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Your A–Z Guide on How to Become an Artist in (2024)

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Do you have a passion for making digital art, knitting, or sculpting but are worried that you may not be able to sell your art without a degree?

Or, you might have gone to art school but don’t know how to become an artist for a living.

There’s nothing to worry about because you’re not alone. Many people struggle with making a profit from selling art, which is why we’re here to help!

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know to be an artist, from the items you’ll require to how you can approach this career path step-by-step.

An Overview of Being an Artist: A Primer

Being an artist is a broad term that describes anyone with the talent to conceptualize and produce creative works.

You can refer to the countless creativity-based professions as artists, including:

  • Painters who use different mediums like watercolors, pencils, oil colors on canvas, acrylic colors, etc.
  • Sculptors
  • Illustrators
  • Digital artists
  • Illustrators
  • Graphic designers (might also include web designers)
  • Jewelry designers
  • Crafters that specialize in crocheting, embroidery, wood carving, pottery, and the like.

How Much Do Artists Make?

It’s possible to earn money as a side hustle of making art, even if you don’t have an art degree.

Because of the wide variety of career options for an artist, you can expect that the monthly income of artists differs according to many variables.

Such factors may include whether or not these individuals have a degree, if they’re working full-time vs. freelance, their location, etc.

On average, artists make $42,000–$110,000 a year in the United States according to Zippia.

The five states with the highest artist salaries are Rhode Island, California, Washington, Nevada, and Oregon.

What You’ll Need to Become an Artist [& Associated Costs]

If you’re ready to delve into a creative career path no matter what your exact interest is, here are a few items you’ll need to start making money as an artist.

  • Art classes (if your skills need more work): This requirement is optional, so you can skip it if you have top-notch skills! ($250–$350 for a five-week course)
  • Art supplies and materials: You must also buy anything from canvases to paint, thread for knitting, or other materials you’ll be using in making your art pieces. ($100–$200 a month)
  • iPad or PC for digital art or design: If you want to specialize in any form of digital art, a solid iPad or PC is essential if you don’t already have one. ($500–$3,000)
  • Camera for photographing art: A high-quality camera captures all the best details of your artwork to attract potential buyers. ($400–$1,700)

How Much Does It Cost to Become an Artist?

Because the needs of a digital illustrator are different from the requirements of someone who makes pottery, the monthly costs to start selling your work online will vary greatly.

In general, you may have to spend anywhere from $1,300 to $5,200 to become an artist.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Artist?

The time it takes to make money as an artist depends on several factors; the most important one is your current skill level.

If you’re a pro, you can build your portfolio immediately, set up your online shop, and price your products.

In that case, all your artwork needs is to find interested customers through virtual shops and then get sold. This process can take a month or two to several months based on how popular your art gets.

Otherwise, starting art classes and working on your skills will require more time; from six months to a year according to your progress.

In this scenario, you can expect to start making money by selling your art online within a year and a half or two years.

How to Become an Artist in 5 Simple Steps

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial to guide you in the right direction to be an artist!

Step 1: Determine the Kind of Art You’re Good at and Perfect Your Skills

If you already have excellent skills in drawing, painting, or digital art, you can skip this step. Or, you can brush up on your skills if you think there’s a shortcoming that requires improvement.

A good way to improve your chosen artistic skill is to participate in workshops. Another great idea is to watch YouTube tutorials or videos of art techniques by professional artists to overcome any weaknesses.

Alternatively, if you’re starting from scratch, you can read about different creative career options to see which one you’re interested in.

Think about the challenges that might face you in every scenario, how a certain creative field’s requirements will work with your budget, etc.

Step 2: Create Art and Photograph Your Work

Once your art has reached a level that has the potential of getting attention and appraisal from customers, it’s time to put your skills to work.

One piece of advice that we have for you is to formulate your personal touch or signature style. This allows you to leave a unique imprint on each art piece or design, setting your work apart from others.

After making your artwork, use the camera you’ve bought to take attractive pictures that showcase your products’ most flattering aspects.

Make sure to photograph your work against simple backgrounds, in sufficient lighting, and from different angles.

Of course, you should skip this step if you’re selling digital art, as you won’t need to take pictures of it!

Step 3: Settle on a Platform to Showcase Your Artwork

Thankfully, many online sites allow you to set up a virtual store to help artwork reach your target audience. Some examples of platforms that artists favor include Etsy, Amazon, eBay, DeviantArt, Fine Art America, Shopify, Redbubble, UGallery, Zazzle, and Saatchi Art.

Take a quick tour through each website’s policies, requirements, and interface to determine which one suits you best. You may also ask the opinion of other artists to understand the pros and cons of using each platform, whether or not it charges you as a seller, etc.

Step 4: List Your Artwork on Your Selected Website

To ensure your listings reach your intended base of customers, here are a few guidelines you should follow:

Writing an artist statement to let potential buyers know about your vision, what your art represents, and more
– Including accurate and interesting descriptions with each listing
– Uploading high-resolution pictures of your art pieces
– Accompanying your listings with the appropriate tags
– Pricing your products fairly by doing thorough market research

Pro tip: It’s always a good idea to start a website for your small art business to increase its credibility and drive more sales.

Once you’ve picked your favorite platform, it’ll be time to list your

Step 5: Promote Your Online Shop

The final step, which is also crucial to give your art the recognition it deserves, is to use the power of online marketing. Some techniques that will help you grow your follower base and become more popular as an artist include:

– Social media marketing using top platforms, like Instagram, —Facebook, YouTube, and even TikTok
– SEO marketing
– Email marketing
– Content marketing

Reasons to Consider Becoming an Artist

While making a good profit being an artist requires a lot of hard work and time, many reasons make this career path worth taking.

  • Full of opportunities: You can be an artist by specializing in one of numerous areas, many of which may not have much competition yet. Besides digital art or painting, other creative pieces like NFTs can also be sold at high prices.
  • Easy to promote: Nowadays, marketing your products or art pieces on the internet couldn’t be easier. You can target specific audiences who might take a liking to your style through social media, SEO marketing, email marketing, etc.
  • You set your work hours: It’s time to say goodbye to working a fixed number of hours every day. By becoming a freelance artist, your schedule will be flexible to grant you a more laid-back lifestyle!
  • You have power over your rates: While you still have to keep the market’s rates in mind, only you can determine the value of your work. Even better, handmade crafts already sell at higher prices than mass-produced items.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have some questions on your mind about transforming your creativity into a source of income, this section might help you out.

Is It Hard to Be an Artist?

Honing your artistic skills and learning how to sell art online is easier than ever with modern technology.

For instance, if you need to develop your painting abilities, a solid online course or simply referencing the work of experts should help you develop your skills.

Still, the challenge lies in consistency, persistence, and giving your artwork the exposure it deserves.

Can an Artist Be a Career?

Yes; you can start a career as a fine artist from the comfort of your house.

However, it might take you months or years until the revenue you get from selling your art pieces is enough to live by.

Until you reach that point, selling your art can be a good side hustle beside your full-time or part-time job.

Similar Gigs to Check Out

If you need to learn more about how to approach similar gig jobs, here are three tutorials you may be interested in!

  • How to Become an Illustrator: People who want to dive deeper into the world of illustrating cartoons, children’s books, or digital comics can start their journey with this guide!
  • How to Become a Streamer: You can get a monthly income as a streamer on Twitch or YouTube Gaming if you spend hours playing Fortnite every day.
  • How to Become a Songwriter: Are you ready to start a songwriting career instead of thinking up songs in the shower? Learn how to make money from songwriting now.

Wrapping Up

Understanding all the steps of how to become an artist should put you on the right path to success.

You can make some money from this side hustle until your work gets more popular so that you can turn your love for art into a career.

Has this article been helpful to you? Tell us your opinion in the comments and share this guide on social media if you like the information it presents!

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