How to get started as a Microstock Vector Contributor?

What is Microstock?

Microstock is a platforms for you to sell your creative photography, illustrations, vectors, videos and audio as stock for different agencies. Each stock image may earn around $0.20 to $25 per sale, depending on the license bought. The amazing thing in the microstock business is, if your image meet the demand of the market it could sell a thousand times for years to come.

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Getting started as a microstock contributor?

To get started, you have to create your accounts at different agencies. Signing up is easy and you do not need to spend a dime. All you need is the right skill set, time and effort to create to right graphics, as well as keywording and upload your them to the marketplace. (we will go into detail on that later on).

Here are my list of best selling agencies!

Shutterstock

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Dreamstime

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Canstockphoto

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123RF

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Depositphotos

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Graphic River

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What sells well?

As a microstock vector artist, it is important to get started on the right foot. First of you will need to sharpen of your skills with Adobe Illustrator or free with Inkscape or Corel Draw. There tons of free tutorials out there. If you already have the skill set or you are already an illustrator or a graphic designer and have a collection of vector designs sitting on your hard drive, then you are ready to go.

So what sells well? It is different for different artist/photographer/videographer. As a vector artist, what are always in the trend are icons, business, signs and people. Of course there are seasonal stuff like Christmas, Summer, New Years and so on.

Categories that have the high potential to sell.

  1. Business – Business people Office, management, infographics
  2. Isolated objects / icons – Website, food, emojis, etc
  3. People – in social, leisure, workplace, interacting, relaxing, holiday
  4. Medical/Health – Doctors, hospitals, health and insurance
  5. Invitations/Greeting Cards – Birthdays, Weddings, Baby shower, Valentine, Engagement
  6. Seamless patterns
  7. Adult Coloring book ( latest trends) – Complicated line drawings/illustrations
  8. Education – college, school, reading, education materials, coloring

Categories that have less potential to sell.

  1. Backgrounds – Looks simple and quick to create. There are tons out there.
  2. Flowers – Flowers designs beautiful, but also there are many designs on sale

My niche that are sellable are icons, doodles, children, education and silhouettes. To be successful in this business you need both quality and quantity. Also, you need to find your niche and works 10 times harder towards your goal.

Keywording

Construction, Engineer or Contracter Character Avatar line icons. Vector illustrationContractor Line Icons

After uploading your first graphic to upload, you will need to do proper keywording for the graphic selected. This is critical part to ensure that your file will be at the tip of the finger of potential buyers at the agency marketplace.

Document Title: Is the name of your file. This is important because some agencies make use the title in their search algorithm. E.g. Contractor Line Icons

Description: It is important to keep it describe all the major elements that are in your file. You can include concept, colors, places, names, etc. while at the same time describing the major elements of your file. Describe the situations, process of the image in detail but keep it simple. E.g.
Keywords: This part is where you key in all the words that describe what your file is all about. You have to ensure that the words you key in are relevant so that buyers will be able to find them when they search it. This is the place where you can collect words that describe your file and define in which case the buyer will find it. Agencies normally allowed a maximum of 50 keywords, therefore you will need to use wisely and it would be great if you can use all of them. E.g. illustration, graphic, vector,clip art, construction, builder, engineer, industrial, equipment, building, tools, plan, draft, item, object, line, symbol, icon, flat, modern, style, simple, concept, element, people, person, human, safety, man, male, profession, employee, manager, staff, industry, occupation, isolated, worker, project, helmet, tie, man, employer, character, avatar, cartoon, hardhat, worker, project, business, plan

 

 

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My Zazzle store

I have recently started using Zazzle to sell my designs to replace Etsy. I found that it is much more suitable for me. I loved the way it can customise the products. It is perfect for gifts, t-shirts and invitations. There are no fee to sign up to be a Zazzle seller.

It may take sometime for a first time user to get used to the site multiple pages. Whether you’re shopping online and looking for something unique to give as a gift or to sell, Zazzle offers a wide range products you can purchase or customise.

My designs are usually simple, cute and bright. I aimed towards create paper goods for invitations, greeting cards for all life’s celebrations. On the side, I will create fun t-shirts and adorable cartoons for all products. Please find my Zazzle store here.

Wedding Couple Doodle Invitation Card

wedding invitation screenshot

Kawaii Narwhal Invitation Card

narwhal invitation screenshot

Getting started with Adobe Illustrator

Adobe illustrator is a tool for creating vector graphics. You can create logos, icons, invitation cards, typography and other vector arts with this tool. Whether you are a graphic addict, a beginner looking in the world of illustration, someone interested to create a logo for your business or an invitation card for your wedding.

You may get the 3o days trial download from Adobe’s download page to get your Adobe Illustrator tool.

First you need to familiarise yourself with the user interface. We will get to know about the workspace, tools panel, artboard, floating palette and others.

New Document

Open your illustrator after you have downloaded it. Go to New > New… to create your first document. You may type in the name of your first document. Adjust your size according to your preference. I adjusted it to width : 1000px and height : 1000px.

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Workspace

Below is the workspace. The artboard is where you will design your artwork.

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Tools panel

Below is the Tools panel. This is a very useful tool, which is used often. It comes in a single column as default as shown in the screenshot above. You can switch it to two columns by just clicking on the the top right small arrow. To expand the tools that are hidden, just click expand and hold the icon by pressing on the left mouse. It will reveal all the similar tools that is within the group.

 

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Floating Palette

Floating palatte is another useful tool. It contains properties for shapes and is usually used for changing colors, stroke width, gradient, transparency and others.

The screenshot below shows the floating palette. Usually the floating palette by default is in one column with icons. If you expand it by clicking on the small arrow at the top right you will see more selections as in the picture on the right.

The Artboard

The artboard is where your create your artwork. The artboard is white color with black stroke.

Create your first artwork and save it!

Let begin a simple artwork. Click on the Rectangle tool or press M. Hover your cursor on the artwork and create a rectangle box by click+drag the mouse. When you are satisfy release your mouse.

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Then go to File>Save as. Select Adobe Illustrator (*.AI) under file type. Name your file “First Artwork”. Enter Ok. There you have it! Your first artwork done in Adobe Illustrator.
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