Freelancer Tips: How To Sell and Showcase Your Art Online | Karina Eibatova | Skillshare

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Freelancer Tips: How To Sell and Showcase Your Art Online

teacher avatar Karina Eibatova, Use a pencil as a magic wand

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      In the Previous Class


    • 3.

      Showcase & Discover Creative Work


    • 4.

      Earn Extra Income from Artworks


    • 5.

      Create & Manage Online Store


    • 6.

      Create Website & Get Visible Online


    • 7.

      In the Next Class


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About This Class

In this class, seasoned artist  Karina Eibatova shares all her tools and tricks for presenting, selling, and promoting her artwork online.


This class is really useful for anyone wanting to gain more online exposure and earn extra income from internet sales.

Karina speaks about her online appearance openly, and motivates her students to expand their artistic practice online and learn new tips and secrets in presenting works well, here are the steps to follow.

  1. The first aim of the class is to choose an online platform for creating a portfolio.
  2. Capture visually appealing screenshots and photographs of your works to present them well.
  3. Consider documenting your process as it is the most important step!   
  4. Create an avatar or a logotype and ensure your nickname is unique online
  5. Create an online store on any platform that provides service for selling artistic items.
  6. Create a website, Facebook page, Instagram for professional use and other pages that will help spread your work on the web.

Karina lives a nomadic lifestyle - she always has been independent and started her career in the early age, without any financial support. Her online practice gives her a lot of freedom, at the moment she is based in Tokyo, all that will not be possible without the Internet.  Her portfolio on Behance has a huge success and she has a constant flow of sales at her online store.  

Don’t hesitate to follow your dream, then money will also follow.

P.S.: Music was done by Katerina Shikhova, she makes exclusive audios for videos.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Karina Eibatova

Use a pencil as a magic wand

Top Teacher

I am Karina Eibatova, illustrator & artist born in St.Petersburg, Russia.

I have been fortunate enough to make a living solely from my artworks.

& I am grateful to share the creative process and reveal some of my favourite tips on Skillshare.





I specialise in:

drawing painting illustration murals video typography

My portfolio reveals colourful surrealist explorations as well as more traditional approaches. 

You are welcome to follow me on instagram & Facebook.




See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm a Karina Eibatova. I'm an artist and illustrator and you're welcome to my third class. In my new class, I will show you how to sell and present your work online. I'll demonstrate the importance of social media metrics. I have been self employed for more than 10 years and I'm creating my own artistic projects since ages. Luckily, there is a free marketing tool which works twenty four seven, and you all know what's that. It's internet. It's very important in our money life so i decided to share with you some tips and tricks for building your own website, your own online store and portfolio presentation.You will see how easy it is to be independent online. Nowadays, we don't need to hire anybody for making our online business running. I think to be spontaneous and inspired is essential for the creative process. But also it's extremely important to state offers, to know your audience, to know how to develop your work and to make it feasible online, you need to remember to work on your artistic business and not just staying in the creative process. Believe me, my career would have been completely different without the Internet. To become a well-known finance artist, I just had to work hard, to stay passioned and the most important thing to love what I create. Don't hesitate to follow your dream, money will always go. Let's start learning how to deliver your content online. 2. In the Previous Class: Hello, and welcome to my new class. It will help you with the development of successful online career, showcase and sell your works online. In my previous classes, I was teaching different drawing and painting techniques. In my class, I will demonstrate a few ways of creating patterns from either detailed drawing or very simple watercolor painting. Then I will show you how to edit in color in Photoshop. As a result, we will have a tiny image ready to be printed on wallpapers, plotters, posters, or anything else such as, for example, these card deck or silk scarf. In my first class, I was teaching how to create a pattern from any drawing or painting. In my second class, I will demonstrate three different ways of creative process. First of all, I will show you how to create a detailed pencil drawing. Also I will show you how to create a detailed watercolor painting and then how to transform it into [inaudible] Now I will guide you through different online platforms such as Flickr, Behance, Threadless, Printalloverme, Society6, Bigcartel, Ticktail, Printful, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Linkedin, and Cargo Collective. 3. Showcase & Discover Creative Work: First of all, you need to find the perfect platform. For me, it all has started in 2007 with Flickr. Back in 2007, comments and likes meant a lot for me, so I get easily addicted to the response of my audience. With Flickr, you get a set free one terabyte of storage space with no limitations on resolution, which is a lot for the free storage. I can say that starting your files online is a very good thing to do since you can get access to the files from anywhere and also it's safe. You won't be stressed if some files will be lost. As you can see, Flickr is a nice platform to overview all of your content on one page. Behance; Behance is the leading online platform to showcase and discover creative work. It attracts millions of visitors who come to discover top talent. As you can see, I have thousands of thousands of views, likes, and followers. I was featured in most of their Curated Galleries, and that increased the amount of views. It removes the barriers between talent and opportunity. I have been focused on it since 2008. Curated Galleries are the collections of the best works on the platform. They have different categories like fashion, fine arts, crafts, design, and so on. Let's see what do they have in Illustration gallery. In the main gallery, which is the most popular, there are only the best works. Everybody find it very good for inspiration and a possible collaboration. Here is my project called crystallize your mind. Connect with other creators. Even though it's made for very specific audience and purpose, Behance is still a social network. You get likes, comments, and followers. Find possible collaborators by reaching out people you admire, and people who live in the same city. For example, soon, I'm going to leave for a few months in Tokyo, so I can find some connections there. Also, I have a dream to make an animated story, so I might find somebody who would like to collaborate. By collaborating with others, you can be seen not only by your followers or a circle, but also in the circle of the person you're collaborating with. You can apply filters, let's say most appreciated in animated field. This looks lovely, I'm liking it. It is also very easy to find jobs, choose the location, and the category. Let's say toy design and when you have a portfolio which shows your skills, press "Apply for Job" and submit new application. I found this company that way. It is very good platform to find professional connections. Behance is a part of Adobe and they provide the option to make a better portfolio. Here how it might look. It's important to choose on which platform you focus on. You can't work on update every possible online portfolio site and social media site, because it all takes time and effort if you want to do it properly. Focus on Behance if you want to not only show your work, but find new jobs. Behance helped me a lot in my career, almost all of my serious clients have found about me through this platform. Here is my resume. People often ask me how I got so many followers on Behance, but they forget to note is that I have been there for more than eight years now, posting my work on ongoing basis. To build your portfolio right, you need to remember, quality before quantity, and it doesn't make a lot of sense to always post just one single image, at least not if it's a very strong one. Think bigger, try to create projects that have a little bit of a concept behind them. Make items with your art ways. If it is not a client work, publish your best personal projects, make your portfolio the way you would like to move forward with it. Just because you see other people's work and admire them for what they do, it doesn't mean that those are the projects they pay or rent. Spread your projects out a little bit, so there is more possibility of people actually finding you. Don't publish all your projects in one day. You're not obligated to publish everything you create, choose only the best works and try to make it as a series. Before I show the best tools for selling your works, let me show how I upload the project on Behance, which is also very important because blogs and clients watch Behance regularly. I noticed that this project with one mineral is not that successful as the series of minerals posted in one project, so I decided to create the second series called Mineral Admiration part 2. I could clone it and add the content, but I decided to make a new project. You choose the files, upload them, then there is a new option allowing posting several images as the Photo Grid. Then it is important to create the correct blocks of text to each image. You choose layout and copy it to all texts, so they look the same. I would like to show you how to make an active link if you don't know. In case you have a store, it might be useful. It is as easy as that. You double-check everything. After making sure everything is fine, you proceed to the next step where you need to create a beautiful cover and the title of the project. After we choose the creative fields, the tools used in the project. Here, you add co-owners of the project if you made a collaboration, then you need to write the project description and choose text keywords, and check the copyright option. I always agree to the proposed one. Don't hesitate to share the project everywhere. Hooray, three days after publishing the project, it got into the main gallery, so it has thousands of thousands of views within three days only. That's how blogs find new talents, and that's how customers find my prints. 4. Earn Extra Income from Artworks: Back in 2008, however, my portfolio was not that serious and I had a very cheesy and naive project that brought me the biggest success by that time, just because it was made with love. This typography was sold to the company called Threadless. I earned more than $4,000 with these design love. The purpose of it was just to let the world know that I'm in love. Threadless support artists community in every way possible, whether it be through their annual creative hours, commission-based overseas in all by providing artist shop. Lots of their artists have even gone on the start their own companies. Their shop provides a lot of things on which your works can be printed, and you don't need to do anything except uploading the files. Here is the example of your profit. There are a lot of similar platforms where you can sell your works print on different items. One of the coolest and funny is Print All Over Me. It provides the whole collection of different stuff. They make collaborations with different designers, and from each sale you get at least 20 percent. Let me show you how fast you can create your own fashion store. Let's pick the product, upload the pictures, and voila, I have been always dreaming about such a sweatshirt. Actually, they make a discount if you want to order item with your print for yourself. I think I need to make the whole space wardrobe and making us. Finally, we'll order it for their stuff. Well, it's easy and fun and it's very fast. You will get at least 20 percent of the sale. Another popular and similar platform is Society. It prints basically on anything. Again, you don't need to do anything. You just upload the files and get the royalties. Again, as you see here, it is better to make a series rather than a single work. With platforms like Society6, taking care of printing and shaping, it is easy to focus in the studio and extra to creating new stuff. So it is good for making extra income. Talking about beddings, I'm collaborating with the Swedes brand called ZigZag. I found them myself on the hands in the job section. We have the agreement based on royalties. So every couple of months, I receive some extra money. I decided to collaborate with them because I was sure about their quality and exclusivity. Also, if you do collaboration, you will always receive free samples of the items with your design. It is the best thing you can give as a present, and it's important to keep some for yourself. There are other platforms where you can build your shop such as AHA and others. Also, it is necessary to insist on keeping the exclusive rights for yourself. I was not careful enough before with that, but now I check every contract on the question of exclusivity. It is important because if you keep the exclusive rights, you will be able to use your works multiple times for different purposes. If a company wants to have the full rights for your work, it should pay few times more. Think about it. If it is a big brand, they will afford it. If it is a small company, they will be fine with nonexclusive rights. It is necessary to learn how to negotiate. Some companies promised me millions and when I tried them on their royalties basis, it didn't lead to any big sums. So don't hesitate to cancel the collaboration if you notice that the royalty income is very low. Save your art for better purposes. There are a lot of online galleries which sell artistic prints, such as Mammoth Collection, where you also can sell the originals. Selling originals is a tricky thing. It should cost more than files you sell for the commercial use. It is creative. People want to buy their original artwork. It is better for the productivity. If you will have the flow of sales, you will create more. But it is very important to keep some works for yourself in your own collection. Because when you grow up as an artist, you should have at least one work from each period, each style. Think about it. Don't rush to sell everything you have. One of the world's leading online art gallery is Saatchi. It's a very big online gallery. Based in Los Angeles, Saatchi Art offers its selection of paintings, drawings, sculpture, and photography in a different prices. When I was unhappy with my finances, I posted a project with my beloved cards on and offered to buy the full rights to use the design for manufacturing the card deck. It was four years after I had created them, so I didn't care about them that much. I decided to sell them to the very first person who can produce them. I made a very rough gesture to my creation. I was so disrespectful to my colors, which took me months. So I sold them to the first person who asked me. After my projects got into Behance gallery. I don't know how, but I agreed to sell the full rights for very small haneri. This person who bought it had made a very big success with my cards, he launched to Kickstarter projects and gained dozens of thousands and People Just Cards with the biggest playing card company. This in the end was quite a good advertisement for me. The lesson is to finish all of your projects in a proper time, make its production before you are tired of the project. After making a good campaign, publish it on your own online store. 5. Create & Manage Online Store: My first store was done on Bigcartel platform. It is very easy to create within one day. Here is my store. Let me show you how simple it is. I have different items; cushions, handmade prints, and digital prints. Every time I post something online, I refer to the store from my portfolios, so people can find my shop browsing through my portfolio. I create a beautiful series of photos, it is important not only for the client, also for the press, because one day, they got printed in the magazines. Like this one, for example, was published in Marie Claire, Paris. It is important to present your work and product well enough. It is very easy to keep track on your store. You can see which products are the most popular ones, which sources refers to the store. Recently, they updated the Admin panel and now it looks even better. There are different plans. As a free member, you're allowed to upload five images and you cannot upload more than one picture for the product. You can't make discount, but it is a very good option if you just want to try out managing your own store. On Bigcartel, you can choose different sizes of the items in one product view. I switched to another commerce platform and there is no options like choosing different sizes. It is very easy to customize your design of the website, try different layers until you find your favorite. Instead of this header image, you just need to upload a series of your works and then your store would look unique. Then it's important to add page about, copy-paste it on each platform you are using. There are also a lot of websites for finding creative jobs, so you can copy your works there. For example, when I lived in London, I made a portfolio on Dots. This platform is based in the United Kingdom. Another platform I would like to show is called Tictail. Tictail is a social shopping website for shoppers to discover emerging designers around the world. For brands, the platform is a DIY e-commerce tool focused on strong community integration, simplicity of use, and attractive customizability design. It is free and I think is quite stylish because it was built in Stockholm. You can upload as many projects as you wish. I made new photos to present my posters better. Beside posters and cushions, I also have scarves, handmade prints, and originals. Let me show you how easy it is to upload the product. Add a size and material, change the order of the photos. The first one will be on the website and people will see the other pictures in the slide. Another tip I want to share can help you with presenting your works well. Some posters I actually printed and made a photo of them, but some others, I pasted in the photo in Photoshop. For example, this poster, it doesn't have a good photo that present how beautiful this poster looks in the frame, so I will use some stock images. Adobe is my favorite campaign, and now they have their own Adobe stock. They gave 10 images for free, so you will not even waste your money on the documentation of product. Just type in the keywords and find what you need, then make some easy manipulations in Photoshop. Use the transformation with a perspective option if the frame as a perspective. Adjust the color so the color of the photo fits the colors of the artwork. Be your own client. Make the updates regularly so it will become a good habit. It is important to understand that you have to spend at least a big part of your working time building your business instead of spending all of your time creating new works. If you want to develop as a freelancer and attract new audience, you have to improve your business constantly. The Internet never sleeps. Let's see how Tictail present other creative people. I think it looks very nice. The dashboard is very easy. Orders, discounts, talk, statistic, and the most useful thing is Printful extension, you have to adjust yourself. Let me explain what Printful is. Printful is the easiest order fulfillment system you will ever use. They print on lots of different stuff such as canvasses, sweatshirts, phone cases, and even socks. You sell a t-shirt on your online shop and Printful order will automatically be sent to Printful and then to the customer. It works great with e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce, Tictail, Bigcartel, all on your own custom platform. In California, it gets printed, packed, and shipped. Printful notify you when the order is shipped and send you the tracking number. Once my project was published in the Behance gallery, I got a new order and it was a framed poster. Let me demonstrate how I ordered the print for my customers. It is as easy as buying anything online. I prepared a file in Photoshop with my digital signature. The artwork was scanned in a very high resolution, such as 1,200 DPI, so it will look fine as a big print. After making the order, Printful has the files in their system and it will repeat the order without my involvement. I will be notified about it. This system indeed saves a lot of energy, especially if you integrate it with your store. You can synchronize all of your products so when the customer buys something, it automatically gets produced on Printful and shipped to the customer. Make things simple, save you time for something new and inspiring. The most amazing part is that your customer receives their shipment with your branding all over it. They print a sticker on the package so it looks like it's shipped from your own store. 6. Create Website & Get Visible Online: Instagram. Instagram is amazing. Every time you create something, you can share it on Instagram and build your audience. I started to post there, not only things that aim to have a commercial success. My goal is to post there something every day. Recently, I started to share my creative process. It is not always easy to stop yourself from the process, but it's the best way to spread what you do at this very moment. Your audience should see your development, so it's good keep them updated. Since I do visual art, I find Instagram very useful. It's convenient if you would like to have an overview of all your works together. You can make an impression of what you do with one glance on the profile. I even posted the students work from Skillshare. Facebook. It is really useful to make a page when you achieve a certain level. You can easily share posts from Instagram and write updates and news so your friends and colleagues see it for sure. Tumblr is another social network website in which you can easily share all of your Instagram posts. Some posts on Tumblr gets virus because so many people can share one picture and some blogs are really famous. LinkedIn, LinkedIn is a business and employment oriented social networking service that operates via website. You can easily integrate there your business portfolio. It is a bit old-fashioned, but a lot of clients look there for professionals. Here, you can write your clients lists with some icons of the big companies. Finally, you have to build your own website. I have my website on a platform called Cargo collective. Having your own website is essential. On this Cargo layout, I can move icons, so the overview looks like an artwork itself. These days, it is very easy to create your own website. You don't need to call someone to help with navigating and updating your site. You actually don't need to be technical in any way to make the website. You can add links to your online store, page about, press. It's important to collect all the publications you have been published in. Fill your website with stuff you would like to be known for. Let me show you how to upload a project. To make such an icon, you need to upload a small size PNG file. Here, you write a description and all images called image 1, image 2. Then you can move the icon of the project wherever you like. The same way you can add links, the dashboard of the website is very simple. It works fine, and it also is a social network. Sometimes my project run into the front page of the Cargo collective website. I pay $60 a year and I have my own domain address. Pinterest. Pinterest is the world's catalog of inspiration and ideas. It is the best for collecting the inspiration and keep it in order. You can collect a reference for the project and then send the folder to the client, so the client has an idea what you're willing to do. My minerals pop up in the first place when you type in text mineral art. Then I regret that I didn't put watermark on my watercolor crystals. So many people has it as a cover for city, as a tattoo, and when some of them find me, finally, they say they have been looking for the author of the artwork for years. Also, so many people would contact me for the potential collaboration. Creating a watermark is not a bad idea. Series of minerals is the most popular thing I have done. Keep on working and once your artwork will create a boom. This happened last year with my jungle art printed on the tiles in the Greece boutique hotel. I was fortunate to collaborate with the leading architect in Rhodes and design studio based in Berlin. Last summer, they even invited me to live in the fabulous hotel for free, and that was the moment when I realized how great it is to be the artist. It was published in a lot of blogs and magazines, and I think I will draw jungles forever since then. Everyone loves this wall and now I'm constantly receiving e-mails with offers to make a similar artwork.I want to say something about Google. When you create something really popular, people will always bump into it like it happened with minerals. Whenever you meet someone who is interested in you, they will probably search you on the Internet and Google you. It's very good if your name or nickname is unique. Those who will Google you should find your website where they can see your previous experience, which will explain what for they can hire you. In web, it is important you are sharing the content which you're proud of, can talk about it because you cannot erase it afterwards. It stays there forever next to your name. 7. In the Next Class: In the next class, I will share with you some more of my technical process. I will talk about different kinds of material, tools, and post-production process on the example of my famous Jungle Art Week. Thank you for attention. Stay inspired and creative.