I’m currently in the process of setting up my own Symbolica shop at Cafe Press to sell some of my art work and generate some income. For the sake of simplicity I’m starting with ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs and symbols (my favourite era by far). I am choosing glyphs that look interesting as well as say something appealing or have a symbolic purpose.
As well as t-shirts there are lots of other items you can buy through Cafe Press. I just love the simplicity of the concept of having someone else provide the products and service to the customer whilst I concentrate on my art work and design. What I also love is that anyone can use this type of service to create their own products, for themselves or for gifts for friends.
I realise that many people out there have been aware of this concept for a long time. I am a bit slow, but I am ready to embrace the process heartily because one of the major stumbling blocks for me as an artist and craftsperson has been the amount of money I’ve needed to outlay in order to make a living, especially as a jeweller.
With regards to my jewellery, I also discovered Ponoko . The concept is basically the same, you set up a shop and upload your designs but instead of having them printed on t-shirts your designs are laser cut into timber of acrylic. People can order your product and buy directly from the Ponoko site as well.
I read an article on Ponoko’s Blog – (small excerpt below) about ‘Generation C’ (which means Content created digitally) that really inspired me to get moving down this path.
I think the Make-It-Yourself movement is very much linked with other shifts towards sustainable design and consumption, a return to crafts and appreciation for uniqueness and individualization, and filling the needs of many long-tail consumers. I think this trend will most definitely prevail beyond 2008 and become a major part of the status quo.
I will work on setting up shop on Ponoko next once my shop at Cafe Press is up and running smoothly. I’ll keep you all posted with both.
My first Cafe Press design is actually one I illustrated a number of years ago for a t-shirt for my friend’s child. The illustration was influenced by a photo I took when I was in Egypt in ’82. The character carved into the huge stone block lying on the ground before me was incredibly striking and very different to anything I had seen before.
He was the God Bes and was regarded by the Egyptians as protector of families, especially women and children. I’ve always loved his playful, if somewhat menacing figure. I like the idea of him protecting me and my family from any lurking evil spirits out there, and as I say in the blurb next to the t-shirts for sale- If your kids wear this symbol they’re sure to frighten off any bullies in the sandpit or playground!
If anyone has a symbol design or product request please let me know and I will do my best to oblige.