Practical Tips for Making Money as an Abstract Artist
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. Build your brand
  2. Connect with other artists
  3. Sell your art online
  4. Participate in art fairs
  5. Partner with galleries
  6. Offer custom commissions
  7. Teach art classes
  8. License your artwork
  9. Apply for art grants
  10. Create printed merchandise

Are you an abstract artist looking to turn your passion into a paycheck? If you're wondering how to make money as an abstract artist, this practical guide is here to help. Let's dive into some effective strategies that can help you earn from your art and transform your abstract visions into tangible profit.

Build your brand

First things first: you need to build your brand. And no, we're not talking about just slapping a logo on your artwork. Your brand is the essence of who you are as an artist, and it's what sets you apart in the art world. Here's how you can build your brand:

  • Understand your unique style: Your abstract art is unique—it's a reflection of you. Understand what sets your art apart. Is it the dramatic use of colors? Or the intriguing geometric shapes? Once you recognize your distinctive style, you can use it to create a consistent brand.
  • Build a portfolio: A portfolio is a collection of your best work. It's like a visual resume that showcases your artistic talents. Make sure your portfolio is representative of your unique style and brand.
  • Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to branding. From the colors and fonts on your website to the style and subject matter of your art—consistency helps build recognition and trust.
  • Tell your story: People don't just buy art—they buy the artist. So, don't be afraid to share your story. Why do you create abstract art? What inspires you? Sharing your story helps form a connection with potential buyers.
  • Embrace social media: Social media platforms like Instagram are a gold mine for artists. They allow you to showcase your art, connect with your audience, and build your brand. So start posting your work, engaging with your followers, and building your online presence.

Remember, building a brand takes time. It's not something that happens overnight. But by understanding your unique style, creating a portfolio, maintaining consistency, telling your story, and leveraging social media, you can build a strong brand that helps you stand out and make money as an abstract artist.

Connect with other artists

In the abstract art world, connections can be just as valuable as the paint on your canvas. Connecting with other artists can open doors to opportunities, provide priceless feedback, and keep that creative spark alive. Here's how you can make those all-important connections:

  • Join Art Communities: Local art communities and clubs are a great place to start. They often host events, exhibitions, and workshops that can offer plenty of networking opportunities. Plus, you get to interact with artists who share the same passion.
  • Attend Art Workshops: Workshops not only help you hone your skills and learn new techniques, but they also provide a platform to meet and connect with other artists.
  • Be Active on Artist Forums: Online artist forums and platforms can be treasure troves of information, inspiration, and connections. Sites like DeviantArt, for instance, host millions of artists from around the world.
  • Collaborate: Collaborations can be a win-win for artists. You get to share ideas, learn from each other, and even reach a wider audience.

Making connections is not just about getting your name out there. It's about being part of a community, learning, and growing as an artist. So, get out there, meet fellow artists, and who knows, your next big opportunity might just come through a conversation at an art workshop or a collaboration with another artist!

Sell your art online

Selling your art online can be a fantastic way to reach a global audience and increase your earning potential. With the internet at your fingertips, you get to showcase your work to art enthusiasts around the world. Here's how you can get started:

  • Create Your Own Website: Having a dedicated website adds a professional touch to your art business. It provides a platform where you can showcase your entire collection, share your creative journey, and directly engage with potential buyers. Remember to include a secure payment method for smooth transactions.
  • Utilize Online Art Marketplaces: Platforms like Etsy, Artfinder, and Saatchi Art are specifically designed for artists to sell their work. These sites have a vast audience of art enthusiasts, making them an excellent place to showcase your abstract pieces.
  • Use Social Media: Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are powerful tools for artists. They can act as your digital portfolio and an online shop. With regular posts and interaction, you can build a following and attract potential buyers.
  • Consider Print-On-Demand Services: Websites like Redbubble and Society6 allow you to upload your artwork, and they handle the printing and shipping when someone makes a purchase. This can be a great passive income source.

Selling art online is not just about making sales—it's also about connecting with your audience, telling the story behind your art, and building a brand. So, take the plunge into the digital world, because it's a great answer to "how to make money as an abstract artist?".

Participate in art fairs

Art fairs offer a bustling marketplace where artists, collectors, and art lovers converge. Participating in these events can be a game-changer for you, opening doors to new opportunities and potential sales. Here's how you can make the most out of art fairs:

  • Choose the Right Fair: Not all art fairs are the same. Some cater to contemporary art, others focus on traditional, and some are a vibrant mix of everything. Research and choose the ones where your abstract art will be appreciated.
  • Prepare Ahead: Art fairs are a visual feast. To stand out from the crowd, you need to present your work well. Plan your booth layout, invest in good lighting, and ensure your art is displayed to its best advantage.
  • Engage with Visitors: Art fairs are not just about selling; they're also about networking. Be approachable, answer questions about your work, and take interest in what visitors have to say. Building relationships can lead to future sales and opportunities.
  • Follow Up: After the fair, follow up with the contacts you made. Send them an email or a thank you note. This keeps you in their mind and can lead to sales down the line.

Remember, art fairs can be a stepping stone to establishing yourself in the art world. They offer a great answer to "how to make money as an abstract artist?" by providing a platform to showcase your work, connect with like-minded people, and most importantly, sell your art.

Partner with galleries

Galleries are often the first place art lovers go to find new pieces for their collections. This is why partnering with galleries can be a smart move for an abstract artist looking to make money. Here's how you can make this partnership work:

  • Research the Gallery: Not every gallery will be a good fit for your work. You need to find galleries that feature abstract art similar to yours. This will increase the chances of your work being appreciated and sold.
  • Present Your Portfolio: Once you've identified potential galleries, it's time to put your best foot forward. Ensure you have a well-put-together portfolio of your work. This should include high-quality images of your art, an artist statement, and your biography.
  • Negotiate Terms: If a gallery is interested in featuring your work, it's important to discuss and agree on the terms. This includes commissions, how long your work will be displayed, and who bears the cost of framing and shipping.
  • Stay Engaged: Once your work is in the gallery, stay engaged. Attend openings, meet with potential buyers, and maintain a good relationship with the gallery owners. This can lead to more opportunities in the future.

Partnering with galleries can provide a major boost to your visibility and sales, helping answer the question of how to make money as an abstract artist. Remember, success won't happen overnight, but with patience and persistence, you'll see results.

Offer Custom Commissions

Another fantastic way to make money as an abstract artist is to offer custom commissions. A lot of people love the idea of having a piece of art that is made just for them. Let's break down how you can tap into this:

  • Advertise Your Services: Let your audience know that you offer custom works. This can be through social media, your website, or word of mouth. The more people know about your services, the more likely you are to receive inquiries.
  • Set Clear Terms: When someone commissions a piece, make sure you have a clear agreement. This should include the size of the work, the materials to be used, the time it will take, and the price. This will ensure both you and your client are on the same page.
  • Ask for a Deposit: It's common practice to ask for a deposit before starting work on a commissioned piece. This not only confirms the client's commitment but also helps cover initial material costs.
  • Share the Process: To make the experience more personal for your client, consider sharing the process with them. Send them progress photos or even time-lapse videos of your work. This can also create exciting content for your social media channels.

Offering custom commissions can be a rewarding and profitable venture. It allows you to create a close connection with your client while also providing a steady source of income. So, if you're wondering how to make money as an abstract artist, offering custom commissions is certainly a path worth considering.

Teach Art Classes

An alternative way to supplement your income as an abstract artist is by teaching art classes. This not only allows you to share your passion and skills with others but also provides a regular source of income. Here's how you can go about it:

  • Identify Your Expertise: First, figure out what specific skills or techniques you excel at. Maybe you're a whizz at using color, or perhaps your strength lies in creating unique textures. Whatever it is, that's your selling point.
  • Plan Your Class: Think about what you'd like to teach and how you'd structure the class. Beginners might appreciate a class on basic abstract art techniques, while more experienced artists could be interested in specific skills or styles.
  • Find a Venue: You could rent a studio, teach from your home, or even hold classes outdoors. If in-person classes aren't feasible, consider teaching online. Platforms like Zoom or Google Meet can be great for this.
  • Spread the Word: Use social media, art forums, and your network to advertise your classes. You'd be surprised at how many people might be interested in learning about abstract art!

Teaching art classes can help you make money as an abstract artist and also gives you the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere, and your knowledge could be the stepping stone someone needs to unlock their own abstract art journey.

License Your Artwork

Another revenue stream to consider is licensing your art. Licensing means you give permission to companies or individuals to use your artwork on their products, and in return, you receive a royalty fee. Here's a step-by-step guide on how you can get started:

  • Research Licensing Opportunities: Look for businesses that resonate with your art style. These could be companies that produce items like clothing, homeware, stationery, or even digital content.
  • Create a Portfolio: Develop a unique portfolio that showcases your best works. This will be your pitch to potential licensees, so make sure it represents your style and versatility as an artist.
  • Reach Out: Contact potential licensees with your portfolio. Be professional and concise, explaining why your art would be a good fit for their products.
  • Understand the Agreement: If a company is interested, they'll provide a licensing agreement. This document details how your art will be used, the duration of the license, and your royalty rate. It's important to read this carefully or even have a legal professional review it.

Licensing your artwork can provide a passive income and increase your visibility as an artist. Not to mention, it's incredibly rewarding to see your art being appreciated in a variety of forms, from a mural on a wall to a print on a T-shirt.

Apply for Art Grants

Art grants can be a fantastic way to fund your abstract art endeavors. They offer financial support that can help you purchase materials, rent a studio, or even fund a specific project. Here's how to get started:

  • Find the Right Grants: There are numerous art grants available, each with different requirements. Some are for specific mediums, while others are for certain demographics or themes. Take the time to find grants that align with your art style and goals.
  • Prepare Your Application: Applications usually require a portfolio, a project proposal, and a budget. Make sure your proposal is compelling and clearly outlines your project plan. Your budget should be detailed and reasonable, showing exactly how the grant money will be used.
  • Submit Your Application: After preparing your application, submit it before the deadline. Late applications are typically not accepted, so be mindful of the time.
  • Follow Up: If you're successful, make sure to follow up with the grant organization. Express your gratitude and keep them updated on your project's progress.

Applying for grants may seem daunting, but the potential benefits are well worth the effort. Not only can you secure funding, but being awarded a grant can also boost your reputation as an artist.

Create Printed Merchandise

Expanding your art into merchandise is a fun and creative way to make money as an abstract artist. Not only does it provide an additional income stream, but it also helps your art reach a wider audience. Here's how you can do it:

  • Choose Your Merch: The first step is to decide what type of merchandise you want to create. This could be anything from prints and posters, to t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, or even phone cases. Choose something that fits well with your art style and audience.
  • Find a Manufacturer: Next, you'll need to find a reliable manufacturer. There are many online platforms that offer print-on-demand services, which means they'll print your art onto the product only after a customer places an order. This eliminates the need for upfront investment and inventory management.
  • Upload Your Art: Once you've selected your merchandise and manufacturer, you'll need to upload high-quality images of your artwork. Make sure the image resolution is high enough to ensure a good print quality.
  • Promote Your Merchandise: After setting up your merchandise, it's time to promote it. Share it on your social media platforms, your website, and even at art shows or exhibitions. Make sure your fans know where they can buy your unique merchandise.

Creating merchandise can be a rewarding experience. It allows you to experiment with different mediums and share your art with the world in a new and exciting way.

If you're an abstract artist looking to make a living from your passion, check out Andrea Guzzetta's workshop, 'How To ACTUALLY Make Money As A Full-Time Artist.' This workshop will provide you with practical tips and insights on how to successfully monetize your art and achieve financial stability as an abstract artist.