See Zazzle through the eyes of new seller, Cat Sacdalan! Cat, aka annthrop, has only been with Zazzle since March 2009, but was wonderful enough to answer some questions about what inspired her to become a Zazzler. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store Permanent 3rd Grade!
Zazzle: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Cat: Been an illustrator (or sometimes I say a “drawer”) since I was 4. My first sketchbook was my grandmother’s stack of Manila Bulletin–I liked tracing over those letters and drawing along the margins. Nearly 30. I’m a graphics designer in the Philippines. I just recently submitted my resignation letter from my day job, in crayons. I’m currently spending more time online as Ms annthrop, drawing–really is the best alternative to owning a gun, although I can still make quite a mess. Always mindful of not wasting paper–my shirt is usually covered in eraser dust. I first came across Zazzle on March 30, 2009 through Google. Yup, got it down to the exact date. My del.i.ciou.us keeps track of my web-surfing footprints. Exactly how: the search words I entered was “flies into buildings”. See I was looking for a cartoon image (somebody from a podcast said it in a cheeky 3rd grade way) and Google showed me an image link to a Zazzle shop that has only been viewed 20 times! Suddenly I felt lucky. I set up shop after a week!
Zazzle: What’s your inspiration for your designs?
Cat: Two things really: people (fictional/real) and music. Most of the time music serves as a drawing laxative but there are some songs that’s just ripe with stuff to draw about. People are the best subjects; they can be so smart and stupid at the same time. They usually have an idea and when I see a connection to other things, it’s precious fodder for drawing. “3rd grade” stuff tickles my drawing hand the most. No matter how initially appalling, odd or irrational I find a character or idea to be, once caricatured, I find them lovable. Works well to keep me drawing. Gee, I feel like I’m on therapy.
Zazzle: What has been your favorite design you’ve created, and why?
Cat: My favorite is usually the latest thing I’ve done, mainly because I have not stared at it long enough and I’m still experiencing that high you get after finishing an artwork. It’s like having a baby. First they’re cute and adorable to you. Then after a while you realize it’s not really the cutest thing in the world, hahaha. So I draw a new one. I just finished drawing a caricature of Ray Stokes (fictional king of broad comedy), so that’s my favorite right now.
Zazzle: What is your favorite Zazzle feature? How do you use it?
Cat: Off the top of my head: I like looking at that mini marketplace of related stuff to a product I am currently viewing. I get tab fever in my Safari. I click on each of them to get a closer look. Then I click on the images inside the mini marketplace of related stuff in each product page I had just opened. It’s a serendipitous way of discovering other neat shops since not all the good stuff get picked for Today’s Best.
Zazzle: Do you have any fun stories about being a seller on Zazzle?
Cat: During my first couple of months in Zazzle, I was mainly uploading stuff in my gallery. Once I discovered the ubiquity of the comment box, I got hooked on “pressing buttons” (literally and metaphorically). I quite doubt it helps me sell stuff though ahaha, but it does make me feel somewhat like a superhero. I know some people get migraines just trying to say something sincerely nice. Haha, it just takes practice.
Zazzle: What got you interested in selling your art on Zazzle?
Cat: First of all, I got attracted by the shininess of the Zazzle logo on a black background. That got me reading about the site (here and in other places). Secondly, I fell in love with the easy navigation; it only takes a few clicks to get where you want to go in Zazzle. Also a big plus: the interface inside the user’s account doesn’t remind me of a spreadsheet! I’m going to be spending more time on that space than at my live gallery so I prefer a UI that doesn’t make me squint. Best of all, it costs nothing to set up shop.
Zazzle: What tips can you give someone who is just starting out on Zazzle?
Cat: I’m not a hardcore seller, but if you’re just starting out, it does help to let the word (or meme) out. Linking your stuff in social networking places like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, MySpace, blogs, etc. will make Google recognize you. Don’t worry if at start you feel like you’re just building a tribe of onlookers. Tribes are good and I’ll leave you to search for Seth Godin’s explanation, hah! But try not to sound like a spammer to your friends/followers. Reading/writing template messages is very good in causing disinterest. Always have something to say and not just something to sell–I reckon it will get others to remember you and hopefully spread the word. Also, check out other shops in Zazzle! Don’t be a misanthrope (hahaha). Seriously, it will drive you to come up with something different and new for your gallery. Plus, you’ll make new friends.