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Yiğit Çakar


10 Ways to Make Money Painting

I am a painter. For the past couple of weeks, I have been in a creative rut and haven't been able to paint much. Especially when somebody doesn't pay me to paint. So I am writing this list to remind myself that it is OK to paint without a monetary goal in mind, and usually those non-financial paintings turn into income sources anyway.


    1. Paint Landmarks

    In my experience, the landmark paintings in touristic areas are the easiest paintings to create and sell. Do a small watercolor of a historic landmark, frame it nicely with a paper frame, and sell it to the tourists who come to experience it.

    2. Sketchbooking

    I love carrying a sketchbook with me to draw anything I find interesting. Over the course of my artistic career, I have sold a lot of sketchbook pages, but I have also exchanged my pages for services and goods. Free food, drinks, haircuts, rides, are easy to exchange with a quick sketch.

    3. Paint Animals

    Back in the day when I was new in the field, I figured out it was easier to paint animals than humans, so I started painting animals. I painted a lot of tigers, which is a popular favorite animal. But I also painted pets, cats and dogs. I always got commissions from people after a couple of good pet paintings.

    4. Paint Portraits

    I am a fan of painting portraits. I cannot help but admire the beauty of the human face. I cannot help but dream about the lives people have lived when I look at their faces, the creases, the freckles, the marks, all tell a story. I also love capturing the essence of somebody in a painting. We have photography, but only really experienced and skillful photographers can capture somebody's soul. Painters' job is easier in this effort because a painter paints what he or she experiences.

    5. Paint Flowers

    Flowers are a joy to paint and are easy to sell. Go to a florist, and see what people like the most. Get a great bouquet for your wife and paint it. Then sell the painting and buy your wife a romantic dinner. Repeat.

    6. Paint Cafe Decoration

    Coffee beans, pots, typography about coffee, deserts, are easy ways to turn your little painting practice into some money.

    7. Paint DnD Characters

    I love Dungeons and Dragons, and if you leave me alone for some time, I will sketch you a knight, or a tiefling sorceress. DnD Geeks are also one of the friendliest communities for an artist, and they will hire you to paint their characters, especially if they like your art style. And doing commissions in DnD groups usually leads to working with DnD companies.

    8. Paint Cars

    When I was a student, I used to paint cars and motorcycles. People loved them and purchased them on the spot.

    9. NFTs

    There is a lot of bad mojo around NFTs, but I have seen people doing them successfully and creating meaningful artistic expression and communication through the NFT community.

    10. Murals

    There is always a demand for murals; you just have to put yourself out there and show people that you can do it. The best way to start doing murals is to start on your own wall and build a portfolio by taking a picture of what you have done. Do it 7-8 times and you are ready for paid gigs.

    Thinking about who might purchase this painting is part of the painting process. Think about this early, and often, and show them what you are working on.

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