How To Make Extra Money With Art on Redbubble
Do you have a talent?
Being an artistic type is sometimes pretty tough. People ask all kinds of patronizing questions like, "How are you going to make money like that?" or "Why don't you get a real job"? If you've ever wanted to make a passive income with your art, there are a bunch of places on the internet that can help you out. Now I'm nowhere near guaranteeing that it will replace your job, or even your part-time job. But if you work hard and put in the time required, you can generate a nice little passive income to pad up your Christmas fund or have a little extra to catch a movie now and then. One such site that can help you generate some money is Redbubble.
The Redbubble Logo
Redbubble is a Print on Demand (POD) website where you can submit your art. That means that when you submit your art, they provide the printing service on a variety of materials, such as mugs, t-shirts, posters, etc. You get a commission on each item you sell, which you determine yourself. Also, you keep all the rights to your work.
A pencil fantasy realism piece for instance
How Commission Works
As far as commission goes, you can set your own rates. There are set printing rates established by Redbubble, but you can collect commission on top of that set price. You can set your commission rate based on the set price, so if an item's set price is 100 dollars, and you set a 10% commission, you would make 10 dollars. But your customer would have to pay 110 dollars for you to get that commission money. So when you are setting commission, keep in mind good prices that your customers would want to pay, don't overcharge them. 15-20% is a great place to start generally. You have a choice to be paid either in check or paypal.
File Type and Sizes
You have to submit your artwork as a PNG file. There is a minimum size that the file has to be, which is around 3500 pixels by 3500 pixels. The reason the file has to be a certain size is to fit the wide selection of items it is printed on. There are really large items too, like bedspreads. As a rule of thumb, I make my files 11000 by 11000 pixels to make it fit on all products and so I can play with sizing options.
Multicolor pieces, not in a square shape!
The Different Types of Art
You can submit just about any type of art imaginable. From realism to cartoons to nature photographs, you can submit anything. But if you are submitting mature content, you have to mark it as such. Sometimes different art is good for different products. For instance, pattern art that looks good on scarves and bedspreads might not look as good on a t-shirt. So variety never hurts!
Some material is copyrighted, as you probably know. However, some companies allow their fans to produce art because they see it as free positive publicity. With this in mind, you can get away with producing some fan art that people will love. Some companies do not want you producing any fan art and Redbubble will pull your art off the site. You will receive an email stating why your work was removed and asking whether or not you want to take the matter to court. Don't take the matter to court. Learn your lesson and move on unpunished. Some companies that do not want art produced related to their property are Disney and Big Tobacco companies. Some companies that encourage fanart are video game companies and cartoon networks. Just saying. And for all the original work you upload, you keep all the rights to it.
Original based on commercials!
You get views, favorites and sales as you submit more artwork. There are marketing techniques you can employ to get more exposure and more sales. You can promote on facebook and other personal sites. Also, there are contests and forums on the sites you can participate in to gain more viewers. It's a general good idea to do some marketing techniques, but they are not completely necessary. Check out the next part to see why.
Patterns are great for this site!
Patience is a Virtue
Whether you market yourself or not, selling art online requires patience and persistence. I don't network extensively and it took a few months for me to get my first sale. As you gain exposure though, you move further up in the searches on the site and on other engines, like google. I also submit work on a fairly regular basis, with lots of variety and with things I think my audience would enjoy. So my personal advice for those who don't like marketing, submit a wide body of work often, and be patient. Eventually the ball will get rolling, as you probably won't be an overnight sensation. Work hard and good luck!
Nintendo approves fanart!
A word about the art
All the art you see here except for the redbubble logo is my own, available on my redbubble site. Head on over if you want to check it out with this link!