Procreate isn’t just a great drawing app that’s fun to play around with as an artist. It’s actually a great tool for making money. Artists have an amazing opportunity to sell their Procreate art and actually make a decent income from it.
I’m a big believer in diversifying income. You never know when one income stream will take a hit and need to be supported by another. All of the options on this list are a FANTASTIC way to make money with your Procreate art, but don’t rely solely on any one of them.
If you’re simply looking for a little extra spending money that doesn’t need to contribute to your living expenses, sure, just try one or two of the options on this list that appeal to you. However, if you have dreams of making a full-time living from your Procreate art, you’ll want to diversify your efforts and build multiple streams of income.
1. Redbubble, Merch by Amazon, TeePublic, and More
The most passive way to sell Procreate art is through royalty-based print on demand companies. Artists simply upload their designs to each platform, with no expectations to handle inventory, production, or customer service. Generally, profits tend to be lower with this selling method.
The reason why these print on demand platforms are first on my list of how to sell your Procreate art is because any artist who neglects them is missing a HUGE opportunity. Here’s why.
Firstly, these platforms are a great way for artists to dip their toes in the waters of selling art.
All of these platforms are royalty-based. When an order comes in, the company will handle everything, from producing the product, to shipping it, and handling any customer service issues that arise.
There’s no need for you to do anything. Many times, your customer won’t even have a way of contacting you if they would want to. It’s very hands off.
You’ll get a royalty payment, which will vary in the amount depending on what type of product you sell.
Secondly, these platforms are a great way for artists to bring in some extra money without having to take away a lot of time from their own work.
Simply make it a routine to upload each of your designs whenever you finish them, which will only take a few minutes per design.
One of the biggest hurdles to selling art is switching from an artistic mindset to a business mindset. I don’t know about you, but I like creating art more than I like dealing with customer service. These platforms take that business burden off of you, giving you more time to stay immersed in Procreate.
Thirdly, you can sell your art on a LOT of products at once with royalty-based platforms.
Many of these royalty-based platforms let you upload your design to a lot of great products at once. Merch by Amazon has been expanding beyond t-shirts in the recent years, and Zazzle has almost any product imaginable.
Redbubble has one of my favorite selections of products, including mugs, shower curtains, puzzles, bags, all types of apparel, and more.
These platforms are probably sounding too good to be true, right? Well, everything has its downsides. That’s why there are 4 more selling options listed below. So, what are the biggest downsides of these platforms? Profit and control.
Your profit may not be as high with royalty-based platforms as with other selling options.
It’s FANTASTIC that these royalty-based print on demand platforms give you a quick way to upload your Procreate art and watch the money come in without having to deal with any of the business hassle.
That comes at a price though.
In general, your royalties per sale will likely be lower than what you could get by running your own store on Etsy or Shopify. I see this as the price I pay for having the platforms handle everything relating to each customer’s order.
In order to be successful with these platforms, it’s important to upload a large volume of art and make sure that you use titles, tags, and descriptions that are SEO optimized.
It’s hard to build a brand with royalty-based platforms.
When you sell your work with these platforms, it’s hard to build up your own following and brand. For example, when you sell a shirt on Amazon, customers will associate that with Amazon, not with you.
While Redbubble and TeePublic will allow you to create a branded storefront, you won’t be able to interact with your customers in a way that leads to strong brand awareness.
Personally, I think of money from royalty-based platforms as bonus money.
While there definitely are artists who have made a full-time living from the platforms listed above, I wouldn’t count on it. It can take a while to build up a large portfolio and, even once you do, you’re playing in someone else’s playground. You have very little control over what these platforms do and how it will impact your income.
So, I believe that Procreate artists should DEFINITELY build stores with royalty-based platforms, but don’t rely on it as necessary income. Think of it as bonus money. Overtime, it can grow to a substantial amount that supports your artistic endeavors.
Selling your art with an Etsy store is a good middle ground between royalty-based print on demand companies and hosting your own website. Etsy’s organic search can bring in a decent amount of traffic to listings, while artists remain in control of their profits and production processes.
Etsy gives you more control than royalty-based print on demand companies do. You get to choose your products, prices, and production processes. You also get a better chance to build your brand and make a name for yourself as an artist selling their work.
A lot of times, this can result in higher profit margins.
For example, I make about $3 from my mugs on Redbubble, but about $8-$10 on Etsy (depending on shipping location). That’s a big difference!
Of course, along with taking on more profits, you’ll also take on more responsibilities.
On Etsy, there’s no one there to fulfill your orders for you or handle your customer service.
That’s not always fun. But, here’s how I deal with it. When I get tired of the customer service or hassle, I turn my Etsy store on vacation mode and take a break from it. Simple as that! If you plan for your Etsy store to bring in money for living expenses, you won’t have this luxury, but as long as it’s a side hustle, vacation away!
With Etsy, you have the freedom to sell any number of products you can dream of.
Prints, digital downloads, stickers, apparel, mugs, or more.
If you don’t want to worry about inventory, shipping, or managing your products, I suggest starting a print on demand store. You can read my full post about print on demand providers that integrate with Etsy and can make your life easier as a seller.
Personally, I primarily use Printful and Printify. They are wonderful companies to work with and produce really great products. It’s even fun to sign up for free accounts with them just so that you can buy products for yourself or for family and friends.
The reason why I call Etsy the middle ground between royalty-based print on demand platforms and hosting your own e-commerce website is because you still have to play by Etsy’s rules, despite having more responsibilities with your store.
Etsy can change their fees, organic search structure, policies, or more. It’s important to stay up to date on what Etsy is doing so that you know how to adjust as a seller.
That said, Etsy has a big reputation in the e-commerce world. As an artist on their platform, you’ll benefit from their traffic as long as your listings are optimized. This is a HUGE perk, and a big reason why so many artists love it.
If you want to build your own online store with your Procreate art, but aren’t ready to make the plunge to your own website, Etsy is a great place to start.
3. Sellfy, Shopify, and Self-Hosted Stores
Self-hosting of your own ecommerce store via Sellfy, Shopify, or other website tool, offers you the most control and ability to build brand awareness when selling your art. This can be a large undertaking and should only be taken on with the appropriate knowledge of marketing, business, and ecommerce.
Unless you have a background in business or ecommerce, I would not suggest choosing this option when first getting started with selling your Procreate art. Start off with royalty-based print on demand platforms or an Etsy store in order to get your feet wet.
When you decide to host your own ecommerce website, EVERYTHING is on you.
You no longer have Etsy to help bring in traffic or manage credit card payments. You need to be savvy with marketing and business workings in order to be successful.
Sellfy is a platform for ecommerce stores that has a free trial. This allows you to check out their platform and see if running your own store is right for you. Grab Sellfy’s free trial here!
If you’re interested in this path, I suggest taking a few Skillshare classes. Skillshare is a platform that is specifically geared towards artists. Along with their fabulous art classes, they also have a number of business and entrepreneurship classes that are designed with artists in mind.
These classes can give you a good sense of what you’re getting into when starting your own business with your Procreate art.
If you’re not too jazzed about selling your art online in the traditional sense, you’re in luck. Our last two options on this list might appeal to you.
Offering art commissions can be a great way to make money with Procreate while still doing the thing that you love – art!
What I love about offering commissions is that you literally get paid to create art. While you will need to do some marketing to bring in traffic, you won’t have to deal with mass producing prints, shirts, mugs, etc.
This is also a really great way to build up a loyal following and audience. Imagine how connected someone will feel to you and your work once they hire you to create art for them? Creating a beautiful piece of someone’s dog, wedding photo, or beloved grandparent is really special.
If you’re wondering how to gain traction for your commissions, consider building up a social media presence. There are also quite a few artists that offer commissions on Etsy.
Pateron is an amazing platform for artists to build a community and make consistent income from their work. Unlike other selling methods, Patreon functions on a subscription model, which makes it a more reliable income stream.
Patreon is a platform where artists, influencers, entertainers, and more, build communities. Members of those communities can subscribe to any number of tiers in exchange for products, services, podcast episodes, virtual hangouts, and more.
As the artist and leader of the community, you get to determine the pricing for each tier, and what’s included in each tier. If you liked the idea of doing commissions, you can offer that in one of your tiers!
Other ideas for tier rewards include merchandise, digital downloads, personalized artwork, behind the scenes looks at your work process, live webinars or hangouts, and more. Let your imagination go wild when determining your tier rewards!
While it might take time to build up a large Patreon following, this will be an audience that you’ll get to know really well, and will grow into raving fans. Patreon gives you a unique opportunity to really engage with your audience, and for them to directly support you on an ongoing basis.
It’s a fantastic opportunity.
It’s also a uniquely awesome way to make money from your art.
Unlike the other options on this list, Patreon gives you a stable and consistent monthly income.
Although your subscriber count can fluctuate, you can more accurately predict how much money you’ll make each month with Patreon than the other options on this list. Instead of hustling for each product sale, your focus will be on nurturing your audience and making sure that they continue to be happy subscribers.
The thing about Patreon is that it doesn’t bring in a lot of organic traffic. There might be some people that scroll through Patreon in their freetime, but it’s nothing like the volume of people who scroll through Etsy.
You will need to do some work to build an audience and bring them over to your Patreon page. Once you can do that, Patreon is a fantastic way to bring in money from your Procreate art.
Selling your Procreate can seem scary and overwhelming. But, if you take it step by step, and start small, you can start building a sizable income from your art. I hope these income generating ideas have inspired you to take the leap and start selling your art!
Diana has been an artist for over 25 years and has training in drawing, painting, digital drawing and graphic design. Diana’s latest obsession is digitally drawing with Procreate and creating t-shirt designs with Canva. Diana has experience selling her art across a number of platforms and loves helping other artists learn how to make money from their art as well.