Passive Income Ideas for Artists (11 EASY Ideas!)

By Forrest McCall •  Updated: 10/06/23 •  8 min read

We all want to make passive income, right?

Making money while you sleep sounds amazing – and it's completely possible!

In this guide, I'll uncover a few of the best passive income ideas for artists and creatives to make money without working. Let's get started!

Here's the quick rundown:

1. Start a YouTube Channel

Starting a YouTube channel can be an excellent way to generate passive income as an artist.

By creating art tutorials, time-lapse videos of your work process, and other engaging content, you can attract viewers and build a dependable audience. As your channel grows, you can monetize it through advertising, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing.

With consistency and dedication, your YouTube channel can become a sustainable income stream while showcasing your artistic skills to the world.

Here's a great video on how to grow your channel!

2. Print-On-Demand Services

Print-on-demand services offer a simple way for artists to generate passive income.

Companies like Redbubble, Society6, and Printful enable you to sell your designs on a wide range of products without the hassle of handling inventory or shipping tasks.

Start by creating an account with one or more print-on-demand platforms. Then, upload your designs and select the products you want to showcase. These platforms typically handle everything from production to shipping. Your designs will be printed onto the products only as the orders come in.

You'll earn a profit for each of your product sales, helping you build a consistent revenue stream. Remember, the key is to create captivating designs and promote them effectively to potential customers.

3. Start an Online Store

If you're an artist looking to generate passive income, starting an online store can be another terrific option.

This allows you to reach a global audience and showcase your artwork on various items such as prints, t-shirts, and more.

Platforms like Etsy and other e-commerce websites make it effortless to create your own online storefront. As you add products with your designs, customers can purchase them, providing you with a steady stream of income.

Here's a great example of an artist using Etsy to sell things online!

To get started, choose an e-commerce platform that suits your needs, set up your store, upload your artwork, and select the products you want to sell. Then you can promote your store on social media and through other marketing channels to attract customers and drive sales.

Remember to keep your online store updated with new and interesting designs, ensuring your customers have a reason to return. By putting in the initial effort, you'll be able to watch your passive income grow in no time.

4. Blogging

Want to make passive income online? Blogging might be the best option for you!

By creating and maintaining a blog, you can showcase your artwork, share your creative process, and build a community of like-minded individuals.

To monetize your blog, consider incorporating affiliate marketing. This involves promoting products and services related to your niche, and earning a commission when people make purchases through your referral links.

For example, you can recommend art supplies or courses to your readers and use affiliate links to direct them to relevant retailers. Additionally, you can promote web hosting services, like SiteGround, which offers an affiliate program of their own.

Remember to consistently publish high-quality, engaging content that keeps your audience captivated. As your blog's traffic grows, so will your passive income potential.

Need help starting a blog? Check out the video below!

5. Sell Digital Products

As an artist, you can sell digital products to generate passive income.

Explore options like creating ebooks, digital downloads of your artwork, or other content related to your niche. You can sell these products on platforms such as Etsy, Creative Market, or your own website.

Consider transforming your physical art into digital files by taking high-quality photos or scans, allowing customers to purchase and download them. Additionally, you can create digital downloads like art resources, guides, or templates that other artists may find useful.

To maximize your reach, offer a variety of products, and use social media and email marketing to attract potential buyers. By selling digital products, you can establish a steady stream of income while sharing your artistic creations and knowledge with others.

6. Sell Stock Photos

Selling stock photos can be a great source of passive income for artists worth considering.

Websites like Shutterstock, iStock, and Pond5 allow you to upload and sell your high-quality images and receive a percentage of each sale. Royalty rates can range from 20% to 50%, depending on factors like image quality and exclusivity.

Begin by signing up for an account on one of these platforms. Carefully select your best photos, ensuring they meet the requirements and guidelines of each site. Once your photos are uploaded and accepted, you can start earning whenever someone purchases your work.

Remember to keep your content fresh and updated, as this encourages more sales. With persistence and high-quality work, selling stock photos can become a lucrative and rewarding passive income source for artists.

7. Sell 3D Designs and Products

Have you ever considered using your skills in 3D design to generate passive income?

By creating 3D printable models, you offer your products to a wide audience who can purchase and print them instantly.

Start by choosing a niche within the 3D printing market, such as home accessories or custom jewelry design. This will help you stand out and target a specific audience. Continuously improve your skills and adopt new technologies in 3D modeling to ensure your design remains relevant.

Promote your 3D designs on social media, your personal website, or on specialized marketplaces. Collaborate with 3D printing services to showcase your designs, simplifying the process for your customers.

Remember, consistency and quality are key in any passive income endeavor. Keep up with trends and deliver high-quality 3D designs to grow your earnings over time.

8. Membership and Subscription Services

Memberships and subscription services can be an excellent method to generate passive income.

Platforms like Patreon let you create exclusive content for your subscribers, who pay a monthly fee for access. You can offer different tiers, each with varying benefits, to cater to a wide audience.

To succeed with this approach, be consistent in offering high-quality content that attracts subscribers and keeps them engaged. Remember to promote your membership platform through your social media, website, or other channels, increasing your visibility and attracting more subscribers.

By leveraging the power of membership and subscription services, you can create a reliable and recurring source of passive income for your artistic career.

9. Become a Social Media Influencer

As an artist, you can capitalize on your creativity and gain passive income by becoming a social media influencer.

Start by building a strong presence on platforms like Instagram, where you can showcase your art and engage with your audience. Post high-quality visuals and use relevant hashtags to increase visibility.

Once you've grown your followers, consider monetizing your account with ads and affiliate marketing. Partner with brands in your niche for sponsored posts and ads, or sign up for affiliate programs to recommend products to your audience.

Remember, consistency and authenticity are key in building trust and loyalty with your followers on your journey to becoming a successful social media influencer.

10. Invest in the Stock Market with Acorns

Diversifying your income stream is essential, which is why I recommend investing in the stock market.

You can invest in the stock market using Acorns, a simple investment app that makes it easy. By investing in index funds, you can take advantage of market growth without the need to actively manage your portfolio.


To get started, simply link your checking account to Acorns. The app will automatically invest your spare change from everyday transactions into a portfolio of selected ETFs, which typically include index funds. This allows you to gain exposure to a broad array of stocks, providing a balanced and low-risk investment strategy suitable for passive income.

Keep in mind that all investments come with risks, and the stock market can fluctuate. However, with a consistent approach and a clear understanding of your risk tolerance, you can work towards a more financially secure future as an artist.

11. Invest in Real Estate with Arrived

Real estate investing is another viable option to make passive income.

One platform to consider is Arrived, which allows you to invest in residential real estate with just $100.

Arrived Homes Investing

Utilizing Arrived, you can earn passive income through rental units without the need for accreditation. The platform simplifies the investment process by pooling funds from multiple investors to purchase properties. Then, you'll receive a share of the rental income proportional to your investment – it's that easy!

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of ways to make passive income as an artist.

Whether you choose to start a YouTube channel or start investing in stocks, it's easier than you think.

Forrest McCall

Forrest is passionate about helping others grow their passive income streams so they can reach financial freedom. He has been quoted in many popular finance publications including Business Insider, Bankrate, CNET Money, and more.