Ways to Make Money as an Artist in Web3

June 30, 2022

Web3 is an exciting time for creators, but it's also a confusing time. How do you make money in a decentralized network? What are the ways that I can sell my work? Does all digital art sell, or just certain mediums?

The good news is that, in web3, the artists are in a position of power. Their work, their medium of choice, their creative expression. But selling NFTs on an open market is one of many opportunities for an artist to earn income in web3. 

Working for an NFT project, Curation, Artist Relations, and Community Management are all coveted, and often well-paid, roles that can help artists learn more about the industry, while they also explore their artistry. 

Selling on the Open Market

The most common example of how Creators can make money in web3 is by selling your NFTs. In this new world you have the freedom and autonomy to sell your NFTs to:

  • Collectors on the open market by way of platforms like OpenSea, SuperRare, Rarible, etc.
  • Projects or companies looking for assets that fit their needs and brands
  • Brokers who act on your behalf to sell the work
  • Creators who may be interested in collaborating as a way to expand their audience

Whatever way you chose to sell it’s important to understand which options give you royalties on secondary sales, and which don’t. It’s also important to remember that your participation in web3 doesn’t disqualify you from selling your art in more traditional ways. 

Working for an NFT project

Working for an NFT project means you’ll be a part of the company that creates and develops their own non-fungible tokens. The best thing about this type of job is that it gives you access to a lot of different skill sets and experience, which will be useful should you want to start your own project, or curate your own drops, in the future. 

A couple of ways that artists are paid through NFT project work:

  • Salary: Creators who works full time may receive a fixed monthly salary in ETH or USDC. The amount usually depends on experience level, but it might also include bonuses for good performance or extra hours worked.
  • Percentage on Drop: Projects may not always have funding available at the beginning of a project, so a common arrangement may be to forego monthly payments for a period of time in advance of the project drop. This is often preferred for project teams but may not always be in the best interest of the artist if a drop isn’t successful. 
  • Bonus: Creators may also be able to participate in bonus schemes which give them extra income based on certain conditions being met (e.g., meeting sales goals, community growth, etc.)

Whatever way you choose to be paid by a project, be sure to clearly outline your roles and responsibilities, and exact payment amounts/arrangements by way of a legal contract in advance of your start date.


A curator describes someone who selects and presents artworks to an audience. Their role is to select and organize artworks, artists and exhibitions, based on the objectives of their clients.

They tell the collective story of the artworks, often working with a specific theme or ideology in mind. They can be paid or unpaid depending on their level of experience and expertise. There are many platforms and web3 companies in need of curation across all types of artistic mediums.

Community Management

Community Managers will be one of the highest paid positions in Web3, next to solidity Developers.

They are responsible for building and maintaining a community around an NFT project or specific artist. Acting as the direct contact between the community and the project team to ensure its health and wellbeing as it grows and matures.

Day to day responsibilities include content creation, communications, discord management, planned activities and activations. The most important role though, is listening to and understanding want the community wants from a project.

Artist Management and Relations

As web3 grows exponentially over the coming years, more projects and companies will pop up that aim to work with artists, but have no experience as artists themselves. As an artist you’re best positioned to provide strategy, communications, community engagement, and event day to day artist liaising because of your empathy for the artists. 

The organizations get to benefit from your understanding of the ins and outs of life as an artist. And you get to develop your network, reputation, brand, and following, while being paid.

Conclusion The Benefits Of These Other Areas of Work

While examples exist of many artists now making their full living by selling their art in web3, a more realistic trajectory is an artist trying and experimenting with many of the opportunities above while they find the path that excites them most. 

There is no right or wrong answer. Nor is there one way for all artists. Spend more time thinking about which of the above feels right for you based on life’s realities, and give it a try. The worst that can happen? You learn a little more on your journey to where you’re meant to be in web3.


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