Get your painting business ideas off the ground with insights on how to create and scale up your creative brand.
One of the key components to living a happy life is loving what you do for a living. If you’re a visual artist, this could look like starting and operating your own business. Here, we take a look at painting business ideas specifically. Let’s take a look at how experienced painters can level up their business strategy, and how you can target and reach the best audience for your work. We also detail how to build up your brand and marketing, all the while creating useful business materials. Plus, we’ll cover how to use tools like Shutterstock’s Creative Flow to make website graphics, social posts, business cards, and more, all of which highlight your products and services.
Now let’s take a deep dive into how you can make your passion for painting a profitable business.
Painting Business Ideas: Three Ways to Reach Audiences Who Buy Art
The market for original artwork is huge! We will focus on three primary areas where you can find clientele for your artistry—online markets, local businesses, and selling stock assets.
While you can always build your own website to sell your art, utilizing an existing platform may make your job easier. Some sites rely on the artist maintaining their own storefront, and others have all creators mixed together. For example:
- Art Pal is a free website with unlimited space to sell your art. If you use their Print-on-Demand feature, you set your own profits (which are added to the base printing cost), and you receive 100% of those profits. If you sell and ship your own art, there is no commission, and ArtPal sends 100% of the funds directly to you.
- Etsy allows artists individual storefronts for their wares. There is a listing price, processing fee, and transaction fee, but their user base and business-building classes can help you reach your target audience.
- Fine Art America is the premier online marketplace for buying and selling original art, prints, home decor, apparel, and more. They have both free and paid plans that allow artists to sell anything from original prints to greeting cards to downloads and home decor.
- Saatchi Art is a commission-based online store that allows artists to set up a free shop for their original artwork, with pieces ranging from under $500 to over $10,000. They handle the shipping and payments, and they receive a 40% commission fee for each product sold.
You can also sell your art to local businesses and offices. For example:
- Local coffee shops and cafes are often willing to donate wall space to talented new artists. This gives them free, original decor while connecting their customers with local talent. Ask if you can display your contact information alongside your art to connect with potential buyers.
- Painting murals for local businesses can also be profitable. Ask business owners if they have a window display idea for upcoming holidays and offer suggestions to help them stand out.
- Offer businesses an artistic rendering of their logo, staff photo, or product to display on their walls. One-of-a-kind pieces can make lobbies, hallways, and meeting rooms a little more inviting.
Finally, consider selling your art as stock assets. Shutterstock has paid over $1 billion to our worldwide community of contributors. Our digital library allows art to stand for itself, even if your name is not yet known in the artistic community. It’s a simple four-step process.
When a buyer purchases the right to your art, they can utilize it throughout their branding. As your success grows, so does your portfolio—and your pocketbook.
Build Your Business and Branding
Your brand is how you present yourself to the world. What emotions do you want them to feel? Here we will cover three different types of painting—artistic painting, home renovations, and automotive customization—and how you can brand each of them.
- If your art is landscape painting, you can consider focusing your branding on nature. Create color palettes that evoke the feeling of being outside. In your mood board, you can determine how to tie this natural theme into other important branding elements, like a logo design that includes leaves or flowers.
- If your painting services are for homes and interiors, your brand may focus on capturing a family’s personality in a way that is easy to change as the people evolve. Choose photos of your work and create color palettes that show off a home’s personality, design, and organization.
- If you’re targeting your services to cars, for example, your brand may be about giving an old ride a second life. You could feature before and after photos on your website. Your branding could include bold, fresh color choices that show off this concept, too.
As you begin establishing your brand, take time to watch painters within your field. Check out their social media followers respond to most. Take note of what online communities engage with and see how that content fits into your brand’s content plan.
To learn more about branding for solopreneurs with business painting ideas, see:
Create Your Business Materials
The great news is that, even as a solopreneur, you never have to be alone in your new business. Shutterstock Creative Flow and Shutterstock.AI are both great tools to help make everything you need to run your online business. Create a content calendar and schedule social media posts. Edit banners for your website, or make animated gifs for email campaigns.
For example, if you’re looking to freshen up your social media image for a new season, check out the premade Featured templates for social media. These templates are easy to tweak to meet your needs with different pictures, fonts, and arrangements.
If you’re stuck on determining which images fit your messaging best, the Predict AI tool can help. Simply select the social media network you wish to post on, what kind of post you want, your objective, and your industry. After collecting some information, the AI tool will pin-point high performing images for your upcoming campaign. No need to hire a consultant or strategist to complete this work, as Shutterstock’s AI can do it for you!
In addition, Shutterstock’s brand-building tools offer all of the following:
- Best-in-class photo editing
- Trendy graphics, fonts, filters, and free clip art assets available to use right now
- Access to millions of creative images, sounds, videos, and more in the Shutterstock library
One piece of advice for your painting business: While it’s great to use stock assets, be sure to heavily highlight your own original art throughout your branding. You can easily do this when using Create for business materials. Its upload feature allows you to incorporate your own art across whatever you are making.
Growing a painting business is an excellent opportunity for artists to flex their skills and develop totally unique, stand-out branding. We’re excited to offer the online tools to help you do it all!
Learn how you can create all the business assets you need:
License this image via RossHelen.