It seems there are a multitude of print on demand sites available on the internet these days. I started off with just CafePress and Zazzle but over time it’s become too many to keep track of. The idea was to put my eggs in different baskets so if one site did poorly I might be able to rely on one of the others. However, it feels more like I am simply struggling to find something to focus on. With so many different POD sites and the allure of joining ‘just one more’ I’ve become obsessed with ensuring I am doing something with every site. But it’s hard when you have so many.

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Just from memory I will share the ones I am a member on: CafePress, Zazzle (5 stores: 2 on Canadian site and 3 on original .com site), Society6, Redbubble, Skreened, fineartamerica, ImageKind, CowCow, Grab Your Design, Crated, ArtPal, and possibly a couple more I’ve forgotten. The one I am focused on lately is CowCow because I love being able to design all-over-print clothing. It’s a bit like getting to be a fashion designer even if nobody knows who you are. I’ve ordered some things from CowCow on sale and it helped me to see where I need to improve my art.

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Sorry for the small image but I couldn’t copy it larger. This is a dress I designed (my purple mandala created digitally). It turned out well resolution wise. Cowcow.com

A pair of leggings I ordered let me know I had enlarged my image too much and the quality was less than it could have been. So I adjusted my art with that knowledge in mind. It also showed me how I have to remember to zoom in on my images to 100% before I publish them because sometimes it looks great at 40-60% but at 100% it is fuzzy or has jaggies around the outline of images. As an untrained graphic designer/ digital artist I am simply learning as I go. Fortunately I did not have loads of art published that needed fixing since I only started creating my own art in early December with my Corel PaintShop Photo X3 software. For anyone unfamiliar with PaintShop it is the Corel version of Adobe PhotoShop. But with the benefit of being much cheaper since hardly anyone uses Corel compared to Adobe.

In terms of graphic design I have taken to using PicMonkey when I want to use text with an image on a site that doesn’t provide its own fonts like Zazzle does. I paid the $33.00 ( I can’t remember if that was Canadian or American dollars) for a year subscription and get to use all the features on their site. The only drawback is they don’t let you make images above 4000×4000 pixels so you can’t design images that will go on large items (i.e. shower curtains and some all-over-print clothing). But that is not so bad since I can still use the site for lots of smaller images (usually under 3000×3000 pixels). It’s great for designing my shop banners with the nice variety of fonts.

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A banner for one of my Zazzle shops. Nothing too artistic but it is for Zazzle, not Redbubble!
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An example of a pattern I enlarged and changed its hue. Corel PaintShop has some patterns you can use if you make a raster layer. I haven’t figured out how to create vector images from scratch yet-except for line drawings. Cowcow.com

Some of my designs are simply public domain images I have used on their own or altered in someway, such as the hue or making a pattern. I like the patterns available in the public domain but I enjoy changing their hue or giving an effect to it; then it feels more like something I had a part in making, beyond the placement of the image on a product.

The bird pattern on pink background is one I had in my Corel PaintShop for use when making new images. The scale/size and colour/hue are different from the original. Often the patterns must be zoomed in on so they can be seen on smaller screens. That’s why I scale them before putting them on a product. My computer does not have 750 GB to 1 TB of storage like some of the newer ones so I save most images to an external device. The images I create tend to be heavy on storage size (i.e. 10+ MB after merging flat). I don’t want all my storage and processing speed going to images!

Now I just have to organise myself enough to figure out how to be on 10-12 POD sites and not get overwhelmed. It’s that or I am axing any I have not invested too much of my time and effort into. Sorry ArtPal and ImageKind (I’m thinking they are getting axed first, LOL).

Thanks for reading 🙂

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