3 Money Making Ideas For Artists – And 2 To Ditch

Artists are known as free spirits, using their creativity to make our world just a little brighter. They are selfless in many ways, and they typically make the choice to sacrifice financial stability for freedom from social norms and a chance to do what they love. However, artists should have more than one income stream in order to avoid struggling financially on a regular basis.

In my almost 20 years of experience as a teaching performance artist, I have had many types of jobs. I have worked for corporate America, and I have freelanced in many different fields. I have acquired many skills in order to have the flexibility of working in different lines of work. This experience has allowed me to pick up lots of tips and tricks that have helped me stay on top of my financial stability. Now, I want to share them with you.

Read on to find out which 3 money-making ideas you can stick to, and which two you should ditch.

Money Making Idea #1: Use your creativity

One of the first things you can begin to develop is your talent. If you’re a dancer, you can develop your skillset by training in more than one style. You can learn how to teach by enlisting the help of a mentor. I remember when I first started dancing, I reached out to my dance teacher and told her that I wanted to be a choreographer. She took my dreams seriously, and she really helped me to understand the art of teaching a room full of students who all learn differently.

If you are a writer, you can write for other people’s blogs, or you can start your own blog, and monetize the blog through affiliate marketing. You can also get into the education field through your writing and write e-books or PDFs that help educate your audience on a topic of your choice.

If you are someone who likes to draw or make handmade custom pieces of art, you can commission pieces, you can enter different events as a vendor, and you can even sell your work online through the use of strategic ads. With the world changing so much, and the rise of the digital era, it would be extremely wise to learn how to use the internet to sell your pieces of artwork either through an online store or by learning more about digital marketing and using that to gain maximum exposure in the online marketplace of your choice.

Using your creativity also means that you can dabble in other forms of art other than your main form of artistic expression. For example, I am a dancer, but I also write, and as of lately, I began creating handmade jewelry using semi-precious gemstones. These are all things I learned how to do as I was developing my ability to teach dance. I did not use these other artforms as a way to make money in the past, but as soon as I learned how to use my knowledge to my advantage, I was able to use it to increase my sources of income using things that I already enjoyed doing.

Money Making Idea #2: Keep jobs that offset your expenses

Sometimes, you might come across a job that comes with certain perks which may help you in the long run. Jobs that either offer discounts or other types of benefits that help to keep your cost of living expenses down are always a win-win. In my experience, I found that working both as a brand ambassador and a mystery shopper has helped me to offset my leisure expenses.

Brand ambassador work is promotional work that you do for different brands at different events and in different places. You talk about their product, you get people to test it or try it out, and you sell. I did this type of work for about 14 years, and I got so much out of it. I always ended up with free stuff like clothing or free products. The hours were always decent, and the shifts were long enough to make some money but short enough to not have it take up your entire day. As an artist, freedom of time is very important. People like us just don’t thrive in a 9-5 setting.

Another job I dabbled in for many years (and I’m still doing it from time to time) is mystery shopping. The first question I get from anyone that I talk to about this line of work is, ” What is mystery shopping?”

As an artist, freedom of time is very important. People like us just don’t thrive in a 9-5 setting.


Mystery shopping is when you are hired to go into an establishment to pose as a regular customer. You then report back to the company and let them know how your experience was. Companies hire mystery shopping companies to send people out into their businesses because they’re interested in knowing if their employees are providing good customer service and adhering to their guidelines. In return, the mystery shopper gets reimbursed for the expenses they incurred, plus an additional small fee for filling out the report.

So, this can lead to free meals, free services (such as free haircuts, free massages and even car maintenance expenses like oil changes), free entertainment (movies, amusement parks, bars, etc) and even free lodging and airfare. (Yes, I definitely wrote airfare.) I work for a company that reimburses me for half of my plane ticket price in exchange for a report detailing my traveling experience with the airline. I use them all the time when I am traveling in order to offset my travel expenses. You can also be signed up with many mystery shopping companies at once since different companies have different clients.

Money Making Idea #3: Find remote jobs you can do from home

As we continue to move faster towards doing almost everything online, it’s important to keep up with the way the world is moving. One of the things that I have noticed in recent times is that more and more people are starting to work from their laptops. More and more remote jobs are being created, and as an artist, being able to work remotely is invaluable. Most of us travel all over the world for events and having a job that you can do from any part of the world can come in handy.

How can you get an online job? By developing other skill sets that are needed in order to apply for different types of jobs. Currently, I have found that many dancers that live abroad or the ones that are backpacking teach English as a second language, and they’re able to sustain themselves that way. You would need to at least get certified to teach English as a second language, but there are many ways to do it inexpensively. After getting certified, you can sign up with different companies that hire teachers even if you don’t have much teaching experience, and you can even set your own hours. Other remote jobs I’ve found are writing jobs, video editing jobs, graphic designer jobs, web design, signing up to be an audiobook narrator, teaching online lessons and becoming someone’s social media manager.

Idea #1 To Ditch: Getting a Job You Hate

One thing you should never do is get a job somewhere you really don’t want to be at. There’s nothing more draining than to work for a company that you hate. Working in places that have nothing to do with your life purpose or goals will affect you in the long run. I understand we all need to make money in order to pay our bills, but there really IS such a thing as working in a place that you not only enjoy but it also helps you achieve your career goals. Don’t waste your time in places you know you don’t want to be in.

If you really set your mind to it, you can attract opportunities to do the type of work you want to do and you don’t have to be miserable at any 9-5 with people you probably hate too. The last thing you want is to be so drained from your job to the point of no longer having the energy to work on your passion, your art and your personal goals when you get off work. Protect your energy at all times. There are jobs out there that will literally suck the life out of you. Tread carefully.

Idea #2 To Ditch: Not Having More Than One Job

The only way to protect yourself and your financial stability is to always have more than one income stream. One thing I learned is that all wealthy people have at least 7 streams of income. I like to use this to help me stay on top of my finances by always having a plan A, B, C, D, E, F and G.

Some of my jobs are seasonal, and I don’t want to struggle during the months when those jobs are slow. Therefore, I always have a few rotating income streams. When dance is busy, I tend to scale it down with my other jobs. I focus more on my online jobs. When dance season slows down, I pick up the courier jobs such as Postmates or Door Dash. I also translate from Spanish to English, so I will get some work translating blogs or documents. Or, I get back into mystery shopping.

The key is to always have 2-3 jobs you can jump into when the other 2-3 are not busy. Saving up money for the slow months of work during the busy season can also help to keep you in a safe place financially.

We Have To Think Creatively

In conclusion, we have to remain creative when figuring out how we are going to pay our bills in order to maintain the lifestyle we desire. There are so many other options for work for artists that can really get you paid the money you need without having to slave away somewhere for pennies, but these were just a few ideas that I had based on my personal experience as a self-employed individual.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you know someone who could really use this information, please share this with them!

What other money making ideas have you come across that really helped you or someone you know? Let me know in the comments!