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3 Ways to Earn a Passive Income as an Artist

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Finding new ways to sell products is instrumental for artists as it ensures that we can end the ‘starving artist’ mentality, while it also provides artists with adequate income for the work put in.

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Online teaching has provided a unique opportunity for individuals in different fields to share their skills.

What is passive income?

Passive income is revenue generated from taking minimal time and effort. Often, this money renews over some time, for instance, rent or royalties. It is often gained after investing time in a project and providing the product to clients repeatedly without making changes to the product offering. For artists, this could be gained through selling the same piece of art to different individuals. Since you always own the right to the product, you can diversify how it is used to generate revenue.

paint set up

Benefits of passive income

Increases your time to create more:

As an artist, you can effectively focus on creating more pieces through receiving passive income from projects you have worked on before. Through having an additional income, you can focus on that new passion project and test out a new medium. Furthermore, you need not worry about your bills since your work is working for you.


Increases your audience:
Acquiring passive income can contribute to the growth of your audience as more people consume your work. It is easier for individuals to market your pieces when they own one through an art print on a t-shirt. Therefore, it is likely for you to keep growing your audience while investing in work that results in passive income generation.


Additional buck:
You get to increase your bank account balance, and who doesn’t want that. I appreciate the fact that I have certainty over a percentage of my income per month and can effectively drop some projects which I find too demanding with low reward. Therefore, it is amazing to get some income from your art for the long term. There is an option to not be a starving artist after all!


Methods of generating passive income

There are various ways to generate passive income from your art today thanks to the internet. Thanks to this, you need not invest much in traditional methods of marketing your pieces. Some of the methods we will focus on are:

1. Print on demand
2. Creating printables
3. Online teaching on Amphy

Print on demand

As an artist, it is important to get a lot out of your piece. By incorporating print on demand, you can generate revenue through your artwork being used on different platforms. While the most common platform for print on demand is Shopify, one could explore partnerships in their country. Creating a partnership with a local brand ensures you can have more influence over how your artwork is rendered in the design work of the companies. Furthermore, you can approach the company during different seasons of the year to create different pieces. E.g. A summer collection or mystic work during Halloween.

wall decor framed and stacked against the wall


One can also join the printable market for a low-cost entry approach. To avoid the work of creating inventory, which is common for active business, this is an ideal approach. One can upload their artwork on a website such as Etsy or your website and charge individuals for downloads. This ensures you focus on the attraction of audiences rather than rendering the prints in physical form. I prefer this due to the low cost of entry.


When starting, you could choose to create your art traditionally and edit it through Adobe Lightroom. Alternatively, you could do the whole project digitally by using an iPad or Wacom Tablet. I prefer the former. There is always something strikingly good that comes of working on traditional media. But that is simply my preference. Once rendered, you can share this media as stickers or prints for individuals to download.


While there may be a lot of competition in the industry, the uniqueness of an individual artist’s approach ensures you can grow. You can always get an edge in the field by providing diverse options for your audience through collections. Furthermore, you have a unique style that only you can pull off. This could be informed by your background or the factors that inspire your work. Thus, I would advise for you to keep creating to ensure you provide a wide portfolio for potential clients.

free printables sheet

Online teaching on Amphy

Online teaching has provided a unique opportunity for individuals in different fields to share their skills. Teaching classes in the art field provides you with an opportunity to explore your interest while also generating revenue.


Amphy provides an ideal approach with teachers being able to identify the time they are free and the number of students to teach, as well as the budget. As an artist, this has provided me with an opportunity to invest in increasing my skills through practicing so I can deliver more value for my students. By providing the full ability for a teacher to curate their classes as well as their availability, the platform ensures you can generate income through training your students.


While organizing live classes may initially not be viewed as a source of passive income, it grows into this over time.


Students prefer live classes so they can ask questions in real-time and understand the subject matter. Furthermore, taking a live class provides a faster way for an individual to gain skills due to the environment of accountability created in the setting.


Now the passive approach comes in through attracting an audience who goes to your website or other channels to view more information. Students reached or taught on Amphy are more likely to view the rest of your work and will likely become your customers for pieces.


In addition to this, your students are likely to refer their friends to join in on your future classes or purchase your products due to the positive experience they have with you. Therefore, you are likely to generate revenue from one class in the long term through providing training on the platform.


Thus, teaching could provide a good avenue to increase the reach of your audience.

woman drawing


With these options, the bigger question is often where to start. I would recommend starting with teaching online. Since everyone can craft a lesson that is unique to your skills, this provides an ideal opportunity to gain confidence and grow your audience. Furthermore, this has few requirements, for example, with Amphy you only need to provide a Zoom interface to launch your classes.


Start generating your passive income today. Soon enough, this might be the main method you make money.

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