Selling Illustrations: Easy Passive Income for the busy person

Do you have some spare time of around couple of hours a day for a new interesting activity? Do you like to invest this time in earning a handsome passive income by creating simple yet useful digital artworks known as vector illustrations? If the answer is at least a tentative yes for at least one of the questions then read on as why you should consider creating and selling vector illustrations to create a handsome passive income stream.

Successful Passive Income Proofs.

Why am I suggesting this? Well, I have two unique success stories to share – Me and My brother. I have been working as a full time IT consultant in London up with over 12 years of experience (hopefully, this will change by middle of 2016). Creating a Passive Income option was (is and will be) one of my biggest passions and I have been trying various options over the past 7 years. I tried a lot of things but bombed at most of them due to various reasons ranging from lack of time, resources and loss of interest to name a few.

So after a string of failures, I turned to my brother for advice. He was doing this business as a full time digital artist and was getting good success. As of today, he has worked for over 4 years now, working full from home in India and he currently earns over $3,000 per month and has grossed up over $100,000 till date most of which in the last two years..

He advised me to try this business and I am glad that I did. I spent 3 weeks in learning the basics of adobe illustrator and started creating simple illustrations and since then I have never looked back. Fast forward to today, I have managed to create over 650+ illustrations and earn over $15,000. So both our stories means that even you can invest your spare time to earn a good passive income over time.

We are in 2016 and there are no more get rich quick schemes around and if you come across one, it is safe to say that it might just be a waste of time and money. All work from home opportunities that exist today has become extremely competitive and so anyone starting off will require to put a lot of sustained effort to make decent income. Hence it is important that you think hard and choose a business which suits you and more importantly has advantages over others which enable you to put this effort.

Why this is the easiest to start and sustain – 9 big reasons


1. Easy to Get Started: 
Even if you have no clue about illustrations and how & where to sell them, getting started is extremely easy. You can learn all that is needed in a matter of days to weeks on your own. I have created this website, an online video based course and a free adobe illustrator tutorial and a number of associated resources purely to make this process a breeze.

2. Learn-able Creativity: The success in this business will dependent on how unique and useful your illustrations will be. However, unlike what you see on social media or any other platform, you don’t need to create jaw dropping awesome illustrations to be successful in this business. What is needed is simple illustrations which are useful to businesses which are not that difficult to create. Essentially, you can learn what is needed to create successful illustrations.

3. Rewarding Process: Unlike most other business, the one provides you an opportunity to bring your unique ideas to life and hence help you keep your motivation levels high even when you find different challenges. Also, bulk of your time in this business will be spent in creating new vector illustrations and hence you will enjoy the process of creation rather than doing so many other activities which might be called boring. This enables you to look forward to engage in this activity rather than being totally fixated on the end result of earning money. This is one of the main reason why I was able to sustain being a microstock illustrator while failed at most others.

4. Simplest of Home Businesses Opportunities: One of the best attributes of a great home business is that you are less dependent on anyone else when running your business. This business is probably the best when it comes to giving you the freedom because what you will depend on is your computer and occasional internet connection and that’s about it. You are free to do this business, anywhere, anytime and without having to depend on anyone. This simplicity enables you to make the most of your time and situation. Hence, when it comes to this business it can be said that your success is truly in your own hands.

5. Less Initial Effort: One of the reasons for my lack of success in some of the other passive income options like writing a book or creating an app was because of the huge initial effort required to create a single finished product. Due to lack of time, I constantly felt that I was not making good enough progress almost on a daily basis and this feeling eventually killed my motivation. However, when it comes to creating illustrations, it is possible to create nice simple illustrations in a matter of 10-15 minutes even with the basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator. So you can create one or more illustrations almost every day which enables you to make daily visible progress which will help you keep your motivation intact.

6. Low Cost of Failure: As each of your sellable product takes up hours to create instead of months, the cost of failure for each product (i.e. the impact of the illustration not selling well) is low. This is not the case with most other options like writing a book or creating an app or a product. You can create hundreds of illustrations in the time you need to create a book and probably double that number in the time you need to create and market a decent app. Hence while the the cost of failure of most other options is significantly high, this business enables you to put the same effort in creating different illustrations and diversify your portfolio and reduce the risk of failure further.

7. Get Quick Feedback: As the effort needed to create each vector illustration is small, a microstock illustrator tends to submit them to different online companies regularly, typically on a weekly basis. This gives the opportunity to get really quick feedback on whether customers like each of the submitted illustration or not and learn from this process for the next creation. This timely feedback cycle enables you to test what works and learn from it regularly.

8. Encourages Risk Taking: The benefits like less time to create each illustration, quick timely feedback and the low cost of failure encourages digital artists to take risks with what they create. So more risks we take better is our chance to create unique, useful illustrations which increases the chance of them selling well for a long time. In fact, it is not wrong to say that your success in this business is directly related to how many smart risks you can take when creating your illustrations. 

9. Get Efficient with Time: Creating and selling vector illustrations gives you the best chance to become efficient with time unlike any other. Every element of any Illustration that you create can be used for your future illustrations very easily. So with time and experience, the effort needed to create new illustrations will reduce significantly. There are many instances where I have managed to create 10-12 illustrations within a matter of 30 minutes as I was able to reuse components from my existing portfolio. So more time your spend, more productive productive you get.

10. No need to market your work: I created a number of different affiliate based websites for multiple customer base thinking that they will make thousands of dollars for me but all of them bombed spectacularly. The main reason why they failed was because each of them required lot of effort in activities like article writing, link building and other search engine optimisation (SEO) activities which I hated and could not sustain. Without this it was difficult to get customers for free. The other option was to pay to market your website on google and try to get customers that way. All this additional effort is non existent in this business as the website you submit your content to already receives millions of customers and they invest heavily to get new customers.

11. One Artwork, Multiple Selling Options: There are a huge number of well-known microstock websites (agencies) out there who wants to sell your illustrations. While most microstock illustrators sell their artwork to only few of the websites, you can choose to sell them through as many as 15 to 20 websites to increase your sales. The reason why most illustrators sell only to few of the websites (often less than 10) is because the websites outside of top 10 don’t give enough sales for the effort of uploading the illustrations to them. However, there are tools and techniques which you can use to optimise this entire process most of which are covered in my course.

12. Earn Passive Income: This might be obvious to few but let me state it anyway. What you earn from this business is a passive income which is much better than working as an employee or a freelance worker. This is because as a worker or an employee, you are essentially trading your time for money and as soon as you stop working, you will stop earning. However, with this business, each illustration you create is an asset which will earn you money on an ongoing basis without you having to put any more effort on it. For example, my brother earned the same $3,000+ even when he was holidaying in London for two months. How cool is that?

What if I am already a Digital Artist?

If you are already a digital artist or someone familiar with using Adobe Illustrator then that’s even better. You can get a great head start by building your unique portfolio and start making good passive income quicker. Starting this business is a good starting point even if you are aiming to join a big company at some point as a digital artist as you can not only start with building a portfolio which you can showcase at job interviews but also start earning a passive income from it.

So regardless of who you are – someone with additional spare time which you want to invest in a useful rewarding activity or an experienced digital artist who wants to make the most of your skills, you can all become a microstock illustrator and start earning a passive income like me. If you ask me, having a passive income is not a luxury any more, it will soon becoming a necessity for those who want to thrive in this highly changing times.

Can I make a rapid Start?

Rapid StartLike anything else, even the microstock industry has its own set of best practices you should adopt and critical pitfalls you must avoid. I have fallen may times and but in the process I have learned a lot. So I have used all the learnings I got from brother and from my own experience to create a detailed video based online course with over 5.5 hours of content just for you so that you have a really good starting point. This will give definitely give you a big advantage over others who are joining this business on their own. In this world of intense competition, any advantage you can get will significantly improve your chances of success.

So, if you keen to make a rapid start in earning your own passive income stream then you might want to join my online course. If you are keen to avail a discount then Click Here.

6 thoughts on “Selling Illustrations: Easy Passive Income for the busy person

  • Nice article! It helps some times to sell your graphics, especially vectors, on shirts and merchandise as well to boost sales, especially in the beginning. 🙂

  • But selling illustration isn’t easy because others publish their creative design to be discovered by bigger companies but other create a website and sell services all over social media, using SEO and advertisement company. But I believed that there is a lot of profit on this type of business.

  • Could You Please provide us a link to your brothers portfolio so that we can also get inspired from it? Yours is pretty excellent though, I have seen a lot of great portfolios at microstock sites, but none of those artists is willing to disclose their revenues to the public as you do.

    My Portfolio Here, earns me only peanuts(less than $10 a month) even after years online, i still don’t believe microstock illustration is worth the effort. $10 a month for a year that would be a hundred bucks. $100 a year, I honestly say is too little, that can’t buy you even a nice pair of Pants, let alone rely on it for your daily bread. So far I have 285 Vectors online, I target to reach 500 by the end of this year(2017) and see what’s in it for me.

    I work as a garment price marker at a Supermarket that’s inside a very big shopping mall. I thought doing microstock illustration off work would bring me additional income to boost my day job, turns out to be a distraction, waste of time and effort. The fruits aren’t simply worth the efforts I put in. Or maybe my expectations were a little too high. More so I have also noticed that there are millions of images uploaded to these microstock sites every week, and competition for visibility becomes even tougher by the hour. For every vector I have made, I have first searched the sites and found that there are a hundred more Vectors similar to it but many times better choreographed, when you search in the keywords of your Vector on the sites, you only get to see it on the tenth, twentieth, or even the hundredth page, but never on the first page. The main reason for my rejections other than irrelevant keywords was poor artwork, hope to improve it in the coming months.
    I have also tried to use Social media promotions for my vectors, no positive results yet, simply because I don’t get enough time to add new content every day.

    Anyways thanks for sharing your experience Mr. Harish. I was inspired by your story,

    Never say die!

    • Hello Henry, thanks for writing your situation and views on microstock.

      I totally understand that it would definitely feel a tough ask, a steep climb for someone who started or for someone who is not getting enough success. The key is to do the basics right. I have had a look at your portfolio and to be honest there is a lot of room for improvements. To be blunt I am surprised for the sales you have had so far.

      I cant share my brothers portfolio as he wants to keep it a secret. However, I have a better suggestion for you. Why dont you look for the best selling illustrations and improvise further to create different artworks and see how they will fair. Focus on creating newer, better artworks first, focussing on earnings might put pressure on you.

      If you were new to microstock, I would have suggested you to buy my online course. However, as you have already made a head start, it wont add value for you. Given the struggles you have had I will send you the course across to you for free. Hope it will help you in some way.

      If you think it is not worth the effort, you must watch the below video.

      All the best.

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