Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Behind the Scenes // Creative Business // Create a passive Income / Top 5 websites for artists

When I was still working as a graphic designer for a local design agency I started to upload my images on stock websites. I always loved to make photo’s and back in the day, we are talking 15 years ago, I was always carrying a camera. My archive of random street photography and abstracts was pilling up and I wanted to put those images to good use. While I was working as a graphic designer I use websites like Getty Images and iStock Photo and up until today I will have a steady base income from royalty platforms.

Passive income is very important. Without this chunk of income I would not be able to built my business. If you are starting out as an independent artist trying to monetize your work there are lot’s of places to turn to. Some websites are only looking for on trend creations, some you are welcome to sell your own original handwriting. Some just are too chaotic and you have to invest way too much time to prepare work in order to sell. I have tackled quite some websites in the past and am now happy with my small list of passive income companies I do business with. Here is a top 5 of my favorite websites to earn some extra cash.

1 // Spoonflower
If you are a surface pattern designer this website is a great way to showcase your work. You can upload your designs as .jpg files and the website is easy to navigate. You can add tag words, a short description and you can easily scale your designs, so you don’t have to worry too much about the quality you upload. Of course working with a high quality .jpg works best, that is obvious to proper designers, but you don’t have to add other scales manually. You can do that in their own system. Starting out Spoonflower can be a little bit pricey. You will have to order your own fabric samples and do a quality check and that can get a little costly. I started out selling my work through Spoonflower around 5 years ago. So my portfolio was built gradually. Seeing your first samples come in on organic cotton or silk is amazing though, and there is a lot you can do with those samples. For me this website is my number one pick.

2 // Society6
Society 6 is a website where you can sell wall art, clothes, iPhone cases, home textiles, accessories… there is so much to choose from. I love the quality of their iPhone cases and always order one of my own prints to protect my phone, a great way to start a conversation about your work, since your phone is always with you.
You can set your own price and I love how easy it is to navigate the backend. You can just prepare one file and use it for all products or you can customize your products. Whatever works best for you.

3 // Creative Market
As an artist I know creative Market is the obvious pick when it comes to passive income. I do not have a whole lot of experience with this website yet. I just started selling designs a year ago. But if you are a graphic designer it is a great way to showcase your work and get in touch with potential clients. You can upload logo designs, photography, website templates and more traditional graphic design products. You can also set your own process on this website. I love that you can have the option since some designs take a lot more effort to create then others. I would really recommend using Creative Market when you are starting as an independent designer. It is probably one of the most famous websites to purchase creative work. So your work will be exposed to people all around the globe. I see chances!

4 // Zazzle
This website has so many products listed it is madness. You can place your designs on products that will be printed by Zazzle. Since I have been selling here for a while I know all ins and outs but all those product choices can be a little bit overwhelming and you will have to invest quite some time to get some traction here. The overall style of the website is a little messy and looks a little cheaper than the clean Society6 website or stylish Spoonflower design. iI can understand this would be a no go. The website does represent your work. Something to consider. The fun thing about Zazzle is that some products are also used on tv series and in films. I found my owl iPhone case in a How I Met Your Mother episode. That sure was awesome! if you are based in the US this website is a great place to upload your content. If you are based in Europe like me you will also have to deal with tax forms and international trading laws. So inform yourself on these things before you start selling and notice it is not giving you any proper revenue due to tax regulations.

5 // Skillshare
Everyone has something to tell and something they can teach. When i hired an account manager this month I noticed all those things I could do on automatic pilot were not at all obvious for her. I had to sit down with here and while I was talking things over I realized running a creative business has let me to some skills other people are looking to learn from. Skillshare is a website where you can share those skills. You can make tutorials and monetize your creative wisdom. Talking about forms of media, targeting new clients to using Instagram for business, how to pick the right brush, creating watercolor flowers, there is so much we can all teach others. Make a list and write down all the things you need to do in order to run your business and also add your creative process. I bet there is a lot you did not realize is worth a little explanation. Teach art. Sounds like a great experience right?