My digital arts really because I’m a digital artist but so it won’t be as related to fine art but some of the arts are traditional oil painting classes. Hopefully this will help you out. So what it is? It’s kind of response, a response to requests or questions where you know, somebody asks you know how do you make money with your art? And I kind of thought about that because you know, there’s a lot that goes into that and there’s a lot of ways I could describe it in a lot of details to each area. I guess is what I’m trying to say like for instance, I do a variety of things to make money with my art and it kind of all requires a little explanation. So what I’ll do is I’ll get started on the list and then I’ll explain each one some in more detail because some require a little bit more explanation. The number I’m going to start from the least profitable or the least money-making things at this juncture of where I’m at today.
First one would be Patreon
Okay, so I have a Patreon account where I either share bits of my work process, artwork, tutorials, videos, skin tone palette, whatever through Patreon. People pledge to me monthly to kind of help me keep creating art, so it’s kind of like Kickstarter but it’s in a monthly fashion and you can stop at any time. It allows people to say I like what Rob’s doing and I want to support his work here’s X amount of dollars. I have different levels in which people can support my work now. For me, that’s been the least profitable thus far and I don’t know if that’s because I just don’t have the right levels or I don’t contribute the right stuff to it. I’m not sure, I’m still relatively new to it but you know I’ve heard other artists just take off and you know they can commit solely to that and make their living. That hasn’t worked out for me and that’s fine. I’m going to talk a little bit about that as well because the other thing that I think is very important when it comes to being a creative digital artists or artists in general is being willing to know that there are kind of certain things will work and certain things won’t and not letting that affect you negatively but using it as good information.
Essentially, whenever you learn something about something, you’re doing right or wrong, you have to take it into account and not be disturbed by it. So, the more you learn to do this, the better your art will get, the better you’ll profit as being a working professional. Things like that, so essentially that every time something will say or even negative occurs in the way that you’re doing things, you need to learn to pull good from that and if you do that, you’ll always be moving towards success. That’s the quintessential part of that. I just wanted to mention it because I think, so many people look at it and they get this in heart and go like: “well my arts not selling so I can’t, I must not be any good”. Figure out, look a little bit further into that and then you know, learn from that and hen grow from that and move forward.
The next thing is just so everybody knows, the Patreon thing doesn’t bring in a large sum of my money at all but it does grow at times, it does. I get certain people that contribute things like that and then one thing I’ve just changed was I added a tear where I would help mentor people help them with their work and do Google Hangouts and things like that. That’s part of me adjusting and trying to learn new things about what might work and what won’t. That’s one and like I said, that’s the least amount that I make from any of my digital art endeavors.
Number two is Commissions
Occasionally, I sell Commission’s of my work. It can be fan or it can be somebody’s favorite character, can be my character design just whatever. Generally, they’re digital for the most part but I also sell traditional art and I’ll just tell somebody, hey I’ll do a traditional art piece for you but you got a cover shipping because I don’t always know where they’re located right off the start. I’ll sell a couple commission’s a year. I don’t sell a ton of them. I don’t overly promote them I guess as much as I could but I do occasionally sell them. They are quite rewarding and actually, I sell the most of them. I guess it would be at comic conventions. When I do comic book shows, I sell probably, I don’t know at least five sketches every time. Sometimes they’re originals, sometimes they’re sketches I do. At the show, I usually I do pretty well with sketches at every convention I go to. I don’t know why that is but maybe I’m a people person. So that’s that’s probably the second smallest income that I received from any of my endeavors.
Generally, it’s digital. When I do this type of stuff and in that case, I’ll just to clarify that because somebody asked me a question about that not so long ago. I kind of combined the answer to that. They asked, how do I sell to somebody my digital rendition and the answer to that is you give them the only high resolution and sometimes you give them the right of reproduction. That really depends and you’ve got to seek out legal advice if you’re going to get any large contractual type stuff. But generally, I’ll tell people they can reproduce it, pre-printed a couple times, whatever as long as they don’t make money off it then they can print as many times they want. There are licensing rights and things like that. If somebody that’s going to use it commercially and then, that’s when you’ll want to you know or delve further into that whole bagworms there. yeah so that’s another one right
Third is YouTube
Everybody and I think and I could be wrong here but I think they don’t really want you to tell people how much you make so I won’t get into the exact numbers but I’ll just I’ll break it down for you. Like this, I’ll tell you the things that you are allowed to talk about that I see everybody talking about. It’s basically a dollar per thousand views, so you do the math. It’s not a lot of money. You got to have a lot of views to make some kind of living or income off of YouTube alone. I’m not going to discount it because actually, YouTube has been one of the things that’s really helped me grow my exposure and I think it leads to sales. Overall, I think that YouTube is is fantastic you know. I don’t look at it as a strictly money maker, I wish I could get enough views to make a living off Youtube. That would be astounding you know but it doesn’t work that way at least, not for me. I mean, there are definitely channels out there that get absorbent amounts of views and I’m sure they can live comfortably off just what they make there and I’m sure, even still that isn’t the their sole income and they’ve probably monetized it.
Based on those views, what ends up happening is it opens up doors to all other avenues, so essentially, you know that exposure is great that it leads to other ventures or opportunities. Exposure are more beneficial than even the money that you would make off some kind of ad revenue from YouTube.
Number four would be teaching online and Five will be digital content
This is where it starts to get a little bit healthier of an income for me. I’ve actually been able to do pretty well with just this portion of making a living and justifying the work that I do here. A lot of you probably notice that I make like digital products that I sell on my Gumroad, that at times I can do really well and then I’ve also taught on a variety of platforms. This all kind of stemmed out from YouTube, so at first, I got approached by some teaching sites and then someone approached me and said hey you know, we like what you’re doing on YouTube, would you like to teach a few courses for us? And they paid out right and that was pretty cool. I won’t talk numbers there just because I don’t know what what you’re supposed to divulge there and those numbers, I’m sure are always changing. That’s just how markets work so so I don’t want to get your hopes up and say numbers but I’ll tell you it was it’s good money. It was good money because I don’t do that anymore but it was a nice, comfortable amount for the amount of bot work they had to put into it.
My freelance work, basically a storyboard artist, some of the time you know when I get my my gigs or whatever my jobs. I’m also a comic book artist but I do a lot less comic book work just because, I don’t want to dishearten anybody, but it’s tough to get the numbers where they need to be.
That’s my list of five ways that I derive income as an artist and as a digital artist.