8 Proven Strategies: Making a Living as a Street Artist
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Develop a unique artistic style
  2. Learn to create quickly
  3. Find your ideal location
  4. Build a strong portfolio
  5. Network with other artists
  6. Leverage social media
  7. Diversify your income sources
  8. Engage with your audience

So, you're a street artist—or perhaps you're aspiring to be one—and you're pondering on how to make money as a street art artist? It's a question that many creatives ask themselves. After all, transforming passion into paychecks is the dream, isn't it? The good news is, it's entirely possible. Let's get into the 8 proven strategies that can help you make a living through your art.

Develop a Unique Artistic Style

First things first: your style. It's your artistic fingerprint, the thing that sets you apart from other artists. It's what makes someone look at a piece you've created and immediately know – "Hey, that's your work, right?" Developing a unique artistic style isn't something that happens overnight, but it's a vital part of carving out your niche in the street art world.

Start by exploring:

  • Various mediums: From spray cans to stencils, markers to wheatpaste, the tools you use can drastically affect your style. Experiment to find what best brings your visions to life.
  • Different techniques: Whether it's shadowing, layering, blending, or creating 3D effects—each technique can add a new twist to your work.
  • Distinctive themes or imagery: Maybe you're drawn to nature, or perhaps urban life is your muse. Whatever it is, consistently incorporating these elements can help define your artistic style.

Remember, it's not about imitating other artists—it's about finding your own voice. It's about creating art that reflects who you are and what you stand for. It's this authenticity that will draw people to your work and help you stand out in the crowded street art scene. So, when you're looking for ways on how to make money as a street art artist, never underestimate the power of a unique style.

Learn to Create Quickly

Next up on our how-to guide on making money as a street art artist: speed. As a street artist, time is often of the essence. You might be working in a public space with limited access, or you may be trying to create a piece before the weather changes. Either way, the ability to create your art quickly without compromising on quality is key.

So, how do you boost your speed? Here are some tips:

  • Plan ahead: Sketch out your design before you hit the streets. Know your color palette and have all your materials ready to go.
  • Practice: The old saying is true—the more you practice, the better (and faster) you'll become. Experiment with different techniques and materials in your own time to improve your speed.
  • Stay focused: When you're out on the street, it's easy to get distracted. People might stop to talk or watch you work. While it's great to engage with your audience (more on that later), remember to stay focused on your piece.

Learning to create quickly doesn't mean rushing or sacrificing the quality of your work. It's about becoming efficient in your processes and mastering your craft to the point where you can produce high-quality work in less time. This way, you can take on more projects, broaden your exposure, and increase your chances of making money as a street art artist.

Find Your Ideal Location

Now, let's talk location. As a street artist, your canvas is the urban landscape. But not all spaces are created equal when it comes to how to make money as a street art artist. Your chosen location can significantly impact the visibility of your work and your ability to draw an audience.

So, how do you find that perfect spot?

  1. Foot traffic: Look for areas with high foot traffic. Parks, popular streets, shopping districts, and tourist hotspots are all prime locations for street art.
  2. Visibility: Your art needs to be seen to make an impact. Look for large, open spaces, walls facing busy streets, or areas with less architectural competition.
  3. Community: Consider the community around the location. Will they appreciate and respect your art? Or is there a risk of vandalism? Getting to know the local community can help you choose a location where your work will be valued.

Remember, it's important to always obtain necessary permissions before starting a piece. Legal issues can not only bring unwanted stress but also potentially hefty fines. By selecting the right location, you can increase your visibility, engage more with your audience, and ultimately, make more money as a street art artist.

Build a Strong Portfolio

Every artist needs a portfolio, and street artists are no exception. Your portfolio showcases your talent, style, and range. It's the door that opens opportunities and it's one of the primary ways on how to make money as a street art artist. So, let's discuss how to create a portfolio that speaks volumes about your skills.

  1. Showcase diversity: Make sure to include a variety of works in your portfolio. This shows potential clients that you're versatile and can handle different themes, styles, and sizes of projects.
  2. Quality over quantity: It's better to have a few high-quality pieces that you're really proud of than a large number of mediocre works. Take time to choose your best pieces for the portfolio.
  3. Document your work: Good documentation is key. This means taking clear, well-lit photos of your work from different angles and including close-ups to show details.

Remember, your portfolio is your professional face. It's what potential clients or collaborators will use to judge your work. So, make it as polished and representative of your style as possible. By doing so, you'll be creating a solid foundation for making money as a street art artist.

Network with Other Artists

Let's talk about another strategy on how to make money as a street art artist — networking. Yes, the art world, like any other industry, thrives on connections. As a street artist, networking with others in your field is not just about making friends — it's about creating opportunities for growth and income.

  1. Collaborate: Working with other artists can result in incredible pieces that you might not have been able to create on your own. Plus, collaborations can expose you to different styles and techniques as well as broaden your audience.
  2. Join art communities: Whether it's an online forum, a local art club, or an international art organization, being part of a community can provide valuable support, inspiration, and opportunities. It's also a great way to stay updated on the latest trends and opportunities in the street art scene.
  3. Attend events: Exhibitions, art fairs, workshops — these are places where you can meet like-minded people, learn new things, and get your name out there. Remember, the more people know about you and your work, the more chances you'll have to make money as a street art artist.

Networking might seem daunting, especially if you're just starting out. But remember, every successful artist was once a beginner. So don't be afraid to reach out, make connections, and put your art out there. After all, your network is your net worth in the art world!

Leverage Social Media

Another key strategy in making a living as a street art artist involves the digital world. In this day and age, social media isn't just a platform for sharing cat videos or food photos — it's a powerful tool for artists to showcase their work and make money.

  1. Instagram: Known for its visual nature, Instagram is perfect for street artists. You can share photos of your work, create time-lapse videos of your process, and even sell your art directly through the platform. Don't forget to use relevant hashtags to increase your visibility!
  2. Facebook: Create a page for your art, join art-related groups, and leverage the marketplace to sell your creations. Facebook's broad user base might help you reach a wider audience.
  3. YouTube: Ever considered creating art tutorials or documenting your art journey? YouTube can be an excellent platform for this. While it can be a source of income itself, it's also a fantastic way to direct traffic to your other social media platforms or your website.

Remember, social media isn't just about self-promotion. It's about engaging with your audience, responding to comments, and building relationships. This will help you build a loyal fan base — a fan base that will support you on your journey to make money as a street art artist.

Diversify Your Income Sources

Just like a smart investor diversifies their investment portfolio, you should diversify your income sources. Relying solely on selling your street art might not provide a steady income, especially when you're first starting out. So, how do you diversify and make money as a street art artist? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Prints and Merchandise: Selling prints of your popular works can be a consistent source of income. You can also put your artwork on merchandise like T-shirts, mugs, and stickers. Websites like Redbubble and Society6 can handle the production, shipping, and customer service for you.
  2. Art Commissions: Offering customized art services can be a good way to earn. Whether it's a mural for a local business or a bespoke piece for a private collector, commissions can pay well.
  3. Teaching: Share your skills and knowledge by offering art classes or workshops. Not only does this bring in some extra income, but it also establishes you as a professional in your field.
  4. Online Platforms: Websites like Patreon allow fans to support you directly, often in exchange for exclusive content or experiences. This can provide a steady stream of income.

By diversifying your income, you're not only creating multiple revenue streams, but you're also protecting yourself against the ups and downs of the art market. So, get creative, explore different avenues, and find what works best for you!

Engage with Your Audience

Now, let's talk about the people who truly matter when figuring out how to make money as a street art artist: your audience. They're the ones who admire your art, buy your merchandise, and spread the word about your work. So how can you engage with them effectively?

  1. Interact in Person: Street art is a public medium, and one of its many charms is the direct interaction between the artist and the audience. So, don’t retreat behind your easel. Explain your work, answer questions, and perhaps even invite passersby to participate in your art. Remember - every person you meet is a potential customer or promoter of your work.
  2. Connect Online: Social media isn’t just for posting pictures; it's a powerful tool for audience engagement. Respond to comments, ask for feedback, and share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your work process. This not only builds a community around your art but also makes your audience feel valued and involved.
  3. Host Events: Organize art shows, workshops, or live painting sessions. This gives your audience a chance to connect with you and your art on a deeper level. Plus, it's a great opportunity to sell your work and merchandise.

Engaging with your audience isn’t just about selling more art—it’s about building relationships and creating a community around your work. When your audience feels connected to you and your art, they're more likely to support your creative career in the long run. So go ahead, strike up a conversation with that interested onlooker. Who knows where it might lead?

If you're looking for more advice on making a living as a street artist, we highly recommend the workshop 'How To ACTUALLY Make Money As A Full-Time Artist' by Andrea Guzzetta. This workshop will provide you with practical strategies and tips to turn your passion for street art into a sustainable income source. Don't miss out on this valuable resource!