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Gigging for Your Art

Hands of a potter working on clay on a pottery wheel
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Gigging for Your Art: Side Jobs That Can Help Artists Pay the Bills

Making a full-time living as an artist can be very difficult. The nine-to-five world isn’t always conducive to artists who have a strong creative impulse but who need to earn a living wage just like everyone else. Many need to find some way to make ends meet with a side gig that suits their schedule. If you fit the term “starving artist,” be advised that there are many opportunities that are ideal for someone in your situation. The gig economy can provide you with a viable complimentary income that still leaves plenty of time to be creative and build a presence as an artist. Ready to dive in? The Crooked Creek Art League has some great ideas to get you started.


A blog is an excellent way to build an online presence by writing about something you’re passionate about. You can start one for free, but you’ll need to write regular, informative posts about your subject. Once you’ve gained a healthy following, you can turn a blog into a source of income. It’s one of the most flexible ways to earn money because you can do it in your own time and wherever you like. It’s also a good way to maintain work/life balance because you can blog for hours every day, or you can choose to write an hour here and there. As an artist, you can benefit from getting your name out there on the web and building a dedicated following. A clever use of Instagram hashtags with your content will help users to access your content. It can also help promote your artwork via Instagram.

Dog Walking

Are you a dog lover? If so, dog walking can provide you an enjoyable and profitable way to earn an income. It requires some patience and the physical ability to take multiple walks a day, but it’s rewarding work if you enjoy spending time with dogs. Dog owners often have very specific instructions for feeding and exercising their pets that you’ll need to follow very closely. You can earn up to $20-$30 an hour working as much or as little as you like. There are several websites that can help connect you with people who need your services. DogVacay, Rover, and Wag all help busy people find someone who can care for their canine friends.

Website Design

If you have an aptitude for computers and want to pair it with your creative abilities, consider doing website design on a freelance basis. Individuals and small businesses launch websites every day that need an artist’s touch. It’s a great way to make money while keeping your artistic “chops” sharp. Once you’ve been at it awhile, you can expect to receive word-of-mouth advertising from appreciative clients happy to spread your name and talents to others.


If you’re an artist with a background in digital illustration, there are plenty of ways to put your skills to good use, especially if you’re an expert with Adobe Creative Cloud. Potential design services could include graphic design, multimedia programmer, animation and production design. This can also be a great way to build up your portfolio too!

Gallery or Museum Assistant

Why not look for a side gig where you can make connections that will further your art career? If there’s an art gallery or museum in your area, consider pursuing a job as an assistant or a tour guide, someone who can bring a unique appreciation for and knowledge of art to the visitors’ experience.

It can be hard making it as an artist. It takes time and a knack for making personal connections. Finding a flexible side gig that helps financially and provides access to like-minded people will go a long way toward establishing yourself as a viable artist.


About the Author:

Abby Holt

Abby says "I’ve always been crafty, impressing my classmates and teachers with the best school project posters, creating my own Halloween costumes, and using my calligraphy skills to make some extra cash in college. I have a knack for seeing something and being able to replicate it, plus I always enjoy a challenge. Fast forward to the present and I’m still crafty as ever and putting my craftability to good use. She created the website Craftability to inspire you to put your own crafting abilities to good use, whether it’s painting, jewelry-making, quilting, or calligraphy. Abby is not connected nor affiliated with any of the links included in her article above.


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