Vector programs make life much easier for us. We have more control over the specific colors in the design and we can resize to our heart’s content. Personally, I use Illustrator, but Inkscape‘s a decent, free alternative. And it’s now been joined by Aviary’s Raven, which has just been released.
It has collaboration tools, and it’s online, so there’s no installation necessary. I need to spend some time playing with it, but it looks pretty cool.
A quick note: I expect this entry to morph over the next few months, as it is really a part of my thought process and just a developed working outline. I am going to turn it into a full article about creating a t-shirt line, with links to other articles that cover topics more in depth. I may even pull it completely out of the development blog and make a series of it in a new section called Resource Center. I will ask other writers to contribute to sections of it as well.
Many T-shirt artists who come over to Ziraxia are here because they want to create a T-shirt line, but don’t want to face a barrage of hassles associated. To start, creating a T-shirt line most likely involves the following if you really are hands on about it:
- Starting a T-shirt Company and all of the related characteristics of starting any company, including but not limited to licenses, location, a plan, the time to do it, and start-up costs for a few.
- Market Research
- Sales & Marketing
- order fulfillment
- Money, money, money
Considering our love for Guerrilla Marketing and our desire to spend our advertising dollars giving away mailbags and flyers instead of paying for unprofitable vendor space, we went to MegaCon on the cheap. We ran around talking to all the artists who would listen to us. Even though I think Ziraxia is an absolutely brilliant idea, it was nice to get confirmation from the humongous reception we got. Here’s most of the text from the flyer we handed out:
Don’t be a sellout. That’s common advice from aspiring artists and fans, but what do they really mean? Do they mean, “Don’t sell your art?”; “Don’t let anyone influence your work?”; or “Don’t concern yourself with money?” Quite frankly, Ziraxia doesn’t give a flip what they mean. Here’s what we mean: Keep your soul; keep your copyright; and keep control. While you’re at it, keep $2 every time we sell a T-shirt you designed (see the TOU). Hell, use an affiliate link to advertise your designs, and keep another $1 every time you sell one that way. Now that’s the kind of selling you want to be doing.
Here’s what you do:
You do what you do best, draw something cool that other people like. Then you upload it to Ziraxia, and we do almost everything else. Almost. There’s one more thing you have to do, and although we will help you, you have to do it. Promote your work! Tell your fans about your T-shirt designs, and tell them where they can buy ‘em. Use a link. Use an affiliate link, dammit. Mention your T-shirts in your news letter. Blog about them. Go to T-shirt blogs around the internet and tell them to talk about your stuff. Make a crop circle in your carpet, kill a plastic cow, and dance around your computer yelling, “the aliens have landed,” while spraying SillyString all over your keyboard and pissing off the neighbors. Um, yeah… Promote your T-shirts.
Here’s what we do:
We sell your T-shirts for you. We screen print your designs on top quality T-shirts like Hanes Beefy Tees or American Apparel, and we don’t take short cuts. We sell them on Ziraxia. We ship them to your fans. We keep records of your sales and your affiliate activities, and you can access those records through your web browser. We pay you. You can get a check or request Paypal payouts. We keep it simple.
Here’s what else we do:
We keep a non-exclusive agreement with you. You can sell your own T-shirts at conventions, on your website, or any other way you like. We’ll even help you by screen printing them for you. That’s right, you can buy your own T-shirts in bulk from us at a discounted rate. And if you choose, we can even put your designs in our wholesale catalog, where the royalty is a little lower ($1 each), but other websites and T-shirt retailers can buy your designs in bulk and bump up your overall sales.
Get on board! In the future we will be offering select artists their own customizable stores where they can set their own commissions, be the first to offer new product types, and have other exclusive privileges. Create an account TODAY!
About us: Ziraxia is owned and operated by Red Alert Screen Printing. We were printing T-shirt before there even was an internet. We screen print them in house. We cut our teeth printing police and firefighter uniforms, as well as T-shirts for events ranging from band gigs, paintball tournaments, and progressive rights marches. We love T-shirts, and so do the aliens!
Well folks, Larill’s been working on it for some time, but he finally got his newest toy,The Affiliator working! Now when you use affiliate links you can earn Zips spendable on T-shirts and custom screen printing for every unique visitor you send to Ziraxia. But what’s even more exciting is that if anyone you send over buys a T-shirt within 30 days of your referral, you get $1 in Affiliate Commission. That’s real US Earth Dollars too, boys and girls! If you go crazy blogging all over the place with affiliate links in your sig, that ought to add up fast. Just remember not to spam or break any laws or ethical standards in the process.
I hear the winner has slain the competitors with overwhelming October zest! Yes, boys and girls, I hear we have an undisputed costumed champion. What amazing attire did s/he wear? How glorious was his/her incredible disguise? Was anyone hospitalized in the process? Heavens, I hope not! Stay tuned for details…
Believe it! We are developing a web comic as you read this. We have plot outlines, character developments, stories within stories, and Kat even has the first strip inked. We’re going to get a few of them done, and then start posting them on a weekly basis. The first strip features Meebo, Jax, Larill, Aurora, and that cruel bitch, Zira.