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Making Money Selling Vector Graphics Through Micro Stock

By Edited Sep 22, 2015 1 3


You have set up your account at the microstock sites of your choice and you have chosen the Vector graphics application that you want to work with to produce illustrations for sale. You might be using the Illustrator application from Adobe or something like EazyDraw or Vector Designer. Your illustrations will be exposed to thousands of professional buyers of photographs and art work from all around the world. It will not matter what time of the day, or day of the week it is, your images are always available on there to sell.

If you build the portfolio up you could reach hundreds or thousands of dollars per month. You would need to have some superb work there and plenty of it too to reach those heady heights, but it is possible. With Fotolia you do have to be at least eighteen years old and be the sole author and owner of the files that you upload into your portfolio.

There are no registration fees to join the micro stock sites, nor any portfolio management fees. All you have to do is to upload your best work and have it sold on your behalf. You get a royalty payout based on the ranking and exclusivity of your portfolio. With Fotolia there are fifteen worldwide versions of the site, so it doesn’t matter if you are in Portugal, U.S.A or China.

When the artwork is sold it will be used in advertising, press articles, packaging and on blogs. You could easily see your work reproduced in many places and situations. If the artwork gets used on derivative products then there has to be an extended license, and you will get more money for the image.

You should take care not to upload images containing protected logos or trademarks. Vectors as you would expect should be creative with a lot of details, and the work has to be clean. Vectors shall be formatted properly and not just badly scanned images that have been vectorised.

An important thing to know with illustrations that are vector graphics is that all of the objects have to be closed objects. If you send in files that have objects with open paths they will be rejected. In illustrator there are some tools available to find all the open objects and to close them up.

Designers of art work including brochures, like using vector designs because it is possible to size the design to whatever size required and to still have good clean lines with no jaggies that you would get with bitmap images. As a creator of illustrator files you will organise the work so that separate areas are labeled, this allows the designer to use elements in the design separately. This makes the image more valuable and saleable. For example a background or part of a background could be removed and only the main subject used. Good to have that flexibility when designing.



May 7, 2011 3:04pm
Very informative article, thank you! Too bad I don't have money right now to buy Adobe Illustrator. I tried to use open source software called Inkscape, but soon I noticed that it didn't work with gradients. For some reason they turned into bitmaps when saving as eps file.
Jul 9, 2012 9:57am
Nice article!
I just started a brand new tutorial microstock site. Check it out at http://biginmicrostock.com
Sep 3, 2016 9:55pm
Very Informative, and helpful. There are still a lot of artists out there, who don't take advantage of these modern platforms and the issue is awareness. I am sure some of those will find this useful and inspirational.
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