Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Frontiers Magazine

About two months ago, Andy Mercer and myself were contacted by a representative of the scientific journal 'Frontiers in Neuroscience'. Yesterday, we were each notified that our work will be featured in their upcoming, quarterly edition. This edition is primarily devoted to all aspects of Sleep: latest research, and the impact of sleep, and sleep disorders, on society, funding, and industries.

Here are some excerpts from the Frontiers website:

The Frontiers Journal Series are open-access journals supported by the Frontiers Research Foundation, an international not-for-profit foundation based in Switzerland in the spirit of neutrality and guided by core principles.

The Frontiers Journal Series is not just another journal. It is a new approach to scientific publishing. As service to scientists, it is driven by researchers for researchers but it also serves the interests of the general public.

Vision -- The prosperity of society requires all people - without borders or discrimination - to have free and easy access to knowledge. The grand vision of Frontiers is a world where all people have equal opportunity to seek, share and create knowledge.

I'm presumptuous enough to speak for both of us and say that, though there is no fee involved, this is a great opportunity for any artist and we're honored to participate. The Frontiers journals are distributed worldwide, with a print run of 8,000 copies going to subscribing scientists, surgeons and other medical professionals as well as libraries, universities and various scientific facilities.

Here's a link to Andy's accepted, sleep-titled image -

The City that never sleeps

Frontiers has chosen to use six of my sleep/dream-related images -

The Flock

Sealy's Window 1, 2, & 3

REM Dreams

And, a final image, Dreamstorm, which is not posted online, but will be . . . very soon.

It also pays to update your online sites, even when sales slack off. Did I mention they found us on RedBubble?

I'm told we should have hard copies in our hands before Christmas. I hope that's true, as it would be nice to pass around to the family before Christmas dinner!

Thanks for your support in this, Andy. It's been fun!

~ EyeSpy aka W. J. aka Wendy J. St. Christopher
W. J.'s Blog -
W. J. @ Zazzle -*
W. J. @ Zazzle 2 -
W. J. @ Redbubble -
W. J.'s Video Exhibits -

My website
My Red Bubble - Art Prints
My Zazzle Shop- Cards, Mugs T Shirts etc

Saturday, 14 November 2009

A short conversation before the end of the world

Eschatologist : See.. I told you the end of the world w...

Me : Oh shiiiiiiii...

The End

Click on the image below to visit my website..

Friday, 13 November 2009

The future for POD's ?

Zazzle has been my best selling POD site for a couple of years now.. as far as I know I haven't referred one buyer there.. for starters they get a lot.. lot more visitors than any of the dedicated Fine Art POD sites.. because they sell a wide range of personalised products... in addition to everything a Fine Art POD offers.

They don't charge to open a shop.. and so actively attracting buyers is the ONLY way they make a profit.. and it shows ! I get the impression there is a lot going on behind the scenes at Zazzle.. to drive in buyers.

To this end they have an affiliate program that resells products via non art specialist sites.. for example "Christian sites" These sites earn income when someone buys your product via their site.. and so the targeting is very specific to buyers with a particular interest. But Zazzle also attracts art buyers.. I regularly sell prints there. So they have developed niche market buying.. as a way of bringing in buyers for whom price is not the most important thing. Zazzlers themselves can also earn by reselling other peoples products.. if they have an audience. Lets say I recommend someone else's "unique" Christmas cards on my website.. I can earn from any sales I generate.

A Fine Art POD site is largely a "one trick pony" just selling "Fine Art".. sites like Zazzle sell all sorts.. from "T shirts with famous sayings" to products made by the visitors themselves. I get the feeling with many FA POD sites they are more interested in making income from artists.. rather than working to attract buyers. For me Fine Art POD sites have not really moved forward.. I think they really should be acting like global galleries..representing artists as an online version of the real world gallery.

I also believe Zazzle is a company benefiting from the fall in the dollar.. as all their products are much less expensive to foreign buyers than they were two years ago. Its been noticeable to me how one comparable non US based site's sales have tailed off.. while Zazzle's have grown and grown.

I believe you rise up the searches as you make sales at Zazzle.. I ordered some of my own Christmas cards from them a couple of years ago.. and it may be co-incidence but sales kicked started shortly after. I would describe my income there as "useful additional income" I maybe spend a two or three hours week uploading and creating products.

Unlike one or two sites out there.. I get the feeling their sales reporting is much more accurate.. for instance you see folks debit debit/credit cards not being accepted and then they come back and use another. That never happens on any other site I'm listed with. So my level of trust in Zazzle is much higher than other sites.

I do have serious reservations about the reporting of some FA POD sites out there. At Zazzle I get reasonable numbers of visitors.. but the ratio between visitors and buyers is much lower.. at one FA POD I have one image with 3500 visitors in the last 9 months but not one sale.. (that really does strike me as "sus".. why would so many people look at the image but then not one follow that interest up and buy ?) At Zazzle I have no product with more than a thousand hits in 3 years but the sales keep coming. I find that a very interesting and curious comparison !

The forum at Zazzle has almost no small talk.. everyone post seems focused on business and making money, I think that says something in itself. There are certainly folks making decent income at Zazzle. Some folks have literally tens of thousands of products at Zazzle... they produce simple designs and plaster them over loads of products like mugs.. skateboards,, shoes.. so Zazzle is as much about designers as it is about artists.*

If you follow my link and buy, I get paid via that "star" at the end of the URL as someone who refers you to Zazzle (I think) for a period of a month.. so even at this basic level Zazzle is encouraging buyers and sellers. I know plenty of artists who happily point links at Zazzle simply because there is always the possibility of a sale

If you think about it the Fine Art market is quite specialist and restricted.. and visitor interest is limited.. "design" on the other hand is a huge industry with almost everyone on the planet wanting designed goods. Zazzle is a design and art site. Folks interested in design are just as likely to be interested in Fine Art.. so the audience is right.

There is much less commenting and rating by fellow artists at Zazzle in my experience.. for me that indicates that most folks don't want to be distracted by this.

I see FA Pod's as being squeezed.. by ever more competition.. in this scenario the biggest sites offering the biggest range of products will survive.

The future for FA POD's in my opinion is to specialise and to replicate the real world gallery model. They should be competing with real world galleries.. I might be persuaded to look at a site specialising in say "urban art" or "American landscape photography" or whatever but on a general POD art site its often really hard work to find what you are looking for ?

I think FA POD's will have to specialise or die ! I've been quite uneasy for awhile about the emphasis certain sites put on Fine Art when they actually sell unsigned reproductions.. the serious art buyer is not going to be taken in for long.

I think this site is an example of the way Fine Art POD's will have to go to.. selling LE prints etc. I believe its a real world gallery but it seems clear they are replicating their specialisms and skills online and restricting the number of their artists based on quality. It's online gallery representation !

My Zazzle Shop- Cards, Mugs T Shirts etc metropolis prints urban art drawings