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The Best College Side Hustles for Creatives

The Best College Side Hustles for Creatives

There’s no doubt that college is expensive, and most college students will need to work at least part-time to make some money to survive. 

It can be hard, though, to find the mental energy after a long day of classes. And even more difficult to study when you get home from a mentally challenging job.

If you are a creative person studying the arts, you don’t want a job that will drain your creative energy, either. So what is a college student to do?

Luckily, this isn’t a new problem that creative students have faced. They’ve found many successful ways to earn a little extra money while attending college.

You can benefit from their thinking outside of the box and use their ideas to earn yourself some extra cash. You’ll even have enough of your muse left to dazzle your professors.

Sell Your Craft

If you are a creator, that means you must have a creation. 

What is your preferred art form? Do you paint? Do you make cute little cozies for mugs? Are you good with words, or can spot a good photo opportunity a mile away?

Whatever your product, there is a way to profit from that — often without even leaving your dorm. 

Handmade Items

If you make things by hand, such as jewelry, sculptures, or crafts of any kind, you can create an account at This online marketplace will allow you to post images and descriptions of your handmade items and set your price.

All you do is sit back and wait for someone to discover your creation and buy it. Next comes a trip to the post office where you ship it directly to them, no middle man.

Stock Photography

If you are always ready with camera in hand, you could be taking the next big-ticket win for your bank account. 

Photography is an age-old art form that used to be difficult to profit from unless you owned your own business. It used to mean you’d be spending your days shooting pics of couples, graduates, and babies.

Not any more! If you take great photos, but don’t have the time to open your own photography business, you can still make money!

How? By posting your pictures on stock photography websites.

Alamy is one of the top-paying stock photography websites, giving you 50% of each sale of your photo. Also, the cost of their shots is high, which means more profit for you.

But there is a downside to high priced stock photography — you only reach a small market. Other stock photography sites will sell your photo hundreds of times over. And they’ll do it at a more reasonable price with less strict guidelines.

These include Shutterstock, 123RF, and Dreamstime. Of course, you always have the option of creating your own photography website where you display your photos and name your price.


If writing is your creative outlet, there are many options for you to make a profit in your free time. 

The need for writers to produce high-quality content for the online market is high. If you post your abilities on a hiring platform, you can expect to find work.

Several online talent marketplaces provide a forum of sorts for writers and those needing writing done to connect. A couple of the big ones are Freelance Writing Gigs and Upwork

These sites aren’t limited to just writers, either. You can find gigs for graphic designers, game development, translation, marketing, and voice talent. 

Become a Professional Organizer

Some people are in such desperate need of organizing help that they are willing to pay someone else to do it for them. 

Are you good at taking a disorganized area and turning it into a perfectly organized system? This could be just the thing for you.

You’d be spending your days organizing closets, homes, offices, and studios. Working for professionals that don’t have the time or ability to do it themselves.

Sure, some creatives are messy,  but others thrive on organization. If you fit into the latter category, you can make some good money doing this on the side.

Walk All the Dogs

This may not give you much opportunity to use your creative genius. Unless, of course, you have to figure out how to keep six dog leashes from getting tangled. Dog walking is a lucrative side hustle with minimal experience or credentials needed.

You simply have to love dogs and walking! This will put some extra cash in your bank account, and it lets you get active and outdoors. These are two very inspiring things for a creative.

Teach Your Talents to Others

If you are good at sharing your passion with others, why not teach them how to do what you do? 

You could tutor in your major and possibly earn some credits. Check with your advisor to see if that’s a possibility.

You can teach music classes, art classes, or even dance to those who want to improve their skills. You can put up flyers on campus if you prefer to work one-on-one. 

There are agencies that you can apply at that will place you with students and pay you an hourly wage if you would prefer not to search for clients on your own.

Bring Life to the Party

Sounds too good to be true, right? 

Well, you won’t merely be partying, but you’ll be at a party and taking part in making the good times begin! 

Event Planner

Birthdays, graduations, receptions, oh my! People love to party, but some have an aversion to planning them, or simply wish to have it professionally done and enjoy the party themselves.

This is where you come in. Are you good at finding the best food, music, and venues in town? Can you spot a potential problem and divert disaster all behind the scenes? 

If you answered yes to those questions, then you might totally rock as an event planner!


If music flows through your blood, you can use that talent to create the perfect mood at a party. Whether they want to dance or sway, you can find a way!

DJs can make a fair amount of money per event and if you like to spend your weekends at the club, why not get paid to be there? 

Trivia Host 

Ever been to trivia night at your local hangout spot? 

Someone has to run the event and come up with the questions. 

Do you think you can pull that off? It could be a blast, and it could earn you over $25 per hour. 

Magician or Entertainer

Are you good at keeping the attention of a crowd? Do you have any impressive talents? 

You can get paid to show these off at parties and other events.

Whether you can do card tricks, weird and disturbing body tricks, optical illusions, or light shows, someone will pay to see it.

POD Shop Your Wares

POD stands for print on demand, and there are several of these shops on the web. You can sell your creativity over and over again with these shops. All you have to do is provide the material while they paste it onto a shirt, mug, or coaster.

If you are good at coming up with witty slogans or drawing a funny design, you can make a comfortable revolving income using a POD shop.

Check out Redbubble, Printful, and Zazzle to sell your designs. 

Use Your Voice

Do you have an enigmatic voice? Can you easily do impressions of famous people or actors? 

You should be a voice-over actor.

You might mostly find work reading for commercials, advertisements, and other boring things. But, you could also get paid to play a part in cartoons and other animated movies.


Creative people are quickly bored by many of the mundane jobs that other students can easily pull off and enjoy. The above side hustles will keep your creative mind active and stimulated while putting some spending cash in your pocket.

Good luck with your studies and your finances!

About the Author

Aaron Hunt

Aaron Hunt is the property manager for Prime Place OSU. He can be reached by email at or by call or text at 405-708-7605.

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