Genius Abstract

I did manage to produce these T-Shirt designs for Zazzle in between my hectic life!

So what's been happening this week? Well, it's been the kind of week when every time I have tried to sit down and write something, something more critical and immediate has popped up. Like, getting up at 04:30am to get to a 9am meeting in London for my day job, having to occasionally eat and drink, and on rare occasions I've had to get some sleep. I also realised that I didn't know until we had our first and only child, is that now I'm older I clearly need help going to the bathroom.

The upside to getting up that early in the dark is that I found out two things. One, that toe means a part of the foot that finds furniture and Lego bricks in the dark, and two, that mornings are natures way of saying Ha, Ha, now you have to do it all over again.

It's been so busy that I haven't been to Starbucks once this week, although I managed a Latte to go from Pret, but that didn't count because I managed to let half of it go cold while I worked out that even duct tape couldn't fix stupid, but that it can tie it up.

In the rare moments in between that dream we call real life, and my need to get some kind of period where I can go into a standby mode, I made quite a few notes about what I would like to create next. And.. you see this is where I started to struggle. I thought long and hard about creating more seascapes, I thought about completing a portrait off that has taken me forever, and I thought about creating another abstract or two. I managed to create two pieces in the end, one abstract that I still need to work on, and another landscape piece that I need to add a little drama to give it some extra pizazz!

One of the thoughts I had when I made my notes was that when it comes to selling on Print On Demand, I have seen an increase in sales of typographic prints. You know, those motivational posters that tell you how great you look even when you've just done a 70 hour week, and woken up with a completely new hairstyle that could have been the product of the apprentice demon hairdresser from hell who's auditioning for a really bad reality show.

I've never been convinced that those posters really work. It would take more than a poster of a motivational penguin to get me to the gym. Actually I did join a gym last year, my money went regularly but alas, I didn't. But the thing is, it is possible to create something quite quickly that then sells better than some of the work that you might have put 20+ hours into.

Well, that's the theory, they can be done quite quickly, but looking on some of the print on demand sites, some of these "done quickly" pieces, could have been done in Microsoft Word. Life, they didn't even use Word Art. Although some did, but they had serious spilling mistakes. (See what I did there?)

Given that time this week was at a premium, what I couldn't afford to do was to scour the print on demand sites (Zazzle mainly) to see the extent of theses products. What I saw nearly blew me away. Is this a new art form I wondered? Is it really acceptable as an artist with 3,000+ items in an uncategorised store to actually sell a print of a screen shot of a You Tube video? When I looked through the other items, and to be fair I went through a few, I realised that about 100 products were the exact same picture.

This made me shake my head, just before putting it in my hands and falling to my knees. I wondered for a moment, just how much money this particular "artist", makes from his or her store. But, then two things struck me that wanted me to grab that roll of duct tape. Firstly, just how much server room does this **** take up, then secondly, just how many sales are lost to those who can't seem to ever get featured, or have somewhere in the region of way, way less than 10,000 very similar products in their store.

If I had searched for an image of something that I wanted to display on my wall, and I hadn't much of a clue how print on demand works, I might just have left the site and never explored any further if the first thing I had come across was a screenshot of a You Tube video. It wouldn't have been quite so bad, had it not been pixelated to such an extent that I really did think it was some genius abstract.

It's difficult to start making a break in print on demand, competing with some great pieces of art work, and competing against the many hundreds of products in many, many stores. The only way to get that break seems to be fill your store with as many products as you can. But, for those of us that care about offering quality works, it is really difficult to catch that break, unless all you do is upload all day, everyday.

I try my best to create around 3 to 5 pieces per week, each one then taking around one hour to upload, and then promote on multiple social media accounts. I've only just started to Twitter, or tweet, or whatever it is it's called, but I really haven't had much chance to tweet, or Twitter beyond promoting this blog, and promoting my works. Print on Demand.. It's hard work. I've said it before, but it is made so much more difficult when your work is buried knee deep in the mountain of Microsoft word art. I did spend more than a few hours putting some thought into some new T-Shirt designs, although it would have been quicker using Microsofts Word Art!

What's the worst thing you've seen on Print On Demand?




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