Step by Step List – How I made a million dollars on Etsy!

  1. First I drew an ink drawing on pretty paper.
  2. Then I added some watercolour.
  3. After the watercolour dried I coloured it with coloured pencils.
  4. Then added detailed ink work,
  5. …refined the coloured pencil and signed it.
  6. I took this illustration and scanned it into Photoshop.
  7. I sold that original illustration for $200.00 USD

Then I proceeded to sell 49,990 prints of that original illustration at $20 BUCKS a pop excluding shipping costs of course.

Perhaps if I was smart, I would have sold 19,996 limited edition prints at $50 BUCKS a pop.


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22 thoughts on “Step by Step List – How I made a million dollars on Etsy!”

  1. Jessica your art makes me happy! And you know what, even though our art is different there’s that something I can relate too that encourages me to keep on going in my own creative way. I just opened up my own Etsy shop slowly but surely I’m figuring it out. It helps when there are so many Artist’s (like you’re self) that are willing to share what works for them. So thanks girl!

  2. Thanks Heather :)

    I think it’s a continual learning kind of thing with Etsy mixed in with a bit of luck.

    Congratulations on opening your shop! Woot!

  3. Hi Jessica,
    I’m new to your site, so sorry if I sound out of the loop. Did you really make a million dollars on Etsy? If so, that’s amazing. If one wants to follow in your footsteps, do you recommend that she get an expensive printer to make her own prints?

  4. Well, I’m hoping to make a million on Etsy someday (hopefully sooner than later). This post was just a spoof but holds some truth to it as it is possible to earn a million dollars if you keep at it.

    Start with a decent printer that you can afford and continually improve and learn as you go Claire. I sold original art until I could afford to purchase my first printer and only then did I begin creating prints.

    That would be my best advice :)

    Nice to meet you!

  5. Thanks for being so gracious about my gullibility! I also appreciate the advice about the printer.
    How did being a Gawker Artist contribute to your success as an artist? Gawker just put my page up a week ago. From my understanding, my art will be posted on the main site in a couple weeks. I am, of course, obsessing over how many hits my page gets.
    Anyway, your site is really great. I appreciate the step-by-step explanations.


  6. Your Welcome Claire :)

    Yes, your art will go up on the main page of the Gawker Artist Site and be served up[ when their is no paid ad to fill an ad spot throughout the Gawker network. As they ad more artists your art will fall off the front page of the Gawker Artists Site. that is how I understand anyways 😉

    Congrats on being accepted!

  7. One more question. How long after your page went live did it take for your art to be posted on and the other Gawker blogs?

  8. Ok, I’m impressed. Good luck with the $million project. (yes, you CAN!)
    What kind of printer did you end up getting? I’m ‘borrowing’ an Epson 4800 from a friend, but found out the inks alone can run to $1k. Of course you can say they’re archival and if you use high rag content paper, they’ll last 125yrs or so. ….but it might be cheaper to do original oils.

  9. Thanks Victoria :)

    I’m using an Epson R2880. I’m slowly migrating to that from an HP printer as the costs of buying larger (13 by 19) packaging supplies, paper are still prohibitive to me. The ink cartridges cost about $15 a piece for the Epson. It prints with 8 colours. I am printing all my smaller prints now on the Epson as my older stock sells.

    I wrote a review about my experiences using it. I also discussed using the canvass roll to.

    I’ve never painted in oils. I tend to stick with watercolour, ink and acrylic.


  10. If only it were that easy Jessica! I’ve been on Etsy for 6 months and only sold 1 item.
    Love your work though. Inspiring story too, so i will plod onwards.
    I will like to add you to my blogroll, if that’s ok?

  11. Hi Melinda – I really didn’t begin making sales on Etsy until I devoted much more time to my shop. I was on Etsy for about 6 months before I made any sales then it was another 5 months of hard work before anything resembling steady sales began to come in.

    I still get days and weeks where I make no sales at all. I hope by the end of this year that that changes to steady daily sales.

    Keep going Melinda! It will get better.

    And yes, you can add me to your blogroll. Thank you for asking :)


  12. Alicia… I know. LOL. but at least I get to make 900,000 which would be fantastic. I keep working towards it. 😉

  13. Jessica..

    You certainly have the technical ability, you should think about building your own shop on something like Zen Cart like I did. Unlike me, you have the following to make it pay for you (though it’s free to use btw).


  14. I thought about that Lorrie. My webhost has one push install of zencart. In the future perhaps :)

  15. This was basically a spoof post to illustrate how long it would take to make a millions dollars. I haven’t earned a millions yet but I’m hoping to someday.

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