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Making money from… drawing, photos, songs and quizzes


While it’s enormously difficult to make a full-time living from your art, it can be a great way of earning additional income.

● Online marketplaces: Probably the easiest way to get started is through online retailers like Etsy ( or Folksy ( Although these sites take a fee, you benefit from belonging to established markets that make it easy to search for items by topic, so you don’t have to depend on any sort of brand recognition. On lesser-known sites like Misi ( or WowThankYou (, you’ll have less competition, but of course attract a smaller audience. If your art is quirky, geeky or less mainstream, a site like might be ideal for showcasing it.

● Using your drawings differently: You can sell your drawings as originals or prints, but consider other uses – would they work as greetings cards, on t-shirts, or stationery (there is, for instance, a thriving niche market for hand-decorated cult brand Moleskine notebooks)? It can be tough to break into mainstream greetings cards, but

BETTER BUSINESS looks at everyday money-making ideas and achievable micro- business opportunities.

smaller publishers might be open to your ideas – or you could simply make your own! Cafepress ( is provides online design software enabling you to have your designs printed on blank t-shirts, magnets and other merchandise to sell through their e-commerce store.

● Go bespoke: People are always willing to pay more for something personal, but don’t think this is just limited to portraits – can you draw someone’s house, or pet, or even create a cartoon character based on their ideas? If you can do personalised caricatures, consider turning them into wedding invitations (for which you can charge a premium).

● Local interest: If you draw landscapes or local buildings, try displaying and/or selling your work in local shops or cafés,

or the tourist office. Look into local arts and crafts collectives: while selling at fairs and similar events will usually involve a financial outlay – and is time- consuming – members often share stalls at events to cut costs and cross- promote one another’s work.

● Top tip: If you’re marketing your work online, make sure every image is marked with your name and website address, if you have one: that way if an image goes viral – which is pretty common on sharing sites such as Pinterest and Tumblr – you’ll still get the credit!

iStock and Getty images

‘Stock’ images (which can include graphics, photographs and illustrations) are ready- made, high-quality images that users can purchase to include on websites and in marketing collateral much more affordably than paying for bespoke design. Often simply referred to as ‘iStock’, this is one of the best-known outlets for visual images: customers join iStock and pay a small fee to download images that they can use in presentations, printed material, etc.


Better Business No 189

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