Experience (Learning craft)

Adobe.com  Offers the creative cloud.  Access to all their top software, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Muse, Dreamweaver, Flash, Audition and more, can create a portfolio with Behance and create 5 websites all for a monthly fee.  The monthly fee for the UK is £46.88 inc VAT if you take out a yearly subscription.  If you only want a single app lets say Photoshop the price is £17.58 inc VAT per month.  For those new to the cloud you can test it for 30 days.  While it’s not for everyone I believe it’s great value for money, and yes I am a member.

Videomaker.com  Has a How to section , from pre-production-distribution and a section on business.  Information on equipment, including reviews.  To take full advantage of the site you’ll need to subscribe, I’m guessing to the magazine which costs $19.99 with a free 14 day trial. Note the paper magazine is only available in the US, the rest of the world will get a copy of the Digital version.  Video maker plus is available at $2 per month with a 14 day free trial, you get access to all the training videos, articles and exclusive discounts.  Is worth checking out, has various free reports.

Gimp.org  Image manipulation software, for photographers, possibly artists.  If you can’t afford photoshop or don’t have access to other software, this free download could be for you.

 

Sales/distribution channels

Foto.com  A photo print company…print your images on a range of products.  Can also ship products to your customers.  Prints from as low as 1p.  Good if you sell your images to the public.  This one is good if you sell directly to the public and use them as a Printer.  For Photographers, potential for Artists.  Print.  Can at a push use them to send direct to the customer.  Not an automated service so would take time putting in customers addresses.  Need to look into pricing to make sure there’s a margin for profit, although with your own picture you can set the price you don’t want to be to far out what the market is willing to pay.  Large range of products including canvas prints, calendars, Photo books and T-Shirts.  E-bay tie in, market stall, car boot, shop.

Truprint.co.uk  Like foto.com it offers printing in a range of products.  Ideal for photographers who sell direct, e-bay, market traders, car booters etc.

Createspace.com  An all in one print on demand publishing service.  You can either Do it yourself or you can use createspaces services.  It also provides publishing on kindle.   It offers a community and the lowest cost for full colour books.   Photographers should give it a look if they wish to create a photo book.  You get a website storefront and can sell on amazon or to a wider network with expanded distribution.

Cafepress.co.uk/com  A merchandising print/distribution store.  Huge range of printed products, your customer orders from your store, cafepress prints the design on the product and sends to your customer, they deal with customer service and have a 30 day money back guarantee in case the customer isn’t 100% happy.  Day to day sales are taken out your hands so you can deal with creating more designs, stories etc.  Although you will want to keep a dialogue with your customer.  To me cafepress is ideal for merchandise, T-shirts etc, while they offer a publishing programme the price of $10 for a 100 page b/w perfect bound book doesn’t make as much economic sense as createspaces.  $10 is cafepresses base price, so you’d need to add a dollar or two for your own profit.  Using createspaces calculator, you could sell a 100 page b/w perfect bound book for $4.99 and they’d still be $1.84 profit.  (Based on going on the pro-plan and selling via the createspace webstore)  Selling a full colour, 100 page graphic novel at $14.99 would give you a profit of $4.14 (again, that’s using pro-plan and selling via your createspace webstore)  With cafepress you open a store, a free store lets you put one image on one product, example A T-shirt, so you’ll only be able to sell one T-shirt.  If you upgrade the shop for a monthly fee of  $6.95 per month or $59.95 or you can pay out of your commission, so no upfront fee.  A premium store gives you options like being able to let your customers personalise your designs, would work great for greeting cards.  As a rough guide the pricing works as follows…again a T-shirt as an example.  Lets say a Long Sleeved T-shirt has a base price of $19.99 and you add a mark up of 20% that’s a Long Sleeved T-shirt for $23.99, $19.99 goes to cafepress and you make the $3.99 in commission.  The mark up on a product is down to you.  With over 250 products to choose from it’s a great starting point for your artwork, photographs etc to start generating an income.

Lulu.com Like createspace.  Price for a comic book, 100 pages on standard paper, full colour, perfect bound. $25 manufacturing cost.  Using their calculator.  Hardback, using above detail would cost,  $35.05 but it’s on a size of 8.25 x 10.75.  In b/w it would cost for a paperback $5.65.  Hardback $16.50.  Although the Hardback is a nice feature and they do offer a large range of choices.  Full colour would be out, although you can charge more if it’s a product that can only be purchased via you.  I feel you should remain around what the average market price is.  Createspace wins this one…there are exceptions if you have something really unique to offer or are offering a limited amount.  So I wouldn’t rule it out completely.  Bear in mind you’ll need to add a mark up for yourself.  They also do ebooks which look more promising financially.  They also offer services ranging in price from $999 to $3199.

Artbreak.com  A place to exhibit your artwork, opportunity to sell, place to network and appreciate others artwork.  For $5 per month you can support the site and have an ad free gallery.  Selling requires you to print and distribute the artwork yourself, it’s between you and your customer.  Could work it with something like foto.com which prints your images.  More an opportunity to build a fan base, you can always combine this with other sites.

Canvasrus.co.uk  Prints your photo’s onto canvas, can be used in conjunction with the above site or with eBay.  You can either advertise your work, take the customers order then have the canvas image printed.  Or you can order a few prints and then sell them via eBay at carboot sales at markets, on your website etc. See also my-picture.co.uk, cheaper pricing on canvas prints.  Check resolution size for images to be assured of the best quality when blown up.   Orbitprint.com  another option, also includes printing on Perspex, similar ways of making money as above.

Artsnow.com  Like cafepress, it allows you to create your own merchandise.  Has a dropshipping programme so all you do is list your price then artsnow creates and distributes it for you.  The dropshipping programme costs $19.95 per month with the first 30 days free.  Or you can pay $179.95 per year, again first 30 days are free.  Has over 200 products to choose from.  If going on eBay remember to count eBay/paypal fees into your costs.  Works similar to cafepress in that you have a base price and the money you add on top is your profit.   VIP domain store costs  $9.95 per month with first 30 days free.  Or $99.95 per year, again has 30 days free.  Need to compare base prices against cafepress.  Although you can charge more if you have a design that can only be purchased via you, you still need to remain competitive in the market place…unless you have something really unique.  Need a paypal account.

Deviantart.com  An artists community/networking site you can also sell your work getting 20% of the default retail price.  To be able to set your own price you need to become a premium member.

Spreadshirt.co.uk  Like cafepress but with T-shirts/apparel only.  Doesn’t have the product range like cafepress, although you can choose from 100+ apparel items.  Pricing structure is a little more complicated too, whereas cafepress just has a base price, spreadshirt has a products base price with a simple design.  If it’s a more complicated design the base price will increase.  You can however just design for spreadshirt or open a shop.  You as the designer will get a design commission while the shop keeper will get a shop commission.  This can add to the cost of the product.

Redcliffe.co.uk  Fine art printing, has a range of paper for fine art prints.  Can print greeting cards, postcards and acrylic panel frames.  Professional users get a 10% discount…upto 30% for frequent users.  For the more serious who want a high end finish.  Good for photographers/artists who sell at art/craft fairs, gallerys.   Digital fine art print, giclee.  Experimentation may be required to find the printing paper/canvas that best showcases your work and ambitions when it comes to selling.

Finerworks.com  Offer printing solutions on a variety of products, including a deck of cards.  252 piece puzzle at $20.95.  Similar to other printers.  Although the cards and puzzle do seem like fun, they’re also expensive.

Uk.whitewall.com  One of the more interesting printers as it specialises in glass,   it has an art market where you upload your image and if accepted whitewall promotes, prints and delivers your artwork, you receive 15% commission.   This one is well worth a look if you want to offer your artwork on something a little different.  Also offers a range of guarantees including quality.  Has a 5 year guarantee on all products.  High end market for a lot of items.  Good to offer choice.   Worth experimenting with, esp’ the glass printing.

Smugmug.com  An all in one gallery, print and distribution service.  You get to add HD videos of upto 20 minutes.    Sell your short videos as downloads.  Great for music video creators.   Choose from 1200 products, large range.    Set your own prices.  Works in a similar way to cafépress etc.   You get a 14day free trial.  Basic costs $5 per month or $40 per year.  Power $8 per month $60 per year or Portfolio $20 per month $150 per year and Business $35 per month $300 Per year.

Cutcaster.com  A stock photography website.  Sell your images.  Has a list of ideas for images that it needs and uses.  55% commission for exclusive royalty rate.  40% for non exclusive rate.  If you refer the buyer you get an additional 10%

Atoncer.com  An auction site along the lines of eBay.   Use it to sell your artwork.  No listing fee.  Final fee on all listings 5% with the exception of trucks then $20.

Fotolia.com Royalty free stock images.  Sell images, stock library.  If you have a large selection of images that you feel others could use on their websites, promotional material, even on products.  It might be worth having a go.  You can even create images specially for this area.  Pick a subject and create images you think would be wanted by others.    You get a percentage of the fee fotolia sells the image for.  They have a subscription plan and a buy now plan.  If you’re good, you could do it as a hobby, making a potential extra income.

Istockphoto.com  Like fotolia, it’s a royalty free stock photo library.  Provides some interesting information on what it’s looking for.  During the submission process you have to send them 3 samples of your best work.  More for Professional/semi-professionals.  They’re looking for good quality images, all images are vetted for technical imperfections.  It offers a good guide to providing what they’re looking for.   Again it’s worth a look.  You get a percentage of the price.  Exclusive or non exclusive.  If you agree to just use Istock as your stock library you get a higher rate of commission on images sold.

 

Marketing/Jobs/Research

Tumblr.com  A sophisticated blogging site.  Create a community blog.  Setup a private blog.  Let your customers contribute.  Allows for music, videos, photos, text.  Use the blog to promote/share your creative work.  It’s also free to use.  Use it to network.

Afreelanceworker.co.uk  A site that contains articles on freelance working.  Articles on how to find freelance work and marketing to support and networking.

Hubpages.com  Allows you to write about any topic you wish, within it’s guidelines, you can use this as a marketing tool for your work as a creative and you also have the potential to earn additional income with its advert sharing revenue.

Squidoo.com Like Hubpages, you can write about whatever topic you wish.  You can use it for research, for marketing yourself and products.  You can use it to earn revenue.  These sites are best used as a research and marketing tool, to improve your craft, interact with other people.  The additional revenue it could generate is a bonus.

Mylot.com  Similar to hub pages and squidoo, a site you can use to build a fan base, market yourself and use as research.

Triond.com  Again like Hubpages, Squidoo and mylot.  You create content, which can be used for marketing yourself/site.  You can use it for research.  You can use it to generate an income.  All these sites are free, recommend you pick a maximum of two to use.  Experiment with them to find which one suits you best.

Guru.com  A freelance/job site.  You can either post your project, Let’s say you’re a writer who wants an illustrator.  You post your project, stating what you want.  A freelancer bids on it and you select the one who best meets your needs and budget.  You can also register as a freelancer.  Registering you project is free.  Looks like a good source to find talent to work on your projects.

Peoplejar.com  A networking site, build your interests around your profile, connect with like minded people.  Post content around your interests.

Submityourarticle.com  online content distribution, looks like you write an article, your article then appears on other peoples websites with a link to your website to generate additional web traffic for you while giving content to the websites.   Could work for some, silver package is $47 per month while the gold package is $67 per month.  Articles are quality checked.

Suite101.com  Mainly a research site, hundreds of articles on various topics of interest to all creatives.  I’d look at it as a way to hone your writing skills, show the world how good you are.

Articlesbase.com  Again more a research site, had an interesting article on musicians making more use, and income, from live music tours.  Use mp3/albums as marketing tools, then give the social entertainment.  Opportunity to write articles for them, use as a marketing tool.

Picturesocial.com  A network site for photographers to share their work, tips, techniques and blogs with fellow photographers.

Joeedelman.com  Joe is a photographer who has an interesting section for models.  He also runs workshops for photographers.  Check it out.  Has acting advice, modelling is acting so rather than spend money on modelling classes, learn to act, to express emotion.  After reading a couple of articles, I’d say he’s pretty inspiring…esp’ his take on work  “Throughout my career, if I wasn’t offered a job-I made my own job.”  I’d say he’s definitely worth reading for all creatives, even if acting, modelling, photography isn’t your main focus.  Contains a list of American modelling agencies by state.  Also a directory of make up artists.  Casting agencies for actors.

Onemodelplace.com  A networking, portfolio site for models, photographers, make up artists.  Has a community, forums and casting calls.  Success here would be networking with likeminded individuals.  Newcomers can get experience in modelling or photography.  For photographers new to shooting models, it would be wise to pay an experienced model/for a studio day session.  Take a course with a more experienced photographer.  You gain both the experience and the knowledge.  Select a photographer who works in an area where you’d like to work.  It might also pay a model to get the same experience with a model working in the same field.  Although it can work out if you get to know up and coming photographers/models where you can both grow as creative people.  Doing TFP in your spare time.  No specific styles, model photography.

Purestorm.com  A networking, portfolio site for models, photographers, make up artists.  Has modelling articles, a forum and a casting call section.  Model photography.

Net-model.com  A networking, portfolio site for models, photographers, make up artists.  Has a forum.  Free to sign up, has a silver, gold, platinum membership options.

Starnow.co.uk   A talent directory and community for models, actors, photographers, film crew, musicians, hair/make up artists.

paid content.org/paid content.co.uk  News, articles etc on the economics of digital content.  Worth browsing for anyone planning on making an income with digital products.  Film, music, photography, games, books.