Did you know about Zazzle? This is a great site for visual artists looking for some additional revenue from their paintings, photographs or graphic designs. You can set up an account for free and upload as many images as you like, which you can then choose to have imprinted on as many products as you would like to offer (from t-shirts to mugs to mousepads, cards, prints and even skateboards!). I have had an account with Zazzle for some time now, and regularly receive checks from them. If you like, you can see my Zazzle shop at http://www.zazzle.com/khanstudio*.
It takes a little time to set up your shop, as you want to make sure you include good tags and descriptions so that people will find your products, and that your image files are high quality and the right size and resolution for the item(s) it will be printed on. I generally create PNG files of my images in Photoshop to upload, but you can upload JPEG, PDF, or Adobe Illustrator files as well.
You also decide what amount of royalty you want to receive for the sale of your artwork on a Zazzle product. I set my royalty at 25%, but you can set your’s higher or lower. They discourage people from setting their royalty any higher than 50%, as it increases the price of the item beyond what the market will bear. The great thing about Zazzle is that they do all the work, create the product, handle the sales and shipping (US, Canada and the UK), all you have to do is upload your images and spend a little time tagging and describing them. You can start with as few or as many images as you like, and their uploader is great, can handle up to 100 large files, and is really fast.
Zazzle is not just for artists. Anyone who has a great shot of the dog, grandkids, or whatever, that they would like on a T-shirt or mug for themself or to give as a gift, can upload the image and order whatever product they want it on.
Another similar site that I have had good success with is http://www.cafepress.com/ and its sister art site, http://www.imagekind.com/, although Zazzle has been the best performer, so I focused on them.
Probably the most important and challenging aspect of being successful with your artwork on the internet is creating a way for people to find you. Part of this is visual (we are artists, and people have to like what they see or they won’t buy it), but search engine robots can’t see, so a larger part is creating a niche for your work, and spending time developing unique search terms that will lead people to you. We’ll look at this in another post.