How Do We All Make A Living?!

This one is for all us sellers out these - I dunno if you guys have this issue but this is a question I get from my friends/family all the time as they don’t really understand digital products (hands up who had to explain to an elderly person that you sell ‘files’).

So it made me think - a lot of us started out / are still doing other things to support ourselves than just pure sales and maybe telling these stories will make people just starting out feel slightly better?

So, how do ya’ll make a living?!
I’ll start - currently my income is divided between the marketplaces sales (CM being a massive chunk of that), royalties for my graphics, sales of fashion print and commission work.

Do you manage to sail through the month on just sales? Or is this more of a passive income for you? Kiss and tell pls :eyes:

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Between my wife and I we run 4 Etsy shops, 1 Creative Market shop and a Website. 2 of our Etsy shops are digital assets and are the same assets we sell on Creative Market. We definitely have a fair share of experiences trying to explain the digital files side of our business.

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Great topic! Thanks for sharing.

I have my products going on several marketplaces including my own site. Sometimes I get approached for cool opportunities with my digital products and also get a fair share of freelance work. Lastly, I work for a company as a graphic designer where we produce official merch for all professional US sports leagues and clothing brands as well.

Maybe one day I’ll make it off of the sales alone but for now this is the way!

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My relatives understands what i do, but they don’t understand why i am doing it and why people buy my assets :grin: so i an just telling - imagine the world without people like me - everything will be in Helvetica, is that what you want Karen ? A?

In other hand i am managing to live just from passive income and pay 4 salaries for already 3 years #highfive

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Most People Understand What I do selling fonts. But most people had no idea that making fonts was a career. For now, My passive income consists of CM and skillshare classes. It brings in about 1/4 of my income. other than that I teach college and work part-time as a graphic designer. My wife also works to support the fam.

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Great topic!

For me, CM supplements my main ‘full-time’ job income - although during covid and my workplace putting me on pro-rata time, the percentage it contributes to the full amount has increased from around 20% before the pandemic to 60+ % some months since. In terms of trying to explain this to most people, I don’t even bother since my dad was surprised people would buy fonts as he thought ‘all the fonts have been made already’ haha.

@angelainthefields I’d love to know more about the royalities and sales of fashion print side of your business - how do clients find you (or do you go to them)? I don’t have much surface design/pattern work but I enjoy it a lot and would love to get into it more.

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Cheers for sharing, guys! Interesting to see how people make a living from different sources.
@StudioAurora oh I go through one of the agents - however fashion print is notorious for being a very specific graphic design branch with so many little things you need to keep in mind when designing (sticking to trends religiously, everything in repeats, directions etc) feel free to message me on CM or IG if you want a chat about how to get into it :slight_smile:

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I tend to tell people I create digital items like graphics, illustrations and ‘fonts’ that other people can buy, download and then use in their own design works.

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Selling fonts is my families only income and most of it comes from creative market. I tell people “you know how an author writes a book for free, then the more it sells, the more money they make, While it sells, they can write another one. This is what i do but i create alphabets not books.” they seem to get that but then they say, you can get thousands of fonts for free. Why would people pay for fonts?
Then i ask what they do for work and explain that people could probably get, make, or do what ever you sell, fix, make for free also but if you want something quality or unique then lots of people are willing to pay. They then usually understand but still don’t quite get how i can make more money then them while only working 10 hour weeks.

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I believe we are the luckiest people in the world :smiley: we might not be billionaires but we have more value currency which is “time”. I love being on vacation whenever I feel to and still make money :smiley:

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These stories are so interesting to hear :slight_smile: Thanks to everyone who’s shared, I’d love to hear more!!

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@NewTropical wow congrats on that, I’m jealous! I’ still at the stage where I am filing up my shop with products, so hopefully by the end of the year I’ll get to relax a little bit haha.

Ha ha! Yes, it’s bad enough as a graphic designer, trying to tell people what you do, but even worse for fonts and digital files - which is what I do for a ‘second’ job.

Ha ha so fun to see we all struggle with the same issue :stuck_out_tongue: I usually see the question marks in peoples faces before and after my explanation… I think I explained it about 20 times to my parents and it seems like they gave up trying to understand it. I guess the concept of being a starving artist or work for clients only if you’re a freelance is still the main picture. What we do is somehow new work :slight_smile:

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Hey @angelainthefields your product looking great, Hopefully, you’ll get a stable income from them soon! :slight_smile:

We have the same story as you, we have been started to filling up our shop with products since last December. Our income from digital assets is still relatively low. However, we still doing client projects to help pay all costs for our shops. We hope our shops can be profitable after few years. :crossed_fingers:

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Currently in the military. I do commission work to bring in extra spending money. It was fun but now i spend more time designing for others instead of spending time with my family.

So I started selling products on creative market. Its helping a bit, working on trying to create more products now

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@ana.yvy ah yeah, my dad always gets that blank look when I’m talking about work :joy:

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I still have one creative market store with sets of different avatars. So far, this is just the beginning. Of course, the sales are too small to make it their main job, but I think that everything will be bett

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