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Ways to Make Money as an Artist

From teaching to funding, there's more income streams than just selling artworks

When people think of how artists make money, it is often simplified to only the physical artworks holding monetary value. Even then, it's often stereotyped to be on the extreme ends of the spectrum: a struggling artist selling their work where they can, for what they can versus world-famous artists selling paintings for millions at auction.

Although these assumptions can be true, there are so many other income streams for artists to explore and many skills they can use to make money.

Selling artwork

As mentioned, one of the most obvious ways for artists to earn money is by selling their artwork. This can be done through galleries, online marketplaces, art fairs, and other events. Galleries charge anywhere from 40% to 60% commission, while online marketplaces such as Etsy and Depop charge a more fair 10% to 12% commission. To make sure artists get the money they deserve, at BRUSHWRK we charge only 5% commission and this fee is used to help artists with shipping, marketing, and showcasing their work across our platform.

Commissioned work

Artists can also earn money by taking on commissioned projects, where they create specific pieces of art for clients. You can advertise your services for commission on BRUSHWRK for free. Doing so will allow people to reach out to you to commission you for pieces.


Artists can earn money by licensing their artwork for use in commercial projects, such as advertising, product packaging, and interior design. Art can live on in so many ways beyond the canvas, so don't be afraid to reach out to brands or see what opportunities your work could bring you.


Many artists also earn income by teaching art classes or workshops, either in person or online. This is a great way for artists to share their skills with other art lovers and learners. You could also check in with your local arts institution, charity, schools, or universities to see if they are in need of teachers or teaching assistants.

Creating products

Artists can also earn money by creating and selling products featuring their artwork. This could be anything from prints to T-shirts to merchandise. As an artist, you own the intellectual property of your work so if you have an idea of how the work could be repurposed into a product, go for it!

Grants and residencies

Artists can apply for grants and residencies, which provide financial support and a place to work on their art. Here's some resources for artists on funding, grants, scholarships, and fellowships. You can also check out The White Pube funding library for examples of successful applications to get some tips and inspiration.


Artists can use crowdfunding platforms like Patreon or Kickstarter to raise money for specific projects or to support their ongoing artistic endeavours. As artists are not typically on a regular payroll, these platforms allow for them to take their finances into their own hands and create some stability so they can continue to make their work.


These are just a few ways for artists to earn money from their work. By exploring these options, artists can find the best fit for their needs and goals. At BRUSHWRK, our goal is to help artists make a living off their passion for art. To do so, we support artists with a marketplace with astronomically low fees and do a lot of the heavy lifting for artists, such as shipping, marketing, and more.

Sign up to BRUSHWRK and start listing your items to start making a living off your art today


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