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About digital artist profession: How to earn $3,000 and combine art with technology


About digital artist profession: How to earn $3,000 and combine art with technology

Elena Morgun, hometown — Kiev, digital artist, @helen_morgun


About direction choice

Digital art is digital or computer art. The direction based on the technology, the artwork implemented in digital form. This modern trend in art requires more skills than the profession of an ordinary artist. It is necessary to adapt to the peculiarities of technology, the interface of the graphical editor, to get used to the tools. In this form of art, you can combine different styles and techniques.


I learned to draw as a child in art school. Then I entered the Institute on the speciality "interior and exterior design". We drew often and a lot and were taught painting for hours. After graduation, I went to work for freelance. I started with Russian freelance.ru, where worked for about six years. Then was the desire to expand horizons towards foreign customers, and I registered in Upwork.com (Odesk). When I was on the decree, I started publishing my works in the Instagram account.

About skills

The most important thing in digital art is the desire. Now, this direction taught in many schools, many courses that teach remotely. Video tutorials can be found on YouTube as well as master classes. This kind of art can be learned at any age.


Material investments in training are needed, as well as for the purchase of equipment and special programs. If traditional artists need brushes, paints, canvases, here needed a graphics tablet and a software package. It is desirable to have a laptop or PC to which you can connect. On the computer, it is possible to change the stages of drawing, and proportions, cancel the action — great advantages in the work.

The most important thing in digital art is the desire

Then you need to choose the style you like. I am interested in the theme of portraits, people and characters. When you start working, you try yourself in different techniques and styles. You can draw postcards, comics, advertising illustrations. But I realized that realistic works are closer to me.

In my Instagram profile, you can see that 80% of the pictures are portraits. There are works that I draw as part of art challenges. I also had a series of arts, which I created as part of the marathon. The series, thanks to which I received a large number of subscribers and interest from major art publics — celebrities as the Disney princesses. Blake Lively became Aurora, Emilia Clarke turned into Belle, Amanda Seyfried in Rapunzel, and Cara Delevingne was Anna from the "Frozen". Work was noticed by foreign resources, websites, agencies, and my audience increased.


About difficulties

For me, the difficulty that it is a sedentary job. The beginning artists spend a lot of time in one order. If you are a freelance artist, then the schedule is irregular, the working process takes place at night and on weekends. But way more advantages.

The disadvantages include expensive equipment that must be purchased at the first stage. Not everyone will decide to buy a graphics monitor, digitizer because they are expensive. When I started my career, there were only two companies — Wacom and Genius. Wacom is an expensive flagship and considered as the best in the world of professional illustrators. These tablets have proven themselves. Now I have a light monitor-tablet Parblo. This is a Chinese brand that is just entering the market with affordable prices and good quality. Novice artists have the opportunity to choose among a larger number of brands. This market is highly competitive, so you can find good budget options by spending 30-50 dollars.

About earnings


The main tool of work for the digital artist — portfolio. According to it, potential customers can choose any kind of art. You have to show them what you can do. Now even the diploma is not as interesting as your work and skills. It is necessary to upload a portfolio on the maximum number of platforms, so you would be seen by the maximum number of customers.

A lot of English-speaking freelance-stock and the most popular of them are a website behance.net, where illustrators upload their portfolios. You can use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Initially, I did not consider social networks as a platform for finding customers. But as time passed, people became interested in my work, and now most of the orders come from Instagram users. In this profession, the more you are known, the higher the chances to earn more.

In this profession, the more you are known, the higher the chances to earn more

Earnings can be from 300 to 3000 dollars per month. Freelancers decide how many orders they can take per month. My order on average costs from 50 dollars. If you are a beginning artist and you find it difficult to name the price for the work, I advise you to visit any freelance platform and see the portfolio of other illustrators. Find similar style and level of works and by comparing, put the price for the work.

About the prospects


In my opinion, the direction is in demand, because the sphere of activity of digital artists is wide. You can choose an interesting niche for you. You can engage in the gaming industry and draw character concepts, backgrounds for games. You can draw portraits, postcards, promotional illustrations and books. Multitasking artists who draw in different styles are in demand.

A digital artist is an interesting and diverse profession, which can be done with great pleasure. If you have the skills and want to master the technology, the work is a lot actually.

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