How to Sell Art to Poster & T-Shirt Companies


One of the ways a freelance artist or graphic designer can earn a living is to submit work to companies that manufacture t-shirts, posters and even bumper stickers. With the advent of the Internet, there are more of these opportunities available than ever before. T-shirt and poster companies are always on the lookout for something new and original, twists on old designs, and interesting artwork they can use for their products. If you have a talent for drawing or painting, selling your ideas to these companies can be your way to earn a living with your art.

Things You'll Need

  • "Artist's and Graphic Designer's Market" book
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Get a current copy of the "Artist's and Graphic Designer's Market." While you can browse the Internet and locate many companies that may consider your work, this market guide can be an indispensable tool to help you market your art to t-shirt and poster companies. It includes contact information and submission guidelines from companies looking for artwork specifically for t-shirts, posters and other items. The book also features articles by established artists offering tips on how to sell your art.

  • Read the submission guidelines for the companies listed in the guide. The guidelines tell you exactly the type of art each company looks for, how to submit your art (usually on disc in a high quality image format such as TIFF), and how much they will pay you for your work. Write down the names and addresses of the companies that look as if they purchase the type of art you create.

  • Prepare your artwork according to the guidelines. If the guidelines state you should deliver both a computer disc with your image and a hard copy of your artwork, that is the way you should submit. Include a brief cover letter with your submission regardless of whether the guidelines request one. Introduce yourself, write something about the artwork you're submitting, and thank the recipient of the cover letter for taking the time to consider your work.

  • Package and send your work to the companies you've chosen. The guidelines will typically give you an estimated response time. Do not follow up on your work until after the response time has passed; then it's appropriate to send an email asking about the status of your submission. In the meantime, continue to submit other work to other companies. The more work you have in circulation, the better your chances of selling your art to these companies.

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  • Photo Credit Recycling T-Shirt Front and Back View image by Sophia Winters from
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