Are you a graphic designer, illustrator or creative hobbyist? Today we are excited to share our top 5 ways you can start earning money through your design skills!


1. Create and Sell on Print on Demand sites

Ever wanted to see your designs on a t-shirt? or turn your artwork into products such as stationary, apparel, greeting cards and art print, you can do so by using print-on-demand sites.

These sites handle the ordering, manufacturing and shipping while the artist purely focuses on creating art. Here are a few of our favourite sites for apparel and art prints:

For stationery and greeting cards try:

2. Sell on Stock sites 

You can upload your illustrations, photographs or design templates on Stock sites. These sites then sell the images/artwork to others to use on creative projects!

You then keep a percentage of the profit, and this process keeps repeating without you having to do anything. The more you upload, the more you could potentially make. Here are a few of our favourite stock sites:

  • Adobe Stock
  • Freepik
  • Creative Market For inspiration, here is an excellent case study on how you can make money selling illustrations: How Nicky Laatz designed her way to one million dollars.
  • Selling Patterns only

    Want to learn more about selling on Adobe Stock? Check out the following tutorials:

    In this tutorial, we look at Marina's beautiful artwork from Molesko Studio and uncover the secret ingredients that make her work stand out from the crowd and gain popularity on Adobe Stock!

    In this tutorial, you will learn how to make passive income from using Adobe Stock!


    3. Start Teaching Online

    Are you a Photoshop wizard? Do you enjoy helping others? Perhaps you have a unique design style that you want to share? Then teaching may be a perfect option to make extra money.

    You can teach online courses, teach at universities and creative events, or even write an e-book on your creative process! 

    Here is some excellent platform to start teaching!

    FUN FACT: Yes I'm A Designer founded by Martin Perhiniak grew into a successful Online Education provider teaching Adobe Applications to thousands of students globally. Martin initially started sharing his passion for design on YouTube and on third-party educational platforms whilst working as a full-time designer.

    4. Enter design competitions on Crowdsourcing sites

    Entering contests is a great way to work on projects you want to specialize in and grow your portfolio. These sites are a great way to boost your skills, and find recurring clients and make some money.

    Want to learn more about using Crowdsourcing sites successfully? Check out the following tutorials:


    5. Be open to Freelance work

    Here are a few approaches that have worked for me and many of my designer friends to get freelance work!

    Use your connections

    Sometimes looking for work a little closer to home is the best way to get freelance gigs. Go through your contacts or directly approach brands or influencers on Instagram or Facebook that you will love to work with!

    Online presence

    Being active online is a great place to market yourself. Make it easy for potential clients to find you on different platforms (choose the ones that suit you and spend time updating them and engaging with others). There are loads of great online spaces for creatives to meet potential clients. We love Behance, Dribbble and Instagram!

    Collaboration

    Get to know other designers and collaborate on a project! Collaborations are a great way to make friends in the creative industry and attract new clients. I found Instagram to be a great way to connect and collaborate with other designers.

    Networking events

    Attend networking and creative events, talk to as many people as you can, and generally be interested in others and their businesses. Give out your contact details but don't be too pushy. If we are in a pandemic or you're not confident about meeting people, you can always join many online communities. Check out Meetup to find local creative events!


    Conclusion  

    There are several ways you can make extra income; however, all require a lot of trial and error! Try to avoid using all mediums and expecting instant success, instead choose an area or two you feel most comfortable and put all your energy onto that.


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    About the author 

    Shumi Perhiniak

    Shumi is a self-taught graphic designer and illustrator. In 2012, she took an entire year off to study Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. In just 6 months, she started freelancing and became a Certified Photoshop Expert. She has worked as an in-house graphic designer for brands such as Toni&Guy, Renaissance Learning and Baker Ross.

    She also owned a physical stationery shop selling her art prints and now focuses on selling digital art prints online under the name HerDesignWorld

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