It’s been a while since I posted a blog and in the mean time I created some new designs. I finally finished a new Haida formline drawing, this time a Kaigani Thunderbird. Drawing the thing on paper is fun, recreating it in Inkscape can be a chore. To give you a glimps of my work process I made this little gif.
On a Zazzle t-shirt it looks like this.
I like making formline art and they make steady sales on Zazzle. Another type of designs is my selection of Japanese mon. I made two new ones, they are not particular famous. But they turned out to be very nice looking. For me that’s enough to put them in the store. The first one is a Japanese mon that looks like three tadpoles with their tails intertwined.
The second one is mon I saw on a young womans shirt during the Tokyo Sanja Matsuri. I reminds me of an ancient wheel design. With the big wooden rim in sections. And fat spokes.
Sometimes I get a spontaneous idea and I put it to “paper” immediately. In this case to Inkscape. I thought this mega SIM in contrast to those tiny nano SIMs was funny. If only a buyer will also thing so.
My photo shop with the traditional Dutch theme isn’t very developed yet. I need more good quality photos. This one is made with my Motorala Moto G. I’m pretty pleased with the result.
I also made a set of new patterns. But that is for a future post.
I’ve finally started making my own Haida Formline art, the first one is called the Haida Weeping Skull. Besides Haida art I made a series of new patterns. But first Haida Formline. Copying from the web and recreating copied designs isn’t very satisfying and therefor I decided to make my own Haida Formline designs. I watched the tutorials, from for instance Steve Brown, and penciled down some formline. I figured a frontal face would be an easy beginning and I wanted to do something with a skull since I believe not many used this subject. The process went remarkedly well and I’m quite pleased with the result. I present to you the Haida Weeping Skull:
My pattern shop is getting fuller by the week. Some old designs from the past are applied to a whole new bunch of products of Zazzle. And I found a lot of really good examples on the web which I want to use as patterns. The new patterns are pretty simple and I’ll try maybe ten or so in order to see if they make an impact. Patterns always are a bit of a gamble. These four are on sale in my shop right now:
One particular old design I want to mention is my houndtooth weaving pattern. I updated the design to the look and feel I see in fashion today. To my surprise after only two day on sale I already sold a product with, that’s my fastest sale to date. How a small change can make a big difference.
On my Pinterest page I started a little experiment. With a lot of hype Apple introduced their newest phone, the iPhone 6. What if I made a Pinterest board just dedicated to Apple iPhone 6 cases? Could it help me with any sales? I don’t really sell much cases, whether it is Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus, Motorola Droid RAZR or Amazon Kindle. Maybe this Pinterest board can generate some traffic.
In my previous post I mentioned that I wanted improve on my formline designs, this resuted in a Haida Killer Whale. This time I looked closely at the different formline elements. The example I found on the internet I modified there where necessary. All in all I’m pleased with the result.
Besides a new design I’m still tinkering with leveraging my designs to a bigger audience. I already started a Cafepress shop which started to fill up nicely. Obviously also with my Haida Killer Whale.
I asked the lady of five green lizards if she also used different print on demand services liek Cafepress. She tought the inteface of Cafepress too much hassle, so se doesn’t. Indeed it is a pain and you don’t have the flexibility of Zazzle. But I want to give Cafepress a try because sell cheaper products, maybe I can access a different audience. To date I only made one sale, so not much luck yet.
Zazzle and Cafepress cater mainly for the US market and I don’t want to skip the EU market. My first choice is Spreadshirt, a German company. They usually target per language in the EU, so my Dutch shop only sells in the Netherlands and Belgium. But the also have an EU wide website. I started a shop there and put some designs for sale, but Spreadshirt really uses your designs through their marketplace. So I made sure my Haida Killer Whale is on the market place for all Europeans to find.
Both the Cafepress and Spreadshirt shops need time to get some sales. In the mean time I’ll look for another POD service for the EU.
One type of illustration always did very well and that was my Haida salmon, I therefor added a Haida art Thunderbird. In fact, I use the Haida Salmon as my logo. This salmon did very well and I like the aspects of a salmon. Swimming against the stream and against all odds.
It took me a fair amount of time to get the salmon done, but I decided to create a bit more ambitious project. Again, it is a recreation of an example I saw on the internet. A tedious job which took me a couple of months, just an hour work now and then. I kept putting of finishing the damn bird. The end result is not to bad I guess.
Probably the most important reason I found this job more tedious than all the other projects is that I really don’t know Haida art works. Why are the elements constructed the way they are? Well, you can read about ovoids and u-shapes and stuff, but how do you put this all together?
Day 1: Formline Workshop with Steve Brown from Kathy Dye on Vimeo.
By chance I stumbled upon a workshop by Steve Brown which was taped and put on the internet. It is video of two days and together you have to watch 6 hours of footage. But for anybody who wants to make a go at Haida art, this is probably the best start you can make. And I did watched it completely.
That was after I finished my Haida art Thunderbird. Looking back it doesn’t seem that excellent because my Haida art Thunderbird doesn’t follow the set of rules very well. Nevertheless I’ll put the illustration on Zazzle and Cafepress products since people like this type of art.
One thing about Haida art is that it suits vector art very well. So I ventured to get myself better aquainted with Formline art. I hope to get that way better quality illustrations which sell, without losing the convenience of vector art.