Hello artists! Are you searching for the best art business ideas to make money? Look at this big list of ways that artists and creative entrepreneurs can earn cash.
If you are artistic, you have a huge advantage over the majority of the population. Your talent and creativity allow you to earn money with your passion for art. You can start a business and use your art skills to create beautiful items for sale.
However, besides creating the work of art, you have to learn how to run a business. So here are the best art business ideas to use your creativity and artistic talents to make money.
Big List of Art Business Ideas
Below are some of the many art business ideas for creative artsy people – like You!
- 3D Printing – The introduction of 3D printing technology has opened a new business market for designers. If you know CAD computer-assisted design techniques, use your skills to create and sell sculptures, figures, and artwork.
- Animator – The use of animation is on the increase, especially in film and videos.
- Appraiser – Art collectors want to know the value of their art, for estate valuation, insurance premiums and for resale value. Offer your research and curation skills as an art business service.
- Art dealer. Use curation skills to buy and sell artwork pieces online or locally.
- Art rental – Hotels, restaurants, businesses and public spaces often rent artwork to display. You could earn by renting your art and also have them available for sale to interested viewers. This is an especially lucrative idea for sculpture and seasonal art. Win-Win!
- Art seller. Create original paintings and drawings and sell online, in art galleries or in local markets.
- Art supply store owner. Start a business that sells various art supplies and creative materials.
- Art teacher. Create an online course for your line of art. You create the course once and you can sell it to many people over and over again.
- Balloon sculptor. Create balloon art for event décor or for attendees.
- Basket weaver. Make and sell baskets of different shapes and sizes online.
- Blogger. Find a niche to write for and make money out of blogging.
- Bookbinder. Offer bookbinding services to independent authors and business owners.
- Cake decorator. Decorate the wedding and other cakes and specialty desserts. View this list of creative bakery business names
- Calligrapher. Offer calligraphy services to individuals and businesses for marketing materials or wedding invitations.
- Candlemaker. Create unique candles with customized scents and colors. Sell online or at local markets.
- Car Artist – Antique and exotic car owners want unique designs to be painted onto their cars. Your artistic talent could be used to customize and beautify collectible automobiles. Go beyond pinstriping and murals into unique paint art.
- Caricature artist. Sell your humorous art at local events or venues.
- Ceramic & Painting art studio – Open a participant studio for beginners to visit and create art for a fee. You can include classes and stage events and parties.
- Clothing designer. Design and make a line of clothing items and sell in stores or boutiques.
- Comic book author & illustrator – Escape into a world of fantasy, manga and graphic novels as an author and illustrator. Learn how to become a comic book artist here.
- Cooking teacher – Cuisine is a deliciously creative art. Use your talents to teach people how to cook for their families or in restaurants.
- Crafting – If you love creating handmade treasures you can make money. You can sell at local craft fairs, flea markets and farmers markets or you can market your goods online. Read this list of the best places to sell your handmade crafts online.
- Creativity coaching – Artists and business people are becoming more aware of the value of creativity in their ventures. As such, if you know how to tap into creative power, you can teach and coach people in these special skills.
- Crochet – Create handcrafted items for sale or teach people how to crochet.
- Custom embroiderer. Customize clothing and other items with embroidery.
- Customized T-shirt business. Use heat transfer vinyl or printers to transfer unique designs onto T-shirts, shirts and other clothing items.
- Dance teacher. If you are a dancer, start a dance studio in your community.
- Design seller. Create designs and sell printable files and cut files online.
- Disc jockey. Be a disc jockey for weddings and other events.
- E-book author. Great at storytelling? Write and self-publish your own novels online.
- Fabric Textile designer – All the fabric prints you see were designed by an artist. If you have a good color sense and know proportions well this business could be your perfect fit.
- Face painter. Paint kids’ faces at fairs, birthday parties, and other events.
- Fashion Designer – Use your talents for creating custom outfits and innovative styles by becoming a fashion designer.
- Fashion Stylist – Love putting together interesting looks? Use your skills as a fashion stylist. Photographers, retailers, celebrities, and designers will be your clients.
- Faux custom acrylics. Create key holders, jewelry and other items with faux acrylic.
- Faux finish painting – Restaurants, stores, salons, and homeowners want the unique wall and furniture finishes. Create these designer looks for them. Sell directly to customers to be hired by large painting firms or interior decorators.
- Floral designer – Some of my favorite art is floral. Consider selling your art skills as a floral designer.
- Framer – Beautiful artwork is enhanced by expert framing. Your company could create one of a kind frames to be display art. Expand your services to include shadow boxes and collages.
- Furniture refinishing – Fine furniture and antiques require repair and refinishing. Become proficient and charge by the project, dependent upon the level of skill, amount of materials and time required to finish the item.
- Garden designer – Art does not need to be on a canvas or a sculpture, plants are excellent mediums to create art. Use our green thumb and design talents to design landscape gardens and artistic planters.
- Ghostwriter. If you are an expert in a certain field, you can write e-books and blog articles for individuals and businesses.
- Glass Blower & Artist – Glass is a beautiful art material. You can create money-making items such as jewelry, home decor, paperweights, stained glass windows, and vases.
- Glass etching. Use hand tools or a machine to etch water glasses or glass home décor items.
- Greeting Card Designer. Create designs and transfer them to cards and sell them online or local stores.
- Hairstylist. You can offer unique cuts, updos and hair coloring and other salon services at home. Have a look-see at this list of salon names for your new business.
- Handbag designer. Design, make and sell handbags to local boutiques or online. View more fashion business ideas here
- Heat transfer vinyl artist. Transfer designs onto clothes, glass, canvas, and wood to create unique customized items.
- Home stager. Work with homeowners and realtors to make homes more appealing for buyers.
- House painter. Offer house painting services to real estate agents and homeowners.
- Illustrate children’s books. Offer illustration services to authors of children’s books.
- Interior design. If you have an eye for design and love home décor, do it for others.
- Jewelry maker. Create unique necklaces, earrings, and bracelets and sell online or at local markets.
- Knit goods seller. Create handknitted scarves, hats, and other items and sell them locally or online.
- Landscape designer.Design other people’s landscaping and outdoor spaces.
- Language teacher. If you are proficient in a language such as English or Spanish, teach it online.
- Logo designer. Graphic designers can design logos on freelancing sites for international business clients. Consider becoming a 99designs designer to have access to thousands of customers instantly
- Macrame artist – Use your love of fiber arts to create one of the kind items of home decor, jewelry, fashion accessories, and apparel. Sell them online at marketplaces such as Etsy. Also, consider teaching macrame techniques. Trending now is a macrame learning event in local boutiques and coffee shops.
- Makeup artist. Start a salon or travel to work with clients at studios or wedding venues.
- Makeup artist – Use your creativity to enhance your client’s beauty, for stage productions and films. Or you could teach makeup artistry in salons or online. Another income source could be events in stores at makeup counters.
- Mobile app designer. Become a freelance app designer for individuals and businesses.
- Mural painting. Paint murals in offices, daycare centers, and other places.
- Musician. Form a band and play at local events or produce albums and sell.
- Music teacher. Good at music? Teach people different musical instruments or give voice lessons.
- Nail artist – Not all art is hanging in museum galleries. Some of the most interesting is gracing fingernails! Open a nail salon and paint individual works of art on your client’s nails. Here are some ideas for your nail salon name.
- Package Designer – Product manufacturer and food purveyors all need talented graphic designers to create innovative packaging. Also you could design labels, inserts and store displays for your customer’s items.
- Pattern Designer – Crafters, including knitter, crochets, and sewers, all want to buy interesting patterns to practice their hobby. You could design and sell your patterns. Create your designs as PDF downloadable PDF files and sell online at one of these sites.
- Personal stylist. Help clients to shop and put together outfits.
- Photograph seller. If you take pictures everywhere you go, sell them online on iStock and other sites. Learn about the best photography business ideas here
- Pinterest Designer – The social website Pinterest is a visual search engine that is growing rapidly. If you like to design interesting visuals, hire yourself out to make “Pins” for businesses to increase their site traffic from Pinterest.
- Play an Instrument – Use your musical talents to earn money playing for concerts, stage productions and musical recordings.
- Portrait photographer. Take senior pictures, family photos, headshots or even pet photos. Get inspiration for your photography business name here
- Pottery maker. Sculpt custom dishware and décor items out of clay, glaze them in various colors and sell.
- Prop stylist. Work with event planners and arrange items for photoshoots.
- Quiltmaker. Create custom quilts and sell them to your community and online.
- Recycled Furnishings – Building on the recycling and environmentally friendly trend, use existing items to create new and better ones for resale. Also, you could use pallets to create one of a kind furniture items and home decor.
- Reverse canvas artist. Put unique designs on reverse canvas and sell them.
- Romance writer – Old fashioned love letters will never go out of style. Romantic writers are cashing in by writing love letters for courting couples. Write as sweet or sexy as you desire. Here is one love letter for hire firm for your inspiration.
- Sculpture – Get commissioned by towns and municipalities to create public art. Or get hired by businesses to create branded sculptures for their office headquarters. Advice on how to get started in the public art business.
- Silhouette portrait maker. Create silhouette portraits using heat transfer vinyl and profile photos.
- Singing – If you have a good singing voice you can earn money by performing in contests, recording songs or jingles. Want to break into the entertainment business? Get the top entertainment business ideas here
- Soapmaker. Make various soaps with unique scents and designs. Sell online or at local markets.
- Social Media Consultant – Businesses need help with creating compelling images and text for their social media accounts. You could design and write their posts as your business idea.
- Stencil designs – Translate your designs into stencils for home decor, for DIY homeowners or interior decorators. Children’s rooms and kitchens are the most popular designs.
- Store Signage – There is an evergreen demand for talented sign makers. Often signs are the most important branding element for restaurants, hotels and retail stores. Offer your art skills to both local businesses or online.
- Tailor. If you have sewing skills, become a custom tailor or alter people’s clothes.
- Tattoo artist. If you have the right training and creativity, provide tattoos for clients.
- Tie-dye artist. Use tie-and-die on t-shirts, socks, etc. and sell them online or at local events.
- Video games – The best video games are visually attractive and have good design layouts. Earn money by designing video games.
- Video producer. Earn ad revenue on YouTube by producing videos in your area of expertise.
- Vintage reseller. Curate vintage items and expertly market them online.
- Vinyl car wrap designer – Businesses with fleets of cars such as service firms need your creative talents to design eye-catching vinyl wraps for their cars & trucks. Investigate this business idea by reading how to get started in the vinyl sign business here.
- Voice-over artist for ads, dramas, videos, and commercials. Your voice is in demand irrespective of the language or accent.
- Wallpaper designer – Wallpaper is a trending market estimated to reach $37 billion by 2020. Get a share of the riches by designing wallpaper. Learn about becoming a wallpaper designer here
- Website designer. Build custom websites for business owners on freelance websites or sell pre-made templates online.
- Wedding photographer. If you are considering the photography business, provide photography and video services at weddings.
- Window displays – Retailers of all sizes need beautiful window displays. This career is called Merchandising. If you love to design interesting visual art with props this is an ideal business idea for you. Additionally, stores need help with styling their shelves and display cases. Tips on how to get started in visual merchandising.
- Woodworker. Create and sell small sculptures or intricate pieces of furniture from wood. Ideas for naming your woodworking business
- Write children’s books. Write interesting stories for kids and sell them to publishers or on Amazon.
- Writing teacher and coach – Many aspiring novelists and beginners freelancer writers are looking for training and coaching to improve their writing. If you know how to write well and can teach others this is an in-demand art business idea.
The most profitable businesses are those that sell services with low overhead costs such as accounting, consulting, tutoring, cleaning companies, and website designer.
Plus graphic designers, real estate brokers, fitness trainers, and food trucks have the highest profit margin
The answer is based on your talents, interest, financial resources, time and market potential.
I recommend to my entrepreneurial clients, to always start with themselves and their interests. To succeed as a creative entrepreneur, you will work hard and have long hours. Thus, it is vital that you love your creative business activities.
Here are lots of small business art ideas to fuel your inspiration.
Start by deciding what items or services you plan to sell – artwork, custom jewelry or photography. Then thoroughly research your target market learning sales channels, competition and pricing levels. Craft a simple one-page business plan that states your products, prices, costs, marketing strategy, and operations.
Pricing is both an art and science for all businesses but especially so for creative entrepreneurs.
Start by researching your target market to find items similar to yours to establish a price range. Then compare your materials and target customers to determine your starting price point.
I recommend that you start at a higher price range. You can always reduce your price for special customers, or holiday sales and for bulk purchases. Often you cannot increase your prices without lots of customer pushback.
Art is not a commodity, and as such the simple calculation of labor and materials that manufacturers utilize is not appropriate for pricing art.
Yes, No and Maybe.
YES, to sell your art directly to customers you will need a standard business license issued by your state’s business office. Plus you will need to get a sales tax certificate and EIN Employer Identification Number for tax filing purposes. This also applies to online sales from your website or online marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy.
NO, you do not need a license to sell your art through a gallery because you are not selling your art directly to the public. The gallery will have the proper licensing and will pay you as an individual. Also, you do not need a license to sell artwork commissioned by individuals.
MAYBE, if you sell your art at arts and crafts shows you may be required to have a special vendor license by the show promoters. They will advise and guide you on the requirements.
Here are 39 of the best online art marketplaces to sell your arts & crafts.
Check out my guide on how to start your business right with tons of useful tips I learned by successfully starting, building, and selling multiple companies.