New Changes That Feel Old: “Lines & Verses” Now Up

Writings for various items are now all collected in one place! “Lines & Verses” is a new menu bar item alongside “My Portfolio” and such, and just as “My Portfolio” presents my artwork, “Lines & Verses” presents, well, the little writings I have created for various items over time.

It is a recent change, yet one that feels quite old. Almost as though it is not new at all. Indeed, the various lines and verses I have created have been around all this time. Only they could only ever be seen on products, as they were never gathered and so presented together anywhere.

This is something I have long sought to change. Greeting card verses in particular always seemed to warrant clearer exposure, generally being more substantive and poetic than other stuff.

Lots of Flowers Pink and Green Mother's Day Card, product at The Draw on Zazzle

Lots of Flowers Pink and Green Mother’s Day Card
© 2015 Darren Olsen

Lots of Flowers Pink and Green Mother's Day Card, inside, product at The Draw on Zazzle

Lots of Flowers Pink and Green Mother’s Day Card, inside
© 2015 Darren Olsen

Yet I never knew quite what to do with it all. Collect everything on a page? In a post? Several posts? And how to handle the existing stuff versus the current?

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When Policies Change: Writing Product Descriptions

Full control over projects and enterprises is always nice, particularly creative projects. Or at least, it always feels nice. A nice thing about Zazzle then (and presumably other print-on-demand companies), is that Designers have full creative control over their work. Sure, Zazzle does have a few restrictions for art and photos (for instance, nothing that can reasonably viewed as discriminatory, nor anything that encourages drug abuse, is excessively violent, nor obscene or pornographic in a non-artistic way), but in all reasonable and understandable ways, Designers are free to create whatever they want. Of course, this extends to whichever products to post as well, plus, how to organize and present them.

Yet one is always well-advised to re-evaluate their work and practices at times, and as with being part of any community undertaking, overseen and managed by a third party, sometimes, Zazzle makes changes that encourage, or even force, Designers to react. Zazzle does these things, of course, not only in their own best interests, but those also, ultimately, of their Makers and Designers. And while such changes can understandably be frustrating at times (and granted, not all changes will directly benefit all Designers), taking time to adjust to and occasionally limiting what one can choose to do, if nothing else, they are, again, simply a part of creating and selling in conjunction with a company.

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Tricky Designing with “Star Back” Playing Cards

Most of my drawings to date have been fairly straightforward to complete, including the finalized, digital images they ultimately become. Not counting any thought given to a design beforehand, usually I just sit down and work on a drawing–really figuring out then and there precisely what it is that I want to do–and, I complete it, sometimes trying out particular techniques along the way. Perhaps then I end up spending, say, three to five hours on a drawing, or maybe more if I have to work on it into a second day. Then I just have to scan it and crop the resulting digital image, after which I go about posting products and writing descriptions and such. (The latter of which, granted, can be a time-consuming and even tedious process.)

When I decided to design a playing card back though, things got substantially more difficult (particularly for a first time around with such a project), and I needed to rely a bit more both on my image editing program, GIMP, but also on my ability to think up alternate methods for achieving my objectives. Whether it was how to ensure symmetry across halves or how to draw such fine and finely detailed lines, or, simply confronting unforeseen issues, creating my Star Back Playing Cards became a really long, but instructive, experience.

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