Louis Hernandez Jr. – 5 Ways To Make Money As A Visual Artist

Visual Artist

So it’s now or never! Your art degree never got used in your professional life and your fed up with the daily grind of working for ´the man´ in an office that sucks all life and creativity from you?

Thankfully a practical conversation with artist Louis Hernandez Jr offers advice on how to go about making those artistic visions into a commercially viable reality.

Here’s 5 ways you can capitalize on your creativity.

1. Learn to Screenprint

As popular as ever is Screenprinting. Pushing ink through a stencil on a meshed screen is rewardingly physical and can produce a large edition of work in a small space of time. Thanks to Andy Warhol for employing this industrial process into his work in the 60´s, Screenprinting has had a renaissance in the last 10 years with artists and designers finding new and inventive ways to reproduce their work in poster format and sell for reasonable prices.

As an affordable alternative to collecting original artworks, an edition of 50 can be made in a day and each sell from $80 upwards to range of clients via online shops and pop up art markets.

2. Murals

The rise of street art in our major cities across the world has led a lot of people to re-examine their attitudes to graffiti and unauthorised art in public spaces. So much so its now common to find some form of art on coffeeshop walls and up market restaurants throughout major cities and towns across the world.
The market is there and people are now seeing how art can benefit their local area and provide a unique beauty to interior spaces.
Observe what you like in other artists work and consider what other materials you could use whilst imagining how your sketchbook work could evolve to a larger scale.

3. Teach Workshops.

Whether it’s photography, printmaking or painting, people are finding refugee in learning visual skills as a tonic to modern day maladies.
As such you will find various evening and weekend workshops across schools, colleges and community centres.
See if there’s a subject missing from an education programme in your local community centre and propose it to the organisers. Typically, a 6 week course of 10 hours can be charged at a rate of $200 per person,
It can become a really rewarding and fun way to engage your work with other people.

4. Become a ´Creative´.

Offer your artwork as a service to a design agency or directly to a client. Where information needs to be translated visually, there’s a call for a creative. Whether it be online or print, there’s a position available for someone who can visually interpret a message or set of values into a visual statement. Think of brand logos, art direction to editorial pieces and even fashionwear. Artists visual and critical thinking are relied upon to alleviate commercial products to a new level of value. Often this requires use of digital software so expect to hit those online tutorials or consider a short course.

5. Be an Artist.

Possibly the hardest one of all is to make and sell art. If you think you have something unique and special to offer the world, then chances are someone else thinks the same. The trick is to meet that person and be ready to show and tell all about your work, ideas and future ambitions. And convince them that ultimately, you have something that no one else has!
It’s tricky but you have to become more than a producer of your work- you have to live it! Building networks of artists, collectors and commissioners, your social life reflects your professional one. Be generous with your thoughts and always look to better your work in each project.