How to Make Money with AI Art

How to Make Money with AI Art

Who said being an artist isn’t profitable? Here are three income streams you can generate by selling AI art!

In many of our previous articles, we have talked about artificial intelligence (AI) artists, like DallE and Ai-DA, and how they offer artists the opportunity to create unique collaborative works, such as what LG’s AI artist Tilda did with designer YounHee Park during the New York Fashion Week this year. 

But perhaps one of the biggest advantages of AI today is that it allows those who aren’t the greatest artists to express themselves freely, bridging the gap between artistic technique and imagination. If you are interested in entering the AI art space and want to make a profit, here are some tips that might help. 

Step 1: Creating the art

An AI artwork generated by the writer using AI using the prompt “A busy street in Tokyo”.

Before we get to the money-making part of the business, you need to create art pieces using an AI tool that fits your needs. If you don’t want to invest money in purchasing a subscription to an AI artist, you can use free tools such as Midjourney, BigSleep, WOMBO Dream and Starry AI to create your artwork. 

The art you create must be something people are interested in purchasing. Some of the most popular kinds of art that you can make money from include illustrations, textures, patterns and website backgrounds, to name a few. Once you have a few of these ready, make a portfolio of your work on any platform of your choice. This can be your own website or on an art community website, like DeviantArt or ArtStation. Doing so helps you set up accounts to sell your art at a later stage and gives your customers a window into what they can expect from your work.

Step 2: Selling the art

Here is a list of the many ways you can make money using AI art. 

Stock images

To sell your artwork on stock image websites, like Shutterstock, you need to have a portfolio of your work (here is where all the hard work from step 1 will pay off). There are multiple free image platforms (like Freepik, Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay) where you can upload your art to increase your chances of making money. Of these platforms, Shutterstock might be a good place to start considering that it has just partnered with Open AI (the company behind Dall-E) to give its users direct access to Dall-E 2 to create more AI-generated art. On average, you can make US$0.02 per image per month with stock photos. The overall amount depends on how many images you sell. It is important to note that some stock image websites have been against the advent of AI art, with Getty Images banning the sale of AI content. So, make sure to check the content policy of the stock image website to which you want to upload your content.

Create products based on your art

One of the most profitable ways to make money from AI art is to create print-on-demand products using your art. All you need to do is upload your designs to websites like TeeSpring and RedBubble. These websites will print your artwork on various products, such as t-shirts, mugs, posters and notebooks. On average, you would make anywhere between US$2-US$10 on a sale. Not every design may sell the same amount, and shortlisting the right designs to upload to these websites can take a lot of time. So, consider these factors before you begin selling print-on-demand products. 

Selling AI art prompts

You don’t have to limit yourself to selling just AI art. With the entry of PromptBase into the AI art market, you can also sell your expertise in generating AI art. PromptBase is a marketplace that sells the exact text descriptions you need to enter into your AI art generator to get the results you are hoping for. These aren’t simple keywords like “anime” or “nail art”; instead, they are detailed descriptions, including the aesthetic of the artwork and elements for a scene, as well as giving the buyer room to enter more details to get more customized results. So, instead of “anime”, the description would include details like “Anime girl walking in the rain with her back to the viewer”. Buyers have to pay between US$2-US$5 for these descriptions. PromptBase charges a 20% commission on the sale of prompts. The seller retains the copyright of their work and receives the rest of the money made from the sale of prompts as income. 

While all the tips we discussed above can make you money right now, this might not be the case for too long. As more and more AI art generators are entering the market and people are becoming adept at using them, soon the market will be saturated with these high-quality images, and people wouldn’t feel the need to pay someone to make them. However, until then, the market is ripe for you to try your hand at AI art and generate some passive income. 

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Header image courtesy of Envato


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