The Importance of Passive Income for a Freelance Graphic Designer

After freelancing as a graphic designer for so many years, I have really come to realize and appreciate the importance of passive income. After all, there are only so many hours in a day, and who doesn’t want to be making money while sleeping or not doing anything. Having sources of passive income is vital to a freelance graphic designer who oftentimes don’t get a steady paycheck but still has to meet financial commitments such as paying for rent and utilities.



I have tried many platforms in my quest to achieve financial freedom through passive income, from print-on-demand to stock graphic websites, some of them I have introduced on my blog. For me I simply upload my work, make sure everything looks good, and that’s it. While it’s obvious that I stand to make more money if I invest some time and effort on promotion, it won’t really be passive income if that’s the case.

Even so, I’m able to make some money every month. Although it’s not a huge amount at the moment, it’s enough for me to buy a couple of meals here in Singapore. Also, I always get excited when I receive notification of a sale — I’m always happy and grateful that someone liked my work enough to make a purchase.

I had an interesting month when someone bought one of my designs to be printed on close to a hundred mugs, netting me close to $200 that month. Maybe it was a employer looking to get the mugs as gifts for their employees… we will never know.

Also, since I have been freelancing for some time I have a lot of unused designs from my past projects, and it would absolutely be a waste if I don’t make use of them in some way or another. As such, having such platforms is a godsend, especially since I’m also able to make passive income from my unused designs.


In your freelancing career it’s not uncommon to have dry spells when projects are hard to come by, resulting in little to no income. But if you have sources of passive income available, you are able to achieve some form of financial stability and not have to overstress about making ends meet. You also get the flexibility to take breaks and explore other opportunities without having to worry about getting clients all the time, while having some leeway in choosing good projects that will help you grow as a freelance graphic designer.

As mentioned earlier, relying solely on design projects for income can be risky. Passive income on the other hand, allows you to diversify and make money from various sources, thus providing a safety net for you during challenging times.

Furthermore, passive income is scalable and has the potential to grow without you needing to invest too much time and effort. Unlike freelance work, where income is directly tied to the number of projects completed or hours worked, passive income streams can generate revenue even when you are not actively involved. In fact, there might even come a time when you are able to live off your passive income, allowing you to achieve financial freedom and peace of mind.


Start right now. That’s the first advice I would give to you, since the earlier you get started the faster you get to make passive income.

It’s a numbers game, so the more you upload the more money you stand to make. Most platforms are non-exclusive, meaning you can upload the same design to multiple places, which increases the chances of you making a sale. If you are like me then most of your sales would probably come from only a handful of designs. Since it’s quite difficult to know which ones would sell, it’s really a matter of uploading as much as possible and hoping some of them would prove to be profitable.

I find that I get the most sales for print-on-demand during the holiday season at the end of the year since that’s when people are more generous with their spendings. On the other hand, you might have a couple of months with not a lot of sales. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t start seeing the money come in right away. I would suggest sticking to a fixed schedule to force yourself to keep uploading regularly and leave your emotions out of the equation.

For a freelance graphic designer I would say it’s really important to keep building on your sources of passive income, especially in this time of global economic downturn when projects can be few and far in between. I’m always exploring different ways to make more passive income, such as investing in dividend stocks and creating digital products — and you should too.


For print-on-demand, Redbubble and TeePublic are the ones that have been consistently making passive income for me. They both have user-friendly interfaces so you can easily and conveniently upload your designs.

I get sales from other platforms such as Cotton Bureau and Design by Humans, but usually those are few and far between. As such, I would recommend focusing your efforts on Redbubble and TeePublic first, and moving on to others if you have the time and energy.

I have only recently started exploring stock graphic websites but so far the ones that have shown promise are VectorStock, Adobe Stock, and Shutterstock. I will be going into more detail about them later on, so please stay tuned.


It is important for you as a freelance graphic designer to invest time and effort into developing sources of passive income streams alongside your design projects. By doing so, you can enhance your financial stability, create long-term wealth, and enjoy the benefits of a diversified income portfolio.

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