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GIMP is simply the best free online photo editor available, but let’s face it, GIMP doesn’t make vector graphic art or SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) like Inkscape. Still, there are GIMP features that make GIMP a good choice for creating designs to sell online. So you can definitely make money with GIMP by selling your GIMP created designs even if they aren’t SVGs. You might be concerned about that but read a bit further to see why I think these 8 ways to sell your GIMP designs are profitable.
Just for the record, SVG files are always in demand because SVG files handle graphics in a “resolution” independent manner. Think of SVGs as “scalability with clarity”. In comparison, GIMP is a raster graphics program, but that’s ok too, especially since the newer GIMP 2.0 was rewritten with the capability to export paths to SVGs. While I believe this feature is still limited in comparison to Inkscape there hopefully will be future enhancements since SVG files are handy for logo designs, Cricut designs, print in demand and many other crafter projects.
But take note; many designers and DIYers love and use GIMP for making their digital creations, even if they don’t end up as SVGs. If you want to earn some cash with your cool GIMP designs then selling them in PNG/JPG/EPS or even in Adobe’s proprietary formats is possible. Granted, it’s not easy selling online. Competition is fierce but demand for good unique artwork is readily available. Find the right design niche; your work could become a full-time business.
As a blogger, I’ve researched what’s out there. I’ve compiled a list of over 110 sites – you can get a copy for free if you go to my resources. Frankly, free image sites like Pixabay are well known; Pixabay has several million images to offer and is continuing to grow. In comparison, there are a lot of cool smaller site that offer vectors, raster graphics and much more. They started out like you and me. Many of these sites offer icons, illustrations, mockups and templates. These sites do well because businesses, DIYers, crafters, etc looking for vector graphics, particularly logos, icons, illustrations, or artwork are searching for an online site that has what they need. You could become that next online business site if you want to sell your designs. You could also join one of those sites and still get a commission on designs you upload.
So what kind of GIMP designs could you sell online? Here are 8 options to consider.
Option 1. Selling Logos.
This a big one. Every business needs a logo whether they’re online or not. Because even if they’re not online they still need their logo on business cards, flyers, letterhead, and invoices. If they are online, add watermarks, social media profiles, and cover photos. Remember, you’re making the raster graphic in GIMP but with the new version you can export paths as an SVG. The reason vectors are so popular is due to the ability to resize them without loss of resolution. And resizing can be done in seconds. However, with GIMP you can also export or save or resize created logos into web or document friendly PNG / JPG format. Plus GIMP can save in the generic EPS (encapsulated postscript format) which can be used by other editing programs like Adobe or Corel.
A perk about selling logos; the options for selling a logo range from advertising your designs on Fiverr, Freelancer, Etsy or promoting your website directly on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. The competition is fierce but the demand is high and is always there. I’ve seen logo’s sell for $20 to $500. It depends on what the individual wants. While I think most folks could make a simple logo for themselves for free if they wanted to, the reality is many of them don’t have the time or interest to do so.
Option 2. Digital scrapbooking kits
Digital scrapbooking has a huge following and is basically 2D designs created from multiple graphic elements. It’s those graphics that digital scrapbookers are looking for. With the large number of scrapbookers looking for individual elements like brushes, masks, and templates, digital scrapbooking kits combine graphic elements into editable art. Creating either individual elements or the entire Scrapbooking kit is a possible way to earn a bit of cash. You’ll find many scrapbookers use Adobe or CorelDraw for their designs but GIMP is a perfectly good (and free) alternative. The beauty of that is GIMP can open and save in both Adobe and Corel’s file formats, making it perfect for selling graphic elements in whatever format is desired. Digital scrapbooking kits won’t sell like Picasso’s but you can sell your scrapbooking design elements and kits over and over again. Unlike logo’s that are one time purchases created for one individual or business, digital scrapbooking kits are just the opposite. Most digital scrapbooking kits consist of graphics, word-art, and editable templates; generally, they are based on a theme and color palette. So a scrapbooker would look to insert a photo into the template and overlay a bit of worded text for customization. Digital scrapbooking kits categories like “new baby” or “wedding” “birthday” “anniversary” “holiday” are used over and over. A friend of my niece made a digital “scrapbook” graduation invitation postcard using online graphics, my niece’s photo, and a digital template. There’s an endless list of digital scrapbooking graphics that go into digital scrapbooking. GIMP’s features are perfect for creating many graphic elements that Adobe’s Illustrator and Photoshop programs offer.
Option 3. Print on demand.
Print on demand keeps growing. GIMP is a perfect tool for creating print on demand designs whether those are t-shirts, mugs, bags, jewelry or wall art to name a few. And there is a host of selling options and platforms for your GIMP print on demand designs or your design services. On places like Fiverr or Freelancer, you sell your design services on an individual basis whereas on Redbubble, Zazzle or Society6 you can sell your designs as items for sale. However, if you want to take home more profit then you would work with a print on demand company to sell directly using Etsy, Amazon or eBay. The downside of selling a physical product will be dealing with customers and returns.
Option 4. Word wall art.
A popular Etsy option is selling word wall art. What I mean by that is fun or cute quotes or themed memes that are purchased as home decor or as gifts. These items are kitchen, bath and bedroom wall art plaques or small printable 8 x 8, 8 x 10 or 12 x 12 designs. Baby wall art is particularly popular; you’ll find all kinds of other wall art categories for “mom” “dad” “anniversary” and “pet”. If you see it on Etsy, you’ll see it on other online selling platforms too; however, Etsy is particular to unique shoppable items not found in physical stores whereas Ebay and Amazon feature both “big box” brands as well as unique items like custom wall art. Peruse Etsy to see the examples that sell. Much of this can be made with GIMP (or Inkscape) depending on what kind of wall art designs you decide to create.
Option 5. Silhouette designs and doodle art.
Another really fun category the GIMP can easily handle. I say easily because a large percentage of doodle art is black on white. Doodle art can be sold as coloring page printables or sticker for kids; both doodles or silhouettes sell within the above-mentioned options (2, 3 and 4). I’ve looked at silhouettes available and while there are free silhouettes out there, they aren’t always good enough to be used as wall art or for print on demand items. Silhouette designs can be as simply as fancy text or as complex you want. Plus both silhouette and doodles fit into just about any kind of niche you can think of. Examples of silhouette categories range from animals to hobbies. If you can come up with a list of niche interests (cats, dogs, fishing, balloons, boats, etc) you can draw a silhouette or doodle that someone somewhere would use.
Option 6. Social Media Covers, Profile Images
Every business online needs social media. They need images and graphics for their social media profiles and covers. If they aren’t using actual images then they need graphics, particularly illustrations that fit into social media covers. This is like logos in that its more individualized custom work. The positive is you can sell it for more and if they like your work, you’ll end up with great referrals (think free traffic) and repeat business.
Option 7. Icons
There are lots of uses for icons on websites and digital designs. Most icons are sold in packs (ie blog, social media, holiday, shopping, etc). Your best way to market icons is to have a website integrated with an online shopping cart, a Shopify, Squarespace or Ecwid site; otherwise, you’ll be limited to creating and selling your icon designs thru sites like Envato Elements. They’ll take a cut of the profits but if you want to test the market before committing to your own online “store” a place like Envato might be a place to start.
Option 8. Illustrations
These too are like icons. Most online websites will use either real images mixed with some graphics or heavily rely on illustrations and graphics with no images (except for bio photos). If you become good at illustrations in GIMP you’ll be in a very small elite group of designers. I’ve found very few online illustration sites offering their work.
Well, there you have it. There are always other ideas for selling your designs but these eight options should get you started.
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