(Guest Article) How Artists Can Find Profitable Side Gigs by Brittany Fisher

September 18th, 2018 | Posted by Alaiyo

Artists are a group of people who can make all kinds of jobs work, but when it comes to side gigs, it’s important to make sure you’ll be comfortable and organized in order to make it a success. Working for yourself is wonderful, but it also takes a lot of self-control and the ability to drown out distractions. Holding yourself accountable is a big part of being self-employed, even when the job is just a side-gig.

For most people, these jobs are temporary or a way to make extra money outside of a career that isn’t necessarily artistically fulfilling. Flexibility is a major factor when looking for the perfect side gig, especially if you have another job that takes up a lot of your time or a family that needs your attention. Profitability is important, and it’s imperative to do some research before starting any new gig to make sure it’s a viable option. If the cost of materials is so much that you have to charge an outrageous price for the finished goods, the business won’t be sustainable.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to find profitable side gigs and how to make them work within your life.

Create an At-Home Workspace

It’s critical that you have the optimal workspace at home where you can create and leave projects that are unfinished where they won’t be disturbed. It should also be a place that is free of distractions, and it should be comfortable enough for you to work for several hours at a time. Get organized with a whiteboard, a calendar to keep your schedule and jobs straight, and a cork board where you can pin up design inspirations. That, along with a comfy chair, will allow you to get your work done in style. 

Make Sure You Have the Right Equipment

Whether you’re a painter or a photographer, you need to make sure you have all the equipment and tools that you’ll need to get the job done. Not only do you need tools, you need the right tools. If you want to be considered for professional jobs, it’s important to make sure you have equipment that will get the results you want. Most creative pursuits aren’t inexpensive, but if you can save up and splurge a bit, it will pay off in the end.


A good deal of being an artist is knowing how to network, whether in person, at conventions, or online. Set up social media accounts and follow people whose work appeals to you, and post photos of your own work to share. Attracting followers will help you find gigs and earn a name for yourself at the same time. Just be careful about sharing exclusive content; do some research and find a way to watermark your work online so it won’t be used without your consent.

Know What You’re Worth 

Before you go out for creative gigs, it’s imperative that you know what your work and time are worth. Do some research online, talk to fellow artists, and figure out an appropriate amount to charge clients before applying for a job. Think about how you want to be paid and write out a business plan; it’s an unfortunate truth that people often commission artists and expect to be able to offer “exposure” instead of payment for the work. Make sure your client knows your terms before you agree to a job.

Finding profitable side gigs can be a long and frustrating road if you don’t have a good plan. Try to be patient and remember that art is subjective; not everyone is going to love the same creative endeavor in the same way, and that’s okay. Make a pact with yourself to keep going, because you never know where the next job will come from. Take a look at these artists and their side jobs for some inspiration.

Brittany Fisher