Are you visually creative and wondering how to start earning a living on your artwork or graphic design skills? Today’s post is all about you! The Internet is a wide, wonderful, and hungry place – by using online art marketplaces, you can sell people across the world your artwork. You can sell prints or products, whatever you want – and you can leverage your artistic portfolio into passive income streams to help support you for years to come. Sound good? Read on for 10 of the top places to sell your art online.
Artfinder is an international company going on a decade in operation – they're based in Miami and London and funded by private investors from around the world. They're dedicated to nurturing artists from all over the globe, too – their community numbers over 10,000 artists from 108 countries. Their mission is to create a “friendlier, fairer world for independent artists,” and their platform connects artists to over half a million people.
Artfinder is a juried art gallery platform, so you have to apply and be accepted to join – but membership is free once you are. They take 33% on sales. The application involves telling them about yourself (with links to your current online presence) and your inspiration as an artist. You must also submit high-quality images of your original artwork (and that artwork must be one-of-a-kind or part of a limited edition series of 150 or fewer pieces). They’re incredibly popular, so apply as soon as you can – their current turnaround on applications is up to six weeks.
It should come as no surprise that you can sell your art on Amazon – after all, they sell everything else! By joining Amazon Handmade, you'll become one of many artisans selling everything from jewelry and stationery to soap and artwork. The rules for joining Handmade mean that your products must literally be handmade – either created by you, by one of your employees (and you should have 20 or fewer employees), or by a member of your cooperative (and the coop should be fewer than 100 people). You'll need to apply to sell with Amazon Handmade, and they'll send you an email invitation if you're approved.
Amazon combines all of their fees into one flat fee of 15%; that covers marketing, payment processing, seller support, and fraud protection. You can even set your products up to be fulfilled by Amazon to streamline your customers' shopping experience. Amazon Handmade also sets you up to accommodate customized products and they provide a custom URL to make your branding easier.
3. Creative Market
For you graphic designers, Creative Market offers a robust marketplace on which to offer your designs. Whether you create fonts, clip art, templates, or themes (among other items), you can sell your creations on Creative Market. They have over five million members, so the earning potential has the capacity to be significant. They also don't require any kind of exclusivity from their artists, meaning you can still sell your art elsewhere as well. Since your products are digital and securely stored with Creative Market, your clients enjoy immediate delivery of their purchase.
As usual, it's free to set up an account with Creative Market. They also grant you the freedom to set your own prices and streamline their process so you don't have to wait for each piece of artwork to be reviewed and approved. Creative Market takes 30%, and artists keep 70% minus any taxes assessed.
DeviantArt bills themselves a “the largest online art gallery and community” and, with over 47 millions users, they're not wrong. They've built that reputation over the last 19 years, hosting a wide array of art from artists worldwide. The backbone of the site is their free gallery feature – every user can host and share their artwork for free in their own personal gallery. For those fantasy and science fiction artists, you'll find an especially welcoming home. There's a vibrant photography community as well.
DeviantArt also helps artists monetize their creations through DeviantArt Prints, though note that your art must be approved by DeviantArt before you can sell it using their platform. You can offer your art on a variety of products, from postcards to canvas and fridge magnets to calendars. As a free user, you don’t get to set the price on these products and you can expect to earn about 16% of the purchase price. However, you can also purchase a core membership from DeviantArt for $15 (every three months) or $50 (every 12 months), and then you can set your own prices to better optimize your take.
If you have something creative to sell, Etsy is one of the most popular places to do it. According to the company, over $3 billion dollars were spent on purchases using their platform in 2017 by purchasers from around the globe. Artists use the site to sell one-of-a-kind paintings and other artwork, commissions for illustrations and graphic design, and other art forms like sculpture, jewelry, knitted or crocheted dolls, and so much more. Spend some time exploring what other artists offer on the platform before you get started so you know the best practices for listing your own creations.
It's easy to get started selling as well – sign up for a free account, then pay just 20 cents per listing. Your listings last until they sell or for four months, whichever comes first. When you do make a sale, you'll pay a 5% transaction fee and 3% + 25 cents per for payment processing. Keep these fees in mind so you can incorporate them into your pricing structure.
6. Fine Art America
Fine Art America is a household name in the fine art game online. They've been in business for 13 years, and advertise themselves as the world's largest art marketplace and print-on-demand technology company. They've built an artist base in the hundreds of thousands – including artists in traditional media, photographers, illustrators, graphic designers, and more. They also go beyond the usual product offerings that artists can have their artwork printed on, adding in benefits like selling on Facebook and creating newsletters.
You can join Fine Art America to sell art online as either an independent artist or photographer or as a gallery. Your membership enables you to maintain an online portfolio, sell your art on their platform as traditional art or products, and network with other artists. They offer print-on-demand products like greeting cards, phone cases, tech accessories, home decor, lifestyle products, and more. For most of their products, Fine Art America sets a base price and then you choose how much of a markup you’ll add to that price – and you keep the markup. If you sell original artwork, you keep 100% of the sale; you set the price for any digital downloads, and they add 30% to that price as their cut.
RedBubble is another popular, product-oriented platform for the independent artist. Based in Australia, they got started in 2006 and have grown into a platform hosting over 400,000 artists and designers over the past 13 years. RedBubble’s especially popular among artists of the fantastic and the weird. They emphasize the quality of their offerings from vinyl stickers and pillow covers to metal prints and hardcover journals. With millions of customers, the opportunities for success are significant.
As a member of the site – and, of course, it’s free to sign up – you have complete control over what products you sell your work on, and you get to set your own price over the base price for every item. That means that you control the markup. Their pay cycle begins on the 15th of each month, and artists are paid for each product shipped in the previous pay cycle.
If you already have your own website, why not sell products through your own space? Shopify lets you do just that – they're an e-commerce platform that you can integrate with your own branded site. They've been around since 2006, boasting over half a million active Shopify stores that represent over $82 billion in sales over the last 13 years. They offer artists using their platform the capacity to easily manage their customers’ experience from shopping for and ordering products to processing sales and even selling in retail stores.
You can check Shopify out with their 14-day free trial, but after that, there is a fee to keep using their platform. Pricing begins at $29 per month, which covers your own online store, unlimited products, sales channels, free SSL certificate, and more. As your business grows, you can level up your offerings through their $79 per month or $299 per month plan for larger-scale operations.
Society6 is one of the most popular products sites for artists out there today, and they've nurtured an international membership of hundreds of thousands of artists. It's free to sign up for their site and as simple as uploading your artwork in the correct resolution to set up products featuring your art that customers can purchase. They offer fine art prints, framed prints and stretched canvases in traditional art formats; people can also buy iPhone cases, laptop skins, t-shirts, and more emblazoned with your artwork. You could possibly have your products featured on Society6’s retail partners’ shops as well.
Society6 offers plenty of resources to help you with marketing and pricing competitively. You set the markup for each product, so you control how much you get paid per sale. They issue payments on the first of every month, and there's a 30-day grace period from the date of shipment on every sale (to accommodate returns as necessary).
For sheer breadth of products offered, it’s hard to beat Zazzle as a platform for selling your art. One of their fiercest value propositions is making anything customizable for their customers – and, indeed, it's one of the cool aspects of selling your designs through their platform. You can empower your customers to customize your products to a designated extent. Zazzle has been growing their business for 14 years, and guarantee 100% satisfaction to their over 30 million customers.
It’s free to join Zazzle and start putting your designs on their products right away. You can also sign up to sell your own products on their platform. As with other sites, you set your own markup over their base price, and that’s how much you’ll earn on each sale. Their standard royalty rate is 5%, but you can go up to 99%.
Alright, artists! It’s time to get out there and set up some passive income streams for yourself – leverage these sites to grow your customer base and prosper!