the way.

Bringing back the podcast monthly is part of a larger effort to re-vamp and re-establish Breathing Color as the well of knowledge it has always been. Our first initiative, The Artists Corner, is a great resource for artists wanting to follow the journey of other artists, who are learning to build a brand around their art at varying stages of their careers.

 

The Podcast is the second part of that initiative, and we are working on a few different ways in which you, the listener, can reach Demetrius with your comments, questions, and suggestions. The best way currently is to leave a comment, or message by filling out the form below. He will be checking those messages periodically and some of the more interesting questions will make their way into an episode. If you’d like to contribute to the podcast or the Artist Corner, please feel free to reach out and let us know.

 

We hope you enjoy our first podcast episode in 7 years and look forward to collaborating with you in making the business of art better for everyone. 

 

 

Artist's Corner

The Artist’s Corner Episode 7

Watch the seventh Artist’s Corner episode now.

In this episode of The Artists Corner we’ll be checking back in with Uloang.

Since its inception Something Cool Studios has focused on its involvement with the community. By hosting educational workshops, art jams, gallery exhibitions, and collaborating with corporate brands it has become a focal point of the Austin art scene.

With the studio’s success, and his blossoming art career, Uloang has found himself launched into a leadership position. This type of success can be disconcerting for artists who are typically used to working as individuals. Growing a business such as this requires building a strong team, and a sense of community which Uloang is thriving at.


As an artist and business owner if you find yourself stepping into a leadership role there are several important questions to ask yourself. Why are we doing this? What do we hope to accomplish? And how will we get there?

If you find yourself struggling to answer these questions the Breathing Color podcast is here to help. In our upcoming 6/24/2022 relaunch of the BC podcast our new host Demetrius Judkins will be diving deeper into art, inspiration, community, and leadership.

We hope you’ll join us there and look forward to seeing you the next time on The Artist’s Corner.

Artist's Corner

The Artist’s Corner Episode 6

Watch the sixth Artist’s Corner episode now.

As an artist, being creative while dealing with the day-to-day necessities of running a business can present a significant challenge. Getting caught up in building and maintaining your business can take away from time spent creating the art that drives it. This imbalance can inhibit an artist’s growth and is something The Artist’s Corner is here to help address.

 

In this episode of The Artist’s Corner Julz deals with her first challenge on her way to becoming a fulltime artist. With help from PSA Prints Julz overcame two significant obstacles to growing her business that she had been avoiding for some time. She digitally captured some of her paintings and used those images to create fine art prints using Elegance Velvet. Amazingly while getting her prints made someone saw them and purchased them as they were being printed. Before she even left the print shop the cost of her digital capture and prints had been covered.

 

With the overhead of the capture and printing costs taken care of the print sales from her next show built momentum that Julz can now use to build her website. With a website, Julz can further establish her brand as an artist and sell prints even when she’s not working. That ability to generate residual income from a single piece of art is what makes the art business so powerful when implemented well, and why we recommend digitally capturing every original piece of art you create.

 

We look forward to following Julz as she continues to navigate building her business here on The Artist’s Corner and we hope that her example encourages you to take the next steps towards becoming a full time artist.

 

If you need help on your journey please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our knowledgeable reps and we’ll be happy to help. If you’ve been wanting to create digital prints of your originals but weren’t sure how to do it, reach out to a professional near you by visiting our Creative Service Directory.

 

Artist's Corner

The Artist’s Corner Episode 5

Watch the fifth Artist’s Corner episode now.

We recently introduced you to Alex, an artist who is beginning to turn his hobby as an artist into a career. To begin that transition we’ve brought him to the Windberg Art Center in Georgetown, Texas to digitally capture his most recent painting.

 

Richard Windberg, who has been capturing, printing, and selling art for over 20 years, offered to take us through his process so that we can better understand what’s involved in a professionally done digital capture.

 

Richard’s process begins by positioning the painting on a Hughes 6’x8’ easel which is lit using Northlight 900 Watt metal halide lamps. The capture itself is done with a Cambo 4×5 camera, and Super 8k Scanback. This set up creates a 12,000 x 16,000-pixel image allowing Alex to maintain quality even when printing to a large size. After the capture process, the file is sent to a Mac Workstation where it’s edited in photoshop and then compared to the original painting for color accuracy.

 

The whole process took about an hour and Richard’s fee of $50 could easily be recouped by selling just one print. Not only is the process inexpensive but it dwarfs the quality you’d get when using a phone camera. That difference in quality can negatively impact what you charge for a print, so we highly recommend working with a professional like Richard when capturing your art so you can create high-quality prints.

The next time we see Alex we’ll look at his printing options and take you through his decision-making process to help make what’s best in your situation easier to decide on.

 

In the meantime, we hope that you too start digitally capturing your original pieces in order to get the full value from your creative work. Breathing Color has created a nationwide directory of businesses that offer art capture services. If you’ve been wanting to create digital prints of your originals but weren’t sure how to do it, reach out to one of the professionals by clicking the link below.

 

https://www.breathingcolor.com/pages/creative-services-directory

Artist's Corner

The Artist’s Corner Episode 4

Watch the fourth Artist’s Corner episode now.

Tim Wakefield and Soundwaves Art Foundation are an amazing example of how artists can positively impact the world around them.

By following his passion for music and leading with a giving mentality he has created a way to live out his dreams, yet also help others by raising over 4 million dollars for charity.

With canvas prints as the backbone of his organization, we’ll be following Tim’s journey as he continues to grow this amazing non-profit.

We hope that his example encourages us all to expand how we approach the business of art.

 

Artist's Corner

The Artist’s Corner Episode 3

Watch the third Artist’s Corner episode now.

On this episode of The Artist’s Corner we will be introducing you to Uloang, a Muralist out of Austin, TX, and the founder of Something Cool Studios.

Between his murals and running Something Cool Studios Uloang is a very busy artist. Even so, to reach his full potential, and continue to grow his business, creating residual income from his mural work is a necessity.

Unlike small paintings though, large murals can be difficult to create residual income from. That difficulty is exactly why we’ll be following Uloang’s journey. By solving this issue for Uloang we hope to help elevate street artists around the world and bring more of their art to the mainstream. 

Artist's Corner

The Artist’s Corner Episode 2

Watch the second Artist’s Corner episode now.

In this episode of The Artist’s Corner we are introduced to Julz LaForest a local Austin artist who has been painting for 4 years and selling her originals on weekends while working a full-time job during the week.

Like Julz many artists feel isolated, and think they must build their business alone. However, all an artist may need to reach that next level of success is a little help, and sometimes all that it takes to get help is to ask for it.

Asking for help requires accepting that we don’t know it all, and as Julz states, she’s tried the at home method of capturing and printing her art without much success. That means Breathing Color’s goal is to partner her with a print shop that can guide her through making prints of her originals which is the next part of building her business. We’ll cover that in our next episode with Julz but for now let’s take a peek at where she’s at in her journey. 

Artist's Corner

The Artist’s Corner Episode 1

Watch the First Artist’s Corner Episode Now.

Our first artist, Alex Ramos, is a member of the Breathing Color family, and the inspiration for this concept. He moved from El Paso to Austin two years ago and started working with us in October of 2020. He’s talented, ambitious, and we think you’re going to learn a lot from his journey.

Many artists face the same dilemma as Alex in that they want to become full time artists, but generating enough sales to do so is challenging. By digitally capturing art, you gain the ability to sell prints indefinitely, and is why when creating an original piece, digitally capturing it should be your very next step.

When we see Alex again, we’ll be taking him through the process of capturing his original art. We will start to introduce you to the other artists, who are at varying points in their careers and who are all trying to answer the same questions. How can I spend more of my time as an artist?