Struggling Artist No More: Side Hustles for the Creatives

Although there are numbers to back up reports that the country’s economy has been steadily recovering since the last recession, there’s no doubt that some are still struggling to achieve financial stability. That is why some people in the US are taking jobs in between their full-time work. With advancements in technology and the rise of ride-sharing applications, online freelance platforms, and e-commerce, the gig economy is only going stronger. In fact, in 2017, the gig economy made up 34 percent of the US workforce. The number is expected to blow up to 43 percent by 2020.

Many workers in different fields make up the gig economy – from financial to IT to creative professionals. Most notably, creatives can take advantage of these side hustles. That is largely because compared with their peers in industries like finance, law, and medicine, creatives tend to earn less. For instance, on average, a layout artist earns about $48,000 in a year. By contrast, a financial advisor earns $64,000 annually, according to Glassdoor.

If you are a creative looking to make extra money outside of your 9-5, here are some of the best jobs you can do depending on your specializations:

For Writers and Journalists

As long as you have a laptop and a decent internet connection, you can write anywhere and get an extra job even if you’re at home. For example, there are sponsored content opportunities you may not want to turn down. A brand may pay you an amount of money to write a blog for them, a copy for their website, or a review of their product. Or you can also be a company’s social media manager, posting relevant content that will engage their followers.

But if you’d rather not work for another business after an entire day of doing it, you can opt to become a writing instructor for local high school students. You can also offer to be a speechwriter for a local politician if you have the network.

For Photographers and Videographers

For some photographers and videographers, the jobs only come when there are weddings, birthdays, or live events to cover. Others use their gear when there’s a photo shoot for a magazine. But, in-between these gigs, you can find side jobs


You can take portraits of newborn babies of your friends or family, your neighbors’ pets, or the products of local businesses. You can also work with a real estate agent, and provide high-quality photos of their listed properties – these can help sell the houses better. If you have prints, you should consider selling them at local arts and craft fairs.

If you’re a videographer, on the other hand, you can reach to local high schools to cover their events (e.g., prom and graduation) for highlight reels. If you know a YouTube vlogger, you can offer your video-editing services.

Are you tired of carrying your gear everywhere to earn dollars? Then, you can consider renting it out.

For Graphic Designers

Most graphic designers spend their office days designing logos, brochures, and other print materials for companies, small or multinationals, but you don’t have to do the same thing for a side hustle: there’s T-shirt designing. You can sell your designs to a local T-shirt printing shop.

You can collaborate with a blogger to lay out their website. Or you can sell your own WordPress themes on different online marketplaces.

In this economy, everyone should be smarter about earning money, especially artists. Unfortunately, these creative people have the reputation of not earning enough. But it doesn’t mean they can’t use their art to sustain their lives. You can – you may just need a little something on the side.

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