Top 10 Side Gigs for Art Students

Image courtesy of Freepix

Everyone has a creative aspect to their personality. Some of us are artistic souls with a pinch of pragmatism; others are pragmatists with creative thinking. The majority of people develop the creative potential in their free time. That is why it is not uncommon to see chief accountants at dancing classes. Or dentists as standup comedians.

However, there are also people who choose art as their career lifepath. If you are reading this article, you must be an art student. And you also probably thought that your life at university would be easy and colorful.

The college life of an art student is for sure interesting. But still, you need to cover your expenses and often seek jobs that won’t interfere with studying.

So, how can you use your hands and imagination to earn some extra money? Let’s brainstorm some ideas.


Art is a great way for people to address their emotional conditions. If you are good at painting, you can ask people to express their feelings through oil paints. Expressing emotions via writing is another great technique. You can prepare challenging questions that will help people see their problems from a different angle.

You may decide to rent a workshop and organize group therapy. Or you can arrange individual online sessions. Make sure you read some professional literature to help people analyze their paintings or essays.


Presentations are an integral part of good public speeches or sales. Many public speakers are great at what they are doing but need help with illustrating their performances. You can promote yourself as a designer of creative slideshows that enhance the impact on the audience.

Another way to use your designer skills is to develop PowerPoints for selling purposes. They are more formal, of course. Yet, designing a presentation that makes the right impression on potential customers or investors is definitely a creative task.


Depending on your skills, you can:

  • Give music lessons;
  • Teach people to draw or paint;
  • Give lectures or practical seminars on creative writing;
  • Instruct people on how to make simple designs online, etc.
Image courtesy of Freepix

Image courtesy of Freepix


While you are still studying art in college, you can practice on “alternative” canvases. Use people’s faces or nails! If you do not want to do traditional wedding makeup for brides, there are still plenty of options for you.

Theater or cinema actors often need all sorts of stage makeup, both men and women. You can also make funny makeup for kids at various events. And finally, becoming a nail tech is a lucrative option. You would need to make some investment, but it will quickly pay off. Women are addicted to shellac these days.


If a nail is a very small canvas for your huge potential, here is an option for you. Some people are willing to pay a pretty sum of money to have something unique. You can be the one who designs murals for them.


An ideal option is to be able to both bake cakes and then decorate them. This also gives you an opportunity to earn more. But if you are not exactly a confectioner, you may stick to the second option only. Another canvas to unleash your creativity and skills. If you like baking, this job will be a piece of cake for you.


This side gig is perfect for art students. However, it involves investment because if you rent the materials every time you need to design a party, you are unlikely to earn a lot. Also, you need space for storing all these artificial flowers, candles, and tablecloths.

Other than that, this is endless room for your imagination. Decorators design all kinds of things for various events, from a photo wall at a corporate party to a wedding arch. Consider the pros and cons carefully, and perhaps you will dare to try.


If you have a good professional camera, do not hesitate to try this side job. Its flexible schedule is ideal for combining work and studies. Another great advantage is that you set the price yourself. By the way, it is also true about all the above-mentioned side gigs.

There are different niches where you can use your photography skills:

  • Professional photo sessions for individuals (from a photo session for a future mom to an influencer’s portfolio);
  • Reportage photography (business conferences, festivals, etc.);
  • Event photography (weddings, birthdays, proms, etc.);
  • Advertising (local businesses often need content for their social networks; this is the bread and butter for food and confectionary photographers).


If your big dream is to become the new Joanne Rowling one day, you can sharpen your style during your college years as a freelance writer. Individuals or companies are constantly looking for someone who can

  • Write content for their website;
  • Create instagram or facebook posts;
  • Create mottos or advertising campaigns;
  • Write an essay, etc.

These may not be the kinds of texts you want to write in the future. But they can help you discover your style and artistic devices. Practice makes perfect.

Image courtesy of Freepix

Image courtesy of Freepix


It may be surprising for you to find this job on the list. But without exaggeration, making coffee is an art. You can use all your artistic abilities to make beautiful images at the top of hot coffee. If people like it, they will come back again and again. If your boss notices it, you can get promoted. That is why this job comes last but not least on this list.


We tried to avoid mentioning the obvious side gigs in this article. It goes without saying that a college student can be a graphic designer, sell and edit photos, or start a blog or online course. The main message to get across is: do not put yourself into frames. You are an artist, not a painting.


Author’s bio: Carolyne Webb is an expert providing top-notch dissertation writing services at, which is not her only great achievement. Carolyne Webb is also the author of numerous articles with handy tips for students. She is often invited to topic-related webinars as a speaker.


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