Can I Make Money With My Art if I Only Use Procreate?

I recently sent out an email asking the membership the same questions I asked recently here in the community. I am trying to plan content, as you know, so this question/answer from one of the members that doesn't make it to the community often deserved a thorough answer, and I though "Hey, I may as well post this in the community too!"

Her question was the "Can I make money from my art if all I use is Procreate?", so here is my response:

You can absolutely make stuff in Procreate and sell it. There are many artists using it for their surface pattern design. Most modern fabric printers, especially the POD sites INCLUDING Spoonflower, accept Procreate files. These are print companies that work within the digital printing industry. I know well-known artists like Maja Faber, Sarah Watts, Teela Cunningham, Amanda Grace, Erin Kendal, and more who almost exclusively use raster based programs like Procreate to create their patterns. 
Some of the traditional fabric printers use a process called screen-printing. Each color is printed separately and it is done by squeegee-ing ink through a fabric screen.

Traditionally this was silk, hence the term silk-screening (now it is a silk-look-alike polyester, but the process is the same). Because of this process, artists must create these colors so they have sharp edges and no color mixing. This is where vector art comes in. Multiple layers can give the effect of full color, but there is a limit of how many colors due to the cost of producing multiple screens and the time it then takes to print it!  It is the layering of color on top of color that creates the look of full color, but the process is entirely different from digital printing which can produce ANY color from cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK), just like an inkjet printer does in your home studio.
As for myself, before jumping into the surface pattern design game, my main method of earning royalty money was creating extra-large abstract (mostly) art for walls. I OFTEN used Procreate to create my art. I would create it a half size of what I needed in the end, so 16x24. I am only able to do a few layers, but I made it work. Sometimes I had to do two or three artworks that I would flatten then combine in Procreate or Photoshop. I also would often combine these in Photoshop so I could composite them with some art I did traditionally, often from my art journals. I would use a high resolution scan if I did that.
Lastly, I would apply a complete overlay with texture which masked any pixelation caused by enlarging the Procreate files. I NEVER had any complaints about quality and I have sold many, many artworks in the last fifteen years.
Many artists (myself included) create both pixel-based and vector-based artwork. This isn't really a question of whether pixels are superior to vectors or vice versa. It's more about when it’s best to use one over the other. Hope that helps.
At this point in my life, I am switching to surface pattern design because it is more likely that I can make more money than selling one-off large abstract pieces. Selling fabric can be yard upon yard upon yard sold, therefore making royalties greater (or at least the possibilities of...)
I was especially struck by your statement that you just keep taking classes and maybe it’s just a dream that you can make money with your art and with Procreate. In Year 2 of my membership I am hoping to give you some really solid methods of moving forward with your knowledge. Also, you are not the first person to mention they need help with their file systems, so I will also work on that for y’all. 

Working in isolation often makes us feel like we are not "really" artists. We try to piece-meal our way by taking classes here and there, and never feel we really truly understand the big picture. I think posting in the community and getting feedback is a great way to start learning about how we can do this! Step-by-step you can start to build a business. And if business is not your thing, all the projects we do are fun and rewarding to do, so there is a place for you here too!
Thanks so much for opening your heart and sharing this so that others might benefit from this information.
I invite you to give the community a try. You are paying for it as part of your membership, so why not? Access the membership site here:


  • Delores, Thanks so much for your thoughts and encouragement! :)

  • Thank you for this much-needed pep talk! This is all such good advice!

    Michelle Goggins

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