Promoting Nigerian Art, Craft & Local Creative Businesses

How to make money as a Creative Artist in Nigeria

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HOW TO MAKE MONEY AS A CREATIVE ARTIST IN NIGERIA

There is no doubt that the subject “How to make money as a creative artist in Nigeria” is a question that lingers in the heart of many young & new artists who aspire to make a living from the Art trade.

Speaking from experience, there is a lot of discouragement that sets in either from Family members discouraging you from studying or going down that path because it is believed not to be a lucrative industry or from the fact that you simply don’t know who to sell to & how to go about reaching your target audience.

Well, there is good news for you. You can thrive & make a living in the Artistic industry in Nigeria.

Eli Waduba | How to make money as a Nigerian artist in Nigeria
Eli Waduba, a Nigeria-based pencil artist.

In many countries across the world especially the western world, artists make their living from selling art. However in Nigeria, it is often difficult for artists to break into commercial success. This is mainly as a result of artists being semi-literates or not being well informed about how to get their art works to the mainstream.

If you are still not sure how this article can help, stay with me. I’ll show you how to start making that money while holding on to your creativity.

1. Understand Your Preferred Niche

What is Art?
Using google dictionary, Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

Therefore, understanding that art spreads across different categories such as fashion, painting, sculpture, paper works & more gives you a more refined definition of your type of Art. This helps you focus on your strength and improve on them. You become a professional in that field and guess what? People love to work with professionals. You cannot be a “jack of all trade”. Only you sabi paint, only you sabi sew!

2. Create a unique brand for yourself

Your brand needs to have a selling factor that is quite unique to you as an artist. Hey, don’t think we are referring to a logo here. This could be your style, how you portray your market and even who you choose to sell to. Some products are not for everybody. Aside from affordability, some Art works are better cherished by some set of people than others. So understanding that you don’t need to chase everyone with your art is a good way to know how to make money as an artist in Nigeria.

3. Have other paying job(s)

There is absolutely nothing wrong in having a day job along with your art skills. A lot of artists hold themselves up in their studios expecting their ‘dope’ work to speak for itself. Your artworks won’t blow up into the market immediately you start. That is a hard truth to swallow, it may take years! While you are yet to gain that recognition, you need to live & bills won’t sort themselves.

Get a paying job. Be it a 9-5 or other skilled labour. My Brother, Hustle oooooo!

A day job that lets you meet people and maintain a flexible schedule is a good idea because you need time to invest in your craft work too. I work as a freelance web developer & graphic designer, I do kiddies event & MC at parties and that helps me meet a lot of people.

While all these are put in place, you have successfully created a comfortable platform for yourself to build your Art Business. Then you need to begin to employ the tactics below;

4. Sell affordable art

Remember that we mentioned earlier in this article that not all art & crafts are for everybody, yet there is actually nothing wrong with selling affordable crafts work that everyone can afford. You simply need to understand what product is ideal for a particular category of people.

There is an array of affordable art that can be sold such as creative t-shirts, snapback caps, phone cases, artistic mugs, creative books & journals, throw pillows, Tyre furniture, and over a thousand and one others.

5. Use of Internet/Social Media.

Just like the points fully explained in the previous article “The pros and cons of having your artworks online”, there are several advantages that comes with going digital with your artworks in Nigeria. The world is gradually tilting into the cyber space and everyone is glued to their smartphones and PCs.

Understanding of how search engines like Google works gives you a great advantage. You can create a fully optimized website or online gallery for your business, list your business on local art directories like Crafts Village Nigeria, sell your artwork directly online like Crafts Village Online Marketplace, use of Google My Business and several other sites that promotes businesses.

Social Media such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube & more are topping the list of social networks where you can make money for your work of Art. By selling your artworks online, you have more opportunity to reach a wider & Global audience as you gain more exposure, You get more opportunities to network with similar businesses & enthusiasts, saves you cost of set-up and operations of a physical store among several other advantage.

6. Create Networks

Yes, artists & crafts men need to network. Are you serious about making commercial hits? Then you surely have to go out and meet people. There are several art companies who organize networking events for other artists.

Jakande Market, Lekki
Jakande Market, Lekki

7. Contact Art Galleries across the country.

There are a lot of Art Galleries in Nigeria & we have quite a number listed on in the Art Gallery Category of our directory. Art Galleries across the country are usually looking for new artists to collaborate with.

You can find contacts, addresses & phones numbers of art galleries like Art21, Omenka, Nike Art Gallery, Rele & some other galleries in Lagos and Nigeria at large.

8. Form Collaborations outside your field

Again this may feel a little too tasking, but you need to go outside your comfort zone to sell your art. Collaborating with fashion designers and musicians is a great way to make collaboration work for you and bring in constant work.

Finally, the arts business might be a tricky one. I’m not sure what the defining factors of a ‘good’ art piece are but I do know that for every work you create, you’ll need to be authentic and true to who you are. Strive to create pieces that you actually love. And make lots of money along the way.

We hope this article on how to make money as a Creative Artist in Nigeria helps you find your step as we hope to always help you promote your art and crafts business.

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