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Red Bubble . . . for the Artist in You January 7, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Less IS More.


Have you ever toyed with the idea of selling your photographs or paintings on-line to finance your chocolate addiction or shoe collection?

Setting up a Virtual Art Gallery is less of a risk than opening a store in Soho or Mayfair, but it still requires time, effort, and commitment to create a website, advertise, deal with customers, take orders, prepare inventory, deal with customers, process orders, pack orders, track orders, deal with customers, ship orders, keep the books, deal with customers, maintain tax records, etc.

Did I mention it takes time, effort, planning, and commitment?


What if you could upload digital images of your work to a site that takes care of all those mundane details for you . . . leaving you free to “just be”?

You can!

Paula (Reflections From A Cloudy Mirror and Reflected Glory) set up a Virtual Photography Studio on Red Bubbleย a few months back to sell her photos as t-shirts, posters, stickers, hoodies, greeting cards, and prints.

Soon, she and Ashley will be living the “high life” . . . near Asheville, NC.

Another blogging friend, Milka Pejovic, has herย Virtual Gallery on Zazzle to sell nature photography as coasters, posters, mousepads, and calendars.

Like Red Bubble, you can set up shop on Zazzle for FREE.


Once you’ve set up your Virtual Shop . . . you can create and enjoy the fruits (and chocolates) of your creations while someone else packs, tracks and ships your wares.

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. seeker - January 7, 2013

Thank for the link. You are the best.

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

De nada.

2. cecilia - January 7, 2013

Hmm, i did not realise they did all the work for you, how incredibly clever.. shall look into it! thank you.. c

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

It’s a WIN~WIN for everyone. If you’re interested in setting up shop on either site, I expect that Paula and Milka would be happy to share what they’ve learned.

cecilia - January 7, 2013

I did it, i am doing it, any tips?! c

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

Start small. Pick your FAVORITE photos and add to your “inventory” judiciously. Also, visit Paula and/or Milka’s blogs and ask what is working for them.

cecilia - January 7, 2013

Thank you.. I shall.. c

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

Paula included a comment below that might interest you as you weigh your options.

3. granny1947 - January 7, 2013

This sounds fantastic…am on my way to look.

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

Paula or Milka would probably be happy to answer any questions you might have about the sites.

4. kateshrewsday - January 7, 2013

*Squeak!!* Project!

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

I’m perusing past photos as we speak . . . er, squeak. ๐Ÿ˜†

5. Piglet in Portugal - January 7, 2013

Sounds interesting! thanks for sharing and a belated happy New Year!

Piglet in Portugal - January 7, 2013

so effectively all you are doing is offering the use of your photographs which you add to a site and then people can choose to have them printed on mousemats, coasters etc
Which they (zazzle print and despatch) then print and despatch and you receive a %. HAve I grasped the concept?
It’s just that we used to run a business which we sold before moving here where people sent us their personal pics and we printed them onto mugs etc
Your the lawyer Nancy is there anthing in the terms and conditions we need to be wary of. You can email if you prefer…

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

I’ve never used either site . . . and I haven’t read all the terms and conditions, PiP.

Paula or Milka might be able to answer your questions though.

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

As I understand it, they set the base price for items (which they keep) to cover their costs and profit and you add your preferred mark-up to each item . . . that’s what you receive for every item sold.

Piglet in Portugal - January 7, 2013

sounds interesting. There is only one person doing this in Portugal and their site is all in Portuguese! I think I will check it out further.

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

Check out Paula’s comment below, PiP! She is recommending Fine Arts America as well.

6. spilledinkguy - January 7, 2013

I’m intrigued! I’m off to check out Paula’s work!

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

Seems like it might be right up your creative alley, SIG.

7. Playamart - Zeebra Designs - January 7, 2013

having had three shows this year, i am still recovering from the toll they took on my physical body! this looks like a win-win that, thanks to you, has been presented to my doorstep!

i’m working on a painting right now so will study these sites when my brain is fresh.

i also lobbed this address to barb, who is about to start marketing her photos.



nrhatch - January 7, 2013

You’re welcome! Check out Paula’s comment below for more information.

Playamart - Zeebra Designs - January 7, 2013

thanks! i did and will certainly explore those options. grrrrrrracias! z

8. Andra Watkins - January 7, 2013

Thanks for sharing these links, Nancy.

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

I love using SLTW as a “Bulletin Board.” ๐Ÿ˜€

9. Paula Tohline Calhoun - January 7, 2013

i started out with Red Bubble, and have enjoyed it. However, I later discovered a site that I like even more called “Fine Art America” which also allows me my own artist website within the FAA site. It is terrific, and in many ways is easier to navigate around, although I like the Red Bubble community that I have become a part of. They work in different ways, but both do the business end of it for you, which is great! I have not sold much to date, bu I haven’t been there very long, and just a few sales every now and then are encouraging. I am pushing my greeting card lines, although i have sold some tee-shirts and a print or two (and NOT just to family! Yay!)

If your readers are interested, the link to Fine Art America is:


It is a free site as well, but if you want to take advantage of some of the extras, they are available a a “premium” site at only $30.00 per year – so far well worth it. But I stayed on the free site for a while to test it and see how it worked for me, and it did very. It is now the #1 independent artists gallery online, and deservedly so. You can set your own prices, offer sales, etc. I also have another website on FAA, and your friends can reach it here:


Thanks so much for the ping! BTW – look for an e-mail from me later today. The card I sent you came back – wrong address. Probably my lousy vision, but I would be willing to swear that I had read it right. Oh well. How about you getting your Christmas card from me sometime later in January!?


nrhatch - January 7, 2013

Thanks so much for all this great info, Paula! I am toying with the idea myself, so will definitely check out FAA and your site on FAA before making a decision.

I’ll keep a lookout for your e-mail and check to make sure I gave you the right address and zip.

sufilight - January 7, 2013

Thank you, so much for this information Paula!

barb19 - January 8, 2013

Is FAA open to anyone outside of America, Paula?

nrhatch - January 8, 2013

Barb ~ I checked the artists on the site and see artists from Italy, Portugal, Taiwan, UK, South Africa, etc.

So it appears to be a global community of artists.

10. sufilight - January 7, 2013

Thank you Nancy for this link, shall pass it on to my sis, and also share Paula’s info. Wow, today, I am starting off my day with very cool links. ๐Ÿ™‚

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

Excellent! I’ve been planning to post this for a few weeks . . . but decided to wait until after the holidays had come and gone. ๐Ÿ˜€

11. Crowing Crone Joss - January 7, 2013

How did you know I’ve been thinking of ways to combine poetry and images for sale. I’m going to go check out FAA and go from there. Thanks for all the input via the post and comments as well. Made my day.

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

Paula has had great fun combining imagery with poetry, quotes, and fun sayings. Have fun checking out the sites.

12. colonialist - January 7, 2013

Great, that! Setting up a pitch to pitch your pitchers!

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

Brilliant sum up, Col! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

13. sweetdaysundertheoaks - January 7, 2013

Such great links and info Nancy! Thank you for sharing.. ๐Ÿ™‚

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

As soon as I saw what Paula and Milka had done, I became intrigued. And knew others might enjoy considering the possibilities. ๐Ÿ˜€

14. ericjbaker - January 7, 2013

Can they teach me how to paint?

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

When the student is ready . . . the teacher appears. _/!\_

15. klrs09 - January 7, 2013

That’s fantastic info — you’ve got the little hamster in my brain just a spinnin’!

nrhatch - January 7, 2013

Excellent! Hope that hamster doesn’t spin off his wheel. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

16. adeeyoyo - January 8, 2013

Very interesting, Nancy. I would like to check out the sites. Maybe one day…

nrhatch - January 8, 2013

I’m glad that you’re still on the mend, Denise. Hope you’ll be able to graduate to your walking stick soon.

17. Tammy - January 8, 2013

That sounds like fun.

nrhatch - January 8, 2013

I’ve been culling through old photos to get rid of the digital clutter on my computer. I set up a folder to capture images that might be worth hanging in a virtual gallery. Definitely something to think about.

18. Tom (Aquatom1968) - January 8, 2013

Nancy, I’d completely forgotten about Red Bubble! I looked into it ages ago and then it slipped my mind… thank you for the reminder! ๐Ÿ˜€

nrhatch - January 8, 2013

You’re welcome. You might also want to check out Fine Arts America . . . Paula likes it even better than Red Bubble. The link is in her comment (above).

19. Perfecting Motherhood - January 8, 2013

Thanks for the shout out, Nancy! What I like best about Zazzle and similar sites is that you don’t have to sit on a ton of inventory you may never sell. But you also have the option to make your products and sell them in person too. Someone suggested I print a whole bunch of calendars later this year and sell them directly at craft fairs, etc. Something I might consider. The only downside to an online studio is that you still have to promote the heck out of it because most people will not just stumble upon it and buy your stuff. That’s something I’m focusing on this year, as well as creating a lot more products for my online store. I’m excited!

nrhatch - January 8, 2013

That’s terrific, Milka. Excitement and enthusiasm fuel our efforts. Best of luck with your marketing and promotion.

Perfecting Motherhood - January 9, 2013

Thanks, Nancy! My best wishes for 2013 to you.

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