7 Practical Ways for Surrealism Artists to Make Money
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Sell artwork online
  2. Offer custom art commissions
  3. Conduct art workshops and classes
  4. Apply for art grants and residencies
  5. Create and sell art prints
  6. Make money from stock images
  7. Utilize Patreon for ongoing income

Ever wondered how to make money as a surrealism artist? Being a surrealism artist is not just about creating fantastic, dream-like art—it can also be a realistic way to make a living. Whether you're just starting out or have been painting surreal worlds for years, it's always a good idea to explore new ways to monetize your talent. Here, we've collected seven practical methods that can help you turn your art into a steady income source. Let's dive in!

Sell Artwork Online

Selling your surrealism art online is one of the most direct ways to make money. You don't have to wait for gallery showcases or art fairs—your potential buyers are just a few clicks away. Sounds great, right? But how do you get started? Here are a few steps:

  • Choose the right platform: There are plenty of online marketplaces where artists can sell their works. Some popular ones include Etsy, Saatchi Art, and Artfinder. Each platform has its unique features and audience, so choose one that best fits your art style and business goals.
  • Set up your shop: Once you've chosen a platform, it's time to set up your online shop. This involves creating a profile, uploading high-quality images of your artworks, writing detailed descriptions, and setting prices. Remember, first impressions matter, so put some thought into presenting your art in the best possible light.
  • Market your art: Even the most astonishing surrealism art won't sell if people don't know about it. Use social media, email newsletters, and your personal website to promote your online shop. Show your followers the creative process behind your art—it helps build a connection and sparks their interest in purchasing your work.

And there you have it: a simple yet effective way on how to make money as a surrealism artist. It might take some time to build your online presence and attract buyers, but don't get discouraged. Keep creating, keep sharing, and you'll see your efforts pay off.

Offer Custom Art Commissions

Another interesting way to make money as a surrealism artist is by offering custom art commissions. Custom commissions are artworks created based on specific requests from clients. It could be a surrealistic portrait, a dreamlike landscape, or an abstract piece that holds special meaning for the customer. So, how can you get started with this?

  • Set clear terms: Before you accept a commission, make sure to discuss all the details with your client. This includes the size and medium of the artwork, the deadline, and of course, the price. Having a written agreement will help avoid misunderstandings and ensure a smooth transaction.
  • Advertise your services: People won't commission you if they don't know you're available. Share the news on your social media channels, your website, and online art communities. Show examples of your previous works to give potential clients an idea of your style and capabilities.
  • Provide updates: Keep your clients in the loop during the creation process. This not only reassures them about the progress of their commissioned artwork but also allows them to provide feedback along the way. Remember, a happy client could lead to more commissions or referrals in the future.

Offering custom art commissions can be a rewarding experience. Not only does it provide a steady income, but it also gives you a chance to challenge yourself and grow as an artist. So, why not give it a try?

Conduct Art Workshops and Classes

Imagine this: you're not just making money as a surrealism artist but also passing on your knowledge and skills to others. Sounds good, doesn't it? Conducting art workshops and classes can be an excellent way to achieve this.

  • Plan your curriculum: First things first, decide what you want to teach. It could be the basics of surrealism, specific painting techniques, or even a step-by-step class on creating a surrealistic piece. Tailor the content according to your target audience— beginners, intermediate learners, or advanced artists.
  • Choose a platform: You have a variety of options to conduct your classes. In-person workshops can provide hands-on experience, but online platforms offer flexibility. Websites like Zoom or Google Meet are good for live classes, while Udemy and Skillshare are perfect for pre-recorded lessons.
  • Market your classes: Once your curriculum is ready and you've chosen a platform, it's time to attract students. Use your social media platforms, art forums, and your personal website to reach out to potential learners.

Teaching art can be as rewarding as creating it. You get to interact with like-minded people, share your passion, and make money while doing so. Remember, being a good teacher can boost your reputation as an artist which can lead to more opportunities.

Apply for Art Grants and Residencies

When you're busy brainstorming about how to make money as a surrealism artist, don't forget about art grants and residencies. These can be game-changers, providing not only financial support but also precious time and space to create new works.

  • Find the right grant: Numerous organizations and institutions offer grants to support artists. These can range from small local grants to substantial international ones. A great starting point can be local art councils or national agencies, such as the National Endowment for the Arts in the United States.
  • Apply for residencies: Artist residencies can offer you a unique environment to focus on your work. They often provide lodging, studio space, and sometimes a stipend. Look for residencies that cater specifically to surrealism artists or those open to all styles. Websites such as ResArtis or Artist Residency Program offer a comprehensive list of such opportunities.
  • Make your application stand out: A well-crafted application can improve your chances of success. Tailor your application to match the grant or residency's objectives, include high-quality images of your work, and write a compelling project proposal that aligns with your artistic vision.

Grants and residencies can give your art career a significant boost. They can provide financial stability, networking opportunities, and exposure, all of which can help you make money as a surrealism artist.

Create and Sell Art Prints

Another practical way to make money as a surrealism artist is by creating and selling art prints. This method is a little bit like cloning your artwork—only it's legal and actually quite popular.

  • Choose the right platform: Websites like Etsy, Redbubble, and Society6 make it easy to sell prints of your artwork. They handle everything from printing to shipping, leaving you free to create more surrealistic masterpieces.
  • Quality matters: When it comes to prints, quality is key. Make sure the prints are high-quality replicas of your original artwork. This means investing in good scanning or photography equipment, or hiring a professional to do it for you.
  • Pricing your prints: Figuring out how to price your art can be tricky. Consider factors like the cost of production, the size of the print, and what similar artists are charging. Remember, the goal is to make money as a surrealism artist, not to give your work away.

Creating and selling prints allows you to reach a wider audience and make your surrealistic art more accessible. And the best part? Your original piece stays with you, ready to inspire the next print.

Make Money from Stock Images

Imagine this—you've just finished a surrealistic masterpiece. It's a dreamscape teeming with fantastical creatures and floating landscapes. Now, wouldn't it be great if you could monetize this piece beyond its original sale? Well, good news folks—you can!

  • Enter the world of stock images: Websites like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock are always on the lookout for unique images—and surrealism is definitely unique. You can sell the rights to use your artwork as stock images. That means every time someone uses your art, you get paid.
  • Make sure it's a good fit: Not every piece of art is suitable for stock. Think about how your work could be used in a commercial context. Could you see it as a book cover, a backdrop for a website, or in an advertising campaign? If so, it might be a good candidate.
  • Understand the licensing options: You need to know how much control you want to retain over your work. Some sites offer exclusive licensing, which means only they can sell your image. Others offer non-exclusive licensing, which lets you sell the same image on multiple platforms.

With a little bit of effort and strategic planning, your surrealistic creations can become a recurring source of income. And who knows? You might just see your work pop up in the most unexpected places, reminding you of how to make money as a surrealism artist.

Utilize Patreon for Ongoing Income

Here's a question: how about creating a community of art lovers who are willing to support your surrealistic endeavors? Sounds good, right? Well, it's not just a pipe dream, and the answer is Patreon.

  • What is Patreon?: Patreon is an online platform that allows artists to receive financial backing directly from their fans or patrons, in exchange for exclusive content. It's like having your own personal group of art patrons in the digital age.
  • How does it work?: You set up a membership for your fans. They choose a level of monthly support—in return, they get perks like behind-the-scenes content, sneak peeks at new works, or even a personal art lesson. The key is to ensure your patrons feel valued and special.
  • Why it's a good choice for surrealism artists?: Surrealism is all about pushing boundaries and exploring the unknown. With Patreon, you can share your journey with fans who truly appreciate your vision. You're not just selling art—you're building a community.

So, if you've been wondering how to make money as a surrealism artist, Patreon could be your answer. It provides a steady income stream and a way to connect with your biggest fans. And let's face it—who wouldn't want their own personal fan club?

If you're a surrealism artist looking for practical ways to monetize your art, we highly recommend checking out the workshop 'Intro to Surreal Art' by Andrea Orejarena. This workshop will not only help you refine your surreal art techniques but also provide valuable insights on how to make a living from your unique artistic expression. Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn from an expert in the field!