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Calling All Artists: How to Get Paid to Draw

The internet has provided millions of creative people an outlet to share their talent and actually get paid to draw.

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. There is someone who would love your work enough to pay for it.

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. Visit these posts if you’re a photographer, logo maker, or lean towards making crafts for money instead.

But if you’re someone who can’t go on a day without drawing either on paper, skin, tablet, or any other media, you’ll definitely love this post.

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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

These jobs are available in sites like FlexJobs and they’re the most traditional ones. Available in either full-time or part-time, you can get paid to draw by becoming a graphic artist, research assistant for a painter, illustrator, and so on.

I love FlexJobs simply because the platform separates home-based jobs from those that are exclusively office-based.

Would you be interested in working for greeting card companies or publishing houses?

Your drawings could be featured on the next children’s books or greeting card. If you are, check out companies like Card Gnome, Great Arrow, Amber Lotus Publishing, Crown Point Graphics, or Up With Paper for freelance positions.

2. Offer Drawing Services

Announce to the world that you’re accepting drawing jobs.

You’d be surprised how many people would want to support you if you offer drawing services to your Facebook page, Instagram followers, and so on.

Aside from building your own website and using social media to advertise your drawing, you can also join sites like PeoplePerHour, UpWork, Freelancer, and so on. You can control pricing of your services, list the type of drawing you’re selling, and post a portfolio to showcase your work.

3. Sell Your Ready-made Drawings

Drawing for 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, they could also be sold as-is for cash.

4. Be Your Own Boss

The goal of most artists is to become their own bosses.

Just take a look at Yehuda Devir, Tel-Aviv-based illustrator who draws himself, his wife, and  their new baby into relatable, hilarious comic strips of day-to-day life with brave topics like planned ovulation, body image after pregnancy, inglorious sleepless nights of parenthood, or the daily struggles of working parents who have to leave kids to work.

Of course, this adorable couple isn’t the only one cashing in from being talented people with awesome drawings. Other must-follow artists on the web include:

Not all of them have websites (some just use DeviantArt, a Facebook page, Instagram account, or other free platforms to showcase their work).

Some have book deals, others are more popular in conventions.

But all of them use patreon to make money and offer their drawings to patrons willing to support their craft.

Where to Find Customers who will Pay You to Draw

Technically, any online marketplace can be your go-to shop to sell your drawings, but many creators today prefer the following sites:

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Fiverr, as its name suggest, lets users buy or sell services and digital products for $5.

The amount can go lower or higher, but the idea is that you can create a quick sketch of a person, a logo, or something 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.


If you don’t know yet, Reddit is a forum of-sorts that has been around for decades!

It’s a very active board with talented, interesting, funny and entertaining people from all over the world communicating, networking, and sharing their skills with each other.

There are plenty of boards on Reddit similar to r/DrawForMe, so feel free to dig deeper.

Call for artists are posted here regularly, but note that not all are paid jobs.


Etsy may be more popular as a marketplace for selling handmade crafts, but here’s where illustrators like you can cash in on Etsy: the place is the go-to place for people looking for vector artwork.

Learn how to vectorize your drawings with programs like Adobe Illustrator.

Once you get a footing into how drawings can be converted into digital creations that people want to buy, Etsy can easily be the platform of your choice.

Etsy isn’t the only place you can sell your vector art, too! Marketplaces like 123RF, Adobe Stock, Creative Market, Dreamstime, Envanto Market, freepik, GLStock, iStock, Pond5, Shutterstock or VectorStock may have a lot of competition, you’d be glad to know that the buyers are just as many.

DeviantArt and the Advantage of Print-on-Demand

DeviantArt is the home of all things art. Beginners and professional artists alike are actively sharing, collaborating and selling their artwork there.

Even before the term “Print on demand” boomed, DeviantArt has been one of the earliest Print-on-demand platforms that supported its artists by showcasing, printing and shipping a product (such as sticker, poster, digital prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc.) directly to a buyer’s home.

Today, there are others like Fine Art America and other PoD sites that share the DeviantArt space. If you’re just starting out as an illustrator, but want to sell your work without having to invest in printing equipment, this is how you can make Print-on-Demand sites work for you.

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 unstable influx of income. However, once you’ve built a name for yourself, drawing for cash becomes pretty exciting. Just check out the highest-earning comic artists on Patreon (taking home $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.

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.

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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.

For example:

  • 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 drawing tablet and pen, a computer, software of your choice, 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 of art work, which could ultimately be the reason for fans to follow you, or clients to discover your talent.

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