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Discussion Starter #1
In the short time I've been reading the posts on here, I have gained quite a bit of respect for your opinions and comments. I would deeply appreciate it if you could tell me whatever you can think of the following plan.

I have a blog where I post a quick drawing of a robot every weekday. (The link is in my sig).

I have one 'bot so far that I think will make a great shirt. This is the plan:

1)Post T-Shirt link in right-hand column of blog

2)T-Shirt link goes to either CafePress or SpreadShirt (or PayPal/Google and get them printed locally and mail them out myself?)

3)Buy a dozen of the shirts from either CP or SS for handing out at various venues.

4)Profit!!!

Ha. Actually, I want to wade gradually into this thing. I have a decent job that I enjoy, but I'd love to make some money from this stuff on the side for now.

Thanks!


MjM
 

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Hi Mike, I think that's a great plan.

If you have a strong readership of your blog, adding t-shirts of your characters would be a perfect extension.

Why limit yourself to just one robot though. With all the sketches you have and the flexibility of cafepress, you can easily (well it would take time) have every sketch on a t-shirt, that way your visitirs could have their choice of robot on whichever garment/mug/mousepad they want.

People will continue to come to your site to see the new robots and see what's new on your blog, and that could get them interested in your t-shirts.

I think if you plan on buying the shirts in bulk to hand out at events, I would suggest going to a screen printer to get them done, as the price will be much better. Especially since they are mostly 1 color sketches (Which will keep the cost down).

If you aren't into investing in the equipment to do it yourself, I think your plan sounds great.

I would put the link to buy the t-shirt in many prominent places in your blog (After each post next to the comments/permanlink, at the top, at the bottom, in the sidebar :)) All the "hotspots" where people look.

I think it's a neat idea for expanding your great sketches.
 

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Sounds like a plan.

Personally, as a reader/buyer, I prefer a site to have one/a few of their favourite designs picked and put on a t-shirt: I'm not a fan of the throw them all at cafe press and see what sticks method (I think it shows an inability to edit, rather than offering the customers choice). Other than being a superior print method, screenprinting also shows a commitment to your product.

(I just noticed you have a link to cat&girl on your blog... that clearly solidifies your position as a man of taste :))
 

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I remeber your robots quite clearly. You had more than one that looked ripe for printing. Throw several up there..at least five. Maybe you want to refine a few that you've already done, or perhaps you have some concepts that you've yet to realize. I'd say give the people some choices.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I really appreciate the feedback.

What I'm hearing is that some of my designs appear marketable and that I should offer more than just one. And that screenprinting is still of better quality than what CafePress or SpreadShirt offer - what is it - dye sublimation or heat transfer?

I'm also understanding that a cautious approach is probably the best way to move forward.

I am going to review all of my work and see what I can justify putting out there. I was hoping to avoid the hassle of interviewing screen printers here in town, but it looks like it's unavoidable. Also, I suppose it will provide a very necessary education in turning my ballpoint-pen produced, GIMP manipulated images into useable artwork.


Thanks!

MjM
 

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Hi,

Why not add something like " Custom " ..... BOT-EXPRESSIONS, where peeps can order/ask you to draw a Bot-Expression according to what they want.

Let me see,

How hard would it be for you to do a Bot Expression if I were a client and asked/order this slogan " No Means No ". With a Bot image relating to such ?????


Just curious. :)
 

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Hi Mike,

I've been to your blog and I really like your drawings. I think they would definitely sell.

I am reminded of another cartoonist, Hugh MacLeod of gapingvoid.com. He also put his designs on t-shirts, 4 different designs at a time, in limited editions of 200, and they have been extremely popular.

Of course, his designs were popular before he started selling t-shirts, but nevertheless I think it is a good strategy, especially when you have a lot of designs.

If you are going to go that route, I would have them screenprinted rather than use cafepress or another fulfillment service - cafepress doesn't really say "limited edition" to me. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
LucyRoberts said:
Hi,

Why not add something like " Custom " ..... BOT-EXPRESSIONS, where peeps can order/ask you to draw a Bot-Expression according to what they want.

Let me see,

How hard would it be for you to do a Bot Expression if I were a client and asked/order this slogan " No Means No ". With a Bot image relating to such ?????

Just curious. :)
This is a totally fascinating idea that I've considered in the past, but just couldn't bring myself to take seriously. Exploding Dog seemed to have the corner on it and I couldn't shake the feeling of unoriginality [Edit - I would feel like I was "copying"]. (Dorothy, of Cat and Girl has a great take on this with her "Donation Derby")

Nevertheless, I find that I love the challenge and I'm actually working on a no-means-no bot right now. If I can get something I like, I'll scan it in and post it.

Thanks for the suggestions!


MjM
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Jasonda said:
Hi Mike,

I've been to your blog and I really like your drawings. I think they would definitely sell.

I am reminded of another cartoonist, Hugh MacLeod of gapingvoid.com. He also put his designs on t-shirts, 4 different designs at a time, in limited editions of 200, and they have been extremely popular.

If you are going to go that route, I would have them screenprinted rather than use cafepress or another fulfillment service - cafepress doesn't really say "limited edition" to me. ;)
Thank you so much for the compliment.

I've enjoyed MacLeod's site. Truly original work. Acutally, he's also a small part of inspiration for my blog - I thought, "If this guy can scribble on business cards and make a blog, then I guess I can scribble on copier paper and make a blog" :) - another inspiration was duanekeiser, A Painting a Day )

I wasn't aware of MacLeod's shirt angle, however and that is definitely an attractive thought. Thanks for the head's up. I have often wondered though, what if you created a limited edition and no one bought? Eek! Talk about a dent in the ol' self-esteem.

The comment about CP and cachet duly noted :)


MjM
 

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And that screenprinting is still of better quality than what CafePress or SpreadShirt offer - what is it - dye sublimation or heat transfer?
With just one color artwork, I think most printing methods would work fine for you. Dye sublimation (although you wouldn't be able to use dark shirts), heat press, direct to garment (DTG) or screen printing. Cafepress uses Direct to Garment and Heat Press. I think your designs would work great as a direct to garment print and the quality would be on par with screen printing.

Personally, as a reader/buyer, I prefer a site to have one/a few of their favourite designs picked and put on a t-shirt: I'm not a fan of the throw them all at cafe press and see what sticks method
Just remember that not all customers will be as discerning as Solmu :) Some will, but many of them will like that THEY get to decide which robot they like.

It really depends on which direction you want to go with the designs. Mass market, or limited edition.
 

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mmrtnt said:
Exploding Dog seemed to have the corner on it and I couldn't shake the feeling of unoriginality [Edit - I would feel like I was "copying"].
MjM
hummm :confused:

custom design/shirts is NOT something new done by 1 person only...nor are robots. Dont see the connection of " copying " here.

your designs are what would make it unique and different, not the concept.


...may be I read it wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
LucyRoberts said:
hummm :confused:

your designs are what would make it unique and different, not the concept.
Yeah. You're right. I was being silly.

Like people would look at my site and say, "Hey, he's ripping off Exploding Dog! I'm not buying anything from here"

:)

Thanks for the reality check.


MjM
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Okay, after a weekend of thinking and reviewing the feedback here (thanks again) this is my revised plan:

Pick a half dozen designs, hook up with CafePress (or SpreadShirt) and make them available via a link on my Blog. I get the feeling I'm starting to think about this too much, so I'm just going to get the ball rolling, and fine tune as things progress.

I am not dismissing the silk-screen (quality) suggestions, but I'm going to reserve that avenue for hand-outs, customs and "limited editions" (if the interest generated dictates that), or if I'm really dissatisfied with CP or SS.

I'm also going to invite people to submit themes that I'll try to illustrate with a robot.

Jasonda, I couldn't find any shirts at gapingvoid.com, but I especially liked Hugh's Creative Commons approach:
"Hey, if you want to put the work up on your website, blog, or stick it on paper, t-shirts, business cards, stickers, homemade greeting cards, Powerpoint slides, or whatever, as far as I'm concerned, as long as it's just for your own personal use, as long as you're not trying to make money off it directly, and you're giving me due attribution, I'm totally cool with the idea."
So. Wish me luck. I hope to have something going here soon! And thanks once more for all the input.

MjM
 

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... i know you're off to execute your plan......

just to let you know that when i looked at your site/work i liked it. Why worrie about what others are doing, you are what you is and thats what i saw.

Remember that the real originals are often not known, or do get the respect they deserve after death.
 

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mmrtnt said:
Okay, after a weekend of thinking and reviewing the feedback here (thanks again) this is my revised plan:
While it's not what I personally would have done, I think it's a good plan.
 

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I'm afraid I don't have any advice on the t-shirt front, but have you seen http://www.radrobot.org/ ? My friend Bigtime runs it- he posts a robot drawing every day of the year, usually drawn by himself but with some guest drawings. Maybe he'd feature one of yours, and give you a few more readers!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
tiny_monster said:
I'm afraid I don't have any advice on the t-shirt front, but have you seen http://www.radrobot.org/ ? My friend Bigtime runs it- he posts a robot drawing every day of the year, usually drawn by himself but with some guest drawings. Maybe he'd feature one of yours, and give you a few more readers!
I've been checking out radrobot ever since it came online. I've exchanged email with BT a couple of times and we have links to each other.

The guy is non-stop! He draws, paints, carves print blocks, screenprints, makes buttons and runs a pretty comprehensive blog.

I'm fairly certain he'd put up one of my robots - I'm just not into the "guest artist" thing, I guess.

Thanks for the suggestion, though!


MjM
 
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