Tag Archives: mon

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.

Illustrations sell better than patterns

Recently I’v come to a surprising conclusion that illustrations sell better than patterns. It’s been a while since I posted a blog, October and November were rather busy. But I didn’t sit on my hands. I did some research on my sales to see what actually sells best. I made a lot of patterns, but also illustrations like Japanese mons or Haida art animals. Patterns go well on iPad and Kindle cases and the like. But cases can be quiet expensive.

Zazzle allows you to download an Excel-sheet with al your sales. My sales I categorized in pattern and illustrations. More than 90% of my sales were products with an illustration as a design. Conclusion: illustrations sell better than patterns. Action: make more illustrations. As I mentioned I created some desigs based on Japanese kamons. This is a sample:

Uesugi Mon Japanese samurai clan Jewelry Box
Uesugi Mon Japanese samurai clan Jewelry Box by ejkaal
Look at other Uesugi Gift Boxes at zazzle.com
Sakai Mon Japanese samurai clan
Sakai Mon Japanese samurai clan by ejkaal
Find more Sakai Tiles at Zazzle

This new insight urged me to visit my older designs of illustration and put them on the new products. Zazzle now has gift boxes for sale, ideal for a single illustraion.

It’s a bit early to declare my conclusion correct. Anyway, sales are picking up. November brough me 10 times more dollars than an average month in 2012 or 2011. That could be due to the amount of patterns I created the last two momths. They may help my store and Zazzle products to be found more easily. Mayby the patterns will take off some months later. But for now I’m happy with the increased sales. And I will keep a close look on what product and designs sell or don’t.