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7 Business Ideas for Nigerian Creatives

How do you make a living off your passion for pretty colour combinations and finely sculpted statues? Could you offer your exceptional ability to communicate with written words as a service for which you’ll get paid? Might your love for aesthetically pleasing spaces be a window into an enterprise that earns from reordering workplaces and residences?

Creatives in search of a career ask themselves these questions. Afterall, they’d be better off doing a job they’re good at for the rest of their working lives, as long as they can live fairly comfortably with what they make from it. But it’s often the case that they’re short of options in this regard.

The business of art often looks like a steep privilege pyramid, with a few successful people perched at the top, and a vast majority struggling to get by stuck at the bottom. In certain fields, it seems there isn’t any pyramid to speak of; it’s just a landscape of impoverished talents barely squeezing out a living off their trade. This bleak picture forces many to opt for occupations they’re hardly interested in. If they’re lucky, their artistic hobby might work as a side hustle which brings in a little extra income, and relieves them of the drudgery of managing a full time job they just aren’t cut out for.

Thankfully, there are signs that this sad tale is changing for the better. A convergence of factors- including digital technology and a growing appreciation of the arts -is lifting the dullness off this sector. It’s still tough going for most art entrepreneurs, but they have more opportunities to succeed than was available in the past.

Here, we’re presenting some of these opportunities. If you would like to do your own thing as an artist, you might consider any one of these ideas as a possible business option.

Interior designer

You’re always admiring nicely set up living spaces and offices, and itching to fix any ones that don’t look pleasant. If this describes you, there’s a chance you might be a perfect fit for the interior design or home decor business.

The good news is, there’s a growing demand for interior designers. Workspaces need more attractive colour combinations and physical arrangements, because they now know that this is a big part of their image. Home owners are also acquiring a keen taste for fine living spaces, which prompts their demand for the services of home decor professionals.

Graphics/Web designer

There’s an increasing demand for graphics and web designers all over the world. The reason for this are obvious: the internet. Individual and corporates need visual content for their online platforms and engagements, whether they be websites, social media, or emails. People who are very good at these things can earn a good income from them.

Of course, you’ll have to be an artistically inclined person to do well at digital design. It’s not the same as drawing with pencils or painting with brushes, but it does require the same sort of eye for colours, forms, patterns and impressionability that a good painter or sketch artist possesses.

Makeup artist

If you’re going to make an artist’s canvas of a human’s face, you’d better be sure they’ll approve of your art. But if you’ve proven your ability with makeup, you have a wide world of entrepreneurial opportunities to seize.

Your clients could be anyone from ladies who want to ‘slay’ in her studio pics to movie sets with big budgets and A list actors. Getting to the top of this sphere does require a good deal of experience and some connections too. The rules for success here are: be an exceptional artist, and network like a pro.

Jewelry maker

There’s a ready market for jewelries in Nigeria. Some of us like our colourful beads around our wrists and necks. We want rings for our weddings, bangles for occasions, or necklaces and earings for every other day. You could run a business that produces and supplies these items.r

Content writer

Website owners typically hire content writers to craft the information on their sites in ways that communicate their message to their target audience. Businesses looking to run social media pages with the right sort of eye catching written content also employ content writers to supply them with such material.

This is another sphere that’s been opened up by digital media. In the past, there were limited opportunities that paid enough for writers. Today. there’s a far bigger chance of this happening.

Fashion designer

You can apply your creativity to designing clothes as well. This occupation is perhaps the most commonly taken after of the ventures on this list. But there’s always room for talented new entrants to make their mark on it.

Besides playing around with novel (perhaps rebellious) garment design ideas, this job demands an understanding of symmetry and patterns. If you’re a master at these, you’ll eventually become a respected and sought after designer.

Art dealer

You’ll have to sell your portraits, sculptures and crafts if you want to make money from them. The big issue at this juncture is usually how to find willing buyers. There are ways to get this done.

Exhibitions are one way to find buyers. Social media is another. Instagram, which lends itself to this sort of business with its emphasis on pictures, is perhaps your best bet in this regard. You might also find online marketplaces (such as Etsy) which lets you sell your artwork to people from across the world.

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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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