Fresh Products in My Arcturian Zazzle Shop – Affinity Designer Artwork

I’ve been playing around on Affinity Designer, getting better and better. I know I still have a lot to learn but I’ve been having a lot of fun the past few days, since I bought another Frankentoon pack, and made some characters for my Arcturian Zazzle shop. Check it out:

I’ll be creating more characters and making more items. It’s very time consuming but, please, keep checking back for new items!

My Etsy dilemma

I’m trying to figure out what to do about my Etsy shop. I’ve made 6 sales so far. Just 6. My profit and cost is about the same! Is it worth it? It’s not free to list items on Etsy. I’m going to have to think long and hard about my Etsy shop. I love the way it looks. How it all looks put together. I even had one custom order!

I already taken off the auto-renew for some of my items. Mainly the ones that have never made a sell and rarely get views.

Maybe I should try listing some of my handmade beads and jewelry. Perhaps those will sell.

Mouse pad from Zazzle

I got the mouse pad I ordered from Zazzle in the the mail today. (They gave me $10 for my birthday so I ended up only spending $0.95 out of my earnings on there and of course, free shipping with Zazzle Black) Check it out.

The first thing I noticed was a very strong odor when I opened the package. An almost fishy chemical smell. But it faded quickly.

Second thing I noticed was the thickness of this mouse pad. It’s very sturdy unlike the one I was using up until today. That one was starting to separate into layers, curling and cracking. I shouldn’t complain since it was a free mouse pad. I’m not even sure where it came from.

Thirdly, the colors seem a tad faint compared to the actual graphics below but I think that might be due to the material that the design was printed on. Also, I really don’t recall if I was working in CMYK or RGB. Might have something to do with that. You can go on Zazzle and see other customer photos. (It’s really not as bad as my photos look. This thing was really hard to photograph true to form. What you see was as close as I could get to what my eyes are seeing. Maybe if I shot in natural sunlight… but it’s night and we’re expecting a few days of thunderstorms so that won’t be happening.)

I showed my mom and she immediately said she wanted one too, because it was nice and thick and looks so cool. So I’ll be ordering one for her. I’m going to surprise her with the design. (Not the same as mine.)

The funny thing is, when she saw my mouse pad, she said, “It looks like an alien language.”

And I told her that’s what it is! She knew.

It might be hard to believe but this design was made from this image below.

I scanned it and played around in Gimp to get it to look like this. Super easy!

Oh, also I made Zazzle Pro! Yay! I’ve been a member for years but only actually started listing seriously in December (of 2016). So in half a year I made Zazzle Pro. Don’t give up, Zazzle designers! It is very possible. Now for the other levels…. well, we’ll see!

Udemy Course Review: Affinity Designer: The Complete Guide to Creating Vector Art

I just finished taking Affinity Designer course on Udemy. I gave it 5/5 stars. This is a great way to start with Serif’s Affinity Designer.

Affinity Designer from Serif

I was a big fan of Serif’s DrawPlus and PagePlus but all of these Plus software are “legacy” meaning they will not be making any new versions of those. I had no idea that for the past two years or so they were working on Affinity. I checked out their trailer of it (see below) and was completely blown away. I believe Affinity Designer will render Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator useless. (Not sure if “useless” is the word. Perhaps irrelevant.)

It only costs $49.99. It’s a one time fee. You get FREE updates for life! You’re not paying a subscription fee like you have to do with the Adobe software. With Adobe you’re paying $20/month for access to just one software. If you want access to all, I believe it’s $49.99/month. That’s the cost of Affinity Designer… to OWN it outright!

The Udemy Course

I purchased the course for only $10 while it was on sale, along with another class. Udemy often runs amazing $10 sales and they even apply to classes that cost $100+. I went through the entire course in two days, before I even purchased Affinity Designer, knowing that I would. The great thing about Udemy courses is, you buy it once and you can go back and watch the videos as many times as you want. So if I needed to check on something once I jumped into Affinity Designer, I could go back into the course and re-watch a video or even ask the instructor a question.

Pros & Cons

The only thing I think I would change about this course is (1) showing mouse clicks when using the pen tool (while making curved lines.) He talks it out but if somehow he could film his mouse clicks and show it along side the screen, that would be really useful. But this is always the tricky thing when learning vector graphics. Getting used to the pen tool and bezier curves. (2) Some of the lessons towards the end I think should have been the very first lessons. For example, how to set up your work flow, folders, etc. That should be discussed even before diving into the software. This is an important lesson for anyone working in graphics, having a cohesive filing system and how to save or archive your work file.

My New Zazzle Shop: Arcturian

I opened a new Zazzle store called Arcturian where you can find my alien/galactic-related art. Check out what I’ve posted so far:

I am in the constant process of creating and posting more items. And of course creating new designs.

If you’re going to order something, make sure to look at the top of the Zazzle site for a coupon code. I think they always have a coupon code.

I actually purchased this mousepad. Zazzle gave me $10 for my birthday. And I use Zazzle Black so paid no shipping. I will post photos of the actual mousepad when it arrives. Should be here in a few days.

Twinkling H2Os watercolors + Making Videos & Other Thoughts

2-packs-of-Lunimarte-Twinkling-H2Os
2 packs for a total of 12 colors.
Well, I guess it’s not that bad. You can see some of the shimmer.
Note: see the holes? They’re air pockets. Also, note that my hands are freakishly small so isn’t the best scale to figure out how big/small a container is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t remember from where exactly, but bought these Luminarte Twinkling H2Os glittery/shimmery watercolor sets years ago and haven’t used them much until now. The colors are beautiful. The main problem is, I’m having a hard time photographing my paintings to show that they shimmer! It doesn’t show up in a scan or a still photo. I might have to make a video where I move my images this way and that way. I don’t have a good video camera. I’ve been wanting to. Maybe I can start making videos. Just random videos.

(Another issue with the paint is the disc of paint looks solid but I noticed a lot of them have hollow spaces inside, so you’re not actually getting as much as you think! Pretty sneaky, if you ask me!) But none of this is enough to turn me off from using these. I’d actually recommend them if you’re interested.

I don’t know that I would post them on Utube though. I mean, I love using Utube as a hub and it’ll be super easy to be found if you post your videos on there but there’s way too much negativity & pure stupidity on there. Also, videos are easy to steal if you post them on Utube. I think I’d rather post them here on my site and I’d have better control over it. It’s good to have your own website. Not a “site” hosted on a social media site like FB (page) or Utube (channel). I mean  sure you have to follow your host’s rules but my host seems reasonable. I’d think most are as long as you’re not doing anything illegal or running a hate site or something.

Many have noticed that FB shuts people down if they talk about certain things. Conspiratorial topics. I won’t be shut down. I’ll talk about whatever I want on my OWN website. Oh, and I am not on FB. I hate that site. I’m always being pulled to create a FB page for my business or I can only comment on something through a FB account. I think that’s a terrible idea. People just don’t act right on FB. It seems to bring out the absolute worst in people.

I enjoy a few specific niche social sites like IUOMA, which is hosted on Ning. I used to have a Ning site but they changed to an all pay model and I couldn’t afford it so I had to shut down my very active community. Oh well. It was good while it lasted.

On a happier note, check out my new unicorn mug. My mom got it for me at the Dollar Tree. It reminds me of the 70s.

unicorn-mug-dollar-tree
Unicorn Mug from Dollar Tree