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Grey Cross Studios
1920 4th St, New Orleans , LA 70113
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Friday, June 1, 2018

This Is How Artists Can Establish a Profitable Side Gig - By Brittany Fisher (Guest Writer)

While there are many careers in the art field, a true artist has the drive to make money from their passion projects. There’s no reason why a hobby can’t turn into a profitable side gig — quite possibly growing into a full-time business if all goes well. If you’d like to make it as non-starving artist, considering being open-minded about channeling several revenue streams. For example, you could blend web sales, commission projects, grants, and gallery showings to make ends meet while pursuing your artistic goals.

Even though you’re entitled to making your own selling strategies and creative decisions for your business, you’ve also got to prepare yourself for occasional criticism of your work — especially anything that’s custom. If you think you’re up for the challenge, just make sure you’re setting yourself up for success. 

Types of Gigs to Consider 

It’s likely that you already have a gig in mind by virtue of the skills and interests you possess, but it’s never a bad idea to take a look at some of the business models that have proven to be successful in the growing gig economy. For example, many people make a living as 3D printer artists, paint-and-sip franchise owners, custom airbrushing pros, tattoo design artists, graphic designer/artists, silk screeners, and video game or web designers. Whatever you choose to do, make your work consistent so that you can establish a recognizable brand for yourself. 

Setting Up the Proper Work Space

Along with needing a proper work area to make your creations, it’s also important that the space incorporates a traditional home office setup (quiet and distraction-free is best) where you can take care of important tasks such as online sales, social media campaigns, invoices, and taxes — ideally quarterly so you don’t have a big headache at the end of the year. There’s more than one way to get organized, so find a system that works best for you so that you’re productive and focused. Don’t compromise quality or professionalism with low-quality technology or poor tools, as there’s only one chance to make a first impression with a client or customer. 

Use Social Media to Your Advantage 

One of the best ways to promote your business on the cheap is by staying on top of social media. For example, Instagram has proven to be a game-changer for many artists, as it’s a perfect channel for sharing and selling recent work. Just be mindful of posting high-quality images, staying on brand, and keeping your content creative, to include captivating captions and searchable hashtags. Post regularly, connect with others, and don’t forget to complete the bio section and link to an applicable website where users can view your work — just make sure to maintain it regularly so someone isn’t seeing a banner advertising holiday gifts when it’s a sweltering August day. It’s also important to realize that different platforms target different audiences, so make sure you have a clear goal and target consumer in mind. You’ll get as much out of social media as you’re willing to put into it, so budget a small portion of your day to staying connected with your audience -- they’re your potential clients.

In order to thrive as an artist, define what success means to you. Perhaps you’re fine with always keeping it as a side gig so you can retain financial stability with a full-time job. Or, maybe you’re plotting a goal to open your own gallery one day. Whatever it is, make the goal clear and implement the necessary steps towards achieving your own personal zenith. Since it’s likely that you’ll be logging a lot of extra hours, don’t forget to take time to implement self-care through proper diet, exercise, rest, and personal time to either zone out with a book or plan a vacation. Burnout is one of the fastest ways to fail, so strive for achieving a work-life balances that supports your dreams as well as your health. 

Photo Credit: Pixabay 

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