Posted in Career Insights
how much do artists make a year

People often wonder “how much does a typical artist make?” 

According to Recruiter, the average fine artist’s annual salary ranges from $40,000 to $60,000. 

Many people think that artists work for themselves and create whatever they want. While that is true some of the time, artists often take on other artistic work to make money. When it comes to how much artists make a year, it all depends on the work they create, the type of artist they are, and the mediums they use for their work.

Factors that Influence an Artist’s Salary

Here are a few ways that an artist can boost their annual earnings.

Having Art School Training

You can take art classes in high school that will teach you how to be a professional artist. But you might want more training than that to become an artist. 

Many professional artists go to a four-year college to obtain a degree in fine art. There are also other certification programs or associate degrees from community colleges where you can learn to become an artist. Artists who have more schooling will typically earn a higher income and have better job prospects for future work.

If you specialize in a specific medium or subject matter while in school, you can earn even more money due to your expertise. Additional schooling in specialized skills like portraiture, drawing, or painting is a common way to increase your artist salary.

Working on Commissions

An artist who takes on commissioned work throughout the year will increase their income.

These commissioned pieces can be anything that a client wants in the form of art, including:

  • Portraits,
  • Family photo paintings,
  • Sculptures,
  • Abstract pieces, and
  • Landscape paintings.

Prices for commissioned work are typically determined by the artist, making it a great way to earn a higher salary.

Teaching Classes and Workshops

As a fine artist, your skill with whatever medium you prefer could be in high demand. Even with basic artistic training, you can teach art classes at your local community center, an art school, or run courses of your own. No matter what, teaching art classes is rewarding and will earn you a higher salary. It is always good to teach the basics to new artists as this can help you polish your own skills as well.

Creating Commercial Art

Commercial art is any art used for a business like in advertising, media, and the entertainment business. Fine artists who specialize in commercial art tend to have higher salaries and often work for companies that specifically sell commercial art. How much you can make in a year as a commercial artist depends on if you are finding your clients or are working for someone else.

Are you Interested in a Career as a Fine Artist?

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a fine artist, take a look at Stratford Career Institute’s online art course. You will learn everything you need to know about a career as an artist, including:

  • Introduction to art and drawing,
  • Survey of famous artists,
  • The elements of design,
  • Painting with pastels,
  • Painting from a photograph,
  • Basic watercolor tools and materials,
  • Fundamental concepts of composition and design,
  • Figures, portraits, and working with landscape,
  • Acrylic painting,
  • Innovative stenciling and linework,
  • Reflective paints, effects, finishing sheens, varnishing, and care,
  • Oil painting, 
  • Capturing the illusion of three dimensions, and 
  • Putting it all together.

Enroll in our art course today!


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Become an Artist

Become an Artist

Stratford Career Institute offers a convenient and affordable online course to teach you the ins and outs of an artist career!