Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Where to Find Quality Clip Art

So you have been thinking about selling teaching resources, but you are not sure where to start.

First, let me start by telling you a little story.

When I first started my business on Teachers Pay Teachers I was going to use MY OWN illustrations. I am artistic so that was not going to be part of the problem. I was already creating coloring books for my friends already. Simple and cute coloring that was easy for the 2 to 5 year old crowd.  My products were full of my own drawings. I had figured out how to take my doodles and turn them into vector images, remove the white background and everything. Different clip art was THE THING that was going to make my quality products stand out in the crowd.

You can check this guy out at my Teacher Pay Teachers store.

I create 20 to 25 products and little by little things are selling, but I am getting frustrated with the results. So I go to the seller forum of Teachers Pay Teachers and ask what could I be doing better.

1. You MUST have eye catching covers. -- sure my covers could use some work.
2. You MUST use quality clip art.

Excuse me? Why?

Well then my dear, sweet, well-meaning husband said, "Well, while you are developing your clip art library maybe you should use a combination of your clip art and well known, popular artists." So with much hemming and hawing around I decided I would throw a popular artist or two on my cover and see what happened.
The difference a cover makes! Check out the updated version over at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Within 15 minutes of hitting publish it sold.

I was far from ecstatic. Now what was I going to do. Was I going to continue to take the time to draw everything I needed or would I embrace the artists my buyers already loved?

So the hunt was on. I was going to utilize popular artists and include my own illustrations. Where was I going to find it? I started on Teacher Pay Teachers. It is a great place to start.

I found .... Krista Wallden and Creative Clips. -- with over 75 free products this is a great place to start.

 Creative Clips TpT Store

But the hunt for cute kids was on (my weakness is drawing people). Enter ... EduClips, Melonheadz and My Cute Graphics. Now they all have stores on Teachers Pay Teachers and their own websites. I go to their sites more often then I do their stores.

Great place to start for FREE cute kids clip art.
Edu-Clips is my go to site for kids. They are my favorite and she has so many options! Check out FREEBIE FRIDAY as a place to start. 

MelonHeadz - great clip art, many for free. Proof you don't need WordPress to have a successful blog.
I had a chance to meet Nikki in Las Vegas last year. It is safe to say that she puts a little bit of herself in each character she has. I also use her site more than her store because she has more FREEBIES here. You just have to hunt for them.

All teachers should know of this site. It is a launching point for all your clip art needs.
I don't know who is more popular among teachers Nikki or Laura here of My Cute Graphics. Laura has an additional site with Whimsy Clips. Another GREAT resource.  
When I started working out of the house again, creating the products for my classroom became too much work to draw it all. I had to start looking for other clip art than just people.

For basic things I found Chlkr.com and OpenClipArt.org -- both of these sites have royalty free clip art. A little more about Terms of Use in a minute; however, both of these sites are royalty free.

These are all great places to start because:

  1. These artists allow for limited commercial use of their images. 
  2. These are talented moms taking care of their families.
  3. These images are trusted to be on quality products, so the buyer's eye gravitates toward YOUR cover.
  4. After you start bringing in some money from your products you can reinvest in the artists you love.
Some reminders:
  1. Some people are not the most honest - clip art can be stolen from products and redistributed. If you find something from one of the specific artists mentioned and it has a white square background it was probably lifted from another product. Be honest and don't use it. 
  2. Not sure if you can use an image - check the Terms of Use, it will tell you exactly what you can or cannot do. Still not sure -- ask the artist.
  3. Give proper credit. I have a collection of artists that I use frequently at this point. I created a credits sheet for the end of my products that lists ALL the artists I use. I never have to remember which artist I used or didn't use for which product since they are all listed there. 
  4. Flatten your clip art to your product so that it cannot be lifted and stolen.
  5. Take chances on surprises! Creative Clips has several of these. The last time I took a chance on a surprise freebie it was EXACTLY what I was looking for!
Do you have a great place that you go to for clip art? Share it with us in the comments.

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