How to Get Started with Digital Art in 2023 + Tips to Sell Your Digital Art
Digital art has revolutionized the way artists create and showcase their work. The possibilities are endless when it comes to digital art, with access to a range of tools, software, and online communities. However, if you’re new to the world of digital art, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.
Whether you’re an aspiring artist or simply curious about the medium, this guide will walk you through the steps to get started with digital art. From choosing the right equipment to learning essential techniques, you’ll be on your way to creating stunning digital art in no time. We’ll also go over a few tips that might help you sell your digital art and establish a passive income source.
Here are the quick links to the topics that we’ll cover in this article:
- Different types of digital art
- How to get started with digital art
- Thinking about selling your digital art?
Different Types of Digital Art
The world of digital art is extensive, encompassing various mediums, processes, and approaches to making art. Some of the most popular types of digital art include:
2D Digital Painting
This includes any digital artwork that is created on a flat surface, such as a computer screen or tablet. Examples of 2D digital art include digital paintings, illustrations, and graphic design. This is typically the most common type of digital art that you’ll find online as artists typically won’t need to possess advanced technical software knowledge to produce a 2D digital painting.
Some popular art software options include Procreate, Adobe Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint, and more.
The digital art revolution is useful for creating illustrative art. Illustrations are made to call attention to or center the viewer’s attention on the image itself. Any narrative may be used to draw attention to the subject at hand.
This type of digital art involves creating three-dimensional objects or environments using digital tools. 3D digital art is often used in video games, animation, and visual effects. Artists will typically need to start with specialized software such as Blender, Maya, Autodesk 3DS Max, ZBrush, and more.
Vector art is a type of digital art that is created using vector graphics software. Unlike raster graphics, which are made up of pixels, vector graphics use mathematical equations to create shapes, lines, and curves. This means that vector art can be scaled up or down without losing quality, making it ideal for creating graphics that need to be resized, such as logos or illustrations.
Some popular vector graphics software options include Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, and Inkscape.
This involves creating moving images using a series of still images. Artists will typically specialize in either 2D or 3D animation as each of them is a complicated discipline that may require you to have some fundamental technical skills.
Some popular options for 2D animation include Adobe Animate CC. For 3D animation, you can use similar software to 3D modeling including Blender and Maya.
How to Get Started with Creating Digital Art
1. Choose your preferred basic tools and devices (computer vs tablet)
Depending on the type of digital art that you’d want to create, you’ll need to choose the optimal device to create your artwork.
Anything other than 2D digital painting should probably be created on a computer desktop as you’ll most likely need a larger screen size to work on the finer details of your artwork and a higher processing power to help you work with larger files and complex art software.
If you’re working on a computer desktop, you may need additional basic tools such as a graphic tablet or graphic display table. A graphic tablet is designed to mimic the experience of drawing on paper or canvas, and it allows artists to create digital art with precision and control. The tablet is connected to a computer, and the images created with the stylus are displayed on the computer screen in real time. You may also need a powerful graphics card to handle large file sizes and complex simulations.
Simple illustrative 2D art can be created using drawing tablets like an iPad. This is a less expensive way to get started and is great for artists who love being able to create digital art on-the-go as table devices are smaller and lighter. Many tablet devices these days come with a stylus (e.g. Apple Pencil) that has pressure sensitivity, allowing you to vary the thickness and opacity of your lines based on how hard you press. This can give your digital artwork a more natural and organic feel, similar to traditional drawing and painting.
2. Choose your preferred art software
There are many different software and apps that you can use to create digital art, and the software that you’ll need depends on the type of digital art you’re planning to create. You can refer to the section above where we have listed the most commonly used art software that corresponds to specific types of digital art.
In addition, it might be helpful for you to know which specific art software is free so you can get started on creating your digital art without breaking the bank. Here are the most popular ones:
- Krita is a free and open-source digital painting program that is typically used for concept art, illustrations, and comics. It offers a range of powerful tools for creating and editing digital artwork, including brushes, layers, and customizable workspaces.
- Medibang Paint Pro is a free and lightweight digital painting and comic creation software that is designed for artists of all skill levels. It offers a range of features, including cloud storage, over 800 brushes, and a variety of drawing tools. Medibang Paint Pro is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android opera
- Autodesk Sketchbook is a digital painting and drawing software that is designed for artists, designers, and illustrators. It offers a range of features, including a customizable interface, over 140 customizable brushes, and a variety of drawing tools.
3. Find inspiration to create your art
Inspiration can come from anywhere, and there is no one “right” way to find it, but here are some of the things you can do when you’ve been hit with the dreaded artist’s block.
- Explore Pinterest. Digital artists utilize Pinterest for more than just finding creative inspiration; it is also a valuable tool for building professional networks and promoting one’s work. With Pinterest, you can make your boards and share your digital artwork with a wider audience.
- Explore Dribbble. Dribbble is a terrific location to network with other creative professionals and gain comments and ideas from others in the field. Their goal is to provide the finest platform for digital artists, designers, and creative professionals around the globe.
- Explore Concept Art World. Concept Art World is a large and attractive online gallery for digital artists seeking inspiration and ideas to start, featuring concept artists, illustrators, and designers. It has a streamlined design and is simple to use, making it quick and simple to find the artwork you’re looking for.
- Explore different art styles. Take time to explore different art styles and mediums, both traditional and digital. Browse through online galleries, art blogs, and social media platforms to find inspiration and discover new techniques and styles.
- Experiment with different tools. Experimenting with different digital art tools and software can spark creativity and inspire new ideas. Try out new brushes, textures, and effects, and see where they take you.
- Look to nature. Nature can be a great source of inspiration for digital art. Take a walk outdoors and observe the colors, shapes, and textures of the natural world. Capture photos or sketches of what you see, and use these as inspiration for your digital art.
- Collaborate with other artists. Collaborating with other artists can be a great way to find inspiration and generate new ideas. Join online art communities, attend local art events, or participate in collaborative art projects to connect with other artists and share your work.
- Draw from personal experiences. Drawing from personal experiences, memories, and emotions can be a powerful source of inspiration for digital art. Explore your own thoughts and feelings through your art, and see where your creativity takes you.
Keep an open mind, stay curious, and don’t be afraid to try new things. With practice and persistence, you can cultivate your own unique artistic style and create digital art that inspires and resonates with your target fanbase.
Bonus: Other Ways of Making Digital Art
Use Online Graphic Design Tools
You can create digital art using online graphic design tools like Canva. Canva is primarily designed for creating graphics for social media and marketing materials, but it also offers a variety of design tools for creating digital art.
Canva can be used for free, although you may need the paid plan (Canva Pro) to access their more advanced tools. Keep in mind that using a tool like Canva may have limitations, and may not be suitable for more complex or advanced digital art projects. However, if you are new to digital art and looking for a user-friendly and accessible way to experiment with design and digital media, online graphic design tools like Canva can be a great place to start.
Digitize Your Physical Art
If you prefer creating art the traditional way (e.g. oil painting, acrylic painting, etc), you can create digital art by making digital versions of your physical art (you can even sell them online as digital downloads). The most common way to do this is to scan your physical artwork using a high quality scanner. You can also take a photograph of your artwork using a high-quality camera or smartphone, but this method may be less precise and require more post-processing.
There are no hard and fast rules on what you need to do after you scan or take photographs of your physical artwork, but typically the next step involves adjusting your digital images with software such as Adobe Photoshop to adjust the levels, contrast, and color balance as needed to match the original artwork. The end result should be a high-quality image file such as a PNG file that you can save on your computer, post online on social media, or even sell as a digital product.
Hire a Digital Artist
A typical artist might not want to choose this route as this defeats the purpose of being able to express your creative abilities, however, you may be interested in creating digital art exclusively for the purpose of selling them online or starting a business.
If you are not experienced in digital art or do not have the time to create your own digital art, hiring a digital artist can be a great way to achieve the style and vision you are looking for. You can find digital artists for hire on platforms such as Upwork of Fiverr.
Bear in mind that the original artists will tend to always own the copyrights to their artwork by default, so you will need to have proper legal agreements in place if you’re planning to use that digital art for commercial purposes. Always check your local copyright laws before engaging with a digital artist.
Thinking about Selling Your Digital Art?
Creating digital art can be a rewarding experience on its own, but why stop there? You can sell your digital art online through various places such as:
- Your Own Website (through Payhip). Payhip is completely free and you’ll only be charged a 5% fee per sale (up to a maximum of $99/month). Payhip will also automatically send your digital files to your customers as soon as they complete their purchases so you won’t have to be involved in the order fulfillment process. You will also be able to use Payhip’s store builder to create a beautiful and professional website without any technical skills.
- Etsy. Etsy is a popular online marketplace that sells everything from digital files and artwork to hand-made goods. Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee and a 6.5% commission per sale. While you might get access to Etsy’s already established audience, it might be difficult to stand out as a new seller due to market saturation.
- Creative Market. Creative Market is also an online marketplace specializing in digital assets, including icons, fonts, textures, and artworks. Before your content is made available on the service, it will be reviewed by a team of editors. It attracts a sizable user base and continues to develop in response to user feedback. Another factor to consider is that they deduct 40% from every transaction you make.
If you’re keen on learning about selling your digital online, we recommend reading this complete guide on How to Sell Digital Art.
Join over 130,000 sellers who have launched their online businesses with Payhip
Do I need to create my own website to showcase my digital drawing?
While you do not necessarily need to create your own website to showcase your digital drawing or art, it might be very beneficial for you to do so. Having a well-designed and attractive artist website can help you establish credibility as an artist, which in turn can help you attract clients and collaborators. Your website can serve as a portfolio of your work, as well as a place where you can establish your income sources.
Getting started with digital art offers a world of creative possibilities and potential new income sources for artists. By choosing the right tools and software, finding tons of inspiration, and honing in on your skills regularly, you can create stunning digital art that expresses your unique vision and style. Don’t be afraid to take the leap and explore the exciting world of digital art – it may just be the key to unlocking your full artistic potential!