digital art business plan

Running a Business , Starting a Business

How to start a digital art business.

I want to help you build a sustainable, profitable handmade business that makes you consistent income and sales. I only ever teach or recommend marketing, social media, pricing, production and branding tips that I’ve personally used successfully in my own 7-figure handmade businesses.

I'm Mei, from Los Angeles!

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If you’re thinking about starting a digital art business then read this post first! 

I’m going to share with you what you need to get started, the challenges you might face, and how to make sure your products stand out from the competition. 

 So why is a digital art business a good idea?

 Digital art is a broad category. Simply put, it’s artwork that’s created using a computer.

This can mean lots of different things. You can draw an illustration on a computer screen that you then color in, take images and render them in Photoshop, do a collage from different photographs, or even use fonts. The options are endless!

The common thread is that all of these artworks are created by using your computer as the main medium. This sets it slightly apart from other kinds of artwork, such as drawing or doing portraits. 

Of course, those mediums may use your computer too, but digital art is really focused around the computer as your main art tool.

Advantages to Running a Digital Art Business

There are a lot of advantages to running a digital art business. 

1. There are Incredible Growth Opportunities

If you can create artwork that catches on with people, you can sell droves of them and grow a really large following. 

A key part of a digital art business is that you’re creating files on your computer that you then can have printed. 

So if you create a file that’s really beautiful, you can sell dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of prints. This sets it completely apart from an art business where you’re drawing each individual item. 

Because of that, there’s a lot of opportunity for growth.

2. It’s Easier to Outsource

A big part of the digital art business is the customer service and the actual printing of the finished artwork. 

Both of these are very easy things to outsource compared to a handmade business that requires you to teach someone else how to do the artwork. For that reason, it’s very easy to scale your work.

It’s also easier to run the business without being overwhelmed. You can outsource the printing and some of your customer service, which is always something I’m looking for in a business. 

3. Capability to Cater to the Custom + Memory Making Niche

Say you create beautiful artwork with over the top lettering for someone’s name. Once you create the basics of the file, customizing that artwork to a person is really just changing the name or changing the font. 

This sort of business lends itself well to creating custom pieces, and custom things are hot right now!

Everyone wants to commemorate their wedding, engagement, the trip they took, or their new child’s room. 

This is a huge market (that’s not going anywhere) and digital art allows you to easily tap into it.

4. Digital Artwork Can Also be Turned Into Printables

  You’ll want to watch my other video about how to make your printables business succeed.

5. Price Point

The final reason I love digital art businesses is because you’re looking at a comfortable price point. 

I love these mid-range businesses that are charging double digits to low triple digits in terms of price for the finished product.

It depends on the size, but these are much easier businesses to run. 

You’re going to have a larger audience and be accessible to a wider range of people as opposed to a luxury goods business, where you’re selling a $5,000 custom painting. 

digital art business plan

Challenges to Watch For

Let’s move on to some challenges to look out for. 

Your Vision

This could be the biggest challenge, you need to have a vision.

I’m going to talk about defining your niche later in this post, but you can’t just put up whatever artwork you feel like you would be drawn to. 

You need to have a clear niche that makes a statement and that connects with people.

This is the biggest struggle people have when starting a digital art business; finding their niche and having a vision that connects with people and creates a cohesive shop. 

Upfront Production Cost

Say you’re making wedding prints with very stylized bride and groom images. Those images may take you a long time to initially develop. Then with each sale, it may only take you five minutes to customize the file, but there is a large upfront time investment. 

Developing your portfolio at the front end can take a pretty good chunk of time. 

Client Communication

Client communication can take up a lot of your time, especially if it revolves around events like weddings, engagements, or newborns.

This is a time in the clients’ lives that’s really important to them, so they’ll be more particular than usual. That’s something you need to think about before you begin your business. 

  • Is client communication something that you’re interested in doing? 
  • Is it something that you’re good at?
  • If answering replies from people makes you super grumpy, then maybe the custom path isn’t right for you?
The success of your digital art business is going to rest, to some degree on your customer service abilities. 

Your Suppliers are Crucial

The quality of your print, and how the finished product is received by the customer is absolutely paramount to how the customer regards your final piece. 

Finding the suppliers that can do the printing to the standard that you want is really important.

Crowded Marketplace

Lots of people from all around the world have computers and the skillset to create digital art. 

Because of that, many people are creating digital art, and getting the physical products printed, by print on demand companies in the US and Canada. This makes the competition huge .

It’s going to be crucial that you distinguish yourself from your competitors.

The plus side is you can start a digital art business anywhere in the world! 

The Most Important Part

The most important thing you can do when starting your digital art business is determine your shop’s niche.

I see a lot of businesses going wrong here. You need to offer products that people want and you need to have a niche that connects with people.

If your products aren’t in demand, they aren’t going to sell!

So the question is, how do you figure out what people want? 

It’s really important that you establish a niche that has a clear message. Even digital art with a mid-century modern style might be too broad to differentiate yourself from your competitors. 

This is a point where you really need to dig deep and think about the tools and materials that you work with, what your skillset is, and what the marketplace really needs right now. 

For example, let’s look at the wedding niche. It’s really crowded for digital artists.

You need to think about…

  • What makes your artwork different or special? 
  • Where does your artwork fit in during the wedding process? 
  • Do you create artwork that can be on display at the wedding, like at the table with the guest book?
  • Or do you create the mementos for after the wedding that work off of the bride and groom’s portraits? 

Or maybe your artwork style is totally inspired by vintage travel posters and your business is making travel posters from popular locations around the world. 

This is where the real research and discovery work has to happen. 

Just look around on Google, Etsy, Instagram, Facebook and in magazines and see what’s popular. 

Of course you’d never copy what other people are doing, but you need to do some research and see what people are looking for. 

Ideally, you’re looking to get into a niche where there aren’t millions of products just like yours being offered. 

You also want to avoid diving into a niche that no one’s doing. If no one is doing it, it could mean that people aren’t looking for it. Or it could be a clue that it’s too hard to do.

Let’s say you’re looking at homewares and you see that coasters are trending. 

  • Could you do your digital artwork on coasters? 
  • Could you make sets? 
  • Could you do a set of four coasters with your vintage travel pieces?

It’s all about looking at what’s popular and figuring out how your niche can fill that demand. 

Make sure you do your research!

At the end of the day, what you really want is to be at the junction of what you like doing and what’s popular right now. 

How are You Different?

Now that you’ve narrowed down your product ideas and you found something people want. Next you have to figure out what makes you different from other shops in your niche. 

To find what makes you different, you have to add a little something special that makes your product or business stand out from the rest in the world of digital art. 

If you decide to do custom wedding art and in your research you see that a lot of products out there tend to use a certain muted color palette. Then an easy way to stand out and be different is to use really bright and vibrant colors. 

Enough people will totally be into that. 

If your shop is going to be successful, you need to be able to earn enough money. 

That part is obvious, but what’s super interesting about digital art is that there is a unique pricing formula as opposed to other handmade businesses.

Digital art, as I said earlier, has a large startup cost. 

You’re initially creating your templates or the actual art itself. Then whether you’re selling downloads or prints you have a different pricing infrastructure than someone who, let’s say, knits a hat.

Typically the pricing structure would be based directly on how long it takes you to knit the hat, how much your materials cost, and your profit. 

The tricky thing about digital art is you have some cost in terms of time and materials for each order, but you also have a lot of cost that goes into the creation of your product in advance.

So from that perspective, it’s run a lot more like a printables or a recurring income business. This is where pricing gets super tricky. 

The one recommendation I have is that you should snoop around and look at what other people in the market are charging for a similar item that you’re offering. 

Then you need to realistically think, can I sell enough of this item to make it worth my time? 

You need to factor in what the upfront cost of creating a product is and what the per item cost is. 

Then your perfect pricing structure marries those two in a way that you can make a consistent living by selling on a weekly basis.

Once you’ve done that research, you’re going to try it out for a little bit and experiment in your own shop. You may have to do some revision after your shop has been open for a month or two.

For example, maybe you’re not selling as many products as you’d like or maybe you’re selling more of one kind, but less of another kind. 

Then you go back to the drawing board and change up your formula.

Maybe you decide, you just want to sell the larger prints because they take you the same amount of effort to do, but they make you more money.

That’s where business is a very cyclical sort of thing, but it’s super important to get your pricing right for success. 

Process & Distribution of Your Product

Your process makes all the difference here. 

  • Are you going to make printables that people will download and print themselves?
  • Or are you printing it for them? 
  • Are you making the art yourself?
  • Or are you creating the templates that you filled in?

All of these are amazing options, but they drastically change how you run your business. 

It’s really important that you spend time thinking about what your normal process will be as you’re developing your products. Is it something sustainable that you can do yourself or do you plan to hire artists in the future? 

This is what we do with our new print on demand personalized art business. We have a team of multiple artists that help fulfill orders. 

If you’re creating templates or you’re looking for artists, I highly recommend Fiverr , Upwork or Creative Market . This is a place to get some stock of digital materials that you may be using. 

They are great resources to start with. 

If you’re playing with digital art, you probably already have your software in order.

If you’re printing, I can recommend Printful and Gooten . That’s what we use and they’re both great for different reasons.

Printful is really affordable and fast but Gooten has better quality. 

The finished product that the customer receives is going to be the printed item, if that’s the path you go. So it’s really important that it’s in a quality you like and comes out the way you want. 

First and foremost which platform is your handmade shop going to live on?

I talk about it a lot in my other posts, but it’s worth mentioning again. 

It’s super important for you to have your own website instead of relying completely on marketplaces like Etsy or Amazon. 

You’re going to want to pop over to this video , to watch why I don’t recommend you putting all of your eggs in the Etsy basket.

You’re also going to want a great collection of product photos.

You can use mockup photos that you can get for free online or paid ones on sites like Creative Market. 

Pay extra attention to picking really good mock-up photos because that can also help you stand out from the crowd. 

Influencer marketing and outreach as well as Facebook ads are all going to be great ways to promote your new shop. 

Once you’ve put so much work into developing your business, you definitely don’t want to drop the ball on your marketing. That’s how sales happen!

If you enjoyed this post or have any questions, leave a comment below. 

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How can we contact you, i have a brother who i believe is a digital artist genuis, if you would take a look at his paintings you would be amazed.

hi does he have a portfolio online?

Hii, Myself Giftson and I do drawing using my mobile. This is my Instagram handle And I’m thinking to do a business related to this so what would be your suggestions. Do check my ig☺️

Love this article + the Youtube video. So much value and full of useful insights! I am at a place where I’m contemplating whether I love working in digital only or doing physical artwork. Digital can take a lot of stress out of the equation for artists, especially when we have to divide our time between running a website and social media just to promote their brand. I was wondering about copyright issues with digital downloads though. I suppose this is always going to be a risk. I’d think issuing Terms & Conditions of Use when purchasing is good, but I suppose it doesn’t 100% guarantee buyers ‘playing ball’. I think we artists are always a bit precious when it comes to giving away our work and fearing not being adequately remunerated for it. Would love to know your thoughts on this. Thanks for sharing.

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A Touch of Business

How to Start a Digital Art Business

Main Sections In This Post Steps To Starting A Digital Art Business Points to Consider Resources Knowledge Is Power Featured Video

This digital art guide presents insights into running a successful online art business, providing a comprehensive step-by-step outline.

Moreover, discover many valuable resources to aid you in the startup and operational phases.

Bookmark this page for reference, and feel free to share it with fellow art enthusiasts!

Banner Free Report No 1.

Let’s get started with the steps.

Steps to Starting a Digital Art Business

Below are the steps to starting a digital art business.

Each step is linked to a specific section, allowing you to jump to your desired section or scroll to follow the steps in order.

  • An Overview of What You’re Getting Into
  • Digital Art Business Overview
  • Researching Your Digital Art Business
  • Looking at Financials
  • Choosing A Business Location
  • Creating Your Mission Statement
  • Creating A Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Choose a Digital Art Business Name
  • Register Your Company
  • Create Your Corporate Identity
  • Writing a Business Plan
  • Banking Considerations
  • Getting the Funds for Your Operation
  • Software Setup
  • Business Insurance Considerations
  • Physical Setup
  • Creating a Website
  • Create an External Support Team
  • Hiring Employees

1.  An Overview of What You’re Getting Into

Is Starting a Digital Art Business the Right Step for You?

Passion – A Crucial Element for Success

There is a key factor to succeeding in business, and that factor is you!

Understanding your feelings about owning and running a digital art business is important.

Passion is a crucial element for success in your own business.

Passion is the driving force you need.

When you’re passionate about your business and problems arise, you look for solutions. On the other hand, without it, you’ll look for a way out.

Assessing Your Passion

How passionate are you about owning your own digital art business?

An Interesting Perspective:

Imagine you were granted 5 wishes for anything you want. No restrictions!

Now an important question.

Would you start a digital art business with one of your wishes in this situation?

If your answer is yes, it shows that you are passionate about owning and operating a digital art business and are heading in the right direction.

Considering Alternatives

However, if your answer is no, it prompts another question:

What would you prefer to do instead? Perhaps, you should pursue that path instead.

In summary, you need to be passionate about the business you are starting to increase your chances of success. Without passion, you may be fitting an uphill battle.

For More, See How Passion Affects Your Business . Also, see, Considerations Before You Start Your Business to identify key points for a new business owner.

2. Gaining an Overview of Owning a Digital Art Business

Next, let’s spend some time on key issues to give you an overview of what to expect from owning and running your business.

a.) A Quick Overview of Owning a Digital Art Business

A digital art business revolves around creating, selling, or promoting art made using digital tools.

Instead of traditional mediums like paints or clay, artists use software and hardware such as graphic tablets, digital painting software, and 3D modeling programs.

This art form can be seen in various sectors, from entertainment, like video games and movies, to marketing, in advertisements and web designs.

Day-to-Day Tasks of Running a Digital Art Business

Creation and Design : At the heart of this business is making art. This can involve sketching, digital painting, 3D modeling, or animation .

Client Communication : Interacting with clients or customers to discuss project requirements, feedback, and modifications.

Marketing and Promotion : This involves promoting one’s work and business, perhaps through social media, art platforms, or personal websites.

Managing Finances : Keeping track of earnings, expenses, and potential investments in new digital tools or software.

Continuous Learning : The digital world is always evolving. Staying updated with the latest software and techniques is crucial.

Order Fulfillment : If selling prints or merchandise, this involves processing orders, printing, and shipping.

Networking : Building relationships with other artists, potential clients, and professionals in related fields.

Maintaining a Portfolio : Regularly updating a collection of one’s best work to showcase to potential clients or employers.

Each task is vital in ensuring the business runs smoothly and continues to grow.

b.) A Key Points To Succeeding in a Digital Art Business

Points to Succeed in Operating a Digital Art Business

Building a Customer Base : Establishing a robust clientele is often challenging during the startup phase. Being patient, persistent, and proactive in reaching out to potential customers is vital.

Cultivating Relationships : Foster strong ties with customers, suppliers, and employees. These relationships form the backbone of a successful enterprise.

Offering Desired Products and Services : Understand the market and provide products or services that resonate with your target audience.

Valuing Customer Feedback : Actively seek feedback from your clientele. Addressing credible concerns that align with your business’s operations can give you a competitive edge.

Prioritizing Customer Service : Remember, your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Providing stellar customer service can ensure repeat business and referrals.

Consistently Providing Value : Always focus on offering real value, whether in the quality of art or the additional services you provide.

Hiring the Right Team : Your employees can make or break your business. Ensure you hire individuals who align with your business’s ethos and have the necessary skills.

Effective Staff Management : Treat your staff with respect and inclusivity. A collaborative and healthy work environment can boost productivity and retain talent.

Cash Flow Management : Keep a close eye on your finances, ensuring you have enough liquidity to cover expenses and unexpected costs.

Cost Management : It’s essential to be budget-conscious. However, never compromise on quality or customer experience to save a penny.

Banner Free Report No 2.

Staying Updated : The digital art world is ever-evolving. Stay abreast of industry shifts, new technologies, and updated business processes.

Handling Revenue Fluctuations : Be prepared for both lean and plentiful times. Having a financial cushion can help navigate revenue ebbs and flows.

Addressing Competition : Stay informed about what your competitors are doing. Adapt, innovate, and find ways to differentiate your offerings.

Effective Marketing Strategies : Awareness is crucial. Whether you’re managing your marketing in-house or outsourcing, ensure your strategies are effective and resonate with your target audience.

c.) Making Your Digital Art Business stand out

C.) Making Your Digital Art Business Stand Out

Unique Artistic Style : Develop and nurture a distinct style in your digital art. A signature style makes your work instantly recognizable.

Storytelling : Integrate compelling narratives into your artwork. When customers connect emotionally with an art piece, they’re more likely to purchase.

Interactive Platforms : Use platforms that allow customers to interact with your art, perhaps via augmented reality or virtual galleries.

Engaging Online Presence : Create an immersive website with behind-the-scenes content, artist interviews, or even virtual workshops.

Quality Over Quantity : Prioritize the quality of your artworks over producing in bulk. Exceptional pieces can often speak louder and resonate more than numerous average ones.

Environmentally Conscious Practices : Promote sustainable and eco-friendly aspects of your digital art, from the materials you use for physical prints to the servers hosting your website.

Local Collaborations : Partner with local businesses or events to display or integrate your digital art, making it more accessible to your community.

Regular Updates : Keep your audience engaged by consistently updating your portfolio, launching new series, or sharing snippets of works in progress.

d.) Add on Ideas for a Digital Art Business

Artwork Prints : Provide options for high-quality prints of your digital art, available in various sizes and materials.

Merchandising : Turn popular artworks into merchandise such as T-shirts , mugs , and phone cases.

Custom Commissions : Offer custom art services where clients can request personalized pieces tailored to their preferences.

Digital Art Classes : Host workshops or online courses to teach aspiring artists your techniques and the nuances of digital art creation.

Licensing Options : Allow businesses or individuals to license your artwork for specific uses, whether for advertising, book covers, or other media.

Membership Clubs : Create exclusive membership tiers where loyal customers can access behind-the-scenes content, early releases, or special discounts.

Augmented Reality Art Views : Integrate AR tools so customers can visualize how an art piece would look in their personal space before purchasing.

Art Subscription Boxes : Design a monthly or quarterly subscription model where subscribers receive exclusive digital art pieces, prints, or merchandise.

Bespoke Digital Frames : Offer specially designed frames or digital display solutions to showcase digital art in homes or businesses.

Gift Cards : Introduce gift cards for your store, allowing fans to share their love for your art with friends and family.

e.) Digital Art Business Models

Types of Digital Art Business Setups and Their Business Models

Freelance Artist : Individual artists often start as freelancers, selling their skills directly to clients.

They might take on projects like custom illustrations, logo designs, or digital portraits. Business Model : Direct commissions, hourly rates, or project-based pricing.

Online Art Shop : Artists or businesses set up online platforms to sell digital prints, downloadable art, or merchandise.

Business Model : E-commerce sales, art print-on-demand.

Digital Art Agency : A firm offering a range of digital art services from various artists, potentially specializing in areas like game design, advertising, or animation.

Business Model : Retainers, project fees, or long-term contracts.

Licensing and Royalty-Based Businesses : Artists allow other businesses to use their art for specific applications, earning a fee or royalty.

Business Model : Licensing fees, royalty payments per use or sale.

Art Teaching and Workshops : Professionals sharing their expertise through courses, online tutorials, or workshops.

Business Model : Subscription memberships, one-time course fees.

Subscription Box Art : Offering exclusive art or related products on a subscription basis.

Business Model : Monthly or yearly subscription fees.

Customized Art Platforms : Platforms where customers can request modifications or particular designs based on existing templates.

Business Model : Pay-per-design, upcharges for customization.

Digital Art Exhibitions : Online or offline events showcasing various digital artworks, sometimes in interactive formats.

Business Model : Entry fees, sponsorship, art sales commissions.

Art Crowdsourcing Platforms : Websites where clients post requirements and artists compete to offer the best design.

Business Model : Platform fees, commission on artist earnings.

Choosing the right business model from the beginning is crucial, as switching your model later is more challenging.

Identifying a profitable and high-demand niche for your digital art business is essential.

f.) Questions You Need to Consider for Your Digital Art Business

Key Questions to Address Before Starting Your Digital Art Business

Digital Art Business Model : What business model for digital art are you leaning towards?

Handling of Work : Do you plan to oversee all the projects personally, or is hiring employees on the horizon?

Management Considerations : Will you be your digital art business’s primary manager, or are you considering bringing in a specialized manager?

Partnerships and Investments : Are you interested in seeking business partners or investors to bolster your enterprise?

Business Location : Are you leaning towards a home-based operation, or is a commercial location more suitable for your vision?

Physical vs. Online Operations : If it fits your model, are you pondering a physical store presence, or do you see your business primarily operating online?

Growth and Vision : Have you given thought to scaling up? What do your long-term aspirations look like for your digital art business?

Target Audience : Who are your ideal customers? Do you have a specific market or niche in mind?

Banner Free Report No 3.

Financial Considerations : Have you established a startup budget? Do you have a plan for potential financial challenges?

Marketing and Promotion : How do you intend to promote your artwork and reach your target audience?

Legalities : Are you aware of the legal requirements, licenses, and permits necessary for running a digital art business in your area?

Technology and Equipment : Do you have the necessary tools and software? Are there technology investments you need to consider?

Diving deep into these questions will position you better for potential challenges and decisions as you embark on your digital art business.

g.) Pros and Cons of Owning a Digital Art Business

Pros of Running a Digital Art Business

Be Your Own Boss : Running your own digital art business means you don’t answer to anyone else. Autonomy can be fulfilling.

Decision-making Authority : You can make decisions and steer the business in the direction you envision.

Creative Freedom : The digital art space is all about creativity. Owning a business in this field means you can express yourself artistically without limitations.

Potential for High Revenue : A digital art business can be quite lucrative with the right strategies and market demand.

Flexible Work Schedule : Once you’ve established your business and have a reliable team, you can enjoy the luxury of setting your hours.

Control Over Your Work Environment : You can design your workspace to fit your comfort and aesthetic preferences.

Diverse Clientele : The digital space allows for a global reach, meaning you can work with clients from different parts of the world.

Opportunity for Passive Income : Through art licenses, print sales, or online courses, there’s potential for earning even when you’re not actively working.

Cons of Running a Digital Art Business

Responsibility Over Challenges : Any issue, big or small, will ultimately be your responsibility to address and solve.

Irregular Income : Especially in the early days, you may face periods where income is unpredictable.

Turbulent Start-Up Phase : Launching your business and gaining traction can be an uphill battle.

Customer Acquisition and Retention : Finding clients and maintaining a steady customer base can be challenging.

Long Working Hours : Setting up and growing your business may require more hours than a traditional job.

Success Pressures : Being the face and backbone of your business means constant pressure to succeed and make the right choices.

Initial Financial Investment : Starting a digital art business may require significant equipment, software, and marketing investments.

Constant Evolution : The digital art world is ever-changing, and keeping up with new tools, software, and trends can be exhausting.

Business Risks : As with any venture, there’s always a risk that the business might not succeed or face unexpected challenges.

Skill Diversification : Being in the digital art business requires artistic skills, marketing, financial management, and customer service abilities.

Running a digital art business can be fulfilling and lucrative, but it also comes with challenges that require resilience, adaptability, and dedication.

For more, see Pros and Cons of Starting a Small Business.

3. Research

Digital art business research.

Conduct Thorough Research – The Foundation of Success

You must conduct thorough research for the digital art business you intend to open before taking any action.

With quality information, you will know what you’re getting into. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a situation you don’t expect.

Seek Wisdom from Seasoned Entrepreneurs

One way to get the best information is from people experienced in running a digital art business.

Their Qualifications Matter

They are qualified to give you information you can depend on.

Learn from the Best

The time you spend with them can be priceless and an opportunity to gain insights from their knowledge and years of experience and knowledge.

Guidance to Connect with the Right People

I have written an article with ideas to help find the right people to contact and approach them in an acceptable and non-threatening way.

The steps go beyond this post, but I strongly suggest you read the article from the link below to understand what you’re getting into.

See An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start for all the details.

Target Audience

Overview: Understanding Your Target Audience for a Successful Digital Art Business

Understanding your target audience brings numerous benefits to your digital art business.

When you know your target market, you can craft offers that truly appeal to your customers.

By tailoring products and services to their interests, you increase the likelihood of attracting and retaining loyal clientele.

This customer-centric approach enhances brand perception, boosts sales, and fosters lasting relationships.

By analyzing your target audience’s preferences, behaviors, and needs, you gain valuable insights to optimize your business strategies, stay competitive, and thrive in the ever-evolving digital art market.

Target Market Ideas:

  • Art Enthusiasts and Collectors
  • Creative Professionals (Designers, Illustrators, etc.)
  • Interior Designers and Decorators
  • Digital Content Creators (YouTubers, Streamers, etc.)
  • Gift Buyers (Seeking unique art presents)
  • Art Students and Aspiring Artists
  • Online Art Communities and Forums
  • Art Gallery Owners and Curators
  • Social Media Influencers in the Art Niche
  • Technology and Gaming Enthusiasts (Digital art for avatars, game assets, etc.)

For more, see How To Understand Your Target Market.

4. Looking at Financials:

Startup Overview: Estimating Costs for Your Digital Art Business

This section will give you an overview of your digital art business’s startup costs, monthly expenses, revenues, and profits.

Startup Cost:

To ensure a successful launch, you must accurately estimate startup costs for the process to go smoothly from the planning phase until you open.

Balancing Act: Underestimation and Overestimation

Banner Free Report No 4.

If you underestimate, you could run out of money which can keep you from opening your business.

If you overestimate, your venture will appear risky.

Factors Influencing Costs

Your cost will depend on the size of your operation, the location you choose, whether you hire employees or buy new or used equipment, and if you rent or lease.

Estimation Process

To estimate, list everything you need, then get prices. As you research, other issues will arise that you can include in your estimate.

For more detailed information, refer to my article on Estimating Startup Costs.

Sales and Profit:

It’s important to note that your sales depend on the following:

  • The popularity of your products and services.
  • The demand for products and services.
  • Marketing your business to bring awareness to the right people.

Profitability Considerations

Profitability goes beyond the profit earned per sale. It requires careful consideration of various expenses, including rent, payroll, and other overhead costs.

The Key to Success

You must generate enough sales to cover your monthly expenses and pay your salary to be successful.

For More, See Estimating Profitability and Revenue

Simple Sample: Financial Lists to Consider As a Starting Point

Note: Focus on the issues more than the numbers. The numbers are samples. Your estimates will differ due to how you set up your business, location, expenses, and revenues. 

Below are three overly simplified sample financial lists to give you a broad overview of the areas to focus on.

Sample Estimated Startup Costs for a Digital Art Business in the USA

  • Legal Fees and Business Registration : $300 – $1,000
  • Website Design and Hosting : $100 – $5,000
  • Digital Art Software Licenses : $200 – $2,000
  • Equipment (Drawing tablets, computers, etc.) : $500 – $5,000
  • Marketing and Branding : $200 – $2,500
  • Office Setup (if not home-based) : $500 – $3,000
  • Training/Courses : $100 – $1,500

Total Estimated Startup Costs : $1,900 – $20,000

Sample Estimated Monthly Expenses for a Digital Art Business in the USA

  • Rent (if not home-based) : $500 – $3,000
  • Utilities (Internet, electricity, etc.) : $100 – $300
  • Website Maintenance : $20 – $200
  • Loan Payments : $100 – $1,000
  • Software Subscriptions : $20 – $200
  • Marketing and Advertising : $200 – $2,000
  • Salaries (if you hire employees) : $1,000 – $5,000

Total Estimated Monthly Expenses : $1,940 – $11,700

Sample Sales and Profit Outline

Let’s assume you sell digital art prints at an average of $50 each. If you make 200 monthly sales, your total revenue would be $10,000.

Subtracting the higher end of monthly expenses ($11,700) from the revenue results in a loss of $1,700. However, by increasing the sales volume to 300 prints a month, your revenue goes up to $15,000. This results in a profit of $3,300, showcasing the importance of volume in profitability.

Conclusion :

These are fictitious examples so you can understand the issues to consider when planning to start your digital art business.

Adjusting costs makes a significant difference in whether the business will be successful.

A slight shift in profit per sale on high-volume sales will make a difference in your overall profits.

Also, note many new businesses take time to become profitable because it takes building a customer base, building a reputation, and fine-tuning operations.

Your figures will be different. Every situation is different, and many factors come into play.

Research and consider getting professional advice when calculating your business’s startup costs, expenses, and potential revenues and profits.

5. Choosing The Right Business Location

Location – A Pivotal Factor for Your Digital Art Business

Location Matters

It can make the difference in whether or not your digital art business succeeds or fails according to your choice of location.

Demand vs. Failure

Operating in a location with no demand for what you offer will lead to failure even before you launch your business.

Finding the Right Balance

If you open in an area with too much competition, you will struggle to get a share of the market.

The Ideal Scenario

Ultimately you want a location with demand and an acceptable amount of competition.

Affordability Considerations

Another important point is you need something you can afford.

Balancing Exposure and Profitability

Operating in a highly populated area offers more exposure, but you must ensure your business will be profitable with the extra expense.

Striking a Balance

The same goes if you look at it from the opposite side. You might find an inexpensive area to operate from, but will it generate enough sales?

Home-Based Option

Another option for some digital art business models is operating from home.

This works well for businesses that are online or don’t require a lot of personal customer interaction. Operating from home can be an option to start, and if and when the business expands, you can move to a commercial location.

Research and Decide

Choosing a location is an important factor in being successful. Research it carefully!

For more about business locations, see Choosing The Best Location for Your Business.

6. Create Your Mission Statement

Overview: The Significance of a Mission Statement for Your Business

A mission statement plays a pivotal role in identifying the purpose of your business. It keeps you focused and reminds you of the primary value you aim to offer to customers and the community.

Examples of Mission Statements for a Digital Art Business:

  • “Our mission is to inspire creativity and enrich lives through captivating digital art experiences that connect artists and art enthusiasts worldwide.”
  • “At [Business Name], our mission is to empower artists with cutting-edge digital tools and platforms, fostering an inclusive community of creativity and innovation.”
  • “Dedicated to revolutionizing the digital art landscape, we aim to provide accessible, high-quality art collections that resonate with diverse audiences and spark artistic appreciation.”

For more, see, How To Create a Mission Statement.

7. Creating A Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Overview: Unleashing the Power of Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Banner Free Report No 5.

A Unique Selling Proposition can be a game-changer in identifying and crafting something that sets your business apart from the competition, making it truly special and appealing to customers.

Examples of USPs for a Digital Art Business:

  • “The only platform offering exclusive digital art collaborations between renowned artists and collectors.”
  • “Our digital art business stands out with a vast library of AI-generated customizable art, ensuring a one-of-a-kind masterpiece for every customer.”
  • “Embrace the future of art with our eco-friendly digital art gallery, featuring sustainable art forms from talented emerging artists.”

8. Choose a Business Name

Choosing the Perfect Name for Your Digital Art Business

When selecting your business name for the digital art industry, strive for something catchy and fitting. Opt for a name that is easy to pronounce and lingers in people’s memory.

A Name for the Long Haul

Business names rarely change, so whatever name you choose now is something you’ll keep for as long as you own the company.

Completing the Online Presence

Ensure a matching domain name for your online presence.

Verify that another business doesn’t register the desired name.

30 Inspiring Digital Art Business Name Ideas:

  • ArtTechGallery
  • PixelPerfectionists
  • CreativeCanvasHub
  • TechBrushStrokes
  • DigitalArtistryHub
  • ArtWizardsOnline
  • PixelVoyageGallery
  • TechnoArtisans
  • DigitalMuseCreators
  • ArtUniverseStudio
  • PixelGeniusArts
  • ArtTechSpectrum
  • DigitalEaselCrafters
  • TechArtCollective
  • PixelDreamscape
  • DigitalSculptorsHub
  • ArtTechVortex
  • PixelFusionGallery
  • DigitalArtistryLab
  • TechBrushMasters
  • ArtTechCanvas
  • PixelVirtuosoStudio
  • DigitalArtisansHub
  • TechArtistrySpace
  • ArtTechInnovators
  • PixelVerseGallery
  • DigitalMasteryStudio
  • TechArtUniverse
  • ArtTechVisions
  • PixelCraftersOnline

For more, see the following articles:

  • How To Register a Business Name
  • Registering a Domain Name For Your Business

9. Register Your Company

Ensuring Your Digital Art Business is Legally Compliant

Operating a digital art business involves essential legal considerations to ensure your venture is on solid ground.

Seeking professional advice can streamline the process, securing tax benefits and mitigating liability risks.

Seeking Professional Consultation

Consider consulting with a legal or financial professional to ensure your business is legal and optimized for tax benefits and liability protection.

Their expertise can guide you through complex legalities, safeguarding your interests and assets.

Common Types of Registrations for a Digital Art Business

  • Business Structure Registration: Choose from options like sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation, depending on your business needs and legal preferences.
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN): Acquire an EIN for tax purposes and hiring employees if applicable.
  • Business Name Registration: Register your chosen business name to secure it and prevent others from using it.
  • Sales Tax Permit: If you sell digital art products directly to customers, you may need a sales tax permit to collect and remit sales tax.

Permits and Licenses to Consider:

  • Copyright and Intellectual Property: Protect your original digital art creations through copyright registration.
  • Online Business License: Check if your local jurisdiction requires a specific license for operating an online business.
  • Home-Based Business Permit: If you operate from home, inquire about any permits or zoning regulations applicable in your area.
  • Digital Content Distribution License: Review their licensing agreements if you use third-party platforms to sell digital art.
  • Music Licensing: If your digital art incorporates music, secure appropriate licenses.
  • E-commerce Regulations: Comply with online selling regulations related to consumer data, privacy, and online transactions.
  • Local Business Licenses: Check for any additional licenses or permits required by your city or county.

Ensuring your digital art business is legally compliant is essential for long-term success, protecting your creative work, and providing a secure foundation for growth.

Consulting with professionals and understanding the necessary registrations, permits, and licenses will help you navigate the legal landscape effectively.


  • How to Register Your Business
  • How To Register a DBA
  • How to Register a Trademark
  • How to Get a Business License

Business Structures:

  • How to Choose a Business Structure
  • Pros & Cons of a Sole Proprietorship
  • How To Form an LLC
  • How To Register a Business Partnership
  • How To Form a Corporation
  • How To Choose a Business Registration Service

10. Create Your Corporate Identity

Creating a Strong Corporate Identity for Your Digital Art Business

In the digital art business, a Corporate ID plays a crucial role as a visual representation of your brand.

What is a Corporate ID?

A Corporate ID consists of various components such as your logo, business cards, website, business sign, stationary, and promotional items.

The Importance of a Consistent Professional Design

To leave a lasting impression on new and existing customers, it is essential to maintain a constant and professional design across all elements of your Corporate ID.

This cohesive approach enhances your brand’s credibility and builds trust among your audience.

You can see our page for an overview of your logo , business cards , website , and business sign , or see A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages.

11. Writing a Business Plan

Crafting an Effective Business Plan for Your Digital Art Business

A business plan holds paramount importance for your digital art business.

It serves as a tool to secure funding and attract potential investors.

Moreover, it acts as a guiding compass during both the startup phase and the full operation of your business.

Vision and Effort

Writing a business plan requires time and effort as you create a vision for your business’s future.

Comprehensive Details

Carefully plan and express the intricate details, outlining your business’s essence.

Worth the Effort

Although demanding, the endeavor is worthwhile. Completing your business plan equips you with a clear understanding of the startup requirements and operational strategies.

Flexible Approach

Remember, your business plan can change and evolve as you gain experience.

Regularly reviewing and optimizing the document ensures its relevance and adaptability.

Choosing Your Approach

Multiple options are available to create your business plan. You can write it from scratch, hire a professional, use a template, or utilize business plan software.

Active Involvement

Regardless of your chosen approach, actively participate, especially if hiring a professional.

Your input ensures the plan is distinctive and effectively communicates your business’s nature and management approach.

Simple Sample: A Fictitious Business Plan Example for a Digital Art

Note: The sample below offers an overview of a business plan. A professional plan will consist of multiple pages and detailed information and analysis.

Sample Business Plan: PixelCraft Studios

Banner Free Report No 6.

Executive Summary

Business Name : PixelCraft Studios

Business Model : Digital art creations and commissions for individual customers and businesses.

Mission Statement : “Crafting Pixels, Creating Visions – We transform your ideas into digital masterpieces.”

Objectives :

  • To create high-quality digital artwork tailored to client needs.
  • To establish a recognizable brand within two years.
  • Expand into digital art classes and workshops by year three.

Business Description

PixelCraft Studios is poised to be a premium digital art studio based in Austin, Texas, focusing on producing bespoke digital artworks, prints, and designs.

The business will serve both individual art enthusiasts and corporations looking for unique digital designs for marketing purposes.

Products and Services

  • Custom Digital Art Commissions : Tailored artworks based on client preferences.
  • Art Prints : Limited edition prints of popular artworks for sale.
  • Branding Designs : Logo and advertisement designs for businesses.
  • Workshops : Digital art tutorials and workshops for budding artists.

Market Analysis

Target Audience :

  • Individual art collectors and enthusiasts.
  • Small to mid-sized businesses needing digital branding and design.

Competitive Analysis : While there are several digital artists in Austin, PixelCraft Studios differentiates itself by offering both personal commissions and business branding services, leveraging dual revenue streams.

Marketing and Sales Strategy

Online Presence :

  • Launch a user-friendly website showcasing portfolio and customer testimonials.
  • Active social media accounts on platforms like Instagram, Pinterest , and X.

Local Engagement :

  • Participate in local art fairs and business networking events.
  • Collaborate with local businesses for branding needs.
  • Commission works will be priced based on complexity and time taken.
  • Competitive pricing for branding services with package deals.

Operational Plan

Location : Home-based initially, with plans to rent a studio space in year two.

Equipment :

  • High-end computer and drawing tablet.
  • Professional design software subscriptions.
  • Quality printer for art prints.

Staffing : Start solo, then hire an administrative assistant and junior artist by year two.

Financial Projections

Startup Costs :

  • Equipment: $6,000
  • Marketing: $1,500
  • Website Design: $2,000

Projected Yearly Revenue (Year 1) :

  • Personal commissions: $30,000
  • Business commissions: $20,000
  • Art print sales: $10,000
  • Total: $60,000

Conclusion and Future Plans

PixelCraft Studios aims to be a recognizable name in the digital art landscape of Austin, Texas.

Plans include opening a physical studio, expanding the team, and potentially launching a digital art school.

Remember, this business plan is a fictional representation. Creating a business plan for your digital art venture should involve thorough market research, a clear understanding of your goals, and a deep dive into financial specifics.

For information on creating your business plan, see, How to Write a Business Plan.

12. Banking Considerations

Optimizing Financial Management for Your Digital Art Business

In the digital art business realm, selecting a nearby bank that caters to business owners is prudent.

The Benefits of a Separate Business Account

A dedicated business account is indispensable as it segregates business expenses from personal spending. This demarcation simplifies expense tracking and bookkeeping and serves as proof in the case of tax audits.

Fostering a Professional Relationship with Your Banker

Cultivating a professional relationship with your banker is beneficial. They can offer valuable advice and financial services, streamlining application processes.

Facilitating Payment Processing

To enhance customer convenience, consider applying for a merchant account or a similar setup to accept credit and debit cards.

This flexibility ensures smooth payment processing, supporting your digital art business’s growth.

For more, see, How to Open a Business Bank Account. You may also want to look at, What Is a Merchant Account and How to Get One.

13. Getting the Funds for Your Operation

Securing Funding for Your Digital Art Business

If you need a loan to kickstart your digital art business, the tips in this section will greatly help.

Funding Your Digital Art Business

Securing funds to launch and operate your digital art business is critical to its success.

Exploring Funding Options

Various funding options are available to support your digital art business, including traditional lenders, private loans, investors, selling assets, and utilizing collateral.

Meeting with a Loan Officer – Key Considerations

When meeting with a loan officer, keep these essential considerations in mind:

  • Be prepared to discuss your business plan, revenue projections, and how the loan will be utilized.
  • Understand the terms, interest rates, and repayment schedule thoroughly before committing.
  • Present your business in a professional and well-organized manner.

Sample List of Documents for a New Digital Art Business Loan Application:

  • Business plan outlining your objectives, strategies, and financial projections.
  • Proof of identification and personal background information.
  • Financial statements, including income and cash flow projections.
  • Tax returns and bank statements.
  • Details of collateral, if applicable.
  • Legal documents, licenses, and permits related to your digital art business.
  • References and testimonials, if available.

Following these tips and assembling the necessary documentation will improve your chances of securing funding for your new digital art venture.

See, Getting a Small Business Loan for more.

14. Software Setup

Software Considerations for Your Digital Art Business

When setting up your digital art business, carefully consider the software you’ll use to streamline your operations and manage finances effectively.

Research and Implementation

Prioritize researching software options as it’s easier to implement a program from scratch than switch to a new system once your data is in another program.

Demo and User Reviews

Check if software demos are available, and explore user reviews and forums to gauge others’ experiences with the software.

Financial Tracking Software

Research software solutions for tracking expenses and preparing financial documents for tax filing.

Consult with your bookkeeper or accountant to make the right choice for your accounting needs.

List of Software for a Digital Art Business:

  • Graphic Design Software: Adobe Creative Cloud, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, Canva.
  • Project Management Software: Asana, Trello,
  • Digital Asset Management Software: Widen Collective, Bynder, Adobe Experience Manager.
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping Software: QuickBooks, Xero, FreshBooks.
  • E-commerce Platforms: Shopify , WooCommerce, BigCommerce.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software: HubSpot CRM, Salesforce, Zoho CRM.
  • Social Media Management Tools: Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social.
  • Email Marketing Software: Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Sendinblue.

Evaluate these software options based on your business needs, scalability, and compatibility to enhance the efficiency and productivity of your digital art business.

Software Considerations for a Digital Art Business.

Check out Google’s latest search results for software packages for a digital art business.

15. Get The Right Business Insurance

Insurance Considerations for Your Digital Art Business

Incidents can happen anytime, making it essential to have the right insurance coverage in place before any business activity occurs.

Protection for Various Aspects

Consider insurance options that safeguard your business and your customers, employees, visitors, and property.

Professional Liability Insurance

Protect yourself against potential lawsuits by considering professional liability insurance.

Home-Based Business Insurance

If you plan to operate or manage your digital art business from home, inform your home insurance agent, as it could impact your existing home insurance policy.

Guidance from an Insurance Broker

Utilize the expertise of a competent insurance broker to guide you through the process and ensure you have adequate and appropriate coverage.

List of Insurance Concerns for a Digital Art Business:

  • General Liability Insurance: Protection against property damage and bodily injury claims.
  • Property Insurance: Coverage for damage to business property, including digital assets and equipment.
  • Cyber Liability Insurance: Protection against data breaches and cyber-attacks.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: Coverage for errors, omissions, or negligence in your digital art services.
  • Business Interruption Insurance: Compensation for lost income during unexpected disruptions.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Coverage for employee injuries and medical expenses.
  • Product Liability Insurance: Protection against claims related to the use of your digital art products.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: Coverage for vehicles used for business purposes.
  • Umbrella Insurance: Additional liability coverage beyond standard policies.

Evaluate these insurance concerns carefully to ensure your digital art business is well-protected against potential risks and liabilities.

For more, see What to Know About Business Insurance . You can also browse the latest Google search results for digital art business insurance .

16. Physical Setup

The physical setup and layout of a digital art business play a vital role in creating a conducive environment for customers and employees.

A well-organized layout ensures smooth flow and easy navigation within the space, optimizing efficiency and enhancing the overall customer experience.

In addition to installing your main business sign, strategically place signs in relevant locations, such as parking lots, exits, and special areas.

Well-designed signage directs people and conveys professionalism in your digital art operation, leaving a positive and lasting impression on visitors.

Office Setup:

Managing your digital art business requires significant time in the office, so an organized setup becomes crucial.

A fully equipped office with essential tools and resources boosts productivity, enabling effective business management and fostering a conducive work environment for your team.

See, Here are Considerations for The Setup of Your Office, for tips and ideas to make your office work for you. Also, have a look at our article About Company Signs.

17. Creating a Website

The Advantages of Having a Website for Your Digital Art Business

Having a website offers numerous benefits for your digital art business.

It serves as a virtual storefront, making your products and services accessible to a global audience and expanding your reach beyond physical boundaries.

Additionally, a website provides a platform to showcase your digital art portfolio, allowing potential customers to explore your creations and artistic style.

A Marketing Tool to Establish Expertise

Utilize your website as a marketing tool to establish yourself as an industry expert.

You build trust and credibility by regularly blogging about your field and offering valuable tips and insights tailored to your customers.

This fosters a loyal customer base and can increase sales as your audience recognizes you as a knowledgeable authority in the digital art domain.

For more, see How to Build a Website for Your Business .

18. Create an External Support Team

Building an External Support Team for Your Digital Art Business

In the realm of digital art business, an external support team of professionals plays a crucial role in providing valuable advice and services.

These experts are not on your payroll, allowing you to access their expertise when needed.

Flexibility in Services

You can ideally engage their services on a per-project, contractual, or hourly basis.

While you may already collaborate with some individuals, recognizing them as part of your team helps you appreciate their significance and consider adding more members.

Progressive Approach

You don’t need to assemble the entire team before starting your business.

Building strong professional relationships takes time. Continually nurturing and expanding your team is a goal worth pursuing.

Diverse Expertise

Your support team may include an accountant, a lawyer, a financial advisor, a marketing specialist, technical advisors, and consultants.

Having such diverse expertise readily available ensures assistance when you need it most, promoting the success and growth of your digital art business.

For more, see, Building a Team of Professional Advisors for Your Business.

19. Hiring Employees

Running a Digital Art Business: Balancing Self-Reliance and Employee Hiring

In the early stages of your digital art business, handling everything yourself may seem feasible as it helps cut down on the significant expense of payroll, especially during startup.

However, as your business grows, managing all aspects alone becomes challenging, necessitating employee hiring to enhance productivity with the right people in place.

List of Jobs Needed to Run a Digital Art Business:

The following are job positions or outsourced services you may want to consider as your digital art business grows and becomes successful:

  • Graphic Designer: To create captivating digital art pieces and marketing materials.
  • Content Creator: To develop engaging content for online platforms and social media.
  • Marketing Specialist: To implement effective marketing strategies and campaigns.
  • Web Developer: To maintain and enhance your business website for optimal performance.
  • Customer Support Representative: To address customer inquiries and provide support.
  • Sales Representative: To promote and sell digital art products and services.
  • Digital Marketing Manager: To oversee online marketing initiatives and analytics.
  • Social Media Manager: To handle social media presence and engagement.
  • E-commerce Specialist: To manage online sales platforms and transactions.
  • Art Curator: To curate and organize digital art collections and exhibitions.

Consider these roles as your digital art business expands to ensure smooth operations, heightened efficiency, and sustained growth.

For more, see, How and When to Hire a New Employee.

Points To Consider

Hours of operation:.

Hours of Operation for a Digital Art Business:

  • Regular Business Hours: Consider operating during standard business hours on weekdays, such as Monday to Friday, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. This ensures consistency and aligns with typical working hours for customers and clients.
  • Extended Hours on Weekends: To cater to a broader audience, especially art enthusiasts and potential buyers with busy weekday schedules, you may opt for extended weekends, such as Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
  • Flexibility for Online Platforms: As digital art businesses often have an online presence, consider maintaining accessibility 24/7 on your website or e-commerce platform. This allows customers to browse and make purchases at their convenience.
  • Events and Exhibitions: If you host events or digital art exhibitions, consider special operating hours during these occasions, accommodating visitors and attendees during the event’s duration.
  • Customer Support Hours: Establish specific hours to address inquiries and concerns for customer support services, ensuring prompt and effective assistance during these designated times.
  • Seasonal Adjustments: Depending on the nature of your digital art business and seasonal demands, consider adjusting your hours of operation during peak periods or holidays.

Remember to clearly communicate your operating hours to customers through your website, social media, and other communication channels to avoid confusion and ensure a positive customer experience.

A List of Equipment and Supplies to Consider for a Digital Art Business:

Computing and Display Equipment

  • Workstation/Desktop Computer : A high-performance computer that can handle graphic-intensive tasks.
  • Laptop : Useful for mobile work, meetings, and presentations.
  • High-Resolution Monitors : To display artwork in precise detail.
  • Graphics Drawing Tablet : Essential for drawing; brands like Wacom and Huion are popular.
  • Stylus Pens : Different types for various drawing techniques.
  • Monitor Calibrator : Ensures that colors displayed are consistent and accurate.
  • Graphic Design Software : Such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, CorelDRAW.
  • Digital Painting Software : Such as Corel Painter, Adobe Fresco, or Procreate (for iPad).
  • 3D Modeling Software : Programs like Blender, ZBrush, or Autodesk Maya if offering 3D artwork.
  • Animation Software : If offering animated artwork; tools like Adobe After Effects or Toon Boom.
  • Photo Editing Software : Adobe Lightroom, Capture One for editing and managing photo references.
  • Office Software : Microsoft Office or Google Workspace for business tasks.

Printing and Scanning

  • High-Quality Printer : For creating art prints for sale or display.
  • Scanner : High-resolution scanner for digitizing traditional sketches or art.
  • Plotter : For large format prints if offering banners or posters.

Storage Solutions

  • External Hard Drives : For backups and additional storage.
  • Cloud Storage Subscription : Platforms like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • NAS (Network-Attached Storage) : For storing and accessing large files across multiple devices.

Studio Setup

  • Adjustable Drawing Desk : Ergonomically designed for artists.
  • Artist Chair : Comfortable and adjustable.
  • Studio Lighting : To ensure consistent and accurate color perception.

Desk Organizers : Holders for stylus pens, pencils, and other tools.

  • Cable Management Solutions : Keep all cables organized and prevent tangling.
  • Anti-Fatigue Mat : If you prefer to stand while working.

Accessories and Miscellaneous

  • Protective Cases : For your tablet and other portable devices.
  • Drawing Gloves : Reduces friction between your hand and the tablet.
  • Screen Protectors : For the drawing tablet to protect and offer a paper-like texture.
  • Keyboard and Mouse : Preferably ergonomic design.
  • Webcam and Microphone : Useful for virtual client meetings or streaming artwork creation.
  • Speakers or Headphones : For listening to music, tutorials, or video conferences.

Networking and Connectivity

  • Router and High-Speed Internet : Ensure fast and stable connections for uploads/downloads.
  • USB Hubs : To connect multiple devices.
  • Bluetooth Adapters : If any devices require Bluetooth and the computer doesn’t have built-in capabilities.

By ensuring you have the right equipment from the start, you can enhance the quality and efficiency of your digital art creation process.

It’s always a good idea to invest in high-quality gear that can handle the demands of digital artwork and last for several years.

Marketing Considerations

Attracting Customers for Your Digital Art Business

In the world of digital art business, customers are the lifeline of your success.

To thrive, you must focus on attracting customers, especially in the initial stages when your operation is new and relatively unknown.

Building a Good Reputation

As you establish a solid reputation over time, attracting customers becomes easier.

With more marketing experience under your belt, you can fine-tune your strategies.

Ongoing Marketing Efforts

Marketing your digital art business is an ongoing endeavor, requiring consistent effort to create awareness and reach potential customers.

Investing in Effective Marketing

The more you invest in proven marketing techniques, the greater your revenue potential.

While you don’t always need a marketing agency or expert, you can learn and execute effective marketing strategies yourself.

Simplifying the Marketing Process

View marketing as an opportunity to bring awareness to your business, seizing every chance to promote your digital art venture.

This proactive approach can lead to a growing customer base and sustained success.

See our article How To Get Customers Through the Door

Potential Referral Businesses for a Digital Art Business

  • Local Art Galleries : Visitors often look for specific art styles or custom pieces. By building a relationship with galleries, they can direct clients looking for personalized digital art to your business.
  • Custom Framing Shops : When customers come to frame their art, these shops can suggest digital artists (like you) for creating new custom pieces or converting traditional art into digital formats.
  • Photographers : Nowadays, Many people blend photography with digital art for unique visuals. Partnering with photographers can lead to collaborations or client referrals.
  • Ad Agencies : These businesses often require fresh digital art for campaigns and might prefer to outsource specific tasks.
  • Interior Designers : They might need custom art pieces to fit a specific space or theme. Offering them a special deal for referrals can be mutually beneficial.
  • Print Shops : Especially those that focus on large format or specialty prints, can refer clients who need designs or custom artwork for their print projects.
  • Event Planners : Digital art can be tailored for events like banners, backdrops, or unique event invites. A partnership could yield multiple referrals.
  • Web Design Companies : Many clients might want custom graphics, icons, or illustrations for their websites. By collaborating, both businesses can offer a comprehensive package.
  • Tattoo Parlors : Custom digital art can serve as the blueprint for intricate tattoos. Establishing a relationship with tattoo artists could bring in unique commissions.
  • Real Estate Agencies : Realtors might have clients looking for custom artwork for their new homes or businesses. Offering a special package or discount to such clients can create a stream of referrals.
  • Local Gift Shops : These stores might have customers looking for personalized gifts. By offering digital art services, such as custom portraits or themed art, you can cater to this market.
  • Bookstores : Authors or self-publishers might need custom digital art for book covers. Bookstores can refer such clients, especially during local author events.

By approaching these businesses, not only do you grow your network, but you also find collaborative opportunities that might be mutually beneficial.

Offering a referral fee or special discounts to these businesses can incentivize them to introduce their clientele to your services.

Remember, always provide value and ensure that the relationship benefits both parties.

Marketing Offers

Ideas to Attract New Customers:

  • Introductory Discounts : Offer a 15% discount for all new customers on their first digital art commission.
  • Free Consultation : Allow potential clients to discuss their vision and requirements without any cost.
  • Bundle Deals : If a customer orders more than one piece of digital artwork, offer a reduced rate for the bundle.
  • Referral Program : Encourage word-of-mouth marketing by giving customers a discount when they refer new clients.
  • Portfolio Showcase Event : Host an event where you display your work, giving new customers a chance to see your skills and discuss potential projects.

Ideas for Existing Customers:

  • Loyalty Discounts : Offer discounts for returning customers.
  • Exclusive Previews : Allow loyal customers to see new art collections or concepts before they are publicly released.
  • Customized Packages : Tailor services specifically based on a returning customer’s previous preferences.
  • Anniversary Specials : Give discounts to clients on the anniversary of their first purchase or project with you.
  • Feedback Rewards : Offer a discount or a freebie to clients who provide valuable feedback or testimonials.

Classified Ads:

  • “Transform Your Ideas Into Art!” Exceptional digital art services tailored for you. Turn your vision into a masterpiece today!
  • “Capture Moments Forever!” Get custom digital portraits. Perfect for families, couples, or solo memories.
  • “Level Up Your Brand!” Elevate your business with bespoke digital art logos and graphics.
  • “Dream. Design. Deliver!” Professional digital artistry to bring your imagination to life.
  • “Your Story, Digitally Painted!” Let’s illustrate your unique narrative. Book now for special rates!

Newspaper Display Ads:

  • “Art in the Digital Age!” Dive into the world of digital artistry with our expert team. From intricate designs to elaborate landscapes, we bring your dreams to reality. Avail special discounts on first commissions.
  • “Business Graphics, Redefined!” Stand out in your industry with our custom digital art services tailored for businesses. Logos, banners, and more. Craft a unique identity today!
  • “Capture Moments, Digitally!” Immortalize your special moments with our custom digital art portraits. Family gatherings, solo portraits, or special occasions, we’ve got you covered.
  • “Dive into Digital Fantasies!” Looking to fill your space with art? Explore our range of digital paintings, perfect for homes and offices. Let’s create your perfect piece.
  • “Custom Art for Modern Times!” Modern problems require modern solutions. Decorate your digital spaces – websites, profiles, and more with unique digital art tailored just for you.

When advertising, it’s essential to understand your target audience, tailor your message to their needs, and communicate your value proposition in a clear and enticing manner.

Simple Marketing Ideas 

Methods to Promote Your Digital Art Business

Local Community Engagement :

Engaging with your local community can create a strong base of supporters.

Participate in local events, art fairs, or markets. This offers a chance for face-to-face interaction and can establish trust.

Social Media Presence :

Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and X are essential for visual businesses like digital art. Regularly post your work, engage with followers, and use relevant hashtags to increase visibility.

Offer Workshops or Classes : You showcase your expertise and build relationships by teaching others about digital art.

This can be done locally or online through platforms like Zoom or YouTube.

Collaborate with Influencers or Bloggers :

Reach out to influencers in the art and design niche and offer to collaborate on projects. Their endorsement can introduce your business to a broader audience.

Word-of-Mouth & Referral Programs :

Encourage satisfied customers to spread the word. Offering referral incentives or discounts can motivate clients to introduce your services to others.

Engage with Online Art Communities :

Platforms like DeviantArt, Behance, or ArtStation have vast communities of artists and art enthusiasts. Engaging in these platforms can help showcase your work to a broader, interested audience.

Create a Newsletter :

Collect emails (ethically) and send out monthly or quarterly newsletters showcasing recent work, offering special deals, or sharing insights about the digital art world.

Attend Networking Events :

Events geared towards artists, graphic designers, or small business owners can be great for making connections, learning about industry trends, and getting the word out about your business.

Seek Client Testimonials and Reviews :

Positive feedback can significantly influence potential clients. Ask satisfied customers to leave reviews on your website or other platforms relevant to your business.

Leverage Search Engine Optimization (SEO) :

Optimize your website to rank higher on search engines. This can be a game-changer, as many people use Google or other search engines to find digital artists.

Promoting your digital art business is about building relationships, showcasing your work effectively, and ensuring potential customers can easily find you.

Each method has its strengths, so it’s beneficial to incorporate a mix for the most substantial impact.

See our marketing section for articles that will provide ideas to bring awareness to your business.

Key Considerations for Running a Digital Art Business

It’s crucial to focus on your skill set and assess if you possess the right abilities to run a successful digital art business.

If lacking a vital skill, remember that you can acquire it through learning or hiring someone with the expertise.

Essential Skills for a Digital Art Business Owner:

  • Digital Artistry: Proficiency in various digital art techniques and software for creating captivating artworks.
  • Creativity: The ability to think outside the box and produce innovative and unique digital art pieces.
  • Business Management: Knowledge of basic business principles for operations, finances, and decision-making.
  • Marketing and Promotion: Skills in promoting and marketing digital art to reach the target audience.
  • Customer Relations: The capability to build positive customer relationships and address their needs effectively.
  • Time Management: Efficiently organizing tasks and projects to meet deadlines and maintain productivity.
  • Digital Technology: Familiarity with digital tools and platforms relevant to the digital art industry.
  • Communication: Effective communication skills to convey ideas, negotiate, and collaborate with clients and partners.
  • Adaptability: The capacity to embrace change and adapt to evolving trends in the digital art market.
  • Problem-Solving: The ability to identify and address challenges creatively and resourcefully.

These essential skills empower the digital art business owner to navigate the industry competently and creatively, fostering success and growth in the dynamic digital art landscape.

Expert Tips

Improving Your Skill Set with Expert Tips

Expert tips offer valuable insights for both experienced individuals and novices, enhancing their skill set.

Experts may discover more efficient methods or alternative perspectives, while novices can gain numerous tips to significantly boost their skills and knowledge.

See the latest search results for expert digital art tips to gain tips and insights.

Valuable Resources for Your Digital Art Business

In this section, you will find a collection of resources that provide access to the latest and most popular information in the digital art industry.

These valuable resources can be utilized during the startup phase and when your business is fully operational.

A Wealth of Information

By exploring these resources, you can better understand the digital art industry and discover valuable tips to enhance your business.

Stay updated and informed with the latest trends and developments to propel your digital art venture to new heights.

Trends and Statistics

Leveraging Industry Trends and Statistics for Your Digital Art Business

Examining industry trends and statistics offers valuable insights for your digital art business.

It helps you stay informed about market dynamics, customer preferences, and emerging opportunities, enabling informed decision-making and strategic planning for sustained growth and success.

See the latest search results for trends and statistics related to the digital art industry.

Digital Art Associations

Advantages of Trade Associations for Your Digital Art Business

Trade associations provide valuable benefits, such as staying updated on industry news and accessing networking opportunities.

These advantages become especially apparent when associations organize events, fostering collaboration and growth within the digital art community.

See the search results related to digital art associations.

Top Digital Art Business

Drawing Inspiration from Established Digital Art Businesses

Studying established digital art businesses can spark innovative ideas to fill industry gaps or address overlooked aspects in your own venture.

Learning from their successes and challenges can guide you in shaping a unique and successful digital art business.

See the latest search results for the top digital art businesses.

The Future of the Digital Art Industry

The Advantages of Researching the Industry’s Future for a Digital Art Business Startup

Thoroughly researching the industry’s future provides valuable insights for aspiring digital art business owners.

Understanding upcoming trends, emerging technologies, and potential opportunities empowers better planning and strategic decision-making for long-term success.

See the search results for the future of the digital art industry.

Advantages of Researching Industry Prices for Starting a Digital Art Business

Researching industry prices offers valuable benefits for aspiring digital art business owners.

It enables informed pricing strategies, competitive positioning, and a clear understanding of market dynamics, contributing to a successful business launch and growth.

See the latest digital art prices.

Digital Art Businesses for Sale

Considerations for Buying an Established Digital Art Business

Acquiring an existing digital art business offers advantages and disadvantages compared to starting from scratch.

Benefits of Buying an Established Digital Art Business:

  • Immediate Revenue: You start earning revenue from the day you take over, avoiding the time-consuming startup phase.
  • Proven Business Model: The business is already operational, and you have evidence that it works.
  • Financial Clarity: You know the revenue, profit, and expenses, providing a clear financial picture.
  • Existing Customer Base: An established business comes with a ready-made customer base, saving effort in building one.
  • Established Reputation: The business already holds a reputation in the market, aiding in customer trust and brand recognition.

Disadvantages of Buying an Established Digital Art Business:

  • Higher Cost: Acquiring goodwill and an existing customer base often means a higher purchase cost.
  • Potential Customer Loss: Making significant changes to the business might lead to customer attrition.
  • Inheriting Reputation: When buying a business, you also inherit any negative aspects of its reputation.

Even if an exact match is unavailable, exploring the digital art industry for potential opportunities and businesses for sale can provide valuable insights. Utilize the following link to explore available options.

Businesses for sale: See the latest results for a digital art business and others related to this business model.

Franchise Opportunities Related to a Digital Art

Considering a Digital Art Franchise: Weighing the Pros and Cons

Exploring the option of buying a digital art franchise is worth considering before starting a business. Evaluating these opportunities may lead to discoveries related to digital art that you hadn’t previously considered.

Pros of Buying a Digital Art Franchise:

  • Proven Business Model: The franchise provides a well-established and successful business plan created by the corporate office, guiding your operations.
  • Existing Reputation and Marketing: Benefit from the franchise’s existing reputation and marketing efforts, aiding in customer trust and brand recognition.
  • Comprehensive Information: Access detailed knowledge about the business before getting involved, ensuring informed decision-making.
  • Corporate Support: Enjoy support and guidance from the corporate office, providing valuable assistance when needed.

Cons of Buying a Digital Art Franchise:

  • Higher Costs: Acquiring a franchise can be expensive due to initial fees and ongoing franchise fees.
  • Limited Autonomy: Making major changes often requires approval from the corporate, limiting flexibility.
  • Restricted Products and Services: You must stick to approved products and services, limiting diversification.
  • Bound by Agreement: Operations are bound by the terms of the franchise agreement, restricting independent decisions.

Even if an exact match is unavailable, exploring franchises in the same industry can offer insights into potential opportunities. Use the following link to explore available options within the digital art industry.

See the latest search results for franchise opportunities related to this industry.

Knowledge Is Power if You Use It!

Harnessing Knowledge for Your Digital Art Business

In the world of digital art business, knowledge is a powerful tool when put into action.

Online Resources for Valuable Information:

Access a wealth of industry-specific information online, empowering you throughout your digital art business’s research, startup phases, and full operation.

Follow the links in the following sections to explore valuable insights and stay informed about your entrepreneurial journey.

Digital Art Business Insights

Gaining Valuable Insights for Your Digital Art Business

Exploring tips and insights can be a source of great ideas, highlighting potential pitfalls to avoid and offering opportunities to enhance your industry knowledge.

Embrace these valuable resources to foster growth and success in your digital art business.

See the latest search results leading to resources about  Digital Art Business Insights.

Digital Art Publications

Staying Updated with Publications in the Digital Art Business

Publications provide an excellent means to access the latest information and updates related to the digital art business.

Stay informed and abreast of industry trends through these valuable sources.

See the search results for Digital Art publications.

Digital Art Forums

Engaging in Digital Art Forums for Industry Insights

Participating in digital art forums enables involvement in trending discussions and fosters valuable connections within the industry.

It offers insights into customer perspectives, providing invaluable information for your digital art business.

See the latest search results related to Digital Art forums.

Enhancing Skills and Knowledge with Courses

Courses offer an excellent opportunity to learn, improve skills, and stay up-to-date with industry trends.

Embrace these educational resources to excel in your digital art business.

See the latest courses related to Digital Art  and our management articles to provide insights and tips on managing Your business.

Digital Art Blogs

Harnessing Valuable Insights from Digital Art Blogs

Subscribing to digital art blogs offers ideas and informs you about industry trends.

Curate a valuable collection of blogs by subscribing to those that consistently provide value, ensuring a continuous flow of relevant information to enhance your digital art business.

Look at the latest search results for digital art blogs to follow.

Digital Art News

Staying Current with Digital Art Industry News

Stay updated with the digital art industry by following news sources.

Utilize alerts to receive timely notifications whenever the media cover new developments.

Benefiting from Digital Art Industry Videos

Digital art industry videos provide valuable tips and insights.

Additionally, explore related videos suggested by YouTube, as they often cover topics you might not have considered, expanding your knowledge and perspective.

See the links to YouTube Videos Below.

  • Videos related to starting a digital art business can be found here.

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How to Start an Online Art Business: 6 Quick Tips for Aspiring Artists

Do you ever imagine an art collector commissioning you from the other side of the globe through social media? Or maybe you spend your workdays at a desk and think, "Working at a computer would be more enjoyable if I was selling art prints online.” Do you wonder how to start an online art business?

The online world is brimming with possibilities for artists. Read on to learn how to launch an art business in the digital marketplace and get a free, time-saving tool to help you build your online presence.

1. Craft Your Online Art Business Plan

digital art business plan

Whether you aim to create an online art store, sell digital artwork, or establish your online gallery, a comprehensive business plan is the foundation of your own art business.

An artist business plan is your step-by-step guide to building a successful business. It outlines your:

  • artistic vision and art style
  • target market and ideal collector
  • competition in the art world
  • marketing strategy
  • financial plan, including your projected online sales and profit margin

A profitable business is not an accident; it results from careful planning, hard work, and a commitment to blazing your trail in the creative market so you can sell your art.

Do you envision developing an art brand and creating custom art you can sell online? Find the skills you need to practice to become a professional artist in this fascinating conversation with Jake Dunn, Dimitra Milan, and Elli Milan.

2. Find Your Niche and Identify Your Ideal Collector

Identifying your ideal art collector. Photo by Blake Cheek on Unsplash

Finding your niche in the art market can help you create sellable art and develop an effective marketing strategy. With so many artists producing stunning artwork, knowing your niche can help you stay focused on creating authentic art you enjoy and your potential customers want. Define your ideal collector by considering location, age, occupation, interests, and buying behavior relevant to your art. Whether you aim to offer digital art, print-on-demand services, or digital prints from your store online, a detailed profile of your ideal collector can help you tailor your offerings and marketing messages to serve your audience better and grow your art business.

3. Build a Professional Portfolio Website

Professional portfolio website design from artist Ritika Aurora

A professional website or online portfolio is essential to sell art online. Your website is a reflection of your brand and a powerful tool for engaging with your audience and selling your artwork.

Your portfolio website is the foundation of your online platform and should include the following elements:

  • Unique branding
  • Your artist statement
  • A diverse range of work
  • High-quality images
  • Your CV (education, awards, exhibitions, and other achievements)
  • Engaging descriptions of each piece
  • Contact details or a contact form

Create your art portfolio to reflect your brand and showcase your unique artistic style , making it instantly recognizable to visitors. It should engage potential collectors, provide a deeper understanding of your work, and make it easy for patrons to discover and contact you.

Once you have a beautifully crafted website, the next step is to turn it into your online store. This involves integrating e-commerce solutions into your website to manage inventory and transactions and ensure a seamless shopping experience for your collectors.

A website designer can create a custom website for you, but you can also create your own website. To do this, you'll need a website builder. Here are a few popular website builders that are suitable for artists who want to make money selling art online:

  • Features: Shopify offers a dedicated, easy-to-use website builder with built-in e-commerce features. It offers customizable templates, a secure checkout, and the ability to manage inventory.
  • Ease of Use: Shopify is user-friendly, particularly for those focused on selling products online. It might have a steeper learning curve than general-purpose website builders, but it provides robust e-commerce features.
  • Pricing: Shopify has monthly subscription plans, and there's an additional transaction fee unless you use Shopify Payments.
  • Features: Wix offers a drag-and-drop website builder with various templates suitable for artists. It provides features like galleries, image sliders, and customizable layouts. There's also an online store option.
  • Ease of Use: Wix is known for its user-friendly interface and doesn't require coding skills. The drag-and-drop editor allows easy customization of the website's look and feel.
  • Pricing: Wix has a free plan with a Wix-branded domain and ads. Premium plans, which allow for a custom domain and remove ads, start at a monthly fee. The eCommerce plan is necessary to sell art online.


  • Features: Squarespace provides artist-friendly templates and a range of features, including image galleries, blogging, and integrated e-commerce capabilities. It's known for its sleek and modern designs.
  • Ease of Use: Squarespace is user-friendly with a visually intuitive editor. It's a good option for artists who want a professional-looking site without spending too much time on customization.
  • Pricing: Squarespace offers subscription plans with different features. It includes hosting, and there's an additional transaction fee for e-commerce transactions.
  • Features: Cargo is a website builder specifically designed for artists and creatives. It provides customizable templates, an image-focused interface, and features like password-protected pages for private portfolios.
  • Ease of Use: Cargo is relatively easy to use, and its focus on visual content makes it suitable for artists. It's not as widely known as some other platforms but is worth exploring for its specialization.
  • Pricing: Cargo has subscription plans with various features, including options for personal portfolios and business sites.
  • Features: Format is a website builder tailored for creatives, including artists and photographers. It offers customizable templates, e-commerce capabilities, and a client-proofing feature for artists who work with clients.
  • Ease of Use: Format is known for its simplicity and ease of use. It's designed to showcase visual content effectively and allows for easy customization without needing coding skills.
  • Pricing: Format offers subscription plans, including a free trial. Pricing varies based on the features you need, and there's an additional fee for e-commerce functionality.


  • Features: WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that adds e-commerce functionality to your existing WordPress site. Artists can leverage the flexibility of WordPress and add features like galleries, blogs, and more.
  • Ease of Use: It requires a bit more technical know-how than some dedicated website builders, but for those comfortable with WordPress, it offers a powerful solution for selling art online.
  • Pricing: WooCommerce is a free plugin, but you'll need a WordPress site, which may involve costs for hosting and domain. Additional expenses may include premium themes and extensions.

Each platform has strengths; the choice ultimately depends on your preferences and goals.

4. Diversify Revenue Streams

Diversifying revenue streams for art business

As an artist, your creativity extends beyond your art to your business model, marketing strategies, and revenue streams. Diversifying your revenue streams can increase your income and stabilize the art market.

A few strategies to diversify your revenue streams include:

  • Print-on-demand
  • Merchandise
  • Educational products and services

You can sell physical art prints and customized print-on-demand products—like tote bags, stickers, and t-shirts—at different price points without managing inventory.

While print-on-demand platforms offer ease of use and lower upfront costs, they tend to result in lower profit margins for the artists.

Offering art-related merchandise is another way to diversify your revenue streams and sell art. Merchandise options range from art printed on common items like hats, iPhone cases, and mugs to niche art products like enamel pins and stationery.

You can also leverage your designs by creating repeat prints on fabric, wrapping paper, or wallpaper or offer custom commissions on merchandise, such as personalized portraits on mugs and t-shirts.

Teaching, workshops, and other educational products empower you to share your expertise to help budding artists while generating an additional revenue stream.

5. Find the Right Online Marketplace to Sell Your Art

Professional artist Elli Milan's online art prints store

There are various platforms where you can sell art online, each offering unique advantages. The marketplace you choose can have a significant impact on your online art sales.

Some popular online marketplaces include:

  • Target Audience: Etsy is a diverse marketplace that caters to a wide range of artists and crafters. It's known for handmade, vintage, and unique items, including original artwork.
  • Fee Structure: Etsy charges a listing fee for each item, a transaction fee when a sale occurs, and payment processing fees. Specific fee percentages may vary.
  • Unique Features: Etsy is well-known for its community feel, allowing artists to connect with buyers directly. It's also user-friendly and has a large customer base.

Saatchi Art

  • Target Audience: Saatchi Art , a platform for buying and selling original art and renowned for its curated selection of fine art pieces, is geared towards contemporary artists. It aims to connect fine artists with collectors and enthusiasts.
  • Fee Structure: Saatchi Art charges a 35% commission on sales, but there are no fees for listing and handling transactions. Artists set their prices for their works.
  • Unique Features: Saatchi Art provides a curated platform featuring new artists alongside established names. They offer services like art advisory and the ability to sell limited edition prints.
  • Target Audience: Artfinder focuses on connecting artists with art buyers globally. It emphasizes discovery and supports emerging artists.
  • Fee Structure: Artfinder charges a 33% commission on sales. Artists can list an unlimited number of artworks for free.
  • Unique Features: Artfinder uses a "taste profile" to help buyers discover art that matches their preferences. The platform also has a strong emphasis on promoting independent artists.
  • Target Audience: Redbubble is a marketplace for artists who create graphic or digital art. It allows artists to upload designs for various products like clothing, stickers, and home decor.
  • Fee Structure: Redbubble sets a base price for products, and artists earn a markup. The artist's earnings are the difference between the base price and the selling price.
  • Unique Features: Redbubble offers a wide array of products with artists' designs, and it's known for its print-on-demand model. Artists can reach a global audience without handling production or shipping.
  • Target Audience: Society6 is similar to Redbubble, catering to artists who create digital or graphic art. It offers a variety of products featuring artists' designs.
  • Fee Structure: Artists earn a commission on each sale, and Society6 handles production, shipping, and customer service. Society6 sets pricing.
  • Unique Features: Society6 focuses on art-inspired lifestyle products, allowing artists to showcase their designs on home decor, tech accessories, and apparel.

Fee structures and features may change, so check the latest information on each platform's website.

6. Leverage Social Media Platforms

Professional artist Dimitra Milan on social media

Social media provides a platform to showcase your art, connect with your audience, and sell your artwork.

To create excitement around your art and drive traffic to your website, use storytelling to share the inspiration and experience behind each creation. Post content like:

  • Product previews
  • Behind-the-scenes photos from your art studio
  • Videos of the creative process
  • Interviews with other artists or experts in your field
  • Blog posts or articles discussing your inspiration or techniques

Social media can also help you connect with art collectors and enthusiasts, build direct relationships with your audience, and foster a loyal community around your art.

Consider paid advertising and collaborations to broaden your reach significantly.

Launch Your Art Career and Sell Art Online

Free 30-Day Social Posting Plan to maximize your social media accounts and start selling art online

Are you ready to sell your art online? Save time and find lots of inspiration for engaging with your social media audience with this FREE 30-Day Social Content Plan. Download it now to eliminate the guesswork and learn the tips, tricks, and tools to help you gain confidence in building your online artist platform.

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How To Start A Digital Art Business (+ FREE Art Business Startup Checklist)

  • Post category: Showcase & Sell Your Art
  • Post last modified: February 15, 2024
  • Reading time: 72 mins read

Are you passionate about digital art? Have you been thinking about making it a full-time business? Then you probably already have some great digital art business ideas, but still you might wonder, ‘How do I start my own digital art business?’ If that’s the case, this is the right post for you! You’ll get a 10-step guide to help you go ahead with your digital art business plan, plus valuable tips on how to make money with digital art. On top of that, you can download your FREE art business startup checklist to make sure you got everything set to successfully start a digital art business!

How to start a digital art business

Starting your own digital art business takes a lot of work and effort, but in the end it’s absolutely worth it!

If you’re passionate about making digital art and you’ve already gathered some experience, then you can start a digital art business—turning your passion into profit.

Digital art is a very broad field, and there are plenty of digital art business ideas waiting for you to be realized.

Simply put, digital art is every artwork that’s created using a computer. This can include lots of different things.

For example, you can take a photograph and then further edit it in Photoshop . You can also take multiple photos and combine them all into an entirely new creation, a so-called photo manipulation. This is what I love to do in my Surreal Stories .

Likewise, you can use a 3D model and render it in applications like Blender or AutoDesk Maya . Another way is to create a traditional illustration and then color it in Corel Painter or AutoDesk SketchBook . In short: the possibilities are endless!

Grab your FREE Art Business Startup Checklist

Art Business Startup Checklist

Is selling digital art profitable?

The best thing about a digital art business is that you create artwork as a digital file on your computer. That means you can re-use that file as often as you wish, and you can also use it to create numerous different items for sale.

Since the original file always remains with you, you can sell it dozens, hundreds, or even thousand of times!

This is what sets digital art apart from traditional art and makes selling digital art so much more profitable.

How to make money with digital art?

Digital art offers a lot of potential for growth.

The first advantage is that you can sell an unlimited number of items of your digital art—for as many times as you desire.

Moreover,  digital art tools have been developing a lot in recent years, and they are still getting better and better.

At the same time, digital art has been increasing in popularity, and the various ways of creating different kinds of digital artwork have long not been exhausted.

As a result, there are countless opportunities to make an income as a digital artist.

To help you get some ideas for your business, here are ten tips on how to make money with digital art!

10 tips on how to make money with digital art, 1. sell prints of your digital art.

Selling fine art prints is something every artist can do. For a digital artist, it’s even easier to create prints than for a traditional artist. Traditional work needs to be scanned or photographed first, before you can save it as a printable file.

Digital art already sits on your computer, so the only thing you need to do is convert it into a file format that’s adequate for printing .

Make sure to use high-quality materials for your prints. Archival printing paper is the best and lasts the longest. Check out the best paper for printing digital art  to know what choices you have.

Last but not least, it’s also a good idea to offer various sizes of prints, from large-format to postcard-size prints. People have different tastes and offering a variety of prints increases your chances to make sales. Plus, this also allows all of your fans to purchase an item from you—regardless of their wallet size!

Further reading: The Best Size For Art Prints That Sells The Most

Here are some sites where you can create, sell and ship art prints all in one place:

  • FineArtAmerica

Read more about the best sites to upload art here.

2. License virtual images of your digital art

Another way to make money with digital art is by licensing image files. An image license allows people to use the virtual image for certain purposes within closely defined conditions.

You set these conditions in your digital image license agreement , and you decide whether you want to release your images for commercial use or for personal use only.

This is probably the easiest way to sell digital art because it requires the least involvement on your side. Once you upload an image and make it available as a licensed download, everything pretty much goes its way. This is a great method to make a passive income as an artist.

→ More passive income ideas for artists.

Make money with digital art is by licensing image files.

3. Drop-ship your digital art prints

If you don’t have the equipment to print and ship your digital art yourself, then you can use a drop-shipping company.

This is a very easy and convenient way to deliver art prints to your customers. Once a customer buys a print of your digital art, the order goes to the drop-shipper. The drop-shipper handles everything for you—from printing, to packaging, to shipping. Even internationally.

Many drop-shipping services can be linked directly to the ecommerce platform where you sell your prints. This can be your own artist website, or any other platform, such as Etsy  or Shopify .

Here are some drop-shipping companies that specialize in high-quality art prints:

  • Printful : This is a popular drop-shipping company for fine art prints. You can link Printful to pretty much any ecommerce platform and they also fulfill international orders.
  • Printify : Another popular drop-shipper for art prints of all kinds. Their pricing is very competitive and they have a large selection of ready-made products to sell your art on.
  • Finerworks : This company specializes in fine art and canvas prints. They are great for giclée prints and also offer other print-on-demand products. You can easily link them with your ecommerce store.

4. Sell your digital art on print-on-demand products

Apart from selling prints, you can sell your digital art on other items as well. Such print-on-demand products are very popular. Many people love to get items with a custom design of their favorite artist. 

All you need to do is upload your digital art images to a print-on-demand platform and choose the products you want to offer. You can sell your art on mugs, t-shirts, phone and laptop cases, bags, clocks, postcards, etc. Other options include stationery, such as notebooks and calendars.

Once a customer buys an item, the PoD provider will take care of printing and shipping, and you will receive a share of the sales price.

The best sites to sell print-on-demand products are:

  • RedBubble : A print-on-demand platform that’s very popular among artists. It’s free to open an account and offer a certain number of products for sale. RedBubble handles the orders for you, while you earn between 10%-30% of the sales price.
  • Society6 : Society6 is a similar PoD platform with a huge audience of artists and customers interested in art. Creating an account is free, and you can offer your digital art on as many products as you wish. You can set your own prices, but your sales margin will only be around 10% on average.
  • Printify : A PoD service provider that you can link to different ecommerce platforms and also your own website. Printify lets you set your own prices and you can make a greater profit than on other PoD platforms.
  • Printful : Printful is similar to Printify in that you can set your own prices and decide how much you want to earn per sale. Printful is easy to integrate with any ecommerce platform, such as Etsy , Shopify , or Squarespace .

5. Sell printables of your digital art

Printables are files that people can download and print out themselves. Some ideas of printables include wall art, calendars, planner templates, and worksheets. 

Learn more: The Best Selling Digital Printables (& Where To Sell Them!)

As an example, you can design a graphic and combine it with a famous saying or an inspirational artist quote . Your customers can purchase the virtual file and are in charge of printing it out themselves.

Just like with selling licensed images or drop-shipping prints, you don’t need to worry about packaging and shipping.

There are free fonts available, but many of them are not licensed for commercial use. By purchasing premium fonts, you will get the proper licensing and can use the fonts to create printables for sale. Great places to get original fonts for commercial use are Creative Market  and Creative Fabrica .

If you are interested in creating printables that include fonts and graphics, some great software for you to use is  Photoshop or PicMonkey . Canva is a free online design platform that allows you to combine graphics and fonts as well.

Sell printables to make money from your digital art.

6. Sell custom or limited prints of your digital art

Some things you can do to raise the price of art prints include offering custom prints and limited editions. Prints that are not signed and not numbered generally sell at the lowest prices.

To create more value for your customers, you can offer prints that are signed and/or numbered. As an example, you can offer a limited edition of just 20 copies.

Other options include selling hand-embellished prints of your digital art. Depending on the type of digital art you make, you can re-paint certain elements in the print with traditional paint (e.g. acrylic paint) or embellish certain parts with silver or golden pigment.

The most expensive prints are unique custom prints, of which you would sell one copy only. This can be a large-format giclée print that you hand-embellish and that’s only available once. Or, you can accept custom requests from clients who wish to have a unique work of yours in their homes.

Learn more: What Is Giclee Printing And Where To Get It?

7. Offer digital art commissions

Offering commissions is another way to start making money with digital art.

Where can you offer digital art commissions? 

Your own website is the best place to advertise your services. But you can also get commissions from art sharing platforms, such as Behance , CGSociety and ArtStation . There are many professional companies scouting for talent on these sites. If you have a portfolio that stands out, you can land some great freelance gigs.

But you don’t necessarily need to have advanced skills to accept commissions. Even as a beginner, you can make money offering your services on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork .

How much should you charge for a digital art commission?

That mainly depends on the type of project. If the commission is pretty complex and will take you a long time to complete, you can charge more.

Other factors are your experience and reputation as an artist. If you are already well-known in the art world, you can ask more money for your services than when you’re just starting out.

More about pricing commissions: TOP 6 Tips On How Much To Charge For Digital Art Commissions

8. Offer digital art designs on online platforms

Another way to make money with your art is by selling templates and other design products.

Some examples are website templates, illustrations, icons, and mock-ups. People can download these products and adapt them to their personal needs.

Wall mock-ups, for example, are great to show people what an artwork looks like when hung up on a wall. You would create an empty frame in a room setting. Other artists can download it and digitally fill the frame with their own piece of art.

This is another convenient way to make money with digital art, because you don’t need to worry about handling and shipping.

Two great platforms for selling such design products are Creative Market and Etsy .

These two platforms already have a large community in place. Lots of artists are selling custom products, and even more buyers are on the lookout for such original items.

9. Teach other people how to make digital art

There are plenty of new artists who want to learn the ins and outs of making digital art.

Teaching other people how to use digital art software will help you get more exposure and increase the chances of you selling your own works.

For example, if you create art using Photoshop, you can offer Photoshop tutorials and show newbies how to use the program.

There are several online platforms where you can teach other people how to make digital art:

  • SkillShare : This is a platform where people who have a ‘skill’ can ‘share’ it with others. SkillShare is one of the few platforms that let you upload your course for free. There is already a huge community of users, which makes it easier for you to find students for your course. You can sign up with SkillShare as an instructor for free here .
  • Udemy : An online learning platform with over 40 million students worldwide. With such a large audience in place, you don’t have to worry too much about marketing your course. Another good thing is that you don’t need any teaching experience to publish a course on Udemy. Become an instructor on Udemy for free here .
  • Thinkific : This e-learning platform gives you full control over the design, content, and pricing of your course. Thinkific has over 16 million students in more than 160 countries, and it’s also one of the platforms where uploading courses is free. Join Thinkific for free here .

10. Find a local venue to showcase your art

Local venues are an excellent place to showcase & sell your art and get involved in your community.

There are lots of venues in your local area that you might not even have considered for showcasing artwork. But you don’t necessarily need a gallery or exhibition room—you can also display your works in local restaurants, wine bars, hotels, community centers, or trendy clubs.

Check out the venue first to find out whether your type of digital art fits the location. If you think it’s a good showroom for your work, don’t be shy getting in touch with them.

Chances are they will be more than happy to exhibit your art because it will help them attract customers as well.

Another way to get your art out there is by participating in local events, such as art fairs and street shows. Such events will give you the opportunity to meet other artists, art enthusiasts, gallery owners and collectors.

No matter what kind of venue you eventually choose, don’t forget to bring your business cards and other marketing materials that represent you as an artist. Make it easy for people to contact you by including a link to your website, your email, and phone number! 

Further reading: How To Make Money As An Artist *OFFLINE* [7 Real World Examples]

How much does it cost to start a digital art business?

Starting a digital art business is probably one of the most rewarding things you can do when you are passionate about art.

You will get to create art every day, live your passion, and make money with it in the process. Starting a digital art business doesn’t nearly cost as much as opening other types of businesses.

But it’s important to invest into the right  tools of the trade that every digital artist needs in order to be successful in the long run.

Must-have Tools of the trade for digital artists

1. drawing tablet.

The one tool that every digital artist must have is a drawing tablet . If you’re serious about creating digital art, you cannot draw on your laptop with just your mouse or your trackpad.

Only a drawing tablet will let you access all the functions that your digital art software has to offer. The tablet can recognize pressure and tilt when you are moving the pen over the surface. The more pressure you apply, the thicker the line will get and vice versa. That’s not possible if you use your mouse or trackpad.

FREE Guide on how to use a graphic tablet with Photoshop

How to use a graphic tablet with Photoshop

There are many different types of drawing tablets that you can choose from – with screen and without screen.

Drawing tablets without screen tend to be cheaper than display tablets, but they also come with a steeper learning curve. Since you are drawing on the tablet, while looking up at your computer monitor, it takes some time to master that hand-eye-coordination.

Which drawing tablet should you get?

Wacom are known to manufacture the best drawing tablets in the industry. You cannot go wrong with choosing a tablet from the industry leader! A good pick for beginners and advanced artists is Wacom’s Intuos Pro Medium drawing tablet without screen.

To learn more about drawing tablets, check out the Best Wacom Tablets for Beginners .

Working on a tablet with screen is easier and more intuitive, because you can look down at your hand as you are drawing on the display. Getting a display tablet doesn’t have to burn a big hole in your pocket. There are many screen tablets that are also affordable for beginners—even from industry leader Wacom.

To find a great and affordable device for your needs, have a look at the Best Drawing Tablet with Screen Below $1000 .

Wacom Intuos Pro – Review of Creative Experience

2. Digital art software

To create digital art, you obviously need adequate digital art software —and a computer. 

The software you need depends on the type of art you want to create. The most powerful programs come with a corresponding price tag, but you will get great value for your money. There are also less expensive alternatives that are affordable for beginners as well.

You can start out with a completely free editing app. But in the long run, I suggest you make the investment in some good digital art software because this will ultimately make it easier for you to create better art, more quickly.

Here are some of the most recommended programs that are worthwhile the investment when you start a digital art business:

• Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the top all-round performer in the market. It’s very powerful and comes with a wide array of features for digital artists in various fields. You can start a Free 7-Day Photoshop Trial here to see if you like it. If you’re a student or teacher, you can get a 60% discount on all Adobe products here .

• Corel Painter

Corel Painter is professional software that was specifically developed for digital painting. Many manga and anime artists use Corel Painter, but also artists who work in other art styles like illustration and concept art. To see if Corel Painter is right for you, you can start a Free 30-Day Trial here .

• Clip Studio Paint Pro Clip

Clip Studio Paint Pro is aimed at comic book creators and manga artists. It offers many workflow boosters that make it easy to create comic, manga, and anime art. You can get Clip Studio Paint in two versions: the PRO (standard) version and the fully featured EX (expert) version. You can try either version with a Free 30-Day Trial here .

• Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is the market-leading vector software.
 It’s optimal for all kinds of vector designs, including icons, logos and other illustrations. Every vector graphic you create with Illustrator is infinitely scalable, meaning you can make it smaller and bigger without any quality loss. You can start a Free 7-Day Illustrator Trial here .

• Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo is one of the best alternatives to Photoshop. It’s extremely budget-friendly but almost as powerful as the industry leader. Affinity Photo is equally flexible, and you can use it for photo retouching, digital painting and drawing, image compositing, and much more.  Click here to try Affinity Photo for Free .

Learn more: Is Affinity Photo As Good As Photoshop?

• Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is one of the alternatives to Adobe Illustrator. It’s more affordable and provides great value for money. You can create all types of scalable vector graphics, but the program works for raster graphics, too. Click here to try Affinity Photo for Free .

3. Training

Practice makes perfect, and that holds true for digital art as well! You don’t need to go to art school to become a successful artist. Many artists, like myself, are one hundred percent self-taught—and that’s absolutely okay.

But one thing you can’t do without is training . This includes practicing your type of art, and it also includes learning the ins and outs of the software program you are using. That’s even more important if you are working with a powerful program with lots of advanced features, such as Photoshop .

You can sift through free tutorials that are available online for almost every graphics program. Or, you can check out free video tutorials on YouTube for a start. But to really get the gist of your preferred software, I highly recommend taking one of the e-courses that are available on learning platforms like:

Many of these courses are led by professional instructors. If you’re interested in Adobe products, you will also find Adobe-certified trainers that lead you through the course. The initial investment that you make in the course pays off in the long run, because you will get a better understanding of your digital art software, more quickly.

10 Steps to your Digital Art Business Plan

While there are multiple ways to start a digital art business, and artists may come up with different digital art business ideas, there are some basic steps we all can follow in order to make our business successful.

The following 10 steps should be part of every digital art business plan because they include the best options to grow your art business.

Here's what shouldn’t be missing on your plan when you start a digital art business:

Step 1: build your artist website.

This is the absolutely most important step when you start a digital art business: you need to build your artist website .

Now, you might wonder why that’s actually necessary, as there are so many social media platforms and art sharing websites around where you can post your work.

But you need to keep in mind that only your artist website belongs to you . With your own artist website, you are in charge of what you post, how you showcase your work, and how you present yourself as the artist.

Social media channels are fantastic to share and promote your art, and connect with like-minded people. But they may change their algorithms any time, modify their community rules, and remove posts that they don’t deem appropriate. We’ve already seen that networks may become outdated—just think of MySpace and Snapchat.

If you rely on social media to start a digital art business, you put yourself at the odds of that platform. If anything happens to the network, all your efforts to grow your art business were in vain. That’s why social media should never replace your own artist website.

Related: The Social Art Dilemma: Is Instagram Still Worth It For Artists?

People interested in your art will be searching for your artist website.

Nowadays, when people are interested in someone or something, they will be searching the internet. This is also true for your art and yourself as the artist. Every time a potential buyer, fan, curator, or collector wants to learn more about you and your art, they will be looking for your website.

Your own artist website can boost your exposure like nothing else, and it’s also a great platform to sell your work without the need of a middleman.

You can set your own prices and you don’t need to share your profit. You are in full control.

The good news is that you don’t need any coding skills to build a beautiful artist website. There are lots of easy-to-use website builders that make creating a portfolio website a piece of cake and that also allow you to add an online store to your artist website.

Let’s see what choices you have:

1. WordPress is the most popular content management system worldwide. Currently, 62% of websites are powered by WordPress, which is an incredible number of 455 million sites. There’s a good reason for that: WordPress is not only completely free, it also gives you complete control over your website. Since WordPress is open-source, you will also be the ‘sole owner’ of your website.

WordPress takes some time getting used to. But once you’ve learned how to use it, you will be rewarded with an infinitely scalable website that lives up to all requirements you can possibly have. (By the way, this website is built with the  OceanWP theme .)

You can make your site look like anything—from a simple blog to a professional digital art business website. An equally infinite number of plugins let you include just about anything in your WordPress page: image galleries, online stores, user ratings, membership sites, social media feeds, etc.

You can download WordPress FOR FREE here.

As WordPress is not an all-in-one website builder like the ones we’re going to talk about below, you will also need to purchase hosting and a domain name.

These are some of the top hosting providers for WordPress sites: 

  • BlueHost (endorsed by WordPress itself)
  • Hostinger (I’m a happy customer myself)
  • SiteGround (endorsed by WordPress itself)

2. Squarespace

Squarespace is the best website builder for artists who are looking for a one-stop solution. When you sign up for Squarespace, you will get everything you need for your artist website: web hosting, domain name, storage space, and lots of beautiful ready-made templates.

Squarespace is focused on visual creatives and many of their templates were specifically designed for portfolio websites of photographers, illustrators, designers, and other artists.

Once you’ve chosen a template, all you need to do is fill it with your own images and text. Squarespace comes with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor. You just need to drag your content and drop it into the template where you would like to have it.

You can try Squarespace FOR FREE here or check out the full Squarespace Review for Visual Creatives to learn more.

Wix is another top choice for artists because it’s also easy to use and highly customizable. Wix offers you the highest design flexibility you can expect from a website builder. That means you can position elements almost anywhere on your template.

Wix has lots of premade templates for creatives; they are all purpose-built and visually appealing.

On top of that, Wix offers some of the most affordable plans, and there’s even a free plan if you don’t need a custom domain name.

If you like to enjoy lots of creative freedom building your artist website, you shouldn’t miss to try out Wix FOR FREE here .

Pixpa is a website builder specifically for artists. You can create a portfolio website along with a blogging and e-commerce platform.

Pixpa’s templates are professional-looking and provide you with everything an artist needs. You will get lots of extra features, such as client proofing tools, automatic image compression, and the option to add metadata to your images to protect your art online .

Pixpa is very scalable. As your site grows, you can upgrade to a higher plan without any problem. You can try Pixpa FOR FREE here to see if you like it.

Jimdo is another great option for artists. Jimdo is super-easy to use, even for beginners, and makes building beautiful portfolio and gallery websites a breeze.

Jimdo offers a wide range of ready-to-use templates for photography, illustration, graphic design, fashion, etc. All templates are mobile-responsive, so your artist website looks amazing on large, high-resolution screens and mobile phones as well.

You can start building your website without paying any money; there’s a free plan for you to get started. 

If you like Jimdo and want to stick with it, you can choose one of its subscription plans. With these plans, you will get hosting for your artist website, your own domain name, and tools that help you with search engine optimization and marketing your work.

If that sounds good to you, you can try Jimdo FOR FREE here .

Weebly is one of the best website builders for artists who want to run a blog on their website. Blogging is an excellent way to make your site rank in search engines like Google, Bing, etc. At the same time, you can keep your readers up-to-date on new work, art exhibitions, and art sales.

Just like any other website builder, Weebly allows you to choose a template and customize it to your liking. The drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to build a beautiful artist website in no time. 

Weebly is pretty affordable. You can start with the free plan and then upgrade to the Starter plan  for a couple of dollars a month, if you want to have your own domain name. This is probably the best option to start a digital art business on Weebly, because you will get unlimited storage space and no distracting Weebly ads.

To see if that’s a fit for you, you can try Weebly FOR FREE here .

STEP 2: Create a portfolio gallery

The portfolio gallery is the heart of your artist website. Of course, you want to show your artwork in the best possible way and upload clear, high-quality images.

Make sure your portfolio gallery is easy to navigate, has a zoom feature and social sharing options.

A good portfolio gallery should allow for easy and functional navigation. Your viewers should be able to scroll through the gallery images, return to the previous image or move on to the next one. They should also be able to zoom in to take a closer look at pieces they are interested in.

Apart from that, you also want to have social sharing buttons that allow your fans to share your works on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. This will help you get the word out about your art and in return drive more traffic to your website.

Many website builders offer these features as a standard. Just make sure to check that your selected website builder and template have that functionality before you commit.

WordPress offers a great number of plugins that allow you to design appealing and functional portfolio galleries.

If you chose to build your artist website with WordPress, you will have a great selection of themes that allow you to create an impressive portfolio and also embed other media, like videos, sound files, scrolling images, and so on.

There are plenty of stunning WordPress themes and many of them are even completely free . This website, for example, was built with OceanWP —one of the most powerful and functional themes available.

Filling your preferred WordPress theme with content is super-easy. WordPress comes with its native editor that offers basic features. But you also have the option to upgrade to a more powerful drag-and-drop editor of your choice.

Elementor is one of the most popular WordPress editors worldwide, and was also used to build this site. Elementor Pro offers lots of advanced features to design professional-looking web pages. It’s also a great tool for artists because it allows you to create portfolio galleries , masonry galleries and tiled galleries to beautifully present your artwork.

To see how powerful yet how easy Elementor is to use, check out the Elementor Tutorial for Beginners and the Elementor Review for Photographers and Artists .

A user-friendly portfolio is key when you start a digital art business.

To have a user-friendly portfolio gallery, there are a few more things to consider.

First of all, you want to be sure that your gallery images load quickly. If web pages take too long to load, people might get annoyed and leave before they even looked at a single image of yours.

While most of us already have access to high-speed internet, there are still many places in the world without fast web connections.

To make sure everyone has a pleasant user experience viewing your art, it’s a good idea to choose a gallery widget with the  lazy load feature. This feature ensures that your portfolio images load gradually as the user scrolls down the page.

The Elementor Pro gallery widget for WordPress , for example, has this feature as a standard. But also artist-focused website builders like Squarespace and Pixpa come with lazy loading functionality.

Organize your artwork into groups to enhance user-friendliness.

Another way to enhance the user-friendliness of your portfolio gallery is by organizing your works into different categories. If you display all of your pieces on the same page, things may quickly get overwhelming.

Just imagine visiting a museum. You would walk from room to room, and in each room you would see similar works grouped together. This is what you should do in your online gallery, too.

By creating different categories for your art, you let your visitors choose what they want to view first.

To get an idea of how to organize your artwork, take a look at some online artist websites or check out how I grouped my works into different collections ( Surreal Stories , Lip Service , Headshots , Monochrome , Nature & Macro ).

STEP 3: Open an online store

If you want to start a digital art business, then having an online store on your artist website is a must.

Online market platforms always take a certain commission from their users for every sale. But with your own online store, you can set your own prices and keep the entire sales price to yourself!

When showcasing your artwork in your online store, keep in mind that customers like to see a variety of shots from different angles and close-ups. They also like to get an idea of what an art print looks like in their homes. 

That’s why it’s a good idea to show people what a piece looks like when hung up on a wall. To do so, you can take a photo of the artwork in your room. An easier way, however, is to use a mock-up that allows you to digitally include your artwork in a frame. You can find a great selection of mock-ups on CreativeMarket .

Just make sure to let people know that the item is not being sold with a frame in case you show framed samples of your art.

Open an online store with WordPress

WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to showcase and sell tangible and digital products.

Using WooCommerce is the cheapest and most powerful way to start a digital art business with an online store. Despite being completely free, WooCommerce offers plenty of advanced features, including payment gateways, shipping zones, tax rates, coupons, cross-sells and up-sells, stock management, and much more.

When choosing a WordPress theme, make sure that the theme features WooCommerce functionality. Don’t worry—WordPress lets you change themes without any problem and whenever you wish. So even if you’ve been using a basic theme, you can easily upgrade to a theme with e-commerce functionality at any time.

Some of the best WordPress themes with WooCommerce functionality are:

  • Hestia Pro  

Open an online store with a website builder

1. shopify

Shopify is the best ecommerce platform for artists who are planning to sell their art on a larger scale.

Shopify is specifically built for creating online stores and will provide you with all the functionality to take your art business to the next level. You even have the option to add gallery pages—something particularly useful for artists.

Another great thing about Shopify is that you can easily connect print-on-demand platforms like Printful and Printify . That means drop-shipping prints and other products of your digital art will be absolutely hassle-free.

Shopify works like any other website builder. The drag-and-drop system makes it easy set up product and content pages. There’s also a huge selection of plugins and third-party apps to add more functionality. These also include apps for social media marketing to help you drive traffic to your shop.

The Basic Shopify plan is the most affordable and offers all the ecommerce functionality you need to start a digital art business.

Have you thought of Squarespace as a place to just showcase your art? That’s only half of the story, because Squarespace also comes with excellent ecommerce features!

You will find everything you need to start selling your art online—from shopping cart, to payment gateways, to product galleries, to upsells and discount coupons.

Setting up your web store with Squarespace is as easy as building your online portfolio. If you ever get stuck on a problem, there’s a huge number of how-to articles and even some video tutorials to get you up and running quickly. Plus, Squarespace’s customer support is always contactable via chat or email.

To launch your online store on Squarespace, you’ll need at least the Business Plan that gives you ecommerce functionality.

Wix is a great platform to open an online store. The Wix Art Store is free to install and completely commission-free to use.

Selling your art on Wix is super-easy. All you need to do is choose an ecommerce template and fill it with your offerings. You also have the option to integrate print-on-demand platforms like Printful and Printify , if you’d like to drop-ship art prints and other items.

What’s more, Wix has its own print-on-demand service, which is part of the Wix Art Store. You can choose to sell a wide range of products, including framed and unframed prints as well as digital images with license agreements .

Once a customer buys something from you, the Wix Art Store takes care of everything. You don’t need to worry about payment, packaging, and shipping. Every time an order has been placed, the free Wix eCommerce app will send a notification to your phone. All you need to do is relax and create art…

Pixpa is also an ideal choice for artists who want to start a digital art business selling products online.

Pixpa offers powerful ecommerce functionality with everything you need for your artist store. You can sell both tangible items and downloadable files, such as art prints and virtual images.

All your products can have variants, upsells, cross-sells, discounts, and much more. If you already have an existing Shopify store, you can easily link it to your Pixpa site. 

That means you can enjoy all the advanced Shopify ecommerce features along with all the artist-specific tools that you will get with Pixpa!

Jimdo makes it easy for every artist to add an online shop to their art website. 

Once you signed up for a free account and answered a few questions about your store, Jimdo will help you set everything up quickly. All you need to do is pick the design and the colors you want and import your photos.

You can choose to offer different variants of products, customize promotions and discount codes, and much more.

Jimdo also makes it easy to start an art business on Instagram or Facebook. With Facebook for Business, all products in your Jimdo store will automatically sync to Instagram and Facebook. That means your followers can start shopping on the social media platforms right away.

Jimdo does not charge transaction fees; you’ll only have the fees charged by your payment gateway.

Jimdo’s online store pricing depends on the number of products you want to sell. There are three different plans you can choose from. For an unlimited number of products, there’s the  Jimdo VIP plan .

Weebly lets you easily create an online store for selling your products worldwide. You can choose your store design and then customize it the way you want. 

You will also get customizable email templates to send welcome emails to your customers or notify them about an abandoned shopping cart. If you’ve already created a website for your art, Weebly’s free ecommerce widget lets you seamlessly integrate your new online store with your current website.

Weebly comes with quite some powerful ecommerce features. You can add shoppable links to your Facebook and Instagram profiles and sell through marketplaces like Walmart and Amazon. There’s also an automatic tax and shipping rate calculator for both domestic and international orders, inventory management, coupons and gift cards, customer reviews, and more.

For more shop functionality, there’s a range of third-party plugins that you can download from Weebly’s app center.

STEP 4: Use Social Media To Leverage Your Digital Art Business

While social media shouldn’t replace your own artist website, it can help you promote your digital art business.

Many social media platforms already allow you to sell products directly in the newsfeed. That also makes it easier to start an art business on Instagram or Pinterest. 

You can promote your digital art business on your social media profiles by linking back to your online store—either in your bio, like on Instagram, or directly from the post as you can on Pinterest or Twitter.

Visual-driven platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are especially great for artists. They help you get a lot of eyeballs on your artwork, and ultimately make more sales.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can use social media to leverage your digital art business, check out the posts below:

  • 15 Must-Know Tips For Artists Using Pinterest
  • 7 Steps To Sell Digital Art On Pinterest FAST
  • 7 DOs To Post Your Art On Facebook & Grow Your Artist FB Page

How To Upload Digital Art To Instagram & Make It Look Good

  • DOs & DON’Ts For Artists Posting Art On Instagram

STEP 5: Brand your digital art business

Brand design helps create the look and feel for your digital art business.

Create a logo for your digital art business.

Like any professional brand, you should have your own artist logo. Your logo should show in the header section of your website—and on any other materials relating to your business (like invoices, image licenses, PDFs, e-books, etc.).

Why is branding important when you start a digital art business?

A consistent brand makes it easy for people to recognize your work and better connect with you. Branding also includes how you want people to feel about your art and what message you want to convey. Generally speaking, how do you want to present yourself as an artist?

As an artist, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to create your own logo. You can use your name, your initials, or a typical theme of yours. A logo can be easily associated with a brand—just have a look at the many logos that companies use.

But branding does not only include the logo on your website. It’s also about how people find your website. That means the domain name of your website should also be in line with your branding. It should either be your artist name, or if not possible, at least include your artist name.

Your artist name and a unique logo will enable you to create your personal brand and stand out among other artists. Once you got your branding on point, people will be able to remember you more easily and associate you with your unique brand.

Use a consistent color scheme.

Besides conveying your personal artist brand, your website should have a consistent color scheme.

As a matter of fact, artists have more creative freedom using color than other industries. People kind of expect an artist to have a more colorful website than, let’s say, a lawyer.

However, you should make sure to not go overboard with color. Using between 2 to 4 different colors on your site is a good rule of thumb.

One thing you should pay special attention to is hyperlink color. It’s important that people immediately know what is a link—without having to click on it first. This is a key factor for a positive user experience.

If you are not sure what link color to use, read more about the best link color for your artist website here .

STEP 6: Get to know your audience

When you start a digital art business and are committed to make it successful, it’s vital to identify your target audience.

To get a clearer idea of your target audience, you can start with basic considerations:

For example, what’s the average age of the people interested in your work? Are most of them teenagers or adults? If they are adults, are they in their twenties, thirties, forties, …?

What gender are they? Are they mostly men or women?

Where do your customers come from? Do they live in the United States? Are they from Europe? Do you have lots of Asian fans?

What does your audience have in common? Are there any particular interests or hobbies that are typical of your customers?

Get to know your audience to start a digital art business.

It’s also important to find out where your target customers spend their freetime – both online and offline.

Which social media platform do your customers use most of the time? Do they like Facebook or Instagram? Or are they rather on Twitter and LinkedIn? 

Once you know which social network your audience prefers, you can focus your efforts on that particular platform to get in touch with the people most interested in your art.

But it’s also possible that your patrons are mainly on art sharing websites. This may be especially true if your clients are professional companies. Many businesses are scouting for talent on art-specific sites like  Behance , CGSociety , and ArtStation .

Further reading: How To Identify Your Target Market As An Artist In 4 Steps

If there are art galleries in your neighborhood, then seize the opportunity to attend exhibitions and mingle with potential buyers and art lovers.

More offline income ideas: How To Make Money As An Artist *OFFLINE* [7 Real World Examples]

Lastly, you’ll also need to get an idea of how much your clientele is willing to spend for your art. Take a look at similar works of other artists to find out what prices they sell for.

Once you know what your target audience likes and how much they are willing to pay for it, it will be much easier for you to market your digital art to them!

More marketing tips: Online Marketing For Artists: Use The Rule Of Seven To Your Advantage!

STEP 7: Start an art blog

Once you’ve set up your portfolio gallery and your online store, you will need a way to drive traffic to your website.

Starting an art blog is a powerful content marketing strategy that will help you rank your website in Google and other search engines.

You can blog about everything that is related to your art. For example, you can write about the creation process of your artwork and show WiP shots . You can keep your visitors up to date on upcoming exhibitions and new pieces you are working on.

Other blogging ideas include tutorials, sources of inspiration , and your favorite tools of the trade .

Publishing content regularly is one ranking criterion for search engines. The more art-related content you have on your website, the higher your site will rank in the search results. Ergo, the more traffic and sales you’ll be able to drive.

If you are using  WordPress to build your artist website, you will have everything you need to integrate a solid blogging platform.

But also the website builders will let you create blog posts without any problem. Weebly provides advanced blogging features, and Squarespace ,  Wix , Pixpa and Jimdo have responsive layouts, too, that make your blog pages look good on all devices.

STEP 8: Optimize your website for SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is incredibly important when you start a digital art business. When you optimize your website for SEO, you are making it more visible in search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

Blogging is a great way to boost SEO quality. By providing relevant answers to people’s questions in your blog posts, you will increase your chances to rank your website in search engines and attract visitors.

The title of your blog posts is especially important because it’s the first thing a user will see when they come across your article. The title decides whether or not a user feels enticed to click on your post. How-to tutorials, questions, and other catchy titles are known to pique the user’s interest.

But what’s even more important is the actual content of your blog post. When you answer the user’s question and provide comprehensive and accurate content, then you will contribute to a positive reader experience.

Other factors include formatting and page speed. A clear formatting improves readability. If your content is organized using headings and subheadings, the reader can easily scan the text and quickly find the information they are looking for.

Finally, multimedia elements like images and videos have an effect on page speed—and page speed again influences your website’s ranking in Google and other search engines.

To make sure that your pages load quickly, keep image file sizes low (ideally less than 300 KB) and don’t embed more than one video on a single page, if not absolutely necessary.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is incredibly important when you start a digital art business.

Use keywords strategically throughout your blog post.

An essential ranking criterion is the use of keywords throughout your blog post.

When you write a post, you want it to be found by users who are looking for a specific search phrase. If your blog post is optimized for that particular search phrase, then Google and other search engines will show it high on their search engine results page (SERP).

In return, more people will click on your post, visit your website, and your chances to make your digital art business successful will increase immensely.

Optimizing a page for a certain search phrase means you include the relevant keywords in your post title, URL, meta description and also throughout the post itself in a sufficient number.

There are specific search engine optimization tools that will help you get the SEO of your pages on point. We are going to talk about them in just a minute in this post.

Add a meta description to your blog posts.

Adding a meta description to your blog posts is an important SEO factor.

The meta description is read by search engines and users and should include the relevant keywords. On the search engine results page, the meta description is the two or three lines of text that appear below the clickable website link.

As users tend to read both title and description to find out whether a post will be helpful to their search query, you should make sure that your meta description is captivating, too.

The meta description shouldn’t be too short, and it mustn’t be too long either because everything longer than 156 characters will be cut off on the SERP.

Use search engine optimization tools.

There are many tools available that will help you get your page SEO going. If you’re using WordPress, there are a couple of free plugins. 

One of the best WordPress SEO tools is Yoast . Yoast checks a number of factors that impact the ranking of your website in Google and other search engines. These include keyphrase density, title width, alternative image text, etc. You can preview what your post looks like in the SERPs, and you can modify the meta description.

If there’s anything that’s needs improvement, Yoast SEO will let you know what to do to make your page more likely to get ranked.

Another WordPress tool that does the same job is RankMath . The major difference between Yoast SEO and RankMath is that RankMath checks for so-called power words in your post titles, which are known to trigger an emotional response and make users more likely to click on your posts.

All website builders come with their own SEO tools.

All of the website builders mentioned in this post come with their own SEO tools that are not less powerful than the WordPress plugins.

Squarespace offers SEO-friendly features with any of their plans. When you sign up with Squarespace , you will automatically get search keywords analytics for your website, search engine and page descriptions, meta tags, and much more.

The same is true for Weebly. All Weebly plans will give you decent SEO functionality. For more SEO performance, you can download one of Weebly’s apps available in the app store.

Pixpa’s SEO Manager lacks in no way behind, providing you with everything you need to optimize both page and images to get ranked in search engines.

Jimdo is optimized for search engines out of the box. There are lots of SEO tools you will get access to, and you can also optimize your images for search engines.

All Weebly sites are SEO-friendly. They have sitemaps, SEO-optimized HTML formatting, meta descriptions, responsive design, and even more advanced features.

And even Wix’ s affordable plans will provide you with SEO performance. You’ll be able to use keyword tools, set meta descriptions, redirects, and so on.

STEP 9: Build an email list

Once you’ve set up your art blog, the next step is to build an email list.

Having followers on social media and art sharing websites is fantastic, but it should never replace your personal email list. Why?

Just like your artist website is the only place that fully belongs to you, your email list is the safest way to keep in touch with your fans in the long run.

You’ve surely noticed that people leave social media platforms every day. As we said above, a social media network may decrease in popularity or disappear. Then your contacts are lost forever.

People delete their email addresses way less often than their social media profiles. When someone gives you their email address, they have a genuine interest in your art and you as the artist. That means your chances are so much greater to build a close and long-term relationship with your fans and customers.

That’s why email marketing is such an effective tool when you start a digital art business! You should make sure to have an email opt-in on your website where people can subscribe to your newsletter.

AWeber is a great platform for getting started with building an email list on your WordPress site. It’s really easy to use and completely free when you have less than 1,000 subscribers. Other recommended WordPress solutions that you can use free up to a certain number of subscribers are MailerLite and ConvertKit .

If you are using one of the website builders, you don’t need to worry about an extra newsletter plugin. You will get dedicated opt-in tools out of the box once you sign up!

STEP 10: Track your website traffic

Tracking your website traffic helps you to get to know your audience.

Traffic tracking tools allow you to understand where your visitors come from and what they do on your website. Knowing such data is incredibly helpful when you start a digital art business. Why?

Because you will get a better understanding how to retain visitors, how to convert them into sales and repeat visitors. Eventually, this information will help you grow your digital art business.

There are several ways that you can track traffic and analyze visitor behavior on your website. The easiest and most comprehensive tool available is Google Analytics . And it’s also free!

Track your website performance.

Google Analytics lets you learn more about your audience.

Google Analytics shows in-depth data about your visitors and sources of website traffic. You will know where your visitors come from, which search engines they used to find your website, and which keywords they typed in.

The visitor flow visualization will provide you insight into what your visitor did when they landed on your website. What pages did they visit and when did they leave?

This data can help you determine which pages need to be improved and which are converting well.

You can integrate Google Analytics with every WordPress site with just a couple of clicks.

And all of the website builders mentioned in this post allow you to link Google Analytics to your site as well! The website builders also have their own analytics system in place that you will get to use for free when you sign up for any of their plans.

Nevertheless, you will also be able to follow up with Google Analytics when you have your website built with Squarespace , Wix , Weebly ,  Pixpa  or Jimdo !

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How to Start A Digital Art Business – Complete Blueprint

  • Creative Business
  • Updated April 14, 2023
  • 17 minute read


If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon affiliate partner, I may earn from qualifying purchases. Read our disclosure .

I’ve been in the online digital art and creative business for over five years already and have seen its ups and downs close and far. In this post, I will share some of the key things to know when starting your own digital art business. Keep on reading!

Key Takeaways

  • Create a unique art style that differentiates you as an artist from the crowd.
  • Align your art style according to market demand.
  • The best places to grow an audience around digital art are YouTube and Instagram.
  • Without marketing, a following, or paid ads, people can’t find you and your products and services.
  • You can sell either your own products or someone else’s (affiliate marketing), or you can do freelancing and sell your time and skills.
  • Having your own brand and a website is recommended.

Define Your Art Style

One of the essential steps artists fail to take is defining their art style. If art is the product you are selling, then it’s wise to follow some of the rules that commercial businesses live by. In other words, if your product isn’t unique, it’ll have difficulty standing out.

Products also do exceptionally well when they’re nestled in a niche, as this attracts an exclusive audience. As an artist, you can take time to define your art style and add a unique flair to your art. You can use the subject matter of your work to appeal to specific audiences , taking care not to drift far from your own personal tastes.

What Do You Like To Draw?

Defining your art style is easier said than done. First and foremost, what do you like to draw? As soon as you start drawing just to please the crowd and not yourself, then your art begins to lose its authenticity.

Understanding what you love to draw and what you seek to get out of your art will enable your passion. That passion will motivate you to sell your art and keep your business going. If you’re particularly interested in a subject, say anime, sci-fi, landscape, etc., then begin researching the micro-communities surrounding these art styles.

The key is to understand that, while your passion is to draw, for example, sci-fi, you must also know what the markets (people buying digital art and art in general) want. Adjusting your drawings to what the market wants gives you a better chance of making sales and growing a thriving digital art business.

Put the time and effort into your art

It’s easy to lose hours in the business side of your art career. Often, this leads you to lose focus on your craft. Never stop putting time and effort into your art. You should always continually develop your skills, hone your strengths, and reflect on your past work.

Not only will this help you keep sight of what truly matters, but it will also be meaningful to your fans. If you’re serious about starting a digital art business, prioritize putting more time and effort into your art than ever before. Working on your art daily is vital to sharpening your skills and improving your product.

Grow A Following

Take note of influencers and grow your following on social media. Direct engagement and interaction with your followers have a massive potential to increase your sales.

Not only that, it helps reach your target audience and gain recognition.

Now, there are specific communities online for artists to connect with each other and their fans. Having a social media account or two is an excellent idea because you can easily promote your sales channels and even run ad campaigns. However, it should be noted that digital artists and art businesses can survive without social media.


Instagram is great for directly engaging with your followers. While the site is prone to bots and “ghost” followers, regular interaction with those who like and comment on your posts will ensure that your followers are genuine.

Some of the best marketing strategies for digital artists using Instagram:

  • Consistency is Key: Consistency in posting is crucial for Instagram marketing. As a digital artist, you should post regularly to keep your audience engaged and interested. You can consider posting once a day or every other day to stay top of mind with your followers.
  • Use Relevant Hashtags: Hashtags are the way to increase the visibility of your posts on Instagram. Using relevant hashtags can help your posts appear in searches for specific topics related to your art, such as #digitalart, #illustration, or #conceptart. Use up to 30 hashtags per post to maximize your reach.
  • Engage with Your Followers: Engagement is essential on any social media platform, and Instagram is no exception. Responding to comments and messages from your followers, asking for their opinions, and sharing behind-the-scenes content can help you build a stronger relationship with your audience.
  • Show Your Process: Instagram is an excellent platform for sharing your creative process with your followers. Consider posting timelapse videos or progress shots of your work to give your audience a glimpse into your creative process.
  • Collaborate with Other Artists: Collaborating with other digital artists on Instagram can help you expand your reach and gain new followers. You can collaborate by creating artwork together, promoting each other’s work, or hosting joint giveaways.
  • Use Instagram Stories: and Reels Instagram Stories and Reels are a great way to showcase your personality and give your followers a more behind-the-scenes look at your life as an artist. You can use stories and reels to share your process, answer questions, or promote upcoming projects or events.
  • Promote Your Work: Instagram is an excellent platform for promoting your artwork and selling your digital products. You can use Instagram ads to reach a wider audience or promote your products directly on your profile through posts or Instagram Stories.


Youtube is another great option for artists looking to get their name out there. For one, you have the ability to monetize your videos and make money from ad revenue. But Youtube is also home to its unique communities, and quite a few artists are on the platform.

Users on Youtube are more likely to subscribe and keep up with their favorite YouTubers, which means the site is fantastic for engagement.

As a digital artist, you can simply upload timelapse videos and grow a following that way.

Some of the best ways to grow a following on YouTube:

  • Consistently Create Content: As a digital artist, you should aim to post new videos on a regular schedule, whether it’s weekly or bi-weekly, to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.
  • Optimize Your Videos for SEO: Optimize your videos for search by including relevant keywords in your title and description. This will help your videos appear in searches for topics related to your art.
  • Showcase Your Process: YouTube is a great platform for showcasing your creative process. Consider creating timelapse videos or art tutorials that show your viewers how you create your artwork.
  • Engage with Your Audience: Engage with your audience by responding to comments and asking for feedback. This will help you build a community around your channel and engage your viewers.
  • Use YouTube Analytics: YouTube Analytics gives you valuable insights into your audience, including where your viewers are located, what devices they use to watch your videos, and what videos are performing best. Analytics also show you average watch time, CTR (click-through rate), user retention time, etc. Use this information to optimize your content and grow your channel.
  • Promote Your Channel on Other Platforms: Use other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Twitter, to promote your YouTube channel and drive traffic to your videos. You can also include links to your YouTube channel in your email signature and on your website.

Sites like Artstation , Behance , DeviantArt , or Dribbble are great not only for connecting with fans but with fellow artists as well.

You can list your digital assets for sale and engage in the artist-to-artist marketplace (which makes up quite the bulk of some digital artists’ revenue).

There are many digital art websites that enable artists like you to post your work, and products, grow a following, and make passive income through your art business.

Create Digital Art Products

The typical digital artist’s products are more varied than one might think. As a digital artist, you can sell resources for other artists, digital downloads, art books, online courses, or commissions.

To maximize your profit as a digital artist, it’s essential to diversify your portfolio by offering various products.

The best place to start is extensive market and product-market fit research. You are essentially either selling digital art products or services, but to maximize the sales, the end product needs to be aligned with what the market wants.

Here are some steps you can take to make effective market research around digital art products:

  • Define your research objective: Identify what you want to achieve through your market research. This could be understanding customer preferences, identifying market trends, assessing the competition, or evaluating pricing strategies.
  • Identify your target market: Determine who your potential customers are and what their needs and preferences are. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, and asking your followers on social media.
  • Conduct competitor analysis: Research your competitors (products and businesses) and identify their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you understand the gaps in the market and identify opportunities for differentiation.
  • Analyze market trends: Stay up-to-date with the latest market trends, such as emerging artists and styles, popular platforms and tools, and shifting consumer preferences.
  • Determine pricing strategies: Research how other digital art products are priced and determine what pricing strategy will work best for your product. This may involve conducting pricing experiments with potential customers.
  • Test your ideas: Use surveys and focus groups to get feedback on your product and marketing ideas. This will help refine your approach and identify potential issues before launching your product.
  • Continuously monitor and evaluate: Monitor your market and customers regularly to identify preferences, trends, and competition changes. This will help you stay ahead of the curve.

Digital art resources

Many digital artists create digital art resources in automation. When you draw and create your digital art, for example, in Photoshop or with Clip Studio Paint , the by-product is digital art resources. Resources such as PSD files, high-resolution images, progress shots, etc.

And if you record your drawing process, you create a video that you then sell to your fans and customers. Or, on the other hand, you can publish that video as a timelapse to your YouTube channel.

Creating digital art has many benefits. The beauty of digital art is that the normal creation process will yield resources that you can then sell in marketplaces like Artstation, Gumroad , Cubebrush , Patreon , Creative Market , Creative Fabrica , Etsy , etc.

Online courses


Online courses are always in high demand. People want to learn how to create art as much as they want to buy it. You can do a one-off course on a specific technique or how to use a certain tool. Or, you can create an in-depth course on the fundamentals of digital art.

Either way, you can include subtle references to your products to bolster your brand. Always include links back to your social media and online storefronts. Also, consider giving your online followers an exclusive discount for your online classes.

I personally sell online courses through multiple marketplaces, and the best part is that you can sell the same course in many places.

Bets marketplaces to sell digital art online courses:

  • Creative Fabrica

Print-on-demand products


Print-on-demand products are a fantastic business model for any digital artist. They have a quite good profit margin, as the cost required to produce them isn’t much. Sites like Redbubble or Society6 can produce these products for you on-demand and take care of customer service, billing, etc., for you.

You can simply upload your own designs, and the customer can choose which product they would like your art on.

Some of the most popular print-on-demand products to sell as a digital artist:

  • Canvas prints
  • Phone cases
  • Laptop sleeves

Digital art books

Guweiz: The Art of...

  • Hardcover Book
  • Wei, Gu Zheng (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 152 Pages - 09/15/2020 (Publication...

Many digital artists have produced beautiful collections of their work in books. Self-publishing (through, for example, Kindle direct publishing) is an excellent route, although you might consider working with a publisher like 3DTotal.

You can offer an eBook download or a physical copy of your book. In particular, art books are popular as display pieces or coffee table material. Through companies like Amazon, you can offer on-demand printing of your books, so you don’t have to invest in a ready-made stock.

Another option is to turn your online courses into a tutorial book or even transform your art into a coloring book.

Market Your Digital Art Products And Business

Creating and offering products is only half the battle. Marketing is key to the long-term success of your business. Many social media platforms have built-in tools to help you market your art business through ads and sponsored posts. However, you don’t need to invest much of your budget into marketing.

There are other ways to push your products and gain brand awareness without paying for advertising. Organic marketing and SEO-based content creation is a strategic approach many online businesses use today.

Organic marketing

Organic marketing involves mentioning your products, pushing sales, and offering discounts through your existing social media posts or website. You can do this overtly or more subtly by encouraging followers to click through a link to see something.

For example, if you’re offering digital assets like brushes, you can do a YouTube tutorial on how to use them.

Or, you can make a video of your progress on a piece and use that specific asset during the video. Offering your followers an exclusive discount is an essential strategy for securing a sale. Using hashtags and posting in communities can help you make the most out of organic marketing.

Facebook AD campaign


Facebook has a user-friendly ad campaign center. Identify your target audience and area and describe what products you promote. You simply set a budget, and the algorithm will suggest your posts to people in your desired parameters.

When you sign up, you’ll get some free credits to experiment with the platform. You’ll also be able to track who viewed your ad, what country they’re from, and other demographics they have. Each click will cost you so many cents, and your campaign will run into your allotted budget is gone.

Facebook is great for gaining followers on other platforms or getting sales on specific products. You can also advertise to people who have liked or expressed an interest in a certain topic.

You can also visit the Facebook Ads library to see what kind of ads are currently running in your specific niche.

YouTube video campaign


YouTube is another platform with easy-to-use ad campaigns. You can advertise your video or channel on related videos, and users can click through to your social media. Even a five-second ad is an excellent opportunity to lure customers in and showcase a sale.

With enough exposure, your brand will begin to get recognition and familiarity among people in your audience. One other idea to pursue? App campaigns. Have your business advertised through a banner or ad in art-related apps. This will help narrow down your audience even more.

Sell Your Digital Art Products

Places like Etsy are well known for selling handmade products, and it’s one of many marketplaces where you can list your digital art for sale. When selling digital art on Etsy, notice that the best-selling digital art on Etsy follows certain trends and themes.

Try to align your digital art according to market demand to increase the likelihood of getting sales.

Sites like Artstation, Gumroad, and Cubebrush are geared toward digital artists and are regularly used by art community members. In these places, it’s best to sell digital art resources, brushes, tutorials, and courses.

Best sites to sell digital art products:

  • Gumroad (art resources, brushes, courses, and reference images)
  • Artstation (art resources, brushes, courses, and reference images)
  • Patreon (art resources, progress shots, VLOG, brushes, courses, and reference images)
  • Teachable (online courses)
  • Thinkific (online courses)
  • Skillshare (online courses)
  • Udemy (online courses)
  • OpenSea (NFTs)
  • Cubebrush (art resources, brushes, courses, and reference images)
  • Creative Market (graphic elements)
  • Creative Fabrica (graphic elements and courses)
  • Etsy (printables and custom-made art)


As a digital artist, you are familiar with art software often used by businesses or graphic designers. You can offer commissions or help design logos, or offer to draw unique designs for businesses.

Eye-catching ads and banners are in high demand as social media marketing grows more popular. If you’re new to freelancing, try browsing sites like Upwork , Fiverr , or Toptal .

Most popular freelancing gigs you can do as a digital artist:

  • Graphic design: creating visual content such as logos, business cards, brochures, and website graphics.
  • Illustration: creating artwork for books, magazines, advertising campaigns, and websites.
  • Animation: creating motion graphics, explainer videos, and animated shorts for advertising and entertainment purposes.
  • 3D modeling: creating 3D models for games, movies, product design, and architectural visualization.
  • Character design: creating unique characters for comics, video games, and animation.
  • UI/UX design: designing user interfaces and user experiences for websites, mobile apps, and software.
  • Digital painting: creating digital paintings and illustrations for personal or commercial use.
  • Photo editing: retouching and enhancing photographs for advertising, editorial, or personal use.
  • Web design: creating visually appealing and user-friendly websites for clients.
  • Social media graphics: designing graphics for social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Create Your Own Website

One of the best ways to create a brand and a creative online business is to have a website. Creating your own website gives a professional look to your brand, as does your own domain.

It gives you complete creative liberty over your site’s appearance and what you list for sale. Creating a website is extremely simple and cost-effective.

You don’t need HTML or UI/UX savviness to design a professional website. WordPress, a blog hosting site, is popular among digital artists and online business owners.

WordPress is the way to go if you are serious about creating an online business. There’s some learning curve to it, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to use and enables you to build anything.

Steps to get started with WordPress:

  • Get a domain name from Namecheap (the one I use)
  • Get hosting from Bluehost (the one I use)
  • Design your website with Elementor Pro (the one I use)

Creating an artist website is not difficult; the best part is that you own the content with WordPress. With Squarespace, that’s not the case.



Squarespace is another web hosting service that is exceptionally user-friendly. Squarespace is a popular choice for online stores and artists selling products. They have an integrated online shop feature that handles everything from payment to invoices.

It’s also integrated with services like Mailchimp, so you can create a mailing list and keep in touch with your customers. Regarding convenience, Squarespace has everything covered so you can focus on your art.

Squarespace is the best solution if you want a website, but content creation, business, and selling are focused on YouTube, Instagram, Etsy, etc.

WordPress vs. Squarespace


Digital Artist

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Down-selling Explained – Techniques and Examples

Made with ♥ towards digital creativity. Copyright © since 2017 Okuha ® . All Rights Reserved. Trademarks and brands belong to their respective owners. Okuha is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. Okuha also participates in affiliate programs with Shareasale, CJ, and other sites. Okuha is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Read disclosure .

Thank you for visiting the page! If you want to build your next creative product business , I suggest you check out Kittl!


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Artist School is a place where you can learn to use Procreate app from scratch and create professional artworks right on the iPad. Explore new techniques and apply your skills with hands-on projects to build a portfolio that showcases your professional readiness for a creative career. You can learn at your own pace, whenever it’s most convenient for you with an easy-to-follow method.

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Learn how to create amazing animations from scratch using Procreate app. Liven up your art and get more exposure as an artist by adding movement to your work.

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Discover procreate tools.

You will get familiar with all the essential tools, many advanced techniques and some hidden tricks that you will be able to apply in your drawing process.

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By following our step-by-step video tutorials you will practice creating complex illustrations from start to finish using only your iPad and Procreate app.

Use Procreate professionally

While taking this course you will learn the process of producing multi-purpose and commercial-ready digital art, and create first works in your portfolio.

Create animations

Learn how to liven up your art with animations in Procreate. Discover the possibilities of the tools and learn the techniques that can take your creativity further with motion graphics.

Develop your own style

You will practice and acquire skills in creating artworks in different drawing styles. This will enable you to be flexible with choosing or finding the style that suits you best.

Practice 3D painting

You will explore industry ready 3D features of Procreate. Learn how Procreate is used in professional game and movie workflows.

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The lessons are easy-to-follow and require you to practice. After a successful completion, you will be able to draw your own artworks of any complexity.

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Learn everything about drawing on iPad

In this part, you will get familiar with all the essential tools of Procreate, many advanced techniques and some hidden tricks that you will be able to apply in your drawing process.

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  • 2. First opening (Gallery) 3:23
  • 3. Creating a new document 1:44
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Learn how to illustrate in Procreate

In the second part, you will learn how to create professional illustrations from scratch. You will be able to follow the process step-by-step and create your own version of it.

Create a complex illustration step-by-step

Acquire outline style skills.

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  • 1. Intro 0:37
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In this part, you will learn how to create isometric illustrations. This style is in a high demand in the video game industy as well as in web and mobile apps. Besides exploring the isometry, you will learn how to approach structuring and creating a high quality scene with many objects in it.

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In this type of lessons, you will be able to see and follow along the full process of creation a series of fun illustrations based on the skills that you've already learned from the previous chapters.

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Our drawing sessions are a great way to practice and master the skillset that you've already learned in the previous chapters. Watch and follow the process of creating a beautiful illustration from start to finish in each session.


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Bring life to your art with animations

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  • 3. Drawing the Cloud 6:45
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How to Wrtie an Artist business plan + Free Template

digital art business plan

Are you an artist—oil painter, singer, makeup artist, or writer ready to turn your passion into a profitable business?

If yes, and about to start your own art business; wait a moment!

You will need to think about resources and funding for navigating the ins and outs of an artistic journey.

Also, you need to specify if there’s a significant market for your business to be successful, what potential customers expect from you, and who are your competitors.

However, having a solid business plan is an essential tool to answer all these questions, and this artist business plan will surely help you!

It will guide you through all the important aspects of an effective artist business plan. It not only fuels your creativity but also paves the way for a sustainable and prosperous artistic venture.

But before diving right into the plan; let’s find some interesting facts about the creative art industry.

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  • Fill in the blanks – Outline
  • Financial Tables

Creative Art Industry Outlook 2024

  • The United States has been firmly holding its position as the leading global art market for the past few years, generating roughly 45% of the global sales value.
  • The revenue of performing arts companies in the U.S. will amount to roughly $19,6 billion by 2024, while for independent artists, it will amount to approximately $23,1 billion .
  • There are 71,828 people employed in the US musical groups and artists industry till 2023.
  • The number of people increased 0.4% on average over the five years between 2018 and 2023.
  • Zippia estimates that artists are 70% more likely to work at private companies as compared to public sectors.

Now, without further ado; let’s delve into the key components you need to include in your creative business plan.

Key Components of an Art Business Plan (w/ examples)

  • Executive Summary
  • Business Overview
  • Market Analysis
  • Product and Services
  • Sales and Marketing Strategies
  • Operations Plan
  • Management Team
  • Financial Plan

1. Executive Summary

An executive summary is the initial chapter intended to provide a quick overview of your entire artist business plan. It highlights the primary facts of your business, from art business ideas to financial projections.

Keep your summary concise and clear, use simple language, and avoid jargon as it quickly engages readers.

You can start by introducing the idea behind starting an art business and explaining what it does. For example, is it a startup, do you like to grow your business, or are you operating a chain of artist businesses?

Next, share a brief overview of how your art studio will be different from the rest. Provide a summary of each of the subsequent sections of your plan, such as:

  • Describe the artist industry and the target market in brief.
  • Represent the products or services you wish to offer.
  • Give a snapshot of your marketing strategy.
  • Name all the key members of your management team.
  • Provide a summary of your financial projections.

After that, end your summary with a clear call to action, inviting potential investors or readers to the next meeting if they are curious about your business.

Generally, this section is written after the entire business plan is ready as you go through and draft all the important sections of your business plan.

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2. Business Overview

The business overview section provides detailed information about your art business, including ownership, legal structure, office location, business history, and other business-related facts.

Initially, you can draft all the foundational facts like:

  • The name of your art business and the concept behind it, for example: do you need a makeup artist business plan, music artist business plan, or painter business plan, and what is the actual idea behind your artist business?
  • The legal structure of your art business whether it is a S-Corp, LLC, sole proprietorship, or some other.
  • Location of your art gallery and the reason why you selected that place.

After that, describe the owners of your business and mention their roles in running it. Emphasize the percentage of shares owned, and how each owner helps in the business. For example,

Business overview example for artist business

You can add a memorable, clear mission statement that sums up the objectives and core principles of your art studio. Also, include an outline of the business’s history and how it came to be in its current position.

If you want to, include some personality and interesting details, especially if you have any achievements or recognitions till now for your creative art.

Convey your aspirations and your clear vision. Highlight future business goals and if you have any plans of opening an art studio or hosting an art gallery opening.

3. Market Analysis

Next, dive into the art world as this chapter provides a clear understanding of the art industry, along with the target audience, competitors, and growth opportunities.

So, take some time to go further and identify your target market and define your ideal target customer. It will guide your artistic choices and marketing strategies.

Know more about your customers and which type of services they prefer: customized painting, greetings, invitation cards, poetries, songs, or anything else.

After that, give an overview of the art industry. It unveils necessary information about the market size and growth potential of the art market in which your business will run. :

Market Analysis Example for Art Business

Also, conduct detailed market research to identify direct and indirect competitors. Evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.

You can perform a SWOT analysis to find internal strengths & weaknesses of your artist business and external opportunities & threats in the market.

Based on that, outline unique selling points and competitive edge. Accentuate how your art is different from the rest of the arts, and explain how you can offer qualitative services.

Try to analyze emerging market trends in the industry, such as changes in customer preferences and explain how your art business will cope with all those trends.

You can describe any regulations or licensing requirements that affect your art business, such as safety codes, contracts, taxes, or something else.

Here is an example you can refer to draft regulations for your art business:

Operating within the art industry entails adhering to several regulations. 

These encompass [specific regulations, e.g., “safety codes for installation arts, contracts ensuring the rights and responsibilities of both artists and clients and taxation structures specific to art sales”]. 

Our studio is committed to upholding all necessary licenses and continuously stays updated on regulatory changes to ensure full compliance.

4. Product and Services

The product and services section of an art studio business plan should describe the specific services and products you will provide. It should be detailed, informative, and customer-focused.

Start this section by introducing the artist first, along with the art form they will be using, for example, paintings, sculpture, photography, sketches, customized services, greeting cards, or something else.

Describe the artist’s distinct aesthetic and style and explain how it distinguishes them from other professionals in the field.

You can also include the specific items the artist produces, such as their original works, sell paintings or their limited edition prints, or any pieces they have been commissioned to create.

Try to describe each product’s advantages and characteristics as well as how they appeal to the target market. Also, emphasize the importance of quality by including all the details about the raw material you will use.

Here, don’t forget to explain how your business will ensure that all services and products are delivered with the highest standards of efficacy.

5. Sales and Marketing Strategies

A successful sales and marketing plan involves a list of strategies you will use to attract and retain your potential customers.

Here are some key elements to include while writing your sales & marketing strategy:

Unique selling proposition (USP)

Clearly state the artist’s unique selling point, which should cover their taste, aesthetic, and the advantages of their products and services. Something needs to be said in a way that appeals to your intended audience.

Pricing strategy

Develop a pricing strategy that is competitive and affordable, yet profitable. Consider offering promotions, discounts, or packages for your products & services to attract new customers.

Marketing strategy

Draw out a marketing plan that can spread the word about your work and put yourself out there. You can include a mix of online and offline marketing channels.

Consider social media platforms, email marketing, content marketing, brochures, print marketing, and events.

You can take reference from the below example written using Upmetrics AI Assistant :

Sales strategies

Mention your sales strategy as an approach to turn potential buyers into clients by providing limited edition prints, discounts, and referral scheme discounts.

Customer retention

Describe how your art business will retain customers and build loyalty, such as through loyalty programs, special events, or personalized service.

6. Operations Plan

Next, you can craft a behind-the-scenes look into your artistic process and procedures.

This operations plan section paints a vivid picture of your creative endeavors, from your art studio setup to the tools and techniques you utilize.

First, you can explain how you go about creating your art, what tools and materials you require, and how long it takes to finish each piece.

If you collaborate with assistants or any other professional artist, provide details about their tasks and operational processes.

You can also describe your inventory management strategy, including your shipping, tracking, and storage methods. Mention how you’ll maintain track of your artwork and ensure that it’s transported and stored correctly.

inventory management strategy

7. Management Team

The management team section provides a brief overview of the individuals responsible for driving the art business and highlights that your business has the most suitable team.

You can introduce your team members including the artist, the artist manager, the booking agent, the publicist, the accountant, and the lawyer.

Even if you’re an unaccompanied artist, showcase the key individuals who support your creative journey.

Try to provide a detailed description of the experience and qualifications of each manager, as well as their responsibilities and roles.

You can also represent the organizational structure of the management team, including reporting lines and how decisions will be made. Here is an illustration of an organization chart using Upmetrics:

organization chart example of art business

If you have a board of advisors/mentors who have contributed to your business growth, mention them along with their roles and experience.

Don’t forget to explain your compensation plan for the leadership team and staff, including salaries, bonuses, and other benefits.

8. Financial Plan

A well-structured and in-depth financial forecast is the most important section for potential investors, as it offers a clear insight into any capital or investment requirements, startup costs, projected revenues, and profits.

So, develop a precise summary of your financial projections for the initial years of operation. Highlight all the crucial facts investors require for informed, strategic decision-making.

For a successful artist business plan, you should include the following financial statements:

  • Sales forecast
  • Expense budget
  • Profit and loss statement
  • Cash flow statement
  • Projected balance sheet
  • Break-even analysis
  • Business ratios
  • Exit strategy

From the above, you can estimate how much finances you will need to start and operate your art business. Consider funding resources including bank loans, SBA-guaranteed loans, angel investors, or personal savings.

Here’s an example of a projected balance sheet for the next 3-5 years using Upmetrics:

example of a projected balance sheet for art business

9. Appendix

When writing the appendix section, you should include any additional details that support the main content of your business plan.

This may include financial forecasts, market research data, legal documents, and other relevant information.

  • Enclose a table of contents for the appendix section to make it easy for readers to find specific information.
  • Add financial statements such as income statements, balance sheets , and cash flow statements. These should be up-to-date and show your financial projections for at least the first three years of your business.
  • Provide market analysis reports, such as statistics on the size of the art industry, consumer demographics, and trends in the industry.
  • Include any legal documents such as business licenses, permits, and contracts.
  • Provide any additional documentation related to your business plans, such as marketing materials, product brochures, and operational procedures.
  • Use clear headings and labels for each section of the appendix so that readers can easily locate the information they need.

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If you’re not good enough with financial formulas, Upmetrics helps you calculate accurate money forecasts for 3 years or more.

Whether you’re a beginner or trying to expand an existing one, Upmetrics is all you need to make a successful pro-business plan that matches your business goals.

Download our artist business plan pdf now and start writing a comprehensive plan in no time!

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Frequently asked questions, how often should the business plan be reviewed and updated.

Review and update your artist business plan at least once a year or more often if there are significant changes in your business. It ensures your plan remains aligned with your artistic direction, market conditions, or goals.

What should be included in an Artist’s Business Plan?

A comprehensive artist business plan should include below key components:

  • Sales and Marketing Plan

What kind of financial information does a business plan include?

In an artist’s business plan, the financial part includes startup costs,  income statement, cash flow statement, balance sheets, and break-even analysis. It offers a clear idea of your financial health, enabling investors to estimate the potential success of your artistic business.

Is it necessary to have business experience to create an artist business plan?

Business experience is beneficial but not mandatory to create an artist’s business plan. Many artists successfully draft business plans with a passion for their art and a willingness to learn.

Can the template help in planning for long-term career growth?

Yes, a well-written business plan template can undoubtedly help you in planning for long-term career growth. Include your artistic goals, market strategies, and financial predictions, as the template can be a strategic tool for envisioning and working towards sustained success throughout your journey.

About the Author

digital art business plan

Vinay Kevadiya

Vinay Kevadiya is the founder and CEO of Upmetrics, the #1 business planning software. His ultimate goal with Upmetrics is to revolutionize how entrepreneurs create, manage, and execute their business plans. He enjoys sharing his insights on business planning and other relevant topics through his articles and blog posts. Read more

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Art Business Plan Template & Guidebook

As aspiring visual artists, the task of creating a comprehensive art business plan can seem like an overwhelming process. Fortunately, there is now the #1 Art Business Plan Template & Guidebook that makes this process easier than ever before. This template and guidebook will provide visual artists with the essential tools and skills necessary to bring their artistic vision to life and create a successful business. With this customizable template and exclusive resources, artists will be able to confidently create a business plan that works for them and their creative goals.


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  • How to Start a Profitable Art Business [11 Steps]
  • 10+ Best & Profitable Art Business Ideas [2023]
  • 25 Catchy Art Business Names:
  • List of the Best Marketing Ideas For Your Art Business:

How to Write a Art Business Plan in 7 Steps:

1. describe the purpose of your art business..

The first step to writing your business plan is to describe the purpose of your art business. This includes describing why you are starting this type of business, and what problems it will solve for customers. This is a quick way to get your mind thinking about the customers’ problems. It also helps you identify what makes your business different from others in its industry.

It also helps to include a vision statement so that readers can understand what type of company you want to build.

Here is an example of a purpose mission statement for a art business:

Our mission at ABC Art is to foster creativity and brighten spaces through our high-quality, handcrafted artworks. We want to provide pieces that people can hold onto for years to come, as well as pieces that evoke emotion and spark conversation. We hope to bring joy into the lives of those who view our art and give back to our community through donations of our work.

Image of Zenbusiness business formation

2. Products & Services Offered by Your Art Business.

The next step is to outline your products and services for your art business. 

When you think about the products and services that you offer, it's helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my business?
  • What are the products and/or services that I offer?
  • Why am I offering these particular products and/or services?
  • How do I differentiate myself from competitors with similar offerings?
  • How will I market my products and services?

You may want to do a comparison of your business plan against those of other competitors in the area, or even with online reviews. This way, you can find out what people like about them and what they don’t like, so that you can either improve upon their offerings or avoid doing so altogether.

Image of Zenbusiness business formation

3. Build a Creative Marketing Stratgey.

If you don't have a marketing plan for your art business, it's time to write one. Your marketing plan should be part of your business plan and be a roadmap to your goals. 

A good marketing plan for your art business includes the following elements:

Target market

  • Who is your target market?
  • What do these customers have in common?
  • How many of them are there?
  • How can you best reach them with your message or product?

Customer base 

  • Who are your current customers? 
  • Where did they come from (i.e., referrals)?
  • How can their experience with your art business help make them repeat customers, consumers, visitors, subscribers, or advocates for other people in their network or industry who might also benefit from using this service, product, or brand?

Product or service description

  • How does it work, what features does it have, and what are its benefits?
  • Can anyone use this product or service regardless of age or gender?
  • Can anyone visually see themselves using this product or service?
  • How will they feel when they do so? If so, how long will the feeling last after purchasing (or trying) the product/service for the first time?

Competitive analysis

  • Which companies are competing with yours today (and why)? 
  • Which ones may enter into competition with yours tomorrow if they find out about it now through word-of-mouth advertising; social media networks; friends' recommendations; etc.)
  • What specific advantages does each competitor offer over yours currently?

Marketing channels

  • Which marketing channel do you intend to leverage to attract new customers?
  • What is your estimated marketing budget needed?
  • What is the projected cost to acquire a new customer?
  • How many of your customers do you instead will return?

Form an LLC in your state!

digital art business plan

4. Write Your Operational Plan.

Next, you'll need to build your operational plan. This section describes the type of business you'll be running, and includes the steps involved in your operations. 

In it, you should list:

  • The equipment and facilities needed
  • Who will be involved in the business (employees, contractors)
  • Financial requirements for each step
  • Milestones & KPIs
  • Location of your business
  • Zoning & permits required for the business

What equipment, supplies, or permits are needed to run a art business?

Equipment, supplies, and permits needed to run an Art business may include:

  • Art supplies (e.g. paints, canvas, brushes)
  • Equipment for displaying artwork (e.g. frames, photo albums)
  • Digital imaging equipment (e.g. scanners, printers)
  • Computer hardware and software
  • Business permits (e.g. zoning, tax)

5. Management & Organization of Your Art Business.

The second part of your art business plan is to develop a management and organization section.

This section will cover all of the following:

  • How many employees you need in order to run your art business. This should include the roles they will play (for example, one person may be responsible for managing administrative duties while another might be in charge of customer service).
  • The structure of your management team. The higher-ups like yourself should be able to delegate tasks through lower-level managers who are directly responsible for their given department (inventory and sales, etc.).
  • How you’re going to make sure that everyone on board is doing their job well. You’ll want check-ins with employees regularly so they have time to ask questions or voice concerns if needed; this also gives you time to offer support where necessary while staying informed on how things are going within individual departments too!

6. Art Business Startup Expenses & Captial Needed.

This section should be broken down by month and year. If you are still in the planning stage of your business, it may be helpful to estimate how much money will be needed each month until you reach profitability.

Typically, expenses for your business can be broken into a few basic categories:

Startup Costs

Startup costs are typically the first expenses you will incur when beginning an enterprise. These include legal fees, accounting expenses, and other costs associated with getting your business off the ground. The amount of money needed to start a art business varies based on many different variables, but below are a few different types of startup costs for a art business.

Running & Operating Costs

Running costs refer to ongoing expenses related directly with operating your business over time like electricity bills or salaries paid out each month. These types of expenses will vary greatly depending on multiple variables such as location, team size, utility costs, etc.

Marketing & Sales Expenses

You should include any costs associated with marketing and sales, such as advertising and promotions, website design or maintenance. Also, consider any additional expenses that may be incurred if you decide to launch a new product or service line. For example, if your art business has an existing website that needs an upgrade in order to sell more products or services, then this should be listed here.

7. Financial Plan & Projections

A financial plan is an important part of any business plan, as it outlines how the business will generate revenue and profit, and how it will use that profit to grow and sustain itself. To devise a financial plan for your art business, you will need to consider a number of factors, including your start-up costs, operating costs, projected revenue, and expenses. 

Here are some steps you can follow to devise a financial plan for your art business plan:

  • Determine your start-up costs: This will include the cost of purchasing or leasing the space where you will operate your business, as well as the cost of buying or leasing any equipment or supplies that you need to start the business.
  • Estimate your operating costs: Operating costs will include utilities, such as electricity, gas, and water, as well as labor costs for employees, if any, and the cost of purchasing any materials or supplies that you will need to run your business.
  • Project your revenue: To project your revenue, you will need to consider the number of customers you expect to have and the average amount they will spend on each visit. You can use this information to estimate how much money you will make from selling your products or services.
  • Estimate your expenses: In addition to your operating costs, you will need to consider other expenses, such as insurance, marketing, and maintenance. You will also need to set aside money for taxes and other fees.
  • Create a budget: Once you have estimated your start-up costs, operating costs, revenue, and expenses, you can use this information to create a budget for your business. This will help you to see how much money you will need to start the business, and how much profit you can expect to make.
  • Develop a plan for using your profit: Finally, you will need to decide how you will use your profit to grow and sustain your business. This might include investing in new equipment, expanding the business, or saving for a rainy day.

digital art business plan

Frequently Asked Questions About Art Business Plans:

Why do you need a business plan for a art business.

A business plan for an art business is important to have because it will help you track your progress, clarify your marketing and financial objectives, and make sure you remain on track to reaching your goals. A business plan can also be used to outline your business strategy, including the steps you'll need to take to make your business successful. Additionally, having a written plan will help you attract potential investors and other stakeholders who may be interested in helping with financing or providing other resources for your art business.

Who should you ask for help with your art business plan?

It is best to consult with a business advisor or mentor who has expertise in the art industry. They can help you identify potential risks and strategies for a successful business plan. Additionally, you may benefit from joining an art-focused business network for advice, resources, and support.

Can you write a art business plan yourself?

Yes, it is possible to write a art business plan yourself. However, it is recommended to seek assistance from a professional to generate the most effective and comprehensive business plan. A professional can help you identify who your target market is and how you will reach them, as well as helping to create a budget for your business and developing a marketing strategy. Additionally, they can assist with developing a detailed financial plan which could include investment, income and revenue goals.

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I'm Nick, co-founder of, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. As a small business owner with over five years of experience, I have garnered valuable knowledge and insights across a diverse range of industries. My passion for entrepreneurship drives me to share my expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs, empowering them to turn their business dreams into reality.

Through meticulous research and firsthand experience, I uncover the essential steps, software, tools, and costs associated with launching and maintaining a successful business. By demystifying the complexities of entrepreneurship, I provide the guidance and support needed for others to embark on their journey with confidence.

From assessing market viability and formulating business plans to selecting the right technology and navigating the financial landscape, I am dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs overcome challenges and unlock their full potential. As a steadfast advocate for small business success, my mission is to pave the way for a new generation of innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are ready to make their mark on the world.

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Artist Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

artist business plan template

Artist Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their artist businesses. We have the experience, resources, and knowledge to help you create a great business plan.

In this article, you will learn some background information on why business planning is important. Then, you will learn how to write an artist business plan step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What is an Artist Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your artist business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategies for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan for an Art Business

If you’re looking to start an artist business or grow your existing artist company, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your artist business to improve your chances of success. Your artist business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Artist Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for an artist business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. When it comes to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to ensure that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for artist companies.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

How to write a business plan for an artist business.

If you want to start an artist business or expand your current one, you need a business plan in the proper business plan format . The guide below details the necessary information for how to write each essential component of your artist business plan.

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your executive summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the kind of artist business you are running and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have an artist business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of artist businesses?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan.

  • Give a brief overview of the artist industry.
  • Discuss the type of artist business you are operating.
  • Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers.
  • Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy. Identify the key members of your team.
  • Offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Overview

In your company overview, you will detail the type of artist business you are operating.

For example, you might specialize in one of the following types of artist businesses:

  • Antiques: This type of artist business may include the restoration, curation, and auction of antique furniture and other items.
  • Art Consultant: This type of artist business involves helping clients find and select art pieces for their own collections.
  • Tattoo Artist: Tattoos are a popular way for artists to earn money by tattooing permanent ink art onto their customers.
  • Photography: Photographers may specialize in certain categories like wedding photography or nature photography.
  • Graphic design: This type of business encompasses all kinds of design from creating logos and marketing materials for businesses to creating websites and designing products.
  • Art teacher: This type of artist business involves art instruction and can include anything from teaching an elementary school art class to a recreational painting class, or an online art course.

In addition to explaining the type of artist business you will operate, the company overview needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to questions such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of clients served, the number of art pieces sold, reaching $X amount in revenue, etc.
  • Your legal business Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry or market analysis, you need to provide an overview of the artist industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes. First, researching the artist industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating. Secondly, market research can improve your marketing strategy, particularly if your analysis identifies market trends. The third reason is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your artist business plan:

  • How big is the artist industry (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential target market for your artist business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your artist business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: individuals, schools, families, and corporations.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of artist business you operate. Clearly, individuals would respond to different marketing promotions than corporations, for example.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, including a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the potential customers you seek to serve.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can recognize and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other art businesses. Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t directly competing with your product or service. This may include other sources of art pieces, auctions, or resellers. You need to mention such competition as well.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their business and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What type of artist business are they?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you make it easier for your customers to engage with your product or service?
  • Will you offer products or services that your competition doesn’t?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.  

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a artist business plan, your marketing strategy should include the following:

Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of artist company that you documented in your company overview. Then, detail the specific products or services you will be offering. For example, will you sell paintings or sculptures, consult on various art pieces, instruct a painting class, etc?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your plan, you are presenting the products and/or services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the site of your artist company. Document where your company is situated and mention how the site will impact your success. For example, is your artist business located in a busy retail district, a business district, a standalone office, or purely online? Discuss how your site might be the ideal location for your customers.

Promotions : The final part of your artist marketing plan is where you will document how you will drive potential customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Advertise in local papers, radio stations and/or magazines
  • Reach out to websites
  • Distribute flyers
  • Engage in email marketing
  • Advertise on social media platforms
  • Improve the SEO (search engine optimization) on your website for targeted keywords

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your artist business, including answering calls, meeting with clients, billing and collecting payments, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to book your Xth client, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your artist business to a new city.  

Management Team

To demonstrate your artist business’ potential to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.

Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing artist businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing an artist business or successfully running a small curation business.  

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements.

Income Statement

An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenue and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you meet with 5 clients per day, and will you charge by the hour for art consultation services? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets

Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your artist business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a lender writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement

Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and ensure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.

When creating your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a artist business:

  • Cost of equipment and office supplies
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Other start-up expenses (if you’re a new business) like legal expenses, permits, computer software, and equipment

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office location lease or a sample of your artist portfolio.  

Writing a business plan for your artist business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the sample template above, by the time you are done, you will have an expert artist business plan; download it to PDF to show banks and investors. You will understand the artist industry, your competition, and your customers. You will develop a marketing strategy and will understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful artist business.  

Artist Business Plan Template FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my artist business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily write your artist business plan.

How Do You Start an Artist Business?

Starting an artist business is easy with these 14 steps:

  • Choose the Name for Your Artist Business
  • Create Your Artist Business Plan
  • Choose the Legal Structure for Your Artist Business
  • Secure Startup Funding for Your Artist Business (If Needed)
  • Secure a Location for Your Business
  • Register Your Artist Business with the IRS
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get a Business Credit Card
  • Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
  • Get Business Insurance for Your Artist Business
  • Buy or Lease the Right Artist Business Equipment
  • Develop Your Artist Business Marketing Materials
  • Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Artist Business
  • Open for Business

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Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.   Click here to see how Growthink’s business planning advisors can create your business plan for you.

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Resources / blog / Entrepreneurship / Article

3 creative online business ideas for artists (+ 16 examples)

Rachel Burns

January 07, 2022

digital art business plan

Whether you want to be a full-time entrepreneur or are looking for a side hustle, these business ideas for artists can turn your creativity and talent into income.

Turn art into income by sharing your talent

Whether you’re interested in starting a new business as a full-time entrepreneur or just want to bring in some extra cash, there are endless opportunities to make more money without stifling your creativity.

Here are three small business ideas for artists looking to make money online:

  • Sell digital downloads. Write an ebook about your artistic expertise, create printables featuring your art, or upload templates that make artists’ lives easier.
  • Build an online community of artists. An online community brings people together and creates a support system to share their ideas, offer feedback, and learn together.
  • Create online courses and art tutorials. Teach others how to succeed as an artist by sharing your valuable experience and authentic journey.

As an artist, you have unique talent, creativity, and style. But whether you dabble in woodworking or turn blank walls into beautiful murals, turning your skills into regular income can be hard, often frustrating work.

The good news is that you don’t have to limit yourself to selling physical artwork to make money as an artist. It’s never been a better time to start an online business and join the creator economy .

Creative entrepreneurs are earning their first online dollar by the millions. And they’re doing it by selling digital products like digital downloads, community memberships, and online courses.

Whether you’re interested in starting a new business as a full-time entrepreneur or just want to bring in some extra income with an online side hustle , this guide is for you. We’re sharing three art business ideas to help you make more money while loving what you do for a living .

Along the way, we’ll highlight 16 different artists who are using Podia to share their talent, connect with other artists, and grow their online art business.

Let’s dive right in.

Get a free website that’s easy to build, beautiful to look at and works on mobile devices too. Sell your products and manage your audience with one easy platform. Get started completely free.

1. Sell digital downloads (Printables, templates, and guides)

If you’re new to online entrepreneurship, creating and selling digital downloads is a great place to start. Digital downloads can help you showcase your art, share your expertise, and make money.

Why digital downloads?

For one thing, they’re far more scalable than selling physical art. You have lower startup costs because you don’t need to pay for printing, set up a fulfillment process, or secure inventory space.

That scalability also makes digital downloads a stellar opportunity to bring in passive income. Once you create and upload your download, you’ve put in the same amount of resources, whether you make one sale or one million.

Some of the most popular digital downloads to sell online include:

Ebooks and guides on your area of expertise

Templates, presets, and fonts

Graphics, illustrations, stock photos, and digital art

Video tutorials and webinar recordings

Printables , from wedding invitations to worksheets

Ebooks are one of the most popular digital downloads on the market. The global ebook market is expected to grow by $6.93 billion from 2021–2025.

digital art business plan

You can make money selling ebooks on your own website  — no Amazon listings or publisher required.

Pro furniture maker Norman Pirollo of WoodSkills does exactly that.

On his website, Norman sells ebooks on all things woodworking , including:

An overview of hand tools

A guide to starting your own woodworking business

A chronicle of Norman’s journey from a tech career to self-employment as an artist

digital art business plan

Stacy Spangler is another artist selling helpful resources on her Podia site. With Stacy’s guide to acrylic painting supplies for beginners , new artists don’t have to feel overwhelmed at the art supply store and can set themselves up for painting success.

If you have an eye for interior design, you could follow Lovely Home Academy’s lead and help homeowners perfect the layout of every room. The Find Your Style Workbook aims to help readers discover their unique decorating style and choose their home decor with confidence.

digital art business plan

Maybe writing isn’t your cup of tea. Don’t worry — you don’t have to write an ebook to sell digital downloads. Instead, consider selling printables featuring your own art.

Here are just a few printables currently sold by artists on Podia:

Digital artist JoDitt Designs sells printable wall art, planners, and journaling kits.

Pamela Groppe sells printable PDF painting patterns with step-by-step instructions.

Sasha O’Hara offers irreverent grownup coloring books, like Color Me Hangry .

digital art business plan

Last but not least, you can also use your creative skills to help other artists run a successful small business.

Graphic designer Angelique Duffield sells ebook and worksheet templates for Canva, making it easy for entrepreneurs without her graphic design expertise to create their own digital download PDFs.

Marketing pro Ally of Ally B Designs offers a wide range of marketing templates for photographers, from Canva social media templates to a collection of email templates .

digital art business plan

Ally’s entrepreneurial and artistic experience makes these valuable resources for people looking to grow their photography businesses.

For more advice on selling printables, ebooks, and more, check out this complete guide to selling digital downloads .

Before we move on to our second business idea, there’s one more question to answer: Where should you sell your digital downloads?

When selling your digital downloads online, you have two main options: List them on a digital marketplace like Etsy or Amazon, or sell them on your own website.

At first, selling your digital products on a marketplace might seem like a no-brainer. The technical work and website design is done for you. All you have to do is upload your content and start making money, right?

Not quite. Selling art on a marketplace has some significant disadvantages.

First, massive marketplaces make it hard to stand out in a crowded niche . For example, there are over 4.4 million printables available for purchase on Etsy right now.

digital art business plan

Second, marketplaces tend to have complex fee structures and often make creators jump through hoops to get paid.

For example, Etsy charges sellers:

A $0.20 listing fee

A 5% transaction fee, plus a payment processing fee

15% offsite ads fee for ads that Etsy posts outside of your control

If selling on a marketplace doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, don’t worry. Selling digital downloads from your website isn’t as technically tricky as you might think.

In fact, with the right platform, it’s simple. Podia’s all-in-one platform makes it easy for creative entrepreneurs to build their own websites and start selling digital downloads .

digital art business plan

All of the digital download examples we’ve covered so far are sold with Podia. Turn that inspiration into income and create your free Podia account today.

Overall, selling digital downloads is a fairly hands-off way to bring in passive income as an artist. Our next business idea takes a more social approach.

2. Build an online community of artists

Sometimes, art can feel like a solitary endeavor — especially if you work fully remotely.

A study on remote work from Buffer shows that the top two struggles of working from home are collaboration and communication and loneliness.

digital art business plan

How do you connect with other artists if you don’t share a studio space with others or have in-person art classes?

You join — or create — an online community.

An online community is a space where people with similar interests, like a particular artistic medium or style, can come together. Members of a community have shared goals, challenges, and values.

For example, artist and teacher Tara Leaver’s Happy Artist Studio membership is dedicated to helping artists “become the artist you really want to be.”

When they join the Happy Artist Studio, members get access to:

All of the online courses and learning materials Tara has created over the past nine years

A guide to help them figure out where to start

A growing library of Q&A videos in which Tara answers members’ questions

Tara’s support and feedback on their work

A private online community for connecting and working with other artists

digital art business plan

One member describes the Happy Artist Studio community as “an everyday support station/connection to a creativity-boosting-source”.

By creating a brand community around her products, Tara lets her students connect over a shared experience and help each other overcome creative block .

Working through the same online lessons creates a sense of community, which in turn helps members get more out of the membership. That’s a win-win for Tara’s business and her members’ customer experience .

Another excellent example of an artist community is Casey Cole Corbin’s membership group for fluid art teachers.

An art consultant and life coach, Casey sells three membership subscription levels :

CommUNITY: Access to a supportive online community, a guided course curriculum experience, and partial access to Casey’s content library.

Accelerated: All of the above, plus access to the entire content library, live Q&A sessions, live coaching calls, and an expert-led mastermind group .

Retainer: All of the above, plus lifetime access to all content and up to eight individual coaching sessions.

digital art business plan

Offering three different membership community tiers means there’s something for aspiring art teachers at every budget.

When you run a niche community like the examples above, you can open up valuable discussions and build connections with your members. Ask specific questions in your posts, then reply to comments to make your members feel heard.

Here are some conversation starters you can use:

What are your biggest challenges right now as an artist?

What do you want to learn more about?

Whose work currently inspires you?

What was your biggest success last month?

What advice would you give other artists who want to achieve that same thing?

Of course, to build a strong membership community , you need the right platform.

Many creators end up cobbling together separate tools, like Facebook Groups , online course platforms , and payment processors. But these patchwork solutions create a gap between your community and the work it’s built around. Your work.

That’s one of the big reasons that nine out of ten creators we talked to want to move their online community to a new platform .

It’s also why we built Podia’s community feature .

Podia makes it easy for you to connect your audiences and your work. Community members can:

Purchase your products

Consume your content

Post and join discussions

…all in the same place.

You can create a variety of topics and posts to encourage conversations. Your members can follow topics, comment on discussions, and create their own posts.

digital art business plan

Because they’re already logged in to purchase your products or consume your content, they don’t have to log into a standalone platform or get distracted by Facebook. That’s a better experience for you and your members.

Learn more about creating an online community with Podia .

3. Create online courses and art tutorials

Teaching can be a rewarding — and profitable — way to share your creative talent with others.

The market for online courses is growing fast, with self-paced e-learning expected to grow by over six billion USD by 2024.

digital art business plan

Selling online courses and tutorials is another (mostly) passive income opportunity for artists. You build your online course once, then all that’s left to do is find potential students and promote your course.

To plan out your course content , start with the end result you want students to achieve. Make it a goal that you’ve achieved as an artist. Then, create a step-by-step plan that shows them how to reach that goal based on your experience.

Take Jessica Walker’s course, The Card Maker Business Course , for example.

digital art business plan

Jessica started her own greeting card shop with no business experience. Now, she runs a six-figure greeting card business. To help other business owners follow in her footsteps, her online course features Jessica’s design tips, marketing strategy, and business plan.

Sunlight Tax School also helps artists build successful businesses with their courses on taxes and bookkeeping for artists.

digital art business plan

Taught by a working artist with 15 years of experience, their goal is to arm artists with the knowledge and skills to save money.

“I started Sunlight Tax to give back to the creative community that has nurtured me. When artists stop making work, the reason is usually financial,” their website explains.

“So when I’m able to give other creative people the money tools they need to be financially stable, I’m supporting this critical work.”

Another top-notch online art course is Sketch Academy from Emily Mills. Emily is a professional sketch artist and author who has created visual notes — AKA sketchnotes — for major brands across the U.S.

digital art business plan

In her Sketch Academy workshops, Emily teaches artists of all skill levels how to create sketchnotes and build confidence in their drawing abilities.

Learn Brush Calligraphy’s Beginner Brush Calligraphy Course is also designed to help aspiring artists gain confidence in their work.

digital art business plan

The course includes over four hours of video lessons, exercise prompts to apply each new skill, and downloadable worksheets to turn beginners into skilled calligraphers.

If you teach in-person art classes, consider creating a digital version to sell online. Zea Mays Printmaking is a studio in Massachusetts that offers “studio access, workshops, residencies, internships, mentorships and contract printing services” in person.

But for those who can’t make it to their physical location, Zea Mays sells video tutorials on several different printmaking skills.

digital art business plan

By selling online tutorials, Zea Mays reaches a wider audience of aspiring printmakers, which means more customers and more accessible art education.

Learn how you can turn offline classes into livestreams in this article, and check out this guide to bringing offline students online .

Before we wrap up, remember that there truly is an online business opportunity in every niche.

If you don’t believe me, just take a look at Mr. Dave’s Online Store . Dave Henderson is a sculptor, entrepreneur, and faux rock contractor.

digital art business plan

He sells online courses on all things faux rocks, from building a faux rock waterfall and slide to landing more building contracts . Dave is passionate about faux rocks, but he’s also passionate about helping other artists — and that’s what teaching an online art course is all about.

Podia makes it easy for Dave Henderson, Zea Mays Printmaking, and all artists in this section to host, launch, and sell their online courses. Sign up for your free Podia account today .


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10 Things to Know When Learning How to Start an Art Business

Ashe Samuels

  • Last Updated: May 5, 2024

how to start an art business

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It’s hard to learn how to start an art business when you’re confused, scared, or both. Since I’ve been in your shoes before, I want to make the process a little easier so you can get selling.

I’ve been working as a commercial illustrator and designer for about a decade now and I have quite a few areas I stumbled through.

I’ll share some important starting points I wish I knew – or did more efficiently – when I started out.

The Key Elements to a Successful Art Career

Financial and social independence from a traditional nine-to-five, more creative fulfillment in your career, an additional source of income, selling original paintings, starting an online shop, becoming an active content creator, 3. a business plan will keep you focused, register with your local licensing department in the united states, register permits and/or licenses in canada, paypal is one of the most common payment methods, wise is a reliable international transfer system, stripe is a well-known online payment portal, start by understanding common contract clauses, try out a boilerplate contract or hire a contract lawyer, get a contract signing program or software, tax withholding is part of a successful business, consistent recordkeeping will be your savior, squarespace, hire a web designer, inbound marketing, outbound marketing – how to start an art business, word-of-mouth and networking, inventory management software, customer relationship management, accounting software – how to start an art business, starting an art business is hard, but far from impossible .

  • Remind Yourself Why You Want to Start an Art Business
  • It’s Vital to Narrow Down the Art Business You Want to Start
  • A Business Plan Will Keep You Focused
  • You’ll Need a Business License (Or Equivalent)
  • Start Researching Different Payment Types
  • Become Comfortable With Reading and Crafting Contracts
  • Don’t Be Afraid of Tax Season (Trust Me, I Know)
  • You’ll Need a Simple, Mobile-Friendly Website
  • Most of Your Work Will Come Down to Marketing and Word-Of-Mouth
  • Start Researching Tools to Make Running a Business Easier

1. Remind Yourself Why You Want to Start an Art Business

The why part of your art business is a non-negotiable element of success. When you’re struggling to make money or stand out in a sea of similar artists, the ‘why’ will keep you afloat during the ups and downs.

Around 18% of small businesses fail in their first year , while another 50% will fail after the first five years. One of the most common reasons for these statistics is running low on money or struggling to stand out amid similar businesses.

remind yourself why you want to start an art business

Below are a few common reasons why artists will start their own art business, but keep in mind this is just a starting point. Your reasons could be entirely different and that’s a-okay.

Are you sick of long commutes or creatively stifling traditional employment environments? Unsurprisingly, nearly 30% of people who started a small business did so because they wanted to be their boss .

Other benefits you’ll enjoy once you step out of the corporate world is:

  • Setting your schedule – work when you want, how you want
  • Charge your prices and get more control over your income
  • Better work-life balance such as more sleep and more time off

The flip side to this is how much responsibility is on your shoulders. You have to commit to a regular marketing strategy, study your industry, and commit to your decision despite all odds.

Another common reason to consider being a professional artist is to enjoy your work. If you have more fun running social media accounts and painting all day long, that’s reason enough to make the switch.

Job dissatisfaction is at an all-time high lately, with one recent study finding 50% of people are unhappy with their jobs on a daily basis. Your artwork could be the launching pad for more peace of mind and financial stability.

more creative fulfilment in your career

However, there’s nothing wrong with choosing an art career for side income instead of main income. When you do art full-time, it can be difficult to take a break from client work to work on creative projects, which can lead to burnout if you’re not careful.

You’re not a lesser artist if you seek out an art business to make a bit more money. It’s never been easier to supplement your monthly income selling art prints or merchandise .

  • Making crafts on Etsy such as knitted blankets or clay pots
  • Selling original paintings
  • Crafting custom figure sculptures
  • Painting digital art to sell on crewneck sweatshirts and t-shirts
  • Designing banners, icons, and templates for web designers

Now, you’ll likely have irregular income for the first year or two before you start building a reliable target audience. Even experienced artists can struggle to make consistent income from selling art online, so going in with reasonable expectations can soften the sting.

2. It’s Vital to Narrow Down the Art Business You Want to Start

Your own business will have unique demands (though there are commonalities to art businesses, too). Below are a few examples of different types of art businesses and what to expect.

If you’re a traditional painter who wants to sell paintings, you could work from your own home or be featured in exhibits with other artists .

Your art business would need to take into account:

  • Studio space – do you have room to store all your paintings and supplies?
  • Shipping costs – this will shave a percentage off what you make
  • Potential tax – this percentage changes depending on where you live

art business you want to start

Perhaps you’re more interested in selling prints and merchandise in an online shop like Redbubble , Etsy, or Printful .

Your challenges in running a successful art business would look more like the following:

  • Potential sales tax – print-on-demand sites generally take care of this, but you should still be aware so you know how much you’ll make
  • Managing an email marketing list – this is a very helpful marketing tool
  • Using multiple marketing tools – you’ll also need to consider blogging, a social media account, or SEO to reach your audience

An increasingly popular choice for artists today is becoming a content creator – this can look like active content creation via a Patreon or a social media account like TikTok.

  • Live streaming tools – lighting, camera, a mic
  • Familiarity with social media platforms – posting schedules, culture, and terms of service

The function of a business plan is the guiding star to your business’s metaphorical ship. Just like your ‘why’ helps you keep going on an emotional level, a business plan will guide you to tried-and-true methods to financial success.

Here’s one example of using a business plan to cement your target audience and how you’ll maintain a competitive advantage.

a business plan that will keep you focused

4. You’ll Need a Business License (Or Equivalent)

A successful art business needs to stay legally viable and that often takes the form of a license. I renew my license every year with my state’s licensing department after filling out brief online paperwork.

However, this step varies from country to country, so I’ll use a few examples:

Since I live in the United States, each state usually requires a license through the state’s licensing department. The fee will vary and you usually only have to renew your license once per year.

register with your local licensing department in the united states

Depending on where you live and what kind of business you’re starting, you may need a mixture of permits and licenses in Canada. Similar to the States, the price and frequency of renewal will depend on the business you’re running.

It’s easy to get intimidated when it comes to paperwork and legal documents, but just ask a representative for help. You can chat with someone over the phone, do a video call, or sit down in person with a professional who will answer all your questions.

5. Start Researching Different Payment Types

Once you’ve started applying for licenses and permits, you can start looking into payment types. There’s more flexibility than ever in getting paid these days, but below are a few more common methods.

PayPal is one of the most widely used online payment processors, particularly for artists. I depend on it for the majority of my income since it’s used by nearly everyone these days.


However, PayPal is a little brutal when it comes to fees – they do fixed fees ranging from 2.59% to 3.09% for merchant and personal accounts. While they don’t charge anything to transfer money from one PayPal account to the next, transferring from other bank accounts or payment processors will cost you.

Another useful transfer system is Wise, most commonly used by people who have clients in other countries. They also charge much lower fees than PayPal.

Wise requires you to submit the details of a separate bank account, including a checking account where they can instantly deposit cash. These details won’t be seen by clients, so there’s no worry about your private information being leaked.


Last but not least, Stripe is a flexible online payment portal that’s becoming more commonly used. They not only accept many currencies, but you can transfer money between many payment portals, too.

One of their biggest barriers is their limited in-person payment options. They’re more useful as an online tool for artists who do most – or all – of their business digitally .


6. Become Comfortable With Reading and Crafting Contracts

Contracts aren’t a fun part of your art career, but they’re an essential part of building client relationships and staying legally protected. Even a simple contract or NDA is a good starting point to make sure all parties know what’s being made, why, and with what usage rights.

Put simply, a clause is any section of a contract that outlines a duty, deadline or need. Some of the most common clauses you’ll see in artist contracts are:

  • Deadline – when is the project due?
  • Communication – how will the artist and client stay in touch?
  • Materials – what does the client need to give the artist to do the job?
  • Usage Rights – what is the client allowed to do with the art? What about the artist?

hire a contract lawyer

Hiring a contract lawyer is a stress-free way of getting all your legal ducks in a row. If you can’t afford one – they can cost between $20 to $200 an hour – you can start off with a boilerplate.

Boilerplate contract templates list several of the legal basics in one generic document. You can then customize it to suit the needs of your state license and personal demands.

Need a starting point? Try Law Depot for free legal documents, forms, and contracts for artists .

There are many ways to sign a contract, though digital means are easily the most convenient. You can use signing programs like eSign or sign .pdfs with Adobe Acrobat.

7. Don’t Be Afraid of Tax Season (Trust Me, I Know)

One of the biggest reasons why artists are hesitant to go the self-employed route is self-employed taxes. Below are a few details you should know about to start off right.

Every dollar you make in the art world isn’t yours. In the United States, you have to slice out a small chunk of your income to pay self-employed taxes – quarterly or through a customized interval.

how to price your art

Depending on where you live and the business you run, you may need to hold between 20% to 30% of your income for self-employed taxes. This is one of many reasons to learn how to price your art so you can make a tidy profit.

Don’t ‘wing it’ or keep sticky notes when it comes to personal finances. I keep a spreadsheet of every single dollar I make – before and after fees – and sum up the total every month so I stay accurate.

Many artists use recordkeeping software such as QuickBooks, which can automatically download bank information or print financial statements for loans.

8. You’ll Need a Simple, Mobile-Friendly Website

Did you know at least 52% of all web traffic comes from a mobile device like a phone or tablet? If your website doesn’t function or look good on mobile, you could be missing out on half of your potential customers.

Free and easy to use, Wix is one of the go-to choices for artists who need a polished art website. Their drag-and-drop technology makes it easy to organize fonts, images, and templates into the site you’ve always wanted.


While they have no free versions, they have a flexible trial you can add an extra week onto if you need more time to decide. Check out their pricing and features here .

There are several benefits to hiring a web designer that are not possible with free or pre-made templates. You’ll get a unique site layout and plenty of control over the little details, such as animations or layout.

However, web designers cost far more than a free web builder or monthly subscription.

hire a web designer

9. Most of Your Work Will Come Down to Marketing and Word-Of-Mouth

People can’t hire you if they don’t even know about you. Even the most skilled professional artists will struggle to get work without the following marketing efforts.

Inbound marketing is a term that refers to people finding you, rather than you reaching out to people. If you’ve ever punched a question into Google to find a product, you already know how this works.

  • Social media sites
  • Online store

marketing and word of the mouth

The opposite of inbound marketing is the more traditional outbound, where you reach out to your target customer to see if they’re interested.

  • Sharing business cards
  • Calling over the phone
  • Sending out emails

These two words may be the bane of introverts, but they’re a must-have in the art industry. Whether you like to visit art fairs or want to sell products online, word-of-mouth and networking increase your chances of regular income.

Generating positive word-of-mouth can be done by simply being reliable and friendly. Networking can involve visiting art fairs or just talking to people on social media.

10. Start Researching Tools to Make Running a Business Easier

Don’t feel like you have to do it all. A few tools can be an absolute lifesaver with the stresses of starting a business.

If you’re thinking of starting an online business that involves packaging and sending out goods, inventory management software will save you a headache. This useful tool will improve accuracy, track packages, and create a better customer service experience overall.

inventory management system

SquareUp is one tool you can try, especially if you want to sell clothes, furniture, or tattoo designs.

When you need help keeping track of potential customers or reaching out to repeat customers, a contact management system will shoulder the work for you. Also known as a CRM, these programs keep track of emails and different types of customers such as prospects and leads.

A prospect is a person in your target market that may benefit from your business. A lead is a person who’s already shown interest in your work, such as contacting you or following you on social media.

content management system

HubSpot has a free CRM I use regularly (alongside very helpful online digital marketing courses).

As touched on above in the tax section, accounting software is useful for tracking taxes as well as budgeting. For example, FreshBooks has a freelancer variation you might find useful.

accounting software

From narrowing down your target audience to learning how to start selling products, starting an art business is hard. I’m living proof that it’s far from impossible!

Want to continue expanding your education on your way to a successful career? Check out our top three alternatives to an art school education here .

Related posts:

  • How to Write an Artist Contract: Learn To Protect Your Creative Rights
  • How to Make Money as an Artist: 12 Cool Ideas
  • How to Sell Digital Art Online for Complete Beginners
  • 20 Art Business Ideas to Help You Make Money (and Enjoy It!)
  • The Top 10 Best Print-on-Demand Sites for Artists

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Ashe Samuels

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How to Sell Art Online | Online Marketing for Artists

Helping artists sell their art online since 2009. Blog, guides, courses, and coaching for artists.

Business Plans for Artists: Here, I Did It for You!

digital art business plan

Also, check out Jennifer’s book!

You’ll want to see her Right Brain Business Plan home study course .*

Not Ready for A Full Right Brain Business Plan?

Here’s a simple 4 page example plan that will help you get started.

Example Business Plan for Artists (pdf)

Example Business Plan for Artists (Word doc)

The first thing I ask every artist when we start working together is if they have a business plan. Most of the time the answer is no. Why do you need a business plan, you ask? Great question.

You will become focused. As you start planning, that shotgun approach to marketing that most artists take will start to thin itself out and you will learn how to put a system in place. Also, establishing your unique selling proposition is really important. Sure, you’re a painter, but what makes you stand out from all of those other painters out there? There’s a lot more to being an independent artist than just creating your art.

You’ll know where you stand. Your strengths and weaknesses will become apparent to you as you start to create a business plan. What aspects of your art do you excel at? What do you tend to put off because you don’t know how to finish ? Once you know where you stand, you’ll know what your weaknesses are, and this is really important. Most artists have no idea that they’re not good at accounting, or they don’t want to admit it so they run around in circles. A business plan will help you eliminate this.

You’ll know how to get where you want to be. Once you write down a business plan, it’s easy to refer back to it often to get re-focused on your goals. Carefully analyzing what you really want out of your art business is a good way to stop doing what is getting in your way.

You’ll know what other artists are doing. Do you want a competitive advantage? Are you afraid of really pushing your business because you don’t know what will make you different and make people want to purchase your art?

Does 4 pages feel like too much?

Get started with our beginner’s one-page business plan and work your way up.

This post has been updated since its 2009 original publish date.

*affiliate link

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November 20, 2009 at 11:46 AM

This is fantastic! Many thanks!

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November 21, 2009 at 9:45 AM

You’re welcome!

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November 22, 2009 at 5:32 AM

This is a really great resource that I’ll have to share with my readers. It’s always wonderful to find other people putting in the hard work and dedication that goes into doing what you do. .-= Damien Franco´s last blog ..Photographer’s Intro to Twitter =-.

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May 19, 2010 at 3:26 PM

This is great. Thank you for doing this. It’s really something I’ve always known I needed to do. I will definitely do it now.

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April 27, 2011 at 8:21 AM

Do you have a business plan for dummies and beginners? This is kind of advanced. I have nothing but 5 good paintings right now.

This is my first time coming to this website. I was very confused by the business plan. Who is “I”? As in, “I help artists dispel the starving artist myth”? It took me 15 mins to finally understand who “I” is, and who Cory and John Smith is.

January 7, 2016 at 12:24 PM

I agree, this business plan is completely confusing and way too advanced and overwhelming. I really want to like it, but after reading it a few times, I’m still lost.

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October 27, 2011 at 11:10 PM

Creating a business plan was one of the smartest things I ever did. I wrote down all the ideas that had been spinning around in my head but had never been inserted into my business as a whole. Just the process of writing everything down becomes a way to clear your head and see the way forward. It’s great to see an honest, physical example of a business plan – thanks Cory!

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March 11, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Wow!  I’m so glad I stumbled onto this!  Just what I needed!

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June 4, 2012 at 6:16 AM

Thanks for posting the examples.  I didn’t realize that I already had lists covering most of the sections.  This really helped me put everything together in one place.  Now as I get new ideas, I have one document that I can go to.  I can quickly jot it down and properly categorize the idea right away knowing that I will have it on hand for when I have time to review the bigger picture over time.  Thanks again!

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June 4, 2012 at 8:01 AM

 @figmentations Glad it helped!

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January 13, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Thanks Cory. A Breath of Fresh Air!!! For the first time at last…with drudgery behind me, I can now pursue my business plan in JOY!!! In full celebration of all right brainers…here’s to your unlimited success:-)

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February 23, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Hi Cory & Jennifer, I totally agree with having a business plan, writing down all the ideas & growth you have in mind for your business.

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July 1, 2013 at 5:20 AM

thanks for everything. i like this site so much…

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August 19, 2013 at 7:55 AM

Thank you this was very helpful 🙂

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December 17, 2013 at 8:32 PM

Thank you for sharing this information, it can be difficult finding business resources for the artist/entrepreneur.

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December 20, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Just need help starting a creative business. CB

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September 25, 2015 at 3:07 PM

hello jennifar, i a cross this because am a starting artist. gama arts in Rwanda but i realy want a bussiness plan because i know success business needs a plan. thank you.

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February 26, 2016 at 4:12 PM

I’m looking forward to doing the seminar on how to sell your artwork online. I am not computer literate, so this is going to require some intensive learning on my part. I am retired and can finally dedicate my time to doing the thing that I love the most, painting watercolor illustrations. I know nothing about blogging, or setting up my own web site. I hope this is the kind of information I can access from your seminar.

Thank you for showing me my first step toward creating a business out of my artwork…

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May 16, 2016 at 4:35 PM

Thanks Cory and Jennifer, for sharing this information, it’s always good to know more about how I can do more on my art business.

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November 25, 2017 at 3:06 PM

It helps me a lot to have specific, measurable goals. I’m just starting to turn art into a business for myself, so I’m trying out a few different things to see what works for me, but concrete numbers and plans and dates really help.

I’ve put together a list of business books for artists:

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January 22, 2018 at 12:01 PM

I had no idea how to get this started. This is super super helpful! Thank you!

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digital art business plan

Business Plans for Artists

Art Review

Would you like to know more about how to sell art? Read our article What Is the Best Way to Sell Art?

Creative business plans for artists: what is a business plan for an artist

Art of business: why create a business plan, reasons to create a business plan for artists.

  • Who are my three biggest competitors?
  • What products do my competitors offer?
  • What makes my competitors' products unique?
  • What are the strengths of my competitors?
  • What strategies can I get from my competitors?
  • What are the ways my competitors use to sell the product?
  • What risks do my competitors pose to me?

Business ideas art: how to write a business plan for an artist

digital art business plan

Complex finance issues: artist management business plan

  • Resources : What do I need?
  • Finance : How much do I need?
  • What have I already had? 
  • What do I need? 
  • I have : a computer, internet connection, a desk and a chair, occasionally rented space, etc. 
  • I need : Photoshop, better ideas for the competition, a copy of Protools software, and your own space either in your home or close to it; rehearsal/painting/carving space, etc. 
  • What can I work without?
  • Can I find a sponsor?
  • Can I use crowdfunding?
  • Can I get a scholarship or grant?
  • Is it reasonable to use my own funds?

Artist business: makeup artist business plan

  • What does my audience buy?
  • Who are my potential clients?
  • What do my clients need?
  • What is in demand? 

Business plan for an art gallery: be part of a large community

What does it take to get interested in a gallery.

digital art business plan

More From Forbes

Art in business: a fresh path to boosting creativity and wellness.

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Ray Corral is the founder of Mosaicist in Coral Gables, Florida, and is a master mosaicist himself.

In today’s dynamic business environment, continuously innovating to enhance workplace culture and support employee well-being is more important than ever. Incorporating art into the workplace is a strategy gaining traction—not only does it beautify workspaces, but it can also boost employee mental health and creativity.

My path to integrating art into our workplace at Mosaicist Inc. began from recognizing how transformative art can be. Our specialty in crafting mosaic designs in pools showed me how art changes spaces and atmospheres. This inspired me to bring the same transformative energy into our work environments to energize and inspire our team.

Here is a look at how art can be pivotal in company wellness programs.

Breathing New Life Into Workspaces

Bringing various art forms into the office can transform mundane areas into daily wellsprings of inspiration. These creative works, from sculptures and paintings to digital art, can boost a space's visual appeal. This uplift is about more than aesthetics; it turns the office into a dynamic space where creativity and inspiration flow freely, strengthening connections among team members.

Samsung Issues Critical Update For Millions Of Galaxy Users

How to watch real martha baby reindeer interview with piers morgan, a ukrainian sport plane drone just flew 800 miles into russia to blow up an oil refinery.

Introducing diverse art forms has completely transformed our office, turning standard work areas into vibrant hubs of creativity and inspiration. We have incorporated art in various innovative ways—not just traditional canvas paintings but also through bold design choices like our "Red Room Lounge," where everything is bathed in a lively, bold red, adding drama and intrigue to conversations.

Fostering Innovation And Connection Through Art

Artistic activities boost innovation by inspiring creative thinking and problem-solving among employees. Engaging in art, whether as a group activity or through personal projects, can nurture innovative thinking —an essential ingredient for problem-solving in any business context. More than just a visual treat, art is a potent medium for expressing oneself and alleviating stress , which can lead to sharper mental clarity and stronger emotional resilience.

The Science Behind Art's Benefits

The link between art and improved mental health is well-documented. Participating in artistic activities can dial down stress, boost emotional well-being and sharpen the mind. These advantages extend beyond personal benefit, hinting at valuable applications within the professional realm.

For instance, a study conducted by Drexel University found that 75% of participants experienced lower cortisol levels, a marker of stress, after engaging in 45 minutes of art-making. This suggests that art can be beneficial in reducing stress, regardless of an individual's art-making experience.

Additionally, research indicates that practicing art can help build capacity for managing mental and emotional well-being. These insights underscore the value of integrating art and creativity in fostering a more productive, innovative and engaging work environment.

Bringing Art Into The Business World: Practical Steps

For companies eager to embrace this artistic revolution, here are some strategies to weave art into the fabric of your corporate culture:

1. Partner with the art community.

Forge connections with local artists, galleries and organizations to bring enriching art experiences into your workplace. This could range from art-making workshops to installing art pieces that reflect your brand's ethos.

When reaching out to artists, it is essential to be clear about your vision while remaining open to the artist's creative process. Start by attending local art events or gallery exhibitions. This supports the community and helps you build authentic relationships with artists whose work aligns with your company's values.

Additionally, when contacting artists for potential collaborations, make sure to honor their artistic freedom. It is important to ensure that their style aligns with your expectations and to avoid limiting their creative expression. By showing respect for their creative process, you can foster a genuine partnership that leads to the creation of authentic and inspiring artwork for your workspace.

2. Carve out art spaces.

Designate particular areas in your office for art creation and display. This could involve creating an employee art gallery or collaborative pieces, nurturing a shared sense of pride and community. These spaces can be the essence of the office, pulsing with creativity and individual expression that fuel a vibrant company culture.

3. Weave art into wellness programs.

Blend art activities into your existing wellness initiatives. This creative outlet offers alternative stress relief and team-building, which can help enrich your overall wellness offerings.

A group art project can stimulate cross-departmental collaboration and break down communication barriers for those who typically work in isolation. Equally, individual art initiatives allow team members who usually operate in groups to showcase their personal talents and stand out. Use diverse art forms and mixed media to engage different senses and thought patterns.

4. Support individual artistic pursuits.

Motivate your team to explore their artistic side by providing the necessary resources or space for their projects. By celebrating the artistic efforts of your team, you can integrate them into your company's cultural fabric.

For example, at my company we believe in supporting individual artistic pursuits through grants and opportunities. We have a grant with our city for artists, and we do the same thing for our staff. We encourage our staff to engage creatively beyond their professional roles. Once a year, we get together and create something new unrelated to the work that we do. This annual tradition fosters personal growth and satisfaction and injects a fresh, innovative spirit into our workplace. It enhances the overall vitality and diversity of our company culture.

Art As A Cornerstone Of Corporate Wellness

As we aim to forge supportive and creative workplaces, art emerges as a key ally in enriching the corporate environment and bolstering employee well-being and creativity. Adopting art in business settings signals a forward-thinking approach to corporate wellness, emphasizing the role of aesthetics and creative expression in cultivating a fulfilling workplace. By integrating art, businesses can explore new avenues for enhancing employee satisfaction and performance, paving the way for a thriving and inventive corporate culture.

Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?

Ray Corral

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    2. It's Easier to Outsource. A big part of the digital art business is the customer service and the actual printing of the finished artwork. Both of these are very easy things to outsource compared to a handmade business that requires you to teach someone else how to do the artwork. For that reason, it's very easy to scale your work.

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    A solid artist business plan provides an accurate assessment of your creative product (your artwork) and market research to show the demand for your services or artwork. The plan should also address your financial requirements, identifying various forms of revenue, anticipated expenses, and ways you can secure money upfront if needed.

  3. Essential Steps to Begin a Digital Art Business

    Day-to-Day Tasks of Running a Digital Art Business. Creation and Design: At the heart of this business is making art. This can involve sketching, digital painting, 3D modeling, or animation. Client Communication: Interacting with clients or customers to discuss project requirements, feedback, and modifications.

  4. How to Start an Online Art Business: 6 Quick Tips for Aspiring Artists

    1. Craft Your Online Art Business Plan. Business plan for online art business. Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash. Whether you aim to create an online art store, sell digital artwork, or establish your online gallery, a comprehensive business plan is the foundation of your own art business. An artist business plan is your step-by-step guide to ...

  5. How To Start A Digital Art Business (+ FREE Art Business Startup Checklist)

    The following 10 steps should be part of every digital art business plan because they include the best options to grow your art business. Here's what shouldn't be missing on your plan when you start a digital art business: STEP 1: Build your artist website .

  6. How To: Start a Digital Art Business

    3 —. A Step-By-Step Guide to Help You Get Started. Starting a digital art business online can be an exciting and rewarding venture. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started: Step 1: Develop your skills and style. Before starting your digital art business, it's essential to develop your skills and style.

  7. How to Start A Digital Art Business

    Key Takeaways. Create a unique art style that differentiates you as an artist from the crowd. Align your art style according to market demand. The best places to grow an audience around digital art are YouTube and Instagram. Without marketing, a following, or paid ads, people can't find you and your products and services.

  8. How To Create a Winning Digital Art Business Plan: Essential Checklist

    Conclusion. Writing a comprehensive business plan for interactive digital art installations is crucial for the success of your venture. By following the nine steps outlined in this checklist, you can ensure that your plan covers all the essential aspects, from defining your target market to outlining the legal requirements.

  9. A Guide to Creating an Artist Business Plan

    Step 6: Build an Action Plan. The steps covered thus far have focused on big-picture vision and goals, finances, and marketing. Each step requires smaller action plans, but once you have each of these smaller steps worked out, it's time to create an overarching action plan. This will be the crux of your artist business plan.

  10. How to Turn Your Digital Art into a Business

    Create a portfolio. Creating a portfolio is an important step in turning your digital art into a business. A portfolio is a collection of your best work that showcases your unique style and skillset. It's a way to demonstrate to potential clients and employers what you're capable of and what makes your work stand out.

  11. Master the Art of Digital Marketplace: 9-Step Business Plan Checklist

    Writing a business plan for a digital art marketplace is crucial for ensuring the success and viability of your venture. By following the nine steps outlined in this checklist, you can systematically address key aspects such as target market analysis, competitive positioning, financial projections, and marketing strategies.

  12. How to Write Artist Business Plan+ Template & Guide (2024)

    Next, share a brief overview of how your art studio will be different from the rest. Provide a summary of each of the subsequent sections of your plan, such as: Describe the artist industry and the target market in brief. Represent the products or services you wish to offer. Give a snapshot of your marketing strategy.

  13. How to Start a Profitable Art Business [11 Steps]

    1. Perform market analysis. Starting an art business requires a thorough understanding of the market to identify potential customers, competitors, and trends. A well-conducted market analysis can provide invaluable insights that will help in tailoring your business strategy to meet the demands of the art industry.

  14. How To Create a Digital Art Business Plan: Essential Checklist

    Welcome to our blog post on how to write a business plan for a digital art creation platform!In today's fast-paced and digitally-driven world, the demand for digital art and creations is skyrocketing. According to recent industry reports, the digital art market is projected to reach a value of $12.5 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 11.6%.

  15. An Artist's Guide to Making a Business Plan (In Just 6 Steps)

    C. Your Story. The next step is to write down your story as an artist. This is one of the most important steps because it's how you can form a worthwhile connection with your possible collectors. Write your artist statement by answering these 5 questions art buyers have about you. 6. YOUR PROCESS.

  16. The #1 Art Business Plan Template & Guidebook

    How to Write a Art Business Plan in 7 Steps: 1. Describe the Purpose of Your Art Business. The first step to writing your business plan is to describe the purpose of your art business. This includes describing why you are starting this type of business, and what problems it will solve for customers. This is a quick way to get your mind thinking ...

  17. Artist Business Plan Template [Updated 2024]

    Marketing Plan. Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P's: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a artist business plan, your marketing strategy should include the following: Product: In the product section, you should reiterate the type of artist company that you documented in your company overview.

  18. How To Write An Artist Business Plan That Works

    A business plan is an executive summary that encapsulates the resources, objectives, risks, and opportunities associated with an artist's work. It typically outlines actions that need to be taken to reach the desired outcomes and guides their professional choices. Artists can use their business plans to stay focused on their objectives ...

  19. 3 creative online business ideas for artists (+ 16 examples)

    Here are three small business ideas for artists looking to make money online: Sell digital downloads. Write an ebook about your artistic expertise, create printables featuring your art, or upload templates that make artists' lives easier. Build an online community of artists. An online community brings people together and creates a support ...

  20. 10 Things to Know When Learning How to Start an Art Business

    Hire a Web Designer. 9. Most of Your Work Will Come Down to Marketing and Word-Of-Mouth. Inbound Marketing. Outbound Marketing - How to Start an Art Business. Word-Of-Mouth and Networking. 10. Start Researching Tools to Make Running a Business Easier. Inventory Management Software.

  21. Crafting a Winning Business Plan for Digital Art: 9 Steps to Success!

    Welcome to our blog post on how to write a business plan for a digital art platform in 9 simple steps. In today's fast-paced and digital world, the demand for digital art has seen a significant surge in recent years. According to recent statistics, the global digital art market is expected to reach $12.9 billion by 2024 with a CAGR of 9.8% ...

  22. Business Plans for Artists: Here, I Did It for You!

    Not Ready for A Full Right Brain Business Plan? Here's a simple 4 page example plan that will help you get started. Example Business Plan for Artists (pdf) Example Business Plan for Artists (Word doc) The first thing I ask every artist when we start working together is if they have a business plan. Most of the time the answer is no.

  23. Business Plans for Artists

    This is a great way for a recording artist's business plan. In addition, at this stage, you should consider the following points: 1. Analyze the ways you already use to promote and sell your art. Compare your options with what your colleagues use. Get inquiries.

  24. Art In Business: A Fresh Path To Boosting Creativity And Wellness

    Adopting art in business settings signals a forward-thinking approach to corporate wellness, emphasizing the role of aesthetics and creative expression in cultivating a fulfilling workplace.