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  • Writer's pictureMarcy LaBella

Passive Income Dollars Flow - Make Cards with your art

Updated: Feb 18, 2019


Icon Series Cards 2018

Would you like to earn more money from your artwork? What if you could sell the same painting over and over again? Consider creating greeting cards that feature your own original artwork.

A few years back there was a call for cards in one of the brick and mortar gallery shops where I sell my work. I dipped my toes into creating greeting cards slowly by finding an online web printer and doing short runs of some of my paintings that I created in small format especially for these cards. I found that these cards are a huge seller for me and sell consistently all year round in my gallery shops and online.

Blue Lotus - Om Series #Zen #namaste #yoga #lotus

I create the cards by doing a short themed series. For example I have a series of birds in #mixedmedia , a series of holiday cards that are based on #icons and #shrines which I have been obsessed with of late. I start by creating a series of small paintings - usually no larger than 12"x 14" and in a series of 4 - 6 paintings, though sometimes I go larger and create bigger works. I also have more than one floral #stilllfe series since they are very popular year round. I also have a #zen series that features #lotus blooms and #mandala images that are very popular as well. I recently created a heart themed series that works for both Valentine's Day or even a Wedding or Anniversary.

Mixed Media, paper, ephemera, fabric, stitching on paper #Valentine

While I am creating some of these particular paintings specifically for these greeting cards I am not going out of my area of interest but continuing to create what makes me happy and gives me joy because what other reason is there to make art? I use #collage, #watercolor, mixed media, #acrylic and other techniques I would usually use, and subjects that strongly interest me already. I am adding to my body of work and often find that the paintings themselves sell very well.


It is very important to take clear pictures of your art so that they reproduce well for printing. Good lighting is very important as well as cropping and editing. Most companies will help you with set up if you are having issues. I have had wonderful support when getting started even on line through live chat sessions where someone was able to help me format my images to fit the program on the print side. Your job is to provide good clear images for them to work with. I currently shoot all of my images with my iphone 7, this includes all of the work I submit for jury to galleries and shows. Just be sure you have really good lighting in your studio, or if you are shooting outside, choose a bright overcast day. Be sure you are not casting a shadow onto your work, and always follow submission guidelines. Most card companies offer free tech support so don't be afraid to use it.


Currently, I am using Moo, since they allow up to 25 designs in one print order and the quality of the print job is far and above the companies where I originally started. The companies I've used have all include the envelopes, generally white ones. I now go up a level and get the brown kraft paper envelops which I love since they have an eco - friendly look. I love that Moo allows a small image on the back of the card and room for some writing. I go with an abstract painting of my own for the small image and a favorite art quote on the back which I change depending on the card run. I love the blank cards because they can be used for any occasion and sell really well. I also buy the self sealing plastic card sleeves which are a gallery shop must, at least where I sell on the east coast.


Still I am able to double my investment on these even when selling them wholesale. Selling direct creates better profit margins of course but you should be selling at the same rates and not undercutting your gallery shops it just isn't nice or look very professional. There are many options for printing locally and online and finding the best printer for you and your work will take a little time. Crunch your numbers - the cards, shipping and clear sleeves should still allow you to sell wholesale and double your money on each card. Remember art cards sell between $5 - $8 depending on your market. I watch my printers and wait for sales and coupon deals and order then - this allows me to have better profit margins.

Pink Flowers Blue Pot #mixed media #still life #floral

I originally started with a smaller format note card. My customber base seems to like that I print my cards blank inside to allow for a personal message. I find that the art market buyer seems to like this format. I love that I can add a small image and an art quote or poetry snippit on the back my card along with a web link. Right now I am printing my cards in a 4.13" x 5.83" format which is industry A6 size. I go up to an A7 5 7/16" X 7 1/4" for my clear plastic sleeve. This ensures that my cards and envelopes aren't getting crushed or folded inside the sleeve. I put the cards immediately into the sleeves when they arrive. They protect them from moisture and humidity and keep them clean and customer and gallery ready.

Grey Bird, Winter Birds #4 #mixed media, #Audubon, #birdpainting, #acrylic painting

There are many other options for artists create passive income with their paintings, prints can be made and drop shipped directly to the customer. There are also many companies that create everything from mugs, cell phone cases, t-shirts and just about everything else with your image and sent directly out to your customer. These are worth looking into as well as people are always looking for items with unique creative imagery.

Om Series Paintings - #zen, #om, #yoga, #lotus, #meditation

It is important to note that when you sell an original painting that has been made into cards or other items that you are selling elsewhere, that your sale contract reflects that you are still hold the right to sell the image and retain legal rights to reproduce the image for profit.

I hope you enjoyed this post - get going on some cards and start generating that passive income stream today!

Peace and Namaste!


Follow me on Instagram @bellamarcell1212

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