How to Monetize Your Art: A Conversation with Mnawrah

Illustration has become a new medium of expression and creativity in the UAE. But as the case with most creatives, finance and money language is not their first language. For that reason, we interviewed Aysha Al Hemrani aka Mnawrah, to help aspiring illustrators set a price for their creativity that matches the market.



At the start of your journey in the illustration field, you might not know how to price your work, how much does it really value, and having the confidence to stick to your initial price when being haggled. First, you need to know that how you feel is completely normal especially at the start of your career. At the start of Aysha’s illustration career she too did not have the confidence to price her work as there is no fixed price when it comes to art, especially in our region. Her first experience selling her art was at a university festival where she was able to engage with her customers to see what they are looking for and the price they were willing to pay. So, as a starting point, you must study the value customers are willing to place on our artwork and if that value matches the market as a pricing.


As Aysha’s illustration become popular she began receiving comissions from different companies. The companies she worked with priced her work and from there Aysha began to see how to value her work and how to price her work. Of course, you need to take into consideration the value of your time, effort, supplies used and calculate that accordingly.


Creating an illustration requires many hours of work along with client changes that lead to a final result. Time spent on illustration has to be taken into account when pricing. Most illustrators in the UAE have a full-time job meaning their time is limited and hence price must be accounted for the time spent. 



In addition to valuing your own work, you must realize what a client expects from you. As a professional illustrator or artist, you are not only that, but you are also your manager, business partner, and the forefront of your brand. That means you have to be professional.


When working with a client you must be professional. This means: our work must be submitted on time, your emails must be well written and constantly updated so that the client reaches you easily. Most importantly, displaying your work in a professional manner is a key step when working with clients. Aysha suggests putting your artwork on a beautifully presented website so that potential clients can view your art easily. In addition to that, it would be great to add your website at the bottom of every email you send out. Your website acts as a visual portfolio for your work and the list of clients you have worked with before. Having worked with good companies can lead to higher income so make sure you highlight that as well.

Instead of opting for the usual Gmail, you can purchase your own domain from websites such as GoDaddy, in this way you act like a professional business.