Another year that begins and many illustrators and creatives are looking for commissions and money wherever they can find it.
The thing is, making a living from a creative profession is never easy (later on I’m planning to write about different types of illustration professionals, stay tuned!)
For this reason, today I will be telling you about something that can help us make ends meet a little easier: passive income.
Passive income is a kind of income that does not require extra worktime once created and that practically works on its own, giving you some extra cash from time to time. Below I am going to list some examples of passive income focused on illustration, but there are many different types (if you are interested in the subject, you can search a little more on the subject, maybe you can even invent a new one!).
1- Sell digital products online 📥
There’s a wide variety of digital products: mobile or computer wallpapers, printable coloring sheets, planners or calendars, books, brushes for Photoshop or Procreate, digital color palettes, tutorials … whatever you can think of. They are already finished products that you will not have to send, so all you have to do is upload them, advertise them and wait for the money to flow.
Where to sell these products: you can try Etsy, Gumroad, or open your own online store (I recommend that before doing so you take a good look at their payment policies, how they work … each platform is different!).
2- Ko-Fi ☕️
There are several crowdfunding pages like Patreon, Buymeacoffe… On these pages, your subscribers give you a monthly amount of money in exchange for rewards (you choose the price and the reward). All of this requires a steady work per month, since you have to create the rewards for your audience. With Ko-Fi, however, you can set up your page and receive donations without having to do extra content every month (if you are interested in that, with the Gold option it can also be done). Another similar action is to put a donation button through Paypal on your own website.
3- Make an online course 🖥
I will not talk much about this type of passive income since I do not have direct experience with it, but some platforms such as Domestika, Skillshare or Crehana have online courses in which the teachers are active creative professionals. If you are an expert on a specific topic, you may be interested in this option.
4- POD (print on demand) 🧸
I already mentioned this option a while ago as a way to sell your illustrations online. On pages like Redbubble, Society6 or Shopify you can set up an online store with physical products, but you only take care of the design. Printing and distribution are handled by the platform and you receive a percentage of each sale.
5- Sell stock images 🎨
I have not tried this option myself either, so I don’t know the details, but I mention it because it can be an interesting idea. Instead of hiring an illustrator, designer, or photographer directly, many companies search sites like Shutterstock, CreativeMarket, or Pexels for finished images and resources.
And this the list of ideas on how to generate passive income. I am not saying that you run and open a profile in each and every one of the pages that I mention, but I do hope that it has given you a starting point to investigate a little about the subject and assess which ones can work best for you in particular.