In today’s era of digital art and social media, there’s a growing business model that has become increasingly popular with artists—making wearable art.
In fact, entire companies now exist simply to work with artists to provide unique fashion products for consumers (and provide extra revenue for artists, too!) The best part is, you can earn royalties for clothes made from your designs or artwork, and you don’t need to know anything about manufacturing, shipping, or retail.
Today’s post isn’t about whether or not you should have your artwork printed on a tshirt, or how you can market yourself so that every man, woman and child has one of your creations as an iphone skin. :) That question’s a personal one, and a subject for another post.
This post is simply your guide to 5 of the best businesses at the intersection of art, fashion, and technology—any one of which can turn your art into fashion.
The top 5 websites for making wearable art:
Society6 is a marketplace of thousands of artists who have created and uploaded original works to put on everything from fine art prints to tote bags and throws. Society6 pays a predefined rate to artists for any goods that sell—and the fulfilment and shipping is all handled through them, so it’s a pretty sweet deal.
Hoodies, for example, pay out $3.80. Tote bags and t-shirts will get you $1.80. Maybe you won’t get rich, but a little extra cash doesn’t hurt!
Redbubble is an online gallery for artists that works a little differently compared to your typical art gallery. They don’t charge artist fees or commissions; instead, for each product Redbubble offers, they set a base price (covering the cost of manufacturing) and allow you to set the retail price.
So if the base cost for a specific size of art print was $4, you could choose to mark up the price to $6, or $20, or whatever you like. When someone buys, Redbubble takes their $4 and you take the rest. Want to learn more? Here’s one artist’s review of RedBubble after using their service for a year.
Zazzle uses sophisticated technology to print artist designs on a large variety of products from Iphone cases, to bags, watches, water bottles and hundreds more.
Zazzle lets artists set their own royalty rates (which affects the final cost of the product) between 5% and 99%. They’ve probably been around the longest of these five companies, and their products are all solid.
BucketFeet is a curated platform, where anyone can submit their artwork to be printed on a variety of shoes (it’s actually really cool!)
If your design is chosen, you’ll get up to $250 up-front, and $1 for every pair sold.
Considering that these guys were picked up by Nordstrom and are in hundreds of retail stores as well as online, this is a great way to compete for exposure and maybe even earn some extra revenue!
Threadless is a platform that sells designs submitted by makers and artists. You submit your idea and wait while the threadless community scores each design.
New designs are chosen for print each week, and (here’s where the “make it big” part comes in) the winning artists are paid handsome royalties and their design is worn all over the world.
If you’ve yet to get your feet wet making wearable art, I’d recommend any one of those five companies as a great place to start.
Special thanks to Rob Green at Crafty88 for submitting this article. If you’re looking for a restock on art supplies, visit Crafty88.com for quality art materials from the brands you know and trust.