How to make money by drawing anime?


How to make money by drawing anime?

In the modern world where digital media reigns supreme, artists who are passionate about anime have a unique opportunity to monetize their talent.

Anime, a style of animation that originated from Japan, has gained massive popularity across the globe, leading to an increasing demand for original, creative anime artwork. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to make money by drawing anime.

  1. Refining Your Skills

Before diving into making money with your anime drawings, it’s crucial to hone your skills. No matter how much you love anime, having an in-depth understanding of the basics of drawing and the specific elements of anime, such as distinctive color usage, exaggerated physical features, and emotional expressions, is necessary. Remember, the quality of your work is directly proportional to your potential earnings. Consider joining art classes, online tutorials, and practice diligently to refine your craft.

  1. Building a Portfolio

A well-curated portfolio showcasing your anime drawing skills is the key to attracting potential clients or employers. Diversify your portfolio with a broad spectrum of works – different characters, scenes, emotions, and themes. Try to include both black-and-white and color pieces, full-bodied characters, and close-ups. Your portfolio is your visual CV, make sure it represents the best of your abilities.

  1. Selling Prints and Merchandise

One of the simplest ways to make money from your anime drawings is by selling prints or other merchandise. With print-on-demand services like Redbubble, Society6, or Etsy, you can easily create a range of products such as posters, t-shirts, mugs, and more. This way, you don’t need to worry about inventory or shipping, as the service handles it all. Just remember, the more appealing and unique your designs are, the more they’re likely to sell.

  1. Commissioned Work

As your name and artwork become more well-known, you might start receiving requests for commissioned work. This can range from character designs, book covers, game artwork to custom portraits. Pricing can be tricky, but it should reflect the complexity of the work, the time invested, and your skill level. Don’t undersell your talent, but be realistic about what people are willing to pay.

  1. Online Platforms and Social Media

Platforms like Patreon and Ko-fi allow artists to receive support directly from their fans, either as a one-time donation or ongoing monthly support. Here, you can offer exclusive content, early access, custom art, or tutorials as rewards for your patrons.

Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok are also fantastic for showcasing your work to a broad audience for free. Regularly posting quality content can attract followers who could turn into potential clients or buyers. Remember to engage with your audience and build a supportive community around your art.

  1. Teaching Others

If you’ve mastered the art of drawing anime and have a knack for teaching, offering classes or workshops could be a lucrative avenue. This could be in-person if you have access to a suitable venue, or online through platforms like Skillshare or Udemy. You could create a course that guides beginners through the basics of drawing anime, or a more advanced course exploring specific elements in more depth.

  1. Working with Anime Studios or Freelancing

Many anime and gaming studios often look for talented artists to bring their ideas to life. While this often requires a high skill level, it can provide a stable income and valuable industry experience. Similarly, many businesses seek freelance anime artists for various projects. Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr can be great platforms to find such opportunities.

  1. Creating a Webcomic or Manga

If you have a story to tell, why not create your own webcomic or manga? Websites like Webtoon or Tapas, allow artists to publish their works and monetize them through ad revenue, reader donations, or even publishing deals. Developing a compelling storyline with engaging characters, combined with your distinct anime art, can gather a dedicated fan base and generate income.

  1. Entering Art Contests

Numerous online platforms and communities host art contests, offering cash prizes or recognition. Although winning isn’t guaranteed, it’s a valuable opportunity to refine your skills, create exposure for your art, and possibly earn money. Websites like DeviantArt often host these contests.

  1. Licensing Your Art

Licensing allows companies to use your anime drawings for their products in exchange for payment. This can be an excellent source of passive income as you receive royalties each time your art is used. For this, it’s crucial to have an understanding of intellectual property rights to protect your work.

  1. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter can help you raise funds for bigger projects like an art book or a manga series. You’ll need to create a compelling campaign to convince potential backers that your project is worth their investment. Offering attractive rewards such as original artwork, prints, or behind-the-scenes content can incentivize donations.


Making money by drawing anime can be a gratifying venture, allowing you to turn your passion into a paycheck. Like any career, it requires dedication, constant learning, and patience. It’s important to understand that success may not come overnight. But with consistent effort, marketing savvy, and a touch of entrepreneurship, the financial rewards can be substantial.

Remember, the journey of monetizing your anime drawings is not solely about making money; it’s also about expressing your creativity, sharing your love for anime with others, and contributing to the vibrant global anime community. As you continue to develop your skills and find your unique style, you’ll be carving out your place in the world of anime art. Keep creating, keep learning, and keep sharing your work with the world. The possibilities are endless.