How to Sell Your Art with Print-on-Demand

Want to leverage your designs? Print-on-demand providers can place your images on any number of products, providing an income stream.


DENY Designs is a popular print-on-demand website.


Remember when printing involved long-runs and a big financial investment? No more. When variable image printing technology became available a few years back, it changed everything. One-offs are no big deal; they can easily and affordably be produced. This technology allowed “Print-on-Demand” vendors to set up shop on the internet and sell all types of designs on all types of products, using artwork made by artists like you.

Websites, like DENY Designs (whose pillow selection is shown above) offer everything from sheet sets to furniture to wall decor to mugs and cell phone cases. Retail customers can browse through pages of artwork and products featuring designs created by juried artists, and place their order online. Each item is produced “on demand” which means that there is no inventory being held.

Other Print-on-Demand sites, such as Boom Boom Prints (which has a family-friendly theme) and ImageKind are not juried, and encourage any and all artists to create their own shop. Different providers either allow the artist to create a free shop, or they may charge a monthly fee to participate.

Print-on-Demand providers accept and process orders, print images on products, and ship to the purchaser. The artist and provider enter into a licensing agreement for the use of images, and the artist receives a “royalty” payment for a portion of the sales price of each item that is sold.

What can be printed? Clothing (such as t-shirts, dresses and even shoes), artwork printed on canvas, paper or other substrates, such as aluminum) and items for the home are just a few examples of the many options in the marketplace. It’s an easy way to sell, because all you need to do is upload your images, enter information about your artwork, and you’re in business!

How much can  you earn through selling your images through Print-on-Demand providers? This stream of income can be substantial for some artists, while others may only realize a small return. It depends on the appeal of your work, and the traffic that your online store receives.

Marketing activities are essential to promote your online “store” and items that are available with your designs. Share information and images on social media, through email marketing campaigns, and on your own art website. Since most of the work is being completed by the Print-on-Demand provider, this can be a relatively passive stream of income for many artists. It can work well along with other methods of selling, and expands the range of items featuring your artwork that can be purchased by the public.


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  1. Always read and love your posts! and this is a topic I’m very interested in. There are so many POD sites out there I’d love to know how you picked DenyDesigns to highlight. I just checked them out, and they have no information posted about commission percentage to the artist and when I asked in their chat function I got the answer that its disclosed at the time of acceptance. When I asked how I would know I want to apply they noted “If you’re interested in our business we encourage you to apply and if not, then that’s ok too”. Pretty artist unfriendly. If anyone has a good experience with them and can comment on the percentage the artist gets I’d be interested to know. I feel uncomfortable uploading my images to their site without knowing that. Thanks, Laura

    • Hi Laura,

      DENY Designs was chosen as an example because they offer such a wide variety of products. If they are “artist unfriendly” then you may want to forget about them, and pursue some of the other options out there. You can find many POD sites listed in this directory

  2. Yes, lots of web sites where you can have your designs printed on items. I have tried a couple of them over a period of months, never sold a thing and have to do heavy marketing due to the mass amount of artist so I dropped those sites. Signed up last year with another one that offers only wallpaper, gift wrap and fabric. Since my hand made items revolve around 2 of those elements, decided to go with Spoonflower. Would suggest a company/items that is cohesive with whatever your making now instead of slapping your design on anything & everything.

  3. Another print on demand site is Fine Art America.
    Artists set their own prices and there is no commission. For $30/year you even get fully functional ecommerce Artists website which you can integrate straight in to your own website. You can go free but can only upload 25 images for that. Here is mine, they print on shower curtains, pillows, bags, duvet covers as well as t-shirts and phone cases. No commission taken by FAA and they handle all the shipping and handling.

    • Nicky, FAA is a well-known site used by many artists, and they do have a “name your price” option. Check the directory mentioned in the article for lots more POD websites.

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