How to Turn Your Art Hobby into a Career

For many people, art is just a hobby. They paint, draw, and create prints for fun, as a stress-relieving activity, and to ensure they have a few extra gifts for Christmas and birthdays. There is nothing wrong with sticking to art as a hobby, but if people love your work and you’re ready to take the next step, why not turn your passion into a career?

How to Turn Your Art Hobby into a Career

Is Your Work Saleable?

The first thing you should do is be absolutely honest with yourself. Just because family members say you have natural talent, it doesn’t mean your work will appeal to a wider audience. Building a brand as an artist takes time, and it won’t happen at all unless enough people love your work enough to buy it.

Try submitting work to local exhibitions, to gauge public opinion. If you get lots of interest, then you know there is a market out there for your work. If so, move on to the next step. 

Build a Social Media Following

Social media is an invaluable tool for artists. They can use it to connect with other artists and potential customers. It takes time to build a reasonable following on sites like Instagram and Facebook. You must post regularly, so the algorithms show your posts to a wider audience. Use hashtags to ensure your work is seen by people interested in what you have to offer. The right hashtags can make a big difference to visibility. 

To build a social brand, choose one site, and concentrate on this alone. Give your account a relevant name, such as Jane Doe Artist. That way, people searching for you online will find you more easily. 

Post daily if possible. Upload short videos of your work process or your studio. Reply to people who leave comments on your page and include a link back to your website or online store in the bio. 

Sell Your Work

There are many outlets for artists to sell their work, but by far the cheapest is via your own website or sites like Etsy. 

Begin by creating a store on Etsy and listing your work. The presentation is important. People look at images without reading the descriptions, so if your photos don’t entice buyers, nothing will. 

List artwork at several different price points. Smaller pieces can be framed and marketed as gifts. You don’t need to spend a fortune on bespoke framing, as there are online sites like PicFrames that sell frames in custom sizes, with mounts included. Simply provide some measurements and they will make a custom frame for you. 

Try Different Outlets for Your Work

It can take a while to build a decent income from selling artwork, so be patient. Carry on listing your work online and posting regular content on social media. Submit work to local shows and online exhibitions too. 

Once you have a strong online brand, you may have people contacting you to produce commissions, or galleries asking to show your work. This is when you know you can pursue art as a full-time career.

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.

rachel bustin
Thank you for sharing

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