Daily Posts. Colorful Ideas & Inspirations.
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Introducing...PLYWERK, an eco-conscious photo mounting and art panel company based in Portland Oregon. They work with professional artists, photographers, interior designers, point and shoot photographers, parents, and everyone in between!
Plywerk Anatomy 101
Bamboo & Maple Plywerk Panels
COLOURlovers has recently become a Pro Partner of PLYWERK. Why is this super notable to mention? Because you're going to get the best, most amazing deals ever when you create an account (which is free). These deals are customized to COLOURlovers Members Only under the Prodeal membership (which is also free). Pretty sweet huh?
Copyrights are well known topics that continually float around the community. So I've snagged someone in the business of creating and selling vector artwork to explain in laymen's terms the crazy in's and out's of copyright (with digital art). I'd like to introduce to the blog authorship, Ray Dombroski, founder of The Vector Lab (thevectorlab.com) and a COLOURlover himself.
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Enjoy the post ~ Molly Bermea / Blog Editor
Intellectual Property and Copyrights
Whenever an artist creates a new original work in the United States as well as in many other countries, it is automatically covered under copyright protection. With the use of licensing, that artist can grant certain additional rights to others. A license can be written to give someone else the right to resell the art or create derivative works (remix or change the art), for example. These licenses are important when it comes to using stock art or clip art for your own designs.
Some of you may already know our own sec9586, some of you may have just heard of her as the designer of the Betabrand plaid pattern, "Betabrand2" in our contest, "Color a Plaid Shirt Contest by Betabrand + COLOURlovers". Either way, we're featuring her today so you can get to know her even better!
Shawna Crouch, aka "sec9586", is the owner / operator of CrouchDesign. She attended Murray State University, where she graduated with a BS in Studio Art/Graphic Design in 2009, and specializes primarily in print design. Along with her designing day job, she runs a small shop on Zazzle as CrouchDesign, where she offers freelance design services. She also has an Etsy shop, AquaNetNightmare, set to reopen September 1st, 2011 which will offer jewelry, cards, invitations, stationary and drawings.
Have you ever wanted to apply your color design abilities to a real-life product? Well here's your big opportunity! Rev up your color coordination skills and become the next palette designer for a plaid shirt offered through Betabrand! You'll get the unique opportunity to color a plaid pattern, see the design in action (applied to a template shirt) and the possibility of having your colors picked for print. How cool is that?!
Betabrand is an online-only clothing company based in San Francisco that produces unique designs in limited-edition batches every week. They make Cordarounds, Japants, DARPA hoodies, Farmer's Market backpacks, disco pants, and much, much more.
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Ready, Set, Contest Time!
We've had our very own, sec9586 create a pattern template for a new plaid flannel shirt that Betabrand plans to release in two versions for the 2011 holiday season. Betabrand has already chosen the colors for one version - the other is up to you!
How it works...
Easy, color the Betabrand plaid pattern template, Betabrand2.
Your colored pattern will automatically appear with the rest of the entries on the contest gallery page. You may color as many versions of the pattern template as you like.
If your colors are chosen...
The Betabrand design team will select one winner, who'll receive the following:
- - A real-life finished plaid flannel shirt;
- - Your COLOURlovers user name on the shirt label (for this 2011 production run - see above image);
- - $100 Betabrand Gift Card;
- - Recognition on the Betabrand web site and in all company communications; this includes photo of the winner in his/her winning shirt (optional).
The contest runs August 2nd - 11th (2011). Anyone who submits an entry will receive a coupon code for 20% OFF any Betabrand product - offer only valid during the contest timeline.
Patterns are way easier to make than you may think, you just have to learn the tricks. That's where I come in. It seems like the pattern world is real hush hush about their techniques and the tools out there are nothing short of awful - besides the COLOURlovers Seamless Pattern Maker and my own resources at madpattern.com. In this Educational Series I'll be helping you understand the different types of patterns. Let's first start with getting you Lovers up to speed on some of the universal laws of patterns.
Pattern examples A, B, C, D (P1, P4, P6M, P3M1)
It is mathematically proven that there are only 17 different types of pattern symmetries. this is a surprisingly nice and natural way to organize the patterns you see around you.
With the release of Seamless Studio BETA, there have been some fantastic creations submitted. We're pretty excited to see designs become more and more intriguing with the new features this enhancement of the original seamless pattern maker allows.
An opportunity popped up for us to showcase how you can use Seamless Studio as an amazing design tool for things outside of COLOURlovers.com. I'll be using a real-world design contest for some Nine West totes - hosted by talenthouse.
Etsy.com allows people to sell in many different ways. An excellent business model is selling your creations as PDF Patterns instead of the actual item itself. It requires almost no overhead so to speak since you are selling a digital file for the end-buyer to print themselves. It allows you, the seller, more creative time by simply selling the method rather than trying to keep up with demanding orders.
Featured Etsy seller, English artist Sarah Hanson of Dolls & Daydreams, does just that. She does it very well in fact by showcasing a few different finished products as eye-candy for each pattern. Versions of these creations shown in the store are merely examples of how cute these plushes can look, but the fabric choices are up to you, so you can make these projects look any way you want. Each purchase comes packed with a PDF pattern and instructions on how to create it. Sarah also provides some extra bonus links and advice for sewing dolls, along with your purchase.
Opening More Doors for Cashflow
Sarah's business model not only sell's cute doll patterns, but also provides a way to dress these dolls up with upselling. A very smart move and works beautifully for her shop. As soon as you see these guys in their outfits you can't help but want to also accessorize!
Sell the Idea - Make it Tactfully Visual
These doll's aren't anything small either at 18.5" tall! Sarah does an excellent job showcasing her product. She doesn't just provide a single image of one doll, with a note that it's a pattern. She showcases a great picture of the main product - the Owls three in a row, sitting and standing. Then an up sell image of the owl's dressed in clothing - sold separately - and finally a representation of size by having a child in the picture holding one. I couldn't wrap my head around what this 18.5 inch doll might actually represented until I saw the image of the child.
Recapping this selling structure:
- Include nice, clear, un-grainy pictures. Sarah does a simple white background (a piece of posterboard can work). Colorful items are best shown on a simple background.
-Include a variety of inspirational looks. Sarah does this with many different fabric variations of the Owls.
-Include visuals to how big the item is: a quilt - show it on a bed, a doll - show it in your hands or a child's (try to represent it in real life, not against a ruler), an outfit - show it on a real body, etc.
-Finally, if there is a way to accessorize your item show it, but make sure to note that the PDF does not come with such and such items, but you can [link] get them here.
Etsy sellers create many types of products, not only in the sewing or PDF world. A couple of different scenario's to add upselling to your product pages would be:
Jewelry - Selling a necklace? Show an image with a ring and earrings that match....note links to those products...run a special to buy all three, etc.
Sewing Patterns or Clothing and Accessories - we've covered a lot about the patterns as the main topic in this post, but putting doll's aside, things like clothing could include accessories such as a purse, belt or other clothing accessory that might go.
Lastly, don't be afraid to start networking with other sellers to create a cross-combo upsell. Wow, does that sound complicated? It's easy, if you make dresses and skirts and have no interest in making purses, connect with a fellow seller and work out an agreement. If you only make necklaces, connect with someone doing more:
-Simple Exposure Trade - each of you post a product and link in another product page for upselling to the other user.
-Commission - Instruct buyers to mention a code in the special instructions field at checkout for the item on the other sellers product to get some sort of benefit (%/$ off next order, etc). Basically create a way to track that they bought from both of you.
Overall, the PDF to Print business model is an excellent way to keep loving your craft, broaden your market and have more time ultimately for creating new products for your line. A would almost guarantee that selling a pattern over the actual dolls will gross ten times more. Opening your pattern license up to allow others to sell the finished products provides even more of a draw.
As an Etsy buyer and crafter myself, I would much rather spend $10 on a pattern than spend $25+ on a single doll. Remember, Etsy is a creative community. Most of the users who sell on Etsy most likely buy on Etsy - and those people like to create.
One look at the patterns in the Dolls & Daydreams store, and you can easily imagine yourself spending a long and lazy Sunday with your sewing kit out, creating these precious little plushes.
Handmade plushes always give me a rush of delight. As a person who loves craft and collectibles, there's something about owning an item that has been created by hand that feels better than purchasing a mass manufactured item. It's a similar feeling to receive a gift that's been made by hand.
All images copyright Sarah Hanson of Dolls & Daydreams.
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This post was written in collaboration with both Colette Bennette & Molly Bermea
We're throwing a contest for the best Mothers Day Floral Pattern Template design. Winner will receive $15 - ImageKind.com Bucks!
ImageKind is a community for artists to create and sell their work in many forms of print. Their goal is to develop an online art experience that provides both consumers and artists with an outlet for sharing, creating and buying art (from a digital file).
COLOURlovers is linked up with imagekind which allows you to easily import your COLOURlovers.com colors, palettes and patterns over to imagekind with the click of a button.
You MUST be the original creator of any colors, palettes and patterns in the COLOURlovers.com system to be able to import them to imagekind. If you are the original creator and are allowed to upload them to imagekind, you will see the section, BUY THIS PATTERN, on your item profile (fabric goes to Spoonflower.com, Artwork to imagekind.com).
It's a pretty neat deal! You can get your lovely patterns printed on canvas, posters or even framed prints.
Design a brand spank'n new Floral Template - Must be dated on or after today, May 3rd, 2011. Designing a template is not the same as coloring a template. You will need to use Seamless (COLOURlovers Pattern Maker).
You may submit as many new templates OR variations of your colored template as you would like (sometimes the paint-job makes a difference).
Add the finished and colored badge(s) to the comments - if you don't know how, ask me via love notes.
Get as many LOVES as you can before the end of day (11:59
AM PM PST) Saturday, May 7th, 2011. Winning colored template will receive $15 at ImageKind.com.
Floral - Can be display anything with: vines, flowers, buds, leaves, garden (am I missing anything here?). Can be abstract, mosaic or traditional as long as it pertains to some sort of floral appeal.
Clarification Updates (May 5th, 2011):
To try to eliminate some confusion I have answered some of these questions in the comments...
1.) I will add up ALL LOVES from both the Pattern Template AND the Colored Templates (your's or otherwise related to THAT template). Anything under that template will count.
2.) Post your submissions HERE in the COMMENTS section (below post)
3.) You must be the original creator of the Template.
*Thanks and maybe I'll run our next challenge a little smoother! :) You have until Saturday at midnight (PST) to contribute!*
Header Pattern and Palette:
Sample Pattern (in post screenshot):
Welcome to The Design Minute, a new feature on the COLOURlovers blog where we take a quick look at an inspired design, whether it be on a canvas, a t-shirt, a billboard or a passing elephant, and have a quick chat with the artist behind it. Today's design is called Color Wheel, and it can currently be found at ultra-cool t-shirt design site Threadless. Creator Ross Zietz has a few other designs under his belt, but this one was perfect for our color-obsessed readers (and yes, I'm talking to you).
COLOURlovers: Give us three words that you feel best describe this design.
Ross: vivid, bicycle, kaleidoscope-ish.
COLOURlovers: Do you have a current favorite Threadless design? If so, what is it?
Ross: Dead Pirate by McBess. Nice and Simple. Sorry it's not too colorful but it's the one I wear the most.
COLOURlovers: You have to create a design in under five minutes, using only words to describe it. Go.
Ross: Ha... A wide open shark jaw, just the two jaw parts (top and bottom)... The teeth look like normal sharp shark teeth from afar but when you look closer at them, you realize that they are actually sails to a bunch of tiny sailboats. I think i'm actually going to design this tonight!
Thanks to the COLOURlovers who contributed to the Clients From Hell book giveaway and Pattern From Hell Challenge! We got some pretty cool patterns as well as some funny low-key patterns. Give yourselves a pat on the back!
I'm wishing I had four books to give away because there was a tiebreaker...and number four was still a great contributor. Alas, I only have three...so let's see who gets them!
The most LOVED pattern was contributed by mooberri. Using some well placed basic shapes and a minimal color palette it turned out quite nice I think! Congrats!
Mooberri's personal Client From Hell experience:
"Well my friend is the CD at one if the best design firms in Canada and i know how to use Photoshop so i know a lot about design." - This was said as the client pulled out hideous fliers he had designed.
Best Runner up!
I wanted to give a shout and pat on the back to sec9586 for her funny contribution of "It needs to POP!" She came in just behind the tie (above).
She posted that her favorite ClientFromHell.net quote was:
CLIENT: “Don’t worry, my daughter is very artsy, so I’m used to dealing with you people and your train of thought.” - story of my life lol - says sec9586
The pattern description is very funny too so don't miss that.
"If I hear one more client tell me that my design needs to POP, I'm going to POP their little head right off."
Overall, thanks to everyone again for contributing in both patterns, comments and votes. It was a fun contest and we had some laughs about some pretty crazy clients we've all had!