9 Best Side Gigs for Creative People

6 min Read

Erstudiostok / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Erstudiostok / Getty Images/iStockphoto

For years now, the gig economy has been in full swing, and there’s no shortage of typical side gigs out there — from ride-share driving to pet sitting. However, some people are looking for more than just a quick way to earn some extra money. 

Side Hustle Nation asked over 1,700 side hustlers what their primary motivation was for starting a side hustle, and while the majority said more personal freedom (38.7%) or extra income to save, spend or invest (27.4%), 5.6% said they took on a side hustle as a creative outlet.

Whether you’re simply looking for a way to express your creativity in front of an audience or you’d like to put your creative skills to work to earn extra income, here are the nine best side gigs for creative people.

Offer Your Photography Skills

Scott Lieberman, founder of Touchdown Money, said that you can earn from $400-$1,000 for an hour of in-person photography on location.

“Post your portfolio on Airbnb Experiences,” he said. “For instance, I needed a photographer for a photo shoot in Central Park, and I hired a photographer with terrific ratings listed on Airbnb. Many photographers also shoot headshots for actors and comedians as a side gig to help pay the bills.”

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Create a Campground and Host Campers on Your Land

“Hosting campers is a great side gig for a creative person with land,” said Sarah Smith, founder at The Dyrt. “There is tremendous demand for camping.” The Dyrt’s 2023 Camping Report found that it was 5x harder to find an available campsite to book in 2022 than it was in 2019.

“A lot of campgrounds are using unusual designs and amenities to stand out. For some examples, check out the winners of the 2022 Glampys, The Dyrt’s award program for glampgrounds. The first-place winner, Boone Cocoon, is a sphere suspended in the trees of North Carolina. It almost looks like an art installation.”

Start Blogging or Freelance Writing

Co-CEO and chief growth officer of Incfile, Dustin Ray, said that launching a blog or beginning a freelance writing side gig is great for creatives who love storytelling. 

“They can start a blog and monetize it with display advertising and affiliate marketing. They can also pitch story ideas to editors for online news websites and magazines. Writers can join freelance writing groups on Facebook and Reddit. Many editors also send out requests for pitches via Twitter. An awesome and helpful Twitter account, @WritersofColor aggregates and reposts freelance writing opportunities daily from major media outlets.”

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Furniture Flipper

“Alongside sustainability and eco-friendly ways of living, furniture flipping is gaining popularity,” Ray said. “It’s a great way to restore old dressers, tables and chairs while adding new colors and designs.

“Furniture flipping is fairly popular on social media and consistently goes viral on TikTok. Creatives can use the platform to gain inspiration and learn how to flip furniture successfully. They can use apps like Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp to sell the restored pieces.”

Create and Sell Printables Online

Holly Hanna of The Work At Home Woman said that if you know how to use an online design tool like Canva, which is free, you can start a side gig designing and selling printables online.  

“Just choose a niche, create your products and set up a shop on Etsy,” she said. “You can sell pretty templates, calendar sheets, planners, coloring sheets, games, lesson plans, and more.”

Be a Party-Planning Extraordinaire

Kenyelle Ash, CEO of Millions In Progress, said that for those with an eye for design and a knack for organization, party planning can be an ideal side gig. 

“Creative individuals excel at crafting unique and memorable experiences,” she said. “By curating themes, coordinating decorations, and orchestrating every detail, party planners can transform ordinary events into extraordinary celebrations. This side gig allows artistic souls to express their creativity while bringing joy to others.”

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Become a Farmer’s Market Vendor and E-Commerce Entrepreneur

“Artists and artisans often create unique and one-of-a-kind pieces that captivate the imagination,” Ash said. “Becoming a vendor at local farmers markets or pop-up events provides an excellent platform for showcasing and selling these creative designs. The face-to-face interactions with customers provide valuable feedback and build a loyal customer base. Additionally, creating an e-commerce site to sell their designs further expands their reach, allowing individuals to discover and purchase their artistic creations from anywhere in the world.”

Offer Custom Calligraphy and Hand-Lettering Services

Ash said that the art of calligraphy and hand-lettering has made a remarkable comeback — even in this digital age. 

“Creative individuals with exceptional penmanship and a love for the written word can offer custom calligraphy and hand-lettering services,” she said. “From wedding invitations to personalized artwork, these unique creations add a touch of elegance and individuality to special occasions. Offering services both locally and online opens doors to a wide range of opportunities.”

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Become a Medical Graphics Artist

Stephan Baldwin, founder of Assisted Living, said that a medical graphics artist is a high-demand gig — especially as more health companies are curating a digital presence. 

“These businesses rely on attractive visuals to help connect with their patients and assist them in understanding health-related concepts,” he shared. “Medical students also benefit from intricately illustrated diagrams of the internal organs and biological processes. They’re essential for both marketing and education.”

Baldwin said that people can do this as a part-time gig on contracts for higher education institutions or health marketing teams.

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