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Passive Income with Canva

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I have been a Canva Contributor for almost 10 years now. Honestly for most of those years I made no money and didn’t add anything new to my portfolio of  elements beyond the ten or so raster images that I uploaded at the beginning.

It sounds impressive to have gotten in on the “ground floor” of the program. But honestly I fell into it backwards and about 9 of those 10 years never made a nickel.

About a year ago a payment for about $190 showed up in my Paypal account. What was this sorcery?? 🤯 Somehow, someway, someone found a few of my items and started using them in their designs.

About this time I also started re-learning how to use Adobe Illustrator and decided to take the opportunity to make a bunch of SVG (vector) elements for my Canva portfolio. I now have almost 70 items in there. I’ve earned at least $100 per month for the past year. Nothing to get loopy about. But receiving those checks every month is fun and like magic. I didn’t actually DO anything that month to earn the money. Oh the joys of passive income. I’d like more of that please, especially the occasional $200 and $300 check that shows up in PayPal. Those are rare but super-duper fun.

The Canva contributor program pays out approximately .35 per one time use of your elements. This is for the people who aren’t subscribing members to Canva. It works a little different for subscribers who use your art in their designs, and it’s not at all transparent what artwork was used and how many times. It’s probably my biggest complaint about the program.

But I think the way it works is you get paid a percentage of the subscription fees Canva brings in, based on the number of times your elements are used.

Becoming a Canva contributor is different now than when I started so I can’t be of much help on how to join. They also have pretty strict rules about what they’ll approve for items you submit. But it has inspired me to do more and start submitting work to other stock illustration sites (like Adobe Stock).

Bonus Canva Tip

Okay, so maybe you don’t want to be a Canva contributor but if you use Canva for your own designs I have a really cool trick that shows you how to use your own vector art in your Canva designs.

Even free users of Canva are allowed to upload their own photographs, artwork and SVG files (vector art). If you export your vectors as SVG and use no more than 5 colors, you can bring your vector art into Canva and recolor them. It’s actually quite a lot of fun to do this. 

Save vector as SVG file for Canva

You have to create a vector file with no more than 5 colors, then export it as an SVG using the parameters shown above. I realize 5 colors can feel limiting. But play around with overlaying slightly transparent colors within the artwork for a result like that looks like more than 5 colors. The hat shown here only has 5 colors but I overlapped a few and made them slightly transparent to visually produce more colors.

The image below shows a rose crown I created and submitted for sale through Canva. I uploaded it into my free Canva account. Since it only has 5 colors I’m able to recolor it. Anyone can do this; you don’t have to be a Canva contributor.

To recolor simply select it and then a color in the upper left corner and change it by selecting a new color in the color picker. Voila!

Import your own SVG files into Canva

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Hi, I'm Kerry
Hi, I'm Kerry

...of Curiously Designed. This blog documents my journey as I figure out how to finally pursue a long-held dream of being a working illustrator and designer.

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