How To Make A Career In The Art Industry

Making a career in art can be very challenging. Most art jobs are as teachers, so how do you really make it into the art world and make art for a living? The best way is to start early and begin being more active and promoting your artwork on social media. Afterall, artwork rarely sells on the talent of the artwork, but typically the fame of the author.

Viewer Discretion: I am not a financial advisor and any advice taken below is for educational purposes only. Some of the links below are affiliate, meaning I may profit of off them with them with no extra expense to the customer.

Obviously, there are many ways to get into the art business. The most common practice is to go to art school and get a small job afterwards and work your way up. However, if you can find an art job, it probably won’t pay super well. The other problem is that you won’t be able to make what you want. You will be forced to give the company what they think will make the most money. However, there may be another way for you to make a living off doing what you want to do for a living.

The first and most important thing you need to do is start selling artwork immediately. Many places to sell your art exist. The most popular ways to sell physical artwork are probably eBay, Etsy, and Saatchi. As, there’s still not a good art selling alternative, most of these have lots of cons.

Best Selling Apps For Artists

I have personally tried to sell a painting on Saatchi and it is nearly impossible. The website only seems to advertise famous artists who have been selling on the site for years. Not only that, but there is also a sixty-dollar fee added to your painting, and the website still only gives the artists sixty-five percent of the sell.

For an app that does a terrible job of promoting your art and doesn’t have the same audience as other sites such as eBay, it is not worth it. The problem is that the other available selling platforms are also complete garbage.

EBay is the most likely platform for you artwork to actually sell on. However, other problems are very prevalent on eBay. One of the biggest problems is scamming. Scamming artists on eBay is very prevalent.

Also, your paintings on eBay will go for nothing. Since eBay is typically seen as the common man’s selling site, it is very unlikely for your piece of art to go for over one-hundred dollars.  Not only doesn’t that, selling on eBay build the kind of reputation that can turn your art into a career.

With eBays ten percent cut of your artwork; you’ll be making significantly less than you would have with Saatchi’s thirty-five percent cut. So, if you’re picking between selling on Saatchi or eBay, sadly Saatchi would be the answer.


One more art selling platform does exist, however. The other art selling site is called Etsy. Etsy is another eBay like reputation booster, in that it doesn’t crazily increase your reputation enough to make you a professional artist.

Etsy paintings can get as high as or higher than Saatchi paintings.  The flaw in Etsy is it takes a long time to gain recognition, and it costs twenty cents in order to post something. Most people will run at a loss for a very long time on Etsy, while in the other two platforms there is a much lower risk.

Online Art

Selling your art online is a much better way to make money, but a much worse way to build a reputation in the art community. For most people this is probably the better route to take, but it will probably ruin your chances of dying an extremely famous painter.

When selling paintings online, usually putting your artwork on different products is the best way to get sells. For a beginner, I would suggest selling on a website called Zazzle. Zazzle is the perfect place to sell on because there are no fees to begin selling and there are a variety of products.

Zazzle sells everything from t-shirts to basketballs. The site allows you to open “stores” which can publicize themselves on a variety of platforms. The site also work as a social platform, which means you can gain followers, or an audience.

The audience you can build is crucial because it means you can make process. On cites that allow you to sell, but don’t allow you to make a following, you’re basically treading in maple syrup. You’re making quick money that will never translate to long term success.

Art Through Fashion

Taking this path also gives you a much more likely chance of making it in the fashion industry and other forms of art.  Selling online also gives you much more of a chance to expand then regular paintings. Selling online designs can eventually turn you from a player into an owner. You can go from selling your designs to other people’s designs as you grow bigger.

In fact, this is how big clothing companies often start. A lot of them start from artists. So, in this way online art has a better potential to expand than in person art. I think online selling has a much better potential than in person art, to be honest.

You could take this idea and expand it even more by becoming a clothes designer, however. As a clothes designer you would probably have a much more consistent salary than an artist and you would have the benefit of making art with stable pay. While you wouldn’t get to make the art, you’d have liked to make, you could treat that art as a side-hustle.

I have heard of people who have used this method and have even used their own paintings as inspiration for their clothes. With a stable salary and another flow of income, you could do art and be well set off.

Building Blocks

Unlike what we would all whish, art school is still the best way to get a job in the art world. However, growing your popularity and beginning to sell your art could result in a career in the long run. The most important thing to remember is to be patient and work hard. Success will never be easy, and it takes time to make build something up enough to make money from it.

A good example of the building up is Acorns, which is an investment app. If you would like to learn more about the app, here is a review that I wrote here.