How to Sell Digital Art in 2023: A Step-by-Step Guide

Do you want to know how to sell digital artwork online? We’ve got you covered.

Digital art has a large market. If you are a graphic designer with talent, you can make a lot of money selling your work online.

In this article, we will show you exactly how.

We’ll start by looking at how to make digital art that buyers will want. We’ll then show you how to market it on your website as well as through online marketplaces.

We’ll then give you a few tips on how to market your digital artwork effectively. We’ll also answer some of the questions that new sellers most frequently ask.

Why sell digital art?

Let’s start with why every digital artist should be selling their art now.

This market is booming. Global online art sales last year reached $10.8 billion US Dollars, and this figure has steadily risen year after year. The demand for digital art formats such as NFTs has driven much of this growth. Art is one of the best digital products that you can sell.

It’s becoming easier. No longer do you need to be an internationally renowned artist to sell your artwork. Anyone with a unique style and talent can find buyers today. Social media allows you to do your marketing and gain a following quickly.

It provides a passive source of income. You can sell digital art as many times as desired. One piece of artwork can potentially provide you with an income that will last the rest of your lifetime.

It’s fun. Comparatively, digital art sales are a lot more fun than other online businesses. You can earn money doing something you enjoy.

Make digital art that sells

Talent is only half the battle if you’re looking to start a successful business online selling digital art. You’ll also need business knowledge to ensure that you create stuff that is actually marketable.

Here’s a guide to making digital art that will sell.

Decide what kind of digital art you would like to sell

You need first to decide the type of digital artwork you wish to trade.

You can sell your artwork as downloadable files. We’re talking here about:

Print-on-demand allows you to upload your digital artwork onto blank products and create your customized merchandise. You can then sell the inventory online and have print-on-demand handle printing and shipping.

You’ll be able to sell digital art services with commissioned pieces. A client will hire you to create a bit according to their specifications.

This post won’t cover commissioning but rather the sale of art that you have already created.

If you’re interested in this route, networking is key. You can advertise your services and show off your work on subreddits such as r/forhire, r/hungryartists, and local Facebook groups.

It’s also worth making sure you’re actively promoting yourself on social sites like Instagram/Twitter/DeviantArt.

You can also sign up on freelance marketplaces such as Upwork. You can also sign up for freelance marketplaces like Upwork, where clients will post jobs looking for artists to commission.

Establish your unique art style

All of the most successful digital artist have their style or USP.

The best advice I can offer you is to avoid being a copy-and-paste artist when creating digital art. It would be best if you tried to make your niche in the market by creating something that is unique and that buyers cannot find anywhere else.

The first step is to establish your unique style.

You may already be familiar with your style and the type of art that you enjoy creating. You’re in luck if you do.

You can begin by deciding what kind of digital art you enjoy and which artists you admire, then move on.

At this point, you should start to do some market research. You can also check out marketplaces such as Redbubble and Etsy to see which art styles are currently in demand and analyze the competition.

Start Designing

It’s time for you to get started on your designs once you have decided what kind of digital art to sell and established your style.

You can choose how to approach this step, as each artist has their creative process.

Some artists prefer to begin by sketching their designs out on paper. They scan the images to their computer and then open them as layers in their graphic design software.

Some people prefer to draw directly in the software that they use, using a drawing pad. No pencil or paper is required.

Graphic design software is almost always required.

Adobe Illustrator can be used to create scalable vector art. If you plan to create 3D models, Blender is a good choice. Procreate will be your best option if you enjoy creating art on an iPad.

Formatting your art

You’ll want to save your artwork in the correct file format.

You have several options, but the best one will depend on where and how you intend to sell it.

You’ll want to make sure you understand the format requirements of any print-on-demand company with whom you are working. Different fulfillment providers have different file types supported and recommended resolutions.

You’ll want to use either TIFF or PNG if you plan on selling your artwork as digital downloads. TIFF offers a higher quality but at the cost of a larger file. JPEG does not support transparency.

You should also format your artwork at 300 dpi. This is the minimum standard for commercial printing presses. It’s up to the artist whether they format at 400 dpi or higher.

Protect Your Art

The last step to preparing your digital art for sale is to protect it from copyright theft.

Many sellers steal work’ from other digital artists. They tweak it (or do nothing) and then sell it as their own.

To begin with, I would recommend creating low-quality, downsampled versions of your artwork for use as thumbnails and previews. This will make it harder for other people to copy and paste it or scale it up without destroying the quality.

A watermark can be added to your preview images. This is easy to achieve in programs like Photoshop or Illustrator.

When it comes time to sell your artwork, be sure that you have a license. Your license should clearly state what the buyer can and cannot do with your art.

You can ask them if they want to use the work for commercial or personal purposes or if they are allowed to reproduce it. Artists rarely enable clients to produce/duplicate work, and they retain the rights. Online, you can find templates for various licenses.

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