October 2018 Printable Calendar

8:30 AM

Ok I am going to let you on my little secret regarding these Calendar blog posts, I usually write them a little bit in advance and schedule them.
Ideally, I like doing it 4-5 days before the new month starts, so that I have time to make a PDF file for the page, upload it, and then find all the pictures I need in my shops to ramble about the artwork.

This time? Not so much, know that as I type those glorious words, it is 7.30 am on Sunday morning (that's right September 30th).

I ran out of September before I could even notice it happening people! This last week has been super busy, with art classes, projects, and a week long of solo-parenting, not to mention PMS, and yes, hubby came back from his business trip right on time for his birthday on Friday.
Right now I am typing up a storm before I get cracking in the kitchen to cook something for a potluck I am going to today.
By the way if you don't know what potlucks are, and why they are the most awesome way to throw a party, go have a look at this.

If you are all about planning October in style before I ramble any further about everything, nothing, but especially about the artwork, you can go download this month's calendar page and print it.

I named this design "Colors of the night, the original artwork is two circles in watercolor and a tree drawn in ink. The purple gradient background has been added in Photoshop as I edited my piece to prep it for products like this Society6 throw pillow above.

Like for many of my artwork, I have made a patterned version to use on products where a standalone design wouldn't look that great, like this Society6 floor cushion:

The thing that makes me love Society6 the most when it comes to uploading my design is that they keep increasing the amount of products in their shop, and they are more home decor oriented, whcih is what resonates with me.
Recently, they added furnitures, to their  ever growing list of products, so I spent quite a few days making sure my existing designs fit the new products dimension perfectly. I particularly love their Credenzas :

The bad news, is that for now, Society6 will only ship those within the US, so if you live elsewhere, you will need to figure out a solution, either have friends or relatives in the States to ship to, or go through one of those delivery services that will receive your parcels in the US and then ship them to you at an extra cost.
Their whole range of furniture is in the super trendy "mid-century" style, because if you aren't much of an interior decor trend follower, let me tell you, the past few years have seen a revival of the 50's in term of furniture style and pastel tones.

If wearing my art is more your thing, you should definitely head to my Redbubble shop right away. Because the one strength of Redbubble over Society6 is the diversity of the apparel range. Not that you can't buy t-shirts at Society6, it's just that Redbubble offers a lot more in this department :

One of which is the option to have a more feminine and flattering "relaxed fit" t-shirt option.  This design is one of the first I uploaded as two separate entities at Redbubble, because a lot of their products looks cool with both the stand alone and patterned version and when it comes to apparel especially , it's better to give those options to buyers.
This is what the patterned version looks like on a contrast tank top:

One of the things I get asked the most is about my presence in India, unfortunately, for now, I am still present at Colorpur only, and they only sell phone cases.

I'm going to be very frank here though, I am kind of done working with Indian Print on Demand companies for many reasons. In the past year, 2 went out of business, and I am starting to find the whole starting all over again to be a massive pain in the ass. Cupick was great, they had lots of items options, but they went out of business without even warning the designers, or paying their dues (yes I lost money there).
The exact same thing happened with Paintcollar, they quietly went out of business leaving designers guess about what happened.

Colorpur while still in business, is taking a ridiculous amount of time publishing my designs, and all the ones I uploaded in April are still pending in their system. They tend to have problem with rendering certain colors on their phones cases too.

When I first started selling my art, I contacted Daily Object 3 times before they reverted to me, made me sign a contract and asked me to upload 40 of my designs in TIFF (high resolution no-lossy format) on my Google drive, then they took over a week to send me an email telling me they would terminate my contract as they found some pencil marks on some of my designs and it was not up to their standards.
That left a very sour taste in my mouth, and still does, because over a year later, I still have no idea if they aren't going to use my designs at their own ends. After all they got to download 40 of my designs via my Google drive. This doesn't scream ethical to me, especially since they could like all more professional platform let the designers decide how they want their work to look on the end products.

But what is probably the most off putting of all, is the royalty margin system in EVERY art licensing companies I came across in India.
On both Society6 and Redbubble, my royalties are fixed, based on the Maximum Retail Price (MRP). Usually between 10 and 20% of said price. If they decide to sell something at a discount during a promotion, the amount paid to me is still going to be 10 to 20% of the MRP.
Because let's be fair, the decision to discount an item is not up to me, it's their choice, and the designers should not have to pay the price.

In India? Not so much, every single one of the companies I came accross will base their royalties on the price they actually sell at! Yes, that's right, if they decide to sell at a 50% discount, my fees get slashed in half!
Worse, many claim that the MRP for a phone case is 1200 rupees, and continuously sell it for about 4-500 rupees as a way to make people believe they are striking a bargain, so the designers NEVER get paid the royalty on the MRP.

In the case of Colorpur, the fee cut gets even worse, they sell through their website, which very few know about, and through Amazon India, which is where I get most of my sales from. It would be great if my fee percentage wasn't slashed in half.
On their website, my royalty fee is 10% of the retail price, if they sold the case via Amazon, it's only 5%.

Say whaaat? Their reason is that Amazon takes a percentage of each sale they make, so instead of adjusting their own price accordingly to bear that expense, they are slashing in the designer fees to make their own ends meet. Ethical much? Not really.

So now you understand better why my presence in India is limited. The truth is I don't work for peanuts and certainly not at the mercy of startups shutting down simply because they can't really figure out their own finances.

Both Society6 and Redbubble ship internationally, and you can argue all you want about their prices being high. The fact is that it isn't really that high if you consider that you are buying ART.

They aren't a place to get cheap utilitarian items, they are places that figured out a way to showcase artists and designers pieces on products that can be used on a daily basis. As I said, my licensing fees are between 10 and 20% of the maximum retail price, and that is what they pay me on each sales. It doesn't sound like a whole lot of money, but considering they are taking care of the manufacturing (and they print only when they get an order), processing, packaging and shipping on top of hosting my designs on their servers for free, it's actually more than fair.

If you live in India, or in any country where the dollar is a strong currency on the currency exchange market there are two things you should do :

- Wait until Society6 runs a promotion, and they do that several times a week on various products, and better yet, wait for one that involves free shipping.

- Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (click the buttons in the header of this blog) because I very regularly let you all know when you can snag the best promotions Society 6 has to offer.

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