Make Money from Drawings
If you love to draw and have ever wondered if making money with your artwork is possible, the answer is yes. There’s never been a better time to make money drawing.
With all of the online opportunities, you can turn your art skills into a profitable side hustle for extra cash or possibly a full-time income. You can sell drawings directly, license your work, teach others how to draw, and more.
Here are several ways and websites that allow you to get paid to draw:
Sell Drawings Online for Money
One of the easiest ways to sell drawings online and make money is print versions of your drawings or illustrations. Here are the best places to sell drawings online for money:
Etsy is a vast online marketplace for handmade crafts and unique items. In addition to jewelry and crafts, there is an extensive collection of art for sale, including drawings and illustrations. You’ll see artists selling custom portraits, posters, prints, digital downloads, and more on Etsy.
Setting up your own Etsy shop is free and requires no technical skills. Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee per item. Transaction fees vary based on payment method.
Instagram can be your online business card. Craft your brand by writing a gripping bio, uploading your artwork daily, and building relationships.
Sell art on Instagram by creating your artist page, building your following, and promoting your drawings. Link to a sales page on another platform in your bio or ask potential buyers to DM you to purchase.
Creative Market is an online marketplace where you can sell graphics, digital design elements, and more. Most of the work sold on Creative Market is used for websites, presentations, flyers, social media, and sales materials.
There’s a steady demand for web graphics, icons, social media templates, and other downloadable design assets. If you bundle your work into sets that bloggers, small business owners, and marketing managers could use for their projects or promotions, you could generate a solid stream of extra money.
When you sign up as a seller on Creative Market, you can set your prices for your digital products. They handle hosting and delivering your products electronically.
DeviantArt is one of the most popular online communities and social networks for artists and art lovers. DeviantArt allows you to sell prints of your drawings which customers can download.
The strong community and the sheer number of users make DeviantArt worth considering to make money selling drawings. DeviantArt also gives you all the tools you need to manage your gallery and track your sales.
Fine Art America
Fine Art America is one of the largest online art communities. Artists can sell their original work to their global audience.
Once you create an account and upload digital versions of your drawings, you can start selling. In addition to prints, they have several products available you can have your work printed on, like t-shirts and phone cases. You set your prices as high or as low as you want, and you can change them any time.
Saatchi Art is a popular online art gallery that supports new and emerging artists of various mediums, including drawing. They are non-exclusive, which means you can list your art there, and anywhere else you like.
You must be 18 years old with a valid ID to start selling on Saatchi Art. You can begin selling your work as soon as your account is approved. They handle delivery and charge a 35% commission.
Ugallery is a curated online gallery exhibiting all types of original art except photography and video art. The Ugallery application process is thorough, and they are very selective about who they take on. You’ll need to submit electronic copies of your art along with a $5 application fee.
Once accepted, anything you exhibit with Ugallery must be exclusive. They represent your work and do all the sales and marketing to their audience for you. Their commission is 50%.
Artfinder is an online platform that connects people worldwide with art and artists. They have a growing audience of over 500,000 art lovers and potential buyers.
Before you can sell on Artfinder, you’ll need to complete an application. They need 4-6 high-quality digital examples of your work. They also require an online presence, which can be a website, Instagram, or Facebook page focused on your art.
You are responsible for setting up your shop, communicating with the art buyer, and shipping orders when you’re accepted. Artfinder takes a 33% or 40% commission, depending on which seller plan you choose.
ArtPal is an online sales platform for original art featuring over 200,000 artists. It’s one of the most artist-friendly websites for selling drawings.
There is no lengthy application process or membership fee. You can be up and selling in minutes instead of the days or weeks it takes other sites to set you up. They don’t charge a commission or limit the amount of storage space for your online shop.
Sign up for ArtPal and sell your original drawings, prints, or use their print-on-demand service to sell products like coffee mugs featuring your artwork.
That means that artists submit their work, the community votes for their favorites, and Minted sells the winning submissions. Prizes can range from $200 for tenth place to $4,000 for first prize. In addition to the cash prizes, you also get a commission on sales and an online store if you win.
Artplode is an online art gallery that does not charge sellers or buyers a commission. You keep 100% of the sale price.
When you sell on Artplode, you pay a flat fee of $60 to advertise your artwork. You can pay slightly more to have your work featured. If you are unsure what price you should ask for your pieces, they can consult with you for a small fee.
TurningArt offers artwork for sale or lease to corporate customers. Your work could be displayed on the walls of an office building, hospital, or restaurant.
Once your TurningArt application is accepted, you can sell originals and sell or lease prints. You set the price for originals and keep 60% of the sale amount. For sales and leases of prints, you get between 20 and 40 percent of the transaction.
Other than uploading high-quality images, there is not much else for you to do. TurningArt handles the marketing, sales, printing, and delivery. They are also non-exclusive, so you can sell through other sites as well.
You can get pretty much anything at Amazon, and that includes original artwork. You can sell your art through the Amazon Handmade category. The Handmade section is a lot like Etsy in terms of the products on offer.
Sell on Amazon Handmade by creating an Amazon Seller account. Handmade requires a Professional Seller account, which normally costs $39.99 a month, but as of now, the fee is waived for Handmade. There is also an application process, as Amazon is strict about not allowing mass-produced products into the Handmade program.
Once you’re approved, you can begin listing your products. There is no listing fee, and listings do not expire. There is a 15% fee per sale.
Unless you’ve been living on another planet since the early 1990s, you’ve probably bought or sold something on eBay. The site has millions of buyers worldwide. They also have a section for drawings, which could get you exposure and sales.
You can start selling with an eBay account and a PayPal account. You also need to get photos or digitized versions of your work, so your customers know what they’re buying. There are fees associated with selling through eBay, but you’ll keep more than you would when selling via an online art marketplace or gallery.
Stock Photo Websites
Stock photography sites are not just for photographers. These sites cater to online publishers and bloggers, who often need digital illustrations or vector art for their websites.
The key to using your drawing skills and stock image sites as a source of income is creating a large collection. If you want to cater to bloggers, keep an eye on trends and popular blog topics, then create drawings of objects or concepts around these trending topics. Bloggers are always looking for a high-quality image that reflects the topic of their posts.
Here are some popular stock photo websites that also sell stock vector designs and accept contributions from freelancers:
Shopify is an e-commerce platform worth considering if selling directly to the public is in your plans. Shopify is known for its ease of use. You can get your store set up and have payment processing in place quickly. You can sell your original art, and, with Printful integration, you can sell prints and merchandise featuring your designs.
Shopify does charge a monthly fee, and you are responsible for marketing, but you do have more control. Migrating to Shopify once you’re more established might be better than starting out there.
Your Own Website
Selling your work through your own website is your best option if you want complete control. You’re in command of the design, content, sales process, and marketing with your own site.
Beyond buying a domain and signing up for web hosting, you’ll need a wide range of skills to maintain your online presence. Otherwise, platforms like Wix and Squarespace make setting up simple e-commerce websites more straightforward, but there are tradeoffs, like fewer customization options.
Get Paid to Draw Online with Print on Demand
You can make money with your drawings by selling products with your artwork on them. Print-on-demand (POD) services make that possible. The benefits of using a print-on-demand company include:
- You don’t need any printing equipment
- They handle the inventory
- There are no minimum orders
- The POD service takes care of shipping
- You can spend more time creating
You upload your digital artwork, drive customers to your products, and the POD company does the rest. Check out these print-on-demand websites:
Printify has over 300 products you can customize with your designs and sell, like t-shirts, coffee mugs, and socks. You can order samples and test out the products yourself before you start promoting.
Redbubble has been around since 2006 and is a leader in the POD space. They offer a wide range of products you can feature your drawings on. Creating an account is free, and there are no monthly fees.
Teespring started out printing custom t-shirts, but now they have a full catalog of products you can sell with your drawings. Teespring takes care of production, shipping, and customer service. Sales and marketing are up to you.
Cafepress is a big player in the print-on-demand world that sells t-shirts, drinkware, and home decor with your illustrations. They charge no upfront fees.
You can upload your drawings then get a royalty when a product featuring one of your designs is sold. It’s mostly passive income, but you can also open a shop and direct people from your website or favorite social media platform to it.
Zazzle is another well-established print-on-demand company with over 1,500 products you can use with your art. On Zazzle, you set your own royalty rate from 5% to 99% then they adjust the price of the product automatically. Don’t set it too high, though, as other artists may sell similar products at lower prices.
Make Money Teaching People How to Draw
Everyone has tried drawing at some point in their lives, but not everyone has a knack for it. Many wish they could improve their drawing skills.
Teaching others how to draw is another way to make money by drawing. Here are some ideas for leveraging your talent through teaching:
Give Drawing Lessons In Person
Some people prefer learning one-on-one or in classroom settings. Offering in-person drawing classes in your local area might be a good money-making opportunity.
Contact local schools or after-school programs if you’re interested in teaching drawing in person. If you are willing to travel, you could offer one-on-one instruction in your students’ homes. You could advertise your services through social media platforms, Craigslist, or your own website.
Teach Drawing Online
Teaching online has the added advantage of getting your course in front of a much wider audience compared to finding students yourself locally.
One of the best ways to teach online is with video courses. You can record a series of tutorials, bundle them into a class, then sell them over and over.
Udemy is among the leaders in online learning, with millions of students and over 150,000 courses available. Teaching on Udemy is a good choice because of their huge built-in audience hungry for learning new skills. In addition to Udemy’s existing users, you can promote your course on social media and your blog or website for an even higher share of the revenue.
You don’t need any technical skills to build your course once you create your videos and other materials. Udemy hosts your content and gives you all the tools you need to present your training.
There is no fee for creating and hosting a course on Udemy. Instructors get 97% of the sales they refer to Udemy and a 37% revenue share if the sale came from elsewhere.
Skillshare is another platform for creating and hosting courses. Like Udemy, there are millions of users eager to learn. Unlike Udemy, Skillshare uses a premium subscription model. That means your course is not sold as a standalone product.
You get paid a flat $10 for each new student you refer. You also get a percentage of Skillshare’s revenue based on your course watch time. This model can be lucrative if your course becomes popular.
Starting a YouTube channel is another way to make money drawing. Your videos and artwork could be exposed to millions of viewers. If your channel takes off, the income from YouTube could replace your full-time job.
You can create art tutorials or how-to videos for vector drawing software like Adobe Illustrator or Affinity Designer. You can review products like drawing tablets or art supplies. You could also share videos of you drawing something from start to finish.
With an overhead camera setup or screen sharing software, you can start a YouTube channel without showing your face if you’re camera shy. As long as you can hold the viewer’s attention and clearly explain if you’re doing tutorials, you can gain subscribers.
You can potentially create multiple streams of income through YouTube. You can monetize your channel through AdSense ads, drop an affiliate link or two for art-related products in your video descriptions, or you could promote your course or artwork in your videos.
Create a Book
Amazon has a publishing platform called Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). You can self-publish an eBook or print-on-demand paperback.
You supply the content, KDP publishes it, and lists it for sale on Amazon. If you sell physical books, KDP prints the books and ships them for you.
You could showcase your work in book form. If you have a decent following, your fan base can support your work through book purchases. Other types of books you could create include coloring books, journals, and notebooks.
Start an Art Blog
In addition to your drawing talent, you’ll need some technical knowledge and writing ability. Knowing something about WordPress, SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing would be highly beneficial.
Topics you can cover with your blog posts include:
- Drawing tutorials
- Reviews of art supplies or tech gear and software for digital drawing
- Interviews with other artists
- Local art fairs or other events
- Opinions on art trends
- What you’re working on
- Tips for freelancing or making money with art
You can cross-promote your social media profiles, YouTube channel, your online store, and any courses you create. You can leverage these third-party platforms for driving traffic to your blog as well.
Building a consistent income takes time, but you can generate multiple sources of income through blogging. Monetize through display ads, selling your own art products, sponsored blog posts, affiliate marketing, or donations.
Make Money Drawing with Freelance Drawing Jobs
The gig economy allows anyone with an in-demand skill to earn money providing services and doing short-term or one-off contract work. With drawing skills, you could land jobs doing logos, graphic designs for products, comic books, illustrations for marketing materials, book covers, web graphics, and more. You’ll get to work from home and set your own hours.
There are several websites with legit work-from-home jobs and freelancing opportunities. Here are a couple of sites where you could start offering your drawing services:
Upwork is a leading freelance marketplace where a lot of freelancers get their start. You create your profile, describe the services you offer, and upload samples of your drawings. You can also look through the opportunities posted and bid on jobs.
Upwork handles all the billing and collections for you. Their free ranges from 5% to 20%, depending on how much you bill.
Fiverr is a beginner-friendly freelancing platform where you post a drawing gig and buyers purchase your service. You are not limited to charging $5, despite what the site name suggests.
Buyers on Fiverr are generally looking for custom drawings and artwork. You can make money drawing cartoons, logos, portraits, caricatures, web graphics, comics, or other types of illustrations. If you specialize in a niche, build up your feedback with fast delivery and good communication, then your target audience will come to you.
Customers pay you through the platform. Fiverr’s cut is a flat 20%.
Sell Drawings to a Greeting Card Company
If you can produce funny, inspiring, and cute drawings the greeting card industry could be a good fit. Greeting card companies always need new talent, including illustrators. Pay rates vary, but you could get a flat rate or royalties. Here are some greeting card companies to check out:
Shoebox is Hallmark’s line of humorous cards for all occasions. They work with freelance illustrators and graphic designers. They have a short form you can fill out and include a link to your website or portfolio.
Oatmeal Studios sells smart and funny cards for a variety of occasions. Even if you don’t have any ideas for specific greeting card ideas, they encourage sending samples of your work. Your style and talent might convince them to collaborate with you.
When you sell your card designs to Card Gnome, you get a 10% royalty. You can create an account for free and start uploading. They handle sales and support. You retain the copyright on your work and your designs don’t have to be exclusive.
Turn Your Drawings Into Tattoo Designs
CreateMyTattoo.com is a marketplace for custom tattoo designs and a source of income for artists. You can submit any original design you create, set your own price, and get paid 80% for every sale. Each design can be sold multiple times.
In addition to the marketplace, you can participate in design contests. Customers describe their ideas for tattoos and how much they’re willing to pay. You draw and submit your version.
If your design is selected, you win the cash, minus the site’s 12% commission. You can submit as many designs as you like.