Skip to main content

5 Part-Time Jobs for the Starving Artist

Artist, Etsy Seller, and writer. I use my experiences as a struggling artist to give tips others so that they can succeed as great artists.

Do you consider yourself a starving artist? Here are five part-time jobs for people who want to become full-time artists.

Do you consider yourself a starving artist? Here are five part-time jobs for people who want to become full-time artists.

Great Part-Time Jobs for the Starving Artist

So you want to be an artist, right? Perhaps you just got out of art school, or maybe you just quit a job to pursue art full time. Whatever your story is, congratulations! You made the first step toward your dream to become a full-time artist!

Unfortunately, making money from art is no walk in the park, especially for new artists who have not yet built up a reputation. New artists need part-time jobs that will pay the bills while also being flexible enough to leave you enough time to create and sell your work. Here is a list of five great part-time jobs that artists can do while they pursue their dreams.

1. Substitute Teacher

Substitute teaching is one of the most flexible jobs out there; you can work as much or as little as you want. In addition, the job prerequisites are minimal. In most cases, if you have 48 hours of college credit, no matter the subject area, then you are already qualified to start.

You can either get hired directly through a school district, or you can go through a company like Kelly Services. Kelly Services is great because you are in complete control of when and where you will work. You simply accept different substituting jobs via an app. Jobs will pop up showing the school, grade level, and time of the job. It is super convenient and easy to use.

Payment will vary depending on your area, but in my experience, the pay was $75 a day.

2. Server

Waiting tables can bring in more money in fewer hours than most part-time jobs. Although most restaurants only pay servers about $2 an hour, the tips more than make up for it. On an average night, servers make about $60 in tips alone; that number goes up to $100–200 on busy nights.

If you are a charismatic, friendly person, waiting tables may be the perfect part-time job for you.

3. Art Teacher

Now you may be thinking, "I don't have time to teach art at a school; that is a full-time job!"

Well, you are wrong, because many great ways to teach art do not require a full-time commitment or even a teaching certification:

  • Teach at an Art Gallery. Many galleries are always looking for artists to teach seasonal classes. Contact a local gallery with an idea for a class, your portfolio, and the time and days you would be willing to teach. In most cases, the artist can choose how much they want to charge for their classes and the gallery takes about twenty-five percent.
  • Create Your Own Business Teaching Art. If you have the space for it, start your own business teaching art. These could be completely private lessons with only one student or several depending on the space you have and how much money you want to make per class.
  • Teach on SkillsShare. SkillsShare is a website where experts teach classes based on skills they have already mastered to online students. Many artists are already using SkillsShare to make extra money. In addition, if you don't want to teach art, there are still tons of other things you can teach there such as photography, online marketing, creative writing, photoshop, video editing, and so much more.

Now, this kind of work will not be readily available unless you live in or near a big city, but keep an eye out for it. Some artists will find freelance work involving painting or other artistic skills. Some jobs may include creating a banner or logo for a business. Some wealthy families may even hire an artist to paint at a party; instead of having a musician as a form of entertainment, the guests can watch the artist at work.

Though I would not depend on these kinds of gigs as your main source of income due to the scarcity of such jobs, they can bring in more income as well as help grow your reputation as an artist in your community.

5. Writer

As an artist, you are already more creative than the average person with an eye for detail. So why not use that creativity in another way? There are many ways to make money writing. Here are three:

  • Entering Writing Contests. Many organizations put on writing contests for poetry, short stories, creative non-fiction, and more. Most contests will publish the winner('s) work on their website and give a cash prize.
  • Writing Reviews. You already buy products and probably even write reviews on occasion, so why not start getting paid for it? Companies want your honest opinion on products you already use. Reviews are quick, easy-to-write content that anyone can do, even if you have no experience as a writer.
  • Blogging. Many websites will pay for blog posts. Look around to figure out which websites best suit your interests and expertise and start writing about that content. HubPages can be a great place to start because they accept writing on all kinds of different topics.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Jada Clark


J Zod from Nairobi on March 01, 2019:

Okay,thanks again.

Jada Clark (author) on March 01, 2019:

Those are all great side jobs too. I included these because anyone can do them with very little experience.

J Zod from Nairobi on March 01, 2019:

Hi Jada,

This article resonates with me deeply. I am a painter, blogger, writer,poet, tutor and IT expert. I mostly earn from my other skills. I love art so much but it does not bring in the bulk of my income. I have really enjoyed reading your articles. I look forward to reading more of your work. Thank you so much, you have touched my heart.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 14, 2019:

Practical advice. Useful.