Are you looking for ways to make money drawing?
Now, more than ever, there are lots of opportunities for artists to make money doing what they love. In fact, there’s never been a better time to earn a living as an artist. The internet has created so many new opportunities for artists like you to get noticed and start earning an income with their talents.
Drawing can be a lucrative side hustle or even become a source of full-time income if you know how to monetize it.
And the best part is, you don’t have to have a huge social media following to make a living from your art. Rather, you just need to find your niche and learn how to market your skills.
That’s why, for the rest of this guide, I’m going to reveal 15 of the best ways to make money drawing.
Let’s dive in!
1. Sell Your Drawings On Etsy
Etsy is a creative marketplace that allows artists of any kind to profit from their crafts. Honestly, it’s one of the most straightforward ways to make money drawing.
Setting up an Etsy store is easy, and it’s open to anyone. There’s a market for practically every style of art; you don’t have to create a specific type of art to be successful on the platform.
Many shoppers come to Etsy to buy handmade gifts or decorative items. You could sell custom drawings, or you could draw a few preset designs and sell them as prints. Or, you could use your drawing skills to create designs and apply them to other objects like mugs or t-shirts.
Be sure to take some high-quality photos of your drawings so people know exactly what to expect when they order from you.
You’ll stand out from the competition and people will be more likely to shop from you if you include attractive photos.
2. Sell Your Drawings On Your Own Website
This option will cost you some money upfront since you’ll need to pay for website hosting and a domain name. Even so, selling your drawings on your own website is a great way to start marketing your artwork.
After you have a website set up, it’s also a good idea to create social media profiles to share your art.
Through social media, you can showcase your drawings and encourage people to check out your online store. This will help drive traffic to your website and increase your chances of making sales.
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3. Start A Drawing/Illustration Gig On Fiverr
Fiverr is a freelancing platform that allows people to earn money using their skills.
There’s an entire niche on Fiverr dedicated to artists, and many buyers will pay you to create custom drawings or illustrations for them.
Browse around the “Art & Illustration” category on Fiverr to get an idea of some different services you could sell.
People are willing to pay for all kinds of illustrations, from comics to tattoos.
4. Create/Sell An Online Drawing Course
Drawing is a skill that not everyone has! However, tons of people would like to improve their art skills. The only problem is that they don’t have anyone to teach them.
That’s where you come in.
You can create an online course in which you teach people how to draw.
If you specialize in a certain style of drawing, you can make your course even more specific. That way, people who want to learn how to draw in your particular style will be more likely to take a course from you than from someone who teaches a more general drawing course.
5. Partner With A Local Business
Many salons, coffee shops, and restaurants like to feature the artwork of local artists. Therefore, if you want to make money drawing, scope out local businesses in your area and ask if they would be open to displaying some of your artwork for sale.
In exchange for displaying your drawings with price tags underneath, you could offer them a portion of every sale. This is a great way to gain exposure to more art buyers, and it’s a passive form of marketing your artwork since you don’t have to work on actively promoting your pieces.
6. Teach An In-Person Drawing Class
Some people prefer to learn in a classroom or one-on-one setting.
With that in mind, in addition to a digital course, you could teach in-person drawing classes.
You may be able to do this in partnership with a local school or existing art program in your city. Ask around at local schools or universities about offering an extracurricular drawing class.
Or, you could establish your own drawing classes and market them on your website or social media platforms.
7. Illustrate Children’s Books
One way to make money drawing is to partner with authors who write children’s books.
Most children’s book authors hire artists to create the artwork for their short stories.
If you can develop a relationship with an author who frequently writes and publishes children’s books, you may get a more long-term drawing opportunity that offers consistent income.
Of course, the difficulty lies in finding authors to work with. You may be able to find children’s authors in need of artists by browsing online or asking your network.
Or, if you know of a children’s author you’d like to work with, send them an email pitch, and be sure to include examples of your best work.
8. Create Digital Illustrations For Bloggers
Many bloggers need help creating the graphic elements that support their blog posts and websites. These graphics are usually simple, and they complement blog posts or other website pages.
Free vectors and line drawings are often too simplistic or aren’t cohesive enough, so there’s a demand for digital illustrations that are more in line with bloggers’ brands.
So, if you want to make money drawing, you could create custom digital line drawings, infographics, social media graphics, and more for bloggers.
Also, more and more bloggers are starting podcasts these days. They often need custom illustrations for their podcast covers, and most people are willing to pay well for this service.
9. Take On Commission Work
If you want to make money as an artist, be open to creating commissioned artwork when it comes your way. Or, to take it a step further, you can start looking actively for commission work.
As you continue showcasing your work on your website and social media platforms, you may catch the eye of someone who needs custom artwork done. That’s why it’s important to make sure your portfolio has a cohesive style and focus, so buyers get a strong idea of what you can do for them.
Unless you have a large audience, it can be difficult to obtain commissions from social media alone.
People who are looking to hire someone to create custom artwork often post opportunities on Craigslist.
Some of these opportunities may even turn into longer-term gigs!
10. Design Graphics For Clothing
Your drawings have a lot of potential applications. One way to expand the monetization opportunities for your drawings is to apply them on clothes.
Adapt some of your best drawings for placement on clothing merchandise like t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats. If your drawings translate well to this medium, you could open a section of your online store dedicated to selling clothes.
Or, you can use a service like Teespring to easily apply your drawings to clothing items, so you don’t have to deal with the logistics yourself.
Also, if you don’t want to sell your own clothing, you could pitch your drawing services to an influencer or YouTuber who needs help designing their merchandise.
11. Sell Your Drawings At A Local Art Fair
Local art fairs and art walks are great places to make money drawing, as people who attend art fairs appreciate art and often want to buy pieces from local artists.
Look online to find out when your town or city is putting on its next art fair, and learn about what you need to do to enroll.
Just make sure to bring a large selection to showcase the breadth of your work and increase your chances of selling.
12. Start a Blog About Art and Drawing
Blogging is essentially content marketing, and it is one of the best ways get more eyes on your drawings. What’s more, you don’t have to be the world’s best writer to start a blog. Rather, you just need to start, and stick with it.
Oh, and did I mention that blogging in and of itself can also be very lucrative.
You could publish blog posts giving people tips and tutorials on how to draw like you do.
In addition to pointing people to the drawings you have for sale or an online course you’ve created, you could also use affiliate marketing to monetize your blog.
People following your blog will likely be interested in the art supplies and tools you use, and affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions on sales you make through affiliate links.
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13. Sell Your Drawings On Social Media
Even if you don’t have a website yet, you can start by selling your drawings on social media platforms.
All you have to do is create a profile that’s just for sharing your artwork and then invite your friends to follow your account.
Then, be sure to share your drawings consistently.
Like blogging, creating consistent content is the key to growing a following on social media.
You can also use relevant hashtags on Instagram or join group boards on Pinterest to gain exposure to a wider audience.
Be sure to highlight any commission work you’ve done and let people have a look at your behind-the-scenes process.
In other words, document your journey!
People will connect with you more when you invite them in and share your love of art in a way that’s personal.
14. Start A YouTube Channel About Drawing
Another way to make money drawing is to start a YouTube channel. You could create video content to supplement the posts on your blog, or focus entirely on YouTube instead.
The same principles of affiliate marketing on your blog apply to your YouTube channel.
You can link the products you use in the description of all your videos, and any purchases made through your affiliate links will earn you commissions.
Video is a popular medium for art tutorials since it tends to be much easier to explain and demonstrate your process.
As you gain viewers and subscribers, you can make money from YouTube Adsense, sponsorships, and more sales of your own artwork.
Seriously, YouTube is a fantastic platform for artists looking to make money drawing.
15. Sell Your Drawings On Stock Photo Websites
Stock photography websites aren’t just for photographers. Many stock photography platforms also provide members with digital illustrations and vector art.
Therefore, if you want to make money drawing, you can create cohesive packs of vector illustrations or versatile digital drawings and submit them to stock photo websites.
If you want to scale up this part of your income, you’ll probably need to create a lot of drawings to increase your chances of more people downloading them. But, after you’ve built up a solid base of work on some stock photography websites, you can earn some pretty consistent income every month.
Whether you want to replace your full-time income doing something you love or you’re looking for a side hustle that actually pays off, there are all sorts of ways to make money with your art.
Just remember, it’s rare to achieve overnight success. For most people, it takes a lot of hard work, patience, and time to start seeing the financial results. But if you’re persistent and willing to keep trying some of these methods, you’re likely to find success.
As you find ways to monetize your creativity, keep improving your drawing skills and honing your craft.
As with any monetizable skill, the better you are, the easier it will be to market your products and services.