Lately, I have talked to two painters about how to make money creating art, mostly about working as a freelancer. One told me: “It’s not for me, I sell fine art for over $1000/piece, it won’t work for me”. The second one told me:” Business is very simple. You are good at a thing, you offer a service or product, you find clients, you do the work, you get paid.” (you can read my whole interview with Stephanie here). How do you think, which of these painters is more successful and knows how to make money creating art?

Your art is your business

If you want to make money creating art, you have to understand one thing: your art is your business. No matter what you create, you can’t just say: “I’m an artist, if somebody likes my works, they will buy”. Well, this is a statement good for a hobbyist, but not a pro. If you want to earn on it, you have to become a businesswoman: you have to get properly prepared and build the fundaments of your business.

How? Here are the most important steps to take to make money creating art:

1. Define your target audience

If you sell to everyone, you sell to no-one. This is the truth. You can’t just sit and expect somebody to buy from you. You have to define who you are creating for, what they need, and why, what are the benefits for them from working with you and how you can reach them. Without all of this, you won’t be able to make money creating art on a regular basis. This step might seem difficult and useless, but don’t skip it! It’s one of the most important foundations of your business! If you don’t know who you’re talking to, your voice will disappear in the crowd and you will just be another starving artist.

Not sure how to do it? Read: How to find your target audience?

2. Do the market research

Check out what your opponents are offering, at what price, what people are buying, and why. This will help you determine how your service or product can be better than others and how to adjust it to meet the needs of your target audience. Can you see the importance of point 1? Once you really start building your business, you’ll be coming back to the idea of your target audience over and over again and it’ll determine the way you communicate with your customers, what you offer, and practically, every other aspect of your business. Knowing the situation on the market is important to find ways to be unique and different, and thus get more clients and attention.

3. Study marketing

Oh, boy. I know this sounds scary. I also find marketing very challenging, but it’s a must to be able to find your potential customers and talk to them in a way that will make them buy from you. Simple buying ads is not effective anymore. You have to learn to give to your audience and make them fall in love with what you do without being salesy. People see so many ads daily, they become resistant to them. Modern marketing teaches you how to sell without selling and how to make people happy working with you. It’s based on the thing that we tend to buy from people we ‘know and trust’. To earn this trust you have to find ways to amaze and help your audience before you sell anything to them.  

4. Be active

Don’t just sit and wait. Go and get what you want! You can achieve everything by taking action and always finding new solutions and opportunities. You’re missing so many opportunities by not actively searching for them. Make sure to read The most important step to take to build the art business to learn more.

For more in-depth information about turning your art into a business, you can check out these books that will definitely help you to make money creating art.

Now that you understood that your art is your business, follow the steps described above and make a list of things you’re going to do next to turn your art into a business and make money creating art. What do you find the most challenging? Share it in the comments and I’ll do my best to help.

What I want you to know is that if you feel lost and thus you lack motivation, it’s totally normal. The process of building your art business is challenging, but you can definitely do it. If you’d like to know more about the whole process and get a roadmap of what to do next, make sure to listen to my free audio training. I created it exactly for people like you. Enjoy!