Here are 11 examples of ways to succeed as an entrepreneurial artist.
3D printer artist
The power of technology is opening up new ways for people to express themselves, and with it new ways to monetize their art. Whether you recreate fan favorite cartoons or come up with unique designs all your own, 3D printing is a novel medium for printing your art to life!
Paint-and-sip franchise owner
Stained glass/mosaic maker
Some artists use paper as their canvas. Why not use the human body as yours? Working in a tattoo studio can be a lucrative career path for talented artists, but it will require some time and education. Wikihow notes that you need to be state certified by completing an apprenticeship with an experienced tattoo artist and taking tattooing courses. Once you're certified, referrals from satisfied customers will be your biggest source of business.
A more practical (and far less permanent) way to use people as canvases is becoming a makeup artist. Beauty school isn't a prerequisite for launching a successful makeup business: All you need is a good reputation and a great knowledge of cosmetics. Since beauty professionals often build their business through client referrals, work on friends and family for free or at a discounted rate at first. Once you have a solid customer base, you can offer competitive rates for updos and makeup for weddings, proms and other special events.
Could you see your artwork on a T-shirt? You can go into the silk-screening business and start your own clothing line. Startup costs are relatively low if you don't buy your own printing equipment, and once you build up an inventory, you can sell your clothes through a site like BigCartel.com or on your own website. Matthew Johnson, founder of Seventh.Ink Shirts and Apparel, reminds aspiring clothing designers that having a unique product and staying engaged with customers are the keys to a successful business.
Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon and Adam C. Uzialko.