If you love to draw, animate and illustrate, these side hustle platforms are ideal for you. Each connects artists with clients looking for people in this niche.

However, there are two ways to go: You can draw, animate or illustrate for a flat fee — creating illustrations for children’s books, for instance. Or, you can create drawings that you can have others produce on canvas, clothing and furniture, getting paid a royalty on each sale.

Royalties typically range from 5% to 25% of the sales price of the item. However, you can earn these royalties over and over again, without doing additional work. Generally speaking, the company that emblazons their products with your art will do the marketing, sales, collection and mailing. Once you’ve uploaded your art, you can consider this a passive stream of income.

Of course, if you don’t give up exclusive rights to your work, you can do both. Here are the options:

Draw, animate and illustrate for sale

Creatively connects creative artists of all stripes — animators, fashion designers, web designers, fine artists, writers and producers — with companies and individuals who need their services. The brainchild of fashion brand alice + olivia founder Stacey Bendet, the site makes it easy to post a portfolio and apply to jobs offered by a wide array of local and national brands. Creatives can sign up and post a profile for free. Brands/employers are asked to subscribe to connect with creatives.

When we tested the site, it had numerous professional-level jobs for artists of all types. Know, however, that if you create art for hire, you may be giving up your rights to use that art elsewhere. If you want to keep the rights to reuse the characters and illustrations you make for hire, be sure to negotiate that in advance and read your contract carefully. Learn more about Creatively.


Another good place to find paying clients for your drawing, animation or illustration is the broad-based gig platform, Fiverr. Fiver, which once urged freelancers to list their services for a paltry $5 to $10, has evolved into a far more sophisticated marketplace. Now, pros in a variety of categories charge premium rates for premium services.

Animation, illustration and drawing options are copious on the site already. So it could take some time to get noticed. But, if you have significant experience in the field, you can apply to be a pro, which gets your portfolio in front of a team that can help you get noticed. This site allows you to set the terms of your deal, spelling them out in “package” form. Learn more about Fiverr here.


A site called Reedsy connects the authors of self-published novels with the editors and illustrators they need to bring their manuscripts to market. Editors and illustrators say what they do and set their own rates. When an appropriate project comes up, the site will send it to five editors, who bid on the job.

You don’t know what’s in the blind bids, so the presumption is that you’ll keep your rates reasonable. But, because illustrations are so unique from one artist to the next, it’s likely you’d win bids based on your art — not just your prices. Learn more about Reedsy here.

Royalty-based platforms

There are dozens of so-called “print-on-demand” shops that invite artists to upload their images to illustrate everything from iPhone cases to coffee cups. Several will also put your art on canvas. Artists generally pick the products that they want to illustrate. In some cases, the site will tell you how much of a royalty you’ll earn on each of those products; in others, the site lets you set the royalty rate. Either system can work and none of these sites demands exclusivity, so you can list with them all if you want.

Some of the best royalty-based platforms:


FineArtAmerica is one of the oldest and largest print-on-demand operations in the U.S. With most products, FineArtAmerica sets a base price that represents the cost for the site to produce and ship the product to the customer. The artists adds their mark-up to come up with a final price. The site suggests standard — and relatively modest — mark-ups. For instance, it suggests you set your mark up at $10 for a 36″ x 27″ print, which will sell for $208. If you, instead, want to earn $50 on that sale, the print will cost $248. However, the site also licenses art and makes it available for digital streaming. Learn more about FineArtAmerica here


Society6 generally sets the royalty rate for you. The one exception is with prints. If you’re selling a print, the site will tell you its cost for each size and you add whatever royalty rate you want to come up with a final price. With the other products, Society6 simply pays you 10% of the sales price. Learn more about Society6 here.


Like Society6, Redbubble puts your art on t-shirts, hoodies, notebooks, stickers and posters — and a wide array of other products. However, where Society6 sets a price per product and tells you how much you’ll make on each, Redbubble has a dynamic pricing formula where you can set your own margin. For instance, if a t-shirt’s base price is $18.50, you can add a $10 mark-up and the site will sell it for $28.50. Or, you could decide to accept a lower mark-up to sell at a lower price. Learn more about RedBubble here.

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