I've always loved to draw. As a kid, I didn't think about it as a career path—not like writing. I've practiced drawing and painting digitally over the past few years. I'm still learning and don't plan to stop learning. Artists (whatever your art form) should always keep learning. I've decided to have fun and put my drawings on t-shirts!
The interface differs (of course, being designed for t-shirts) but essentially is the same process. You upload your work, add metadata, and submit for review. Your design goes live once approved.
If you're interested in learning more, check out Michael Essek's resources.
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Redbubble sells print-on-demand merchandise such as t-shirts, phone cases, stickers, and many other items. Unlike Merch, you can simply create an account, fill in your information, and start uploading designs. Because it offers so many different products there is more work to do to upload and offer your design on many different items. Some may require variations of your design. The interface does allow for customization of size, placement, and background color on some items. You do have options to customize your royalty settings for different products.
It's possible to make a living at this sort of thing. I'm doing it for a few different reasons. First, to have fun and draw more. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with new designs and getting those up on the sites. It gives me a tangible reason to practice and motivation to keep going. Second, it is another potential cash stream. It's healthy to have multiple streams of income. I'm going to be happy if it brings in enough to offset my business costs, things like website costs, software subscriptions, books, courses, etc. After that, who knows? I'll be curious to see how it goes. Finally, it's also interesting from the perspective of merchandise based on my books. As I create new cover art for books I can see adding those designs to physical merchandise. That's another way to share my work.
Writer, librarian and illustrator, Ryan M. Williams, author of more than twenty novels, writes across a range of genres including fantasy, science fiction, romance, paranormal, and mystery. He earned an M.A. in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University and an M.L.I.S. from San Jose University. His short fiction has appeared in anthologies from Pocket Books, WMG Publishing, and in On Spec Magazine.