Startup Costs: Under $1000
Mode : Home based / Online / Part-time / Full-time
Franchises Available : No
Bloggers and writers often use clip art and images to complement their articles and posts. Clip art is used in almost all kinds of presentations to be screened live or printed. There was a time when people only have the clip art resource in Microsoft Office applications to use, but these days, there is a wealth of free and public domain images that can be used royalty free. However, sometimes you cannot find the images that relate to your content or the free and public domain resources are not up to your standard. It’s then that you might need to search for paid clip art resources. While paid clip art does not necessarily mean better quality, if you buy your clip art from a reputable website or resource provider, you can be sure that you would be using those clip art legally and within stipulated requirements.
Do you love designing clip art – those stand-alone images of almost anything, from fruit to animals to office workers? Are you a prolific designer who’s produced thousands of clip art images and have them stored all over the house – in your computers, thumb drives, online servers etc? Many clip art designers been told they’ve got a real talent and could make money with their gift but they’ve never really explored the possibilities because they think their work doesn’t measure up to others’ or they just don’t have the confidence. Truth is, you don’t HAVE to corner the market on clip art graphics to make money – you just have to find your niche, and take your slice of the pie. You don’t have to be a master at every genre of clip art – you just have to continue to be good at what you’re good at and keep building on that. Here are a couple of examples of clip art designers who specialize in a specific type of clip art and they make money at it :
- Alice Smith : specializes in beautiful clip art of kids, animals and teddy bears.
- Cheryl Seslar : also specializes in the same genre as Alice, but with her own special blend of visual flavor.
- Avenie Digital Store : produces amazing patterned tiles that can be used as backgrounds for almost any project.
- PoppyDreamz : creates digital clip art resources for school teachers as well as a wide range of colorful everyday clip art images.
In case kiddie flavored clip art is not your forte and you’re more into more serious artwork, here’s another few just to give you an idea of the type of niches you could target :
- Lushik @ iStockPhoto.com : user who specializes in gorgeous everyday icons or business related icons.
- ArtVea @ iStockPhoto.com : eye-catching business communication graphics and inforgraphics among others
- JazzPattern @ Dreamstime.com. JazzPattern designs beautiful clip art and patterns based on musical instruments.
- Burlesck @ Dreamstime.com. Burlesck produces an ecclectic mix of images.
First of all, you need to determine where your design strengths lie. Are you more comfortable designing whimsical art, or kiddie clip art or more serious artwork and business infographics? Then, search the internet for websites that are looking for clip art designers who want to sell their art. Some websites like MyGrafico.com and iStock.com require you to submit an application, including links to your portfolio so they can see if your work is a right fit for them. You will need to find out their revenue sharing agreement as well – who gets what percentage. This is a normal thing because you are using the website as an intermediary for storing, displaying, marketing and handling the digital download of your clip art. If submitting applications is not your thing, then there are open marketplaces like eBay and Etsy where you can list your clip art for sale. There will usually be a nominal fee to list your clip art. You’ll need to find out what mode of delivery is offered by the website.
- The easiest delivery mode would obviously be digital downloads. For digital downloads, you will upload your clipart collection to the website where they will list it in their marketplace. When a customer decides to buy your clip art, they will check out, make payment, and the website will send the customer an email containing a download link.
- If you choose to compile your clip art into a CD collection, you will receive notification of a completed sale. You will then have to ship out the CD to your customer according to the agreed delivery mode and timeframe. Dealing with physical products has its drawbacks – actual physical delivery, risk of damage to the CD, non-delivery due to unforeseen circumstances and worse of all, request for refunds from unsatisfied customers.
Your equipment is basically your computer and your internet connection and a CD/DVD write drive that allows you to make your clip art CDs (if you’re selling physical versions). There are many graphics software available to handle your design needs. Vector art is very popular these days because they allow your customers to tweak the artwork to precisely fit their needs. If you’re on a shoe string budget, you can still download free graphic software :
- InkScape : Powerful, free design software for illustrators, designers, web designers or just anyone who needs to create some vector imagery. Inkscape boasts flexible drawing tools,broad file format compatibility,powerful text tool and Bezier and spiro curves.
- Paint.Net : Free image and photo editing software for PCs that runs on Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.
- GIMP : GNU Image Manipulation Program is a freely distributed software for photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
Marketing and Promotion
Many independent clip art designers sell their artwork just to supplement their income. Very often, they’re just regular folk like stay-at-home-moms or they hold full time jobs and design clip art part-time as a hobby. Whatever income they generate from the sales of their artwork is extra, so they don’t think too much about marketing and promoting their artwork/stores.
Most graphic artwork websites will have periodic sales and feature certain designers/stores, but how often your artwork is promoted or given a mention can be few and far between. So, if you want to increase awareness of your clip art stores and designs, you’ll need to hit the social media network, start a blog or website and write about your clip art, post helpful links in online forums and list your clip art on online classifieds like Craigslist.
You will find that over the course of time, certain types of designs sell more frequently than others. Use this as a gauge to produce more designs in that genre. It means that people think you have a flair for designs in that genre and choose those particular designs over others. Increase your chances of making a sale by putting up your clip art on as many stock image websites as possible. Keep on producing art work. Markets change and art work that is popular this month can quickly become out of style the next. Like we said in the beginning, unless you’re a big producer employing a few graphic artists whose job is just to churn out artwork daily, you will be competing solo with lots of designers. Your aim is not to beat all of them – but to find your niche, be good at it and get your slice of the pie. Remember, it’s about slowly building an income stream doing something you love, one clip art, one link at a time. This is no get-rich-overnight money maker.
Here are some resources to help you learn vector / clip art design :
- 20 Vector Graphics Editor : Quick run-down of 20 Vector Graphics Editing software.
- 12 Free Design Programs : As the list says, 12 free vector and photo editing software.
- 20 Basic Illustrator Tutorials : Excellent resource for beginners to learn Adobe Illustrator – the most used software for designing vector artwork.
- Vector Apps for iPad : Vector apps that you can use on the go on your iPad.
Places to sell your clip art (graphics websites) :
- DepositPhotos.com : http.depositphotos.com
- iStockPhoto.com : http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-illustrations
- ShutterStock.com : http://www.shutterstock.com
- DreamsTime.com : http://www.dreamstime.com
- 123RF.com : http://www.123rf.com
- DollarGraphicsDepot.com : http://dollargraphicsdepot.com
- MyGrafico.com : http://mygrafico.com
Places to sell your clip art (online marketplace) :
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