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Ways for Artists to Make Passive Income

artist money bills pay ways

Some of the most common moans and groans that come from artists are related to a lack of funds or a lack of available time to schedule in the studio.


“If only I could quit my job I would be able to free up my schedule and spend more time making art….”“If I could get more funding or sell more paintings I could upgrade my equipment or get a studio in a better part of the city…”Artists can always do with a little bit more funding, a stronger income stream and a side hustle that doesn’t detract from your main purpose of being an artist.


I have compiled a few top tips that may give you some ideas:

My Top 5 Side Hustles

Not every passive income idea is a good fit for every artist. I asked around my network to find out the best and worst methods and these are some of the common popular choices:

1)    Set up an Online Shop

Depending on your level of tech know-how it is relatively easy to build your own website with a shop. If you use a platform such as Bluehost or Wix, they provide tried and tested templates and customer support. It requires an initial investment, paying annual hosting costs and fairly regular maintenance to upgrade apps and keep everything running smoothly. If you have an existing audience online, setting up an online shop is a very good option for you. If you don’t have much of an online presence this may not be the right option unless you are willing to invest time and money into marketing and branding.


For those of you that don’t want to set up their own website you can use a platform to sell your art such as Saatchi Art, Shopify or set up an Etsy shop.


Other logistical aspects include organising the inventory, packaging and shipping.  


It is also essential that you have a product to sell. A common product for an artist to sell online is limited edition prints or interesting gifts that are recreations of their sculptures – think Koon’s sculptures being turned into earrings and doorstops! You can visit MoMA’s shop or a museum to get ideas. Use your creativity and understand that at the beginning it may be hit and miss. 

2)    Lease Your Art

Renting out your original artwork for a specific time period can be a very beneficial method of making passive income as an artist. Often this is a corporate client that wants to have a spectacle for a specific event or a themed entrance to the company building that has different themes to keep the space interesting and inspired. One big advantage is that it can expose your work to a new audience. It can be like having your work in a temporary exhibition where other potential clients may take notice. For you it doubles up as free marketing and exposure.

3)    YouTube and Social Media Influence

Monetizing YouTube advertising or becoming a social media influencer can work in a multitude of ways to garner extra money. A YouTube automation channel can provide many different streams of income from adverts, sponsorship, product placement and affiliate marketing. You can also promote your online shop and products on the channels.

4)    Stock Photography and Vector Designs Sites

Selling your photography and vector designs to stock sites such as Shutterstock, Envato Elements, Adobe Stock, GraphicRiver and Creative Market can be the perfect way to generate extra income from your creative work. You can sell the rights to images either as exclusives or as repeat sales. Decide on the nature of the sale, whether they can be reused, how they can be used, etc. This is what professional photographers use to make extra money from their shoots. This is a popular method for travel photographers that sell their photos to travel blog sites, travel agencies, media outlets and everyone else in between.

5)    Online Masterclasses and Workshops

Online workshops and courses have become very popular for fitness programs, yoga, meditation, DIY, nutrition, cookery – masterclasses of every sort. If you can find your niche and you can engage with the target audience, sites such as Skillshare allow you to set up subscription courses in painting, creative digital software programs, whatever you are able to teach. This could also be connected to point three and supported through social media platforms. It is a competitive arena that has proven to be very lucrative for those with the golden idea. 

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15. Feb.
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Great photo! 🤑

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23. Jan.
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