How to Make a Living as a "Digital" Artist | AJ Brockman

in #art4 years ago (edited)

When it comes to being a digital artist in today’s world of hyper–connectivity and social media, technology is no longer just a tool you use to create art, it is also the way through which you can get yourself noticed and exposed to people who will pay for your work. Regardless of what medium you use to create, Artists working in our new digital world must learn to leverage the power it holds.

For example, this platform, steemit, is the "holy grail" when it comes to being able to make money from simply posting your artwork (with a great article accompanying it, hopefully). If you are reading this, you are most likely already involved in steemit and know exactly what I'm talking about. But what if you want to explore all options possible? There are many other opportunities out there and this article is meant to give advice on other avenues to make a living as a digital artist, designer, or your artistic capabilities no matter what it might be. For the record, steemit is the best platform to monetize your creativity, but that is an entire article on its own to be published at a future date.

While it may seem daunting to have to try and plant your flag in a space already dominated by so many other artists (not to mention bloggers, models, photographers and celebrities), it would only really take a few steps. Some of these may be easy, while others may prove more difficult. No worries, we’ll take it one step at a time!

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On the Matter of Style

First thing’s first. Do you have a distinct art style? That signature look, aesthetic or subject matter that’s automatically linked to you? Should you even attempt and develop one? Weighing the pros and cons will parse out whether you should or not.

The advantage of an art style, as said above, is that it’s a signature look. People see the work, and they already have the artist in mind. Having a style is like a calling card. Potential customers already know what to expect and what you can deliver. But the thing is, a style may be hard to develop. It will take a lot of experimentation and trial-and-error before you’re able to pin it down. And if people already like your style and you’re getting customers based on it, it may prove harder to innovate and change in the future.

On the other hand, being more of a generalist has its own advantages and challenges, too. First, it may be harder to stand out because your work is not unified under a certain aesthetic. Although tastes can bleed over, it’s likely that your target audience and customer base is more generic. The great thing about this, however, is you have more potential for commercial works where the client has a clear vision that they just need a professional to see through. Because you’re not necessarily stamping the work with your style, you can do broader, more diverse works in a range of subject matter or fields.

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Maximize Social Media

Whichever strategy you employ in terms of art style, one thing that is non-negotiable is that you need to start putting yourself out there.

It doesn’t matter which platform you opt for. A lot of people are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr… AND OF COURSE steemit. You should be on all of those, updating constantly (more than once a day is preferable), cross-posting and providing links. You can even be on Deviantart, Pinterest or Youtube. Be strategic and post on active times of the day. Every month, assess which platform has more engagement or potential for growth and concentrate your efforts there. The key is to create a following and drive engagement.

To market yourself, be sure to post regularly. Always create new and more content to stay on people’s feeds. Doing so demonstrates your work ethic and improves your skills as well. You can even create process videos showing the behind-the-scenes of your work.

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Monetize the Way to Success

Of course, social networking sites won’t pay you for posting… except for steemit of course. However, with the following you amass there, you can now attempt to monetize your work. This can be through ads, sponsorships or affiliate links, but most importantly, merchandise. For starters, sites like Society6 or Redbubble will be great since you only supply art while they handle products and logistics. Sell things like art prints in different sizes or frames. Put up original or numbered pieces for higher prices. Sell stickers, pins, shirts, bags, pillow cases, phone cases and more.

Once you’re more established and confident, you can transition into creating your own shop on your website. Since the internet audience is global, make sure to include easy payment options like PayPal or cryptocurrencies. Consider a giveaway for followers to drum up even more engagement.

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Free Up Time for Freelancing

Making money through merchandise might be intimidating for anyone other than professional graphic designers, however. So what else? Maybe you are interested in getting paid outright for your skills? Then freelance websites are for you. In this market, the best way to stand out is with a powerful and persuasive pitch. Some popular sites include Upwork, Fiverr or even craigslist.

Be detailed with what you can do on a fixed rate. Say, a banner or poster mock-up in an hour for $50. Or create a logo for $100. Perhaps, you can whip up complete publicity materials in 2 days for $1000. Create a video of you making artworks and designs in real time. Research other people with similar skill sets and determine a competitive price.

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Consider Online Courses

While we’re talking about creating videos shot in real time, it would also be productive to talk about the growing market of online tutorial courses in such sites like Teachable, Skillshare or Udemy. With people busier than ever, and the demand for online learning higher than before, you can make money by creating online courses, self-publish and get a cut of the profit for each student you bring to the sites.

This requires a bit of work to get started on, but once done, all you need to do is publicize links to your courses and rely on this for a more passive income stream.

I highly recommend some of the courses from @jerrybanfield available at : I have taken many of his courses but as it pertains to this topic, making money as an artist, I would recommend this specific course if you had to choose just one:

Maybe vlogging your art or creative process is more appealing to you? Check out this course by @joeparys here : for only $9.99 with this promotional link.

I am also available personally for one-on-one coaching and mentorship if you are committed to making a living as an artist and bringing your potential to the next level. Please get in touch here :

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More Opportunities

By now, you’re a bit more familiar when it comes to marketing yourself and your art online through various platforms and social networking sites. You may even have a Youtube channel or a blog that earns through steady advertising revenue. You are selling merchandise, holding online workshops for thousands at a time, or winning through freelancing jobs you’re scoring one after the next.

Or perhaps not. That’s okay, too.

Wherever you are on this journey towards making a living while pursuing your dreams, be open to all sorts of other opportunities and possibilities. For instance, you can expand your portfolio further. Network within publishing circles and perhaps even get a magazine illustration gig. Who knows? You might even get a book cover design job. If your art style fits, you can be commissioned to do illustrations for a children’s book. You can also collate your works and publish an art book yourself! Foregoing that, a zine or web comic may work as well. Remember, One of the most important parts is finding exactly what you LIKE doing, not what you are forced to do. With that, your drive and creative focus will be at its highest.

Be on the lookout for open calls. Some art studios or galleries would sometimes invite artists for art fairs, festivals or exhibits. Don’t hesitate to try. When it comes to art shows, participate in local ones first. Test the waters. You can even work on an exhibition with fellow artists. Be sure to display your works well and publicize which tent, display or table people can find you. Play to your strengths. If the show is lower in cost, come prepared with small prints or stickers that you can price competitively. If there’s more range, you can even do on-site exclusives that fetch higher prices.

As an artist, your only limit is your passion and creativity. There are innumerable ways to be able to keep doing the work that you love and have it pay for itself, too. Gone is the image of the starving artist. In this era of technology, social media, and start-ups, you must be an artist, publicist, advertiser, marketer and agent all at once. With enough drive, motivation, engagement and savvy, you can paint the town red and all other colors of your choosing.

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Thank you for reading and please consider upvoting this post, following me, and leaving a comment. If you're looking to go the extra mile in helping me on my journey, also please consider a re–steem so I am able to reach your audience. The steemit community means the world to me and I look forward to posting daily content with all of you.

As my account grows, it is becoming more difficult to reply to every comment. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and I will do my best to respond. I can guarantee I at least read every comment given. I am dedicated to spending a full-time effort on this platform. Any reproduction of my work without written consent is strictly prohibited. Please remember the best way to grow our community is by producing outstanding original content of your own to share with all of us.

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I want to quote what you said about this.

Remember, one of the most important parts is findin exactly what you LIKE doing, not what you are forced to do. With that, your drive and creative focus will be at its highest.

If we love what we doing we walk an extra mile doing the things we love.

1 Corinthians 16:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Let all that you do be done with love.

Hope to see you achieve your goal in the near future. Followed you

I wanted to make a joke because I am a comedian...but I won't....I will congratulate's cool to find a guy quoting the Bible here...All the best and God bless you

Thanks for this very insightful post.

nice post

Nice .. distinctive, did well on the information
Great post from you
Thanks for sharing..

There are so many ways to earn nowadays all we need to do is learn and search for the steps and procedures. Cryptoworld opens a wide avenue to earn for a living including what we are doing now - steemit :)

Learning being a digital artist really needs an effort to do it and constant practice to perfect a design but fortunately, there is a wide variety of tutorials that can be found in the internet esp on youtube.

You also need a plan. Apparently if you make a plan and follow it your 50% likely to succeed. This is way better odds than no plan. I like to support artists because I like art but also feel that they are an undervalued group. Photographers could fall into this group as well.

Great read! Being an artist myself I really wonder what Steemit could do in the future for me. For now it really motivates to show my work. :)

thank you

it's just nice that we have so many new opportunities now.

Just as well as for digital artists, for painters and hand-crafter too is is a hard thing. I tried for 2 years to get my thing on Ebay and in sales after a year only i sold something. Maybe 2 k in the last year when later i dropped it, and since i joined Steemit and started video creating too I started to get ahead a bit.
I think this monetization phase and this era is a great chance better than ever was, for new artists any kind to have their time and their glory.

I strongly suggest you check us out
We are going to enable digital artists worldwide to turn their content into limited-edition cryptocollectibles and sell them.

Very interesting post.
I really love that very much.
Keep it up

I was thinking about changing my career and become a pimp....but digital artist seems more respectable

WOW, lots of info :)
I find trying to keep up with all the social media very challenging. As you suggest making a specific time for this is when I do my best. I have sold some of my photo's however I'm lacking consistency. Long ways to go but I'm moving forward. Thx because you did a great job on this post!!!!!!!!!yep.......
upvote gif meme.gif

Thanks! Really appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to leave me some feedback. Consistency is a HUGE part of success so it sounds like you are on the right track. The work/life balance is always a tough one. I look forward to following more from you!

waoo thats great u are loking outstanding i will find ur story i am new at steem ikt platform like my post and upvote me and my posts

wow you are welcome steemit mate.

very informative article that will be very helpful for the readers

wow what a cool artist. Upvoted and follow

I need to use my usb tablet more. I just love the feeling of physical mediums better I don't know what it is lol.

I wonder what the ratio is for people who actually read your post and give a shit about what you're saying, versus people who haven't read your post, DONT give two shits about what you're saying, and are in it soley for the SBD lol . This platform is so interesting lol IMG_2735.JPG

Many of these people voting aren't earning anything. They just don't know how Steemit works and think because someone is on 'trending', they are rich and powerful. The one who published this post, his vote is only worth a penny, he paid for the big votes, he won't be earning much money, at all. The curation rewards go to those bots mostly. These little ass kissers get nothing. They'd be better off ignoring these advertisements and voting for each other, but they're not smart enough to be able to figure that out.

wonderful post sir. Resteemed so that others can find this.

Thank you for your posts. I will use in real life some of your advises.

Thanks @abrockman for this. I have followed and upvoted and I'm just tagging my hubby @jgnkelly (hope that's ok with you) because he's an artist; photography as well as painting/marquetry, we have still not quite worked out how to describe his works. Now off to have a read of your other articles and also going to send hubby with a cup of tea to check his steemit ;)

Mega difficult market to make a living in. But good article with some useful tips, thanks @abrockman

Definitely agree about maximizing social media. My latest venture ( CryptoAuthority ) is really new but I've been posting daily YouTube videos and making sure to post them on my personal site,, Steemit, Pinterest, and Facebook.

So far YouTube has brought in the most "real" followers but the others will grow with time as my brand builds more authority.

I resteemed this post for you. My prayer is that your post will reach an eager artist and help them find their path. I'm not artistic, but love beauty. I read through all of your post and I find some wonderful tips for an artist to get started or at least promote their work. We all need to take advantage of the internet and realize that the old ways are changing for the better I think. I will follow you and look for more quality post like this one.


Hmmmm interesting thoughts... bet you cannot solve the riddle on my blog...

do you think we risk forgetting why we make art in the first place?

Great question… When we monetize something we love, we definitely run that risk. But if it can grant us more freedom and time then I feel it is worth it. Without getting to Philosophical, I believe art has much more to do with perception than the actual creative process but you bring up a fascinating point. I have given you a follow!

thanks. it is something close to my heart too. I am not an artist but a creative, music too and now more writing where I don't have the struggle so much, it just flows but I struggled to understand the balance between integrity and the industry with music and eventually that pretty much broke me. now I can finally go back to music creation, but I have to keep the industry and money chasing side out of it else it just ruins my flow and creativity for some reason. but with authoring i feel unscathed by it. I think everyone is different. horses for courses n all that.

Cool story bro. Check out the interview with Dan Larimer on my channel A382E67B-7AA0-408E-94B5-B35FD7D96260.jpegEA0064B8-951B-4157-A6B7-A5B1D7508EDC.jpeg45CFCBBD-0FA2-49B4-AE3D-1C687B75DD8A.jpeg


esta muy bien redacto

The post is superb @mdnajir like it too

Steam!!! your Art. But don't fart!

We all need to be considering the applications of blockchain on the creative industries.

With this new digital economy that will be created through giving value to data, it opens up the digital world to the scarcity mindset.

Think about how interesting this will be in terms of art, music, illustration, books.

You can create an original print or painting. A first edition book. A one off. A batch of limited editions.

Everything else is a copy - the decentralised network will then confirm the owner and mark anything else as an imitation, a fake and not the original.

This may seem small, but it then opens up your work to the market. Is a first edition book published online worth more than the identical copy? Let's find out.

It puts the power back into the hands of the content creator, you can assign value and scarcity to digital assets.

But then expand this out further - you can rent out 3D assets for example, for a small fee. Exchange digital content. Own digital land. Host content and pay micro-tranactions to the creator.

It takes the emphasis off attention and advertising revenue, and back onto creating content with value, and being rewarded that value. When your exposure scales, the value of your work and returns scale. Without the need for ad revenue.

Facebook will no longer get our data for free - we will get rewarded for posting, submitting our data.

Smart contracts and the blockchain will completely transform the paradigm of abundant data. This is going to be super empowering for the creative industries and content creators and will turn the economy on its head.

I personally can't wait to see how the community will tackle all these problems and create a new world. Keep pushing the boundaries everyone!

I like this post .and i love your post.:)

Hi there!!!
it is awesome what we can do with technology, nice post.
good luck!!!!
have a great day!!!!

Great article! It's actually first article I've read on steemit, and I wasn't even approved as a member yet. Following you for more!

A very insightful post...

Great article, well wishes on your artistic journey, I would re steem for you but I don’t have much of an audience yet.

nice quality post :P

wow this is great advise, thanks for the post!! new follower here :)

In case some artist reads this, my company needs to hire one that is very creative and we pay very well.
In case that's you, can't wait to get in touch with you

Really I like your post sir, Very Interesting post.

good post, I was wondering how much money have you made through the arts business

esto podria traer grandes ingresos si saben como utilizarlo

now we know how more the art doing this good information i hope to add more of this i will resteem

Wonderful insights! Thanks for sharing!

People dont realise their potential using internet. Anyone can learn skills which they are interested in quickly. There is some great quality content out there , anything you wanna learn finance, business, investing , coding , content creation , marketing , anything ! You just gotta take some effort .

convert your talent in to living .
making incomes while we are doing what we love.

How to Make a Living as a "Digital" Artist | AJ Brockman has been resteemed by @resteemmuse

fantastic! art is inspiring

Ofcourse required a time to get your goal any where you want to do something outstanding if you will run early you cant judge the worth of that point but if you freely consider in your mind for that achievement which that one habe in his behalf it will shocked you and then you will feel the creativity so creatures of this world have already given you a creative stuff in yout mind you just wait and watch with your hard work it will lead you on the right target and ofcourse the music its the fine ary piece of creativity work which is going on peak of iys original

Amazing post sharing bro...

You got a 29.00% upvote from @postpromoter courtesy of @abrockman!

Want to promote your posts too? Check out the Steem Bot Tracker website for more info. If you would like to support the development of @postpromoter and the bot tracker please vote for @yabapmatt for witness!

for me i think the best way to make money in this system is to connect with real people with real lives and start friendships .......and you can earn ....i love how some guys can be very kind

Or to start with a lot of $!

You got a 38.24% upvote from @upmewhale courtesy of @abrockman!

Earn 100% earning payout by delegating SP to @upmewhale. Visit for details!

Everything is becoming digital even music and creativity on day we will have digital relationship , digital marriage, digital love, digital breakup, digital food etc

Very helpful post! In my opinion it doesn't even matter where you post/publish your stuff as long as it's seen, of course there are platforms for specific things, but I think the first step is to get yourself out there and show the world the art that you've created! :)

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Ohh yeah, this is so wonderful

So nice information my friend.

resteem just so I can read this again haha thanks for sharing you are awesome! super informative and very helpful for an artist <.<

hi, how are u hope are fine i will find out your stories and and your creativities your creativities going to be very good and owsome probabily highly then others the best stories u find out and creators are find out the best histories off that

# I read good articles well. I am so impressed and subscribed ^^

I upvoted and followed you; follow back and we can help each other succeed :)


Cool post 👍🏽 Thank you 😊


Please Tell Me How To capture Happiness And Pleasant Time In An Art?

Step 4: Join Steem :)

Thank you sir @abrockman, really this can be a very good motivator. sometimes when we are difficult or short of despair, but the reality of this moment we just do not know how we can be better by utilizing the existing social media, such as being part of steemit..😉

too interesting

good post

this good bro, its encouraging

The social media part is just so spot on!!!

Irrespective of whatever you do, never neglect the place of social media in building you a strong reputation online and offline...


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Honestly this is one of the better post i have seen in a while

Great post, I wrote a post on how I started my photography career last week - odd timing!

Really great advices!!! Followed you and Resteemed! :D

A real artist ♥

Come see beautiful scenery of Mt. Seorak in Korea through my blog.
저의 블로그를 통해 한국 설악산의 아름다운 경치 구경오세요.

I have always thought that opening the doors in this world as an artist is very difficult, there are still many prejudices and many do not take it as a job, thanks for this post it is very interesting and Important for me

please how did you make it this big on steemit?

Very informative.. I like the way you present the info.
keep it up

I'm curious, the article is about making a living as a digital artist, yet, why are there images of traditional painting techniques everywhere?

The creative community is the next big thing, as the world becomes more technologically dependent this segment of society has unique opportunities to take off. I see creatives as an almost evolutionary aspect of human development, a creative society if you will. Resteeming this great post.

great info...really help thank you bro

Keep up the good work I’m glad that this platform has allowed more and more people to become successful in their passions.

Hello, very good post, thank you.

This really insightful. Let the hustle begin for me!

This is great, very informative... Great post, i love it

I like this post. Thanks for sharing!

hola buen post sigue colocando post bueno tienemi upvote

How come u supporting a scammer like @darksideofmoon?

Extremely accommodating post! As I would like to think it doesn't make a difference where you post/distribute your stuff as long as it's seen, obviously there are stages for particular things, yet I think the initial step is to get yourself out there and demonstrate the world the workmanship that you've made!
Thank you

Not an artist, nonetheless that was an enjoyable read!

This is the kind of post I like to read, I think that each of us has something very valuable to share, our experience can be very useful for other people, even inspiring, in the same way as this post is stimulating for us to believe our own content in an artistic and at the same time profitable way, creating our own personal brand, very good advice, and the best of it is that everyone assumes them at their own pace to not feel overwhelmed by technology and with enough will choose what is only for us and what we want to share with the world of steemit

wow really beautiful art. awesome design. thanks for @abrockman

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