Boost Income with 6 Strategies for Still Life Artists
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Sell art online
  2. Teach art classes
  3. Work on commission
  4. Create and sell art prints
  5. License your artwork
  6. Write and sell art books

If you're a still life artist wondering how to make money from your passion, you're not alone. It's a question that many creatives grapple with, but the good news is, there are ways to turn your artwork into a steady stream of income. In this blog, we'll explore six strategies that can help boost your income as a still life artist. Let's start with a popular approach: selling your art online.

Sell Art Online

The internet has opened up a world of opportunities for artists like you. Selling art online is a convenient way to reach a global audience without leaving the comfort of your own studio. Let's look at how you can set up shop on the web and start making money as a still life artist.

Choose an Online Platform

There are plenty of online platforms where you can sell your still life artwork. Websites like Etsy, Redbubble, and Saatchi Art are just a few examples. Each platform has its own pros and cons, so it's important to research and choose one that suits your needs. Some factors to consider are:

  • The platform's audience: Is it a place where art buyers typically shop?
  • Fees: Does the platform charge listing or transaction fees, and if so, how much?
  • Shipping: Does the platform handle shipping, or will you have to do it yourself?

Set Up Your Online Art Shop

Once you've chosen a platform, it's time to set up your online art shop. Here's how:

  1. Create an appealing profile: Include a clear photo of yourself, a brief bio, and information about your art. Remember, buyers like to know the artist behind the work.
  2. List your artwork: Upload high-quality photos of your artwork. Be sure to include detailed descriptions, including size, medium, and price.
  3. Promote your shop: Share the link to your shop on your social media accounts, website, and email newsletters to drive traffic to your shop.

With these steps, you're well on your way to making money as a still life artist by selling your art online. Remember, success won't happen overnight, but with persistence and creativity, your online art shop can become a significant source of income.

Teach Art Classes

Teaching art classes is another fantastic way to make money as a still life artist. It allows you to share your skills and passion with others while earning income. Plus, it helps you connect with a community of art enthusiasts. Here's how you can get started.

Identify Your Teaching Niche

First, identify what kind of art class you can offer. As a still life artist, you have a unique set of skills. Perhaps you're an expert in oil painting, or maybe you've mastered the art of charcoal sketching. Figure out what specific techniques or methods you can teach others. Remember, the more specific your class, the more it will attract interested students.

Plan Your Art Class

Once you've identified your teaching niche, it's time to plan your class. Here's a simple step-by-step guide:

  1. Develop a curriculum: Outline what you'll teach in each session. This could include techniques, styles, materials to use, and more.
  2. Set up a timetable: Decide how often and when you'll hold your classes. Will they be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly? Morning, afternoon, or evening?
  3. Price your class: Determine a fair price for your class. Consider the length of each session, the materials provided, and the value of your expertise.

Once you've planned your class, it's time to get the word out. You can advertise your class through social media, local community boards, art supply stores, and word of mouth. Be sure to highlight what makes your class unique and why students should sign up.

Teaching art classes can be a rewarding way to make money as a still life artist. You get to share your love for art and inspire others, all while adding to your income. So, why not give it a try?

Work on Commission

Working on commission is another excellent way to make money as a still life artist. It entails creating custom artwork based on the specific request of a client. This path provides a unique opportunity to diversify your portfolio and engage with your audience on a personal level. Here's how to get started on this rewarding journey.

Establish Your Commission Process

Before you start accepting commissions, you must first establish a clear and straightforward process. Here are a few steps to help you:

  1. Set your rates: Determine how much you will charge for your work. Consider the materials, time, and level of detail involved.
  2. Create a contract: To protect both you and your client, create a contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the commission, including payment, deadlines, and rights to the artwork.
  3. Ask for a deposit: This ensures you're not left empty-handed if a client backs out halfway. Typically, artists ask for 50% upfront.

Attracting Commission Work

Now that you've set up your process, it's time to attract clients. Here are a few ideas:

  • Portfolio: Build a strong portfolio showcasing your best work. This gives potential clients an idea of your style and capabilities.
  • Social media: Use social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to promote your work and let followers know you're open for commissions.
  • Art fairs: Participating in art fairs not only exposes your work to a wider audience but also allows you to network with other artists and potential clients.

Working on commission can be both challenging and satisfying. It offers a great way to make money as a still life artist while pushing your creativity and connecting with your audience on a deeper level. Why not take your art to the next level by working on commission?

Create and Sell Art Prints

Creating and selling art prints is not just a smart way to make money as a still life artist, it's also a practical strategy to reach a wider audience. Art prints are affordable, accessible, and a fantastic way to introduce more people to your work. But how do you start? Let's break it down.

Choosing What to Print

Not all artworks translate well into prints. Consider these factors when choosing which pieces to print:

  • Popularity: If a piece has received a lot of positive feedback, it might be a good candidate for a print.
  • Detail: Highly detailed works often make the most impressive prints.
  • Color: Pieces with vibrant colors can stand out when turned into prints.

Printing and Quality Control

Quality is key in the world of art prints. Here's how to ensure yours are top-notch:

  1. Choose a reputable printer: Do some research to find a printer who specializes in fine art prints. They should offer a variety of sizes and paper types.
  2. Proof your prints: Always order a proof before you produce a large run. This way, you can check the colors and quality before investing more money.
  3. Quality control: Once you've got the prints, check each one to ensure the quality is consistent.

Selling Your Prints

Once you have your prints ready, it's time to sell. Here's how:

  • Online: Sell your prints on your own website or on art-specific platforms like Etsy or Saatchi Art.
  • Art fairs: Just as with original works, art fairs can be a great place to sell prints.
  • Local businesses: Local cafes, restaurants, or boutiques might be interested in selling your prints.

The beauty of selling art prints is that it allows you to earn income from a single artwork multiple times. It's an efficient way for still life artists to boost their income while sharing their art with a larger audience. So, why not give it a shot?

License Your Artwork

Licensing your artwork is another profitable way to make money as a still life artist. It involves granting permission to a business or individual to use your art on their products or in their advertising, for a fee. This can be a great source of passive income, as you can earn money from the same piece of art over and over again. But where do you start?

Understanding Licensing Agreements

Before you dive in, it's important to understand what a licensing agreement involves:

  • Usage rights: This covers how, where, and for how long the licensee can use your artwork.
  • Royalties: This is the fee you'll receive in return for the use of your art. It could be a flat fee, a percentage of sales, or a combination of both.
  • Exclusivity: An exclusive agreement means the licensee is the only one who can use your art in a specific way or market.

Finding Licensing Opportunities

Now, let's look at how you can find opportunities to license your art:

  • Art Licensing Agencies: These agencies represent artists and help find licensing opportunities. They can also help negotiate contracts.
  • Direct approach: You can contact companies directly. Look for businesses that align with your art style and target audience.
  • Trade Shows: Trade shows can be a great place to meet potential licensees and showcase your work.

Protecting Your Rights

Finally, remember to protect your rights as an artist:

  1. Understand the contract: Ensure you fully understand the terms of any licensing agreement before you sign it.
  2. Register your work: Register your artwork with the appropriate copyright office to ensure your rights are protected.
  3. Seek legal advice: It's always a good idea to have a lawyer review any contracts before you sign them.

Licensing your artwork can provide a steady stream of income, allowing you to focus on creating new works. Remember, your art is valuable—don't be afraid to monetize it!

Write and Sell Art Books

Another fantastic way to make money as a still life artist is by writing and selling art books. It may sound like a daunting task, but it's more achievable than you might think. Plus, it's a fantastic way to share your knowledge, inspire others, and make a name for yourself in the art community. But how can you get started?

Identify Your Book's Purpose and Audience

Begin by identifying the purpose of your book. Is it to teach art techniques, exhibit your art portfolio, or share your art journey? Once you have a clear purpose, identify your target audience. Knowing who your readers are will help guide your writing style and content.

Plan Your Content

With a clear purpose and audience in mind, you can now plan your content. Remember, your book should provide value to your readers. Here are some ideas:

  • Art Tutorials: Provide step-by-step guides on how to create still life art.
  • Artistic Process: Share your process, from conceptualization to the final piece.
  • Art Inspiration: Discuss your inspirations and how they influence your work.

Publish Your Art Book

Once your book is ready, it's time to publish. Here are some options:

  1. Self-Publishing: With platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, you can publish your book yourself. You'll have control over the entire process, from editing to pricing.
  2. Traditional Publishing: This route involves finding a publisher who will handle the publication process. Note that this process can be more time-consuming and challenging.

Writing and selling art books can not only boost your income but also build your reputation in the art world. Remember, each book you sell is another opportunity to reach a new audience and inspire more people with your art.

If you're eager to boost your income as a still life artist and want to learn more strategies, check out the workshop 'The Beginning of Still Life' by Magali Polverino. This workshop will provide you with valuable tips and techniques to enhance your still life artistry, helping you grow your skills and increase your income.