Lee, from the Zazzle store LeeLeeandtheBee, talks with us about her art and her time as a Zazzler. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store LeeLeeandtheBee!
Bio: My name is Lee Leplaw Deichmann – also known as Lee Lee. I am the artist and designer responsible for the ‘Lee Lee and the Bee’ network of stores on zazzle . I am an Australian woman, but I live in Denmark with my Danish husband and our mad cat, Kalimah.
I spent many years back in Australia working in retail stores as both a sales assistant and later as a manager, but I always felt that it wasn’t really my ‘thing’. When I moved to Denmark to marry, I was given the opportunity to re-invent what I wanted to be, career-wise, and so, with the support of my husband, chose to follow a lifelong dream and become an artist.
I am also an avid internet junkie, a crochet nerd, a MASSIVE Doctor Who and sci-fi fan, a social networking geek, a lover of all things steampunk, a vegetarian and a proud ginger.
Zazzle: When and how did you first become interested in art, and how long have you been making it?
Lee: I think I have always created art, well, for as long as I can remember anyway. I always loved drawing and painting as a kid. Luckily it was always something that was encouraged in me and I carried on trying to find time for it in my life as I grew older.
Zazzle: Do you have any fun stories about being a seller on Zazzle?
Lee: I think the interaction with the Zazzle community is always fun and helpful, be it via the Zazzle forums, or through other groups that I am part of on Facebook or other sites (and a big shout out to my ‘Zamily’ — you guys know who you are!). Most of the people I have met through Zazzle have been helpful, informative and always up for a bit of fun and silliness. It makes me happy to think there are other folks like me out there in the world who love doing this. I love the challenges that the Zazzle community sometimes sets for each other and how everyone strives to be better every day.
Zazzle: What’s your favorite Zazzle product to create?
Lee: Anything flat really – where one can see the whole design – like posters, mousepads etc. It’s probably because when I create a piece for Zazzle, I usually start with making the image for ‘flat’ products first and then tweaking it to work on other types of products later. T-shirt designs are quite fun too.
Zazzle: How would you describe your style?
Lee: Eclectic, colourful, sometimes a little odd. My husband likes to describe it as ‘talented but sometimes a little crazy-insane’ but I usually prefer to leave out the ‘crazy-insane’ bit… although sometimes he is probably right. Case in point:
Zazzle: What has been your favorite design you’ve created, and why?
Lee: Probably ‘Holiday’. I was asked by my best friend’s husband to create a cover image for the album his band was going to release, and after being given the brief, came up with this design. The band ended up going with another design altogether, but I was really pleased with it and posted it for sale through my main store. I loved the feel of it, and that the original ‘sketch’ ending up being perfect for the end design and the effect of the overall piece. It was nice to experiment with the textures of it too. I was quite proud of the end result.
Zazzle: What is the first product you ever sold on Zazzle?
Lee: A Christmas design called ‘Robin’ on a magnet.
Zazzle: How many hours do you typically spend working on your Zazzle store?
Lee: I’m lucky that I have a husband that is happy to support me in my artistic endeavours and so I’m pretty much a full time Zazzle. I try to follow a normal ‘working’ schedule when it comes to creating art for Zazzle and other projects. I would say that 8 hours of most of my days are dedicated to creating pieces, posting products, marketing and blogging. I am learning to love every part of the process and finding more and more ways to streamline the work I do.
Zazzle: What got you interest in selling your art Zazzle?
Lee: A good friend of mine – the awesome and very talented Mireille Sillander, aka Boogybunny – mentioned to me back in 2009 that she had just joined Zazzle and created a store. She suggested that I also give it a try as it was free and kind of fun. I’ve been addicted ever since, so she’s the one to blame!
Zazzle: What tips can you give someone who is just starting out on Zazzle?
Lee: Be original and find your own voice! Just because everyone else is creating products in a particular style, doesn’t mean you have to as well – remember that trends have to start somewhere and you could be that trend starter!
Try and respect the intellectual property and copyright of others and keep the marketplace original and fresh – it not only helps you to stand out from the crowd, but it helps the rest of the Zazzle community as well.
Make sure your images fit the products you are posting, use the guide files Zazzle provides and really showcase your creativity!
Strive to ‘be better’ with every design. If you feel like your style is becoming stale or you are stuck in a rut, take time out to read some online tutorials, put pencil to paper to just draw, or go out and photograph the world around you. You will be surprised where you find inspiration and how that inspiration can motivate you to build your skill base.