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4 Success Secrets from a Print on Demand Pro

With so many artists out there, making profit in the print on demand world can be a challenge. Keeping true to your aesthetic integrity and locking into what consumers are looking for feels like a paradox, with your choice being the lesser of the two evils. Fortunately, you don't have to give up your creative heart and soul in order to see monetary gain. James Soares of the highly successful design studio Spires, is a pro at creating artwork for the market in a way that fulfills his spirit of design. Here, he gives us some tips on how to take control of your print on demand success.

Know Your Market

Understanding the context in which you are competing and thinking about the goals Society6 has as a business will allow you to tailor your efforts for optimal success. Considering the platform on which you are participating is crucial. What does the Society6 provide the artist? Who's likely to be a Society6 customer? Considering this in a deeper way will help tune your work towards sales.

Think about the products that Society6 chooses to sell. Why these? Society6 is in two main markets: fashion and home. The art that you make will sell best if it coincides with the specific needs of apparel and home decor products.

To address this challenge, Spires focuses on color; everyone has color preferences. The vehicle of abstract geometry easily plays to different colorways and widely addresses the market. Find your own solution within your unique voice and style.

Success Secrets from a Print on Demand Pro

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Keep Up With Trends

Personally, I love the structure of geometry, tactility of texture, and the beauty of color, so my style fulfills me creatively, but also plays to current trends. Finding the balance between what satisfies your creative spirit and what addresses the market is critical to success on POD platforms.

Following color trends in the apparel and home decor markets is an important component to informing your color choices. Your work must be invited into a customer's home decor setting, and likewise into their wardrobe; so knowing how the markets are trending color-wise is a great advantage.

Also, mood-based art (rather than content-based) is more easily assimilated into people's lives. Many of the top artists on Society6  are working with general aesthetic themes, not with specific content. If you do work in content based art, make sure your art has a strong coherent mood in order to overcome any content-based objections a potential customer might have. Keep the mood strong and the colors relevant. To draw a parallel, even if you don't resonate with the lyrics to a song, you may enjoy its mood or feeling.

Takeaway: find your unique and marketable aesthetic niche, and feel good about it.

Success Secrets from a Print on Demand Pro

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Actively Participate in the Society6 Community

I believe that Society6 invests in artists that invest in Society6. This mutually beneficial, virtuous circle asks for a greater proportion of time spent of the platform, but in return increases sales for the artist. Top selling and prolific artists consistently have work showcased on the front page.

I've found that consistently releasing solid work is key. For 2.5 years Spires has released an average of 6 designs a week to Society6. Although about 20% of the designs sell more than the other 80% combined, the volume of work communicates the depth of style of the brand.

Designing a workflow that has allowed for consistent output was a core challenge of making the jump from part-time artist to financial independence. If you want to put out 6 pieces a week, each piece cannot take you 6 hours to make, or you will not have time for the rest of your actual life. Learn how you work, how best you can optimize your effort while creating, and how you can streamline the creative process.

Always Keep Creating, But Stay True To You

Have a well developed aesthetic voice before you begin, and consistently use that voice. Through consistency, you can build a brand, be recognized, and perhaps even start a trend. Over time, introduce new collections in your mix to provide a wider selection to your audience by demonstrating artistic versatility, and provide yourself relief from creative monotony. When you vary in this way, remember to present an aesthetic common thread to your previous work.

 

Check out Spires' work here.

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Comments

RimHanel Art & Design commented on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 8:36am
good article, thanks!
Nina May Designs commented on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 9:24am
Congrats Spires!
Samantha Reichert commented on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 10:08am
Great tips!
dparker commented on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 2:44pm
good advice, much of my work is abstract color studies and should allow me to follow your advice.
Work the Angle commented on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 5:06pm
There's some really good tips in this one
HappyMelvin commented on Thursday, July 21, 2016 1:31am
Congrats James!! Keep it up!
Judy Palkimas commented on Thursday, July 21, 2016 7:22am
Congrats James...wonderful article!
Spires commented on Thursday, July 21, 2016 12:06pm
Thanks everyone!
Project M commented on Thursday, July 21, 2016 6:38pm
This is such a great read! Congrats!
Jean Valley commented on Friday, July 22, 2016 12:02am
Congratulations James! Great!
R.S.Burrell commented on Friday, July 22, 2016 9:47pm
Thank you Sir!
Seamless commented on Saturday, July 23, 2016 6:49am
I didnt read the whole thing but Spires is an amzing artist!
Danielle Gensler commented on Sunday, July 24, 2016 1:01pm
I have read many articles on this topic. These tips are actually helpful! Thanks!

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