Introducing Big Cartel Art Works

Introducing Big Cartel Art Works

With Big Cartel Art Works, we're commissioning creative projects on an ongoing basis, so more independent creators can share their unique perspectives through their art - and get paid for it.

All of us at Big Cartel feel a responsibility to do everything we can to help artists and creatives thrive in these times. Music, writing, and all forms of art will help us learn, grow, and connect with each other on a deeper level. We’re committed to working with a diverse group of creative folks to put more art into the world.

We recognize that we have a privileged place in today’s world. You might be reading this because you trust us to help you sell your goods. Or maybe you’re here because you know Big Cartel supports hundreds of thousands of independent shops. Whatever the reason, we don’t take our responsibilities lightly.

The best way we can show our work is by being transparent about rates and deliverables. We'll provide the funds and give as much creative freedom as possible on these projects. We’re working with new friends, old friends, and future friends. And we want it to be fair, equitable, and open to as many people as possible.

Art Works projects typically fall in the $250-1,200 range. We’re commissioning illustrations, animations, articles, poems, playlists, and new-weird-fun things we haven’t thought about yet. We'll keep this article updated with current rates so everyone knows exactly what we can budget for a specific kind of project.


  • Poem - $250

  • Article (>1,000 words) - $400

  • Article (1,000+ words) - $500

  • Article (with photos or illustrations) - $1,000

  • Illustration - $500

  • Comic strip - $800

  • Animation - $1,200

  • Playlist - $300-500 donation to charity of artist’s choice

Each month we’re publishing new collaborations. Projects with the likes of Nilina Mason-Campbell, Khanyi Molomo, Travis Barron and Cady Buche, Holden Mesk, and Jacqueline Suskin helped us shape how Art Works, well, works. This is an ongoing experiment requiring the involvement and input of artists of all kinds.

Success for this project is simple, in our minds:

  • Pay artists fairly for their work in a time when budgets are shrinking and opportunities may be scarce.

  • Create an efficient process so we can continue working with new and underrepresented voices on a monthly basis.

  • Produce art that is useful, honest, and empowering.

We're also committed to working towards clear goals around representation with these projects. We want at least 50% of our contributors on a monthly basis to be people who are often underrepresented including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian creators, as well as women and LGBTQ+ folks. We'll also be keeping an eye on the projects we take on to make sure our budget is fairly distributed over time.

Got a project you wanna work on? We want to hear about it. Drop us a line on social with a link to your shop, portfolio, or social media with some more details about you. We'll add you to our internal collaborator directory and be in touch when we have a project that might be a fit to work on together.

17 June 2020

Words by:Andy Newman

  • Share