23 Best Side Hustles for Artists and Creatives to Make Money

So, you’ve decided to pursue your dream of becoming an artist. Great choice! But there are challenges ahead. One concern is relying solely on commissions, which can be unpredictable. Also, being an artist can be costly, with expenses for supplies and equipment.

If your regular income isn’t cutting it, consider a side hustle. It can help:

  1. Fill in financial gaps between commissions.
  2. Cover expenses like supplies and equipment maintenance.
  3. Invest in your art by trying new things.

Side gigs for artists can be a fun way to make extra money and showcase your creativity. Ready to explore some options? Let’s get started!

Best Side Hustles for Artists and Creatives

1. Illustration

Illustration is a lucrative side hustle for artists who excel in drawing or digital art. Whether you enjoy creating characters, symbols, or intricate designs, there’s a diverse range of opportunities in this field.

You can provide your illustrations for various purposes, such as websites, social media, branding, packaging, or even children’s books. Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork serve as excellent starting points to showcase your talents and connect with potential clients.

As your business grows, you can set up your own website to display your portfolio and attract more clients. On average, freelance illustrators earn around $30 per hour.

2. Graphic Design

Graphic design is an ideal side hustle for artists and creatives with a keen eye for detail and a flair for creativity.

In today’s digital age, businesses of all sizes require graphic designers to craft visual elements, including logos, website layouts, and social media graphics, that effectively communicate their brand identity.

To get started, you can offer your services to local businesses through word-of-mouth referrals or join online freelance marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork.

While beginners usually charge lower rates, experienced freelancers can earn an average of $42 per hour in the United States, according to ZipRecruiter.

3. Sell Printables Online

If you possess design skills, you might make money by selling digital printables online. Printables are downloadable files that people can print at home, commonly used for planners, journals, and checklists.

You can market your printables through platforms like Etsy or establish your personal website or blog for higher income potential. Shopify, Podia, and SendOwl are ecommerce platforms that offer user-friendly features to facilitate sales on your own site.

With tools like Canva, it’s intuitive to design a variety of beautiful printables for sale. Once you’ve created a printable, you can sell it repeatedly with minimal additional effort.

In other words, this side hustle has the potential to create a steady stream of passive income.

4. Sell Your Artwork Online

With platforms like Etsy, Redbubble, and Society6, it’s never been easier for artists to sell their artwork online.

For example, Etsy is a global marketplace where you can set up your shop and sell various art forms, including paintings, drawings, and photographs.

Redbubble, on the other hand, is a print-on-demand service that enables artists to sell their designs on an array of products like clothing, stickers, and phone cases.

While it only takes a few minutes to launch an online store on these platforms, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of search engine optimization. To increase the visibility of your listings, you need to conduct keyword research to write clear titles, product descriptions, and more.

5. Start a Blog 

For creative people who love to write, starting a blog can be a fulfilling side hustle.

As a blogger or niche site owner, you’ll share your creativity and expertise with the world through articles and content sharing.

You can monetize your blog or site through various avenues, including advertising (like Google AdSense), affiliate marketing, selling digital products, sponsored content, and promoting services.

You don’t have to limit yourself to creative topics, but I’d suggest staying within your expertise. This allows you to create high-quality content such as tutorials effortlessly.

Keep in mind that building a content-based website takes time and patience. You usually need six to twelve months to get traffic from Google.

6. Web Design

Web design is an ideal side hustle for artists with a tech-savvy streak. As a web designer, you’ll craft visually appealing websites for business owners or ordinary customers.

Don’t fret if you lack coding skills. You can use tools like Divi for WordPress to create custom designs without coding. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, these platforms offer templates and a drag-and-drop builder to suit your expertise.

To find potential clients, you can create a profile on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. As you gain experience, you might try pitching your services to local businesses.

If you have a blog or niche website, you can showcase your portfolio there.

7. Create an Online Course

Creating an online course is an excellent side hustle for artists and creatives looking to monetize their knowledge and skills.

You don’t need to be a world-class expert; you just need to know more than the people you’re teaching.

Platforms like Teachable and Podia make it easy to create an online course and promote it, with some offering free plans to minimize initial expenses.

Once your course is complete, it can continue to generate passive income over months or even years.

That being said, it’s challenging to get people to buy your course when they don’t know you. So, I’d suggest offering a short free course to attract some audience. Afterwards, you can pitch them a paid course.

8. YouTube Channel

Starting a YouTube channel is a lucrative side hustle for artists and creatives who enjoy making videos.

As a YouTuber, you can share your creativity and expertise with a global audience while earning extra income. Popular content includes tutorial videos on various creative topics such as graphic design, web design, illustration, or digital painting.

To begin, all you need is a camera, and your smartphone camera suffices, along with basic video editing software. You can always invest in better equipment as you grow.

Your YouTube channel can be monetized through several avenues, including advertising revenue from the YouTube Partner Program, direct sponsorships from companies interested in your niche, and affiliate marketing partnerships.

While the income potential is substantial, you’ll need months or years of consistent effort to build a successful channel from scratch.

9. Freelance Writing

For creative people with strong writing skills, freelance writing offers a fantastic side hustle opportunity.

As a freelance writer, you can channel your creativity into crafting various types of content, such as articles, blog posts, website copy, and marketing materials, catering to diverse clients and industries.

Your creative prowess can also be applied to writing for art and design blogs, allowing you to pen tutorials, informative articles, or profiles on fellow creatives.

One of the most appealing aspects of freelance writing is the consistent demand for quality content. Businesses perpetually require fresh written material, ensuring a steady flow of potential work.

Platforms like Upwork and direct outreach to businesses are excellent ways to find writing gigs. To attract higher-paying assignments, build a portfolio of writing samples.

10. Print-on-Demand Designer

A print-on-demand designer is an ideal side hustle for artists and creatives who want to turn their artistic talents into a source of income.

In this gig, you focus on crafting designs for various merchandise like t-shirts, phone cases, and posters, without the burdens of stocking inventory or managing shipping logistics. You simply create your unique designs and upload them to a print-on-demand platform like Printful.

When a customer places an order for a product featuring your design, the platform takes care of producing and shipping it. You earn a commission for each sale, and you can withdraw your earnings whenever you want. The beauty of this side hustle lies in its affordability – you can start with minimal upfront costs.

11. Sell Design Templates

For graphic designers, web designers, and Photoshop artists, selling design templates is a profitable side hustle.

Platforms like Creative Market and Creative Fabrica allow you to upload your design templates and earn commissions with each sale. You can create a wide range of assets, including Photoshop mockups, website themes, logo templates, print designs, and social media templates.

As designers from around the world purchase your templates for their projects, you can generate a stream of passive income while scaling your portfolio.

12. Write an eBook

Everyone can become a self-published author these days. For creatives who enjoy writing, this is a lucrative side hustle that can bring in passive income with minimal investment.

You have the freedom to write ebooks, novels, or non-fiction books on topics that pique your interest, whether it’s design, art, or any other passion.

Unlike traditional publishing, there are minimal barriers to entry; you don’t need a literary agent or a publishing deal. Platforms like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing make it simple to publish your work.

Once your book is live, it’s accessible to a global audience as an ebook or paperback. Amazon handles printing and shipping, eliminating upfront costs and inventory hassles.

Writing a book can establish you as an expert in your field, potentially leading to speaking engagements, consulting opportunities, and career growth.

13. Photography Services

Are you good at taking photos? With a good camera and basic editing skills, you can launch your own photography business. There’s a vast array of niches to explore, from portraits to family photos, maternity, newborns, and beyond.

To get started, post your great pictures on Instagram to catch the eye of your followers. They’ll help you spread the word about your services. You can also find clients on platforms like Craigslist and Fiverr.

As you build a satisfied customer base, you can increase your prices through word-of-mouth referrals.

14. Sell on Etsy

Etsy is an ideal platform for artists and creatives to monetize their talents. This marketplace specializes in handmade, vintage, and unique factory-made items, making it a great place to sell your crafted goods.

It’s easy to set up an Etsy shop. You don’t need any coding skills to build a visually appealing website on Etsy. In a few clicks, you’ll have an online store ready for uploading images and listing products for sale.

While there are small fees associated with listings and transactions, you retain most of the profits. As your small business grows, you can start your own eCommerce site for more flexibility. 

15. Photo Editing

If you possess skills in Photoshop or Lightroom, offering photo editing services can be a profitable side hustle.

Many ordinary people and even professional photographers require photo enhancements but lack the time or expertise to do it themselves. Your tasks can range from removing unwanted elements from a photo to advanced touch-ups.

To get started, build a profile on freelance platforms like Fiverr and Upwork to showcase your services. Keep your prices low to attract clients and accumulate positive testimonials.

With a robust portfolio and reputation, you can gradually raise your service fees.

16. Stock Photography

While the market is competitive, it’s still possible for artists and creatives to make some money selling stock photos if they can create high-quality images.

To get started, you can upload your photos to platforms like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and iStock. Whenever someone purchases your image, you earn a commission.

While it might not make you rich overnight, some artists have been able to fetch a few hundred dollars per month, especially if you have a substantial existing photo collection to upload.

The key is to build a diverse portfolio that appeals to a broad audience.

17. Font Designer

As a graphic designer, you can turn your creativity into a font design business, offering a unique niche skill set.

Fonts are in high demand, especially within the realms of advertising and graphic design. If you can craft fonts with precision and artistry, you’ll be able to earn money by selling your creations online.

Platforms like Creative Market and Creative Fabrica provide spaces to showcase and sell your fonts. For more control and flexibility, you might set up your own online shop using Shopify or Wix.

To maximize earnings, consider bundling multiple fonts together and offering them on your website or through deal sites like MightyDeals and Design Cuts.

18. Videography

Videography is a lucrative side hustle for artists skilled in using video cameras and editing software.

There is a strong demand for this service, including businesses looking for promotional videos, event organizers in need of event documentation, and customers with personal or family video project requirements.

The beauty of a videography business lies in its versatility. It’s not confined to just capturing weddings and events. With the growing demand for video content, freelancing in this field offers significant opportunities.

You can source clients by leveraging your network or advertising on platforms like Craigslist.

19. Furniture Flipping

Furniture flipping is an ideal side hustle for creative people who love working with their hands.

It involves acquiring used or discarded furniture pieces and giving them a fresh lease on life through refinishing, painting, reupholstering, or other creative techniques.

You can source furniture for flipping at yard sales, flea markets, or even from items discarded on the curb for trash collection.

Once you’ve transformed these pieces into unique, eye-catching creations, you can sell them to interested buyers on platforms like Facebook Marketplace. 

20. Mural Painting

Mural painting offers artists an exciting way to monetize their creative skills. It involves crafting large-scale artworks on walls, indoors or outdoors, and has gained popularity in businesses and public spaces.

As an artist, you can leverage your unique style or niche, such as nature scenes, abstract designs, or even customized themes, to attract clients looking to enhance their environments.

You can advertise your services on Upwork or Fiverr, showcasing your portfolio on social media accounts, or networking within your artistic community.

As you take on more projects, you’ll receive more deals from word-of-mouth referrals. Each completed mural can serve as a powerful advertisement. So, make sure your artwork is of high quality.


21. Painting Houses

For creative people with an eye for detail, painting houses can be a rewarding side hustle. This venture includes both interior and exterior painting jobs.

You can promote your house painting business through online advertising or networking within your community. Satisfied customers will become advocates, helping your business grow organically through word-of-mouth referrals over time. 

As your reputation and skills build up, you can diversify your services to include tasks like wallpaper installation and deck staining.

22. Home Staging

Home staging is a lucrative side hustle for artists and creatives with a knack for interior design. It involves the art of transforming a lived-in space into a showroom-worthy home to help it sell faster and at a better price.

As a home stager, you’ll use your creative eye to declutter, rearrange furniture, and strategically add or remove decor elements to make a property more appealing to potential buyers.

To find potential clients, you can advertise your services online or build relationships with local real estate agents. As you build up your portfolio, more clients will be attracted to your expertise.

If you consistently deliver results, real estate agents may even hire you directly or recommend your services to their clients.

23. Teaching Art or Design

Teaching art or design is a rewarding side hustle for creative people. It allows artists to share their skills and knowledge while generating income.

Artists can choose to start their own art classes, whether in person or online, catering to diverse audiences, including adults looking for a new hobby, children exploring their creativity, or fellow artists interested in their specific style.

To find students, artists can promote their classes through online advertisements, social media, and personal networks. They can also collaborate with schools, community centers, or local art studios to reach a broader audience and potential clients.

Teaching art not only provides a source of income but also enables artists to inspire and mentor aspiring creatives.

What’s the Best Side Hustle for Artists?

Well, it really depends on your availability, financial goals, and skill levels. Artists can earn extra cash by engaging in various creative activities. They can sell their art on platforms like Etsy, start a blog, or create a YouTube channel focused on art. They could even write books or teach online courses.

For me, I’d suggest starting with selling handcrafted items on Etsy. It’s a low-cost way to monetize your creativity and find out who’s really interested in your art. After that, you can tailor your products to a specific audience.

If you need more aspiration, check out my side hustle database


1. How can I make money from my art?

To monetize your art, consider selling it on popular online marketplaces such as Etsy, Redbubble, and Society6. Alternatively, create your own website to showcase and directly sell your artwork.

2. How do I balance my side hustle with my full-time job?

To balance your side hustle with your main job or other duties, create a clear schedule, prioritize tasks, and don’t hesitate to turn down projects or delegate tasks when needed.

3. What are the common challenges faced by artists when pursuing a side gig?

Artists often struggle with consistently finding clients, setting fair prices, and effectively managing their time and workload. However, as a creative, you can advertise your services on platforms like Craigslist and Facebook to secure projects promptly.

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