Do you sometimes wish there was an easy way you could make your art do some of the hard work and earn you money in the background? There’s a real possibility out there for you if you enter the world of digital clipart. In this article, we invite you to learn more about it.
Creating digitized clipart doesn’t mean you have to put your paintbrushes, pens, and easel away either. So long as you have a good quality camera or scanner you can upload your physical creations and make final editing touches on the computer. However, there are apps out there that can make digitizing your art a simple process. Using these apps saves you time and effort. There is no need to set up the correct composition of a photograph or fiddle with your scanner’s settings. One such go-to-app that’s getting a lot of buzz around it, especially in terms of watercolor clipart and icons, is Procreate.
What Is Clipart and Who Buys It?
When you think of clip art, you may well think of simple, cartoonish like images that someone might use in a PowerPoint presentation. However, clipart has come a long way in recent years and can be big business for young artists and entrepreneurs.
Watercolor paintings are usually created by applying specialist paint to a canvas, which is then blended using water to create different tones and patterns. Watercolor clipart uses the same techniques except that there is no mess, and you can easily erase mistakes. Digital clipart is used on everything, from clothing and cups to wedding invitations and websites. If you want to create digital art directly onto the computer Procreate is a great tool to use.
Should You Use Procreate?
Procreate is an app for the iPad. It’s a simple, inexpensive, creative tool that gives the user the ability to paint directly onto the computer. The app has lots of innovative features and a variety of realistic brushes and tools. There are many reasons why this app is so great, but here are the reasons you should use Procreate to make watercolor clipart to sell.
The app’s whole functionality is designed purely with artists in mind. The tools are all created in a way to act like the real thing. Meaning, your art doesn’t look like it has been created on an app at all.
Intuitive features, such as removing a mistake with a simple double-tap or creating your toolkit to suit your needs, make Procreate stand out. It seems everything has been thought of to make life easier for the artist.
Navigation is simple, but if you’re unsure, there are many tutorials out there on how to use Procreate, from easy beginner steps to more advanced techniques. The Procreate site even has how-to guides and a community group where you can ask for advice and post tips for other users.
Using Procreate allows you to easily create clipart at scale on a much faster turn-around time than traditional watercolor paint. That allows you to make much more clipart to sell and for shoppers online to find. You get a major upper hand when it comes to selling clipart online!
How to Make Watercolor Clipart with Procreate
If we were to talk about all the great features that Procreate has, we could be here all day. However, one feature that seems to set Procreate apart from its competitors is its manipulation feature, which spans the entire essential toolkit. Procreate has thought about its audience and actively encourages its users to make and manipulate existing tools to make their own unique toolkit. They even share guides to show uses how to do this!
Before you even start painting, you have the option to select your preferred canvas to work on or make your own to use time and time again. Being able to create your unique toolkit with handy how-to guides gives artists every opportunity to create artwork in their own style.
To select your canvas, you simply open the app, click on the plus symbol at the top right corner of the screen, and scroll to choose the canvas you want from the menu options.
Once you’ve got your surface to work on, you can select the type of brush you wish to use to create your desired effect. Procreate has a catalog of brushes to choose from for lots of different painting and drawing styles, such as traditional brushes, ink brushes, and fountain pen style ones. But, if you aren’t satisfied with the selection on offer, you can make your own or upload tools that other users have made.
The full range of paintbrushes, plus any you’ve created or imported into Procreate, can be accessed by clicking twice on the paintbrush icon in Procreate. And this is where Procreate really sets itself apart from other painting apps. Within the brush studio, you can play around with the brush to manipulate it to act just the way you want. You even have access to view the design of the brush, so you can make an informed choice on what shapes and finishes it will create.
The app gives you the power to make your user experience unique. From within the paint icon, you can arrange and save brushes into different files, rename the brushes and even duplicate them. This duplication feature means that you can save original brush settings should you not be happy after you’ve played about with changing its features.
Now you have the right brush and surface to work on, it’s time to get painting.
You would think that the unique user experience would stop at the color choices but, again, Procreate switches things up a level. Even at this stage, you can import colors from images you find online or in the real world to create your very own pallet.
Now it’s time to create.
How to Make Digital Art
If you really love the reality of a brush on a canvas, then you don’t need to give it up to create digital clipart. Digital art can be made by uploading your original works of art to your computer.
However, direct digital painting has many benefits that can outweigh the traditional methods of painting. There is still a skill involved, and the techniques are very similar.
Creating your watercolors directly to digital can save you a lot of time, allowing you to make more art than might be physically possible. For a start, painting digitally means there is no mess to clean up, no mistakes or smudges (as you can erase anything that you’re not happy with at a click), and you can take it with you anywhere. So, if you’re inspired, in a click, you can open an app and start creating.
If you’re still not ready to let go of that paintbrush just yet, here are some tips to consider when uploading your painting to digital.
Tips for Uploading From Photos
- Use a high-resolution camera for the best results
- Take photos in natural lighting
- Overhead shots work best
- Don’t use a flash as this will create a glare
- Avoid using filters to fix dull colors
- Color correct after you’ve uploaded
- Use a white card or a white screen to create even better lighting
- Avoid direct sunlight as this might cause too much exposure to the painting
Tips for Uploading From Scanning
- Test the settings to find the best scanning option
- Be aware of over-saturation caused by scanning
- Color correct once the scan has uploaded
- Scan at 600dpi for the best results
As we’ve mentioned previously, digitized clipart has become something that is used and needed by such a wide variety of consumers. If you have artistic talent and want to make some money from your creations, creating clipart can be very lucrative if approached in the right way.
So, what is the right way to go about selling your digital clipart? Really, it starts before the painting has even begun. If you want to sell what you create, you first need to research the market and find out what consumers of digital clipart want. Selling is about supplying the demand. Sadly, if you paint without any consideration for what people want, you’re not likely to see many successful sales.
There are lots of places you can go to see what people are selling and buying. Just Google search for stock images, and you’ll find a variety of sites. By looking through a handful of these and searching for your clipart style, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what is in demand.
Once you’ve worked out the kind of designs in demand, there are some little things you can do to help encourage those sales. The first is to make yourself known. If you don’t have a platform to sell and tell people about your art, it will be impossible for them to buy from you. We’ll explore some selling sites in the section below; however, if you have the know-how, setting up your own website will give you the freedom to show off your work and add a bit of a story about yourself and your process. The saying goes that ‘people buy from people’ after all.
From your website, you could also link a Facebook, Instagram, and/or Pinterest business page, or create a portfolio, to showcase your work. Creating a social media business page will also make it easier for people to share your work with others. You’ll also get insight into what items are the most popular based on the interactions you get.
However, if you’re new to selling clipart, a website might not be possible. You might not have enough art to showcase or perhaps not want to spend money on a website and hosting before you’ve tested out the market.
If this is the case, where can you go to get yourself out there?
Where Do People Buy Clipart?
To successfully sell digital clipart images, it is essential to put yourself in the right places. Not all clipart selling sites will be suitable for the watercolor medium, so it’s important to do your research. Make sure that there are a dedicated section and a large enough group of sellers in your field. Yes, that will mean more competition. Nevertheless, if you’ve researched the market well and are creating things that you know are in demand, it is better to be in the same place as your direct competition. If you are on a site that doesn’t specialize in your style very much, buyers are less likely to find you.
To give you some insight, here are two selling sites that are great places to sell watercolor clipart depending on where you are in your journey.
Think gift cards, wedding invitations, personalized clothing, and furnishings, and you’ve got Etsy, a virtual marketplace, especially for handmade, unique crafts. Buyers are usually individuals looking for a one-off purchase, but if they love your craft, they may keep coming back again and again.
It’s a good site to test the water and start selling your art as fees are low compared to other selling sites. A shop page is free to set up, and each product listing only incurs a small fee. Your only real costs come in when you sell one of your products, and these aren’t over the top either. Shipping and logistics are all down to you too. Once a sale has come in you, have the option and time to communicate with the seller and aren’t tied to shipping deadlines.
Creative Market is exactly what it says it is. It is a fantastic marketplace bursting with artistic talent. For any professional wanting a beautifully designed clipart, this is the place to look. Creative Market is ideal for those who are getting serious about selling their clipart. The site has algorithms built into your shop to give you statistics on your sales. That helps you better understand the market and what is and isn’t working.
Unlike Etsy, with Creative Market, you can showcase your portfolio and organize your art into different categories, so buyers can find what they want quickly. Logistics and shipping are taken care of for you, too, so you can concentrate on creating and uploading your art.
Hopefully, you’ve learned some useful tips on how to start creating and selling your watercolor art digitally in clipart form. It is a form of art that is taking off, and there is money to be made in it. At the very least, it’s a great addition to your art portfolio, but If you’re a successful seller, then you might even be able to make money in your sleep, letting the commission keep rolling in. With apps like Procreate, as you learn how to use it, you’ll be able to paint anywhere and whenever inspiration takes you, so long as you have the iPad with you, of course.
About the author: this is the guest article by Katie Mehra
Dive deeper into the history of clip art, learn how to create a good illustration portfolio and how to submit your images to stock websites