The internet has provided millions of creative people an outlet to share their talent and actually get paid to draw.
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It doesn’t even matter what kind of drawing style you have. You can be into hyper-realistic drawings, cartoons, caricatures, comics, anime, portraits, doodles, and so on.
If you’re persistent enough in getting your drawings out there to be seen, it’s likely that you’ll find someone who would love your work enough to pay for it.
Here are a few ways to get paid to draw and websites to look into for opportunities.
4 Ways to Get Paid to Draw
When you explore opportunities available for artists, you’d be faced with these 4 choices:
1. Traditional Drawing Jobs
You can get paid to draw by becoming a graphic artist, storyboard, technical, or general illustrator, cartoonist, fashion designer, animator, and many other related jobs.
These jobs are available in job marketplaces, such as FlexJobs. I recommend starting your search here because all the companies here are vetted first, ensuring that the job opportunities you’re looking at are all legitimate.
You might also want to go through job sites that cater to artists and creatives for more opportunities.
Here are some of these sites to get you started.
2. Offer Drawing Services
Showcase your talent and announce to the world that you’re accepting drawing jobs.
You can start off by posting on your social media profiles that you’re looking for opportunities to get paid for your drawings. You may be surprised at how many would be interested in getting your services for a project or two.
You can also offer your services on freelancing sites where you can list the type of drawing you can do, set and negotiate the price, and post a portfolio to showcase your work.
Fiverr is an example of a freelancing site that lets users buy or sell services and digital products for at least $5.
The amount can go lower or higher depending on the subject, but the idea is that you can create a quick sketch of a person, a logo, or whatever else a client needs and get paid within an hour.
I’ve talked about the potential for earning money on Fiverr, but if you wish to get paid to draw, this marketplace can be a good place to start.
There are plenty of subreddits on Reddit as well looking for paid artists, such as r/HireAnArtist or r/DrawForMe, so feel free to dig deeper.
Call for artists are posted here regularly, but note that not all are paid jobs.
Other sites you can join include PeoplePerHour, UpWork, and Freelancer.
3. Sell Your Drawings
Drawing based on somebody else’s requirements takes time and experience.
Not everyone can easily accommodate a client’s drawing requests, but you’ll get there eventually if you wish to turn your creativity into a full-blown business.
While you’re getting used to the freelancing world and how to communicate your ideas with clients (or handle how clients communicate their ideas), it’s best to continue working on your own stuff.
Not only will these drawings become part of your growing portfolio but they could also be sold.
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You can digitize your drawings and then turn them into vector artwork, which you can then sell on various websites.
Here are several art marketplaces where you can put up your drawings for sale.
- Saatchi Art
- Adobe Stock
- Creative Market
- Envato Market
4. Be Your Own Boss
The goal of most artists is the freedom to be able to create their own art while earning enough income to live on.
Venturing out on your own may be a scary prospect, especially if you’ve been working traditional drawing jobs or even non-artist jobs as your primary source of income and see drawing your own art as an outlet or a side gig.
But it’s actually never been easier to display your art to the world and get paid to draw what you want.
Comic artists, in particular, have found that Instagram works with their art because of the square format and the ability to upload multiple images. In effect, each photo displays one frame of their comic.
Great examples of popular web comic creators include Christopher Grady, Adam Ellis, Yehuda Devir, Cassandra Calin, Nick Seluk, Reza Farazmand, and Sarah Andersen. There are many more out there.
If you’ve noticed, most of these artists use Patreon to make money from their art and offer paying audiences a little or a lot of extras, depending on how much they’re willing to pay.
You can also create your own website to promote and sell your art and related merch to make money. This also gives you more flexibility in that you can also offer your drawing services for commissioned artwork right on your website.
In addition, you can do affiliate marketing for art-related goods, plus you can do sponsored blog posts for art companies. Not only can you earn as an artist, but you can also earn as an influencer.
Also, even when you have your own website, it doesn’t mean you have to stop displaying your work on art marketplaces (except if they have an exclusivity clause), submitting your drawings, or posting on social media. All of these channels can work with your website to increase your visibility and add to your audience.
Keep in mind, though, that maintaining your own website takes so much more work than selling your drawings or posting your work on social media and Patreon.
But owning your website gives you so much more opportunities to earn money.
How Much Can You Get Paid to Draw?
If you’re drawing for yourself, the fruits of your labor are usually longer to attain.
You’d have to put out a ton of drawings and slowly build a fan base. You’d also face an unstable influx of income.
However, once you’ve built a name for yourself, drawing for cash becomes pretty exciting. The highest-earning comic artists on Patreon take home around $3,000 to $20,000 a month.
If you’re drawing for clients, or for an employer, you’ll get paid regularly (weekly, monthly, after a job).
The money you’ll be earning is more stable this way, which is why many artists begin as employees (and work on their own stuff on the side). When they get enough fans on Patreon to support their artistry, that’s when they quit the office jobs and focus mainly on drawing for themselves.
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Using all Your Creative Juices to Get Paid to Draw
It is absolutely possible to get paid to draw the things you’re passionate about or things a client wants you to make.
The path you take as an illustrator will provide you a more clearer look at where you’d like your drawing skills to lead you.
- If you’re a fan of poetry and literary works, drawing for publishers or greeting card companies could be a dream job for you.
- If you’re aiming for a career in RPG production, you should begin practicing working on characters by now.
- If you dream to publish a book in the future, start creating comics or materials that you can compile.
What’s great about these opportunities is that most of them can be done from the comforts of your own home.
You just have to invest in equipment, such as a drawing tablet and pen, a computer, software of your choice, a printer (if you’re planning to print your stuff out), and traditional pen and paper for sketching.
More than anything, you’ll need to invest your time.
Clients need to see your work. Unfortunately, building a portfolio takes time. But if you’re passionate enough, you’d be surprised how easy it is to fill up a page with artwork, which could ultimately be the reason for fans to follow you, or clients to discover your talent.
Other Ways For Artists to Earn Money
If you’re a photographer, logo maker, or any other type of artist, I wrote quite a bit about the types of online jobs available for artists in the past, particularly those who have no idea where to begin.
If you’re a crafter, you can go over our list of the best crafts to make and well and decide what fits your skills the most so you can start selling.