Show up the way you want to online >>

How to Actually Use The

Stock Illustrations You Purchased

When you don’t identify as Creative or Techie it may feel a bit overwhelming to dive into the online stock world. I’m here to equip you with visual directions to make that whole process a little less painful. (of course if it’s still totally overwhelming for you, by all means outsource that shiz!)

Downloading, Unzipping, & Accessing Your Files

You’ve picked out your favorite stock illustration on creative market and you’re ready to get started! Congrats, here’s how to open it:

1. Make sure you have a file that fits your programs. The letters at the end of each file mean something. Here’s your key:

  • Canva // .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .svg
  • Adobe Photoshop // .jpeg, . jpg, .png, .psd, .gif
  • Adobe Illustrator // .ai, .eps, .pdf
  • Adobe InDesign // . indd, .pdf

2. If your file says .zip at the end of it, that means it is bundled together to save space (Mary Poppins style) and you’ll need to unzip it. Here’s how:

Mac: double click on the file and it will automatically unzip using Apple’s built in software

Windows: halkj

iPhone/Android: Download the app WinZip and follow the directions on the app to unzip your file

Surface: asldkjf

3. Yay you have the right files and they are unzipped. Now here’s what’s in the folder:

  • A “Start Here” file that tells you all about your purchase and how to use it
  • The files that you can open in your design software
  • Bonus files (usually artists sneak those kind of things in there like extra fonts and symbols and little goodies)

To open a Canva template:

There will usually be a PDF with a link to your file. When you open the link the template should open and you’ll want to save a copy of the template. Then you’re ready to edit the copy at your heart’s content. 

*Don’t edit the original, that will change it for everyone and they won’t be happy!

If your file doesn’t open when you click the link go ahead and email the creator and they will unlock it for you or send you an updated link. They are usually very friendly!  

Your Team

Did you know that by downloading a stock illustration from one of the online resources that I suggested in my resource list you also get a support team?

In my opinion, people don’t take advantage of the support button on their purchases enough. They are there to help you! Usually the shop owner is always happy to answer questions directly through email to help you out. 

Everytime you choose to use an online software or shop you should consider the fact that they are not part of your team. I bug the guys at Divi and Dubsado on the regs! They are my team now and they are always so helpful! 

Of course if you aren’t connected to a real person or they aren’t very helpful you can always shoot me an email and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction, considering I’ve probably talked to every helper on these sites.

The SVG File

SVGs are seriously one of my favorite files to make for my clients. They are sooo SMART! An SVG file holds all of the color information about your file so you can edit the color anywhere. 

I discovered the SVG file when I was answering the need for editable templates for my mompreneur stock illustration shop (a few pivots back). I ended up creating a huge amount of frames for quotes and SVGs became a standard part of my packages even through each pivot, because how amazing is it that you can change the color to whatever you need at the moment?

So if you have the option to purchase stock that has SVG as one of the file options – snag it! You can open them in software like Canva or Illustrator and change up the colors to match your brand.


Stock Included

Some software like Canva, PicMonkey, Crello, Infogram, etc have stock graphics in a library that you can add to your creations. In that case you can drag and drop and then when you’re finished pay for anything that was premium or continue for free.

Sharing & Citing

There are so many amazing artists on social media and it’s so fun to use their artwork in your feed (and most artists appreciate the exposure!). Here are the general guidelines:


  1. Check the artist’s bio to make sure they allow reposting, it will either say repost with credit or no reposting please. If it doesn’t say anything you can message them or share with credit.
  2. Share with credit means reposting the artwork with the artists signature still in the photo (don’t cover it or remove it from the post), tagging them in the post image and tagging their profile in the top portion of your caption (not in the hashtag paragraph). See below:

Remember to follow the Design 101 guidelines when using your stock illustration. They will always look best when paired with the correct fonts and with the correct spacing and hierarchy.

The Littlest Guide Shop is all about support and education. If you are wondering what illustration can bring to a project, what branding looks like for a small business/ solopreneur or just want some support brainstorming just click the photo above.

Can I help you find something?

A Note from the Illustrator:

Stock files and getting a hold of support driving you crazy? Outsource it Mama! Get something made specifically and intentionally for your brand only here