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« Art to Feed Your Soul May Feed Your Bank Account | Main | Money: Four Ways to for Artists to Get Multiple Streams of Income: Grants, Jobs, and Diversity Offers and Actions »

Money: 9 Inexpensive Ways to Expand Your Art Income

Make More Money

I’m preparing my year-end documents so my accountant can file my taxes for last year. I know many of you are doing the same. Not that much fun.

But thinking about how much more money you’d like to make – much more fun.

So it’s a great time to explore anything that allows you to gain new footholds on more income.

I researched “recession proof industries” and got 308,000 results in less than a minute. 

And then I narrowed my focus to three industries and came up with three ways in each industry to add to your art income this year. That makes nine inexpensive options to make more money.

Take a look. 

1. Health Care

Think about the last time you were in a waiting area. Can you remember what was around you?

The worst one I was in last had a noisy television blasting out the latest depressing news. Not my idea of a good diversion from the reason I was there.

But the next waiting room before my medical procedure had a large wall tank with tropical fish and an array of art on themes from the sea. I alternated between reading and watching the fish cavort. Much better. 

On my way out, I saw Andy Warhol prints on the walls, along with recent art by local artists. That told me that there was a current budget and someone was managing the collection for the hospital. I made a note to find out that person’s name for one of my clients.

On the other hand, the gift shop I passed was woefully bare of artful items.

My marketing mind went to work right away:

  • The gift shop was missing opportunities to bring artists and art viewers closer together - cards and fine art gifts for starters.
  • The same artists could piggyback artist talks onto the concerts already offered on Sundays.
  • And why not go a step further and add an art demonstration or class for patients, caregivers and friends?

2. Education

When I was recovering from a health crisis twenty odd years ago, I took an evening class called “Art for the Absolute Beginner.” I thought art would be a good diversion from taking care of my health.

By coincidence, several other students had either chronic or terminal illnesses. I often had to leave the class early because my energy ran out about 8 o’clock.

The teachers were attentive to our energy. They created a separate class for us during the day and modified the contents and techniques to be about art as a way of healing.

So think about other places where there is space where people congregate and you could bring art classes to them.

Shopping malls are a great example:

  • Empty stores or display windows in shopping malls are often "phantom galleries.” These spaces could also become temporary art classrooms. Classes could be designed for drop-ins at any time.
  • Most malls have large parking lots where you can find a safe area to set up drawing classes using free live models of people, cars and buildings.
  • You could copy Toronto artist Gary Smith who created a variation on a flash mob. One day it was way too hot to paint outdoors so he took a group of artists to the Eaton's Centre shopping mall.  He liked the various mannequins and drew them in pastels. They have great impossible poses and they don't move!

3. Sports

I am not a downhill skier. The thought of hurtling down a hill has little appeal for me.  But I sometimes accompany skiers because I find the beauty of the mountains mesmerizing and peaceful.

I once discovered a tiny art studio in the ski village, offering classes in fused glass, ceramics and collage. I wasn’t the only non-skier there, so someone had done some thinking beyond the typical audience.

Imagine the untapped possibilities to engage people who go to sports venues with sports fans, but who might enjoy art instead. Consider: 

  • Gesture drawing classes to teach the skills of capturing movement - an ideal way to make use of what’s already going on
  • Photography of sport figures, fans and equipment can be done for reference - or for final photographic art.
  • Plein air painting – it doesn’t have to be in pristine nature preserves. I’ve been to vintage car shows that offer many art possibilities for photographers and painters.

I have a mind like a tennis ball machine when it comes to generating ideas for you to be as creative in marketing your art as you are in making art. Let me know how I can help you get your new year off to a great start. The first 15 minutes is on me.

A Recipe for Your Sweet Artistic Success

Four Ways to for Artists to Get Multiple Streams of Income: Grants, Jobs, and Diversity Offers and Actions

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Reader Comments (1)

Thank you Aletta, this is a wonderful and energizing set of ideas.

January 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLynn Kearney

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