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Each illustrator goes through several stages:
Portfolio development
Search for customers
In this article, we will focus on the third stage.

So where do you look for customers? They don’t stand on the street with posters, illustrators don’t shout about their work on the street either, and in addition to word of mouth, at first you may encounter complete silence. Do not panic, everything comes gradually, but to those who do something for this.

We have prepared for you the top 8 sites where you can start your creative journey. Also note that you can and should use more than one site for searching.
Let's divide all 8 sites into three categories:
Social networks
Let's start with the portfolio:
a site where you can create your page and upload projects there. They will read like a ribbon within which you can show a series of works, arrange them, make a background and sign. Mock-ups look good in this series of works, in which you insert your work to show its possible application.

The site is convenient for working with customers to whom you send a link to your portfolio and they can clearly go to any tab and see your projects.
Plus, there are vacancies on the site, with varying degrees of employment and different levels of complexity. Most of them are in English, but if you know the language, you can find something interesting

Dribble.com is similar to Behance in many ways, with a jobs tab and the ability to post and describe your work. As with the previous resource, you can receive ratings and comments from customers and other members. Please note that dribbble.com is more focused on the digital space and product-specific design.

That is, if working with a mock-up is a desirable element on Behance, here you should show in all its glory and clearly where to apply your work.

If you go to the site, you will find that most of the illustrators create the most simple, concrete and commercial pictures. They are easy to use and bright. If you are close to this style, feel free to upload your work there and do not forget to look at freelancing vacancies. They must be answered in English.
Let's look at stocks next. What is stock?
This is a global online resource where customers from all over the world can purchase completely different illustrations (and not only) at an affordable price. The price for an illustration or any other product will not be very high due to the fact that the number of purchases for one product is not limited. This means that if you made a popular and sought-after product, it will be bought many times and in relation to a more expensive product that is bought less often, the first one will win.

However, stock is a fairly general concept for all the sites listed below, most of them do not identify themselves as such. But the sales mechanism is similar for all of them.

Shutterstock.com - is the most popular stock site in existence. To post your work on it (as well as on other sites in this category), you must pass an exam and, after approval, you will be able to upload new work. Remember that, again, these cannot be aimlessly drawn illustrations: when uploading them to stocks, be sure to think about your customer, who he is and in what area he can apply your work. And also note that work with stocks should be regular, then your work will be constantly in sight of potential customers.

If you want to delve into this topic, check out the YouTube channels of illustrators who have been specializing in this for a long time, they reveal many pitfalls: Katya Lisich, Successful Stocker, Anna Tyukhmeneva.
TheHungryJPEG.com in terms of illustrations prefer sets to create their compositions and patterns, ready-made patterns, logos, icons and textures. That is, you, as an illustrator, can also buy a set of elements with a specific theme and create something completely new. You are not violating any copyright in this case, the chance that another illustrator will have a similar topic again is great, so, like on any other stock, you will have to turn on your ingenuity and analyze the agenda.
For example, a month before Halloween, you will already find all sorts of attributes and sets on stocks, and maybe even earlier. Advanced stockers start preparing New Year's pictures in the summer.
CreativeMarket.com - is a very nice site in terms of visuals, but not everyone passes the entrance exam. From this point of view, the Shutterstock exam is more loyal than the Creative market. But, this allows the buyer to see really worthy works on the site and choose something really creative. Creative on the site is presented quite widely - these are book illustrations, and infographics, and brushes for procreate, and mock-ups.

In fact, the Creative Market is not entirely stock, as the style of the author is of great importance for the customer and he can go to his store for other similar works.
Etsy.com stands out among the stocks, although in general, it is not a stock at all. The main thing that etsy has is its own store within which you can sell both virtual things - for example, photographs or illustrations, and quite real ones - handmade crafts, clothes, jewelry and much more. The site rules allow you to add up to 40 objects to your store for free for a certain period, after which you must update the ad. It is possible to promote your store for money, that is, to buy advertising.

In fact, this is a serious and popular platform all over the world, tuned to the relationship "customer - creative unit" and you can find completely different things on the site. It remains only to choose your niche.
And the last category is social networks.
She needs no introduction and is the most popular
Instagram.com - is the main visual social network of the world today, the main element of which is photos. Now Instagram video content is also actively developing, but first of all it gained its popularity for static images. Needless to say, a beautiful picture is the main thing here, so when publishing your work, do not forget about their layout in the feed and the design of your page. It is also convenient to switch your account to business mode, it will be convenient for you to monitor statistics and generate ads.

Yes, there are many free ways to promote Instagram, but to be more efficient, just like on Etsy, you have the option to speed up the process of growing your page. It is not necessary that customers will immediately come, the account should find its face in the form of a beautiful feed, active commentators and subscribers.
Many creative people know and appreciate Pinterest.com as a platform for finding inspiration, and few perceive it as a social network, moreover, a very active one. How to promote on Pinterest? Almost the same as on instagram, the main thing is visual content and hashtags. A huge plus is the “try it out” button under each pin, where you can add your own illustration drawn for this pin. The importance of uploading a large number of illustrations in their preservation and re-saving by users on their boards (moodboards).

So your work can easily gain popularity and further lead to you a customer.
In conclusion, it should be noted that any of these resources has the right to take a global place in your experience only under the condition of constant work and activity. Any page, store, account is cultivated by its creator as a kind of garden in which everything is appropriate and beautiful. There is no need to think that it is enough to register and leave the site for a month or two, your work depends only on your efforts and illustration (and its promotion) is no less work than any other activity. In today's world, in almost all areas you will face great competition and in order to stand out, you have only one thing left - to work with soul and inspiration. This is your strength.
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