Author Archive

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with allpetscherished

March 8, 2012

Jess, from the Zazzle store allpetscherished, talks with us about her interest, how she gets out of creative ruts, and her time at Zazzle.  Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store allpetscherished!

Little Aviator Boy Thank You Note Card

Zazzle: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jess: I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a crayon. I come from a family of artists on both my Mom and Dad’s side, so I guess you could say it’s my gift. I would ask my mom how to draw things when I was little and she always had a way of breaking them down into simple shapes, which led me to start drawing anything and everything! I majored in art in high school, but ended up choosing a career in my other love (animals) for more than 10-years before I finally got back to art!

Zazzle: What’s your inspiration for your designs?

Jess: Animals are my biggest inspiration, because I love how animated they are. I love watching animals and picking up on their expressions and cartoon features. You might say that I see life through cartoon glasses. With so many serious issues happening in the world and in life, my fun designs give me an outlet to express happiness.

Zazzle: A lot of your work seems to be more vector art, when did you start illustrating? Are there other styles of art you enjoy creating as well?

Jess:  In 2002, I barely knew how to turn on a computer, but quickly was introduced to Adobe Illustrator in college. A professor of mine showed us how to use the “pen tool” and it changed my life forever. Before then, I used to draw in several mediums…I enjoy charcoal, stipple, pen & ink and Prismacolor colored pencils. I also used to do stained glass and I love to create mosaic stepping stones.

Zazzle: Any artists you look up to when it comes to designing?

Jess: I don’t have any one artist in particular that I look up to. My customers are usually the best at telling me what they want and often will ask for color changes or characters that end up being my best selling designs!

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

Jess:  I have a lot of favorites, but I would have to say one of my top 5 designs would be the cute giraffe I use for my logo, and the colorful version I created for this fun in the jungle card. I love the mix of colors and swirls and his expression just makes me smile :)

Fun in the Jungle Giraffe Baby Shower Invitation

Zazzle: How do you get out of creative ruts?

Jess:  I’ve learned to follow my instincts and “go with the flow” so to speak. When I’m feeling super creative I will pull out my sketch book and make 20 or 30 designs at a time. I don’t sit down and try to force it anymore. Then when I’m not feeling so creative, I always have the designs I drew to scan and work on.

I also take a lot of time for me — I ride my horse and get out into nature to clear my head. I also make sure to get a workout in every single day and eat healthy foods to keep me as productive and healthy as possible.

Zazzle: Who is your favorite Zazzle seller (besides yourself, of course)?

Jess:  Absolutely. I’m amazed at the talent on Zazzle every day. I would say that the artists I most look up to on Zazzle are Pip Gerard of Pip Pip Hooray, Jenn from Jennsdoodleworld and Lisa from LisaMarieArt. I love how they have their own unique style of whimsical cartoons and niche market.

Zazzle: How do you eat a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup?

Jess:  Oh wow. I’ve recently been eating vegan and have adopted a totally processed-food free diet. But if I were to cheat I would devour the Reeses peanut butter cup in about 2 mouthwatering bites….

Zazzle: What got you interest in selling your art Zazzle?

Jess: I started selling invitations on Zazzle so that I wouldn’t have so much processing to do. Before that, I was selling invitations that I hand cut on Ebay and spending 12+ hours working! I never had any time for anything else. At that time Zazzle only had post cards, so I put my invitation on them and they began selling almost right away. I saw all the new products as a great opportunity to get more of my art out there. The sales are just a bonus.

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

Jess: My tips would be to be patient. Setting up a Zazzle store and making money does not happen overnight. But it does happen. You need to add good designs that are unique. Don’t just go to someone’s store and make copies of their designs. Look for your own niche, look through catalogs and see how colors work together, look for trends and apply them with your own style to lots of products. Make sure to use good descriptive tags on your products and promote your items on ALL the social network sites and blogs that you can!

And, be patient with Zazzle. They are always looking for ways to better take care of their sellers and sometimes their site is down for hours or products won’t post….take advantage of these times to work on your blog or take the dog for a walk.

Thanks Jess!

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with LibertyManiacs

March 1, 2012

Dan, from the Zazzle store LibertyManiacs, talks with us about his interests and his family and friends who are also Zazzlers.  Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out his store LibertyManiacs!

Government Lies T-Shirt

Zazzle: Give us a brief bio, where you’re from and what you started making art

Dan: My name is Dan McCall, I live outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota with my wife and three little boys. I’ve been doing art as long as I can remember, literally.  I think my earliest memories are of drawing on scratch paper my parents gave me at three or four years old.  About 9 years ago I started Libertymaniacs.com, which is on Zazzle.

Zazzle: What’s your inspiration for your designs?

Dan: My two main sources of inspiration are my love of liberty and humor.  Mix in some politics, add a dash societal absurdity, popular culture, and a heavy kick of news and you basically have an eternal, all-you-can-eat, steaming hot bowl of inspiration.

Zazzle: How many hours do you typically spend working on your Zazzle store?

Dan:  I do it full time.  I’m working on stuff at least 9-5 all week and much of that finds its way to Zazzle in one way or another.  With all the new products Zazzle has started offering over the last few months, however, there really aren’t enough hours in a week to catch up!

Zazzle: When you’re not creating art, what are your other hobbies?

Dan: With three little boys – two in diapers still – hobbies aren’t exactly the sort of thing my stage in life lends itself to very well.  I work a lot, so I try and soak in as much time with my family as possible when I’m away from work.  When I do have a little “me time,” I enjoy reading and watching movies with my wife.

Zazzle: How do you promote your store?

Dan:  Social media is probably the most enjoyable way to promote because it’s interactive.  I do fun things like presidential debate commentary on Facebook, which allows me to talk with fans of Liberty Maniacs and have lots of fun.  I occasionally sponsor events, or partner with other organizations.  We do radio ads, blog ads, all sorts of stuff.  I’ve been lucky to get a fair amount of buzz in the press lately because it’s political season, so that’s been fun.

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

Dan:  The best Zazzle feature is clearly customization.  I’m pretty sure it’s an important ingredient in my products’ success at Zazzle too, because it allows me to make products that have pretty incredible depth.  The ability to make a template product that people can customize and make completely their own is pretty amazing.

I’ve done a fair amount of graphic tees where you can jump in and move elements around to make a completely one-of-a-kind shirt.  I’ve also done loads of political satire where people can make a politician saying something absurd or timely that’s really pretty cool.

The design engine is really pretty elaborate on Zazzle if you think about it.  So it’s really cool to sort of give people the rudiments of a design and let them go off and really make it theirs.

Inflation T-Shirt

Zazzle: Who is your favorite Zazzle seller (besides yourself, of course)?

Dan:  There are tons of really great artists and store owners on Zazzle.  I’m pretty biased, though, because my brother (DiaryofFools), sister (LivandSophie.com), brother-in-law (LowSchmaltz.com), and close friends (kimiyo_prints) are all ProSellers and hugely talented.

Zazzle: What got you interest in selling your art Zazzle?

Dan: Zazzle’s a great commercial platform for individual expression.  That’s the primary reason I’m on Zazzle.  This is really an important time for independent artists because never before has there been a successful forum like there is today to market and sell your art to people all over the globe.  It already is now, and will further fundamentally reshape how and why people buy merchandise and how they interact with art. The ability to be on the cutting edge of this transformation is really important to me.  It’s why years ago when Zazzle approached me to build a presence for LibertyManiacs.com on Zazzle I was so intrigued.

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

Dan: Patience.  People that have heard my story in the paper, or know me as an acquaintance, sometimes think that you can jump in, create a Zazzle store, and then make enough money to really change your life almost overnight.  Now, going full time is a possibility for a growing amount of people, but it’s like any business; if you’re starting from scratch then it’s going to take a long time to build a following. Most importantly, it’s going to take time to produce quality products that are going to sell.

So patience isn’t a virtue for nothing.  Start by making a goal of creating one or two designs a week… maybe even less.  Focus on quality, your craft, and build for the future.

Thanks Dan!

Zazzle Featured Interview with LeeLeeandtheBee

February 23, 2012

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!

Airships Plate

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:

Shrunken Head Dilemma T-Shirt

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.

Holiday Print

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.

Thanks Lee!

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with Turnip_Stew

February 16, 2012

Christina, from the Zazzle store turnip_stew, talks with us about her style and her time as a Zazzler.  Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store turnip_stew!

Matryoshka Dolls Invitation Card

Zazzle: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Christina: I live on Prince Edward Island with my husband, Shaun and Dog, Dooku. Living on the East coast of Canada has done us well. It’s a very inspirational place to live… a place where your imagination can take over. I was trained as a Graphic Designer but found that my interest in arts was taking over.

Zazzle: When and how did you first become interested in art? How long have you been making art?

Christina: I picked up art very young. It was always a great outlet for me. I wasn’t very good with words and I used to draw a lot to explain myself. I guess you could say it came from necessity. I’ve always had a great imagination, and being able to make those ideas come to life was magical. At age 6 I got interested in Polymer Clays. It wasn’t until I was 21 that I found a way to make a profit from my sculpting skills. It was when I made my first custom wedding cake topper of some friends. By age 26 I decided to make this my full time career.

Zazzle: How many hours do you typically spend working on your Zazzle store?

Christina:  It fluctuates from week to week, but since my husband introduced me to the site I have been very excited about the possibilities with Zazzle. It was my goal to use every drawing and sculpture that I’ve made on Zazzle product.   At the moment I have over 350 images spread across my two Zazzle storefronts. Which means I’m averaging 100 images a year

Zazzle: When you’re not creating art, what are your other hobbies?

Christina: I’m pretty focused on art as my hobby, but the line between work and play is always blurry. I enjoy nature and walking with my dog. I do take many photos that I haven’t put on Zazzle yet. Maybe that should be my next storefront!

Zazzle: What is your favorite style to create?

Christina:  I am a whimsical artist. I try to be serious but it’s fighting against my goofy nature. I like comedy, laughter and love.

Zazzle: What is your favorite medium to use?

Christina:  I love using Adobe Illustrator, pencils and Polymer Clay. I use Clay in my day job so it is fun to draw and use other medium in my spare time.

Zazzle: How do you eat a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup?

Christina: Fast :D… and sometimes with ice cream.

Zazzle: What was the first product you ever sold on Zazzle?

Christina: Year of the Dragon Sticker was my first Zazzle product sold in 2009 which seems so strange, because 1) it is 2012 and now it is the Year of the dragon, and 2) that is was three years ago already.

Year of the Dragon Sticker

Zazzle: What got you interest in selling your art Zazzle?

Christina: My husband suggested the site to me. I thought it was a brilliant way of showing my work and maybe making some money in the process. I don’t want to deal with inventory and shipping so why not let someone else do it?

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

Christina: Have fun and promote yourself.

Thanks Christina!

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with fancybelle

February 9, 2012

Ashley, from the Zazzle store fancybelle, talks with us about her hobbies and her time at Zazzle.  Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store fancybelle!

Peacock Feathers Emmys Collection Speckcase

Zazzle: Give us a brief bio, where you’re from and when you started making art.

Ashley: I’m a small town girl from Louisiana, currently residing on the grounds of the State Penitentiary. For as long as I can remember I’ve been into art and designing. It was clear to my family members at an early age that I had a passion for art, just ask my poor Grandma whose house still showcases the designs I doodled onto her walls. I was always painting and doodling away. I took every art class I could in school and in my early teens I was introduced to digital design and would later fall in love with Photoshop. I’ve worked for various advertising agencies and companies as a freelance designer over the years.

Zazzle: Any artists you look up to when it comes to designing?

Ashley: I really love Susana Parada (ParadaCreations) and Katie Daisy (thewheatfield.) Their art is amazing and so uplifting and motivating. It’s nice to see art remind you that it’s the little things in life that are important. Little reminders that tell you not take life too seriously and to just live. I admire artists who can send a message as well as create amazing art.

Zazzle: When you’re not creating art, what are your other hobbies?

Ashley:  I love to curl up with a good book or slack off and watch really crappy reality tv shows. I spend the weekends exploring and thrifting… I’m obsessed with Ball mason jars and old books. My boyfriend is a bull rider and a stock contractor so I’ve grown a huge love and passion for cattle and bucking bulls. When I’m not in my office you can usually find me in my kitchen cooking up a huge meal or baking up a batch of anything. I love to be covered in flour!

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

Ashley:  I don’t really have a favorite. I’m completely critical of my designs and never satisfied but I guess if I HAD to pick, I’d go with something simple and striped!

Mod Ribbon Stripes Stationery

Zazzle: If you could be a superhero, what would be your super power?

Ashley: I’d love to be able to freeze time (is that a super power?) I constantly complain that I can’t find enough hours in the day to get everything I want to get accomplished finished.

Zazzle: Can you give us a sneak peek of a feature design?

Ashley:

Zazzle: How do you promote your store?

Ashley: I try to use social media, but I’m really not that great of a Tweeter. I don’t have the time or the patience to tweet all day. I recently had the opportunity to showcase some of my designs at GBK Productions 2011 Emmy Awards Gift Lounge thanks to The Artisan Group and that was a very good move for my store.

Zazzle: What got you interest in selling your art Zazzle?

Ashley: I wanted to design and I wanted to make money but I couldn’t figure out how to combine the two without being completely swamped. A friend told me that she had recently purchased invitations from Zazzle and that I should check it out. I was completely skeptical. It sounded way too good to be true, but Zazzle was one of the best things that ever happened into my life.

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

Ashley: Be patient and be diligent. Watch the trends but don’t depend on them. Create designs that are really YOU. Designs that people will see and go, “That’s so YOU! I knew immediately it was your design!” And most of all don’t be discouraged if you don’t get 100 sales a day. It takes time. Create, create, create and promote your butt off!

Thanks Ashley!

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with Sarita_K

February 2, 2012

New Zazzler Sarita, from the Artsprojekt store sarita_k, talks with us about her artistic inspirations and what she’s looking forward to.  Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store sarita_k!

Music and the Whale Mousepad

Zazzle: Give us a brief bio, where you’re from and when you started making art.

Sarita: I studied my art education at San Jose State University’s School of Art and Design in California, where I graduated with a BFA in Animation and Illustration in 2007. After graduation, I worked in Seattle, Washington for ArenaNet and gained valuable experience working on the game, Guild Wars 2 as an Environment Artist. Eventually moved back to Dubai and began working as a full-time illustrator and concept artist. Currently, I’m working at a casual gaming studio and will have two ipad games releasing soon. In addition to gaming, I also love illustrating children’s books and will have my first e-book published very soon.

Zazzle: What is your inspiration for your designs?

Sarita: A lot of my work is inspired by animals and nature; I think they’re wonderful creatures and I’m just in awe of their beauty and tenderness. When I lived in the Bay Area, I used to visit the San Francisco Zoo often and draw the animals – my favorite were the polar bears because they were so playful! I also love watching the National Geographic Channel, and there’s always something in there that instantly inspires me, whether it’s an elephant or a cute little beetle.  Plus, I think animals a great way to connect with children, whether is trying to get a message across or reading them a story.

Zazzle: When you’re not creating art, what are your other hobbies?

Sarita:  I’m a movie-junkie and love going for film festivals whenever I can. I also swim and play guitar regularly.

Zazzle: Any artists you look up to when ti comes to designing?

Sarita:  Wow, there’s so many! But some of my favorites are Lisa Frank, Pascal Campion, Daniel Krall, Charuca Vargas, Sam Bosma, Jon Klassen, Buff Monster and Daniel Dociu.

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

Sarita:  Tweetfering! – You can really use it to promote your products directly. It’s a great way to market yourself!

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

Sarita: My favorite design so far has been “Dragon Love”. It’s this cute little dragon I made that can’t breathe fire, but only exudes little hearts from her mouth. This piece was inspired by a crush I have on someone. lol!

Dragon Love T-Shirt

Zazzle: What was the very first thing you made on Zazzle?

Sarita: The first thing I made on Zazzle was my Capricorn Mug – I thought it would be a fun illustration to start with!

Zazzle: Being a newer seller on Zazzle, what are you looking forward to the most?

Sarita: Getting more recognition and also being able to put my designs on new products! I was so excited when Zazzle started offering iPad and iPhone cases, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next!

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

Sarita: I was actually invited to join ArtsProjekt, and I noticed how many phenomenal artists were posting their work on Zazzle. I knew I had to be a part of that! Plus it’s a great platform to market yourself and also make a some money too!

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

Sarita: Be sure to check out Zazzle University! I was really lost when I first joined, but once I thoroughly read through all the tutorials and I was able to get around much better.

Thanks Sarita!

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with amytothegrace

January 26, 2012

New Zazzler Amy, from the Zazzle store amytothegrace, talks with us about her inspirations for her vector art and what she’s looking forward to on Zazzle.  Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store amytothegrace!

Keep It Fresh iPad Case

Zazzle: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Amy: I come from a very artistic family, so I grew up in love with the arts and a natural sense of creativity.  During High School I transitioned from pencils and crayons to graphic design, after accidentally discovering I had a kind of knack for it.  I’ve now been doing this gig freelance for 7 years, specializing mainly in branding businesses. Websites, logos, business cards, and brochures have been the bulk of my work until recently when I decided to expand my art and open a Zazzle store!

Zazzle: A lot of your work seems to be more vector art, when did you start illustrating? Are there other styles of art you enjoy creating as well?

Amy: I’ve dabbled lightly in digital illustration for the past few years – mainly in logo work for clients. It wasn’t until last spring that I really started to play with creating people and animals. I’ve had so much fun! I enjoy traditional art with colored pencils, pastels, and paints as well…but rarely use them these days. I think digital illustration wins over because it’s so easy to correct my mistakes!

Zazzle: What is your inspiration for your designs??

Amy:  Inspiration is a funny thing…because most of the time it comes out of nowhere. I find the best ideas are like that. Sometimes all it takes is a good mood and a thirst to create. In fact I think all of my designs ultimately come down to a good mood…whether it’s because of a song I’ve heard, or a funny joke from a friend or movie. So maybe it would suffice to say that simple light heartedness is the greatest inspiration…in whatever form it may take.

Zazzle: Any artists you look up to when it comes to designing?

Amy:  Sam Spratt – his imagination and attention to detail never ceases to amaze me.

Zazzle: Who is your favorite Zazzle seller (besides yourself, of course)?

Amy:  I’ve yet to really explore the Zazzle community, but of the handful of stores I’ve seen, I really admire 3ddevine’s work.

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

Amy: Hmm…I’d say it’s a tossup between my Egyptian 80′s chick, and my arguing Shampoo and Conditioner bottles – both of which were equally fun to make. The Egyptian design stemmed from my ongoing interest in Ancient Egypt, and what I really love about it is the unexpected and humorous combination of Ancient Egypt and the 1980′s. I had seen other designs with Egyptian Pharaoh’s in sunglasses before, but never with an 80′s flare. I really love how it turned out.

Shampoo vs Conditioner T-Shirt

Zazzle: How do you eat a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup?

Amy: As a vegan, I don’t! LOL

Zazzle: Being a newer seller on Zazzle, what are you looking forward to the most?

Amy: Continued play with new products, ideas and opportunities to spread my work.

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

Amy: I initially started looking into online stores for the freedom to create what I wanted, when I wanted, and just have people buy and enjoy. Isn’t that the dream of all artists? :D After much research, Zazzle lured me in with their wide variety of products, easy-to-use tools, ability for a fully customized storefront, and most important – good product quality.  Haven’t looked back!

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

Amy: Not sure I’m equipped for tips since I’m still fairly new to the game…but here’s what I’ve found effective so far:

Move one step at a time…never rush through a design, or create products just for the sake of having more products. Present only your very best.

Do your research. I hung out in the forum for a good while when I first started; figuring out how to best customize my storefront and getting tips from ProSellers. You must be willing to learn about what it takes to succeed…and invest your time in doing so.

Enjoy yourself…especially when creating a new design. It really shows through your work.

Thanks Amy!

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with LizaPhoenix

January 19, 2012

New Zazzler Lizabeth, from the Zazzle store LizaPhoenix, talks with us about her style and what she’s looking forward to on Zazzle.  Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store LizaPhoenix!

Cute Ice Cream with Mustache Case

Zazzle: Give us a brief bio, where you’re from and when you started making art.

Lizabeth: My name is Liza Phoenix, I’m from Seattle, Washington and I’ve worked as a professional craftsperson/designer for many years. I’ve done hand painted t-shirts, hand carved sculpture, beads, art prints, and posters.

Zazzle: What is your inspiration for your designs?

Lizabeth: Love, happiness, sweets, treats, magic, and rainbows.

Zazzle: When you’re not creating art, what are your other hobbies?

Lizabeth:  I compile images and information about legendary creatures and fabulous beasts, and I maintain a subject guide to art history.

Zazzle: What’s your favorite style to create?

Lizabeth:  Kawaii! A style that originated in Japan around the 1970s and emphasizes the cuteness of objects to the extreme and then a little bit beyond that.

Zazzle: How many hours do you typically spend working on your Zazzle store?

Lizabeth:  In my mind I work all day and all night on my Zazzle store and my other websites and projects, but in reality it’s probably only about 8 hours a day.

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

Lizabeth: My favorites are usually my latest, but maybe some of my all-time favorites are “Pink Albino Narwhal” and “Super Rainbow Space Cake”. Why? Cute! (I hope!)

Kawaii Albino Narwhal Sticker

Zazzle: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play you?

Lizabeth: Ha ha, Cameron Diaz, but she would need to gain 20 pounds and wear a wig.

Zazzle: Being a newer seller on Zazzle, what are you looking forward to the most?

Lizabeth: Making more money! Also, I have one million ideas that I’m anxious to get out of my mind and onto Zazzle products.

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

Lizabeth: I was with another POD company and the members there spoke so highly of Zazzle that I decided to give it a try.

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

Lizabeth: Put forth a great effort over a long period of time with a confident expectation of success. (Get back to me in a year or two and I’ll let you know if this actually works.)

Thanks Lizabeth!

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with MDKgraphics

January 12, 2012

Zazzler Michael, from the Zazzle store mdkgraphics, talks with us about his style and his time as a Zazzler.  Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store mdkgraphics!

Alien Cafe T-Shirt

Zazzle: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Michael: I was originally born in Bristol England and we immigrated to Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada around when I was six years old.

I’ve been making art of some kind for about as long as I can remember. I started out as a traditional artist, drawing/painting and eventually got into making miniatures and props for independent film companies. When the digital world started taking over I knew it was time to get into it. I’m amazed at how fast the technology has developed… it seems like I’ve been waiting my whole life for this type of creative technology to finally be available.

Zazzle: Any artists you look up to when it comes to designing?

Michael: Oh wow there are so many… there’s Angus Mckie, a well-known Sci-fi artist who has published works in Heavy Metal magazine, Jim Burns, another well-known Sci-Fi artist, because even before the digital world his work had a very clean mechanically precise look and feel and H.R. Giger, of ALIEN fame, I love because of his amazing bio mechanical style that always reminds me of what it would be like to visit an alien art gallery on some distant world. There are so many I could go on forever but those are amongst my favorites.

Zazzle: When you’re not creating art, what are your other hobbies?

Michael:  I love taking pictures. I don’t consider myself to be a professional photographer, but I do manage to get some very cool pictures from time to time. I love running, going for very long walks, going on long bike rides, and collecting rare books and comics, Sci Fi pulp magazines, Zentai that I mix into my artwork quite a bit.

Zazzle: If you could be a superhero, what would be your super power?

Michael: Indestructibility and be eternal because then you could do anything.

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

Michael:  I don’t really have a favorite, I’ve too many to choose from but I would have to say that I’m very fond of my retro toy 3D robots that I place into various sci fi action scenes or comical type settings.

Retro Style Robot 4 Postcard

Zazzle: What is your favorite Zazzle product to create?

Michael:  I’m very fond of the postcards, because they are great to hand out to people whenever I go out anywhere. But lately I’ve really been enjoying creating the Premium gift boxes…  I so want to buy some very badly!

Zazzle: How do you promote your store?

Michael: I hand out business cards and postcards, and quite often I will make a video and put it up on my YouTube Channel.

Zazzle: What got you interest in selling your art Zazzle?

Michael: Well, I’m always on the lookout for cool places to sell my works, and so I stumbled across Zazzle one day by accident while conducting a Google image search for retro toy robots & sci Fi art. I signed up right away and Zazzle has become my most favorite place to sell my work. I’m extremely impressed with the quality of the products and speed of delivery, packaging, everything about Zazzle just screams quality.

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

Michael: Always keep creating and never get discouraged, if you produce work you are proud of and you have people who like your work get it out there because I guarantee there is a whole world of other people out there who will like your work too. Quantity and quality should go hand in hand, I myself try to create a wide range of subject matter to try and broaden my audience.

Thanks Michael!

Zazzle Featured Seller Interview with DiaryofFools

January 5, 2012

Zazzler Sean, from the Zazzle store diaryoffools, talks with us about his style, his inspirations and what brought him to Zazzle.  Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out his store diaryoffools!

I'm Getting That Pho Sho T-Shirt

Zazzle: Give us a brief bio, where you’re from and when you started making art.

Sean: I started drawing at a very young age. My older brother Dan (who runs the much bigger libertymaniacs.com site) was always drawing, and being a typical younger brother I had to tag along.  Somewhere along the line I figured out I could do it OK as well.  This realization lead to me study graphic design at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.  I currently reside in the twin cities area – which in the middle of December is just as cold and gross as you’d imagine.

Zazzle: How would you describe your style?

Sean: I try to blend a lot of styles.  While it doesn’t always come through in every product, old propaganda art and other bold typographic treatment is inspiring. Obviously the Japanese Kawaii movement is paramount to a lot of what my stores sell now.  I try to tap into what I see and think others would like to have produced – there are always opportunities to take things and put your own spin on them. We strive for ultimate creativity, but there is always a commercial aspect that creeps in.  Some of my favorite shirts on my sites sell very little, just because my sense of humor is kind of strange.

Zazzle: When you’re not creating art, what are your other hobbies?

Sean: Most of my hobbies ARE design based.  My main passion is Sports apparel and Identity design. On the side; I work with a small outfit called Custom Apparel here in Minnesota that designs all sorts of jerseys, mostly Softball at the moment.  It allows me to make 50-100 different logos a year, along with a few hundred uniform templates and designs.  This may sound mundane to most, but that’s my kinda work.   I also love just relaxing when I find a free minute and watching something that makes me laugh.  But, I’m usually doing that with my laptop in front of me… reading this I realize I really need to get out of the house more :)

Zazzle: What is your inspiration for your designs?

Sean:  Anytime you see something so simple and brilliant that you’re mad at yourself you didn’t think of it first.  There are a few designers on here that are very good at making me kick myself, especially my brother, whose amazing talents are usually very inspiring… and sometimes extremely frustrating.  But it’s a great resource that we have each other to bounce ideas off of.  We make each other better.

Zazzle: What has been your favorite Zazzle product to create?

Sean:  I’m definitely a t-shirt guy.  I sell mainly t-shirts. Obviously every design finds a product, but for as many ideas I have for cards and such, I find my niche is usually a silly or semi-cute t-shirt.

Narwhal the Unicorn of the Sea T-Shirt

Zazzle: How do YOU eat a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup?

Sean: Patiently.  I freeze it.  Then I savor it. Slowly.  I don’t eat much chocolate, but you zeroed in on the few treats I allow.  And I certainly love frozen PB cups. They remind me of my grandma’s house as a child.

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

Sean: The store categories.  I think organizing your storefronts by design makes the times you draw people to your main site (as opposed to coming through the marketplace) much easier to navigate and purchase.  It also motivates me to put many more designs up.

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

Sean: Again, the success my brother had (and he still had nominal sales for years, but started in the early 2000s) from his site made me realize I’m losing money if I don’t use the valuable FREE resources like Zazzle.   Also, I’m waiting for the day I walk by someone at the mall and see a stranger wearing my design.  I think it’s soon to come. It’s nice to see friends and family buy them, and great to see all the international orders…but I wanna see that random stranger wearing my shirt.  That’s what keeps me going.

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

Sean: The best advice is just to stick with it and keep producing.  All it takes is that one design that starts to sell, and like magic you’ll start to sell other things. Honey Badger was huge for me. I actually designed that as a one off for a friend a week after the video was released, and didn’t even have it on the marketplace for MONTHS until I saw it was the number one trending thing on Zazzle.  Huge mistake.  It’s been a cash cow, but I still might have wasted hundreds if not thousands by being a few weeks late to that party.  Put it up. It’s up there forever.  A big holiday seller for me this year is my “Santa Hates You,” which features an angry Santa flipping the bird.  I think that’s like 3 years old…but since I’ve been selling other shirts, its apparently coming up on peoples searches and has been a really nice treat.  Just keep making stuff and pay attention to trends.   Make your designs as fresh as possible.

Thanks Sean!


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