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Notes of bonbonoj/oesth/Olivia

Liv follows:

I'm only 20, and only just starting out on a journey to figure out how to actually earn. Art doesn't come across as a high earning pursuit, but i want to figure out how to bring a lot of different elements together to make a plan.

A very popular, effective method of money making is to spread your income across as many things as possible. You don't want to rely on one single income, preferably you want 3+ ways. The more the better.

A goal i hold is to find a stable art job. Perhaps being a background artist. I want a solid income like this to start really saving on for future projects.

Other art related incomes:

  • Patreon
  • Youtube revenue
  • Online shop sales
  • Amazon affiliate links
  • Courses

Non-art related incomes:

  • Investment (Low-medium risk)
  • High interest savings accounts (2%)
  • Rental income (Requires a sum of money to start)

It may be hard to see art as a job, or as a businesses pursuit, but to make the most out of it it's something you have to do. Sometimes this can take part of the passion out of it.

--------------------------- ART RELATED INCOME & TIPS:

------> YOU TUBE

  • This is an incredibly good source of income if you can figure out the algorithm and create a fan base. It isn't however the most sustainable.
  • A lot of you-tubers have a certain life span for their channels, and not many last years and years.
  • YouTube also takes a lot of time to build up. It can take you months to years to really figure out the direction of the channel and build up support.
  • Generally art you-tube accounts don't get much traction. It's very rare to find one hitting 1M subs, and usually they're mid 1m. A great idea would be to do art related things too, such as photography or film making which does better on average. (Other ideas: Bullet journal, pet care, music mixes, vlogs, portfolios, room makeovers, unboxing, reviews, react videos.
  • Always add amazon affiliate links in your descriptions to the things you're using (equipment, tools, clothes, shown items) as you get a small commission if a sale is made using your link.

Comparison of job wages to a wage from you-tube:

  • Full time job at minimum wage, after tax, 15k a year (1,250 a month)
  • you tube Ad revenue if you get 400K views in a month(£1000 a month)

Examples of artist you-tube accounts:


  • Your best bet for finding fans and creating a fan base is to post on as many social media as you want. Examples: Instagram, Art-station, Tumblr, linkedin, behance, twitter, you-tube.
  • Often you can get followers if you are creating something very current or in trend. If a new game has just come out, fan art of it will be at it's most popular.
  • Create a theme and stick with it. A lot of seasoned artists know what they enjoy making, and do a lot of that. People who've subscribed for that will be happy to keep getting the content they want
  • Don't post misc things. Don't post a picture of you kid on Instagram if you feed is art only. People are only there to see you art.
  • Interact with current followers, do polls, giveaways, talk to them in the comments and 'like' their things. This will keep them.


  • Set up a solid pricing system. Never work more than you're getting paid. Figure out your hourly rate and then use that to figure out how much time you're spending on a piece. If you're starting out first try very small low cost commissions like head-shots to figure out how much to price exactly.
  • Set up clear cut rules and state them. Thing can include: No refunds, No altering price unless artist agreed.
  • Artist's can get scammed if they're not careful. If they're a single person do a payment before method or 50/50. Especially when working with a large sum of money. If it's a company discuss what will be best. They can't scam you like a single person could.
  • Only take what you want to do and don't settle for less.
  • Ultimately my goal is not to rely on commissions, and only take on special ones.

------> SHOP

  • Make high quality prints, keep creating new ones monthly, try out limited edition versions, and also signed versions. And keep them affordable £10-30. Keep sizing A5, A4, A3.
  • Aim to make books. This can be a large project, or small zines(Inktober zines are popular). Other ideas are: Drawings and sketch filled books you make yearly,
  • Small misc items can sell very well as they're lower price. Badges, pins, postcards, washi tape, stickers.
  • Make wearable art: tops, bags.
  • Make every order special. pack with care, add a thank you note, maybe a freebie.


  • Sign up to own a stall at local expo. Feel free to share with another art friend for your first go. Learn what sells best, learn how to set up your stall, learn how to bring in customers
  • Great fun ways to bring in customers is making personalized pieces, 'like I'll draw you as a cat for £10', or 'I'll stylize you for £15'. Even if people don't know you, if they like your work they'll find it special to have a unique piece by you. (Spend 5-20 mins depending on price)
  • Often higher price things don't sell as well at expos. Smaller things can go much quicker.
  • Always have free business cards with a small snippet of your work on it. Lots of people like to collect business cards with nice art on them.

------> PATREON

  • It's a site where fans pay you monthly to see and hear more from you as a creator.
  • Incentives like lessons, courses, behind the scenes sketching and tutorials are in demand. You have to post frequently enough to make it worth the money for them.
  • Set up a few different price packages, and always offer a low cost one for people who want to chip in even £5 a month.
  • It's great to offer other incentives like monthly or yearly raffles/giveaways only to your patrons. People will want to sign up just for a chance of winning, and then it's up to you to try keep them.

Examples of popular artist who're making a living from shops/commissions/social media/conventions

---------------------------NON ART RELATED INCOME

This goes without saying, even if you're making some income from art, you have to be smart with your money, or it will go down the drain.

  • Budget your income very carefully, and live frugally.
  • Set up a high interest savings account
  • Set up a pension fund

If you're earning/saving enough that you have some cash to play with, don't spend it on something like coffee, invest it.

  • Invest in low to medium risk stocks.
  • Invest in real estate
  • Invest in businesses
sep 13 2019 ∞
sep 28 2019 +