8 Realistic Painting Business Ideas for True Artists

Art is most certainly not a pursuit for anyone who wants to make money” (Robert Henri), or so they used to think. Those who typically go into art as a career do it for the passion, not for the money. But in today’s world, it’s actually much easier to make money painting and creating if you’re a bit ‘creative’ in the painting business world. From selling commissions to becoming an artist coach, we’ve ‘designed’ a list of potential jobs you could build from or run in conjunction with creating simply fine art. So get your thinking cap on, and get to work!

8 Realistic Painting Business Ideas For True Artists

Selling Paintings or Commissions

With the introduction of the internet and all the wonderful visual apps that come along with it, artists have a much easier time finding buyers for their art. All it takes is one photo and some marketing and you can easily reach people across the world who love what you do. Of course, it does take effort not only to paint and share photos of your work, but it’s much easier and more lucrative than struggling to get your art into galleries and giving up some of the profit. Once a few paintings are sold, it’s possible to hire a painting business assistant to handle the dirty work of running the website, handling emails too.

If paintings aren’t really making ends meet, selling commissions can be handled the same way. But instead of creating what you want, buyers come to your painting business to have their vision created in your style. Though it keeps the work interesting and varied, it doesn’t come without its issues. Creating someone else’s vision can certainly lead to problems if one person isn’t on the same page as the other. So when doing commission work, it’s best to make sure some of the work is open to interpretation, and that the artist is allowed to create in his or her own style.

The best part about a true painting business? There’s no need for a painting business license and starting a painting business with no experience is as easy as picking up a paint brush.

Painting Murals

Murals are a fun way to take a fine art degree to the mainstream. But they also come with a unique twist. Murals are typically done on a large scale, so getting a design onto a large wall will take some extra care. However, many businesses, schools, and public spaces are open to the idea of having beautiful artwork cover their bare walls done by a fine art painting business. It just takes some outreach to find the client. Practice on large canvases, and showcase work they may want – you never know when a potential client is looking.

Read More: Canvas Painting for Beginners
8 Realistic Painting Business Ideas For True Artists

Art Teacher

Thankfully art is still being taught in school, though some schools make it more of a priority than others. If you already have a degree in fine art, teaching in a school can be as simple as going back and getting a second degree in Elementary Education. You may even be able to find jobs that don’t require such a degree, though it may be hard, and the money may be less.

If you’ve always wanted to share your passion for the arts with kids, and think you’d be a great teacher, this could be the way to go instead of a true painting business. Many schools also offer summers off, and shorter days, so if you have your own kids, this could be a great way to fit their schedule too.

Teaching How-To Classes

Not everyone is a great teacher. But if you do have that itch to educate others, but don’t want to get a degree for it, sign up to teach classes at your local art gallery or shop. Teach ‘Sip & Paint’ type classes through a painting business, crafting classes, fine art classes like oil painting or sculpture – the list is endless. Of course, opening a How-To Workshop business isn’t out of the question either. Offer a variety of one-time classes or weeks-long workshops. As a business owner, the decisions are all made up to you!

Art Supply Owner

What would an artist be without supplies? Sure, Amazon certainly has destroyed a lot of small businesses, but that doesn’t mean an art supply shop is out of the question. In fact, many artists with their own painting business have trouble finding their favorite brushes or paints locally, and Amazon is not good at keeping large supplies like big canvases and floater frames in stock. An art supply owner decides what they sell, and can even host their own DIY or How-To classes in the shop to make extra money. You get to have both!

Read More: 5 Ways to Better Organize Your Craft Storage

Painting on Wearables

Instead of painting beautiful work on canvas, a unique way to showcase art is by painting on clothing and footwear. Not only does it give buyers a way to wear their priced art pieces, but also opens up the door to clients who may not be the type to invest in wall art. Find unique pieces at thrift shops or second-hand, break out the acrylics and get to work spiffing them up with cool designs and paintings.

8 Realistic Painting Business Ideas For True Artists


Painters are usually thought to work in paint and canvas. But painters also can illustrate using the same medium. Many kids’ books are using watercolor as the medium instead of pen and paper because it’s beautiful as it is functional to tell a story. To get a job as an illustrator, first start producing a portfolio of artwork with characters you make up or even re-tell a story you already know like the Big, Bad, Wolf. The more you can show your flexibility with illustration, the more jobs will come to you.

Read More: Creative Ways to Display Kids Artwork

Art Coaching

One unique way to use a fine art degree or background is by helping painters start and build their own fine art painting business. Many artists love the painting side but don’t know the first thing about building a business around it. If that sounds intriguing, start your own business helping others do the same. Not only will this be a great way to pay yourself, but you can feel good about it too.

Don’t let anyone say that jobs can’t be made in the fine art world. Things have really changed and there’s so much flexibility with art and design these days. If fine art is something you’re really passionate about, dive into one of these businesses and start making real money doing what you love to do.

Check out Daily Mom’s article on Baby’s 1st Art Supplies: Safe Options for Your Little Artist

Sign up to receive our picks for the best things to do, see and buy so you can relax and focus on more important tasks! Let us help you be the best version of yourself you can be!


Newsletter: Daily Mom delivered to you
: @DailyMomOfficial
Instagram: @DailyMomOfficial | @DailyMomTravel
YouTube: @DailyMomVideos
Pinterest: @DailyMomOfficial


8 Realistic Painting Business Ideas For True Artists



We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Lauren Austin
Lauren Austinhttp://www.financialfundaments.com
She's a full-time Financial Coach, professional designer, and part-time home DIYer. As a business owner of Financial Fundaments, and an awesome mom to 3 young kids, she has a full plate but loves every minute of it. Lauren became a Daily Mom to satisfy her need for writing while helping other moms take control of their financial health.