The Artist Entrepreneur: Careers that combine your interests in art and business

I recently came across a video by Photographer and Educator Katelyn James who mentioned back in her high school years her guidance counselor suggested she be an art teacher as a career pursuit. 

That’s it!

Even back then with little understanding of Entrepreneurship I would of thought a corporate or mainstream job (in the field I went to college for atleast) with a predictable salary was the way to go.

However, these days the web and social media has made it easier than ever to share your work and book your ideal clients.

As a full-time freelancer combining my passion for graphic design (a field I always knew I would work in!) and business, entrepreneurship is the way to go! Like any profession there’s alot of work involved being a small business owner you don’t see behind-the-scenes, but I find if you have that underlying interest you can embrace and overcome challenges much more easily. 

But it got me thinking you can create a stable full-time income in a myriad of careers that combine your art and business skills to a much wider audience, help people, and make even an impact without adhering to a 9-5 job and the drama that comes with it.  You can wake up at 8 or 9am, without the sound of an alarm clock!

the artist entrepreneur - by stephanie design

So if you have a passion for creating amazing products and services and sharing them with the world, read on!

Professional Artist

If you’re an artist that uses tactile means, this role applies to you.

The most common specialties in this field include painting, sculpting, weaving, pottery making, knitting and drawing.

Selling works of art online or commissioned-pieces are popular ways to bring in an income. Many professional artist utilize social media as an effective strategy in promoting their work and consistently getting new commissions and customers.

While a portion of artists support themselves this way, some turn to additional outlets to utilize their creativity, such an adjacent field listed below.


It is important that illustrators display a strong mastery of color theory, proportion and perspective.

Illustrators should be comfortable working with a variety of mediums and styles. Packaging illustration, character Illustration, and full-color Illustration (digital painting) are common jobs for which Illustrators are hired.

As with a Professional Artist, whether you choose the Commercial realm or sell your work in galleries, networking is essential to success.

Be active on social media and sites like Behance, as many Creative Directors source freelance talent through though digital means.


art and business entrepreneur

An animator brings people and objects to life.

While we might think of Disney when animation is brought up, the field has use for practical services as well from Software Publishing to Advertising and Public Relations.

Through a combination of traditional artistic talent and high-tech computer skills, along with the initial concept, VFX and animators have their share of the movie and tv industry. Video games and mobile devices and other media using illustration and software programs are in demand.

Armed with advanced knowledge of Adobe XD or After Effects, or other animation programs like Cinema 4D you can experience success in this booming industry.


Services most found in the photography industry include still, video, and digital photography services which include commercial, industrial photography, portrait photography, and special events photography. 

Creativity, a sharp eye for detail, people skills, and patience are the essentials qualities photographers possess that allow them to keep a good name in the market. 

An understanding of the camera and lenses is required to make the images you want to make. 

A knowledge of Photo-editing programs like Photoshop or Lightroom is essential to the photographers workflow. 

Related: 31 Non-Fluff Newborn Photographer Blog Post Ideas

Graphic Designer

That’s me!

Graphic Design is a suitable career for those that are creative thinkers and love art, technology, and communication.

You should have a great understanding of the fundamentals of design and the flexibility and intuition to apply them to a variety of mediums. These are the same building blocks that apply to virtually all other careers in this article.

Your design work should be relevant to the demands of the commercial sector you’re working in.

I have a BFA in Graphic Design and professional industry experience under my belt before opening By Stephanie Design, LLC. My target audience are Professional Photographers who want to save time and energy in Photoshop by purchasing pre-made Marketing Suites and Showit Website Templates. All at a fraction of the cost of custom design work.

Your work should have a distinct style to differentiate yourself and set your business apart so it can continue to grow and succeed.

Examples: 1, 2, and 3

Graphic designers hold alot of responsibility along with the above. You need to play advocate for clients and share your knowledge with them in this industry to position yourself as expert. 

Web Designer

A website is a basically an online storefront visitors have access to 24/7, 

Its imperative businesses are set up for success with their website doing the heavy-lifting for them. 

With the the web encompassing all areas of life, There’s no better time to strike out on your own as a web designer. 

If you have key skills fundamental of the industry, including basic marketing (social media and seo), data analysis, and the fundamentals of design down you’re on your way to becoming an expert in the field. 

Data analysis is important to optimize websites according to user’s needs. Website traffic, user behavior, and click-through rates should be monitored and accessed to tweak parts of websites that aren’t performing well. 


This is a common question! “What’s the difference between a Web Designer and Developer?”

While a web designer focuses on the aesthetics – the layout, webpages, color, fonts, buttons – of a website, the web developer, or programmer, works to make the site function correctly. Developers are experts in languages such as Ruby, Java, Python, PHP, and Rails, to name a few, while designers use Photoshop, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS (cascading style sheets).

Lastly, website platforms like Showit have made it easier for Graphic Designers to create strategic websites without the excessive coding knowledge required of other platforms.

Related: How I Design A Showit Website Template for an Optimal User Experience

The challenge with being an initiator of projects us that you are never, never done
— Seth Godin

Videographer/Video Editor

If you’re passionate about creating and telling stories or messages through film and video a career in Videography is in the cards. 

Videographers are responsible for recording live events and small scale video productions. Videographers focus on smaller productions like documentaries, live events, short films, legal depositions, weddings, birthday parties, sports events, commercials, and training videos

You should know how to make scenes cinematic as well as how to articulate complex ideas clearly and concisely.

Additionally, Interviewing clients, sound production or video-editing are essential skills of the person behind the camera. 

Freelance Videographers can enjoy working in their own business independently, and pick and chose the type of work they do or their area of speciality. Many professionals use After Effects, a digital visual effects, motion graphics, and compositing application developed by Adobe Systems

Interior Designer

If you have a peculiar eye for design especially pattern and scale, Interior Design will be a fruitful pursuit.

Interior designers study design trends and history, furniture styles and fabrics, as well as color theory and lighting. 

They express these talents by working on architecture and interior space planning, creating cohesive and aesthetically pleasing designs for living spaces and businesses for a variety of clients.

Interior Designers pay attention to typography, visual hierarchy, architecture, interior spaces, art and design, spatial awareness, white space, and landscape design.

Important skills of the profession include pricing and contracts, to purchasing and scheduling. Being flexible is key – keep an open mind to different types of design as styles evolve and the experiences of clients will also shape it.

All the things i love is what my business is all about
— Martha Stewart

Home Stager

Interior Designers and Home Stagers tasks are intertwined, but unlike Interior Designers this role is purely for depersonalizing the space and arranging a property to appeal to buyers. Interior Designers personalize houses in order to accommodate the buyers lifestyle.

Mary, a design client, had this to share about her background and experience as home stager:

“I started Sapphire Home Staging after rehabbing my first home. After seeing the transformation, furnishing the home only made sense. Helping the buyer see themselves living in the home and using my creative skills is what attracted me to the industry. Over the last few years we’ve grown from staging vacant homes for sale to furnishing Airbnb’s and repurposing unwanted furniture. Along the way I’ve received additional Certification for Airbnb furnishing – staging studio. “

Fashion Technology

The fashion industry is undoubtedly one of the biggest industries right now. After all, everyone needs clothes to live, and for a lot of us, we express ourselves through clothing, so we get creative at times.

Fashion designers create looks and apparel for men, women and children from sportswear to formalwear and accessories.

But unlike Fashion Designers, Fashion Technologists are more involved in apparel production.

This role focus more on the technical side of fashion, but it does also touch on the designing part. In other words, fashion technology will allow you to become fashion designers, but fashion design won’t allow you to become fashion technologists.

Since the pandemic 58% of retail companies saw the growth of tech-related launches at their companies (source). With this comes a plethora of new job opportunities in fashion-tech startups for those that want to make practical use of their love of fashion!

That’s it! If you have a knack for art and design and an entrepreneurial spirit, these careers can absolutely make you a living running your own business.

showit website templates - by stephanie design


Your website is what is going to sell YOU, so you need something more than a simple portfolio website.

Photographers, Videographers, Interior Designers, Stylists, and Home Stagers can benefit from the amazing ease of use of a Showit website and as a Graphic and Showit Web Designer I’m ready to serve you! I’m happy to announce the launch of my Showit Website Template shop!

My Showit Templates are built with the same care and attention as a custom Website Design, at a fraction of the cost!

So if your needs aren’t as extensive as to require a lengthy Web Design process, these websites will get you launched faster and come with a video training library you can refer to when customizing!

February 12th, 2023


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By Stephanie Hamilton