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Side hustles: Creative way Aussie is earning an extra $500 a week

Meet the uni student making money creating AI art - and he taught himself how to do it.

Yassin Elhag and Australian money. Making money from side hustle concept.
Melbourne uni student Yassin Elhag has a side hustle creating AI art. (Source: LinkedIn/Getty)

Yassin Elhag has a side hustle creating art. But instead of using a pencil or paintbrush, the 22-year-old university student uses artificial intelligence (AI).

Elhag is currently earning $500-plus per week creating AI artwork through freelancer platform Fiverr, but says he could be earning double that if he was to work full-time.

He mostly creates art of characters (including fan art of existing characters and characters customers have created themselves), but has also created artworks for books and boardgames. He uses Stable Diffusion, a free text-to-image generator.

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Prices range from $15 for a very simple, easy-to-make artwork, through to $250 for more time-consuming projects.

“I can generate the art in five minutes [for some of them] and the person will be happy. Some people want a lot of detail and it can take longer, sometimes six or seven hours,” Elhag told Yahoo Finance.

Elhag, who is currently studying a double degree in aerospace engineering and business management at RMIT, taught himself how to create AI art late last year and quickly found he had a knack for it.

Yassin Elhag's AI art side hustle examples.
Here's some of the artworks Elhag has created. (Source: Supplied)

He believes other Aussies can learn how to do it too, using the free resources available online. He said you get better the more you do it, so recommends people just make a start.

“Don’t get discouraged when things start out slow. My first month only had two orders. Now I get so many messages a day, I don’t even know what to do with them,” he said.

“Don’t undersell yourself, and make sure you sell at an appropriate price for your skill level at the time.”

Fastest-growing skills

AI skills have skyrocketed in demand in Australia, according to Fiverr, with searches for AI art services growing 3,731 per cent and AI services up 1,243 per cent on the platform. The two, still relatively new skills, have an average earning range of $600 to $1,200 and $700 to $1,800 per project, respectively.

Digital content-creation skills, including for YouTube, are also growing in demand, as well as accounting and finance skills.

Here are the 10 fastest-growing skills on the platform:

  1. AI art services: 3,731 per cent growth - $600-$1,200 per job

  2. Accounting and finance: 1,788 per cent growth - $450-$1,300 per job

  3. AI services: 1,243 per cent growth - $700-$1,800 per job

  4. YouTube video script writer: 1,072 per cent growth - $350-$1,000 per job

  5. Data entry - clerical skills: 739 per cent growth; $475-$1,600 per job

  6. YouTube voiceover: 904 per cent growth - $150-$800 per job

  7. Shopify dropshipping store experts: 512 per cent growth - $400-$1,550 per job

  8. YouTube monetisation experts: 415 per cent growth - $350-$1,000 per job

  9. Professional resume writers: 291 per cent growth - $400-$1,400 per job

  10. YouTube video editor: 277 per cent growth - $250-$900 per job

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