While the image of the starving artist still exists, being broke isn’t a given for artistic people. It is possible to make a living from creative talents. However, success requires the artist to do more than create, which means learning about running a business and marketing to sell your products or skills. Fortunately, even that can be done with a creative flair.


Do you make potholders, decorative art, or some other craft item? Why not sell it? There is a market for handmade crafts, as the popularity of Etsy has proven. The trick to being successful at selling handmade crafts is in having an affordable source of supplies, the time to make your goods without burning out, and pricing them to sell.
Once you have a supply of craft items, selling them is just a matter of finding where the market for them can found. Do they attend craft fairs? Can you consign them in a local shop? Can you sell them through Etsy or you can create your own online storefront.


Beaded jewelry has become very popular, although it’s not the only type of jewelry you can sell. Many people like to buy handcrafted jewelry because of the uniqueness of the design and having a one-of-a-kind piece.
Like all other businesses, finding your market and pricing your jewelry right is crucial. You have many options for finding your market including in-home shows, craft fairs, through retail shops, and online at sites like Etsy or through your own e-commerce website.

 Gift Baskets

Gift baskets make great presents for just about everyone. They don’t even need to be in baskets. A backpack full of school supplies and edible treats is ideal for a new college student. A diaper bag filled with baby items is a welcome gift to a new parent.  The types of gift baskets you make are only limited by your creativity.
Most gift baskets can be sold online, although you may have to check laws about mailing alcohol or food (i.e. a wine and cheese basket). Other options for selling your gift baskets include craft and trade shows, consigning at local shops, a catalog to local businesses, and through word-of-mouth.

 Faux or Mural Painting

I have an artist friend who used to do a lot of decorative painting and murals in homes, offices and even a school. The challenge of this type of business is getting clients, as you’re limited to how far you can travel. Further, you have to know the laws and rules about painting copyrighted or trademarked material. For example, is it legal to paint the Yellow Brick Road and Dorothy on a wall in home or doctor’s office?
However, many homeowners and businesses, such as pediatric doctors offices or child care centers, hire painters to decorate their homes and businesses. To start, you might paint something in your own home or free for a friend to create a portfolio you can show to potential clients. Networking with home decorators and home improvement businesses can be a great way to find new clients. While faux or mural painting is limited to your travel area, don’t discount having a website to promote your business. Many people use the Internet over the Yellow Pages when searching for local services.

Home Decorating/Interior Design

Especially with the popularity of HGTV and other home-related shows, people are wanting to fix up their homes. The problem is, many don’t have the understanding of color and texture, or the eye to decorate their home.
Like decorative painting, you’re limited to how far you can travel in providing home decorating or interior design. However, if you network with builders, Realtors, and home renovation businesses, you can get referrals.
Another option is to add home staging to your service menu. As a home stager, you help home sellers clean, organize and decorate their homes so they’re appealing to buyers.


If you have an eye for taking a great picture, a photography business could be your ideal home business option. There are several ways to make money from photography. One is to offer portrait services to people or pets. Another option is to take pictures at events, such as weddings. Finally, if you like to photograph a variety of things, you can sell your pictures online.

Web and Graphic Design

Although a technical field, creating websites and graphics requires a knowledge of artistic elements such as color, texture, and fonts. More and more freelancers and businesses are going online to promote themselves, but many don’t have the time or knowledge to build a website or create needed logos and graphics, Instead, they hire a designer.
Because this type of art is Internet-based, you can find clients from all over the world. Many companies and freelance sites have jobs and projects available to apply to right now. Once you have a portfolio, you can decide to narrow your niche, such as working only for non-profits or setting up WordPress sites.


There are many ways to make money from home writing, such as freelance writing articles, ghostwriting, or copywriting. But the option that provides the most freedom for artistic expression is fiction writing.
At one time, to sell your book, you needed an agent and a publisher, but today, self-publishing is easier and more affordable than ever, making it easy to get your book published.
Whether you self- or traditionally publish, marketing is crucial to your success. That starts with building an author platform and developing a book marketing plan.
Another way to have control over your writing is through blogging, in which you can choose any topic you desire. With that said, it should be something other people want to know about or are interested in.
Credits: The Balance