Continuing along in our series on Art & Entrepreneurship, we’ll talk about several practical ways to actually monetize your creative works and earn some money from what you create.
Running a business and creating art are two separate but important issues creators and makers face.
The demands of creating make it easy for us to ignore the business side of your creative practice. Thus, making us creators, feel helpless and uninformed about what opportunities exist.
Luckily, I have taken the time to do the research for you on how to monetize your creative passion. This way, you have options to consider.
Often you’re burning through money purchasing supplies and expending all your energies on creating. I bet you don’t want to be left feeling exhausted, broke and unhappy. :-). Right?
So if you’re ready, let’s dig deeper into how to monetize your creative passion and get compensated for what you do.
Specific Ways to Monetize Your Creative Passion
- Selling Original Work: Selling your work is the most obvious option available to us. But when you decide to monetize your creative passion you’ll quickly notice that even here, there are several options available.
Some places we can sell our work include
- Open Studios, Trade and Craft Fairs, & Art Exhibitions
- Art Gallery Representation
- Personal Website
- Art Marketing Sites like Artful Home, Amazon Fine Art, Fine Art America
- Craft and Handmade Sites like Etsy
- Art Licensing: Just like art gallery representation, using art licensing to monetize your creative passion is a topic that requires a lot of knowledge to navigate its intricacies.
However, simply put, art licensing is about our intellectual property as artists. It involves giving someone permission to use your copyright to reproduce, distribute or otherwise use your creation under limited conditions.
There are various examples of that for the textile art, quilt and sewing industry. An example is VIDA design, which I explained over here in this post. Basically, they print your artwork on scarves, pocket squares, totes etc. Other places will create prints of your original work onto different substrates for sale. Examples are:
Alternatively, you could have these places make prints for you to sell yourself.
3 More Ways to Monetize Your Creative Passion
- Building Authority: An option to monetize your creative passion that hasn’t been widely explored by creative types is building authority. Doing this involves writing, publishing & selling books. It also involves doing speaking gigs and presentations for groups of people.
This option requires a lot of investment in time and may be the reason why it’s not explored more often.
- Teaching Workshops: Teaching workshops is a good option for textile and quilt artists and all creative types. It’s not only an option for you to monetize your creative passion, but also a source of energy, especially in person-to-person workshops. Includes:
- In-Person Group Workshops
- One-on-One Coaching Sessions
- Teaching Online Courses
- Selling Patterns & Kits: Another viable option to monetize your creative passion is to make it easy for others to create similar things to what you create.
Doing this involves documenting your process step-by-step and then creating a blueprint or pattern so that someone else can recreate what you do.
You can take this further by providing the supplies that are needed when someone is using your pattern. That’s when it’s said that you’re providing kits for customers to use to create your designs.
2 Final Methods to Monetize Your Creative Passion
- Commissions: Accepting commissions as a way to monetize your creative passion involves accepting custom orders to make things for other people for a premium fee.
Typically, your orders for commissions will come from individuals, public and state organizations and from corporations.
- Designing Fabrics: Finally, an option that has become within the reach of many makers and creators, because is the ability to design your own fabrics. Designing fabrics to monetize your passion is something more people are getting into in recent years because of the internet. Here are online sites which make this possible for the ordinary person, without the need to go through the big-name fabric companies.
So now here you have it. Seven different ways to monetize your creative passion as a textile artist. I know that finding time to do the research is hard so I did that for you. But you still need to take action on the information, investigate for yourself, and decide which of these options to explore.
Finding time is hard but if you don’t make time to take action, then nothing happens. Take a careful look at the businesses of some of the successful artists you admire. You’ll notice that their businesses are made up of at least two of these income sources.
If you’re not satisfied with the status quo, then you need to take action. Explore the various options and discover which ones will work best for your personal situation.
I’m exploring my options. I hope you do too.
Have you explored any of these options? Which of them and what was your experience? Do you have any more to add to the list above? I can’t wait to read your comments.
You may also be interested in the other parts in this series
1: Making the Decision to Monetize Your Creative Work
2: The Truth About Art and Creative Passion
3. The Secret to Maintaining Your Creative Focus
4. Seven Practical Ways for Textile Artists to Make Money
5. Art & Entrepreneurship – Interview with Melanie Brummer (1)
6. Art & Entrepreneurship – Interview with Melanie Brummer (2)
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