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HOT TOPIC How can I get rich with my drawing skills?

WTF

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Jun 24, 2018
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I've spent my entire life drawing, and I went to an unaccredited school for drawing for a good 4 years (I fortunately managed to leave with absolutely no debt).

Right now I'm pretty much broke. I have about $500 in my bank account and freelancing can only make so much...

What would you guys suggest I do with my drawing skills in order to make over $200k+ per year? I know I can draw really well (not trying to boast but I can). There's got to be a way I can monetize this -- a way to separate my time from my income. I currently have a few ideas in mind but nothing fantastic...

What would you guys advise me? Please also keep in mind that although I'm an artist, and I can draw well, and that I'd like to start a business, I'd also like to stay out of the public light/not generate any fame (so I can't be like an art instructor on YouTube or my own website or anything).

You guys got any ideas for me? I'm really looking to monetize this and not just put an entire lifetime's worth of skill to no use (or for you guys to just advise me to do something else). There's gotta be something the market always wants with this skill of mine...

Input? Advice? Business ideas? I'd really appreciate the help.

Cheers.
 

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ApparentHorizon

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Youtube drawings/paintings. Put the camera from your perspective and get to it. You don't have to use your real name, or even talk.

What if you used some chill music in the bg, while you doodled? It can be relaxing to watch something come to life.

Amass a following, then put out some courses, ebooks, etc.

What do you have in mind? - perhaps we can expand on what you're thinking.
 
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WTF

WTF

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Youtube drawings/paintings. Put the camera from your perspective and get to it. You don't have to use your real name, or even talk.
Hmm... Not a bad idea to gain a following a bit but I'm not too sure how this is going to make me money. Adsense has became terrible in recent years.

What do you have in mind? - perhaps we can expand on what you're thinking.
The only things I have in mind at the moment are doing NSFW art (as it seems far easier to build a following and it's something people seem to pay for far more readily). Patreon/commissions can be reasonably profitable through this method (though it's unlikely I'll ever make 6 figures this way (though still possible)).

That, and building an online course on my own domain name somehow (without putting myself in the public light/exposing my voice/name/etc). Maybe I could make a $49.99 monthly membership and you get constant critiques on your artwork and access to a host of videos and other people who want to improve at their work...

Those are my current ideas. It's just really really really important to me that I don't generate any fame or make myself publicly known -- I don't want my info/pics really out there anywhere.

If you guys have any ideas, then I'd love to hear them.
 

michaelscheuren

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Might not be much help but here's something I recently came across. I was recently at an indoor car show and there was a gentleman there drawing photos of the cars entered in the show. I do not know what he was charging per vehicle but he was very fast and very good. He had a small portfolio book with him showing his other work and he was busy all weekend long. Maybe you could somehow apply that to your hobbies or interests? It would help get your name out there, possibly make some money and who knows who you could meet or what connections you could make.... And if it was only done at shows or on the weekends, you'd still have time to pursue the other parts of your business/ ideas. Hope it helps in some way...
 
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WTF

WTF

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Might not be much help but here's something I recently came across. I was recently at an indoor car show and there was a gentleman there drawing photos of the cars entered in the show. I do not know what he was charging per vehicle but he was very fast and very good. He had a small portfolio book with him showing his other work and he was busy all weekend long. Maybe you could somehow apply that to your hobbies or interests? It would help get your name out there, possibly make some money and who knows who you could meet or what connections you could make.... And if it was only done at shows or on the weekends, you'd still have time to pursue the other parts of your business/ ideas. Hope it helps in some way...
Yeah that could work to make some money, perhaps even pretty decent money, but it's still not fastlane.

The same thing goes for doing henna or caricatures at fairs. I could definitely make money doing that -- but I'd still have to trade a huge portion of my time sitting out at fairs all the time and just not really making anything...

I really do appreciate the input, but can you think up any ways I could possibly use my art skill without breaking any of the commandments of CENTS?
 

michaelscheuren

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Yeah that could work to make some money, perhaps even pretty decent money, but it's still not fastlane.

The same thing goes for doing henna or caricatures at fairs. I could definitely make money doing that -- but I'd still have to trade a huge portion of my time sitting out at fairs all the time and just not really making anything...

I really do appreciate the input, but can you think up any ways I could possibly use my art skill without breaking any of the commandments of CENTS?

True, it is not fastlane but it could make some money and help you with marketing your business/talent and could be done in a few hours. Plus, people could see you in action, see your work and skill level and that would possibly build confidence in them choosing you for a future project. You could also shoot some footage of you at the event for your youtube page. Just an idea...
 
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WTF

WTF

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True, it is not fastlane but it could make some money and help you with marketing your business/talent and could be done in a few hours. Plus, people could see you in action, see your work and skill level and that would possibly build confidence in them choosing you for a future project. You could also shoot some footage of you at the event for your youtube page. Just an idea...
Aside from the YouTube part, that could definitely work.

The only reason I couldn't do the YouTube part is because I'm still trying to stay anonymous.
 

Benito Alvarez

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Web designers are always looking to express a statement with a strong visual. Sites like ui8.net sell sets of illustrations for just $45.

If you have drawing talent, turn your drawings into illustration packs and distribute them across all stock sites that way you can build up many assets that sell 24/7.

I’m new to this but I think that qualifies as fast lane.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Bulgano

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Hmm... Not a bad idea to gain a following a bit but I'm not too sure how this is going to make me money. Adsense has became terrible in recent years.
You don't use YouTube as a way to make money, you use it as a way to gain a following. Once you have a decent following you can use it to either push your own products, or get sponsors from other companies.

I actually have a slightly different perspective though. I think you should become experienced with Adobe Illustrator (if you aren't already), and look into web illustrations. They have started to become incredibly popular in the last 1–2 years, and now almost every large company is using some form of illustration on their website.

For an example of what I mean, check here...
As you can see, it ranges greatly. Some people want isometric illustrations on their site, some want cartoon people, others just want abstract shapes, and the list goes on.

If you do decide to go down this path, make a Dribbble account and post stuff and reach out to people and they might "invite" you. (On Dribbble you need to be invited before you can start fully posting your work.)

From there, you can start using it as a portfolio almost and plenty of large companies check Dribbble on a daily basis to find designers for their needs, and the rates are generally decent. I've heard of some getting $5k-$10k for 1–2 illustrations. So this definitely might be something for you to look into.
 

Xeon

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Youtube drawings/paintings. Put the camera from your perspective and get to it. You don't have to use your real name, or even talk.

What if you used some chill music in the bg, while you doodled? It can be relaxing to watch something come to life.

Amass a following, then put out some courses, ebooks, etc.

What do you have in mind? - perhaps we can expand on what you're thinking.
This pretty much. Just go the ASMR (no background music) art route. A lot of the ASMR videos on YouTube are getting high views and killing it!

On a side note, Bob Ross's painting videos were a way for him to sell his Bob Ross painting kit.

You can probably market yourself as the ASMR Artist(tm) who makes people's worries go away in this chaotic world.

A Quiet Sunday Afternoon with WTF(tm).
 

NVaz

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The title of the thread should be.... "How can I help people with my drawing skills".

I've read once a story of a woman who was passionate about photography and went to take great photos of people in their natural poses (people were relaxed and didn't know they've been photoed) and offer to them for free. People would love the photos and start to contact her for some jobs. Maybe you can do something similar like drawing the entrance of a restaurant, the interior of a cafe, etc. and offer the drawing to the owner. You can also create a course on how to start drawing.
 

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LPPC

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Youtube drawings/paintings. Put the camera from your perspective and get to it. You don't have to use your real name, or even talk.

What if you used some chill music in the bg, while you doodled? It can be relaxing to watch something come to life.

Amass a following, then put out some courses, ebooks, etc.

What do you have in mind? - perhaps we can expand on what you're thinking.
This!

Amass a following by first providing free value. Then when you have the trust of your people, you can start selling higher quality paid content and courses.
 

masterneme

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Hmm... Not a bad idea to gain a following a bit but I'm not too sure how this is going to make me money. Adsense has became terrible in recent years.


The only things I have in mind at the moment are doing NSFW art (as it seems far easier to build a following and it's something people seem to pay for far more readily). Patreon/commissions can be reasonably profitable through this method (though it's unlikely I'll ever make 6 figures this way (though still possible)).

That, and building an online course on my own domain name somehow (without putting myself in the public light/exposing my voice/name/etc). Maybe I could make a $49.99 monthly membership and you get constant critiques on your artwork and access to a host of videos and other people who want to improve at their work...

Those are my current ideas. It's just really really really important to me that I don't generate any fame or make myself publicly known -- I don't want my info/pics really out there anywhere.

If you guys have any ideas, then I'd love to hear them.
If you're willing to draw NSFW stuff I suggest you check out Ren'Py which is a Python based game engine for Visual Novels. Good novels with good story and art do pretty well.

You can sell your products on any major platform but you'll have to remove all the adult stuff. Then you can put this content as an add-on on your website, people will download it and unlock the full experience without breaking the stores rules.

Another thing I suggest is to do short animated GIFs, people love those, and you can upload them to Tumblr and/or Deviantart and all the top adult tubes . You can share the individual GIFs and make video compilations.

I understand the desire to be anonymous but that's going to be difficult, there are ways to protect yourself like creating a company with different registered address than your home but your name has to be somewhere and some person could investigate you.

Patreon can mitigate that, and if you use Paypal you can change to a business account to hide your personal information.

You could also try to make a deal with a publisher, they'll release your stuff on your behalf but you'll make much less money. And when I say publisher I'm talking about the Visual Novels or other interactive products.

If you do livestreams on Twitch or Youtube you can get money from viewers, Twitch has a form of currency called bits and Youtube too, you'll get money, your Paypal will remain hidden and you won't get any of the s**t like fake donations that will create chargebacks for you.
 

ApparentHorizon

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The only things I have in mind at the moment are doing NSFW art (as it seems far easier to build a following and it's something people seem to pay for far more readily). Patreon/commissions can be reasonably profitable through this method (though it's unlikely I'll ever make 6 figures this way (though still possible)).
Patreon has been posturing about NSFW content lately. Plus they take a commission. Just slap together a wordpress site, and cut out the middle man.

It's just really really really important to me that I don't generate any fame or make myself publicly known -- I don't want my info/pics really out there anywhere.
Only reason your info would be online is from you posting something stupid linking your accounts/identity.

(Buy privacy protection when you register a domain)

I was about to write you off, but I think I understand now. Some of your material may not be suitable in a professional setting, so you don't want it to affect your future prospects.

However, don't use this as an excuse not to take action.

I'd encourage you to put together a progress thread, and we can help you stay anon along the way, in case you miss something. (Would love to see your art as well if it's YouTube friendly)

no background music
He can charge for soundcloud shoutouts. If not background, then beginning or ending credits.

ASMR videos
Just when you think you've seen it all. Interesting.
 

Kaur

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There's a possibility that you could win on such platforms like uDemy. You can market your courses to masses which will create a solid passive income. But the courses you offer have to be over-delivered, very educational and high-quality, there's no other way. If you're interested in it, have a look-se.
 

Rhino

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Web designers are always looking to express a statement with a strong visual. Sites like ui8.net sell sets of illustrations for just $45.

If you have drawing talent, turn your drawings into illustration packs and distribute them across all stock sites that way you can build up many assets that sell 24/7.

I’m new to this but I think that qualifies as fast lane.
Good idea but I recon he could take it one step further and build his own website that exclusively sells his graphics. It would be easy enough to set up a monthly membership site and get people to subscribe. That way you have more control over your images and aren’t so reliant on other websites (who could close at any moment or increase their fees). If it gets popular enough you could then expand it and get other graphic designers to sell their designs on your website, for a small fee of course :)
 

aspenriver

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Right now I'm pretty much broke. I have about $500 in my bank account and freelancing can only make so much...

What would you guys suggest I do with my drawing skills in order to make over $200k+ per year? I know I can draw really well (not trying to boast but I can). There's got to be a way I can monetize this -- a way to separate my time from my income. I currently have a few ideas in mind but nothing fantastic...
Let me get this straight. You are not making money in a way that doesn't scale, so now you want to make money in a way that scales?

Your first priority should be to get from the sidewalk to the slowlane, before you start going for the fastlane.

The same thing goes for doing henna or caricatures at fairs. I could definitely make money doing that -- but I'd still have to trade a huge portion of my time sitting out at fairs all the time and just not really making anything...
You said you are pretty much broke and you are not willing to go out and do work that will bring in money?

I don't know if you have done that kind of work before, but it will also teach you skills that will be useful to you in a scaleable business like selling and having a feel for your customers.

Hmm... Not a bad idea to gain a following a bit but I'm not too sure how this is going to make me money. Adsense has became terrible in recent years.
There are a million other ways. Sell your artwork. Sell prints of it on t-shirts, mugs, etc. But this isn't going to make you a lot of money overnight. It can take years to build a following.
 
OP
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WTF

WTF

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This pretty much. Just go the ASMR (no background music) art route. A lot of the ASMR videos on YouTube are getting high views and killing it!

On a side note, Bob Ross's painting videos were a way for him to sell his Bob Ross painting kit.

You can probably market yourself as the ASMR Artist(tm) who makes people's worries go away in this chaotic world.

A Quiet Sunday Afternoon with WTF(tm).
This is a wonderful idea. I can definitely see how something like this could be profitable. Thing is, I can't include my voice -- I could always find someone on Fiverr (or a similar site) to be contracted to do voice acting fir me and not expose that it isn't my voice talking for 10+ years -- but that has an overhead and there's still no guarantee this idea makes a profit that justifies that expense...

And since I know someone's going to ask: No, I really can't affiliate my face/voice/anything with this as I already have some standing on the internet which would be ruined if I were caught doing something like this...

I do think DrawASMR could definitely be more profitable, it sounds like a beautiful idea, but if I do anything I'm gonna have to go with the speedpaints/live drawings with music playing in the background.

Unless you can think up a different way around this problem...

The title of the thread should be.... "How can I help people with my drawing skills".

I've read once a story of a woman who was passionate about photography and went to take great photos of people in their natural poses (people were relaxed and didn't know they've been photoed) and offer to them for free. People would love the photos and start to contact her for some jobs. Maybe you can do something similar like drawing the entrance of a restaurant, the interior of a cafe, etc. and offer the drawing to the owner. You can also create a course on how to start drawing.
Not a bad idea to get more freelance work, but the thing is, I'm still mostly trying to seperate my time from my income.

Also I'm not so sure if anyone would buy a course from someone who doesn't show go into detail on who they are/speak of their experience/show their face. It's a great idea, but I'd lack credibility if I'm to just stay anonymous (and everyone else would look more trustworthy and promising).

This!

Amass a following by first providing free value. Then when you have the trust of your people, you can start selling higher quality paid content and courses.
I like this idea. But still, problem above.

Yes. But that's an entirely different field.

Firstly, you can't animate (well) just because you can draw.

And secondly, I do drawings, not work in a 3D program like Maya or similar...

Unless you're referring to storyboarding, which I potentially could do, but still requires me learning a whole lot more I currently don't know and competing against others who are likely more qualified (and trained) to work in that particular field.

I don't know, maybe though...

Let me get this straight. You are not making money in a way that doesn't scale, so now you want to make money in a way that scales?

Your first priority should be to get from the sidewalk to the slowlane, before you start going for the fastlane.



You said you are pretty much broke and you are not willing to go out and do work that will bring in money?

I don't know if you have done that kind of work before, but it will also teach you skills that will be useful to you in a scaleable business like selling and having a feel for your customers.



There are a million other ways. Sell your artwork. Sell prints of it on t-shirts, mugs, etc. But this isn't going to make you a lot of money overnight. It can take years to build a following.
Either I wasn't clear enough or you misread. I'm pretty much broke, but I freelance to make money at the moment. I don't make much, and I'm constantly grinding, hence why I'm here trying to split my time from my income.

Also I do have a few small things on Etsy, but I'm not really making much at all from them. (Like $10 per month).



P.S. typed all of this from my phone so please disregard any spelling mistakes/misunderstandings. Wanted to respond but I probably won't be near a laptop for a little while.
 

I AM THE SENATE

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1. Create a story that people will love and buy. Create a comic, manga, web comic that people love. Expand that into merch, books, art. Find a studio to pay you to bring it to the big and little screens for large sums of money. Make new series and ideas. Become a producer. Have something that you own and can sell over and over in different mediums.

2. Create artwork that people will love and buy at a price point that brings you the proper revenue. Research other artist who are doing this and learn from them. I was shooting a commercial in a high end furniture store when I saw a woman buy 8 paintings at $900 a piece because she liked worked by that artist and wanted it through out her home. I didn't even think it was that great. I think my teenage artist daughter could do work like that. But it's perceived as having high value. Learn how that game works.

3. Reach lots of people and sell them lots of things. IG, FB, YT. Constant posting. Merch. Coaching. Commissioned work. Shops. Tee Shirts. Teaching online classes. The real folk hustle.

Art is about perception in my opinion. I personally feel YouTube and tee shirts is perceived at lower value, but you can make money if you reach a lot of people. Then there is art that is considered higher value, fewer people know about it, have access to it and own it. Street art is everywhere, but not everyone is Banksy and Mr. Brainwash. Perceived value is what you are selling. Good luck.
 

Lex DeVille

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Draw Dragon Ball Super fan fiction. Make Dragon Ball cover images for top DB YouTubers and give them for free. They'll throw you shoutouts and link backs which will get you traffic back to your channel or website or whatever, where you can funnel people to your other drawings and products. I've bought music from people this way.

Draw a really awesome Dragon Ball fan manga spin off. Eventually become Akira Toriyama's "chosen successor" drawing for the biggest anime in the world. But Toyotaro already did this, so you'll have to use a different anime.

:cool:
 

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loop101

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I've spent my entire life drawing, and I went to an unaccredited school for drawing for a good 4 years (I fortunately managed to leave with absolutely no debt).

Right now I'm pretty much broke. I have about $500 in my bank account and freelancing can only make so much...

What would you guys suggest I do with my drawing skills in order to make over $200k+ per year? I know I can draw really well (not trying to boast but I can). There's got to be a way I can monetize this -- a way to separate my time from my income. I currently have a few ideas in mind but nothing fantastic...

What would you guys advise me? Please also keep in mind that although I'm an artist, and I can draw well, and that I'd like to start a business, I'd also like to stay out of the public light/not generate any fame (so I can't be like an art instructor on YouTube or my own website or anything).

You guys got any ideas for me? I'm really looking to monetize this and not just put an entire lifetime's worth of skill to no use (or for you guys to just advise me to do something else). There's gotta be something the market always wants with this skill of mine...

Input? Advice? Business ideas? I'd really appreciate the help.

Cheers.
As MJ succinctly stated in his book, Impact Millions.
 

CountMonteCristo

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Hey WTF!

Fellow artist here.

I put 10 serious years into learning to draw so I can be a concept artist working in video games and movies. It was my dream since high school and I got there. I worked on very popular titles and got paid well. Then I realized it's still a job with looong hours and a lot less creativity than one would expect.

Why art sucks...

The big issue with drawing is that once you leave the world of video games or movies, regular people don't really need it. It's a very niche skill set and there are a ton of high pay jobs you can get once you get good, but it's all specific to these few industries, and the're all jobs.

And just because you spent 8-10 years mastering your craft doesn't mean anyone owes you anything. You really have to think about demand. It's very rare that you can sell your drawings as a final product.

So then what do people buy that involve art?

Clothing with good designs, website or print graphics, courses on how to draw, graphic novels, tattoos, etc. So it's always art combined with somehing that people need. Art is basically your way to put your own spin on certain products and make them unique. It's "just" your voice, your brand. Don't get me wrong, it's very useful, especially if you can find a style that people reasonate with (look at Ed Hardy), but you'll probabyl need to do a bit more than just draw away and expect people to throw money at you.

Here's what I recommend:

1 - Learn marketing. It's probably the single most valuable skill set you can learn that will help you out tremendously, no matter the path you take. It'll up your freelance game (you can rely on that while you're experimenting) and it's a must for any kind of business. Read 2-3 books (Ca$hvertising, How to win friends and influence people, Influence: the pshychology of persuasion, etc.) and then get some practice selling yourself as a freelancer.

2 - Just start something. All the things people suggested above are fine. Just start the one thing you are most excited about, because all of these will take time and you'll be grinding away with no guarantees. I don't mean to be all pessimistic, but statistically speaking your first business is going to fail anyways. Maybe your first 10 will fail. But you'll learn, and every time you try again, you'll be more and more successful. It's best to start failing asap so don't think about it too much.

Acutally, learning business is very similar to learning to draw, and there's a nice analogy that I heard a few years back that stuck with me:

Imagine you have a 1,000 shitty drawings inside of you that are blocking the really good drawings. And the only way to get to the good stuff is to draw out the shitty ones first.

I guess it's the same with business. So go out there and start a shitty one. You'll be that much closer to building your ultimate vehicle for freedom.


- The Count
 

deehill

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What are your strengths with your art?

Are you only drawn or are you digitally creative as well?

What are your initial 3 income goals?

Are we able to see some of your work?

I will gladly make a couple of suggestions but better idea these are answered for me...
 

rollerskates

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Also I do have a few small things on Etsy, but I'm not really making much at all from them. (Like $10 per month).
Do you have the ability to turn your drawings into PNG files? If you are drawing on paper, and can scan and turn your drawings into files that other artists can use, and have the ability to zip files, you could make bank there. Like, for instance, a group of 20 PNG files of trees or something. Price them to include a limited license, obviously.

Don't be the guy looking for gold in the gold rush, sell some shovels to the guys looking for gold!

ETA--you could also sell drawing lessons.
 

CountMonteCristo

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Count,

First of all, that's my all-time favorite movie.

What do you do for your creative outlet. As a" functional artist we often lack a real outlet for pure enjoyment of our skillset...
Hey deehill,

That's a hard question for me, because I never felt like I needed a creative outlet. Drawing was always very frustrating for me and I rarely ever did it for myself. I just wanted to get really good, make people smile or take them on a trip with my art. Then I did it for money and turned it into a career, but only because I was running from the thought of cubicles.

However, I work with plenty of people who do have this strong need to express their inner feelings, and they doodle all the time for fun. If you have something like that, I think you should keep it pure and not let money corrupt it. It might even evolve into a very unique passion project that will resonate with millions of people and make you successful. It's obviously a long shot, but then there's nothing wrong with having a hobby too.

-The Count
 

Xeon

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Do you have the ability to turn your drawings into PNG files? If you are drawing on paper, and can scan and turn your drawings into files that other artists can use, and have the ability to zip files, you could make bank there. Like, for instance, a group of 20 PNG files of trees or something. Price them to include a limited license, obviously.

Don't be the guy looking for gold in the gold rush, sell some shovels to the guys looking for gold
Personally, I wouldn't recommend this. Look at CreativeMarket and GraphicRiver. Pretty much a race to the bottom. People are selling things like 1,400 graphic elements/assets for $29 lol. That's not taking into account places like Shutterstock and many others that sell vectors in packs too.

To make it worse, there's those deals and bundle sites (mightydeals), where they sell bundles of bundles of art asset for crazy prices in the $20-$49 range. E.g. A bundle of 20 other bundles of trees, and each of these bundle itself contains a set of 15 - 25 trees each....

Unless he can find some niche in these markets that are unfulfilled. The no. of people who buy such assets are limited and small, and coupled with the amount these stuff are selling for, it's basically low profits and low scale.

Places like CreativeMarket and GraphicRiver also take a commission off each sale you make, so that's even lesser for you. The only guys who are enjoying a Fastlane biz in all these are Shutterstock, CM and GraphicRiver themselves, not the artists.
 
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Late Bloomer

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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I never felt like I needed a creative outlet. Drawing was always very frustrating for me and I rarely ever did it for myself. I just wanted to get really good, make people smile or take them on a trip with my art. Then I did it for money and turned it into a career, but only because I was running from the thought of cubicles.
Does that mean that your hard-won illustration skills don't have to be part of your career going forward? You'd be willing to drop the airbrush and leave all that behind, if there was a better way to make money?
 

Levit

New Contributor
Jan 20, 2017
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Based on what I've been able to learn so far from reading TMFL and Unscripted I'd say ask yourself how you can use that skill to provide value to others. Also if drawing/art is your passion it might be a good idea to consider potential Fastlane business ideas that aren't necessarily related. This video that MJ posted springs to mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BasQqpQ5_k

I'm not saying to totally rule out incorporating your art into your business, more that maybe you should start by asking what problem you could solve or how you might be able to add more value to an existing business model. Once you get started on something that seems unrelated you might find your artistic ability comes in handy as one of your key strengths when it comes to design or marketing.
 

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