Let’s Talk About Money: Passive Income

Everyone in the creative industries has a hundred things on their minds right now, whether struggling for inspiration or inspired into overdrive by the lockdown.  But there’s something knocking on the door which no-one can ignore.  Money.  Do you get the feeling this is sometimes seen as a dirty word in the art world?  Well, we don’t think so.  This current crisis has thrown everyone up in the air and if there’s one lesson we need to learn quickly it’s that everyone needs to Talk About Money.  How to make it, how to save it and how to spend it wisely.  And as we know, time is money.

There’s been a lot of talk about all this free time we have at the moment – but it might not be the case for everyone.  Maybe you are too demotivated to make work, or your physical or mental health is suffering, or you’re being pulled in every direction from looking after children?  Perhaps you are a carer or a key worker and you have less time than ever to work on your creative practice?

Print on demand websites

One suggestion that could help is to start building up your passive income stream.  A top tip for doing this is through selling copies of your work via print-on-demand websites.  The advent of quick and cost-effective digital printing has led to a multitude of websites springing up in recent years, catering for artists and designers with the desire to sell their work on prints and products without the hassle and cost of producing and shipping these themselves.

However you may feel about mass-producing copies of your work, we think that these options could be really helpful for some right now, and deserve to be highlighted for those people who choose to use it.  So here is a quick run down of the pros and cons of a selection of these websites which are most popular in the creative community:

Society6

https://society6.com/

10% earnings to you per sale

Pros

An enormous range of product choices available

A very large and active social network on their website – if you dedicate time to this, you could potentially reach a large audience

Smart and professional looking website with good product photography

Regular featured artists

Cons

Often customers are hit with unexpected import taxes since this is shipped from the United States

Prices only in dollars

Very little in the way of a customer service department, so make sure your products are fault-free before you start selling if you possibly can

Redbubble

https://www.redbubble.com/

You set your own margins and determine what you will earn from each sale. Choose any royalty rate and they increase the product price so you earn that royalty

Base Price + Your Royalty Percentage (20% being the default) = Retail Price

Pros

Very quick and easy set up

Offers data analytics so you can see which products are most popular

Generally seen as the better quality products

Carbon neutral

Cons

Limited ability to amend designs

Zazzle

https://www.zazzle.co.uk/

You set your own margins and determine what you will earn from each sale. Choose any royalty rate from 5% up to 99% and they increase the product price so you earn that royalty.

Base Price + Your Royalty Percentage (10% being the default)= Retail Price

Pros

Ability to amend designs through use of templates

Cons 

Marketed more towards promotional corporate merchandise

Less user friendly website

The sheer amount of product options may actually be off-putting

Spoonflower/Roostery

https://www.spoonflower.com/

https://www.roostery.com/

11% – 15% earnings to you per sale

Pros

Can print your own fabric for custom products

Smart and accessible website with curated content

Uses eco-friendly inks

Cons 

Limited to fabric products only

Not UK based for prices are in dollars and shipping takes longer

Artist Shops

https://www.threadless.com/artist-shops/

You set your own margins and determine what you will earn from each sale. Choose any royalty rate and they increase the product price so you earn that royalty

Base Price + Your Royalty Percentage = Retail Price

Pros

Simple To use website

You can set up your own fully customisable shopfront with none of their own branding on it

Cons

Emphasis on t-shirts and clothing printing due to their association with Threadless

 

Main image credit: Amanda Lynch

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