Artwork seems like an unrealistic way to earn a living!

When I was growing up it was well known that earning a living as an artist was unrealistic. I got into artwork now because it looked like people had been earning their way with artwork. The difference is modern computing.

Now that I learned to make digital paintings, it now seems like I was tricked. Tricked into buying learn artwork videos and books. Seems the only real way to earn money with artwork is selling an education. They tricked me into learning artwork by saying, “earn money”.

Yes. You are right. If you want to make money you need to be the best in something. Mediocre has no place in this field. You have to sell your blood to make it. Best thing is to erase the existence of your art background and study something that will get a steady job.

I do not think that this is a conclusive topic, we will never get to the bottom of this at all.

The path is long and winding.
BTW I think you underestimate Art and don’t know yet what it really is. But i guess you witnessed & experienced a sort of Con-Art. Or maybe you’re just too emotional, impatient… IDK.
Value lesson you learned & know, it’s not the last. :wink:

Nowadays, a lot of artists are turning to Patreon to make a little bit of an income.

What it does is allow people to send you money every month on the condition you keep creating, and they get a reward if they’re on a high enough tier.

I also don’t see why you feel conned if the information within the art books bring about a genuine boost in your skills, due to what you have learned. There’s also no shame in just having art as a hobby.

You don’t “get into art” … you either have it as an artist and can make a living at it or it’s just a hobby (IMO of course). It’s not really a skill you can acquire like learning auto repair. Sure, you can take classes and improve, but there is more needed that can’t really be taught to just anyone. It’s a part of you and it has to come out in some creative way.

I have always considered myself to be an artist and I got an art degree. My dad thought I would starve to death, but now I make more than he ever did as an engineer.

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Look around you – you are surrounded by “art,” and much of it has been produced “for a profit.”

The digital computer did for “art-making” exactly what it did for writing: it eliminated the manual typewriter.

“Selling dreams to dreamers” has always been a legitimate part of education – witness Writer’s Digest magazine, still popular after all these years.

At the end of the day, it still comes down to you, an no one else. Practice your craft. Learn how to do something that other people will want to pay you to do, and learn to do it well. Make every possible use of the digital computer towards that end, of course, but it will be you who are creating something that someone else wants to buy, and managing your practice such that “others will speak well of you.”

Q: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”
A: *"Practice, man. Practice!"

Have you tried selling locally to advertising business? Seems most of business these days is cold calling people and trying to make them into clients. That is, if you’re not famous or visible enough yet.

I think there’s a lot of demand for good art. The difficulty is connecting that demand with your supply.

Seems to me as a job, working for advertising has much better stability and much better pay compared to movies or games.

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I think people who speaking English don’t make a good enough distinction between what is art and what is not art but rather craft or art handicraft.
You are basically using the term art & artist inflationary.
Advertising is definitely not art, if you don’t put your intention and your own spin into it (have a hand in the design) then its not art. If it has no message, its not art. If it isn’t meaningful in some way than it isn’t art.
If it was created with the intention to sell something (like an ideology or an product) then it isn’t art but propaganda.

I am also a painter and i created some works that only a handful of people have seen. I don’t care about the audience.
Its not about me communicating something to the audience, recognition, fame etc… i did them for me, because it was and is an intrinsically personal thing to me, an manifestation of my creative desire.
In my definition, these are the only works of art i have ever created. And i hold the works of other people to that high standard.
75% of what people think is art isn’t art in my opinion.


I have come into agreement with all of this. For your posts It looks like you guys have been making good enough money with *art. Maybe I too can have a chance at it. I think I will try my hand at wood sculptures. Learning wood sculptures might be something I can carry over into blender.

Art has been the most expensive commodity for more than 10 thousand years , I think its safe to assume that wont be changing any time soon.

Making money with art is not only realistic but it can be ludicrous depending what you are doing. Problem is that most people focus so much on artistic skill alone and lose the forest.

Which is why mediocre artists usually end up making much more money than high skilled ones and this feeds the mythology around “the starving artist”.

Earning money is a skill by itself. If you dont have it, yes you will struggle. But is a skill you can learn through practice like so many have done before you. Picasso was a great artist but he was far greater business man. If a 90 year old lady that started painting in her 80s out of boredom can make money in millions of dollars I think we can safely assume that art can be quite profitable.

But yes, if you want to become rich, being an artist is the most well proven way to do it. But life comes with no guarantees , its a never ending journey of learning and discovery.


Basic concepts such as an eye for detail and proportions might carry over, but keep in mind that woodworking involves a completely different medium with a completely different set of tools. It’s apples and oranges as far as workflow is concerned.

Making a living with art is totally doable, it just isn’t easy. If you want advice on how to do it, you would have to be more specific about your situation: what kind of work do you want to do? What’s your skill level now? (show images)
The idea of going into wood sculpture with the hope it might carry over to Blender is very strange. If you want to be a 3d artist, do 3d art. If you want to be a digital painter, do digital painting. If you want to be sculptor, then do sculpture etc.

I guess the best advice I can give is: Do what you’re best at. If you are good at sculpting, be a sculptor; if you’re good at drawing landscapes, pursue that.

The problem with art is that it’s very subjective from the audience’s point of view. What looks great to one person will not look good to another person. Find a niche and stick to it until you master it and you’ll find an audience.

What I want to do is make money. At first 3d models looked like a good way to earn money. Then I learned digital painting with ctrl+paint (free & store). I then decided to try and earn money creating furniture. I cannot figure out how to get around the shipping prices. I don’t know how people can sell their furniture, when shipping is beyond the asking price, can’t figure it out. Now I look at making jewelry boxes, and I am finding out that it’s a dead end, just like furniture and knitting. So I found out that lots of people are into buying wood sculptures, looks promising. Now It looks like artwork is just for fun, without any cash rewards. From reading this forum post I think it can be done, that it might be worth the stress.

As far as showing my work, I have some of my drawings on the hard drive, but havent’ done any work in about 3 months.

Stop chasing after a trend/money. The problem is not the market its in your head. Concentrate on getting good with what you are doing and nothing else. They way you are doing it, you’re constantly making yourself a slave of something you don’t understand. Your attitude will manifest itself in your work. If your attitude is wrong the end result will never be good.
Being creative is like falling in love/making love, but you are walking around treating yourself and potential partners like objects. You are getting rejected and wonder why that is?
Maybe its you. Consider changing your approach and things might fall into place.

Watch it. I’ve edited your comment. But its just unneeded.

And to give my opinion - dont worry too much about making money. Do it because you love it, and eventually you will get to a point where people want to pay you for what you do.

“If you’re good at something, never do it for free”

Some people need some tough love thrown in their face to shock them out of their mindset. I am not fan of PC-nonsense, its unneeded. I rather risk have him hating me, but thinking about why the words sting so much and eventually be able to adopt another viewpoint and be more successful.
Your call, but rest assured that its not my intention to insult people senselessly, even if my methods might appear too harsh to you.

If he wont take it, then its his problem, not yours, There is no need to go ballistic at him.

Good point. I just assumed he can take it.
Maybe its me getting a lesson here too, because i just did the same thing i was criticizing him for.
My Main point is that: if somebody is too focused on the perceived end goal, he/she might loose track of the right steps that are necessary to reach that goal.
The irony is not lost on me.