Getting Your First Sales
The most difficult part of selling Art online is getting no sales when starting out. Some people get lucky and start selling right away, but it’s not the norm, and it didn’t happen for me.
Not making sales on day 1 (or month 1) is normal, don’t get discouraged, keep creating and uploading.
That being said, there is a near sure-fire way to start getting sales almost immediately.
It’s called Fan Art.
Enter Fan Art
Fan art is art made about a character, location, or other aspect about a TV show, movie, book, or other work of fiction.
Maybe you’ve already spotted the problem. The Law. Companies and individuals own copyrights on these works. You won’t get far violating someone’s rights, so don’t try.
Because so many people were creating fan art with 0 care about violating others’ rights, the companies teamed up with the marketplaces (notably Redbubble) to allow artists to sell licensed artwork on the marketplaces.
Pretty cool, right?
Now, there are dozens of series, movies and more in the Redbubble Partner Program. You can check out the list of available brands here.
Nailing Fan Art Ideas
The best fan art comes when it reminds the fan of their favorite moments on the show. This is wasy to do if you too are a fan of the show. In fact, you should only make fan art of the shows you love. Why? Because it’s fun! And when you make fan art you truly love, others will truly love it too!!
Making Fan Art
Here’s five ideas to make Fan Art. Of course, sky is the limit, but this will help you get started!!
- Catch Phrases — Make a stylized catch phrase. I like to use Illustrator for this, expand the text, and make the fill a picture or texture. Pro Tip: Fat fonts work best because you can see more of the image! You can also try to find the font that they use in the show.
- Filters on Screen captures — Get a screen cap, vectorize it (or not) and then apply filters in Photoshop, or any other filter app. Pro Tip: You can increase the size of the screenshot before adding the filter, and in most cases, you will get a super high quality image that you can use for Redbubble. This works because the filters will be as HQ as the image’s resolution.
- Patterns and Mandalas — Vectorize a character, then use Illustrator to make a pattern, or use the rotate tool to rotate your character around a center point (and repeat) to easily make a mandala! Pro Tip: You can make a mandala with multiple characters, or one character in multiple situations.
- Silhouettes — Find or make a vector pattern of your favorite character, then fill that silhouette with an image! You can use your art, or a commercial-free stock image you find online. Pro Tip: Try a stylized screenshot as the fill!
- Add a character to your art — Do you make some bangin’ art? Just add a character and Done! Pro Tip: This is best accomplished with blend modes in Photoshop.
I walk you through ALL these techniques in my course about Fan Art.
How do I like to make fan art?
My favorite way is to create vector outlines of characters or objects, sometimes even text, and then put an image inside of that shape. I also like to make patterns, which can look good both geometrically and aesthetically.
I teach all of these ways and more in my course on creating and selling fan art.
My favorite Fan Art Program
I am biased towards Redbubble, having had quite a bit of success there, so naturally, I love their partner program. Objectively, they DO have the most options of any program, and seem to be the best at managing it. You can see what shows are in the Redbubble partner program here.
If you liked this article, I encourage you to check out my Sell a Ton of Fan Art Course (Limited-Time Coupon Link). In the course, I teach all 5 ways I talk about in this article to create fan art, plus will show you all the placed you can sell fan art legally. Also available on Skillshare.