If you're an artist, you may have been wondering how other artists make money, especially from home. And if you're like most people with an artistic temperament, you will stop listening when you find out that you have to be a business person. If you're an artist who can combine their art with business, you're in luck, because it's doable. People do it all of the time, and they're doing it right now. But you have to take off your artist hat, and put on a business hat. And it would be good if you had a computer nerd hat handy, too.
The very first step is determining how much your art is worth. If you've made the mistake of calculating how much time it takes to do it, you're very wrong. The price isn't determined by that, or how much investment you make either in time or materials, the price is determined by: How much people are willing to pay.
To determine how much your art is worth, you have to do the same thing that Real Estate agents do with houses: find "comps". That means something that is comparable. And this is where it gets really difficult. If you're determining how much you should get for a painting, for example, based on how much a Picasso just sold for, you're not doing a realistic comp. If you're an artist just starting out, the value of your art may be zero. And that means that it will have to be given away. A lot of artists do it initially, just posting their stuff for free on the internet. If that's where you are, that's where you need to start, at zero. Not ten million dollars, or even a dollar.
If you're fortunate enough to find people who will give you actual money for your art, it's exciting. People don't part with their money easily. Even a dollar is quite a compliment. Most people will just say, "Wow! That's great!" or do some likes on your Social Media page, they will not part with a single dollar. When they do, they expect value for their money, a guarantee policy, very professional behavior. This is the world of money, buying and selling. And everyone knows how to do the consumer part of it, you watch your money very carefully, and spend it wisely.
Many artists start by seeing their stuff on ebay, or Etsy. If you've sold on ebay, you know that it's a lot of work - you have to photograph your stuff, you have to do a posting on ebay, which takes a lot of time, you have to calculate postage, you have to buy postage, and go to the post office. If it's all new to you, start with buying things to get a feel for the system, then offer things for sale. I sold on ebay for a long time, but eventually just found it too much work (I'm kinda lazy that way).
Speaking for myself, my art is digital, and custom. I work for clients who need a specific thing for a specific purpose, like a book, or an ad. They contact me through my website, which they sometimes find in a Google search, or by stumbling into my stuff on a Social Media site, like Google+. I have a Facebook business page, too. In fact, I've been marketing my work on the internet since the 1999, so I'm everywhere, especially my cartoons, which is my specialty. My clients, and potential clients, contact me through email, I rarely have to see them in person. I write proposals, and estimates. I create invoices, and statements. I accept Paypal and Chase QuickPay. This is my business.
So if you're interested in making money from your art, by all means talk to me. You will find that if you're talking about the art, I will move the conversation over to the business. If you lose interest at that point, I understand. It's a lot of work, but I love doing it, and a lot of people do.