It seems that the current hot trend in the microstock sphere is vector art. There is even a suggestion that vectors could be outselling photographs. This clearly means that there is an opportunity to join this industry and take advantage of the trend, utilising any design and illustration skills that one has as a graphic designer.
The growing popularity of vectors is understandable when looked at from a buyer’s perspective. A vector file can be scaled to and from any size without the corresponding loss of quality that comes with a photograph. Vectors can also be converted with total ease to other file types such as the standard raster files like jpeg and tiff. Even though a vector image on average will cost the buyer more than a photo, the fact that these benefits make the vector so flexible means that these buyers are happy to pay the extra.
In the microstock world, photographs seem to have reached the saturation point with intense competition and tens of thousands of very talented photographers that have contributed to the supply overtaking demand, always a very bad sign for prices and profits to the producer. But with the continuing rise of vector illustrations to the top of the bestseller lists at all the major microstock agencies, and with the easy availability of some fantastic tools like Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw and Inkscape, the freeware alternative, there is a great opportunity for talented designers and illustrators to jump on the bandwagon and make some serious money.
Unlike photographs however, producing a top quality vector can take a lot of time. One single but highly detailed and unique vector can take several days to produce. If one takes the decision to aim for the higher end of the market, the resultant portfolio will be considerably smaller purely because there is not enough time in a week to produce a large number of vectors. However, going down this route can be highly profitable with the highest quality vector images selling very well and having a long shelf life. It is not unknown for the best vectors to earn their authors a consistent $500 a month.
As a conclusion here, it is obvious that there is a possibility to generate a good income with vector illustrations. It does all come down to skill with vectors and hard work. There is a ready-made market place for good work with companies like Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstime and GraphicRiver, to name a few, that are actively looking to recruit talented designers.