It's not easy to make a living as an artist.  Many illustrators, painters, photographers, and collage artists struggle to sell their work in today's market.  In addition to the sheer amount of competition, consumers don't always have hundreds or even thousands of dollars to spend on an original piece. Still, everyone deserves to be paid for their amazing work.  Here are some tips to help increase your revenue and keep your Ramen diet to a minimum.

Merch It Up!

So, what is the best way to make money without having to undervalue your work?  Consider getting your artwork reproduced as a line of merchandise!  Having your artwork printed on custom button pins,  pocket mirrors, t-shirts and other customized items opens up an entirely new opportunity for you to sell and market your work.

Not all merchandise is created equal.  Anyone can go to Zazzle and have their design printed on a pair of panties.  Let's get creative and find some unique ways to display your art, without losing it's integrity.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • totes
  • t-shirts

  • pocket mirrors

  • buttons, badges, pins, and magnets

  • stickers and decals

  • posters

  • greeting cards, playing cards, trading cards, and ACEO

  • notebooks

  • calendars and organizers

  • coffee table books

  • digital downloads

Most everyday consumers don't have big money to spend on art.  However, they may spend anywhere from $5-$50 on smaller items with an image or impression of your artwork.  It's
may not make you rich, but small sales like this add up.  Plus, it gives your fans the ability to have a wearable piece of your creativity.  Don't forget how much people love to promote things the things they love.  Your item may become a talking point and steer new fans your way.

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Where To Sell Your Art

There is an unlimited number of places to sell your art.  Set up a booth at a craft show or art show.  Strive to sell your original pieces, but have posters available for smaller purchases.  Open a shop on or to promote your work, while snagging a few t-shirt sales along the way.  Find local businesses who are looking for local art, and leave a basket of buttons to sell.  Choose the venue that is best suited to your personality.  If you like being out among the public, search for open mics and flea markets where you can set up a booth.  If you aren't very social, open up an online shop.  It's all up to you!

Don't Give Up

It can take a while to build awareness for your work.  Little by little, your following will grow.  Not everyone has a career explosion.  For most, it can be a snowball effect, and that is perfectly ok.  The important thing is to be positive and persistent.  Best of luck always to you!

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