How to Make Money with Digital Art

Creating a beautiful piece of art sure gets everyone's attention, but how can you make money?

Technology and the internet have affected how many things are done and art is no exception. Gone are the days when artists only create physical pieces and pray for people to buy them. 

These days, art has gone digital and artists are reaching a larger audience with the help of technological tools and the internet.

Artists can sit in the comfort of their couches in front of their gadgets and make millions of dollars. Digital art has opened financial doors for artists all over the world.

The majority (66%) of artist jobs with an annual salary of over 60K are related to digital art and come from technology sectors.

If you already create art digitally but are yet to make money from your works, then you may be forced to ask yourself this question; is digital art profitable?

Well, it is. In 2020, sales of the online art and antique market peaked at 13.3 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for roughly a fifth of the total art market value.

You can make millions of dollars from digital art. You don’t have to worry if you don’t know how to. In this article, we will show how you can make money with digital art regardless of your field of interest.

10 Ways to Make Money with Digital Art

Digital artists make money in a variety of ways depending on their skills and expertise. Let us look at 10 popular ways that digital artists make money.

  1. Build your brand on social media and sell your artwork

You are a creative artist, cool! But nobody knows that except you. The first step to making money as a digital artist is to market yourself. Your potential audience/clients should see you and know what you do.

First, you need to create a social media profile (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Behance etc.) where you can post your artwork. Building a brand on social media requires strategy and consistency, you may not get your desired result by dumping random artwork.

Social media platforms function differently because they have different algorithms. So, you will have to understand how the algorithm of your preferred social media platform works to get the most out of it.

You also need to be strategic about your posts if you want to get people’s attention. People will likely not see your posts if your page is new, this is why you need to be strategic.

One way artists get noticed on social media is by making artwork of popular people/celebrities or things that are trending and tagging them on their posts. 

Tagging people/organizations and using hashtags and mentions can help your post get noticed even if your followers are still small.

This works because you are targeting people that are searching for these things. So, when they search, your artwork will likely pop up in the search result and interest people.

If you understand how different social media algorithm works, post high-quality pieces of your artwork consistently and engage with others you will eventually grow a community. 

Building a brand on social media and selling your artwork takes some time, so you need to be patient.

It is important to add your contact details (email, phone number, etc.) to your social media profile so interested people can contact you easily. You can also let them know that you are open for business by adding something like; DM for orders.

  1. Sell digital stock artwork

Do you know that you can make anywhere from $20 to $20, 000 per month by selling your designs and photos on stock websites? 

According to improvephotography.com, stock photos earn approximately 25-45 cents per image, per month.

Making money as a digital artist by selling stock images is not as easy as it sounds, but it is achievable. You must have read or heard a lot of, “how I make $1000 a day from selling stock images” stories.

While this is not impossible, it does require some efforts. Making money from selling stock images is far from uploading random images lurking around your hard drive. How much you will make depends on factors like:

Making money from selling stock images requires skill. Your work needs to be good enough to meet the needs of stock image photography buyers.

Skill and industry knowledge are vital in making the stock photography business work for you. Selling digital stock artwork is one of the ways that you can earn passive income as an artist.

According to mystockphoto.com, you need to have uploaded at least 6000 images to earn $500 passive income per month selling stock images. 

You can sell your stock images on these websites:

These are some of the places where you can sell your stock images. You can do your research and find out other websites. 

Some of the secrets to making money from stock photography is; putting your end users in mind and niching. These are the mistakes some newbies make.

  1. Make money with print on demand

Do you know that you can make money with digital art by printing on demand or selling other merchandise with your artwork?

Printing on demand is a popular way for artists to make passive income online. It is something that you can start as a side hustle and then grow into a full-time business with time.

Print-on-demand products are products that are printed and produced only when someone places an order. You can use your digital art skills like graphic design skills to create custom designs on T-shirts, gift items, and stickers and make money by selling them.

You can make money with print-on-demand by creating designs for different POD (print-on-demand websites) or doing it on your own if you already have an audience.

If you are just starting, it is better to work with POD websites because they take away the hassle of marketing, communication with clients, etc. away from you.

How does print-on-demand work on POD websites?

First, you register on your preferred POD website. You can check out these:

What you have to do is, create your profile and upload your designs. 

The process is pretty simple. The POD website will give you a mockup to design, when you complete the design you submit it on the website.

After submission, you can either wait for someone to buy it or promote it on social media. Once someone buys it, the order will be sent to the printing company. They will print your submitted design on the product and deliver it to the customer. 

These POD websites give you a mockup to design. 

You then submit that design on the website and either wait for someone to buy it or promote it on social media.

Once someone makes a purchase, the order will be sent to the printing company, they will print your submitted design on the product and deliver it to the customer.

As we mentioned earlier, the POD website will take care of the marketing, production, and delivery. All you have to do is to make sure your design appeals to the needs of customers enough that they will take an action.

  1. Make money from digital art NFTs

Digital NFTs have become popular in recent times, especially during the pandemic. Many digital artists have become millionaires by selling NFTs.

What is an NFT?

According to Forbes, An NFT is a digital asset that represents real-world objects like art, music, in-game items and videos. They are bought and sold online frequently with cryptocurrency. They are generally encoded with the same underlying software as many cryptos.

Many digital artists are using NFTs to secure their artworks and make money from them. Anyone can’t just download an NFT because the system is made up of blocks. Each block is given a unique hash (key). The person with the original artwork with the hash assigns it to the owner of the image. 

How to sell art NFTs

To create a digital art NFT, you need to get it to the blockchain and mint it. Minting means securing your digital artwork so that it can’t get damaged and becomes a part of a public ledger where it will become part of the Ethereum Blockchain.

How do you mint your artwork?

To mint your artwork, you need:

A crypto wallet: A crypto wallet holds the keys that you can use to access your cryptocurrencies. Click here to get more detail about how it works.

Connect it to NFT suites: After creating your crypto wallet, you need to connect it to a suite like OpenSea or Rarible that deals with NFTs. These sites will allow you to create your NFT by dragging your JPEG, PNG, or MP3 files and allowing them to be minted.

Wait for a few days: Once you upload your artwork, it may take a few days for your artwork to be verified. 

Once your digital art NFT is verified it will be placed securely in your crypto wallet and can be sold on popular NFT sites like  OpenSea or Rarible.

You can opt for the easy route!

The process of converting your digital artwork into NFT can be a lot, especially as a newbie. You may need to pay someone to help out since you are not used to navigating the space. 

You can make the process a lot easier by creating your NFT on mountainsofimagination.com. You don’t need all the experience to create an NFT you can sell for thousands of dollars. This website allows you to create NFTs by simply describing them.

Creating artwork doesn’t need to be a struggle!

You can easily bring your imagination to life by simply describing it. You can create a high-selling NFT on mountainsofimaginations.com in minutes. The good thing is that it is free, and you can use your image anywhere.

If you are new to creating NFTs, then you should try it on muntainsofimaginations.com.

  1. Become a freelance digital artist

Freelancing is an independent work style that has become popular in recent times. Many people including artists earn thousands of dollars monthly through freelancing.

According to Upwork, 59 million Americans had reported to be freelancers. That is over 30% of the total workforce.

Digital artists are cashing out big-time freelancing. Some digital artists sell their gigs for as high as $500. As much as you can make money freelancing as an artist, the freelance space is also very competitive.

Many talented artists from all over the world are ready to sell their artworks for as low as $5. It sure takes some time for you to establish loyalty with clients to start charging high for your creations.

The fastest way to make money as a newbie digital artist is to register on freelance marketplace platforms. These platforms function like regular online marketplaces like Amazon. The difference is that instead of products, services are bought and sold.

The most popular freelance marketplaces that are open to all are Fiverr and Upwork.

Although there are other freelance platforms, these two are the most popular and effective. 

Becoming a freelancer on Fiverr

Fiverr is a great place to start your freelance career regardless of who you are or where you are from. If you are skilled at what you do, then you can easily make it there.

To start making it on Fiverr, you need to:

These are the basic things you need to do. The secrets to getting results on Fiverr in addition to the ones above are; always being online (being active on the App or website) and niching.

Becoming a freelancer on Upwork 

Upwork is another great platform to build your digital art freelance career. Upwork is a marketplace like Fiverr, the difference is just the process.

The process of getting clients to work with is quite different on Upwork. Instead of creating a gig, you can set up your profile to see available jobs in your area of expertise.

You may not need to optimize your work for clients to find you. Once you see a job that you are interested in, you can send a proposal. If the client likes your proposal, you will be given the job.

To excel here, you need to learn to write proposals that will attract clients.

To get started on Upwork, you need to:

Creating an account on these freelance platforms at the beginning of your digital artist freelance career saves you the hassle of searching for clients. 

  1. Start a Youtube Channel

With the demand for video content, more and more digital artists are making it big on Youtube. Building an audience on Youtube requires strategy. 

One of the tricks to make it on Youtube is to niche. Choosing and focusing on a niche will help you build a loyal audience and stand out from other digital artists.

Instead of creating general digital art content, you can choose to focus on an area like; animations, cartoons, etc. You can even record your creative process with your audience, just make sure you stand out.

You may be confused about choosing your niche as a newbie, but writing down all you can and creating a shortlist will help.

Many big YouTubers have changed their channels’ focus. Feel free to try out your ideas and modify them as you go.

Your first few months on Youtube may not be easy, but you will grow in no time with creativity and consistency. May people monetize their Youtube channel by enrolling in the Google Adsense program.

Google set requirements for accepting creators, which are:

If you meet the requirements, Google will place ads on your channel and you will make money as your viewers watch the ads. You can click here to learn more about Google ads for youtube.

  1. Create a digital course 

Creating courses on digital subjects is one way to make passive income as a digital artist. Although, the process requires a lot of work and a level of excellence. If you eventually get it right, you can make good money.

Creating a course around a niche is one of the ways to stand out as a beginner. There will most likely be high competition for general how-to courses like; “how to become a digital artist”, etc. 

Once you have created the courses, you can sell them on your website, social media accounts or e-learning platforms.

You will have to invest in marketing your course if you want to sell them on your platforms. This may cost you a lot since you have not made any money. The cost-effective way to sell your course as a beginner is to sell it on popular e-learning platforms like Udemy. Click here to learn about how it works.

There are other platforms, you can do your research to find out the ones that work best for you.

  1. Start an art blog

Blogging is one of the popular ways that people make passive income online and it is still working. Blogging is the best way to build an audience and get your ideas out as a beginner. 

People have questions, and if you can provide good answers to questions digital artists are asking, then you will soon build authority in your niche.

You can make money from your digital art blog by:

Writing about your perspective of digital art may not bring visitors to your blog, you need to understand SEO (search engine optimization), create a user-friendly website, and create high-quality content.

Consistently doing all these things right will pay off in the end.

  1. Write and sell your book

Writing a book is one of the ways that you can make passive income as a digital artist. If you love to write, then you can make hundreds to thousands of dollars from your book.

This is a good passive income source because you just have to do the hard work of writing once. You can make a lot of money from a single book, millions of people can buy one book especially if it is an e-book.

Platforms like Amazon have made it easy for people to publish create, publish, and sell their books to a prospective audience all over the world. Click here to learn more about Amazon publishing.

You can sell your book on other platforms. Doing research will help you discover the platforms that work best for you.

10. Sell art prints

The love of art prints will never be outdated. 

You can make money by selling print versions of your artwork online. These digital artworks can be in form of posters, mounted canvas, or photos. You can make good cash by selling art prints on:

Art prints can go anywhere from $40 to $300. Your price and the platform that you sell on will influence how much you will eventually make.

These tips give you an idea of how you can make money as a digital artist, but it is important you first perfect your skills. You want to give people value for their money.

Diversifying your income is a great way for you to make money as a digital artist. You can have two to three streams of income, that way your income will be more stable.

Make sure your streams of income are not all active. Having two or more streams of active income can lead to burnout. Look through the tips and choose the ones that work for you.