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11 Best Digital Art Ideas You Can Monetize

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Key Takeaways

  • You can monetize many digital art ideas even if you don’t have a vast art catalog in your possession.
  • Branding, market research, and understanding market needs are essential for making sales with digital art.
  • Custom and personalized digital art is always in demand as people want to buy customized gifts and products.
  • Increase the value of your offer and product when you want to sell your product at a higher price.

Streaming Overlays and Templates

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Example of a streaming overlay for YouTube and Twitch streaming. Image credits.

If you are into simple UI (user interface) designs and like to create icons and graphics, streaming overlays and templates is a good digital art idea worth checking out. You can charge quite a lot for a streaming overlay and be as creative as possible.

Currently, the most used streaming platforms are YouTube, Twitch, and Discord. To maximize sales, make sure your streaming overlay and template are compatible with the most used streaming platforms.

Don’t forget to put a lot of effort into the product images to make them as enticing as possible. The usual file format for animated files is .WEBM (when using transparent backgrounds), .MP4 (if you don’t use transparent backgrounds). For static images, it’s best to use PNG file format.

You can use a service like StreamElements to create the streaming overlays.

Phone and Device Wallpapers

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An example of a phone wallpaper you can sell as a digital artist. Image credits.

While it might feel counterintuitive for us digital artists that someone would be willing to buy phone wallpapers or other device wallpapers, it’s still a viable digital art idea you can monetize.

To maximize sales with phone and device wallpapers, create wallpapers in multiple resolutions to offer wallpapers for different devices. Don’t forget to offer an option that suits most (1080 x 1920 px) so the customer is not confused about what wallpaper they should use.

The usual file format to be used is PNG and JPEG.

Typical resolutions to offer:

  • 720×1280 px
  • 750×1334 px
  • 864×1728 px
  • 1080×1920 px (most used)
  • 1440×2560 px

Phone Icons

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Example of phone icon pack. Image credits.

Phone icons are a way for customers to personalize their phone. You can create monetizable icon packs for special holidays (Christmas), for a certain time of the year (autumn), or for a certain design style (boho).

To complete the digital product, offer wallpapers that match your icons’ overall theme. Also, offer the icons for multiple phone brands, and not just, for example, iPhone users. Offer an installation and user guide to help customers use the phone icons correctly.

Don’t forget to list all the apps you’ve created an icon for.

Coloring Pages

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Example image of a coloring page digital art product. Image credits.

Another great digital art idea you can sell online is creating coloring pages. The key to creating high-selling coloring pages is proper market research and truly understanding the customer’s needs. Creating, for example, coloring pages about snakes and reptiles, you can target those to parents and include a few activity placemats to complete the offer.

The typical file format for coloring pages is PDF, with an 8.5 x 11 inches (21.59 x 27.94 cm) size.

Character Portraits

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Example image of character portrait commission. Image credits.

Creating custom character portraits is another idea to monetize your digital art skills. People seek character portraits they can use as avatars in different games and social media platforms. Currently, the character portrait market is saturated with AI-generated character portraits, but there’s always room for hand-made digital art.

Stock Digital Art

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Adobe Stock is a great place to sell original digital art. Image credits.

Adobe Stock is a platform that offers creative professionals and digital artists the opportunity to expand their careers by selling their content to a global community of artists and buyers.

  • Seamless Integration: With native Creative Cloud integration, Adobe Stock enables you to license your content to millions of buyers directly within their favorite Adobe apps.
  • Stay Informed and Inspired: Gain inspiration, access market research, and receive strategic insights from Adobe’s thought leaders to enhance your projects and guide your success.
  • Efficient Workflow: Adobe Stock leverages machine learning intelligence and the power of Creative Cloud apps to streamline your workflow. Upload, keyword, and sell your images with the industry’s fastest and most efficient processes, allowing you to focus more on your creative endeavors.

Stationary

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Example image of a stationary digital download. Image credits.

A “stationery” refers to a wide range of paper-based office supplies, writing materials, and paper products used for various purposes. Stationery typically includes items like paper, envelopes, pens, pencils, notepads, and other writing instruments or tools that people use for communication, organization, or creative expression.

These items are essential in both professional and personal contexts for writing letters, taking notes, creating art, and other paper-based tasks.

Types of digital downloadable stationaries:

  • Note taking cards
  • Thank you cards
  • To-do lists
  • Grocery lists
  • Regular stationery
  • Weekly planners

Digital Art Brushes

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Example of a digital art brush pack. Image credits.

You might have created custom digital art brushes over the years if you create digital art. Custom digital art brushes are great for artists to make money online. Branding and product images are a few of the key things you should focus on.

Make sure your digital product looks professional and that the digital art brushes are varied in style and with the effects they provide.

The better digital art you can create, the higher perceived value your brushes have.

The most used apps to sell digital brushes for:

The most used e-commerce marketplaces to sell digital art brushes on:

Courses

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Example of a course where you can learn how to create Floral Patterns in Procreate. Image credits.

Selling online courses is one of the most lucrative ways to make money as a digital artist. You can sell online courses even without an audience (use e-commerce marketplaces). If you have an audience, you can ask what kind of course they would like you to create for them.

Related article: How to promote online courses

E-commerce marketplaces to sell courses on:

E-commerce platforms to sell courses on:

Digital Art Resources

While you are creating digital art, there are usually many art resources you produce alongside. If you are up for it, you can sell the art resources you’ve automatically produced while creating your masterpiece.

Plenty of people (your true fans) want to see every detail of your illustrations and know how it was done. It’s best to package all created resources into one neat ZIP file and sell that as a digital product. When you’ve created enough art resources, you can sell them as one big bundle.

Digital art resources you can sell as a digital product:

  • Groundwork, sketches, preliminary work, progress shots.
  • Final illustration (high-resolution, but not in full-resolution).
  • Process video.
  • In-depth art tutorial (written, audio, video).
  • Used reference images (if it’s possible to include them and preferably royalty-free).
  • Brushes, textures, patterns, color palette.

Textures and Patterns

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Example image of a texture pack you can create and sell online. Image credits.

While many sites offer free textures and patterns, there’s a niche market for premium textures and seamless patterns. Seamless patterns are another great idea to sell online. You can either create patterns and sell them on e-commerce marketplaces like Etsy, Gumroad, or Creative Fabrica or license them and sell them that way.

You can also sell digital textures and seamless patterns on platforms like Society6, Redbubble, Displate, etc.

Feature image credits.

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Okuha

Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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