Friday, April 6, 2018

How To Sell Your Artwork On Print On Demand Websites

In my last two blog posts I explained what print on demand (POD) was, and I offered you some reasons why you might want to consider selling your art and designs on POD websites.

Today I’m going to talk about how to go about selling your artwork on POD sites, and I’ll tell you a little bit about what tools you will need to get started. So let’s get talking about the first steps you need to take to get your art from your hands to in front of the eyes of thousands of potential customers.

To sell your artwork on print on demand websites there are a few things that you will need that are essential to getting the job done. 

At a glance, they are:

  • An account with a POD site
  • An email address
  • A PayPal account
  • Your own original artwork
  • High-res digital images of your artwork that you create by using either:
  • A flatbed scanner
  • A quality camera
  • A Computer to view and edit your digital images 
  • A photo editing program on your computer for tidying up your images
  • Optional: an external hard drive to store your large image files
  • A little bit of time and patience to learn how to do it

Let’s get started.

First and most importantly, you need artwork to sell. As long as it is your own original artwork that you created, you can sell copies of it on products. You can sell all different mediums artwork: paintings, drawings, graphic art, collages, etc. As long as you created it and as long as you can scan it or photograph it, you can sell images of it.

Second, you need high-res digital image files of your artwork to upload to the POD site, so you will either need to scan or photograph your artwork so that you have it in digital form. 

Your high-res quality images also need a DPI that is determined by the POD site you are going to sell on, so you will need to read the site’s instructions for that exact information. Society6, for example, recommends that your image file be at least 6500px by 6500px or larger, at 72dpi or higher, with the file size being smaller than 150MB. So you need it to be big, but not monstrous. All you have to do is make sure that you keep within their image size parameters.

If you’ve never done this before it might be a little bit confusing or overwhelming at first, but trust me, once you learn how to do it it’s really easy and it becomes second nature.

You will need a computer with enough memory to process and store your digital photo files. A small external hard drive can come in handy for storing those big files. I picked up one for about $30 and it does the job. I save all of those large photo files to my external hard drive so that they are not taking up tons of space on my laptop, therefore slowing it down.

Why the big files? You need to have big, quality files of your images so that they are large enough to print on large items such as large sized prints, posters, and things like blankets, shower curtains, and comforters, without losing quality when the image is enlarged. The last thing you want is someone to buy a tapestry with your artwork on it and then when they receive it it’s completely blurry and pixelated because you used the wrong size image file. As I said earlier, each print on demand site will have instructions for what size images you need for their products. You can even make multiple copies of your same artwork images specially sized to fit on different products. But more on that in a future blog post!

Another thing you will need is a photo editing program on your computer that will allow you to touch up your photos. You will want to make sure your artwork looks perfect before you upload it to the POD site, so you are going to want to check the colors and make sure it’s a nice clear, bright, sharp image. Photoshop is great, but GIMP is free and does all of the same basic things.

If you need help learning how to clean up your photos and how to use that photo editing program, there are tons of free videos on YouTube that will show you how. I use the free GIMP program and taught myself the basics just by watching a few YouTube videos. It took me a little bit of time, practice, and patience, but it has really paid off because now I can just whiz through my photo editing pretty quickly.

Lastly, you will need some patience. It takes a while to get your artwork up on a print on demand site. Like I mentioned before, you may need different sized images for different products, especially for extra large items such as tapestries, comforters, and window curtains. Making these files can be a little time-consuming but it’s worth it.

Here's a tip: 
You can upload the same images for sale on multiple POD sites

Once you have your image files ready, the next step is uploading your images to the POD site and then situating and positioning that image onto each item that you want to sell your artwork on. These photo examples of what your art will look like on a particular item are called “mock ups.“ Here are two examples of my artwork on mock-ups:

Uploading your designs and positioning them on each item can take a while because sometimes the sites run a little bit slow, so you have to have a bit of patience. You want each of your images to look just right on whatever product you’re putting it on, so take your time and make sure that everything is centered and straight and looks its best!

You will also of course need to register with/open an account with whatever POD site you are interested in selling on, so you will need a valid email address and you will also need a PayPal account so that they can pay you. I have found that most print on demand sites have pretty clear instructions for how to get set up. Make sure you read all the FAQs and directions that each site offers.

So to wrap things up, in my first blog post I talked about and explained what POD/print on demand is, in my second blog post on the subject I talked about why you should be selling your art on POD websites, and now you know the basic tools that you need to start putting your artwork on print on demand websites!

Check out POD site DesignByHumans

Join me again for my next post where we will delve into things a little bit deeper when we discuss some best practices for selling your artwork on print on demand sites.

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Check out part 4 of this series: 

What do you think?
Do you sell your artwork on a POD site?

Have a great week!

Article, images, and designs copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018
all rights reserved