Archive for November, 2009

Zazzle API Integrated into Fractal Application

November 17, 2009

Long time Zazzler and fractal enthusiast JamesOakley just took Zazzle and fractals to the next level with his freeware application, Mandelbrot Explorer! What does it do? This fun application allows you to create beautiful fractals and then purchase them on products with the Zazzle API. How did this idea come around? As James says… “One day it occurred to me: If I have enjoyed putting my designs onto products at Zazzle, why don’t I offer that feature to users of my software. It’s much more personal and enjoyable for them to order products with their own designs on them than it is for them to buy one of mine. The final link in the chain was when Zazzle released the create-a-product API. That wonderful feature gave me the technology I needed to make that dream a reality.” See below for a screenshot on how it works.

It’s even internationalized to work with each of Zazzle’s domains from around the world. How cool is that!

Check out Mandelbrot Explorer here if you want to try it out. Thanks James for working with Zazzle and your amazing software!

PLoS Store Now Open on Zazzle!

November 13, 2009

Check out the brand new PLoS Store on Zazzle! PLoS, the Public Library of Science, is a nonprofit organization committed to making scientific and medical research a freely accessible public resource; and now they are committed to making great PLoS merchandise! How did this all start? PLoS Co-Founders Pat and Mike have always been big fans of creating fun PLoS t-shirts to wear in their labs (comfort, there’s a science to it). The t-shirts became so popular with co-workers and friends alike that PLoS HAD to open a Zazzle store to share their creative genius with the world. You can read more about the path that led PLoS to open their store on their blog.

Foto Friday – Earn $5 with your customer photos!

November 13, 2009

Check out this week’s Foto Friday Fun!

What’s Foto Friday? It’s our weekly blog post of customers enjoying their Zazzle products. Want to join in the fun and earn $5 towards your next Zazzle order? Read below for details on how to participate in Foto Friday.


Disney T-Shirts


Smile Tee Shirt


Angry Aussie Tie


Save a Vegetable Eat a Cupcake T-shirt!

Want to join in? It’s easy and fun! For every photo you send us we’ll give you $5 to use on your next Zazzle order. So get started taking those pictures and join in on the Foto Friday fun!
Rules:

  1. You must be in the photo holding, wearing, hugging, or otherwise enjoying your Zazzle product
  2. If the product is available in the public Zazzle Marketplace, include the product link
  3. Be creative and have fun!

You can tweet your photos to @zazzle or do it the old fashioned way by emailing them to community@zazzle.com.

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview With Andrew McNally

November 12, 2009

New Zazzler Andrew McNally (andymcnally) talks to us about the influence behind his cartoons, and what he loves about Zazzle.  Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out his store andymcnally!

Fish Driving a Car T-Shirt

Bio: When Andy McNally was a young boy, he became stranded in a field not far from his house. Fortunately a swarm of wild honey bees found him, and took him to raise as their own. “You can never have to many worker bees”, was their motto. He lived happily with the honey bees, until one day it became apparent to all of the other bees that he could not fly. Even though he easily brought home the most pollen every day, he was voted out of the hive. Hearing a loud dull thud out in the field (see earlier mentioned voting, by angry pro-flight bees), his real parents rushed out of the house and rejoiced at finding the now grown boy. They celebrated by having a spot of tea, with fresh honey.

Alas, the bliss of the reunion was short lived. His parents learned that he had not discovered the secrets of making honey and most importantly that he could not fly. A vote was held, once again, and it was decided that he must leave home and find a job.

Andy has been drawing since he was old enough to hold a pen or pencil.  The only thing better than drawing, is spending time with his daughters.

Zazzle: What’s your inspiration for your designs?

Andy: My designs come from many places in my imagination, which was heavily encouraged as a child and even now by my daughters.  My mother and sister are both artists, so it runs in the family.  I’m inspired by, what I refer to as, retro style cartoons that I watched as a child in the 70′s.  The work of Hannah Barbara, Looney Tunes (Warner Brothers), and Dr. Seuss are all influences on my style.  Another big inspiration comes from the future styles and technology from the World’s Fair and Disney’s Future World, which created my early fascination with robots and gadgets.  I just knew that we would have jetpacks and live on the moon by now.  I love heavily styled cartoons and art.  Some of my newer influences include the work of Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Lab) and Craig McCracken (Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends).  I should also mention that literature is a big influence.  I love science fiction, fantasy, and children’s literature, but especially the works of Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman.

Zazzle: What has been your favorite design you’ve created, and why?

Andy: I like everything that I create so that is a tough one.  I draw to please myself, first and foremost, and then really hope that other people like them also.  Often an image or character pops into my head and will not leave me alone until I draw them.  If I had to pick my current favorite, it would be the Curious Gentleman and the Mysterious Ice Cream Shop.  A story came along with that illustration, so it is lingering in my mind right now.

Little Red Dragon Grocery Tote

Zazzle: What is your favorite Zazzle feature? How do you use it?

Andy: Zazzle has many wonderful features, and I’m inspired by all of the beautiful shops and artists.  My favorite features right now are the site customization tools, the new scrollable Store Category(working on new category buttons for my shop), and my true favorite is just how freaking easy it is to create a product with my artwork.

Zazzle: Do you have any fun stories about being a seller on Zazzle?

Andy: I still think I’m pretty new to the whole thing.  I’m really passionate about telling other people, especially artists about Zazzle and the opportunities that exist.  I teach computer classes for my day job, and I was telling one of my classes about having a featured item for the day.  We were taking a break from class, and my phone vibrated letting me know that I had email.  I had sold two shirts from my shop.  One of my students had gone to my shop during the break and bought the shirts.  I was giddy with excitement, and I still am every time I get an email saying that I made a sale, someone has joined my fan club, or leaves a comment.

Zazzle: What got you interested in selling your art on Zazzle?

Andy: I remember finding Zazzle on Twitter, which is a great tool for connecting with others and promoting your shop.  I had tried some other sites to sell my art, but had not really made any sales.  I signed up for Zazzle and instantly fell in love with the site and the ease at which I could create a product.  I sold a t-shirt in my first 30 days, which matched my total year sales from another site.  I was hooked after that sale.  I fall in love with Zazzle all over again with each new site improvement and product addition.  It is a wonderful place full of opportunity.

Zazzle: What tips can you give someone who is just starting out on Zazzle?

Andy: Again, I still think of myself as someone just starting and constantly learning.  My advice would be to make products that you want to buy and to just keep exploring new ideas.  It costs nothing more than your time, and you have so much to gain.  Also, use social media, like Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler, and YouTube to help promote your store. Engage people in a conversation and show them your passion, rather than trying to sell them something.

Thanks Andy!

Thank You Veterans

November 11, 2009

To all veterans

Thank you! Thank you for serving your country. Thank you for doing a job that in peace time is often ignored and during war time is often controversial. Thank you for dealing with the hardship that the job puts on you and your family. Thank you for caring enough to offer up the ultimate sacrifice.

To veterans’ families:

Thank you for what you do; supporting your veteran. Thank you for dealing with the stress of having a loved one away from home, sometimes for years. Thank you for the sleepless nights you go through during rough times. Thank you for being single parents, while your serviceperson is away. Thank you for being there when your loved one comes home and for the way you pick up the pieces, if they do not.

To everybody else:

Call a veteran today and thank her or him. If you know the family of a veteran, thank them. Far too often, as we watch the politicos debate the value of one war or another, we forget that there is a man or woman sitting in a foreign country, away from his or her family, doing a sometimes thankless job.

Today, thank a veteran.

New Garfield Binders and Garfield/Rockwell Collection

November 10, 2009

Garfield has been hard at work on Zazzle! Check out the new Garfield binders that feature everyone’s favorite lasagna-lovin’ cat with classic Garfieldisms.

Also, in partnership with Rockwell Art, Garfield has launched an entire line of Norman Rockwell + Garfield mashups that “offer a unique twist to two classic American properties,” according to Mike Waldner, Director of Licensing for Rockwell Art’s parent company. Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, had this to say about the new venture on Zazzle:

I’ve always been a big fan of Norman Rockwell’s art. I grew up on a farm in Fairmount, Indiana, and Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post covers really capture the spirit of small town America. He’s a true master, and his work conveys such warmth and humor.

A few years back, we had the opportunity to partner with Curtis Publishing and put Garfield literally “inside” some of Rockwell’s most famous paintings. We scanned high-quality prints of Rockwell’s art into the computer. Garfield art was painted separately and also scanned. The two images were then merged to create a single digital image. No paintings were harmed during this process!

My favorite image is the new take on Rockwell’s famous “Triple Self-Portrait.” Garfield is so used to being the center of attention; it’s only natural that he’d hog the spotlight.

Originally created for a wall calendar, “Garfield Visits Rockwell” is now available for use on all sorts of Zazzle products, and I’m happy to bring “the Art of Humor” to all of Garfield’s fans.

- Jim Davis, Creator of Garfield

See below for the designs that Mr. Davis is talking about. Go to the Garfield Rockwell Store to see all the great designs!

Avery & Zazzle Photo Album Binder Contest!

November 9, 2009
*** The Contest is now closed. Winners have been announced***

We’re looking for binder designs that make the best photo albums and we’re willing to pay! Photo album binders are a great way to cherish, save and protect your favorite photos for years to come and with the power of Zazzle templates they are easily personalized. So show us your photos album binder designs (remember, judges love templates) and win! The winner of the Photo Album Contest gets $2000 big ones to help out with this year’s holiday shopping (I hear you can spend money on Zazzle.com). See below for official contest rules and details on how to enter. Good Luck!

Prizes:
Grand Prize = $2,000
Second Prize = $500
10 Honorable Mention Prizes = $25 Zazzle Gift Code

How to Enter the Photo Album Binder Contest:

  1. Create a Zazzle Account (It’s free!)
  2. Create your Photo Album Binder (make it a template binder! Learn how here)
  3. “Post for Sale” your Photo Album Binder with the tag averyphotobindercontest2009 in the Zazzle Marketplace (learn how to tag your product here)
  4. You’re done, good luck!
Create an Entry | View Entries

Contest entries must be received by November 23, 2009 at 11:59pm PT

Contest Rules:

  1. You may only submit one entry for this Photo Album Binder Contest.
  2. Entries must be received by November 23, 2009 at 11:59pm PT, to be eligible.
  3. Entries will be judged on uniqueness of design, overall creativity, and best use of the binder space.
  4. Entering a contest is done by tagging your product with a specific contest related keyword (or “tag”). If you don’t know how to do this, please read the instructions here. You should also leave a comment under the contest announcement with a link to your product to give it more visibility.
  5. Contest is for submissions by residents of the USA only. All other entrants will be excluded from the competition. Read the Official Photo Album Binder Contest Rules.

Finding Zazzle artists one tattoo at a time…

November 9, 2009

When I decided to get a tattoo on my arm (to cover an older, smaller, less cool one I already had) I wanted it to be meaningful to me, and much more elaborate and colorful than my original one. Being a guitar player, I decided I wanted it to be a guitar-themed design…specifically a Paul Reed Smith guitar, which is a brand I love for its feel, looks, and unique sound. My idea was that I wanted the guitar to somehow be coming out of my arm, signifying that the music is in me. Yeah, ok, a little corny, but hey, that’s what I want!

Finding an artist to design my concept was going to be a challenge. My wife, also looking to get a tattoo, was referred to a shop in San Jose called LuckyStars Tattoo Studio by a fellow Zazzle employee (thanks Mark!). Luckily, it was just a few miles away from our house, so we scheduled our first meeting.

We instantly felt comfortable there, and judging from their amazing portfolios, we knew we made the right decision. I explained my concept to the artists, and showed them a picture of my guitar. Martin, the owner, instantly said Jesse was the man to do it. Handing over the picture, I went home to wait for the call for when his designs would be ready to review.

About a week later, I heard from Jesse. He showed me two different designs, and I immediately chose the one I felt came closest to my vision. Both designs were amazing, but I wanted the guitar to take center stage, and I chose the one where it clearly stood out. I scheduled my first sitting and couldn’t wait to get started!

The day came and Jesse got to work. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous since my last tattoo was so small and plain that it hardly counted as me having been inked. The first session took a few hours and we got the outline done. It looked awesome!

Tattoo outline

Notice the little alien head outline? That’s my old tattoo. This one will be covering that up. So the outline is cool, but the real work had yet to be done.

I had full confidence in Jesse to make this look amazing. I couldn’t wait for my next session and get some color going! These sessions took time, so Jesse and I would talk a lot. I told him all about Zazzle and what we do, and he was instantly interested in joining.

Session #2 came up and the results were just amazing. He added the muscle tissue under the ripped skin in the design.

tattoo_2

Again, we talked more about Zazzle and how he might get his artwork online. My third session was scheduled for Halloween at the San Jose Tattoo Convention. For this session, we set up a trade deal…a few hours of tattoo work in exchange for me setting up his Zazzle store. Win-win! He sent me some of his artwork in digital format and I created a store for him, complete with a custom look and a selection of products with his artwork.

Here’s Jesse working on my arm at the convention.

Jesse at the San Jose Tattoo Convention

And here’s what was accomplished in that session:

tattoo_3

It’s still a work in progress, but it’s already looking great! I of course showed it off at work, and the reaction has been great. That, coupled with the artwork I put up in his store got the attention of our Artsprojekt folks. Artsprojekt, for those who are unaware, is a curated platform that empowers emerging and established artists to connect, collaborate, and showcase their original art with fans and consumers. Artists get invited to join Artsprojekt, and based on Jesse’s portfolio of work, he fit the mold perfectly.

So Jesse’s store was migrated to the Artsprojekt platform, and he’s now one of the newest artists being showcased on the site! All it took was three long tattoo sessions to find our latest superstar artist. Easy! :-)

Check out Jesse’s store at http://www.zazzle.com/JesseDeering

Foto Friday – Earn $5 with your customer photos!

November 6, 2009

Check out this week’s Foto Friday Fun!

What’s Foto Friday? It’s our weekly blog post of customers enjoying their Zazzle products. Want to join in the fun and earn $5 towards your next Zazzle order? Read below for details on how to participate in Foto Friday.


Superhero in Training Toddler Dark T-Shirt


A Happy Haunting Tote Bag


Dagger, Skull, and Roses Shirt

Want to join in? It’s easy and fun! For every photo you send us we’ll give you $5 to use on your next Zazzle order. So get started taking those pictures and join in on the Foto Friday fun!
Rules:

  1. You must be in the photo holding, wearing, hugging, or otherwise enjoying your Zazzle product
  2. If the product is available in the public Zazzle Marketplace, include the product link
  3. Be creative and have fun!

You can tweet your photos to @zazzle or do it the old fashioned way by emailing them to community@zazzle.com.

Avery & Zazzle Recipe Binder Design Contest WINNERS!

November 5, 2009

The Avery & Zazzle Recipe Binder Design Contest is over, the votes have been tallied, and the winners have been chosen! But first, we’d all like to thank everyone that entered in the contest. Each design was amazing and unique in its own way!

Without further ado, I present to you, the winner of the contest…

Congratulations to Winter_Wonderland for the 1st place entry Christmas Holiday Recipe Binder! Zazzle Seller Winter_Wonderland will be receiving a check for $2,000! See below for all the winners.

Contest Winner!

Winter Wonderland Binder

Winners:

See all the contest entries here and stay tuned if you’ve still got the contest bug…there’s another contest brewing…


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