Art often starts as a hobby, something you do for fun, but then if you're good, and spend a lot of time drawing or creating content, there comes a point where the thought of making money happens. But how do you turn a hobby into a money making opportunity?
Selling prints of your art, whether it's digital drawings, renders, or even traditional works, is probably the most obvious choice. There's many places to do it. Certainly in the real world, you can go out and get a permit from the city, and host your own art show on a street corner. Many people actually do this and make good money, but that will heavily depend on the city you're in.
Online, there's also lots of easier and less costly choices, but the competition is also much greater. DeviantART
offers the ability to sell prints, and has quite a large choice of items you can have your art on, such as canvas, mouse pads, mugs, and so on. eBay
is another good choice, where you can sell directly to customers.
Another popular avenue is to offer your services to make covers, usually for ebooks, but also for printed works. There's a large quantity of books coming out all the time and they all require a cover of some sort. An ebook cover can bring in anywhere from $50 to $500, depending on what it is, the budget of the author, and what your reputation is. The best way to get these contracts is to know authors, or you can advertise your services on writing forums.
Freelance sites such as freelancer.com
all have a section about graphics. There, people are looking for artists to do all kind of tasks, like designing logos, graphics for web sites, and so on. The pay will vary greatly, and the contracts you manage to get depend a lot on the samples you can provide, and your reputation on the site itself.
Turning it into a career
Making a living as an artist is not easy, especially online. You can however leverage that skill to get a full time job. Often however, you need to go through preparation, which usually will include getting a college degree, and then going through an internship. But once that's done, there's opportunities in all kind of domains, from game design, to media, TV broadcasting, newspapers, and many more businesses who need artists.