Creative Work, On-Demand News

New Patterns On-Demand

I mentioned in my colouring in post that I had made my iPad donut drawings into a pattern for my on-demand stores and I carried on with the fruit and space drawings too.

fruit watercolours

The fruit makes for such a cute pattern and is at the top of my list for a purchase once I decide which one to buy. You can find all these products and more at Redbubble and Society6.

outer space

My Outer Space piece was more of a standalone but I also made it into a pattern for a few products on Redbubble & Society6. This is perhaps the first pattern of mine that I feel I could actually wear on leggings.

donuts pattern

And here’s what the Donuts look like on more products, also at Redbubble & Society6.

I’ve uploaded them to Spoonflower too for fabric so will order some swatches soon.

Me Me Me

Reading Challenge Update

After failing my reading resolutions the last couple of years, I’m doing so much better this year and wanted to update.

books

While I’ve been on Goodreads for years, this is the first time I’ve taken part in their reading challenge and it’s made a huge difference. Seeing my total go up really helps motivate me to read more and it’s great having a bit of friendly competition with my friends’ challenges. I’m 2 books ahead of schedule already!

goodreads

You can read my reviews on Li.st. I’ve been switching things up to keep it interesting – so far I’ve read 4 fiction, 1 non-fiction, 1 memoir and 2 comics/manga with 5 on Kindle, 1 real book and 2 on my iPad. Realising I could read comics on my iPad was brilliant. Properly set up official comics are so cool to read as you swipe your way through the panels and artwork details. I’ve also finally been able to start reading an early manga series by my favourite manga artist Ai Yazawa, thanks to fanmade scanlations as it’s never been officially translated into English.

ipad

I’m feeling much more confident about my 52 book challenge now. I always imagined I would fail again because of my tendency to read incredibly long books, but if I balance that out with comics it might just happen. Then again, I have vowed to read my long-shelved copy of S this year, which is like 3 books in one complicated puzzle.

If you’re doing the Goodreads challenge too, feel free to friend me – I always friend back.

Sales & Offers

Weekend Wrap Up

Bit of a quiet week online but I’ve been busy behind the scenes with some exciting projects in discussion. I also got some great mail including this adorable Pikachu snow bunny!

Limited Time Shopping Offers

  • 15% off everything in my Society6 store + free shipping worldwide all weekend with that link only.
  • 40% off posters & prints and 15% off everything else in my Zazzle store this weekend with the code ZAZSPACESALE.
  • Repeat customers get 15% off the Afternoon Tea collection. Just login and check the cart page for the code. (How do you become one? Just place an order in my shop and you’ll have the option to create a customer account for exclusive monthly offers!)

Ongoing Shopping Offers

  • Get $10 off your first order at my Society6 store with this link.
  • Buy any 6 small vinyl stickers from my Redbubble shop and get 50% off.
  • Get 50% off your first personalised card at Thortful with the code TTSHUVNO.

News and Reminders

  • Still time to make something for Valentine’s Day with my first free tutorial on how to make a cute Pancake card
  • There’s a few bargains left in my Seconds Sale with polymer stamps, notepads and one last enamel pin.
Ask Me Anything, Featured Posts, Guides and Tutorials

Selling On-Demand: An Update

It’s been a couple of years since I wrote my guide to selling on-demand so here’s an update on how I’m finding things now.

spoonflower fabric pencil cases

SPOONFLOWER

How’s it going? I still sell a lot of fabric in all different sizes and types and make a reasonable amount of money from it. The Berlin office doesn’t seem to have increased my EU orders much but it’s been brilliant for getting swatches quicker to add new designs for sale.

New products: Some new base fabrics plus two new sites: Sprout for custom printed sewing projects and Roostery for readymade.

Biggest sellers: Tiny repeat patterns, tea towel calendars, cut and sew designs on a swatch.

Have I spent all my profits buying from my own shop? I do order a lot of fabric, but most of it is to make things to sell. I also made myself a scarf, which I wear a lot.

Promo opportunities: Spoonflower have regular offers including free shipping day, free swatches and 2 for 1 deals, but often just for 24 hours with little notice so you need to be on the ball. The design contests are back and are a great way to increase your followers.

Top tip: Check your sales notifications (in your profile) regularly and message all your buyers thanking them and asking them to send a link if they post online about what they make with it. Not that many people reply but when they do it’s always amazing.

Visit my Spoonflower shop >>

society6 tshirt

SOCIETY6

How’s it going? I sell reasonably well on here but the artist commission is very small. It still feels like the most fun site to sell on as the product range and styling is high quality and you feel part of a group. The new product uploader is a million times better and has made everything more enjoyable.

New products: Quite a few cool and high end products have been added recently including comforters and beach towels. You always get a heads up from staff so you can prepare your designs and promote them.

Biggest sellers: Mugs, phone cases and tote bags.

Have I spent all my profits buying from my own shop? Absolutely. Even though I only buy during big offers with free shipping, I still spend a lot. My comforter has definitely put me well in the red.

Promo opportunities: Regular discounts and free worldwide shipping. For major sales, you get an email well in advance so you can plan your promotion.

Top tip: Get involved! Follow artists you like to see their new work and promote your favourites to help them out. Add work regularly so that your followers can reciprocate.

Visit my Society6 shop >>

Gingerbread Man Journal from Redbubble

REDBUBBLE

How’s it going? I get 2 or 3 sales emails every day, though they’re usually just for a single sticker, so I’m not quite making millions here. It’s good that sales are regular and I’m obviously being seen despite not having received any kind of promotion.

New products: Since I joined, they’ve been adding new products regularly including a huge apparel range. Adding them to your shop almost always requires editing every single product though.

Biggest sellers: Stickers, by a million miles.

Have I spent all my profits buying from my own shop? Maybe. I have ordered a notebook and pouch for myself but I also buy stickers with my artist discount to sell on my own site.

Promo opportunities: Sales and discounts are always for 24 hours only with no notice and never on days when I promote sales, so that’s annoying. There are ongoing bulk discounts that can help you increase orders e.g. buy 6 stickers and they’re all half price.

Top tip: Follow the Redbubble blog as they post some very helpful artist tips as well as artist interviews.

Visit my Redbubble shop >>

zazzle wallet

ZAZZLE

How’s it going? Surprisingly well since I don’t promote it a lot due to high shipping costs. Narrowing my range down to just my favourite products has helped plus their new design tools are much improved. Sales are now pretty regular and often for high end products or bulk orders (I sold 100 tote bags to someone!)

New products: Zazzle are always adding new things but I only pick a few that suit my designs. The partyware has been perfect and I also love the improved tote bags and mugs. Interestingly, they are now highlighting products that aren’t selling or being viewed so you can remove them to make room for more popular ranges or work on promoting them.

Biggest sellers: Tote bags, clearly! I also sell a lot of blankets, posters, stickers and personalised cards.

Have I spent all my profits buying from my own shop? Nope. I haven’t been buying from Zazzle much as international shipping is outrageous and few products are available shipping from the UK.

Promo opportunities: Constant multi-day discounts (on the US site) that remind you to promote different products and seasonal ranges.

Top tip: Make space for customisable text whenever possible. If your designs have text, remove it and add it as editable text; if they don’t, leave some space. I don’t really get why personalised things are so popular but they really are.

Visit my Zazzle shop >>

Got a question about selling on-demand?

I’ve had a bunch of emails lately that I don’t have the time to answer individually, but I will write another blog post soon covering the main points. If you have any questions to add, leave a comment!

Creative Work

Colouring In My Colouring Book

Back in 2012 I was bit ahead of my time publishing a colouring book and it didn’t sell particularly well. Since I’ve been having fun colouring on my new iPad I realised I could be colouring in my own characters too!

colouring book

The digital version is still available so I saved some images to my iPad and decided to try colouring them in Adobe Sketch. I much preferred Procreate app initially but now I’m a huge fan of Sketch too. They both have pros and cons though so I’ll be using both for different types of artwork. I love that I designed the cover to be coloured in too.

colouring book - marceline smith

The best thing about digital colouring in is that you can use layers so it’s easy to try out different colours and brushes without ruining the page and you don’t have to stick to the lines! My favourite way to colour is to ignore the lines and do big washes or pencil hatching and then erase back to the lines. I also like removing the outlines after for a softer look. The donuts were done mostly with coloured pencils and the fruit with watercolours.

colouring book

My colouring book is more accurately an activity book as it leaves a lot of blank spaces and opportunities to add your own details. You can see I’ve done all my donuts slightly differently and my space page is barely recognisable from the original!

space - marceline smith

I had so much fun with this and you could never really get these effects on the actual page. If there’s any interest, I can add image files to the digital download so you can colour them digitally yourself.

donuts pillow

I liked the donuts so much, I made them into a repeat pattern which is available on lots of cute products at Society6 and Redbubble.