Updated: Apr 8
How many of you artists have tried to sell your artwork online? It's a pain in the butt, isn't it?
I've tried a few and I will admit unless you spend a lot of time promoting or have an existing following, it's going to be a while before it pays off. Not trying to discourage anyone. I would like every artist to create a shop for their work. We artists need all the support we can get but some artists like me need to work just a little bit harder to get these sites to work in their favor.
In my case, I'm not a popular artist but I do what I can to get by. At the moment, I have three shops active and one I can't seem to figure out properly.
I'm going to give you my review on the ones I use and how they work.
Starting with CafePress!!
I had this shop for a long time but I swear the uploading system drove me bonkers.
Yes, there are a lot of products to print on and some good quality stuff too. The downside to the site is that you have to use this image basket and unless you have a premium shop you are limited to how many of each product you can sell.
Example, you have a mans shirt with one drawing but you can't do the same shirt style with a different drawing. You need to select a different style.
You are also limited to how you can place an image onto a product. You can't just move it wherever you want.
The upside? Easy to set price and you can thank your consumer when you sell something. I've been told their ornaments are nicely done.
Another upside is how easy it is to set your profile and profile image. It's a decent site to work with for starters because it puts the images on the products and, if you designed it just right, it will center perfectly.
Overall, I suggest giving it a shot if you are trying to sell products for the first time. Don't go overboard like me. Take it slow. Start with a couple designs and see if this platform fits your needs.
Next Shop: Zazzle!!!
No. Just no. Cool products but for the life of me I can't figure out why uploading has to be so frackin' complicated.
It is very possible that I'm an idiot. I don't know, but this website is far too complicated for me to figure out. It's driving me bat crap crazy! However, if you have the brain power to navigate the uploading and posting system the go for it. I do like that they have playing cards and I love buying off the site. It's just that selling is a pain in the a**.
-(Gotta love the asterisk)
How it works:
A media basket holds all your artwork. As you can see this is an old media basket. I don't offer many of those designs anymore on the only shirt site I still use.
I was using this site primarily for my henna and abstract designs but I have since abandoned my account. I would have added more designs had anyone requested. It alway helps to remain flexible with your audience.
So my recommendation for Zazzle:
IT'S NOT FOR BEGINNERS. At least from my point of view. With this site I suggest taking it slow and make a game plan before jumping on this beast.
Go Simple and Quick with Redbubble
This site is new user friendly. It's easy to understand, easy to upload and easy to edit. They also have a blog and help section to assist you in the best way to size your images and how to edit them (i.e. warping for travel mugs)
Once uploaded, you are good to go! I have far too much fun with RedBubble but alas, there is a down side...
Limited Products Available. Yes I know. It's terribly sad. I would LOVE to see playing cards and plates like Zazzle has but we can't have everything. This is a good beginner website in my opinion.
Also, another downfall. Pouches are the same dimensions as laptop skins and you can't do two separate images for them. Same goes for tote bags and throw pillows.
This is the only account that I have active and use consistently.
I'm attempting Society6 but I don't have enough original "hang up on the wall" kind of art. This is the downfall for being into fan art. It limits you to what you can and can't sell to the masses.
My opinion on Society6: Not for beginners but a lovely site. It's so classy and sleek. 😊
There you have it. That's four art print on demand websites to help artists create merchandise without having to front cash. Soon, I will be in the position to do some actual print and stash products to sell in vending situations but until then, Online Shopping!
If you have a blog or review of any print shops please share it with me. I would love to learn new platforms. You can also let me know your experiences with these four websites. Have you made any money? Did you hit an uploading snag? I am sure others would also like to hear your story.
"I'll get you my Crafties and your original art too"
- Wicked Witch of Southern California ... I mean.. well... yeah.