3 Smart Ways to Make Money With Your Art

Before I tell you a story about how just one piece of artwork created over 15 years ago continually and regularly brings me $3,000 every year I would like to ask you a question.

Have you ever wondered how you could be capitalizing on your art talents in way that could generate some extra income for you and your family?

I certainly have as a veteran artist of some 25 years, creating and selling art across the globe, have at times wondered if there were any ways to actually sell my art that would keep on bringing me income long after I have finished my artwork.

The times when my income has dropped for whatever reason, recessions, global financial crisis or just general market dips, have been testing times and have forced me to “think outside the square”. After careful research along with some trial and error, I have come up with 3 sure fire ways to make money from your art, that are bound to help you if you put them into practise.

#3 Smart Ways To Make Money From Your Art

1. Sell your art online and have royalties come in for years to come

2. Sell your art tution to students willing to learn “how to…”

3. Other people sell your art & art tuition

So how is it done?

#1 Sell your art online – collect royalties for years.

This is my preferred Smart Way No#1 as it has a payoff that just keeps coming, for me personally 4 times a year I receive a royalty check for work done over 10 years ago. This is a very smart way to make lots of money from your artwork, but you have to know what you are doing before you can guarantee success with this method.

Who Will Pay For My Artwork? What are the Markets? First and foremost you need to work out which markets are going to be interested in your artwork. Do you like to paint landscapes? Or animals? Or cartoon characters? Or Cars & Bikes? Or Nudes? Or abstract? Or caricatures?

Each of these have different markets that can be exploited for royalties for years to come. Some of the distributors of such art are: jigsaw puzzle companies, computer and cell phone wallpaper companies and homewares companies, are 3 goldmine areas to explore. Each of these different markets rely on fresh and inventive artists like yourself to come up with more “PRODUCTS” for them. That is right, you are the product creator, they are the marketers. That is how it works.

Let me give you an example:

Several years ago I was approached by a jigsaw company in Australia “Blue Opal Jigsaws” and asked if a piece of artwork I had already made for a former client who allowed me to retain copyright of the original and profited from, could be reused for a new jigsaw they had planned.

After careful negotiations I was offered $1,500 for some slight modifications to the artwork and a 7% royalty, payable quarterly for the life of the product.

I currently receive approximately $3,000 annually from this one puzzle that keeps on selling over and over. I will give you a hint – it is in the souvenir/tourist category (this market never gets tired of buying your product, because they are a new breed every year, as most people take that big overseas holiday perhaps just once in their lifetime and so they want something classic to remember their trip by) which is the perfect market for a repeat sale of your product. You don’t want to choose something that is contemporary if it is longevity is your aim, as it will eventually lose steam and fade out of existence.

Here’s an another example:

Visit all the pop culture websites and make a list of the coolest people (celebrities of course!) and create cool caricatures of them(just Google celebrity and follow the leads). They need only be head and shoulders, (face really – you will see why in a minute). Each different subculture idolizes a different mob of heros, so get your mind into their space, in fact MySpace is a great place to start. Learn your market, think like your market and create what you would want if you were them instead of you. It takes a little time but well worth it when you read this next sentence.

Each year the mobile phone ringtone industry sells $7,000,000,000 dollars worth of ringtones to young people around the world. This market has tons of disposable income (mummy and daddy are paying for the house, food, transport and general upkeep) so they love to spend their time (also tons to spare) with friends online and on their cell phones. Guess what they love to spend their spare cash on – “Wallpapers”. For those of you youthfully challenged readers are probably wondering what’s a Wallpaper and why would they buy it?

A wallpaper for a cell phone or mobile phone is the display image on the full color screen on the phone itself. The picture is small so a celebrity head that fills the screen is going sell better than a whole body, so less work to do (this is easy if you know the secrets to a quick and cool caricature).

Wallpaper sales are the next most popular download (read purchase$) next to cell phone ringtones, so you can see it is a huge market. Yes I hear you say but how do you sell to this young lot, isn’t the market saturated with products like this? Well yes there is competition like any field but you only need a small piece of a very big pie to feed the family as they say.

You could setup your own website, (more info on doing this correctly below) and draw in traffic by giving away 5 free wallpapers to members who register for your weekly newsletter (the one you send with your latest “pay for” caricatures, that is the who is hot and in the news this week, follow scandal websites for tons of ideas here!!!) and watch the income increase as your newsletter subscriptions increase. If only 4% of subscribers bought your latest celebrity caricature of the week for .99c and you had a subscriber list of 50,000 you would be $1,000 a week better off.

Work once and get paid many, many times now that is smart.

#2 Sell Your Art Tuition Online – Everyone Wants To Learn How To.

Now the obvious suggestion here is to launch a website and setup a shopping cart and off you go to success, but if it were that easy then everyone would be doing it right? Exactly, so that is NOT what you are going to do. You are going to set yourself apart from the herd and have people lining up for your tuition and keep on paying you forever, or as long as your art teaching is popular.

So how is this going to be done?

Everybody loves to watch don’t they? Yes, they love to watch others and see if they can pick up some tips on how they are doing their magic, whether it is oil painting a landscape in “plain air”, sketching caricatures at a theme park, or creating fantasy art with 3D computer programs. Whatever your leaning towards, if you have mastered your craft then you can get people interested in learning your methods by this very simple technique, that doesn’t cost you a cent.

A) Set up a YouTube account

B) Record yourself creating your art

C) Publish to YouTube some introductory video lessons

Once you have published your artwork on YouTube and all the other major video sharing sites, watch the traffic of visitors come in to your website to learn more. That is how it works for me, as some of my videos have had 50,000 viewings in less than a year. That is a lot of targeted traffic for your site and the “Full length videos on DVD delivered to your door – for $39.95” or the “ebook instant download version for $29.95”. I personally have “How To…Products” that have been selling on an almost daily basis for months now and the best thing is the market is steady despite the economy being anything but.

#3 Get Other People To Sell Your Art & Art Tuition!

This one is also a favorite smart way to make money by selling your art online. Creating art as in example #1 and then selling the tuition in #2, sets you up perfectly for doing this – getting AFFILIATES to sell your artwork for you.

You see there are whole armies of folks selling things online to their audiences who login on regularly to the websites that they control. Most of their time is spent on creating content for blogs, answering forum posts and keeping the site up to date, so they have precious little time to do what you and I do – make art!

So those with the website visitors, (some popular sites have hundreds of thousands of unique visitors everyday) are in the perfect position to sell your wares, your artwork by commission, your art ‘how to…’ products. I personally have a long list of affiliates who are out there promoting my ebooks who only get paid IF they make a sale. Now that is my kind of workforce, no base salary, no holiday or sick leave to account for, only commission on sale. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Using the contemporary example above for cell phone wallpapers, you can approach hundreds of website owners with your – “this weeks best sellers celebrity caricature wallpaper” and have them sell for you on a royalty basis as well.

The limits to these lucrative areas are boundless and with your crazy artistic imagination you are going to do well to follow these 3 smart ways to profit from your art online.

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