The Art Biz ep. 159: How Do Artists Make Money?

Today I want to start a conversation about one of those things that can get in the way of feeling successful: Money.

This isn’t an easy topic for any of us to discuss. It’s not even easy for me, even though I lead the Art Biz Success learning programs and community.

I went to art school—starting as a painting major. Eventually I got my master’s degree in art history and worked in art museums. The focus was always on the art. Not the market.

But when I began helping artists a couple of decades ago, I really wanted to help artists succeed—however they defined that success. And for many artists, making money is necessary to keep going.

Mixed media work by Ellen Hathaway
©Ellen Hathaway, To Love is to Live. Mixed media, 36 x 48 x 2 inches.

My focus for this episode of The Art Biz is income sources for artists.

Where does the money come from?

I discuss:

  • Why you might want to branch out and sell more than originals.
  • How to categorize your income sources so that you can better understand the possibilities.
  • How to analyze where the money has come from in the past so you can plan for the future.

This is also a 3-part video series on my YouTube channel. I've embedded those episodes below. 


Mentioned and Of Interest

Watch The Videos

How Do Artists Make Money?

Categorizing Your Income

Analyzing Your Numbers

Alyson Quotes

“Any plan for increasing your art income begins with identifying revenue categories in a way that makes the most sense for you, the work you do, and the way you want your life to be.”

“There is nothing wrong with having a day job. It will ease some of the pressure to make money from your art.”

“You must look out for yourself, which includes attending to your financial well-being.”

“When you do this work and take the time to really dive into the numbers—on your own or with me in The Money Plan—a story will emerge. You will discover things you didn’t know before.”

“The numbers tell a story.”

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