As freelance Graphic designer and/or illustrator you could supplement your income by designing t-shirts.
T-shirt art is as old as the ubiquitous piece of clothing itself. There are messages, slogan tees, cartoons, line art, fan art — you name it. So find your niche and fire up the old Adobe illustrator (or Photoshop if you’re so inclined) and get started.
Bear in mind that not all tshirt brands have the same requirements/limitations for artwork. Some, who screen print the t-shirts (like us) require your artwork to be limited to a particular number of colours (4 or 6 usually). This means that your design must not contain any more than that number of solid colours to be eligible for printing. Some who print digitally would be open to the full colour gamut.
Now let’s talk about submissions and payments. Some websites like Redbubble & Society6 let you open your own store and begin publishing designs. You get paid when you make a sale. But these sites have millions upon millions of designs and it can be incredibly difficult to stand out or be discovered, unless you were already a high profile artist to start with.
Other daily-tee brands like Qwertee take submissions and users vote on them. The most popular ones get sold on a flash sale day and the payout is made thereafter. The grand old daddy of graphic design tshirts, Threadless runs contests you can participate in and if your entry is voted as the best by the community you could win big.
There are sites like VectorStock where you can upload your vector artwork and people can buy a license to print your designs on t-shirts.
Sites like Teespring let you start a Kickstarter like campaign and if you cross a particular threshold your shirts are printed and shipped and you are paid.
At Olyfant we have a different take on this model. You start a campaign, sell the minimum (just 15) and we’ll print and ship those t-shirts and pay you whatever amount you set as your share when you started the campaign. But after that, we print some more and add them to our shop page so those who missed the campaign can still buy the tee. We pay 10% from shop sales.
So there you go. Get going!