Tag Archives: japan

Takeda kamon and Oda mon revisited

I want to add more historical Tokugawa Shogunate kamon designs and I start with the Takeda kamon. And besides that I had an old design of the Oda Kamon which needed rework.

My new kamon of the famous Takeda clan from the Sengoku period. The most famous Takeda member is Takeda Shingen who fought in the Battles of Kawanakajima against Uesugi Kenshin. The clan is pretty famous in Japan, so I hope it will sell. Even though the Takeda kamon is a simple, minimalist design.

Takeda kamon Japanese samurai clan red
Takeda kamon Japanese samurai clan red by ejkaal
View other Takeda Bottle Opener at Zazzle.com

There are a couple of kamons of famous clans I want to do. And if I keep find more then I will add those too. Another famous clan is Oda. I already had the design, but I never made full use of it. In my last post I wrote my thoughts down about creating value. I do know that my Oda design sells and therefor I created value. This new version will create value for some future customer for sure.

To make sure that I reach a large enough public I made sure that my designs are implemented in all my stores. If possible. Last couple of months I’ve been busy topping up my other stores besides my main Zazzle shop. And therefor the new Oda design is added to my Spreadshirt Kamon shop and my Cafepress Digital Homestead shop.

Shogunate and Ottoman empire designs

The output of new designs is low last months due to a moving house project, but I got some Shogunate and Ottoman empire designs to show. Firstly, I have two new Japanese kamon designs. On is fictional and the other is real.

I start of with the Hattori mon. It is a clan mon from the Shogun Total War game, although it is a little bit based on Japanese history. It’s a fictional clan based on a famous Japanese samurai and ninja Hattori Hanzou. I liked the Total War PC games a lot, in my opinion one of the best strategy games for PC. I bought the Shogun 2 verion some years ago and I thought “why not use one of the mon from the game”. This version is gold texture on black, but I’ve got also the game colors red on dark grey.

Hattori clan kamon in gold texture shirts
Hattori clan kamon in gold texture shirts by ejkaal
Shop for Tokyo T-Shirts online at Zazzle.com

The second one is the kamon of the Inoue samurai clan. This japanese clan came to prominence during kamakura and edo period. The kamon consists of feathers groups in a cirkel. I used a gold texture on a black background in thid example.

Inoue clan kamon in gold t-shirt
Inoue clan kamon in gold t-shirt by ejkaal
Look at more Inoue clan T-Shirts at zazzle

When I started with my little business I created a couple Ottoman Empire designs. Most of them are meant for patterns with tiling. But you can use a single tile as a stand alone illustration. I did sold some products this way, but I never used on as many Zazzle products as possible.

Now I’m using templates in Zazzle, I can create products in large batches. A couple of Ottoman designs are revisited and tweaked for processing this way. There a other designs I can use the same trick on, but that is for the future. But first these three.

Star Wars Galactic Empire banner and mon

I was twelve year when in 1977 the firat Star Wars movie was shown. It converted me into a Science Fiction fanboy and I never got cured from the illness. The three first films made a big impact on me. The sets, the matte paintings, the special effects, this is how all Science Fiction films and TV-series should be.

The secend series of three movies were very slick and well crafted but they didn’t do much for me. I guess a good plot really does matter. So, now number seven is coming and with the promise of the same magic the first three had. And hopefully a good plot.

I never did Star Wars fan art myself, but since I’m so busy with my online stores the couple of years I gave it a try. I do a lot of Japanese mon and kamon, the insignia of the Galactic Empire looks a bit like a mon. Let’s make my own version.

Galactic Empire Mon

Of course the Star Wars Galactic Empire also has a banner. I couldn’t find a good photo from the movies of a banner, so I gave it my own twist.

Galactic Empire Banner

Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious) would be very happy with me.

Kaigani Thunderbird and some tadpoles

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.

Kaigani Thunderbird

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.

Smart SIM Card mega format Shirts
Smart SIM Card mega format Shirts by ejkaal
Create your own custom shirts online at zazzle.com

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.

Bishamon Buddhist deity and a fishy Koinobori scale design

Updating tags and description of old products can be boring, so I thought it time to add a Bishamon pattern and a Koinobori scale design. These are two traditional Japanese designs you find in different variations.

First the Bishamon design. Its peculiar trianle patterns is said to be derived of the Buddhist deity, Bishamon. For me it makes a very pleasing tile pattern. I will try different colors and see what works best. Mostly I reuse colors of other Japanese which I sold earlier.

If you ever visit Japan you will notice those windsocks in the shape of a fish, also named Koinobori. Most of its body is covered in fish scale shapes. I made some time ago a Koinobori scale design and I sold a couple of products. By chance I came upon another version of a Koinobori scale and I liked it a lot. Primarily because it was a type of Delft ware blue on a white background. Also the line work was better than the Koinobori scale design I made earlier. An example on an Apple iPhone 6 case.

A small remark about the Zazzle marketplace search update earlier this year. I updated a lot of tags and expanded the descriptions. It is still unclear if it had any effect. The designs which didn’t moved stil don’t show any sign of sales. On the whole, Februari was dismally slow, but March made up a lot. Have already had some sales for April, but it looks my sales are flat lining for now.

Golden waves and a Zazzle Teddy Bear

I haven’t added much new designs to my store lately, but I managed to add a kamon with golden waves and a Zazzle Teddy Bear. Most work I did last couple of months went into recycling old designs to new products. This is an easy way to boost the amout of products without spending too much time.

First new design I want to show of is a pattern. It’s a yellow and orange flower on a light brown background. It has a typical Southern France feel to it.

Golden waves kamon

Next in line is a new Japanese Kamon design. It’s stylized wave design and this time I use a different gold texture. Brushed gold in stead of the sparkly deep yellow gold I used in all the previous design. The old “gold” designs always did pretty well and I’m curious how the more modest brushed gold texture is going to do. Personally I thibk it is an improvement.

Zazzle Teddy Bear
It was about time to add a more funny cartoony image. I found some nice images of teddy bears and I created a vector image. I always think my cartoons are done well, but it is a wild guess whether the products will sell. Here is my first Zazzle Teddy Bear:

Pinterest iPhone 6 board

Zazzle has a wide range of cases for phones and tablets, for instance for the iPhone, iPad, Galaxy, Droid, Kindle, etc. Apple recently released their iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+. Which means Zazzle offered a new range of cases begging to be sold. I thought I could make a board on Pinterest and display all the designs I put on the iPhone 6 cases. And also I could show other Zazzlers designs I like and make some affiliate money in the process. It’s an experiment and I hope it’ll work.

Japanese lozenges and starting with Pinterest

First, I created some Japanese patterns, Japanese lozenges, Japanese fish scales and a hemp leaves pattern. By the way, Zazzle doesn’t like the word “hemp”, so on Zazzle I replaced that with “herb”. At the moment I have well over 1700 products. In the last two months I created three times as many products as all the years before! Those Zazzle templates really help. Kindle, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy cases, American Apparel t-shirts, everything gets a design in one go. But, let me show of the Japanese designs.

Japanese Herb leaves Pattern iPhone 4 Case
Japanese Herb leaves Pattern iPhone 4 Case by ejkaal
Look at other Japan iPhone Cases at zazzle.com

The Japanese lozenges design doesn’t look really Japanese, it looks almost European. I guess patterns and motifs have the tendency to evolve in the same direction or come up with the same solutions in different parts of the world.

Now that I’m writing this post, I’m wondering if I should post a lengthy article for every design I make. That would get boring very quickly. I could just show of a new design with just a caption an leave at that. For instance, just the Japanese lozenges as a photo like on Tumblr. That wouldn’t be very SEO though. It would make the site a bit more lifely.

Finally I got a Pinterest account and I set up my first board. Frankly I have no idea if it is of any use for making money online. One thing is certain, it has potential for collecting and organizing interesting ideas and images. If it will generate extra traffic to my site, I don’t know. But it is still very early day for that.

What next? I have to keep the momentum for at least four to five months to give this money making project a chance. Next on the list are a new affiliate page with a Mars theme and at least two new boards on Pinterest. After that I have to think about how to market this site.