How to Sell Clipart in 2022 [Everything You Need to Know]
Do you want to sell clip art online?
Perhaps you love creating little graphics for your own projects and you’re wondering about monetizing these. Or maybe you’re an artist looking for a great money-making project and selling clipart is something you want to try. You might be hoping for some passive income … or just wanting a great excuse to create more art!
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at exactly what you need to know to sell clip art.
Note: Some people write “clipart” and some prefer “clip art”. We’re going to use both terms in this guide.
Quick find links of things we’ll cover:
- What is Clipart?
- What is Clipart Used For?
- Can I sell clip art?
- What Program Should I Use to Make Clipart?
- Tips for Selling Clipart For Profit
- How to Make Clip Art to Sell
- How to Sell Clipart Online
- Popular Clipart Ideas (and Digital Art Ideas) to Sell
What is Clipart?
Clipart, or clip art, is a type of digital art, involving pre-made images that can work in lots of different contexts.
Clip art images aren’t photos (though they could potentially be based on a photo). Instead, they’re usually line drawings, simple graphics, or cartoon-style images.
What is Clipart Used For?
Clipart is used in all sorts of contexts, both as digital art and as printed art. Some common uses include:
- Personal projects, such as a family Christmas letter.
- Community groups, perhaps on a poster for a local event.
- By teachers and educators, for worksheets and display boards.
- By students, for class projects and homework.
- For small businesses, perhaps in ads and on menus.
- For internal communications in larger businesses, such as a work-party invitation.
Clip art generally isn’t used for client-facing communications from larger businesses, as it tends to consist of simple illustrations and can have a slightly amateur feel. In addition, individual pieces of clipart won’t necessarily create a cohesive and polished design.
Can I sell clip art?
Yes, you can create clip art for sale. This is a great passive income idea as your product can continuously be purchased by a growing number of customers without any extra effort on your end. Be sure to follow copyright rules to avoid getting into legal issues. Do not use other artists’ artwork within your clipart without official permission. Other than that, you’re good to go!
What Program Should I Use to Make Clipart?
To make your own clipart, you’ll need software such as Adobe Illustrator that lets you create and manipulate illustrations. (If you’re a photographer, then creating stock photography might be a better fit for you.)
Tips for Selling Clipart For Profit
1. Create Multiple Cliparts in A Set
You’ll want to create multiple different pieces to put together in a cohesive set, as people are unlikely to buy a single piece of clip art. The more different items you have in the set, the better value it will seem for customers.
You may want to come up with a consistent theme or style. Think about your audience: clip art aimed at elementary school teachers might be quite different from clipart designed for use by community non-profits.
2. Set Clear Licensing Guidelines
Think about providing specific usage right guidelines to ensure that your customers will only use your cliparts in a legally permissible way. Most clip art is sold with a limited license that allows customers to use the image for personal usage. However, you can opt to charge additional fees for commercial licenses.
How to Make Clip Art to Sell
There are two main ways to create clip art to sell. One that involves your design skills and another that requires you to work with someone who has some design skills.
1. Draw Your Own Clipart
If you have some creative juice and design skills, you can choose to create your own clipart.
The exact process of creating clip art will depend on the software you’re using to create your art. In brief, these are the basic steps:
- Choose a photo or item to use as your initial inspiration.
- Create it from simple shapes or freeform curves and lines in your graphic design software.
- Add colors to your image. You could potentially create several different versions of a piece of clip art in different colors.
- Include details, such as expressions on people, buttons on objects, and so on.
- Save your clip art in a high-quality file format, such as bitmap or vector digital files.
- Create other formats for use on the web: .jpg or .png will normally work best.
Tip: Don’t want to invest in software like Adobe Illustrator or other tools for graphic designers? You may already have a great tool that you can use.
Here’s a simple tutorial showing you how to create clip art in PowerPoint.
2. Hire Clipart Artists
If you don’t have any design skills, that doesn’t mean that you can’t start your own clipart business! You can work with designers/artists on Upwork and Fiverr to design images to your liking. Be sure to have proper agreements to purchase the rights for those images that have been created by those artists. Avoid any licensing issue by setting clear written expectations with your hired artists.
How to Sell Clipart Online
The easiest way of selling clipart is through your own website or online store. This has several advantages:
- You can price your clipart however you want, and run a sale at any time you like.
- You’ll keep almost all the profits from your clipart (the software you use to sell online will take a small commission, and you’ll also likely need to pay PayPal fees).
- You’ll get access to your customers’ email addresses – making it easy to stay in touch with them in the future, assuming you obtain their permission to do so.
- Your store will be in your full control. You can design your website according to your exact brand aesthetics, and it won’t be suddenly shut down because a marketplace changes its rules.
- Your customers will likely come back to you when they want to buy more images – instead of turning to one of many other creators in an online marketplace.
To make it really easy to sell your art online, we recommend using Payhip, which offers lots of useful features like instant file delivery, website builder, ability to include multiple files per order, and more.
You also have the option of creating product variants if you want to offer several slightly different clip art collections, such as a collection that comes with print templates.
Payhip also manages EU and UK VAT on your behalf when selling internationally, so you’ll have a much wider pool of customers.
Payhip is a great place to sell your clip art, as well as all kinds of digital files digital downloads, and physical products too. The best thing is that you can create your entire website for free, and only pay a 5% transaction fee when you make a sale. It’s easy to use, even for artists who are new to selling online. But to get started selling clipart even faster, here’s our step-by-step guide.
1. Create Your Clipart
First, make your artwork using your graphic design software of choice. Save a high-resolution copy, along with versions that can be easily used on the web (.jpg or .png).
2. Add a New Product in Payhip and Upload Your Clipart
Tip: Need a Payhip account? Go ahead and register here: it’s free.
In your Payhip account, click the Products tab then “Add new product”
Next, select “Digital Product” and Payhip will give you a form to add your product details. Use the “Upload product file” button to upload your clip art.
You could add each image individually – but it’s easier for you and your customers to use a .zip file of multiple images.
You’ll also need to fill out a title and other details for your product.
3. Set a Price for Your Clipart
It can be tricky to know what to charge when selling digital products. You might want to look for other similar sets of clipart to see what they’re selling for. Anything from $3 to $30 for a set of clipart is common.
Note that prices will vary depending on whether or not a commercial license is included (allowing people to sell products that use the clipart).
4. Upload at Least One Image of Your Clipart Set
Payhip lets you include anything from 1 to 9 images for your product. Add at least 1 image that shows a sample of your clipart (show off your best items here).
The individual pieces of clipart will likely be too small for people to copy and use for free, but you could watermark your image if you want.
5. Use Payhip’s “Embed Button” to Sell Your Clipart Through Your Website
When you set up an account and add a product, Payhip automatically creates a virtual shop for you. You can use this as your main storefront where you can sell endless number of clipart products.
However, many Payhip sellers also own an eCommerce website elsewhere such as Shopify, Wix, and more. In these cases, you can embed Payhip’s “Buy” button to your existing website. This means that you get to enjoy all of Payhip’s features for digital products including instant file delivery, and more, and your customers will never have to leave your current website to checkout your item.
To get the embed button code for your clipart product, go to the “Products” tab in Payhip then click the “Share/Embed” button alongside your clipart:
You’ll then see a popup window. Click the “Embed Button” tab, set the color and text for your button, and choose between a Direct Purchase or Add to Cart button.
Then, click the “Get Your Embed Code” button and simply follow the instructions to add it to your website.
6. Promote Your Clipart Collections
Once you’ve created your amazing storefront and products, it’s time to start driving traffic to your store!
Take advantage of the rise in social media to convert your followers into customers. Showcase the use cases of your cliparts in various settings so you can reach a wider audience.
Take advantage of Payhip’s Marketing tools such as email marketing integration, affiliate, referrals, coupon codes, and more to set up a solid Marketing strategy for your business.
Tip: Another option to sell your clipart is to use an online marketplace, such as Etsy or Creative Market. These offer access to a large audience for digital clipart, watercolor clipart, and other types of clip art.
However, it’s hard to make your clip art stand out in busy online marketplaces, however unique your own style is, due to the number of other individual artists and artist shops.
You’ll also end up paying quite a lot of commission to Etsy, Creative Market, and other marketplaces.
Popular Clipart Ideas (and Digital Art Ideas) to Sell
Just knowing how to make clipart to sell may not help you much if you’re struggling for inspiration! Here are some popular ideas to create clipart in your own unique style.
Various musical instruments such as guitars, violins, pianos, and more. These images would be perfect for music teachers who are working on creating printables and music worksheets for their students, or for musicians who are creating flyers about their bands.
There is an endless number of food items that you can turn into cliparts, from sushi, tacos, burritos, ramen bowls, burgers, and so many more! These images are great for companies that are working in the food industry. Some use cases include menu design, restaurant website design, restaurant brochures, and more.
Hearts, flowers (particularly roses), chocolates, cute animals, Cupid, and all things red and pink.
Snowmen, Christmas trees, Christmas lights, gingerbread houses, Christmas wreaths, stockings, reindeer, snowflakes, holly, gifts, snow globes, baubles, candy canes, bells, and more.
Back to School
School supplies such as backpack, pens, pencils, notebooks, and more. These images are great as cliparts are widely used in educational settings for worksheets, printables, presentations, planners, and more!
The words “Happy Birthday”, cakes, balloons, candles, gifts, party poppers, cupcakes, party hats.
Eggs, bunnies, “Happy Easter”, chocolate, Easter baskets, flowers, butterflies, chicks, and also Christian symbolism such as the cross.
You could create a whole range of different faces following the theme of popular emojis (e.g. a crying laughing emoji, a thumbs up emoji).
Popsicles, ice creams, buckets and spades, boats, sunshades, cocktails, inflatables, swimwear, flipflops, deck chairs, dolphins, beach balls, surfboards, mermaids, starfish, turtles, and more.
Business meetings, classrooms, teachers and students, grandparents and grandkids, sporting groups, different professions that are easily recognizable by uniform, accessories, or context (e.g. doctors, bus drivers).
Different types of ball, racket, hockey sticks, medals, trophies, basketball hoops, goals, gloves, bikes, weights, and more.
Similar to Valentine’s Day, but also with brides, grooms, wedding cars, confetti, rings, champagne flutes, bouquets, doves, ribbons, and anything that could work for wedding invitations and decor.
Clipart numbers and/or letters
These can be useful in lots of different contexts. If you create numbers, you’ll need 1 – 9 plus a 0. You might also want to include simple mathematical symbols, if your images are aimed at teachers.
How Do You Sell Clip Art on Etsy?
If you don’t want to set up your own online store with Payhip, another option is to sell clip art through an Etsy store. You’ll need to create your own clipart and upload your collections as products for instant download.
The maximum file size on Etsy is 20MB, and you can upload up to 5 files per product. This means you may have to split your clip art into smaller sets. (On Payhip, there’s a maximum file size of 5 GB, for huge single sets of clip art.)
Can You Legally Use Clipart?
You can’t legally use other people’s clip art for your own artwork, unless you have permission (either personally from the creator/owner of the rights, or through purchasing a commercial license that allows you to modify and resell the art).
When it comes to clip art you’ve purchased, you can normally legally use it for personal use, such as craft projects. You may be able to use it for blog posts and ads, so long as you’re not selling products using it.
Some clip art collections are licensed for commercial use – e.g. you could print the clip art on a t-shirt and sell it. Check the usage rights in your license agreement to be sure.
Most clip art publishers offer commercial licenses for a certain number of products, e.g. 500. Beyond that, you’ll need to pay an extra cost.