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The gig economy: How to make money selling your 2D assets on Cubebrush
The buzzword du jour is the gig economy. Loosely encompassing freelancing and entrepreneurial contract work, it represented 34 percent of the American workforce last year and is expected to climb to 43 percent in 2020. In creative industries like animation, the self-employed, 30-hour workweek is rapidly becoming a new normal. For those looking to make money between jobs, Cubebrush is an opportunity turn cartoons into cash.
Cubebrush is a mixture of commerce and community — a marketplace for digital art resources with a focus on CG, across tutorials, models, brushes, textures and more. Everybody from freelance animators to students to studio professionals to video game producers can sell their assets on the site through individual stores, all while growing their knowledge and connections via the highly engaged forum.
The platform launched a year and half ago and has already seen massive growth. According to Sarah Loughry, marketing director at Cubebrush, around 20 percent of stores are currently doing 2D, with approximately 1,500 sellers and 100,000 subscribed users.
Toon Boom spoke with Sarah about the potential for 2D animators to turn Cubebrush into a channel for additional revenue and relationships.
Tell us about what Cubebrush does and how that could apply for a 2D animator?
SL: We are the first marketplace for everything CG. Currently, 2D animators have access to tons of tutorials, brushes and tools to learn how to draw or improve their skills. They can also tap into resources on how to market themselves and have the opportunity to teach 2D animation and generate revenue by opening a store and selling their own tutorials.
What is the value Cubebrush brings to animators?
SL: For animators and game producers, we create more than a marketplace. That said, the marketplace is important for buyers because it’s an area people can go and purchase last-minute assets or something they don’t have time to create. For our sellers, the great part is it’s a one-stop-shop.
There seems to also be a strong community element…
SL: A lot of our time and energy goes to community forums, both in 2D and 3D. We have weekly contests on the forums for both professionals and amateurs, and through those we encourage feedback.
People can also create blogs for themselves on the community forums and ask for feedback from other artists. We try to create a community within our site as well. We also have a lot of free tutorials on our blog. We want to make sure we are giving back to artists as much as we’re creating a business from them.
Who’s the average person shopping on Cubebrush?
SL: Obviously they’re an artist. Many of them are in the industry; they are game developers looking to populate their project with quality, game-ready assets. They are architects, interior designers, publicists and film makers looking to get quality pre-built assets to save on VFX budget.
The bulk are students — people who are learning, which is why I think the tutorials go over so well. We have sellers who created stores as students and sell their assets to make some extra money.
So this is an interesting channels for creative entrepreneurship, right?
SL: Absolutely, we have some sellers already making a living with their store. If you open a store on Cubebrush and market yourself, and you share the URL for your product directly with your audience, you will make 95 percent profit on that. Credit card payment fees, hosting and distribution is where the five percent comes in.
Source: Taylor Payton/Cubebrush.
If they find you through our marketplace and platform, you’ll get 70 percent profit, which is normal for the industry. If you market yourself well and utilize social media and other tools, you have a chance to make 95 percent of your sale. That’s a pretty good number.
Do you know how much people have been making?
SL: There has been significant growth in seller revenue since we launched. We try within our platform to help. We’ll do weekly freebies; if you create a store and have a ton of assets, but feel it’s not getting noticed, a good way to drive traffic is to list something as free. We will pull that for our freebies list of the week and market it. It gets the store a lot of attention and is a great way to get started.
What can 2D animators and creators look forward to at Cubebrush?
SL: Although our platform currently hosts mostly 3D artists, the 2D audience is quickly growing. Our goal is to continue to build our 2D inventory from high quality sellers to accommodate our artist’s needs.
Additionally, we’ve started branching out with our blog content to appeal to the 2D artist. We have several posts lined up specifically focused on 2D animation. With great partners like Toon Boom, we’re confident 2D animators can rely on Cubebrush for quality assets, tutorials, relevant information and community.
What would or do you sell on Cubebrush? Let us know in the comments below!