Professional Artist looking for IM Advice

by 11811
24 replies
Hi I am an artist fortunate enough to earn income doing what I love. However I know the potential exists to do so much more. Currently my biggest regular income stream comes from portrait drawings of children and family, and I enjoy it greatly, however the work does get repetitive and besides I would like to create a product or something that generates a passive income.

I love working from home and want to continue to do so, however I am wanting more because I know a much greater potential exists...

My website is fineartportraitdrawings.com.


What would you IMers recommend as some methods to generate that passive income? Products such as video tutorials? Youtube channel with drawing and artist advice? Anything else? Ultimately I have in mind to create an even bigger product along the lines of "how to earn a living doing what you love". For now I would like to keep it art-related.

Any tips or advice? Thanks I have been learning a ton by coming here to WF
#advice #artist #professional
  • Profile picture of the author mikelmraz
    Maybe create a ClickBank product teaching people how to draw?
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    • Profile picture of the author Horny Devil
      Banned
      Hi Eric, you've obviously got a great talent.

      There's also plenty of work about for pet portraits, and numerous animal/pet related forums website you could market your services on. You probably know this already, but pet portraits also includes sittings with pet(s) and their owner, or work done from photographs. A sideline to this (which to my knowledge has not been exploited) is where a beloved pet has died. The owner provides you with a picture of the deceased pet, and one of themselves, and you combine the two in a portrait.

      You've lots of other opportunities in the animal/pet related field. I can think of loads of forums - and associated opportunities - to do with horses, for example. Many other ideas also spring to mind.

      As for marketing ideas, why not get some top notch whiteboard animation done. It's quite amazing the response some of the better quality stuff achieves on YouTube. This is also the best place (and method) to exploit any ideas you have for tutorial courses, in conjunction with niche related forums.
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  • Profile picture of the author 11811
    Thanks mikelmraz good idea
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  • Profile picture of the author 11811
    Horny Devil - thanks so much. I'm trying to avoid pet portraits as it just doesn't interest me that much. That being said, I also like to make money from my art so... maybe I will give it more consideration!

    Yes youtube is where it's at. I guess I'm hoping to come up with some unique idea for art educational videos that isn't currently being done much. Maybe the whole business of art-marketing online... how to promote using social media and search. Hmm... I could whiteboard that. Thanks again!
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  • Profile picture of the author 11811
    Hi Art, well I could do better on Pinterest. Meaning be a bit more active... thanks for that. I do some figure drawing too but it's not something I've pushed much either. Thanks for your feedback I appreciate it!
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim Franklin
    Have you considered using a tablet and stylus to create digital work and how are you at using tools to create art work?
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      I'm wondering whether Zazzle might help or interest you. You can upload your art-work there and sell it in a variety of different ways ...
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  • Profile picture of the author Patrick
    If you are an artist, then why don't you move to web design ( if you are familiar with photoshop, even if you are not still you can ). I am a developer as well as an internet marketer, but I never advertise myself anywhere as an internet marketer, coz I think thats not the right way to do business. If people are interested in my products, they will buy it from me, if not, then they will not.

    However, if you move to web design, then you will do good since web design needs "creativity" and not softwares. If you have that creativity inside you, you can try to give a shot at it. I have worked for several web agencies in the past, and from my experience, I have seen that it is very difficult to find a good designer.

    It won't generate a passive income, but am sure the work would be exciting and will make your wallet fat.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimothyTorrents
    Okay I will just brainstorm ideas for you...

    Create a product on how to draw portraits.
    Create a Youtube channel and upload some tutorials every now and then with a link back to your website.
    Write tutorials on your website.
    Create a Facebook page and encourage people to share it on Facebook.
    Join online art communities and interact with the members.
    Share your drawings on popular image database websites.

    Etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author 11811
    Thanks everyone for your input. I'm mostly looking right now to start pushing some passive income streams. I am making a little bit of adsense and amazon money with some art sites but I think creating some tutorial products such as ebooks and videos will be the way to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author I Am Attila
    You could start a blog, sharing tips and tricks on how to perfect the path to becoming an artist.

    Of course don't think $$$ right away, instead make the blog free, with quality articles and keep it up to date so it becomes a daily read for people.

    Give something away, in exchange for someone's email address (Ie Enter to Win a Snazzy Set of Paint Brushes just leave your email) put a deadline on this prize give-away

    and then collect the emails, to build a list, and do it all over again every 2-3 months.

    Once you have a list, you can send out "HOT TIPS for my most favorite readers" or something every week

    in it, you could technically make a list of materials or whatever u used in your painting, or tutorial, etc and then these materials you could sell through amazon, or through an online whitelabelled store.. etc to make passive money

    thats just a start, from what i've been reading having a mailing list, and subscribers that TRUST IN YOU is the best way to sell stuff,

    cheers
    -Attila
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  • Profile picture of the author Igor Fridrihs
    Hi, Eric

    Make a book for children and sell it via Clickbank or Amazon. Something like How to draw
    animals. But don't be serious. Children like funny pictures.
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    • Profile picture of the author SurrealPSD
      A lot of guess work going on in this thread, but some good comments also

      Hey mate, nice to meet you. This is my domain, Ive been stomping around in the fine-art realm online for 16 years

      A couple of observations:
      • Prints perform spectacularly poorly online, for almost every artist. I know some real big dogs with large active followings that don't shift that many. If insistent, you could put up a few via one of the sites (Zazzle et al) - but I wouldn't rely on it.
      • You are very wise, wanting to move away from the 'service' model. There are only so many hours in the day, and an upper ceiling on how much you can potentially earn.
      • If you are looking to create a product, then I'd advise you create a blog and drip out some free tutorial content first. As the other Warriors have suggested, Youtube is the real killer. Be talkative on any relevant art sites / forums and let people know about your free walkthroughs. Never be 'salesy' - people will check out your tips out of curiosity / need if they like what you do.
      • With a 'name', you are afforded a bit of leverage and can build a following, your email list etc. Many folks will undertake a Google search to see what you've done / who you are before purchasing anything.
      • Once you've got the above in place, create a product and sell it.
      Many Warriors will say the method is convoluted, but the 'Art' scene isn't an arena that you can 'fake it till you make it', like so many other niches. I know your work is awesome, the rest of the world needs to know via as many channels as possible.

      For you it will be about personal branding.

      If you can throw some Youtube into the mix, the world is your oyster.

      My primary 'stomping ground' is DeviantArt, and Ive been building my brand on there for 9 years. Here are some of the stats, showing the leg-work put in over that period:

      conzpiracy has 204,824 pageviews total and their 231 deviations were viewed 1,423,268 times. Conzpiracy watches 169 people, while 3,406 people watch conzpiracy. Overall, their deviations received 13,704 comments and were added to deviants' favourites 37,161 times, while conzpiracy commented 26,657 times, making about 9.06 comments per day since joining deviantART. This means that conzpiracy gave 19 comments for every 10 received.

      I regularly post new art and reply to every single comment I receive. This is the activity level required to become a 'name'. With a brand, you have leverage - I don't think you can pop up out of the blue and have an avalanch of sales in this arena.

      If 10,000 people know and like you, I bet you would do substantially better upon product launch. To get an idea of my Google presence, check this: Conzpiracy, Google

      That's just a tiny fraction of my own strategy, if you ever want more info - I'd be happy to help out anytime.


      Regards


      Conzz
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      • Profile picture of the author SurrealPSD
        One other thing.. Video has a much higher perceived value than Ebooks, so go with video all the way. Thinking about it, the product will be a 1000 times easier to create, because you just work and narrate the process.

        I recommend you use / borrow a good DSLR with video capabilities to really capture the details of your illustrations. Tripod is essential, some DSLRs require external mics. Use natural light or a soft-box, dark video just won't cut it

        Regards!!
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  • Profile picture of the author twinkenterprises
    The video ideas would be good. You could also set up a store with art products and supplies from dropshippers.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    I think the term passive is dangerous, and maybe even falsified.

    In order to make any decent money, you'll need to be either ...

    1. Selling services
    2. Selling products
    3. Both

    Here's some advice I gave to SurrealPSD just recently.

    1. Create a library of info-products (training) based around your subject matter
    2. Support those products with a recurring membership. Buyers usually always need help/have additional questions.
    3. Continue to offer services. Tie in some high end stuff in there as well
    4. Sell products or services that are complementary to that of which you are already offering.

    The first thing that struck me about your site is the lack of content. You're working in a highly visual field. Start capitalizing on that through illustrations, videos etc.

    PS. Look at what the leaders are doing in your space. Gather it all up and replicate.
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    • Profile picture of the author SurrealPSD
      Originally Posted by John Romaine View Post

      Here's some advice I gave to SurrealPSD just recently.

      1. Create a library of info-products (training) based around your subject matter
      2. Support those products with a recurring membership. Buyers usually always need help/have additional questions.
      3. Continue to offer services. Tie in some high end stuff in there as well
      4. Sell products or services that are complementary to that of which you are already offering.

      Sage advice John, that's the exact model Im going for once the second product is in the bag - recurring membership for access to all our premium content, plus access to our 'members only tutorials'.

      I took it all in mate, and will deploy as you recommended
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Oh and don't just do something for the money.

    There's no better way to kill a hobby like drawing by chasing cash. You gotta enjoy it, otherwise it will just become a job.
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  • Profile picture of the author nicholasb
    remember that you art is your product, treat it that way. Just like any product your success will depend not on how well you draw, but how well you're able to sell your product.

    Make sure you charge good money, so you don't have to draw all day everyday to make a living.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by 11811 View Post

    What would you IMers recommend as some methods to generate passive income? Products such as video tutorials? Youtube channel with drawing and artist advice? Anything else?
    11811,

    It seems to me you're like many of the creative types (certainly not a negative label) that come here looking for an outlet to make money from their talent. They focus on what they want to create and try to figure out how to market it online.

    Maybe a slightly different approach would help you. If I were in your shoes, I would spend some time doing research online to find out what types of products/services are being requested that an artist (such as yourself) could best deliver with special visual flair.

    There is supply and demand in every market. Often internet marketers start out from the supply side. They have a product or service in mind they want to offer but often there is not a lot of demand for it.

    I'm saying, why don't you focus your approach on first researching the demand side of the art market. See if you can find one or more niches where there is current demand but where the supply side is weak or non-existent.

    I wouldn't limit my searching to traditional art niches. I would include any niche where visual display was important. Web sites are an obvious subject where visual display is important. Maybe research publishing as magazines and books are concerned about illustrations. Advertising is another arena where visuals are critical. I hope you see what I'm trying to say.

    If you find a niche where there is demand, but it's not something you want to do (to add supply to meet the demand) . . . that's fine, just move on.

    But I'm betting with your creativity, you can come up with some niches that you could be happy in and provide a profitable outlet for your talent.

    I wouldn't worry about YouTube or any other "vehicle" of expression just yet. That's a whole different question that can be addressed down the road.

    Find a hungry market with discretionary income and rabid fans and you'll have a head start on 99% of all the other artists wanting to make money online.

    The best to you,

    Steve

    P.S. You can do lots of research online by developing a targeted list of keywords that people would use when they are querying the search engines looking for different kinds of artwork on which they would spend money.
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