I remember dreaming about making a living from my creative work and I hate to admit it, but there was a time, I didn’t believe I could do it. And I know I am not the only one whose dream it is to have an income from their creative work. While there might be people that say it’s easy, it takes dedication, determination, and willpower to make it through those rough days.
When I was 25, I spoke my dream out loud which may have not been the smartest thing or I should have been more careful about who I told my dreams to because I was met with resistance and a “get back to reality” speech. It took me some years to figure it all out and now I do get to make a living from my creative work, be it a book or an art piece, as well as helping people in their own creative journey.
So if you’ve ever wondered about making a go of it as a creative professional, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Find your niche. What are you passionate about? What are you good at? What kind of work do you love doing? Once you know your niche, you can start to focus your marketing efforts and build a reputation for yourself.
- Develop your skills. The better you are at your craft, the more likely you are to be successful. Take classes, read books, and practice as much as you can.
- Build a portfolio. Your portfolio is your calling card. It’s what potential clients will see when they’re deciding whether or not to hire you. Make sure your portfolio is well-curated and showcases your best work.
- Network. Get out there and meet people. Attend industry events, connect with other creative professionals on social media, and let people know what you do. The more people you know, the more likely you are to land clients.
- Be patient. It takes time to build a successful creative business. Don’t expect to get rich overnight. Just keep working hard and eventually, you’ll start to see results.
When I first started selling my artwork I had a hodgepodge of crochet and wood-burnings and paintings. In the last few years, I focused on wood burnings only when it comes to selling at in-person events. I still crochet and paint and they can be found at Smoky Wood Studios, pyrography is my main niche. Selling at in-person events allows me to network with my local community.
But what are some specific ways you could make money from your creative work?
- Freelance. This is a great way to get started as a creative professional. You can find freelance work on online platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Guru.
- Sell your work online. You can sell your work on your own website, or through online marketplaces like Etsy and Redbubble.
- Teach. If you’re an expert in your field, you can teach others what you know. You can teach online courses, offer workshops, or even write a book.
- Licensing. If you create original artwork, you can license your work to businesses and other organizations. This can be a great way to generate passive income.
- Grants. There are many grants available to creative professionals. Do some research to see if you qualify for any grants that could help you fund your work.
Making a living from your creative work is a challenge, but it’s definitely possible. If you’re passionate about your work and you’re willing to put in the hard work, you can achieve your dreams.
A free resource library is a collection of digital resources I’ve compiled together. These resources include ebooks, worksheets, checklists, and other helpful materials.