Last month, CPA Brittany Fisher inquired if she may contribute an article on financial well being for artists. She shared in her email to me that her niece is an artist so she’s seen how difficult it can be making ends meet.

“When you don’t have a stable income, which is often the case for artists of all types, it can be difficult to figure out how to cover one’s costs for the month let alone plan for the future. I recently helped my sister set up shop as a dog walker and work out the financial side of selling her art online. It took a couple of months, but now she has a steady dog walking clientele, more opportunities to sell her art, and is feeling less financial stress overall. I’d love to help other artists lessen their financial strain. I thought a great way to do so would be to provide an article with tips on how to get started in a side gig that is profitable and flexible so that they can still have plenty of time to create. It’s simply my way to give back to a community that gives us all so much,” said Ms. Fisher.

Since several of my art students over the years have expressed an interest in becoming professional artists, the topic is indeed appropriate.

The title of Ms. Fisher’s essay is: Don’t be a Starving Artist • Part-Time Jobs that Pay
We hope you find it enlightening and will consider sharing it with an aspiring artist who might benefit from this sound financial advice.
As an artist, you’ve no doubt made your mark in the world. But, sometimes, that mark is not enough to pay the bills. I a pleased to offer advice on the best side gigs to help you keep a roof over your head and the freedom to create.

Open your eyes

You should know that you’re probably overlooking many income opportunities right in your own backyard, literally and figuratively. Chances are, your interests don’t stop at the paintbrush. Start your search for financial satisfaction with things you already do. For instance, if you also like to travel, consider taking classes and becoming a part-time travel planner. Inc. reports that you can make up to $4,000 by planning just three cruises. You can also turn your spare space to spare change. Plant a backyard garden and sell produce. Post advertisements on your vehicle for a small monthly paycheck. You can also sell your photographs online or get your exercise in as a group fitness instructor.

Are you an animal person? Consider opening up your home to furry friends from the neighborhood. As a dog boarder, you can earn a few hundred dollars each week watching people’s precious pets while they’re out of town. If you live in an apartment or your HOA does not allow extra animals on premises, you can still get in some dog time as a dog walker. Rover, a nation-wide network of animal care enthusiasts, can help you find your first dog-walking clients.

Use your skills

Being an artist is tough. Not everyone will appreciate your creative visions, making it difficult to make money doing what you love. But, you can harness your artistic skills doing something you like. Most tourist-centric areas have a host of opportunities for artists. This might be in the form of painting murals on buildings, creating photo-booth cutouts for events, or working as a street artist drawing caricatures. The upside is that you get paid to create art. The downside is that you are doing it on someone else’s terms. If you can handle criticism and have a versatile artistic skill set, becoming a contract or freelance artist can bring in some serious cash.

There are also numerous opportunities for creative minds in the form of book, story, and art submissions for children’s literary publications. If you can write fun poetry, you can pretty easily snag an extra $25-$100 per accepted submission. Short stories for kids and young adults often pay as much as $.10 per word, meaning an afternoon plugging away at the computer can help you pocket $250 or more. Other artistic endeavors include working in a photo studio, or going digital and providing graphic design services to small businesses.


Think outside the box

While it might seem cliché, if you truly want flexibility, you’ll have to think outside the proverbial box. There are income opportunities in places you may not expect. Business Insider claims that you can make up to $26 an hour working as an archivist for your local library or up to $100 per project to write down your thoughts on shopping, entertainment, and culture relating to your own neighborhood. If you prefer to stay home, there are plenty of jobs that require little experience but let you enjoy a 10-second commute. These include transcriptionist, remote customer service agent and search engine evaluator.

You don’t have to sacrifice your creative endeavors but you do have to pay the bills. By looking for income opportunities in unexpected places, you can maintain the flexibility you need to give the world a glimpse into your imagination while continuing to put food on the table.

About the Author:
Brittany FisherMs. Fisher has spent more than 20 years as a CPA and is currently working on a book about financial literacy. She also runs the blog,


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For more on Pastimes for a Lifetime’s Art Curriculum and founder/instructor Linda Wehrli, visit the website.

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