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Have you ever wondered what a calligrapher actually makes as an average income? If you’re here, you probably have asked yourself that question at some point. If you’re thinking about jumping head first into a career as a modern calligrapher, it will be helpful to understand the average income you’ll be looking at and how you can adjust that income to meet your lifestyle and goals. Alright, let’s get to it…


WEDDING CALLIGRAPHER

A wedding calligrapher works within the wedding and stationery industry to create one-of-a-kind pieces of artwork for celebrations.

BEGINNER: $24,000 per year

INTERMEDIATE: $37,000 per year

ADVANCED: $50,000 per year

MASTER: $90,000+ per year

Note, that these numbers are generalized, as tracking the income of a calligrapher can get pretty tricky. The numbers here are based on the idea that the calligrapher will be working full time on roughly 10-15 weddings a year with appropriate pricing based on their skill level, experience, and demand of services. But your income as a calligraphy isn’t necessarily limited to the wedding industry. Working as a commercial calligrapher offers up an income that is comparable to a commercial Illustrator…


COMMERCIAL CALLIGRAPHER

A commercial calligrapher is comparable to an illustrator. As a commercial illustrator, you create designs for the purpose of selling a product.

BEGINNER: $29,000 per year

INTERMEDIATE: $49,000 per year

ADVANCED: $70,000+ per year

As you might have guessed, like many professions, it takes a little time to work your way up the totem pole. That being said, because the skills of a calligrapher are currently highly sought after, you might find yourself working your way up the totem pole more quickly than you’d expect. In 2012 I had the income of a beginner calligrapher and within three years, it has hit the annual income of an advanced calligrapher. Unlike working for a larger company, being a self-employed artist opens up the opportunity to grow more quickly and progress your skills as you see fit. Want to know the cool thing? A calligrapher’s income isn’t set in stone based on these numbers. You have the opportunity to add on extra income on top of your billable hours. Let’s take a look…


PASSIVE INCOME

Passive income can be made by creating products that can be bought and sold with little to no work on your end. This includes stock art, e-courses, fonts, artwork licensing, and more! We’ll talk more in depth about how you can use passive income to really create a career you’re excited about at a later date…

BEGINNER: $200-500 per month

INTERMEDIATE: $600-$1,000 per month

ADVANCED: $2,000-$3,000 per month

MASTER: $4,000-$10,000 per month


TEACHING

Depending on how much time you have and how proficient you are at your craft, you could consider teaching and personal tutoring. This is a great way to network with clients and peers, hone in on your skills, and gain valuable knowledge.

BEGINNER: $5,000-$10,000 per year

INTERMEDIATE: $11,000-$35,000 per year

ADVANCED: $40,000-$60,000 per year

MASTER: $70,000-$100,000

All in all, it’s good to understand that no one can do everything. As calligraphers, we take bits and pieces of what we love to do and move forward in a way that fits our own lives. For example, an advanced wedding calligrapher working full time will not have the time or resources to work full time teaching. There are only so many hours in the day! But an advanced calligrapher could work full time on calligraphy and throw in a workshop one weekend a month and make a really great living on that. She could also dedicate one month a year to work on passive income projects that help fuel her income throughout the entire year. Pretty cool, right?