Niki, from the Zazzle Stores n1kishop & n1kiphotography, was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions about her inspirations and what brought her to Zazzle. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her stores n1kishop & n1kiphotography!
Zazzle: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Niki: I’m a young Finnish girl living in Sweden since a few years back. I’m a self taught artist and I have been drawing ever since I knew how to hold a pen. When I was younger I used to draw pencil portraits of people, even sold some pieces here and there, but these days I’m enjoying making digital art. Photography came into my life in 2004 when I purchased my first good digital camera.
I have two galleries here at Zazzle. One is called N1ki Shop and it’s dedicated to all things cute. In my other gallery, N1ki Photography, you can find my photos.
For a long time I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to be when I “grew up”, but now I have realized that art is my passion. My dream is to open my own little store in my city filled with all things cute. Hopefully one of these days I can say that I have reached my goal and I can personally welcome you to step in to my world of cuteness.
Zazzle: What’s your inspiration for your designs?
Niki: Absolutely everything around me… nature, my pets, internet, television and so on. I get inspired by the things I see and come across during the days. It can be something as simple as a bird sitting on a tree branch, and it eventually turns out as a parachuting insecure little bird design.
Most of my drawn designs are born by sketching. Even when I don’t have an idea what to create next, I just take out my tablet or notebook and start making lines. Eventually those lines turn into ideas and those ideas become the final design.
During the past few years I have come to realize when it is the right time for me to get the ideas out of my head. Where some people might read a book or listen to music right before bedtime, I on the other hand take out my notebook and sketch. I have a pile of sketchbooks filled with strange drawings and jokes only I get. This little habit of mine helps me keep my creativity up and running.
When it comes to my inspiration with photography, well, I simply carry my camera everywhere with me. Having dogs in my life means that I’m out in nature a lot. So I come across flowers and pretty little plants all the time which my photo gallery is full of. My boyfriend also knows by now that if we happen to have some delicious looking pastry, a birthday cake for example in the fridge, he will wait without touching it until I have snapped a photo of it, hehe.
Zazzle: What has been your favorite design you’ve created, and why?
Niki: I thought about the answer to this question for quite some time, as I like all of my designs. Otherwise I wouldn’t offer them for others to enjoy too, but if I had to select only one favorite I think it would be the deer I once named Tamtam. Yes, my designs get silly names… they are my babies after all. The reason I like this design, is the fact that it has it all. The deer is cute, yet it has a side of some spicy attitude too.
When it comes to my photos, my favorite photograph I have ever taken is a photo of three bees. I was terrified of the fact that one might sting me yet I bravely stood there very close to the bees snapping photos of them while there were tons of bees flying all around me. I got my photo and thankfully I didn’t get hurt.
Zazzle: What is your favorite Zazzle feature? How do you use it?
Niki: The advanced store customization. I love being able to make my store look just the way I like it. I have a separate website for my store too, and being able to make the domain content match my Zazzle gallery is a bliss.
Zazzle: Do you have any fun stories about being a seller on Zazzle?
Niki: I’m still pretty new here at Zazzle myself so unfortunately I haven’t had that much happen to me here yet.
At this point I guess I could mention how much I have come to like Zazzle over the time I have been here. Ever since the beginning of my Zazzle experience everyone has been very helpful and kind to me. My silly questions are answered quickly and sometimes my designs get featured in the Today’s Best Award section, not to mention all the lovely comments I have received from other users. The support and friendliness of Zazzle is heartwarming.
Zazzle: What got you interested in selling your art on Zazzle?
Niki: Zazzle seemed like a fun, easy and a great place to be and that’s exactly what it has been for me.
I first heard about Zazzle about a year ago when I was thinking about selling my art online. For months I didn’t think more of it, but last spring I took the time to register here and I haven’t regretted it.
I love the fact that Zazzle has such a large variation of different kind of products starting from shoes to paper goods. Their tools to create your products and the look of your gallery are really user friendly and easy to understand.
Zazzle: What tips can you give someone who is just starting out on Zazzle?
Niki: I still consider myself as a beginner too, but I can say that stay true to your style and don’t give up. This takes time and plenty of patience and you have to be open to learn new things, all the time. Not only about how things work at Zazzle, but you also have to learn the tools you use for your art and how to get your things out there for people to notice you. Marketing is something I personally dislike the most when it comes to this process, but taking my time to read about search engine optimization, social networking and the like has helped me a lot.
One great tip is also to visit the Zazzle forums. No matter what you are looking for, you will most likely find your answer there.