How to Sell Your Art Online in 5 Steps

5 steps to sell your art online

Step 1. Build your portfolio.

In order to start selling your art online, you should have a decent sized portfolio for potential customers to choose from. Aim for 10-25 artworks.

sketch book designs feathers pug painting watercolour

You can either make a bunch of new artwork, or dig up some old pieces that could work digitally or physically to sell.

Step 2: Decide where to sell your art.

Next, you’ll have to decide where to sell your art and that will depend on your medium, style, and goals as an artist.

Identify your audience and how you want to sell your art.

  • Are you going to sell primarily prints? (many avenues)
  • Are you going to sell physical work, such as paintings? (Etsy, or Fine Art America)
  • Do you create sculptures, jewelry or something else tangible? (Etsy)
  • Are you interested in designing t-shirts and/or home decor products? (Society6, Zazzle or Redbubble)

Check out my blog post about Where to Sell Your Art Online to help you decide.

For even more help on deciding where to sell your art online check out these posts:

Step 3. Optimize your artwork for sale

You’ll have to optimize your art digitally, or take a nice photo of it in order to sell it online.

  • Scan or photograph your artwork
  • Make it a large file size
  • Try to get sharp lines and true colors
  • Post process in a program like Photoshop to fix colors, or clean up scans.

Here is a an explanation of how I clean up my drawings using Photoshop and Illustrator

Step 4: Upload and enable as many products as possible

Upload your art to your chosen platform.

If you are going the Print On Demand route,  only add to products that look good and work with the design.

mermaid cell phone case example

Step 5: Market your products

This is where a lot of artists struggle because, well, we’re artists not business or marketing professionals!

  • Share your products and artwork on social media. 
    • Create an Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook page dedicated to your art.
    • Ideally, choose one you use frequently so it’s not a burden to learn or use daily.
  • You may consider building a website, which can be a hub if you sell on multiple platforms. It could be a blog or just a portfolio of your work.
  • Check out my pages for inspiration:
  • To dive deeper into marketing, watch tutorials on YouTube or try Skillshare to hone your business skills or even artistic skills as your business grows.

There is a lot to learn on the business side, but don’t neglect your art!

Consistently create new designs so you can figure out what works and what doesn’t, and go from there.

Consistency is key!

For more tips on selling your art online check out these posts:

Social Media Marketing Tips For Artists
Blogging for Your Art Business
How to Increase Your Sales on POD Websites

I hope you’ve found this guide to selling your art online useful.  Feel free to leave any additional tips or questions for me in the comments below!>

Cheers,

Julie

Selling your Art on POD Websites – Redbubble vs. Society6

selling art online print on demand society6 vs redbubble

Hey guys, I’m back with another comparison post about selling your art on POD (Print on Demand) websites!

This time I’m comparing 2 popular websites I sell my artwork on, Society6 and Redbubble.  I’ve broken down my comparison into sections to make it easier to compare and hopefully find what you’re looking for more easily.
So read on to learn more about selling your art on POD websites and find out which one might work best for you!

Store Front

As of this time, I prefer Rebubble’s store frontStore fronts are easily customized with a header, profile photo, bio, optional journal entries, and collections.  Your latest art works are also shown this page.

On the design page you will see the default product you chose when uploading the artwork, and below that is a button to show which other products are available.  You can also see reviews (of the product, not your art) and comments people have left you.  [Pro tip – leaving comments is a great way to connect with other Redbubble artists!]

You can also “like” designs and “follow” other artists on both websites, which I recommend doing.

Society6 has recently updated their store front. Right now (as of April 2019), you can click on edit shop then choose “Sort By” and then choose either Random, New or Popular. I recommend choosing “Random” so it shows a good assortment of your products and designs.

You can also customize your store front with a banner and a logo or profile image.

Audience

Both Society6 and Redbubble cater towards a young, hip, and trendy audience.  Think festival gear, college dorm or first apartment decor, stickers, and unique accessories. Trendy pattern designs and sayings are popular on both websites.

The audience on Redbubble seems to be slightly younger than Society6 as they focus more on stickers which are popular with teenagers and young adults.  However, Society6 recently introduced stickers too which are gaining in popularity.

Overall I think the target audience for both of these sites are young adults (20s and 30s) and their parents buying gifts for them.

Ease of Upload

Redbubble’s uploading tool is the easiest of the POD sites I’ve tried.

It’s great because you can upload your main design and then customize it for each product type.  There are options for tiling the image (to create a pattern), or you can replace the image entirely if neither of those options work.
You can also change the background colour on Redbubble, which is handy when working with designs that have a transparent background.

As of April 2019 you can now “copy” the settings of an existing design to make uploading a similar design even easier!

Society6 has also recently updated their uploading tool to make it more like Redbubble’s, which is great. However, it still has a few issues and lacks tools like tiling or the ability to change the background colour.  It’s not a big issue – you just have to adjust your image accordingly. Also, transparent (png) images don’t work well except for stickers.

In general, both are pretty easy to upload but Redbubble has the edge in my opinion.

Products

blue gold mandala pattern scarf redbubble

In terms of products, both offer a similar range which includes apparel, electronics cases, and home decor items. The prices are about the same as other online POD stores and they often run 20% off or other similar promotions.

Redbubble has some unique products that are not on Society6, such as mini skirtsdresses and scarves among others.

Society6 also has unique products such as furniture and yoga mats.

The quality is pretty good on both sites and varies depending on the product.

I have a really nice tapestry from Society6 that I used as a bed sheet in the warmer months. Friends have purchased mugs and beach towels and were very happy with what they received.  T-shirts and hoodies can be hit or miss.
Both websites add new types of products from time to time so look out for that.

Earnings and Payment

Redbubble earnings are paid automatically around the 15th of every month (to Paypal, or direct deposit), and there is a $20 minimum threshold.

Similarly, Society6 pays automatically to Paypal, with whatever balance you have on the 1st of every month.

Both are reliable and I haven’t had any issues getting paid from either.

Marketing

The folks at Redbubble and Society6 are pretty good at marketing and driving traffic to their respective sites, so it’s mostly a matter of getting your own designs out there (which is easier said than done).

Check out my post on Social Media Marketing Tips for Artists to learn more about marketing your designs.

Most products have nice display images that you can screenshot and use for your own marketing initiatives.  You can also find some nice promotional tools on the Redbubble blog, such as fun templates like this one:

throw pillow mock up template selling art redbubble

Society6 also has a curator link on each product page, so you can receive extra royalty not only on your own products but other’s as well!

Another nice thing that Society6 does is they will send an email out before a sale so you can prepare, and they provide you with an overlay to create your ads. Usually it’s just text containing the discount and promo code so you can layer it over or within your own images.

Example:

society6 sale promo template example

Shipping

Redbubble and Society6 both have reasonable shipping costs which varies depending on the product and package weight.

Redbubble has headquarters located in San Francisco (U.S.) and Melbourne (Australia) so the products are shipped from one of those areas depending on your location.  Also, you get a free sticker with purchase and their packaging is super cute.

Society6’s headquarters is also in California but some products are manufactured in different locations within the U.S., so you might get multiple packages.  Sometimes they offer free shipping worldwide promotions.

Shipping from both stores is pretty quick, and you can choose a faster shipping method if required.

Note: Some products take longer to manufacture than others so it could take longer to ship and receive!

Summary

Both Society6 and Redbubble are great options for selling your artwork online, but overall I prefer Redbubble!

However, both have great things to offer and it all depends on what you feel comfortable with and works with your art style.

Personally, I use both because, as they say, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket 😉

Want to learn more about selling your art online?  Here are some more great posts to check out!