“Ring of Flowers” Items and Some Basic Zazzling

I like all my drawings to various extents, and hence, generally, the products I place them on as well. Some items and designs seem to me to be exceptionally cool though, such as my “Ring of Flowers” ones. “Ring of Flowers” is actually not a single drawing, but rather a composite of one, “Flowers on Sharp White”:

Flowers on Sharp White, colored pencil drawing by Darren Olsen at The Draw

“Flowers on Sharp White”
© 2015 Darren Olsen

Flowers on Grassy Hills, colored pencil drawing by Darren Olsen at The Draw

“Flowers on Grassy Hills”
© 2015 Darren Olsen

“Flowers on Sharp White” is pretty basic (a “long” version of my original drawing “Flowers on Grassy Hills”, itself fairly basic), but while it still looks good on its own, when three copies are arranged in a ring–and certain image editing and Zazzle design tools are used–it really becomes something special.

Take, for instance, the Ring of Flowers on Sharp White Clock:

Ring of Flowers on Sharp White Clock, product at The Draw on Zazzle

Ring of Flowers on Sharp White Clock
© 2015 Darren Olsen

Although the base drawing of all “Ring of Flowers” items is, as you have seen, a rectangular block of colorful, stylized flowers, you might not guess it by looking at the finished products. Since the base image is only sparsely populated with flowers, the rectangular shape obviously present in it becomes obscured when multiple copies are arranged together. Ultimately then, as opposed to a triangle, “Ring of Flowers” truly does more or less look like a ring!

Ring of Flowers Pink and Green Acrylic Keychain, product at The Draw on Zazzle

Ring of Flowers Pink and Green Acrylic Keychain
© 2015 Darren Olsen

Ring of Flowers Pink and Green Acrylic Keychain, reverse side, product at The Draw on Zazzle

Ring of Flowers Pink and Green Acrylic Keychain
© 2015 Darren Olsen

It gets even better though in that for some items, I opted to forgo the white background and replace it with pink or green, sometimes even together on either side of a product! (Pink and green is one of my favorite color combinations, so I was thrilled when I thought of uniting the two on select products.) Although Zazzle does not offer advanced editing options in its design interface, it does, among other things, offer a choice of background color. Now of course, a background color will not replace solid areas of an image, however images can be made beforehand to have “transparent” areas, which will then take on any background color that is chosen on a Zazzle product customization page. In fact, tasks like adding transparency can be done with image editing software, such as the free and open-source program GIMP. One way is to simply select a color to be replaced with “transparency”, and then have the software do it. Since the white in “Flowers on Sharp White”, for instance, is just blank areas from the physical paper anyway, prior to uploading to Zazzle, I made it transparent using GIMP, thereby allowing me–or customers, should they choose to customize particular items–to choose whatever background colors seem best.

Perhaps the best thing though was that for other select items, I thought of putting an image in the center of the ring, thereby enabling customers to easily add their own custom photos! See, for instance, the Ring of Flowers on Sharp White Mirror:

Ring of Flowers on Sharp White Mirror, product at The Draw on Zazzle

Ring of Flowers on Sharp White Mirror
© 2015 Darren Olsen

Especially for a personal item like a compact mirror, as soon as I thought of it, I felt that allowing customers to use photos of their loved ones or sweethearts in such a way–surrounded by the flowers–was just truly awesome. I really think it could help to make such items truly special to those who get them, and, incidentally, while customers can always choose to add photos or other images to any item (just so long as the seller has customization options enabled for it), still, by putting my own placeholder image on one ahead of time (Zazzle makes it easy for such an image to be placed for easy swap-out or else deletion by a customer), well, it makes the option explicitly clear, and, again, more convenient for someone to do.

Thanks to GIMP and Zazzle’s own design interface then, a pretty basic drawing such as “Flowers on Sharp White” became all the better. Not only was a distinct design possible–“Ring of Flowers”–but between alternate, nice color combinations and an easily-personalized photo in that distinct design, taking the entirety of the “Ring of Flowers” items under consideration, the results were really quite cool … in fact, are really quite cool! If you would like, check them out in my store today! (Try searching for “flowers“, but do not include “ring”; Zazzle apparently interprets that to be a search for physical rings, none of which I currently have in my store.)


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