how to become a freelance artist

How to Become a Freelance Artist Online in 2023

Do you want to know how to become a freelance artist? Perhaps you have dabbled with art and created some cool pieces, but now, you dream of being paid for your artwork.

Maybe you’re an artist who has just not found the correct platform to showcase your artistry and you want to know how to be a freelance artist.

Wondering how to start as a freelance artist?

Imagine you could spend all day creating your artwork, share your beautiful pieces, inspire the world with your gift, and get paid for it too!

They say happiness is being paid for doing what you love.

So how to start as a freelancer artist? Do you need a degree to be a freelance artist? What are some freelance sites for artists?

It is entirely possible to learn how to become a freelance artist and turn your hobby into a business, but you just need to have a proper plan for showcasing your freelance artistry.

Quite often I hear creative people say, ‘I am creative, I am an artist, I don’t know how to sell, I don’t want to get involved in selling.’

I understand and I used to have this mentality, (I loved writing, and I just wanted to write!)

Well, marketing and selling, is a skill. Something you can learn and use to your advantage for becoming a freelance artist..

If you have unique and beautiful art skills, you may as well share your masterpieces with the world!

How to become freelance artist? Is being a freelance artist worth it? Yes, it is!

So, you have your artwork but how to get paid for art, and where?

Here are 34 freelance websites for artists that will allow you to list your artwork, connect it with potential buyers, and help you get paid for your beautiful creations.


How to Become a Freelance Artist

Below are the different ways you should know how to freelance art.

1.    Your Own Freelance Artist Website

The best place you can start if you want to learn how to become a freelance artist is to have your own website.

Displaying your artwork and promoting yourself as a freelance commission artist is easy with your own website.

This may sound complicated and expensive, but it really isn’t!

Here is a Step by Step Guide on How to Set up a Freelance Website for Just $3.95 Per Month

It shouldn’t take you more than one weekend to set it up if you follow the guide.

Once you set it up, now you just need to share your site and drive traffic to it, so potential buyers can see your artwork.

You can drive people to your site with:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest – My favorite

If you need a bit of guidance on how to set up and get thousands of views from Pinterest, check out this course.

The Pinterest course teaches you how to set up and be successful on Pinterest. You can also learn how to get more than 300,000 pageviews per month!

However, if you are on a bit of a budget, this one is only $19 right now, at the time of writing. It’s run by Elna Cain, a busy mom of twins who has skyrocketed her traffic using Pinterest.

I have bought quite a few of her courses and every single one of them is good value.

2.   ArtPal

ArtPal is a freelance art website which allows you to upload images of your artwork, which buyers can print on demand or even create items with your artwork.

You set your own price and get 100% of the profit after the printing costs.

They have a great range of artwork available, you can check them out here. A great start if you want to know how to become a freelance artist and get paid for your art.

3.   Artfire

Artfire is an online marketplace for artists that allows you to make, market, and sell any handmade goods.

Fees are between 4.5%-12.75%, with a $0.23 listing fee on some accounts. You can easily list your freelance art work here.

4.   Etsy

Etsy is a great online platform to sell your homemade artwork. I like the fact that Etsy is already quite well-known and popular, but the downside is, there will be more competition.

You can get around that with good ‘Etsy SEO’. Google it, you are welcome.

If you want to know how to become a freelance artist that has a lot of sales, Etsy SEO is crucial to learn.

It is FREE to open an Etsy shop, the listing fee is $0.20 to list each item for 4 months and Etsy charges a 5% transaction fee of the selling price as commission.

I have read about many success stories on Etsy, to learn how to sell like pros that earn six figures, I highly recommend this low-cost book on Amazon.

You could also read this article on the 11 best things to sell on Etsy to make money.

Alternatively, two of my favorite Etsy courses on Udemy are:

Learn How to Build A Successful Etsy Shop- An in-depth breakdown of how to build an Etsy shop and market your products successfully from A to Z.

Etsy Marketing and SEO Mastery- Etsy SEO & Marketing: Learn how to Master Etsy’s Handmade Marketplace and Increase your Etsy shop’s visibility and sales

5.    Big Cartel

Big Cartel allows you to sell everything from painting to clothing to even jewelry. It’s a great place to start if you want to know how to become a freelance artist.

Big Cartel doesn’t take a cut of your earnings, you just list your items and pay the monthly listing fee (between $9 to $29 a month) to stay active.

6.   Store Envy

It’s completely free to open up your online shop with Store Envy and you can list up to 1000 products for FREE!

Great place to promote your artwork and get paid for art if you want to know how to get started as a freelance artist.

7.   Handmade by Amazon

I just found out that Amazon has a section where you can sell handmade goods and get paid for artwork, wahoo!

The great thing is that anyone can apply and once you are approved, you can start selling your artwork and become a successful freelance artist!

Note- Because Amazon is popular, with a lot of sellers and buyers, there may be a long wait. But it will be worth the wait!

Amazon will take a flat 15% fee from your sale, no fees apart from that, so you know where you stand.

One part of learning how to become a freelance artist is keeping an eye on costs and fees.


8.   Aftcra

Aftcra is a platform similar to Etsy, but it’s only for Americans. So, if you aren’t American skip this section.

They don’t have any listing feed but there is a 7% transaction fee on each sale.

They also have a strict policy on what you sell, which is probably good because you are only going to sell high-quality artwork right?

9.   Artfinder

Artfinder is an online marketplace for art sellers. They take charge of the marketing and you just need to focus on freelance artist ideas & list your artwork.

You will need to apply to be considered and it’s 100% free to sign up, but there are commission fees (33%).

A huge part of learning how to become a freelance artist involves marketing, so if a platform is willing to do it for you, then you are on to a winner!

10. Artplode

Artplode allows you to list and sell your artwork and keep 100% of whatever you make.

You just need to pay the one-time listing fee of $60 which will cover your listing until you remove your artwork from the site.

They also have an ‘Artplode Assistant’, which helps you with deciding what to price your items which is fantastic if you want to know how to make money as a freelance artist.

how to become a freelance artist

11. ArtQuid

ArtQuid allows you to exhibit and sell your artwork. You can list 10 pieces for free and they take 10% commission if you make a sale on your art piece.

But it’s a great way to get direct contact with buyers and put your artwork freelance in front of potential customers.

On your journey on learning how to become a freelance artist, you will need to gauge which pieces of art are popular and resonate with your audience.

The free listings Artquid provides are a great way to do that.

12. allows you to register as an artist, upload the images and descriptions of your art, and sell them.

They take a commission fee of 25% but you can decide your own selling price of the artwork.

13. Displate

According to Displate, they ‘provide a free marketplace where artists can sell their designs worldwide on one of a kind medium.

We manufacture and ship your products while you maintain the rights to your artwork.’

Displate only sells magnet-mounted prints of art, so your artwork is printed and mounted on the walls of people all around the world!

Their fees vary between $2-$50+ commission

14. FineArtAmerica

FineArtAmerica is a huge art marketplace that has a print-on-demand technology company.

Their platform has helped thousands of arts sell everything from art to apparel.

You just need to upload images of your artwork and then they take care of the printing, framing, and then shipping.

You decide what you will charge and the fees are between $0-$30/year. Best way to start if you want to know how to become a freelance artist

15. Handmade Artists

Handmade Artists are an online platform that connects artists and crafters to potential buyers. It’s like Etsy, but smaller.

You need to pay a subscription fee of $5 per month and that’s it! You get to keep 100% of your sales.

16. Saatchi Art

Saatchi Art is a wildly popular art platform where you can sell your art if you wonder how to become a paid artist.

They are known for hosting their well-known “The Other Art Fair” every year, where they feature emerging artists from all around the globe.

If you want to know how to be a successful freelance artist and get great exposure and recognition, it’s worth trying them out.

It is free to create an account and they handle the shipping for you. they take a 35% commission but having your art up there will increase your exposure in the art world.

17. Chairish

Chairish is an online vintage marketplace for interior designers, decorators, or anyone in the design industry.

They take 30% but it’s free to list an item and they help you make your photos look professional.

18. Jose Art Gallery

The Jose Art Gallery is a platform for both artists and art galleries. You fill in an application and submit your artwork to the gallery to be considered.

They take a 35% commission but they do have promotions where they lower the price.

19. Society6

Society6 allows artists to sell digital art prints. You just upload a high-quality digital file of your work and specify which products you want to sell.

It’s free to list and they take a 10% commission.

It’s a great place to start if you want to know how to become a freelance artist.

how to become a freelance artist

20. Artsy

Artsy is an online gallery that sells the artwork of thousands of artists. You just submit your artwork and if they approve and receive offers, you get paid.

They specify they take a commission but don’t elaborate on how much it is.

Here are a few more art freelance sites where you can sell your artwork online.

All of these online art selling platforms are best websites for freelance artists if you want to know how to start freelance art and how do freelancer artists make money.

But what if you want to know how to start a freelance art business? What is the first step?

How to become a digital freelance artist?

  • Register Your Business

Once you decide to start a business, it must be registered as a LLC to separate your personal and business debts, tax purposes, and to build your brand.

  • Create A Portfolio

A portfolio with your samples is essential to showcase your skills to potential clients. It provides a professional front to the client too!

You can also design your freelance artist logo and use it in your portfolio and social media.

  • Set Up A Business Plan

You also need to work on your business plan: your niche, audience segment, whether you’ll operate locally or internationally and business goals.

  • Promote On Social Media

Social media can be your greatest asset when promoting your services because of its immense reach if you start posting great content regularly.

  • Provide Services Online

Providing your art services online on freelance sites for artists opens global avenues for your art skills.

All of the freelance artists websites mentioned above are great art platforms for you to make money.

  • Network

Networking with fellow freelance artists can give you insights on the best ways to grow your business and can also open other opportunities for you.

All of these are essential for making money as a freelance artist.

FAQs on How To Become A Freelance Artist

What Is A Freelance Artist?

Perhaps you question yourself on what is a freelance artist.

A freelance artist is an independent contractor, who works on different art projects – short or long term, for a company/entity.

Freelance artists work with different clients, have a website for their portfolio and network/market through social media.

How Much Do Freelance Artists Make?

You might wonder about how much freelance artists make. In the USA, on an average, a freelance artist makes between $23.5-$25 per hour.

Salaries start from $41,000 per year for beginners and go up to $98,000 per year for the experienced professionals.

how to become a freelance artist

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Freelance Artist?

If you wonder what qualifications you need to be a freelance artist, you may feel relieved to know that an art degree is not a compulsion to start as a freelancer.

Though some employers prefer if you have a degree in a related subject, if you have  samples/portfolio with your past work for clients, you will be considered.

Can You Freelance As A Beginner?

Can you freelance as a beginner? Yes, you definitely can. Just create some samples and start looking for clients.

There are many freelancing platforms where you’ll find clients, both for short gigs and long-term contracts.

Just be aware as many scammers also lurk on freelance platforms.

You can also go the traditional word-of-mouth way, and advertise your services among people you know.

What Type Of Art Is Bought The Most?

You might wonder what type of art is bought the most.

The most popular ones are landscapes, abstract art, vintage art, digital  art, contemporary art styles, limited edition art prints, and sculptures.

These artworks are best-sellers as they are bought at expensive rates by art lovers globally.

How To Teach Private Art Lessons?

Wondering how to teach private art lessons? Here’s how:

  • Online Classes – Over Zoom/Gmeet globally.
  • Group Classes – Daily/weekly group classes can be held.
  • Home tutoring – Students can be tutored at their home/yours.
  • Workshops – Quarterly/annual workshops can be conducted.
  • Intensive Courses
  • Digital Courses

Detailed theoretical and practical guides help students improve their skills.

Should I Watermark My Art?

Should you watermark your art? Yes, you should.

Creating a watermark and including it on your artworks (physical/digital) is essential.

It ensures that violators know about your copyright before using it without proper authorization.

It also serves as a means to check the originality of the artwork and trace back the copied work to the copyright violator.

What Size Painting Sells Best?

You might wonder what size painting sells best. For larger art prints, 16″ × 20″ is the most popular.

For smaller art prints the sizes are usually 10″ × 8″ and 10″ × 12″. 16″ × 20″ size is most common for canvas paintings too!

These frame sizes are in trend as they can fit multiple art prints easily.

The 10″ × 12″ one fitting around 4 small art prints while the 10″ × 8″ fits 2 or 3!

How Much Should I Charge As A Beginner Artist?

Wondering how much you should charge as a beginner artist?

Start with a reasonable hourly rate, say around $15. Multiply that with the no of hours you worked on the artwork.

Add in the cost of the materials you used (canvas/paper, paints, brushes etc.) to the above amount.

This can be a decent starting rate for you which can be increased as you gain expertise.


Learning how to become a freelance artist can be daunting, confusing, and scary but the hard work is done!

You just need to create your artwork and list them on any of the freelance artist sites above if you want to get paid for artwork.

Quite a few of the freelance artist platforms let you list your freelance artwork for FREE, so what have you got to lose?

If you are looking for other ways to make money from home, here are some related articles:

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