Selling illustrations


Just putting feelers out at the moment and thinking aloud.

I own an illustration shop website based purely on the concept that illustrations (mainly created in illustrator) are available for download and are sold for reasonable prices (each available in either .ai, .gif., .jpg, .png and .tiff formats) - in the hopes that lots of people purchase them and that one day, I can actually lay claim to earn a living from it. The site has been going for a few years now and even with limited content, it actually ticks over and brings a few $ (prices quoted in US and paid via paypal) in here and there periodically.

My biggest problem, is that there are not enough hours in the day to produce copious amounts of illustrations at the rate that makes any vast difference to my life and the site's content. I am not a professional illustrator by any stretch of the imagination - I love illustrating, I find it very relaxing, but I have to be in the right frame of mind to do it and I haven't managed to find that sort of headspace lately, in between juggling my regular deadlines and my kids.

I would like to know if there are any other illustrators out there that are interested in negotiating a collaboration with me - terms negotiable - in order to make use of my site, add content and make a bit of money on the sideline. I have no problems with creating new categories and you fixing your prices if you want...

I have added an example of an illustration created in Illustrator (owl) and one done in Photoshop (fruit) to show my capabilities, because I offer custom illustration services as well and any illustrators that join me would be advertised as an option, should clients wish to chose a specific style of illustrator - but most of the ones for general download are general categories with a lot less effort involved. (Hope that makes sense).


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Hi thewholehogg.

Here is the link to my shop (Zen Cart!, The Art of E-commerce) - which is a Zen cart shopping cart that I personally customised a while ago.

The current idea is that illustrations are sold in categories for download (can be added etc). My biggest sellers believe it or not, are the international costumes category and I still haven't even scratched the surface of nationallites out there, so I know there is a lot to do.

My husband and I are still discussing how it could work with the capabilities of the software and additional contributors - but we would be interested in hearing any ideas from your end, as ideally we would both have to be happy with how it works ;0).
Scope of website visitors

Not to be rude, but why would an illustrator sell low cost downloads of their illustrations on your website instead of perhaps using something like which has huge traffic.

Of course yes there is more competition because of the many illustrators on there, but still, the traffic is so high it amounts to good exposure for each seller.

I looked at your website and it says it got just 221 visitors today. With that amount of traffic and an idea of the type of sales conversions most websites can expect, I can't imagine any illustrator making much from the sale of their files at a low value. In fact I'd expect them to make very little unless the website traffic increases dramatically.

I was going with the concept at eventually selling lots of them rather than one offs for a fortune. It is a proven method of making money online, I just need to work on the quantity. I will get there though and I am not giving up on the concept.

Thanks for your opinion though ;)