Digital art is everywhere today. Artists are embracing technology tools to help them create unique and memorable artwork. They can number artwork for a limited release or sell unlimited copies – whichever they choose.
As you might expect, Etsy is one of the best places to sell digital art of every type. It’s a marketplace whose users expect to find one-of-a-kind items that they can’t find anywhere else. There are some tricks to selling digital art in your Etsy shop, so I’ve created this guide to walk you through the process.
What is Digital Art?
Digital art is any art that you create with a computer or technology. The term may also apply to handmade art that you digitize by scanning. The key defining factor is that you are not selling a physical copy of your art but rather a digital file that contains your artwork.
When you create digital art, it can take many forms. It could be wall art, a pattern to be printed on a t-shirt or bedsheets, or even a design for a greeting card.
Options for Selling Digital Art
There are two options for selling digital art. The option you choose may depend upon the type of artwork you are creating and how you want customers to print it.
The first option is to sell digital downloads for people to print at home, also known as printable artwork. Many Etsy sellers select this option for items that are easily printed at home, including greeting cards and party décor.
The other option is to choose a print on demand (POD) partner for your Etsy shop. If you’re selling digital wall art, you’ll need to remember that most people won’t have the equipment needed to print a large piece of artwork at home. Partnering with an on-demand printing service will allow your customers to get a professionally printed version of your art to display in their homes.
How to Create Downloadable Digital Files
After you create your digital art, you’ll need to make sure that it’s in a format that people can print. Many digital artists prefer to create vector files. Files in vector formats are easier to scale than those that are pixel-based because the images are based on a formula.
Some of the formats for vectors include the following.
- .ai (Adobe Illustrator)
- .eps (encapsulated PostScript, an old-style vector that doesn’t support transparency the way other formats do)
- .pdf (portable document format, may be either a raster or a vector file)
- .svg (scalable vector graphic, can be read by both humans and machines)
Raster files – meaning images created with pixels — lose clarity as they are enlarged, making them a poor choice for digital artwork. You are likely to get the best results with either the .ai or .svg format. Using a vector file means that you can use the same file to sell multiple sizes of your artwork.
Tips for Creating Listings for Your Digital Art on Etsy
A big part of Etsy selling success with any product is creating a compelling product listing. With digital art, there are a few special considerations to keep in mind as well as some general guidelines to best practices for selling on Etsy.
Post Clear Images
The images in your Etsy listing should show your digital artwork in its best light. The image should be clearly visible.
Some people who sell digital art choose to include a close-up digital image that shows details of the artwork as well as an image of the artwork in a frame and hanging on a wall.
Choose a Compelling Product Title
The next step is to choose an accurate and compelling product title that will help people find your digital artwork. You should make sure to include the keyword “digital art” or a related term to ensure that people know that they’re not buying a physical product.
Here are some examples from when I searched for butterfly art on Etsy.
- Butterfly original digital art
- Boho butterflies, digital art
- Butterfly symbolism digital art
- Beautiful butterfly digital print
Any of these product descriptions would allow your target audience to find your products and buy them.
Write a Persuasive Description
Your product description is the next step, and it must include your most important keywords to be effective. Here are a few pointers to help you write compelling and persuasive descriptions for your digital art.
- Be as detailed as you can about available sizes, colors, and any other distinguishing features of your artwork.
- Do keyword research and choose keywords that people in your target audience are most likely to use to find your artwork. Include these terms in your product description.
- Break your product description into sections.
- Use short sentences and paragraphs.
- Answer potential buyer questions in your product description whenever possible.
- List benefits of your product even if they’re general.
The more information you pack into your product description, the more likely it is that someone who views your product will go on to buy it.
Partner with a Reliable Printing Service
The final step is to partner with a reliable printing service, particularly if you are selling fine art prints that will be framed and hung in your customers’ homes or offices.
Your best bet is to opt for a service that specializes in fine art prints. These companies will have a wide array of printing options. For example, they may be able to print on canvas, watercolor paper, or even less common surfaces such as glass or wood.
Here are a few fine art POD suppliers that I recommend.
- Absolute Arts
- RedBubble (for fabric items and digital patterns)
- Fine Art America
You should make sure to review the pricing and fee structure for each POD provider, as well as the services available, before signing on with one. You will need to build the price of print on demand services into your product price.
Selling fine art on Etsy is a good way to connect with a huge audience and earn money selling your creations. The advice here will help you get started by writing compelling product descriptions and partnering with a reliable print on demand service.
Do you need help turning your Etsy shop into a success? Click here to learn how to work with me!
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