Updated: Jan 28
So you’re an artist. If you’re here you want to take that hobby to the next level and make a career out of it. There’s plenty of side hustles to get your art going and I’d like to break those down as easily as possible.
I feel it’s important to start with clearing the air. There are so many resources that make a career in art look easy and effortless. It’s work. Art as a career is not an overnight thing either. I hope future blog posts help get you set on the right path and that you enjoy it as much as I do.
As an artist there are infinite roles you can find. Many people have a specific style or type that they work towards but I personally believe the more versatile you are the more hirable you are. Take every opportunity to learn, learn “industry standard” programs, stay up to date on various materials and tools for your work, and don’t be afraid to experiment.
Here’s some possible jobs as an artist
Storyboard - film, commercial, and comic
Work as an artist is an evolving field but to get there you have to start your work and portfolio now- there are practices and habits you can start today to help cultivate you to the work you want to do.
The hardest and most important is that you should be making art every day. If you cannot commit to draw as little as 5 min every single day, you need to ask yourself if you’re serious enough to do this. There will be days you won’t draw or for the sake of burn out cannot. There will be days you need to take time off. Whatever it is, or whatever you need, your craft is you’re life, take the time work on it.
So how to supplement you’re self before finding you’re specialty? What is your place in the art world? Here are some starter business ideas- to get you ready for the big bad world of entrepreneurs.
Id like to go into more detail about these, for the sake of this first post I’ll keep it simple.
There’s a handful of different ways to get your sticker business going. Most sticker makers are bulk order only and I recommend setting at least $100 aside for buying merchandise. You will also want to pick up envelopes and packaging materials.
On the other hand, many of the dropship printing companies offer sticker printing. The price for your clients will be a little higher but you won’t need to handle shipping.
Finally, if you have the means like a cricut or something similar you can print and cut your own stickers. While the start up cost if you don’t have the cricut and printers is a bit high but many artists believe the versatility is worth it and you only need to make product enough for your orders so you aren’t over paying for stickers.
Art apparel is also a really great way to start pushing your work. As a beginning entrepreneur I highly recommend looking at Drop Ship Printing companies. These companies handle the printing and shipping. Long term, the prices for you are minimal but the prices for your clients will be higher. Rule of thumb is add 40% or higher to your product/shipping costs to make money. If you price your work to low, you won’t make enough money to feel like this is worthwhile.
My favorite shops for apparel printing listed
One of my top favorites. Versatile and lower price compared to others. Easy to use and integrate with wix, etsy, and shopify. Slow but consistent customer services. International 3rd party distribution in many countries.
Easy to use, price lowest I’ve found. Interesting apparel options but not as diverse as others. Amazing customer service, does not directly integrate but adding orders is easy.
I had a hard time earlier this year with them but I still ordered a few harder to find garments from their website. They are easy to use, price moderate to high. Plus size options. Integrates with wix, etsy, and shopify. International shipping available, just be sure to check per product.
Coloring pages are easily distributed digitally. Charge a few dollars per page or put an entire coloring book together. Amazon has a really great program to help you get those set up and distributed. If you’re making art, you all ready have the base to get this started and people love coloring pages.
Making custom art for clients is the most well known hustle for artists. You’ve likely seen commission sheets, fiverr accounts, and endless amount of videos about how to set up pricing schemes for yourself.
Decide what you want to do; character sheets, portraits, covers, conceptual, stylized, etc.
Portraits for ttrpg have been my own most requested commission. People Portraits, or Pet Portraits are quick money, everyone seems to want themselves or their family and friends immortalized in whatever style you have.
That’s it for this one, have a great day and until next time art fiends.