How to set up multiple income streams as an artist

multiple income streams can help you achieve a steady income as an artist so you have more time to create. When you are financially secure it helps you find a lot more peace in life and in your business. Multiple income streams also protect you against unforeseen circumstances.

Luckily, there are lots of options for you to try and build these multiple income streams.

You don’t have to rely on just selling your original art.

What are multiple income streams?

Most artists have one main source of income

Either commissions or selling our original works. Adding other sources of income to that is not as common for artists.

Many of us find it confusing, or we feel like we don’t have enough time.

Why do you want multiple streams of income?

  • It can help you make a more regular income. For example, ads could pay out monthly
  • It creates more stability. If one of your income streams suddenly falls away you have backup income

How many income streams should I have?

Ideally, you would have 2-3 good running income streams. You could have more if you can add passive income streams as well. Passive income streams require some work upfront but might run with less to almost no work later on!

But working on more than those 2-3 at a time will probably be difficult.

What are some options for an artist?

  1. Teaching

Creating course;

There are many different ways you can go about this. You can join a teacher site like Skillshare (This is an affiliate link, but teaching at skillshare is free!) where you can teach a class and be part of their big library. This helps you in the promotion of your class but limits your payout!

You can also host a course on a site like Teachable or Openlearning. This means you can price the course however you want. But you need to do all of the promoting to get students.

Depending on your marketing skills, time, and audience one or the other might be better for you.  


Everybody can make them and you can put a lot of info in them. You can write them on any topic you want!  The delivery systems can be a little bit harder to figure out.

You will need a place to sell the ebook like a website or alternatively self-publish it.

Membership sites;

Another technically slightly difficult one. But it can create a very steady regular income for your business. However, this one does need a little bit of a beginner audience.

On a membership site, you can offer extra content, a community and coaching to a group of people. Memberships sites can have a yearly, monthly or once-off payment plan!

see Patreon, Ko-fi or Gumroad

  1. Selling more work


This makes it much easier to sell a lot of work. But finding a printer that works for you and your work and has good quality might be a little harder. 

Some well-known sites that do print on demand include Society6, Redbubble and Zazzle. In these cases, we call it Print on demand and it means you only have to upload a digital file! They handle printing, selling and shipping. Promoting your own stores to your followers is definitely a big part still of this strategy! 

Want to set up a society6 store right now? Read this post on how to do that!


This is definitely a very active form of income. Basically, this is making work on demand. Commissions can be a great source of income but require time and good communication. A great way of starting is making a commissions sheet to give an impression of your prices!

Some artists do this as their main source of income!


Helps you sell a product to people without handling the shipping. This can be a good alternative to Print on Demand sites or they can sometimes be combined with an Etsy store or Shopify site!

They are often a great way to make a more branded store and to have more control over your prices compared to print-on-demand sites!

Etsy store;

Etsy is A very well known option. A good way to sell digital files, prints, or originals!  

  1. Promotion


If you run a blog and get a decent amount of traffic, ads might be a good stream of passive income for you. You can start by looking into Adsense, but for more tailored ads you might want to sell your ad space yourself!


Another good way to make money is with a blog or through social media. You can join an affiliate site or program. Affiliates get a small commission anytime something is purchased through their link!

A well-known example is the Amazon Affiliate program. This one might be great to link to your favourite art supplies and make a little extra!

Personally, I am an affiliate of skillshare for example as you could see above! They pay me a small commission when someone uses these links to join skillshare!

There are many different kinds of amazing affiliate programs, so there is definitely one that could fit you!

Sponsored content;

You can also do sponsored content for brands that you love. You might need to reach out to these brands or you can try to join an appropriate influencer program. Again these work better with a bigger social media following or with a blog!

  1. Other


This is something that works for only some artists but it might be a great option for you! Popular streaming networks can help you get a paying audience. For example something like Twitch.

This is definitely not a passive income stream though!


Patreon is one of the most popular options for an artist to get a little regular income. This is a platform where you can offer perks and extras for people to sponsor you on a regular basis!

Some tips

  • Don’t focus on too many different things at once. I already said this but it is better to build one income source and then move on to the next!
  • Do your research before starting some things Some things need a little bit more research than others.
    Some things on the list above cost more technical knowledge to set up and some require more work to actually work. So do some research ahead of time so you know what you are getting into. And so you can set it up efficiently and good.
  • Find out what works for you. Not everything will work for everyone. I am for example not the best at promoting myself all the time! So I know that if I want to do something that requires that, I will need to spend some more time on it. And some things just might not fit you or your brand right now!

So how to set up your multiple income streams?

  1. Choose one or two of the above methods
  2. Read up on them, gather info and make a small to-do list
  3. Work on implementing your to-dos one by one and don’t rush (Better done well at once!)
  4. Tweak and repeat until it works for you!  

Chances are it will take a little time to actually pay off no matter which of the methods above you try!

Where can you find more info and help?

Let me know which of the above platforms or methods you have used and what your experience is or which you are going to try out! 

And don’t forget to share this post with any other artists out there to help them as well!

11 ideas to create multiple income streams as an artist. Change your creative business and get that regular income by building multiple income streams as an artist!

11 ideas to create multiple income streams as an artist. Change your creative business and get that regular income by building multiple income streams as an artist!

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