Olechka on DTG at RedBubble and MySoti

Olechka is an artist who has found her niche in POD, using a traditional penciled style that stands out from the vector design crowd. Pencil gradients and her often-used bursts of color are a perfect fit for DTG printing. Check out her designs at RedBubble and MySoti.

How did you find your way to DTG sites like RedBubble? Was that your first experience designing shirts?

RedBubble was recommended to me two years ago by a (non-artist) friend who had recently bought several shirts from them and was impressed with the quality. It was recommended to me as a site to shop at, since I was looking to buy some fun t-shirts (At that time I did not know about sites like TeeFury, Uneetee, Shirt.woot, etc, so I did not have any artsy t-shirts). This was before I had any idea that it would be possible to put my own designs on a t-shirt. After browsing through the site, I realized that it was easy to upload my own designs, and started experimenting.

Your work is available through both RedBubble and MySoti- are there any other POD sites that you’ve used or considered using? What about those sites makes them a good fit for your work? Is using multiple sites better than using just one?

Years ago I signed up for CafePress and attempted to upload some works, but it was very difficult to use so I quickly gave up. MySoti is a great site, similar to RedBubble. They are not as big as RedBubble (yet!), but their quality is just as great and they are rolling out some new products in the future. I’ve bought several t-shirts and a print from MySoti and was very happy with the quality and customer service.

RedBubble offers many products besides t-shirts, such as cards, posters, post-cards, matted/laminated/framed/canvas/mounted prints, and they recently introduced back printing and will be rolling out hoodies very, very soon.

RedBubble has a huge community and many ways for members to interact (commenting, groups, contests, features, etc) so it is very encouraging and motivating to be able to get a positive response from the other members, or get my work featured on the home page.

I get the bulk of my sales from RedBubble (99% of those sales are t-shirts). Sales from MySoti are much weaker compared to RedBubble, but they are pretty steady.

As someone who has had work printed both through DTG and through screenprinting, how do you think the quality compares?

I love that there is no color limit for DTG prints and that they are softer than screenprints. When printed DTG on a white shirt, you can’t even feel the ink.  It seems like screenprints’ colors can be more vibrant vs DTG, but I am not completely sure as it may depend on the design printed or other factors. I prefer my (traditional) pencil work to be printed as DTG because a lot of the detail and shading gets lost in screen prints. I feel that most of my work would be very difficult or impossible to print well using screenprint, which is why sites that print DTG, such as RedBubble and MySoti, work so well for me.

(Uneetee printed my “Juicy” design in screen print and earlier I had the same design printed DTG at MySoti. I am attaching both pictures.)

What’s your process for creating art? Do you have any advice for people who aspire to the kind of realistic drawing that you excel at?

I am most comfortable with traditional drawing, so I create almost all of my art using pencil and paper. If I want to put my art on a t-shirt, I scan the drawing and adjust it in photoshop, sometimes adding splashes of color or other simple effects. My knowledge of photoshop is quite limited, so I depend on my drawing skills to create my art.

As for advice: It helps a lot to watch other artists create their work (look for good Ustreams), and there are great online tutorials (check out DeviantArt). And lastly, I know that this is what everyone says, but it’s true – practice, practice, practice!

What design has been your best-seller? What about it do you think has made it so successful?

My best-seller design on RedBubble is “Dreams”

http://www.redbubble.com/people/olechka/t-shirts/1580536

I think that people like it because it is so different than what you’d normally see printed on t-shirts, and the high quality of the print (thanks to DTG printing).

Do you do any marketing or advertising to promote your designs? Any tips on how to get designs noticed in a crowded market?

I have a tumblr blog where I post new works and I recently started giving out freebies, such as small art prints on Twitter. It’s hard to tell how much my advertising affects traffic/sales, but I don’t think it makes a very big difference.

RedBubble picks designs to be featured on the home page and also users can browse designs in order of popularity. They seem to be on top of things, and who knows, maybe even browsing through all submitted works? Being consistent in posting good works results in more fans and followers, views, comments, etc – which leads to sales.

I’ve come to a conclusion that at RedBubble, if a piece of work is nice, it will advertise itself.

One Response to “Olechka on DTG at RedBubble and MySoti”

  1. yanmos says:

    Nice interview!!

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