If you’re an artist looking to open up more opportunities for yourself, there’s no better place than the internet. There are enough different means to make a living through your artwork online that nearly every artist has a chance to make it. You just have to be willing to put in the work.
Many wonder if its worth it for artists to invest in the online market, but you ultimately get back exactly what you put in. It’s exactly the same as with traditional methods in that regard. In order to give you a strong starting point, here are some of the most useful online platforms and practices to focus on:
1 – Commissions
The best possible way to make it as an artist online is to offer commission work. Sketches, full renderings, or even entire scenes can be offered for arranged price points. Many people are even willing to pay for completely digital illustrations or mere scans, so you don’t need to feel held back by an inability or hesitance to ship packages.
The only caveat to commission work is that you have to do a lot of marketing upfront. That means starting social media profiles on the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram. By utilizing hashtags correctly, you can easily get a lot of eyes on your artwork and gradually build an audience. A Deviant Art account will also be useful. Once you have some followers, it should be quite simple to start landing some commission work. Be sure to offer custom avatars and the like for a great “in” that will draw in plenty of business.
2 – Patreon
Similarly, Patreon is a platform that allows creators to receive monthly payments from their supporters. You can offer to regularly share artwork with anyone that happens to pledge a certain amount of money each month. If you have enough of an audience, you can make a respectable living even by only requiring an amount as low as a single dollar per person. As with commissions, the success of your Patreon is all in the marketing. You should also consider streaming on the Creative section of Twitch or uploading “speed drawing” videos of Youtube to provide added content that will make supporting you seem worthwhile.
3 – Etsy
Finally, you can’t beat Etsy as far as marketplaces for original artwork. While you’ll have to eventually navigate the wild world of self-employment taxes, you can easily post up paintings, prints, crafts, and drawings to a huge potential audience. As long as you’re willing to send physical mail, this is one of the most tried and true means of selling artwork online.