5 Easy Steps to Monitising Your Work as an Artist

5 Easy Steps to Monitising Your Work as an Artist

By Nasima A. 

 

I’m sure some of us, at one point, dreamed about having an art-related career and 

whilst most probably won’t pursue their passion full time, it doesn’t mean that you 

can’t have a money-making hobby on the side! 

I never believed that my artistic hobbies would see a life beyond my bedroom walls 

despite being encouraged by my mother and her colleagues to set up my own 

card-making business. My fear of not being good enough is the reason I never 

pursued it. People love your work when you give it out for free, but when they have 

to pay? It just makes everything more complicated. At least, that’s what I thought. 

We live in this crazy, digital, social media obsessed world right now and it would be a 

disservice to yourself if you didn’t take full advantage of that. There are so many 

ways to promote your work, to manufacture and to sell – all without having to leave 

your bed – that’s the dream right there! 

 

1.  Getting started 

My humble beginnings started at university when I took the plunge and bought 

myself a drawing tablet. Something simple from Amazon for this novice illustrator; 

it’s important to realise that if you’re new to digital art then you probably don’t need 

to splurge on the latest equipment.  

A drawing/graphic tablet is handy when it comes to digital art but it’s not 100% 

essential. You have the option of drawing on paper, scanning it onto your computer 

and uploading it to your preferred editing software. 

 

2. Risk-free selling  

 

You can upload work onto sites such as Redbubble and Society6. These are free 

platforms (Society6 has a $1 sign-up fee) for artists to upload their work to be sold 

on products. The companies do the hard work for you (manufacturing, shipping, 

payments). Just make sure you read the site’s artwork guidance information so you 

get the best out of the service.  

In terms of money, you can choose your profit margin (how much you get paid from 

each sale). The default is 20% which is quite small and so if you want to increase it 

then you can, however in doing so you will increase the overall price of the product 

and then there’s the risk of it being too expensive – so don’t get too greedy! 

 

3. Promote, promote, promote! 

 

I began uploading art onto Redbubble back in 2013 and just hoped for the best. 

Over the next few years I had only seen a couple of sales. My sales increased once 

I began sharing my work more actively. Take advantage of social media, always have your shop link visible and let your followers know that your work is on offer. Sometimes these sites also offer promotions so let your followers know that too! Read my article on ‘The Benefits of Sharing Work on Social Media’ here.  

 

4. Consider manufacturing your own products

Stocking your own merchandise could be the next stage for you. When you buy 

wholesale or in bulk, it’s usually cheaper when you consider the price per unit. 

There are loads of manufacturers available that can produce badges, cards, clothing 

and stickers – research the best suppliers for you. It will involve some investment, 

both time and money, but it’ll be cheaper for your customers (compared to 

Redbubble) and you’ll get more back as well.  

Just be sure to factor in additional costs such as shipping and packaging 

(envelopes, bubble wrap). That will all total to your overall costs and you want to 

make sure you get back what you’ve spent! 

 

5. Don’t work for free! 

 

There is a saying that sometimes you have to work for free to get your foot in the 

door. Whether it’s a commission or an internship, working for free shouldn’t be 

encouraged. It’s an excuse to abuse labour. If you genuinely want to work for free 

then that’s completely up to you, but understand that you do deserve to get paid for 

your time and efforts so don’t be afraid to ask for money. 

 

6. Again, don’t be greedy 

 

Really consider your pricing strategy. Don’t go into all this thinking that it’s all about 

money. Consider the value that you are offering. 

An easy way of figuring out how much to charge is by breaking it down:  

●A deposit 

●Labour/time  

●Initial drafts 

●Final piece 

●Any extras 

Remember, it’s not always about the money – we all need humble beginnings! 

For more from Nasima check her out on Instagram @moosleemargh

Pray, Say & Slay Team