Most of the time, artists usually stick to selling prints and canvas pieces online. Many are wildly successful at this. However, many ignore or miss the other opportunities to make money painting. They don’t realize that there’s a huge market for other types of products from your artwork, like for example selling patterns online, especially if you’re a painter. Here’s why and how to sell art online and make money by painting.
Can you make money online with painting?
It seems like an impossible combination. The online art scene is highly competitive and to break out as an artist online requires strategy and a lot of patience. Making money as a painter – offline or online – has its challenges too.
Artists must understand that there will always be a demand for art, especially for art made by hand. Purchasing an original print is considered a higher value people will pay top dollar for instead of getting a copy.
Besides selling artwork with prints and canvas, painters may feel limited in their options to make money online.
Painters need to get creative in figuring out how to bring their handmade art to a digital medium. That is why creating clipart and patterns with painting can be an excellent option for artists seeking to mesh the two.
Why sell patterns and clipart?
Even if your goal is to be a well-known (or just a well-paid) artist of big canvas pieces, creating clipart can be a way of increasing your reach online. Often, particularly on online marketplaces like Etsy, it can be a numbers game. The more products you offer, the more likely you will be found.
Having an expanded offering can be a strategic move in bringing more eyes to your art!
Another reason to create clipart from painting is to become a fantastic source of passive income. Passive income is the regular income you make from selling digital products in an automated process. That means you make your products once, set up a foundational approach, and let that automatic method continue to sell your product. The idea is to create a process that will require minimum maintenance as it continually sells the same product.
It’s a great way to make money, and many pattern artists make a full-time living with passive income.
Another reason to sell clipart is that they are trendy and versatile. Pattern artists who get picked up by large brands use their art for all kinds of products: notebooks and planners to smartphone covers. You can do the same thing yourself, thereby expanding your product offering even more. Get creative, and you may find endless opportunities to make money online with artwork.
I'm Convinced, but How Do I Start?
There are three things you need to start selling patterns online.
- A step-by-step process that carries you from design to selling.
- The right tech and knowledge to use them efficiently.
- An automated system to sell.
There are three main types of patterns to learn: repetitive patterns from single illustrations, patterns from textures or overall paintings, and vector patterns. That means you’ll need to be familiar with a raster-based photo editor like Photoshop and a vector-based app like Illustrator. These two types of software will be able to take your hand painted art and bring them to a digital format you can work with over and over again.
You can watch me design a quick, seamless pattern from my hand-painted artwork using my favorite Photoshop actions here:
With the right tech, you’ll need to know how to export and size your pieces, so they are optimized for quality and various use. You also need to understand how to create product mockups to test them and make sure they are ready for market.
Of course, you need to make this whole setup passive, requiring minimal maintenance. With a streamlined artistic, digitizing, optimization, and testing process, you’ll need to be able to create a whole collection of patterns to sell online.
If reading this sounds a little overwhelming, consider taking my course
My course, Sell Patterns from your Paintings, is a step-by-step process I’ve perfected over the years. I break down each step: from painting the illustrations to turning it into a digital product (seamless pattern) that will sell repeatedly. My course will save you so much time from hours of googling and figuring it out by trial and error. Your time is valuable, and it can be worth it to invest in the right process from the start.
My course “Sell Patterns from your Paintings” is always available for $67.
But if you are an illustrator like me, I'm doubling the offer!
You can get both my patterns course AND my clipart course for the price of one.
They will make the perfect complementary knowledge as they give a complete process. From scanning, cleaning, and prepping your artwork to the actual techniques I use in Photoshop and Illustrator to the copy, description, keywords and title tips I use to sell my artwork online.
It’s a great combo and the perfect way to start your journey in making passive income from painting.