If I know two things to be true about my community of art teachers it’s that art teachers are some of the most creative and talented people on the planet, and we don’t get paid nearly as well as we should for our hard work and creativity. This is why so many art teachers have the most creative side hustles: from selling hand painted clothing, to custom aprons, handmade earrings and rainbow stickers. Art teachers have proven themselves to be creative entrepreneurs who really can do it all! Over the years, I’ve loved supporting my art teacher friends’ side hustles because I know just how difficult it is to actually have a profitable and successful side hustle. As an art teacher myself, I’ve tried to sell stickers, shirts and even earrings. Despite all the hard work and time I’ve put into it, I’ve barely made over $100. That’s why when Pola from Display My Art reached out to me about their merchant program, I was so excited! If you are an art teacher looking for a relatively easy way to make a side income from the creative work you already do, this program is seriously a hidden gem.
So what is the merchant program?
The merchant program lets you sell your designs on products (mugs, shirts, coasters, you name it!) in some of the biggest retailers in the country like Amazon, Walmart and Wayfair. For every product sold with your design on it, you get a cut of the profit! Once you submit your designs, all that’s left to do is collect your check each month with your earnings. You don’t have to advertise your designs or package and mail your products off. Just sit back, and collect a check for the products sold. It’s really that easy!
Hold up, how does this work?
If you’ve ever sold your products on a print-on-demand website such as Redbubble, Threadless or Society6, it’s a very similar model. Display My Art (whose primary focus is to help art teachers fundraise) is under a larger parent company called 3dRose that supplies products to retailers like Amazon and Walmart. As part of the merchant program, you are working with 3dRose which is a small family-owned business. You are not working for Amazon or Walmart, but because of 3dRose’s contacts, you will have access to sell your designs in some of the biggest online marketplaces. This means more people can see your designs and purchase them, which means more money for you!
Are the designs and artwork I submit still mine?
YES. They are still yours and you can do whatever you want with them- including sell them on other sites! Your work as an artist is protected, you are only giving Display My Art the permission to reproduce your artwork.
Do I have to have graphic design experience to do this?
Absolutely not! You can submit paintings, photographs, any artwork you may have already created (including classroom samples), as well as digital designs, of course!
I got started with the merchant program earlier this summer and I love the flexibility it allows for. With the merchant program you make your own schedule. You can work as much, or as little, as you want to and can easily fit it into your school breaks or weekends. I love that I am able to make money doing something that I already love and do all the time- creating art! I’ve even been able to go through my old sketchbooks and folder of art to find art I had already created that I could now submit and make money from. After you submit the artwork once, your work is done!
The merchant program has become so popular with graphic designers who have seen how it’s possible to make thousands of dollars a month from the program, that 3dRose has closed enrollment and made it by invitation only. But Display My Art, whose primary goal is to help Art Teachers, decided to open this program up to art teachers only. This includes retired art teachers or art teachers who might not be working this year for any reason. This year has brought a lot of uncertainty to teachers across the country, and if you’ve found yourself in a tough financial situation or out of work, you are not alone. The art teaching community lifts each other up, and I’m grateful that Display My Art has provided this amazing opportunity for art teachers to generate a side income from their artwork. I hope that my fellow creative and hard working art teachers out there take advantage of this incredible opportunity.
To learn more about the merchant program and get involved go to: https://displaymyart.com/merchant-program