Whether you're an emerging artist, an established artist, or somewhere in between, you're probably always looking for some way to get your art into the world. There's a number of approaches which I will be addressing over the coming weeks, but today we'll be talking about Print On Demand (POD).
What is Print On Demand?
These are websites that offer various blank "templates" for you to apply images of your artwork to, and in turn offer a platform to sell them on. Some examples would be Society6, RedBubble, Zazzle, Fine Art America, and countless more. There's also Spoonflower if you're interested in turning your art into wallpaper & fabric.
These websites offer an entry level way to start merchandising, and their wide audiences mean you have a better chance at gaining followers.
How Does It Work?
You'll have to first create an "Artist" or "Seller" account on their website, by doing so you'll gain access to a more complex dashboard than the standard user. It will allow you to add artwork, view statistics, track sales & sometimes include news regarding upcoming promotions to help you advertise appropriately.
Once your artwork is loaded onto the website, you'll have the opportunity to apply it to various templates - mugs, bags, blankets, phone cases, etc. You would likely have the opportunity to adjust commission rates, include product descriptions and add keywords. At this point, you would make a final review & submit - that's it!
What are the Benefits?
What are the Downsides?
Who can benefit from a POD site?
Any visual artist can benefit from these websites - painters, sculptors, photographers, etc. If you're a poet, you arrange your words in a beautiful visual that can be applied to merchandise as well!
Char's Tips To Get Started
First thing you'll need to do is research your options! You want to see what your options in terms of merchandise - do they offer a good variety? Do they have a history of adding new options on a regular basis?
Whats also important is quality. If you are able, order some pieces and see how they look in person. Do they meet your standards? Now think about your potential customers - would these meet their standards? Remember that despite your hands never touching your merchandise, it is still a direct reflection on you. If you aren't able to order pieces due to financial constraints, no worries! Research and read reviews other people have left.
Make sure you use high resolution photos. I recommend using a digital camera or scanner (not a cell phone) to get the highest quality. Ensure they are clear, and use a post production program to make any enhancements as needed. Canva and PicMonkey are great free options if you don't have the necessary software.
Always review how your art looks on each design before publishing. The POD site will nearly always allow you to make adjustments to ensure it fits properly.
If you're at a live event, have a tablet and WiFi connection available and give visitors the option to purchase easily. You will have to log out of your account (so they don't get your discount!) & check to see if there are any coupons available that day (like free shipping!)
What are your experience with print on demand websites? What advice would you give someone who wants to get started?
Thanks for reading!