furry artist earning potential

How Much Do Furry Artists Make? A Guide for Aspiring Artists

Are you an aspiring artist with a passion for anthropomorphic animal characters? If yes, then this article is for you. Furry art is a growing niche that offers several opportunities to turn your creative skills into a viable career or side income. 

But one of the biggest questions on any beginning furry artist’s mind is: How much money can you actually make? This may be one of the reasons you landed on this article.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the world of furry art and the business side of being a furry artist. 

You’ll discover the many ways you can monetize your anthro artwork, from commissions and adoptables to merchandise and more. We’ll cover essential skills like pricing your art, marketing yourself, finding clients, and building a thriving brand. Whether your goal is to become a full-time furry artist or just earn some extra income from your passion, this article will give you a comprehensive roadmap to success. You’ll learn from real data, industry expert advice, and actionable strategies you can implement right away.

So grab your stylus or sketchpad, and let’s explore the exciting, colorful, and potentially profitable world of furry art together! By the end of this guide, you’ll have a clear vision of what’s possible and the tools to start turning your artistic dreams into reality.

What is furry art?

Furry art refers to artwork featuring anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities, characteristics, and sometimes attire. Anthropomorphic means attributing human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities.

Also, let’s understand what furry means.” Furry in the world of art generally refers to a community of people fascinated by anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. 

Furry art brings these characters to life through illustration, painting, sculpture, costume design, and more. Artists in the fandom create original characters as well as fan art of popular furry characters from comics, video games, TV shows and movies. 

Some common furry species include wolves, foxes, dragons, big cats, and hybrid creatures. Furry art spans many genres, from cute and cartoony to highly realistic.

Why is furry art growing in popularity?

The furry community has expanded rapidly in recent years, fueled by the internet, which connects artists and fans worldwide. More people are discovering a love for expressive, relatable animal characters. Attendance at furry conventions climbs every year, with the biggest cons drawing over 10,000 attendees.

This growth translates into an increasing demand for furry-related art and products. Many furry fans are eager to spend money on original character commissions, prints, badges, stickers, t-shirts, plushies and more featuring their favorite fursonas. Some furries even buy full-body fursuit costumes costing thousands of dollars. For artists, this passionate niche represents a major opportunity to make money from their work.

What are the average hourly rates for furry art?

Average hourly rates vary from artist to artist and project to project, but here are some very general estimates:

  • Beginners/simple commissions: $5-10/hour
  • Intermediate artists: $15-30/hour
  • Experienced/high-demand artists: $50-100+/hour

Remember that your hourly rate isn’t just based on labor alone – it also needs to cover software costs, hardware upgrades, art supplies, self-employment taxes, health insurance, and other business expenses and of course, some margin. Refrain from putting yourself into making less than minimum wage for your efforts.

What are the different ways furry artists earn money?

Successful furry artists usually have multiple revenue streams to support themselves and their art. Relying on a single income source can be risky and limit your earning potential. By diversifying, you can increase your financial security and have more opportunities to make money from your passion.

How much do commissions typically pay?

Individual commissions are one of the most popular ways beginner furry artists start earning money. Commissioners pay you to draw their personal fursonas or original characters, often as profile pics, reference sheets, badges, or sequential comic pages. 

The final art may be for their private enjoyment or used as emotes or promotional graphics.

Furry commission rates vary widely based on the artist’s experience, complexity, and the fandom market value for their unique style and offerings. Here are some very rough estimates for what you might charge for different commission types:

  • Sketch headshot: $5-15
  • Full-color headshot: $25-75
  • Full-color half-body: $40-150
  • Full-color whole body with simple background: $75-300+

The above is just a range to guide you, and your rates may fall outside these ranges depending on your speed, special add-on services, commercial rights, and customer demand. 

Some famous artists charge premium prices and still have long waitlists, so feel free of these beginner price suggestions. Research what artists with similar experience levels charge to determine competitive rates.

Can you sell furry adoptable?

Adoptables are pre-made character designs that you create and sell to buyers as their own characters to use and develop. They often come with a simple character profile, full-body reference sheet, name and unique traits. Adopts streamline the character creation process and are popular impulse buys for furry fans.

Adoptable prices depend a lot on the artist’s popularity and art style. Simple designs from a newer artist may sell for $5-25, while intricate, polished designs from a well-known artist go for $50-300+. 

Some adoptable auctions for highly coveted artists and designs can even reach into the thousands! Selling adoptable can provide a nice supplementary income, especially for fast artists.

What are other income streams for furry artists?

In addition to private commissions and adoptable, many professional furry artists make money through the following income streams too:

  • Selling prints, stickers, pins, shirts, and other merchandise of their art
  • Opening a Patreon or other subscription service for exclusive content/perks
  • Teaching online classes, making tutorials or recording process videos
  • Offering YCHs (commission slots where the client’s character is drawn into a pre-made pose/scene, allowing faster turnaround)
  • Taking on commercial freelance projects for furry businesses and brands
  • Publishing webcomics, graphic novels, comics or illustrated books
  • Creating fursuits, plushies, custom-shaped pillows and other furry products

Having a diverse range of offerings allows you to tap into multiple fan bases and generate more stable earnings over time. You can also charge more for premium offerings that deliver additional value to clients.

How do furry artists set prices?

One of the most challenging aspects of being a freelance artist is figuring out how to price commissions and products. Charge too little, and you may struggle to make a living wage. Charge too much, and you risk losing out on potential clients. So, how do you strike the right balance? The following questions and answers will help you.

What factors influence furry art pricing?

Furry art pricing depends on a number of factors, including the following:

  • The time, effort and materials required to complete the furry piece
  • The level of detail, complexity and polish of the final furry artwork
  • Additional services like character design or revisions
  • Commercial rights for clients using the art for profitable projects
  • Your experience level and reputation within the fandom
  • What the market and your target clients are willing to pay

These are just a few, and there are several others that one can keep adding

How does experience level impact rates?

Like in any field, furry artists typically earn more as they gain experience, improve their skills, and build a strong portfolio and client base. 

Beginners often charge lower rates to attract customers and get practice. As they master more advanced techniques, develop a distinctive style, and provide great customer service, they can gradually raise prices.

Don’t undervalue your work, but be realistic that it takes time to reach the premium rates of fandom-famous artists. Price what you need to make the work worth your time, cover expenses, and generate some profit. 

Many artists have different price tiers for different complexity levels (e.g., sketch, flat color, full shading and background). Some also offer discounted prices for returning clients or bulk orders. You have to decide what you want to do.

How does furry art income compare to other art fields?

While some highly successful furry artists make six figures, this is more of an exception than the rule. Most make a comfortable side income rather than a luxurious full-time salary from art alone.

A 2019 survey by Artist Alley Convention Calculator found that, on average, furry artists at conventions earned around $25 per hour, or $400-600 per con weekend. Keep in mind these values only account for some of the hours spent drawing, preparing merchandise, and traveling to each con.

According to Ziprecruiter, freelance illustrators in the US earned an average annual pay of around $59,837 in 2021. Top earners (90th percentile) made about $130,000, while entry-level illustrators generally started around $20,000. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a median salary of around $52,000 for craft and fine artists in 2020.

With some intelligent business strategies and a strong work ethic, it’s definitely possible to make a good living as a full-time furry artist. But for many, it’s just one income stream alongside a day job, freelance work, Patreon subscriptions, etc. How much you can earn depends on your skill level, speed, marketing savvy, and the unique value you provide to the fandom.

How do taxes work for freelance artists?

First, it depends on your country of residence and the laws applicable to your type of business. But in general, as an independent contractor, you’ll likely have to pay quarterly estimated taxes on your art income. 

Keep detailed records of all expenses and earnings to maximize deductions and simplify filing taxes. Consider setting aside around 30% of your art profits in a separate account for taxes. 

Research your local/federal rules around sales tax and when you need to register as a business. For specific guidance, consult with an accountant familiar with freelance taxes.

Do furry artists need contracts?

Contracts aren’t always necessary for small commissions with trusted clients, but they’re mandatory for bigger projects. 

A clear written agreement protects you and your client by outlining exactly what your deliverables are, provide, the timeline, payment terms, refund policies, copyright ownership, and other key details. Contracts minimize miscommunication, disambiguity and make you look more professional.

Are there resources to help with pricing?

There are several free resources available, like Smartsheet.Com templates and Wepik.Com Price Sheet Template, which offer customizable commission pricing templates that you can adapt. Industry standards change over time, so it’s best to ask your peers directly what they charge for similar work. 

You can also check the prices listed in other artists’ profiles for comparison, and you can definitely get better ideas.

How can you build a successful furry art career?

Making great furry art is just one part of running a successful art business. To really grow your furry art income, you need to excel at the entrepreneurial side, too. This means investing time in marketing, customer service, financial planning and other essential business skills.

Where to find clients in the furry community?

To sell your furry art services, you need to go where potential clients congregate. Promote your work and commission openings on popular furry community sites like Fur Affinity, SoFurry, Weasyl, Inkbunny and Twitter. Join Telegram and Discord servers dedicated to different furry interest groups.

You should also attend local meetups and major conventions like Anthrocon, Midwest FurFest, and Furry Weekend Atlanta to network with other artists and fans. Consider setting up an Artist Alley table or vendor booth to sell your art and take commission requests in person. Immersing yourself fully in the fandom and building connections is a must to getting your art noticed and attracting clients.

How important is marketing for furry artists?

A solid marketing strategy is crucial for any freelance artist, and furry art is no exception. More than simply simply posting your work is required, you need to promote your art and services to the right people actively and convince them. You have to develop a strong, memorable brand that communicates your unique style and personality. Post consistently to build a following and keep your art visible on feeds.

You should get involved in the community by commenting on other’s work and participating in discussions, art trades, and collaborations. Consider making free art, YCH (Your Character Here) templates or adoptables to use as promotional “hooks” and previews of what you offer. 

Smartly building a mailing list and regularly sending newsletters can help you cultivate repeat clients. You can even create non-art content, like videos discussing your process or furry-related topics, to share your expertise. 

The more you express yourself out there in a genuine way, the more potential customers will see your work.

Where can I learn more about the furry art business?

To further grow your furry art career, browse the business resource libraries on sites like Freelancers Union and Furry Amino. Consider investing in online courses that teach you essential skills like negotiation, client communication, and social media marketing.

Follow established furry artists you admire and observe how they interact with fans and market their work. 

Feel free to ask for advice politely – many are happy to help beginners. With practice and persistence, you can develop a style and business strategy that allows you to thrive in this colorful, growing fandom.


Furry art represents an exciting and growing field for aspiring artists to turn their passion into profits. While top furry artists can make impressive incomes, it’s essential to have realistic expectations and view it as a long-term career to work towards. 

Are you ready to start your journey as a professional furry artist? Then, take the first step today! 

Set up a profile on a major furry art site and start posting your work. 

Connect with other artists you admire, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice or feedback. Research the kinds of commissions and prices that suit your style and skill level, and be open to your orders. 

Consider making a business plan with income and professional development goals for the following year. 

Most importantly, keep practicing, putting your work out there, and engaging with the vibrant furry community. 

With persistence and passion, you can build a successful career, bringing your unique artistic vision to life. 

So get out there and start creating!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What skills are necessary for a successful career as a furry artist?

    Some basic skills essential for any furry art are understanding anatomy, perspective, and composition, along with strong drawing and painting skills. It is also necessary to communicate your ideas effectively through your artwork. It is also helpful to be familiar with the furry community and the conventions where furries gather, as this can help you get your work seen by more people.

  2. What kind of work do furry artists do?

    There is a wide range of work that furry artists do, from illustrating children’s books to working on animated movies. Some furry artists create their characters and comics, while others work on costumes and mascots for conventions and other events. Many furry artists also do commissions for people who want illustrations or artwork featuring their characters.

  3. How do you get started as a furry artist?

    Some tips on getting started might include studying other furry artists’ work, learning about animal anatomy and physiology, and practicing your drawing skills regularly. Additionally, it can be helpful to join online communities or forums dedicated to furries and art to gain feedback and advice from other artists.

  4. Are there any challenges that come with being a furry artist?

    Furry art is a niche genre, and only a few people are interested in it. There isn’t a lot of money to be made in the furry art market, and it can be hard to find sponsors or patrons willing to support your work. Furry artists often receive criticism from both within and outside the furry community, and it can be difficult to handle negative feedback gracefully.

  5. What are the most common mediums used by furry artists?

    The most common mediums furry artists use are traditional media, such as pencils, pens, and paper; digital media, such as Photoshop and Paint Tool and 3D software, such as Maya and ZBrush. Additionally, some furry artists use other digital tools, such as Illustrator or Inkscape, to create vector art.

Scroll to Top
Inspiring Art Quotes from Famous Artists Art Animation: Breathing Life and Movement into Artworks How to Get Motivation to Draw