10 Ways for Artists to Make Passive Income

While many people think of selling original artwork and taking commissions as the only ways to make money as an artist, there are actually many different ways to make passive income from your art. This can include selling products with your artwork on them, teaching classes, or even blogging. In this post, I’m sharing 10 different ways that artists can make passive income, many of which I’ve tried myself!

ways for artists to make passive income online

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Here are just a few of the many ways that artists can make passive income:

1. Print on Demand

Leverage Print on Demand services like Zazzle, Redbubble, and Threadless to showcase your art on merchandise like t-shirts, phone cases and more. Mitigate logistical concerns as these platforms handle all of the printing, shipping, and inventory management, allowing artists to concentrate on their craft – making art!

tie dye hummingbird t-shirt

2. Blogging

Blogging serves as an effective platform for artists to establish their niche, showcase their artwork, and connect with their audience by delivering engaging content. Optimize the blog for search engines, promote it through social media channels, and monetize through advertisements, affiliate marketing, or product sales. A strategically managed blog can transform into a consistent revenue source.

3. Affiliate Marketing

Related to blogging, incorporating affiliate marketing into your online presence can increase your earning potential by promoting products you already use and love. Promote art-related products or tools and earn commissions for every sale made through your affiliate links. This requires minimal effort once set up.

4. Online Courses

Capitalize on your expertise by developing an online course. Select a subject of personal passion, structure it into comprehensible segments, and ensure an engaging presentation. You can use Youtube to get started and then branch out into platforms like Skillshare and Udemy to monetize your courses. You can also consider selling them through your own website or blog if you already have a dedicated following.

mandala coloring book cover

5. Books and E-Books

Design and sell printed books and e-books related to your area of expertise. Platforms such as Amazon KDP and Gumroad enable independent distribution. Crafting a series enhances visibility and ensures a sustained source of passive income. You can create things like colouring books, step-by-step “how to draw” or paint series, and more.

6. Digital Art Downloads

Monetize your digital artwork by selling instant digital downloads of art prints, patterns, illustrations, SVGs, and other types of digital art files. Platforms like Creative Fabrica and Gumroad allow artists to showcase and sell their digital creations without the need for physical production or shipping. You can also sell these through your own website.

7. Art Subscription Services

Launch a subscription service where subscribers receive exclusive digital art content regularly. Platforms like Patreon or specialized subscription services enable artists to generate recurring revenue.

8. Patreon

Establishing a Patreon account allows artists to convert loyal supporters into patrons. Offering exclusive content, ranging from behind-the-scenes material to early access, creates an incentive for patrons to contribute. Regular updates and occasional perks maintain patron engagement, ensuring a reliable income source.

photo of a woman researching Ways for Artists to Make Passive Income

9. Art Licensing

Explore licensing agreements with companies that want to use your art on various products. Earn royalties without the need for hands-on involvement in the production or distribution process. This requires some upfront research, and pitching your portfolio to companies and art directors, but if you can get a deal art licensing can be extremely lucrative.

10. Virtual Art Exhibitions

Organize virtual art exhibitions or galleries, either by yourself or with a group of other artists. Charge entrance fees or partner with sponsors to monetize the events without the need for physical set-up or maintenance.

There are an endless number of ways for artists to make passive income, and these are just a few ideas to get you started. The best way to find the right method for you is to experiment and find what works best for you and your art. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process!


julie signing off

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