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Can You Sell Digital Art? Absolutely!

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Have you ever dreamed of making a living off your own art? You can! Today, selling digital art and making money is more than possible. Before you plunge into the virtual art world, check out these tips and tricks to help turn your digital art into cash.

You Can Sell Digital Art

Digital artists can make money using a variety of different income streams. Some artists sell their digital art by taking commissions, while others offer digital downloads or monthly memberships. Many websites are available today that act as an online marketplace for digital artists offering their wares.

To maximize your success in selling digital art, it’s important to approach online commerce from several angles. Let’s look at some different methods you can use to sell art online.

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Digital Art Sites To Be On

Those online marketplaces mentioned will make up many of your revenue streams. One of the most popular sites is Artstation. Artstation is a vast marketplace that boasts over 60,000 digital products for sale. 

These products include custom brushes, backgrounds, reference poses, and more. If you’d rather not sell artist to artist, try checking out Redbubble or Society6.

Upload your art, and customers can choose to have it printed on various products, including hoodies, mugs, and canvases. Whatever site you’re on, make sure you have social media to link back to. 

Instagram is an excellent pick for artists because of its algorithm to suggests similar content to people who already follow other digital artists.

Diversify Your Digital Art Portfolio

Diversifying your portfolio is a common word of advice given to freelance artists. That basically just means having more than one revenue stream at a time.

If you sell digital downloads or assets on another site, consider adding a Patreon to the mix. Patreon is a great way to connect with your fans and offer exclusive content via monthly memberships. Many people enjoy supporting their favorite artists (and receiving something in return).

What to Offer Fans

Attracting, engaging, and incentivizing customers is key. As a digital artist, you may have to start small before you work your way up to selling premium finished pieces.

One such way of doing that is by offering online classes or tutorials. Sites like Teachable or Kajabi are perfect for making a little bit of cash and drawing attention to your art.

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People who admire your art style and want to learn to draw as you will eagerly follow you on social media. Because they also appreciate art, they’ll be more likely to purchase art from you.

Think of it this way: you’re directly engaging with your target audience (art enthusiasts) by offering courses.

Consider Other Approaches

If you hate drawing for anyone but yourself, you might miss out on a huge portion of the art industry. Commissions are one of the most highly sought-after services from artists, and many artists open their own studios solely for the commissions they receive.

Set a reasonable price (something lower if you want to sell faster), and upload example pictures of your artwork. You’ll notice lots of requests around holidays like Valentine’s Day, which is an excellent opportunity to increase your pricing.

Don’t forget to reach out to businesses, too. They’re in demand for custom art as well.

Maintain Your Online Exposure

Getting exposure and painting interest in your brand as an artist is important. Social media is one of the easiest ways to do that. But don’t just create a profile and expect people to follow you.

Engagement is consistently the leading tactic in gaining followers on social media. Replying to commenters, following people and commenting on their photos, and strategically using hashtags are all excellent ways to boost your engagement.

The reason why this is critical is that the followers you gain are “real.” In other words, they’re not bots or inactive accounts that will consistently ignore your posts (which usually happens when influencers use giveaways to gain followers).

These followers will regularly see and like your posts, which will help drum up even more momentum for your business.

Pricing Your Digital Art

Naming a price for your art is one of the most anxiety-inducing challenges for any artist. In some ways, it feels like you’re naming your own value for your self-worth.

But don’t worry too entirely much about your pricing. Let’s take a look at some reasonable prices that other artists use and what strategies you can use to get ahead of the competition.

Pricing Commissions and Requests

People interested in commissions often have no idea how much they usually go for. Don’t be surprised if you get lowballed by impossible offers (but if you get highballed, by all means, take it).

Art takes time; your time is valuable, so don’t undersell yourself.

Think of how many hours it takes for you to create a piece. How much are you paying yourself per hour?

Just because drawing is fun doesn’t mean you should be earning a few bucks an hour. You are a highly skilled artisan with specialized equipment creating a piece on behalf of a client (even if you draw anime).

Artists typically start commissions at around $20-50, only for basic pieces or quick sketches. More developed pieces cost $200+, and digital paintings are even higher.

One rule of thumb is offering incremental pricing based on what kind of art you’ll produce.

For example, some artists sell simple black-and-white outlines for $10. Colorized could cost $20, and additional upcharges may be made to add backgrounds or objects.

You should also offer an upcharge for multiple subjects if you’re drawing a portrait.

If you’re a beginner artist and not too confident in your work, try aiming at the low pricing side. You’ll attract more people, and their favorable reviews will establish you as an artist. Try finding artists with a similar skill or style level to you and see how much they charge.

Pricing Art Books, Physical Goods, and Downloads

Drawing for others might not be the glamorous life you envisioned as an artist. That’s okay because you can still make great money by selling copies of your work.

Sites like Redbubble are easy to use because they have tools to help you figure out how much the product costs to produce, how much you’ll make from it, and what the customer will pay. You can also sell your manga, comics, or a collection of your art as a book.

Some sites like Printful offer printing on demand, but you can also upload your book to Amazon and sell it as a Kindle download.

Sale
The Sketchbook of Loish: Art in progress...
  • Hardcover Book
  • van Baarle, Lois (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 152 Pages - 04/10/2018 (Publication...

Printed books typically sell for $15-30 and have a great profit margin because they’re relatively cheap to produce. Digital downloads will go for a bit cheaper, from $5-15.

You can also use sites like Printful to produce prints of your work, which customers can frame and hang in their homes.

For a production cost of a piece of paper, you can sell these for $50 and upward on sites like Etsy. While it may just seem like a piece of paper, remember that art takes many hours, in addition to specialized tools, software, and education.

Remember To Start Small

What price works for you today might not work for you tomorrow. Even though your work is digital, try to embrace the mind of an entrepreneur selling physical goods.

Raises your prices during surge periods and drop them to increase traffic. Sales are always a good idea, as are offering upcharges on your work.

Don’t forget to offer your Patreon or Fanbox supporters discounts on your online shop, as this will encourage and retain memberships. The other important thing to remember is that some days will be slow, and you might not have sales for long periods of time.

This is perfectly normal and is the same for every online business.

Be sure to consistently post on social media and work on customer engagement so that your followers don’t lose you on their radar. Consider boosting your posts as well. Advertising on social media is easy to set up and relatively inexpensive. It can also help direct your posts to your target audience.

Climbing the Ladder

Selling digital art and making a profit is more possible than ever. Use your naturally creative and intuitive brain to determine how to attract customers. 

With a bit of hard work, you’ll earn passive income by doing what you love. Many artists support themselves solely by selling their digital art online, and you can too.

One final tip is not to be afraid of your competition. Collab with other artists, ask for shoutouts, and like their work. In particular, collaborating is a great way to access a whole audience curated by someone like you.

The other artist will share the same incentive.

There are almost endless options for selling your digital art, so at least now you know that you can sell digital art. The next phase for you is knowing about the digital art business.

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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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