From Pixels to Profits: 15 Types of Digital Art to Sell Online

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There are countless types of digital art out there, since it’s a medium that uses both modern technology and the contents of the internet as its building blocks. If you’re an artist looking to explore these options, there’s ample opportunity to monetize your creations later on thanks to the rise of artist-friendly website builders to help you set up your shop.

But where should you start? And what type of digital art should you pursue? In this article, we’ve narrowed this wide net down to the fifteen types of digital art styles we think are the most relevant now. Let’s check it out!

1. Digital Paintings

digital painting example
Digital painting subjects can range from landscapes to fictional characters.

Digital painting is a medium that combines an artist’s freehand painting – via a graphics tablet – with the digital effects of software like Adobe Photoshop.

Artists will create 2D paintings on their tablets with either a stylus or a digital brush. Digital brushes vary in size and texture, and some are even created to mimic traditional painting styles like oils or pastels!

2. Vector Art

vector art example
Vector art is a great option for business logos and websites.

Vector art uses geometric shapes as the starting point for visual artwork. It can be made with Adobe Illustrator, or any other vector illustration software.

Vector art is popular for its scalability – unlike other types of digital art styles, this one works with algorithms instead of pixels, which means it can be resized without losing quality. This type of art is great for web designs and brand logos!

3. Digital Illustrations

digital illustration example
Digital illustration can be used to make all sorts of concept art.

The oft-misunderstood art of digital illustration refers to an artwork that has been created using software tools but with the direct involvement of the artist, usually via a graphics tablet. This is different from AI-generated art, in which the “artist” is not directly involved!

Digital painting is one example of this type of art, but digital illustration as a whole also encompasses many different types of concept art, like book covers and character designs.

4. Pixel Art

pixel art example
Some pixel art is still used to create a certain atmosphere.

The only building blocks used to make pixel art images are – you guessed it – pixels. The wonderfully retro results come out looking like old video game designs, and some studios still use this technique to preserve some of that nostalgia, even though more advanced digital art options exist now!

5. 3D Renders and Models

3d renders
3D renders are really useful for visualizing products or architectural work.

This is a computer graphics process in which 3D models are converted into 2D images. They’re often created with software like Blender or Maya, which both offer a suite of 3D tools designed to help users create ultra-realistic digital art.

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Check out our favorite art portfolio examples to get inspired.

6. Digital Collages

digital collage
Digital collages can pull from countless sources to create a larger message.

A digital collage is the virtual version of those magazine snippets and photo clippings we used to paste together manually. They’re often created in Photoshop, and their artistic potential is huge, because you’ve essentially got the contents of the Internet at your fingertips to help you make a statement.

7. Photo Manipulation

photo manipulation example
When done right, this practice can elevate a photo beyond the limits of a camera.

This is the art of using technology to elevate a photo beyond the limits of what’s already in it. In terms of artwork, it offers new opportunities to tell visual stories. But the other side of the coin is that photo manipulation can also used to deceive viewers and spread lies about real-life events.

8. Fractal Art

fractal art example
The Mandelbrot set is considered an icon of fractal art.

Along the same lines as vector art, fractal art uses algorithms to calculate fractal objects, and then represents the calculations as images. It can be created with fractal-generating software, which can iterate on an initial figure (like a line or triangle) until it becomes a piece of fractal art.

9. Digital Calligraphy and Typography

digital calligraphy example
A picture is worth (at least) a thousand words!

Calligraphy might be an old form of artwork, but it’s gained new life in the digital age as technology has given artists new ways to play with text. Various tools, ranging from Adobe Illustrator to Canva, allow people to play with letter spacing, line length, and everything in between.

10. NFT Art

nft art example
NFTs work by recording ownership in the blockchain.

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, is a unique identifier that can be used to certify a piece of digital art as unable to be copied. In other words, it allows for ownership over a digital item.

NFTs mean that artists can earn cryptocurrency in exchange for their work. However, they’re not very versatile beyond that, and so could have limited value for artists in the long run.

Top Tip: Create a website to promote and sell your art

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11. GIF Art

gif art example
This particular style was extremely popular on blogging platforms in the 2010s.

Although the pronunciation of “GIF” is debatable, their popularity is definitely not! GIFs (short for graphics interchange format) allow for short animations to be more widespread and accessible.

12. Digital Comics and Webtoons

digital comics example
The popular Netflix show “Heartstopper” started as a webtoon.

Because they’re released online rather than in print, these comics offer easier access to a wider range of readers. They also open the door to many different digital art styles and techniques!

13. Digital Art Prints

digital art prints example
See your digital art come to life offline.

You can create digital art prints using the Adobe suite or even Canva, which has a convenient free option if you just want to experiment while you get started! For potential customers, buying physical prints can be exciting because many of them are limited edition – and that exclusivity makes prints feel more valuable.

Once you’ve made and printed your masterpieces, you’ll have a few different options for selling your art online.

14. Virtual Reality (VR) Art

vr art example
VR offers new possibilities for experiential art.

Virtual reality uses 3D and other effects to make an online experience as immersive and realistic as possible – and it can be a total game changer for art! VR art can be made with software like Blender and other dedicated programs.

15. Augmented Reality (AR) Art

augmented reality art example
AR art can be used to create interactive games, tours and exhibitions.

AR technology overlays a computer-generated image on a user’s real-life view – kind of like if photograph manipulation existed in real life! Some tools let you do this without any coding experience.

Because of its interactive nature, AR is helping integrate art more closely with our daily lives.

Summary

There are many different types of digital art out there. From animation and painting to augmented and virtual reality, there’s really something for everyone to explore. Plus, you can always start selling your art to see who’s interested in what you’ve created!

FAQs

“Digital art” is an umbrella term that encompasses many different styles itself! All kinds of techniques and tools come together to give artists the freedom to explore different styles in their work.
Yes, you can! Many digital artists sell their work online, via a website builder or an online marketplace. It’s very easy to get set up on these platforms – so you can focus on creating the work itself.
Written by:
I grew up scribbling in notebooks, and until recently the thought of relocating my writing to the digital world seemed like an impossible goal. But when I finally took the plunge and created an online portfolio, I immediately saw the benefits of having my work out on the web. Since then I’ve learned everything I can about creating different websites, so that I can help those in a similar situation get online without a similar headache.

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