How to Create Digital Art to Sell

Creating digital art offers a world of opportunities for artists to share their work with a global audience. As an artist, one of the most exhilarating aspects of digital creation is the ability to transform your artistic vision into a product that can be sold online.

creating digital art

Whether you're working with vector graphics, digital paintings, or photo manipulations, your art can find a home in the burgeoning online marketplaces that cater to a diverse community of art enthusiasts and collectors.

Before diving into the world of online art sales, it's important to consider what type of digital art you want to produce. Maybe you're drawn to creating intricate digital illustrations or perhaps you prefer crafting 3D models that can be used in games and animations.

Each form of digital art has its unique appeal and market potential. When you're ready to sell your digital art, setting up your digital storefront or choosing the right online channels to showcase your work is crucial.

Online platforms range from specialized art websites to general marketplaces, each offering different advantages in terms of audience, pricing flexibility, and creative control.

Basics of Digital Art and Market Demand

When you're looking to create digital art for sale, it's crucial to grasp what digital art encompasses and the current market demand for digital work. Recognizing where your art fits within the market can give you a competitive edge.

Defining Digital Art

Digital art is an expansive term that covers art made with digital technology. This includes digital paintings, graphic design, and digitally created images that can be sold as digital files or digital art prints.

Unlike traditional art, digital art offers the advantage of versatility and replication without loss of quality.

Researching the Market

Understanding the market for digital art isn't just about recognizing trends; it's about knowing the data behind what sells. The U.S. digital art market, for instance, was estimated to be worth around $13.3 billion, showing a clear demand.

Take the time to research platforms where digital art is sold and note what types of artwork are currently popular.

Identifying Your Niche

Your niche is where your style of digital art intersects with market demand. Some popular niches include:

  • Original Characters: Unique designs often used in gaming or storytelling.
  • Concept Art: Visual representations used in films, video games, and animations.
  • Digital Portraits: Commissioned pieces of individuals or characters.

To identify your niche, look at what resonates with your artistic style and where there’s consistent demand. It’s a balance between creating what you love and what the market seeks.

Creating Your Digital Art

Before you start creating digital art to sell, it's essential to choose the proper tools and software, hone your artistic skills, and design with your target audience in mind. Each step is crucial in transforming your creative vision into a sellable product.

Selecting the Right Tools and Software

The first step in your digital art journey is to select the tools and software that suit your needs as a designer.

The digital landscape offers a variety of software options, from Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to Procreate for iPad users. Your choice should align with the complexities of your work:

  • Adobe Photoshop: Best for intricate raster (pixel-based) artwork.
  • Adobe Illustrator: Ideal for scalable vector artwork.
  • Procreate: A user-friendly option for digital painting on the go.

In addition to software, the hardware you choose – whether a graphics tablet like Wacom or a touchscreen device – will significantly affect the precision and quality of your artwork.

Developing Your Artistic Skills

A strong portfolio stems from well-developed artistic skills. Take advantage of tutorials and courses available on platforms like Skillshare or Udemy to refine your technique and discover new styles.

Practice is key, so regularly challenge yourself with new projects. Remember, as your skills grow, so does the value of your artwork. Resources for skill development include:

  • Online Tutorials: From beginner to advanced, tutorials can help you master your chosen software.
  • Community Feedback: Engage with creative communities on networks like DeviantArt or Behance to gain insights and improve your work.

Designing Artwork for Your Target Audience

Understanding your target audience is pivotal. You'll need to research market trends and customer preferences to create artwork that sells.

Are you targeting gamers with a penchant for concept art, or are businesses looking for sleek, professional designs? Create pieces that resonate with them:

  1. Market Research: Browse digital marketplaces to gauge what's popular.
  2. Engage with Your Audience: Use social media to get direct feedback on your designs or to spot emerging trends.

Design with the end product in mind, considering not just standalone pieces but also how your art can be applied to products like phone cases or T-shirts, which you can sell on platforms like Caseable or Creative Market.

Setting Up an Online Presence

Your online presence is a must for selling digital art. It's where you'll showcase your work, connect with customers, and sell your art. Here's how to start building your online footprint effectively.

Building a Professional Portfolio

To establish credibility, you need to present your art in a professional portfolio. This should highlight your best work and showcase your unique style. Aim for:

  • Consistency: Keep your portfolio's design uniform.
  • Quality: Only display high-resolution images of your artwork.
  • Narrative: Include a brief description for each piece that explains the inspiration or the process behind it.

Consider hiring a web designer or using platforms that specialize in portfolio creation to ensure your work is displayed professionally.

Choosing the Right Ecommerce Platform

You'll need a platform that can handle sales, display art effectively, and provide good user experience. Some top choices include:

ShopifyCustomizable, good for larger storesMonthly fee + transaction fees
Big CartelGreat for small stores, simple to useLimited features compared to others
EtsyLarge audience, easy to useCan be competitive, fees per listing

Select a platform that aligns with your vision and budget. Remember to choose one that supports high-quality image hosting to accurately represent your digital art.

Creating Your Online Store

Your online store is where transactions will happen. Make sure your store includes:

  • A Catchy Domain: Purchase a domain name that is memorable and reflective of your brand.
  • User-Friendly Design: Your store should be easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Secure Payment Options: Ensure there's a range of payment methods available.
  • Mobile Optimization: With increasing mobile users, your store should be mobile-friendly.

Combine functionality with style, perhaps by hiring a web designer to tailor the user experience to your specific brand and style.

Diversifying Your Digital Art Products

Expanding your range of digital art offerings can help you reach a broader audience and provide more value to your customers.

Whether it's through custom commissions or a diverse product lineup, there's a strategy that fits your style and business model.

Offering Commissions and Custom Work

By offering commissions, you're opening the door to personalized and bespoke art pieces that can command higher prices.

Here's how you can make a commissions business work for you:

  • Communication is key: Clearly outline the process, pricing, and timelines for your commissioned work.
  • Showcase examples: Display past commissioned pieces to give potential clients an idea of your style and quality.
  • Set boundaries: Define the types of work you're willing to take on to ensure it aligns with your artistic vision.

Creating a Variety of Product Types

Your digital art can be transformed into various products, making your work accessible in more than one format. Here's a list of products you might consider:

  • Prints and Posters: Offer high-quality prints in multiple sizes, from small posters to large canvas prints.
  • Apparel and Accessories: Put your designs on t-shirts, hats, or tote bags.
  • Stickers and Greeting Cards: These are great for customers looking to support you at lower price points.

Protecting and Managing Your Digital Assets

Selling digital art isn't just about creation; it's equally important to guard your work and have an organized system for your files. Let's dive into how you can protect your intellectual property and ensure your digital assets are safe and well-structured.

Intellectual Property Considerations

As soon as you create an original piece of digital art, it's automatically protected by copyright under your name. This means others can't legally distribute or replicate your work without your permission.

  • Licensing Agreements: If you're selling digital downloads, consider offering them under specific licensing terms. This helps you control how your artwork is used and protects it from being resold or misused.
  • Watermarking Your Art: To discourage unauthorized use, you might add a visible yet unobtrusive watermark to your PNG files. This can serve as a deterrent against theft but remember that full-proof protection is challenging to achieve online.

Dealing with Infringements: If your copyright is infringed upon, take swift action. You may need to issue take-down notices or potentially seek legal counsel to rectify the situation and safeguard your rights.

As you embark on your digital art business journey, remember that selling digital art online isn't just about creating great pieces; it's also about understanding the market, positioning your brand, and reaching out to potential buyers.

Effective marketing strategies, such as engaging with your audience on social media or optimizing your online store's SEO, can make a significant difference in how successfully you sell your art.

With the right approach, selling digital art online can be a rewarding way to monetize your creativity while expanding your artistic reach.

Rich Kainu

Article by

Rich Kainu

Rich Kainu is the founder and a main contributor to Deal In Digital. He has over 12 years of experience in digital product creation, sales, and marketing as well as content creation strategies..

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