How to make money as an artist

YouTuber Justin Case has been asking me questions about making money as an artist. Anyone who wants to be an artist can be. If you don’t want to be a business man too, then just do art/music/dance/whatever for a hobby and enjoy it.

But don’t let anyone tell you that artists area all poor or that you can’t make a living as an artist. If you are a creative person, then that’s what you are. If you then go and work in a boring 9-5 job you are going to be so bored and frustrated… for the rest of your life. that’s like a prison sentence.

Being an artist is a way of life. I’s a way of life your parents probably don’t understand, so they tell you it’s a dead end.

It’s not – It’s just that they want to protect you from the one thing you want to do in life – the one thing they don’t understand – it scares them!

They don’t want to see you fail. If you go through life saying, “I could have been an artist but my parents told me not to be one,” then you HAVE failed! Remember it’s your life you are living not theirs.

Artists who make a living wake up every morning with this on their mind. No one is going to tell them what to do. You have to be really brave to be yourself and to stick to your principles. Your principles may mean that you don’t make piles of cash, but you can have a really rich life along the way.

Money doesn’t make you rich, it’s the quality of life that counts and makes life rich. Ever met a banker? they are Rich – but they are hated, they are stressed, their wives tend to leave them and they die early miserable and fat. They have to surround themselves with the trappings of being rich. as they do, they build a prison wall of bling and fast cars around them.

Being a full time artist is like any other job. You work out what you are good at doing (you do this at art college usually) then you find out who likes the kind of thing you like doing, you make something this people would like, they buy it and you make money. It’s called marketing. That’s a dirty word in Art, but is what the Art business is all about.

Dealers and investors are all about marketing and investment. The money is there waiting to be put into your grubby little hands. You just need to find a way to release that money and send if flying on wings of wonder towards your bank account!

Wanna be an artist? Don’t talk about it – do it!

with award winning illustrator, Shoo Rayner.


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Arbaayah Zain says:

hi i am a visual artist …since 2003 ,,,i teach art to kids teen and adults ….now i just piblised a story book …i am proud that my students have been with me some till 4 years…..the sky is the limit …as a creative person artists have all the privilages ….i love my passion…
well my challange is still to sell my art on line ….maybe create a coloring book for adult and teach on youtube….huhu …Shoo your re amazing !!!

The Multiverse says:

Shoo what were you laughing at the whole time?
I love how positive you are, but it felt like I missed the joke.

Steve B. Robinson says:

i fit the bill as an artist. all thoughts are art. i rent a small studio but…………………i drive a taxi to pay my bills………….have no idea how to make money from my paintings. I think you have to be more than an artist in order to survive

Lindsay Pickett says:


I am an artist who is also struggling to sell my work and I just wanted you to see what I do.
Here is my website:
I would also appreciate any advice you can give me because I am on Facebook, Etsy and Instagram and I feel sometimes I am banging my head against a wall when it comes to getting any interest!
Here are my links you can take a look:…

Maurice Marsh says:

so….. are you the one who make this video or did someone else do it for you

Nathaniel Tyghe says:

very inspiring

Robots In Boxes says:

This makes perfect sense and is a hard learned lesson—marketing is a real part of art and you have to cater to a customer

lifeofagymnast1 says:

Acrobatics led me to the circus, I do handstands for a living now. It’s a great life, there are so many ways to be an Artist.

Magdalis Marrero says:

I’m still questioning if i should really go for it or leave it aside. Your video was very helpful indeed, but idk. I’m gonna start college and i’m gonna study visual arts and i love art but i live in Puerto Rico, beautiful place, wonderful food and amazing sights, but when you ask stuff about financial, its hard (You can search it up about our economic problems). At one side i say “Maybe i should be a dentist, its a great job, its the only job i can actually maybe like and perform” but in the other hand i’m like “I love art, but i’m not the greatest artist, i still haven’t processed the sketching quickly, draw without an image. Plus its gonna be hard for me to get money.” I just keep searching and looking and trying to decide and i sometimes get depressed about it…well, a lot. So i’m gonna give it a go for arts, and in like a year i’ll hopefully be fully decided.

Brandon McDowell says:

Great insight! It’s so hard deciding what to do as an artist. Too much money to go back to grad school, but it could lead to cool opportunities. But also, I like the idea of continuing to do art as a hobby. Anyways, thanks for the cool advice

Martin Rixe says:

rachid Sobhi says:

I broke now I was starving to make money out of my arts and you guy laughing at me lol

SuperEddie Gaming says:

The guy does things even if it’s not urgent.

bito BITO says:

los artista la mayorias si vende pintura dependiendo lo buenos que sean uno one hundres o mil dolares… no disfrutan fama es despues de muerto es que sus pinturas se vende bien la historia eso es lo que se muestra y se vende bien la pinturas del artista

Nontas Priobolos says:

at what market is abstract art more likely to sell

Liss Fogle says:

I just love listening to you! I’m an artist as well all though I haven’t really adapted to that title yet I still try my best. Awesome video it was extremely helpful and insightful.

Digital comicme says:

to be honest i am artist but ill almost give up this

TheWiseMagpie1 says:

You are so right! My parents talked me out of artschool too. So…I went to an office job for many years. And was SO UNHAPPY. Noways I have a little freedom to BE ME. It feels as if I am able to breathe….!

Mary Seacross says:

I enjoy your shows, humor and insight. Also, I enjoy your accent/voice – I’m in California.

cosmas mwaniki says:

You’re very right about the parents thing especially being in Africa makes it even harder and I’m only 21 and already forced into some dumbass accounting career path.Your video was very helpful and it gives me a sense of direction,thank you.

cree8vision says:

I’ve been a painter for 25 years and I’ve hardly ever sold anything and my work is good. This didn’t give me any ideas.

Suzette says:

can i ask you a question?
im 16 and want to advertise my art and stuff.. but should i name the business on my name or should i use my current one (Art Ception) ..? im going to make a yt channel where i fast forward the painting proses and givung tips .. and i have one on fb but no one really wants to buy i think

Kitty Ritig says:

you are a wonderful human being

Carla Herrera says:

I loved this video. For me, I want my art/creativity to be part of who I am and what I do. I don’t want it to turn into a “job” and become a chore. Yes, I would love to be able to earn a living from it, but I’m afraid once I cross the line and move art into a profession, it would not be quite as enjoyable. I’m not sure…
Plus, there’s that other thing. Do we have the skills to make a living? I’m middle aged and though I draw daily (it’s become a habit now) I don’t think someone at my age and with my level of skills would really dare to go down that path. Many of us need our day jobs to keep our kitties fed.
Anyway, you helped me think more about what I’m doing with my art… And I do appreciate this. Thanks so much for your videos and the talks you give. You make people think.

Tommie Green says:

That dog show analogy was a genius example

Arthur Albuquerque Pereira says:

Your happiness is contagious! Thank you for this video! I’m trying to make a living as an artist, I know it is hard but I can’t see myself doing any other thing for the rest of my life!

Roy Boy says:

I don’t mean to be critical, but the laughing is a bit distracting. In future videos you might want to get to the point quicker. I’m sure you have a lot of good advice, but the pace is slow. I found myself fast forwarding the video instead of clicking off it because I really wanted to hear what you have to say. Just some feedback

Kosm says:

clicks on video titled “how to make money as an artist”, listens to a guy talk about how you dont have to make money as an artist for 8 minutes… SMH

Tesella says:

I know this video is from 2014 but thank you! 🙂 |but the problem is that my howl family doesn’t want me to be an artist. And when they say i wont have nothing for a living, it scares me and i worry too much about if im going to be a good artist.

Ravi Kori says:

thank you.

Eileen Goldenberg says:

Artists SHOULD be rich! Nothing to haven to defend!,,, good for you for being rich and famous!

That one girl says:

During watching this video I was really inspired. Though I worry more on my life decisions since my main focus is art, but I worry so much even though I love drawing and I feel like all my art is crap. I see amazing people being rich off of art. My parents support me all the way but I can’t decide if I’m going to be able to make a good profit out of being an artist. so now I worry for my future. I want to be happy but I want also want to be able to support my family in the future.

suzette dreyer says:

how do you get inspired to draw again.. i have like 5 unfinished drawings and when i look at them i just feel lazy and wanting to start a new one

Seth Friedman says:

Justin Case obviously has never heard of Damien Hirst.

madaca says:

I didn’t really learn how to make money as an artist with this video but it reminded me of why I create art. It’s not about the money. A true artist doesn’t create art to become rich. We just want to express ourselves and hope that others may enjoy it. The making money part is always amazing. When you sell a piece of your work it’s such a great feeling no matter how much you sell it for. Just to know that someone else purchased your artwork and has interest in it is enough to make you feel rich.

MLPDethDealr32 says:

id love to be able to support myself off of my art. i had a job for ten years and it made me miserable, depressed, and questioning whether i wanted to keep going. I actually thought of suicide once. But i realized since i quit my job in September im ten times happier with myself than i was then. If anyone wants to see some of my art, i have links to my Deviantart page and videos on my channels of my art. so feel free to take a look and enjoy it.

Luis Elizondo says:

Bro, my dad told me the same shit…gonna make it happen anyways after 9 years in the military..

Gail Fattori says:

I appreciate the way that you explained that issue. When kids that are young dream or consider their future it is hard for them to understand such grown up concepts, but you made sense. It is a daughtng task, but I hope that through my love for it I might be able to make it. You are helpig my education and skill. Thank you.

Dibujando con Delein says:

wow, thank you for sharing, I also was told not to go to art school…years had past and I still want to make it as an artist

Irena Baker says:

very true… thanks !!!

luis islasjktrtuuopoio says:

i would donate all those books to that school

AndrewDeLeonDesign says:

I feel the same way. I did live off my art for about a year but was a little immature about years ago. So it always took a back seat to a full time job. With attempts to merge art and full time gig it always fell short. So I’ve come back to it as a part time gig it self. You gotta do a little of everything and things you might not like… volunteer, Art Shows, paint for friends and try different mediums. anyways… Thanks for videos Shoo Rayner

Sage of the Sea says:

This video made me so happy ^-^ There is nothing more I want to do in life than create, and just listening to you talking about it got me really excited.

Tamagochi boy says:

wasted 8.09 min of my life to watch this.

Jazlyn Adams says:

Being a part time artist with another full time job seems pretty rewarding.

BlackOreoCookie says:

Thank you so much for this video! I’ve been a little worried about where I could end up since I’m almost done with school and theres a big empty gap behind it, and I really loved the examples you used, I instantly feel so calm and reassured! It’s about going to where your audience is! Thank you. 🙂

Gina Ingardia says:

I loved this! Thank you for sharing, your so wise!

Arsalan Masood says:


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