Playing Designer

One regret I have in regards to my time getting a BFA is that I never took a real graphic design class. I did some mild stuff while taking an animation class, but I still felt pretty unfamiliar with the likes of Illustrator and Photoshop. I’ve learned a thing or two about a thing or two by trial and error (or, rather, I NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO THIS NOW THE SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS TOMORROW-esque urgency), but didn’t take the time to really indulge the genuine design-ey inclinations that I have until I graduated and opened up my humble little store on print-on-demand site redbubble.

Like a lot of young girls who were into girly things, I went through a phase of wanting to be a chic fashion designer. A desire I mostly explored by playing the Barbie Fashion Designer CD-ROM game for hours on end:

barbiefdSo.Much.Printer.Ink.Wasted

When I started my store and saw that I could put my work on things like tee shirts, pillows, and (newly) pouches, all these long-buried emotions came roaring back. Problem is, a lot of my work just doesn’t, well, work on things like tee shirts. So I’ve been playing with how to make painterly graphics to mix and match with by painting with acrylic on duralar transparency:

Duralar GREEN STROKES_Hmm..I simply paint on the transparency, scan it at a high resolution, and  rid of all the white/ close to white areas (super simple, as my skilz still aren’t too impressive.) Then maybe some mild cleanup and color adjusting. I know this is total baby stuff, but I really enjoy playing around like this. I had this one printed on another baseball tee (MY LAST ONE, I SWEAR) and it surprisingly came out pretty true to the bright colors in the file (which won’t always happen when printing on shirts.)

Green Strokes Tee

I’m goin’ all the way to the top for you, Barbie. I really like that I can use the skills that I already have (painting) with a little graphics know-how to make these fun little designs.

If you’re so inclined, you can purchase my tee shirt [here] or peruse my redbubble portfolio [here]

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Mugs!

As you all know, I have a little shop on print-on-demand site Redbubble.com, and recently they added mugs to their lineup of products. I ordered some for myself (well, to give as gifts and one for myself!) and I’m, again, pleased with the printing quality. The price is also, surprisingly, only as much as a tote bag.

MUG Ocarina Pic

Above is my Pop-Art Ocarina Tilted Pattern

MUG matchsticks

Mug Matchsticks 2

Above is my Many Matchsticks pattern.

Never thought I’d ever see any of my work on a coffee mug, but I must admit that I like the result! As more of a “fine” artist, I also love that I get to indulge my more design, graphics oriented ideas and inclinations through my store here.

 

My Foray into Redbubble (cont.)

I wrote recently about some products I ordered from my shop on print-on-demand site Redbubble. The site had a 15% off promotion recently (sadly, it’s ended now) so I decided to order some more of my products to survey the quality once again (this time I had to pay for everything, boo.) I’m pretty relieved to say that I am pleased with the quality of both products!

The first thing I bought was this throw pillow with one of my watercolor grid patterns printed on it:

Pillow composite (1000x581)

 The pillow and painting for comparison

The printing came out really true to the colors, and at a great resolution as well! The pillow material itself is pretty soft and sturdy. However, since this is a throw pillow, it’s more for decoration than actually lying on to sleep (and it’s dry/spot clean only because of the printing.)

The other thing I got was this tote!

Totes COmposite

     Closeup this time is of the actual tote, not the original painting.

I was a bit afraid that it was gonna be one of those terrible cheapo, super thin totes that get given away for promotional reasons, or that you see for 99 cents at the grocery checkout. I was pleasantly surprised that it was made of a sturdy and thick material- a little thicker than the typical artist canvas. The printing also came out really nice and clear! I got this design partially because, it being a watercolor painting (which are notoriously hard to photograph,) I was concerned with the picture quality. I’m relieved to see that it turned out so crisp!

Overall, my feelings are that Redbubble products are good quality. However, the catch is that they are kind of pricey. For instance, my pillow, with the cover and insert and shipping, came to a bit over $30. Obviously, there are cheaper places to get throw pillows (hello, Ikea!) but here, you’re more directly supporting an individual artist and their work, at a much cheaper cost than buying original art. Overall, I’m just having fun with the whole thing, which is really the important part.

You can visit my shop here!

My Foray Into Redbubble

Recently I joined print-on-demand website Redbubble, (and I was even featured on the homepage!) I’ve been pleased with my experience thus far.

Basically, the gist of RedBubble is that you join (for free) and can upload your artwork to be sold and printed on a variety of products (prints, totes, tees, whatever you want to offer.) Then, when someone orders one of your designs, it is then printed and shipped to the customer. Overall, the website seems to make most of its sales through tee shirts. You seem to get what you put in. If you really want to make money there, you have to market it yourself (which I’m too lazy to do, really. Er, I guess that’s what I’m doing right here…) I think it’s a good tool to have if you ever want to order any prints of your own work, or to have somewhere to send people who are interested in your work, but who can’t afford originals. For instance, the family member who’s always asking you to “paint something” for them.

I think they felt sorry for me not having sold anything, because recently a representative of theirs was nice enough to randomly send me a voucher for $50 so I could buy some designs for myself (which was super awesome of them to do.) It took me a while to decide, but I eventually settled on getting a phone case (because I needed one, and wanted to see how the printing came out) and a tee (because they offer a baseball tee- my favorite kind! Never enough love for the baseball tee.)

This is the design I got on the cell phone:

Posies Phone composite_MeganKoth

I was really impressed with the printing quality- I was a bit worried about how a watercolor painting would show up, but it came out crisp.

I also ordered a version of my ocarina painting on a baseball tee:

Ocarina Tee and pic_Megan Koth

I was really pleased with the printing quality on the tee as well!

The only downside I suppose is that the products are a bit pricey- no $10 tee bargains here. my baseball tee runs at $28.64, and that’s before shipping. But you are getting a quality product, not to mention, something really unique and quite literally made for you and at your request (“printed on demand.”)

Overall, I don’t expect to get rich through this, but it’s a fun thing I think for artists to invest some time into, if just to get your stuff on some nice products, and to have a place to refer friends who want something of yours but aren’t ready to take the plunge on an original work just yet.

You can visit my RedBubble store here!