How to Sell Your Art with Print-on-Demand

Want to leverage your designs? Print-on-demand providers can place your images on any number of products, providing an income stream.


DENY Designs is a popular print-on-demand website.


Remember when printing involved long-runs and a big financial investment? No more. When variable image printing technology became available a few years back, it changed everything. One-offs are no big deal; they can easily and affordably be produced. This technology allowed “Print-on-Demand” vendors to set up shop on the internet and sell all types of designs on all types of products, using artwork made by artists like you.

Websites, like DENY Designs (whose pillow selection is shown above) offer everything from sheet sets to furniture to wall decor to mugs and cell phone cases. Retail customers can browse through pages of artwork and products featuring designs created by juried artists, and place their order online. Each item is produced “on demand” which means that there is no inventory being held.

Other Print-on-Demand sites, such as Boom Boom Prints (which has a family-friendly theme) and ImageKind are not juried, and encourage any and all artists to create their own shop. Different providers either allow the artist to create a free shop, or they may charge a monthly fee to participate.

Print-on-Demand providers accept and process orders, print images on products, and ship to the purchaser. The artist and provider enter into a licensing agreement for the use of images, and the artist receives a “royalty” payment for a portion of the sales price of each item that is sold.

What can be printed? Clothing (such as t-shirts, dresses and even shoes), artwork printed on canvas, paper or other substrates, such as aluminum) and items for the home are just a few examples of the many options in the marketplace. It’s an easy way to sell, because all you need to do is upload your images, enter information about your artwork, and you’re in business!

How much can  you earn through selling your images through Print-on-Demand providers? This stream of income can be substantial for some artists, while others may only realize a small return. It depends on the appeal of your work, and the traffic that your online store receives.

Marketing activities are essential to promote your online “store” and items that are available with your designs. Share information and images on social media, through email marketing campaigns, and on your own art website. Since most of the work is being completed by the Print-on-Demand provider, this can be a relatively passive stream of income for many artists. It can work well along with other methods of selling, and expands the range of items featuring your artwork that can be purchased by the public.


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