Melissa loves finding new and creative ways to make money, and is working towards becoming debt-free.
What Is Redbubble?
Redbubble is a print on demand site where artists can upload their artwork and sell it to the public on various products such as t-shirts and tote bags, phone and tablet cases, notebooks and stickers, and various art prints. Artists earn royalties from their art, receiving a margin of profit that they can set on their page for each individual product (the default is 20%), and the rest of the money goes towards manufacturing the product and paying Redbubble a cut. Redbubble will handle inventory and shipping and transactions for you; all you have to do is make your art and post it. Artists will retain all rights to their images, so don't worry about losing permission to post your work elsewhere.
Once your art is uploaded, you can continue to earn money from it for years to come. Uploading your work to Redbubble can potentially make you a nice amount of semi-passive income every month, and Redbubble can be a good place to find a community of like-minded artists who will help you grow in your craft, as well as an audience for your work. I am pretty new to the site, but I have already made several sales, and I'm having a lot of fun making designs!
How to Become an Artist on Redbubble
To sign up with Redbubble, go to the main page and click "Sign Up" in the top right corner. It will prompt you to enter your email and create a username and password. Make sure you like your username, and that it will sound attractive to your potential clients. It should be memorable and should say something meaningful about you or your art, for the best effect. There is also an option to use your real name if you do not want to display your username, which I chose to do.
Making Your Redbubble Profile Stand Out
When you are finished signing up, you should see a red and white icon in the top right corner of a man with glasses. Click on that and go to your profile. There are several things that you can customize here. You can add an avatar and cover image so that people see a nice banner when they come to your shop, as well as a nice icon or picture that appears beside your comments in groups.
I would recommend having your avatar and cover image match in color to give the page a unified look, like a brand would, because this shop is your personal brand. You can also add a bio, where you can tell customers about you and what you do. Have fun with it and get creative; showing your personality helps your customers connect with you.
To edit your account information, click your avatar icon in the top right, and go to account details. In this section of the website, you can edit your profile, cover image, avatar, bio, and payment details.
Collections Group Similar Products Together
Collections are a great feature to help shoppers find products that are similar to each other, and help to keep your shop organized. To create a collection, go to Manage Portfolio, select the works that will belong to a particular collection, then click the collections tab and enter the name of your collection. Collections can be centered around mediums, such as Watercolor Paintings, or subject matter, such as Flowers. You can also make a Best Sellers collection to help shoppers find your most popular works.
Once you start making a lot of designs, you can create collections of similar designs and group them together on your profile for fans of a particular topic to find them easily. To do this, you can click on your avatar icon in the top right corner and go to "Manage Profile." To add works to a collection, select them, and then hit the collections bar and pick a collection or name a new one.
Using the Redbubble Dashboard
The Redbubble dashboard is a new feature that helps artists figure out how many people are viewing their artwork and how much they are selling. It features analytical graphs that show your views by date and sales by date, and it will also show your top sellers for that time period. It's a good way to figure out where your views are coming from because it splits the type of traffic up on the bar graph ("Social Media," "Direct Link," etc.). A way they could improve this is by showing the URLs where the views come from, so you could know which social media posts are more effective, for example.
The dashboard also has an activity feed, where you can see who is favoriting and commenting on your art, and see what the people you follow are up to. It's a good way to quickly keep up with the community and make sure that you respond to feedback, so check your activity feed often.
How to Upload Your Art on Redbubble
To upload your images, click your avatar and go down to "Add new work". You can upload your image here. I recommend sizing it based on the tables below, finding the product with the largest image size that you want your art to be placed on. You can size your image down in the interface, but you can't size your art larger than the size you upload it as, so make it big.
Upload your art in png format, and make the background transparent, unless you are uploading a rectangular image for posters and cards. Make sure it is crisp and clean with no stray pixels, and make it look professional.
In the interface, you can also pattern your image on the product, and change the background color it is applied to. Choose a color that matches your design. In the bottom, after you have customized each of the products you are putting your image on, you can name your design and give it a description, and add some tags to help shoppers find your work. Try to use words that you would type into a search engine, because shoppers will use the Redbubble search to find works they are interested in, and tailor your description to your design.
If your work contains mature content, flag it before you post, or you may have your work get taken down. Copyrighted content is unfortunately prevalent on the site, but the Redbubble administrators are working to take it down, so it is recommended that you only post original work or your work will be removed and the site could end up facing a lawsuit. Once everything is filled out, submit your design, and it will appear on your profile.
Recommended Image Sizes for Wall Art and Cards
|Product||Size in Pixels|
Framed Prints and Canvases
Certain minimum image sizes in pixels are recommended, so your image doesn't come out blurry or distorted on your products. Here are the sizes for wall art and cards. If you would like to see more image dimensions and formats for other products, read Byron's guide to resize your images to fit those products.
Payment on Redbubble
Redbubble pays through PayPal or direct deposit to a US, UK, or Australian bank account, and pays artists that have earned the previous month on the 15th of the current month. Choose the currency you would like to be paid in wisely, because you cannot change this later.
You can edit your payment information by going to your profile and clicking Edit Payment Details. Through the dashboard, you can also change your product pricing, which will affect the number of royalties you receive. The pricing on individual works can be changed by editing them.
You may have reached this page wondering if Redbubble is a legitimate way to earn money online. From my experience with Redbubble, yes, it is legit and safe, since my payments have all arrived on time and the site is secured, keeping your payment information out of the hands of hackers.
Joining Groups and Entering Challenges
Groups are an important aspect of Redbubble's site and are a great way to interact with a community of fellow artists who can inspire you to improve. To find a group you like, use the search bar and type in a subject you are interested in. There are groups for different mediums and art styles, from photography groups to groups that only accept watercolor paintings, and groups that focus on specific subjects like animals or the ocean. Remember to read the group's rules before posting any images, and be considerate of others by not spamming a group with tons of images at once. You can also add new art to a group during the uploading process.
Groups often hold challenges, where members can enter their best work that fits a certain theme or concept, and the winners are listed on the front page of that group, giving them exposure and helping them gain more followers. I recommend that you enter some of these challenges, because you never know if you might win. I won my first challenge, "The Colors of Autumn," with my work "Autumn Leaves," a digital painting of a forest path covered in autumn leaves. Challenges are also a great way to interact with the community and see how one idea can be interpreted in many ways.
Marketing Your Designs
- Share your work on social media. You can do this on your personal account, but I recommend creating a separate set of accounts for your brand, so you don't spam the people you know.
- Use the Redbubble marketing templates to create attractive ads for your products.
- Join groups and get to know other people on Redbubble. Others in the community may like your art and want to buy it, and if nothing else you will have made some friends!
- Enter your best work into challenges. I have already won first place in one challenge and I have only been on the site since October 2018 (three months ago at the time of this writing), so anything is possible.
- Tell your family and friends about how you are selling your work online, because they might like it.
- Create business cards for your Redbubble page, and give them to anyone interested.
- Buy a couple of your designs to wear, and when someone asks where you got that shirt, you can send them to your page.
© 2019 Melissa Clason
Jerry Cornelius on October 10, 2019:
Great article, I've always been curious about Redbubble, but didn't know much about it. Thanks.
Liz Westwood from UK on January 13, 2019:
This is a very interesting article. I had not come across this site before.
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on January 12, 2019:
I LOVE RedBubble, I order shirts and things from there all the time. It's indeed a great place for artists to sell their work and I love being able to buy merchandise from my favorite games and bands.