6 Ways Comic Book Artists Make Side Money

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If you’re an independent comic book creator, the hours are long and the profits are small. So how do you actually make a living doing what you love? The key is diversification or working on other art-related projects in order to make ends meet. Here’s a few ideas:

1. Patreon — If an art magazine subscription and a Kickstarter had a baby, they would name it Patreon. “Patrons” pay you a monthly fee and you provide “perks” for them like in crowdfunding. It could be art, your comic, a series of how-to videos, anything you want. Many artists sustain themselves on their Patreon contributions alone.

2. Self-Publish Digitally — Consider Comixology SubmitGumroadIndy Planet or Pulp-Free Publishing if you’re looking to publish your own comic but not deal with the hassle of maintaining your own shopping cart on your own website.

3. Sell Swag — On demand platforms such as RedbubbleTeepublicThreadless won’t make you a ton of money if you’re not designing and advertising every day, but they can definitely make you rent if you promote your merch well and upload new art monthly.

4. Teach an online course — These days, if you know more about a subject than someone else, you can teach it. Now creating an online course through Teachable or Thinkific might take a week to produce, but once you’ve uploaded and launched, it can become a passive stream of income that can be very profitable

5. Sell Your Artwork — You can take commissions, draw portraits, or take existing art or work that never made it into your book, and put that up for sale on sites like Imagekind. I know one artist who draws art cards on the side, another who draws stickers and still another who is successfully drawing avatars for people’s on social media accounts.

6. Freelance — Get your portfolio up on Behance or create an account on Upwork and people can hire you to to create small projects or you can work on bigger projects as well for a flat or hourly rate.

  • What are some of the ways that you make money on the side? Please comment below with any tips to share!