Thursday, October 19, 2017

New Holiday Design: My Favorite Color is Christmas Lights

We were playing Christmas music in our car the other day to get us motivated to start promoting the holiday designs that we created a few months ago. While we'll certainly do that, the festive tunes also inspired us to create a new design. It features colorful holiday lights and our take on the phrase "My favorite color is Christmas lights" in a festive typeface that's shaped like a decorated tree.
It's now available at our Zazzle, RedBubble and Society6 stores (Links at right).

- Lynne Sabean

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Why mandalas are not "petri dishes sitting on top of doilies"

We love creating intricate one-of-a-kind mandalas from our own photographs.

We do our best to honor their heritage as sacred art and we love how they add a bohemian touch to the home.

So imagine our delight when arguably the country's largest real estate web site recently featured a paid post about two things we love: The Property Brothers and kaleidoscope art.

We adored the kaleidoscope art feature wall, thinking it looked a lot like some of the "feature walls" we saw in home decorating magazines a few years back. Then we read the article's copy.

Apparently, one of the Brothers compared the pattern to "petri dishes sitting on doilies." Ouch!

Yes, we get that boho chic isn't everyone's taste and that when you're selling your home, you want it to appeal to as many people as possible. We also understand that part of the show's formula is to point out the supposed failings of the home's owners to properly stage their home on their own. But, wow, that was harsh!

We think the Brothers could have advised their clients that a great way to add eclectic charm to their home is through great wall art that can be moved room to room and brought with them when they relocate. And in our fantasies, they would have directed their clients to our Curioos site for art like this:

- Lynne Sabean

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Two New Mandalas, Exclusively at Curioos

We get particularly inspired by the colors of autumn. Here are a few new mandalas we hope you'll "fall" for...

And here's what they'd look like in a home or office:

They're available exclusively at our Curioos store.

- Lynne Sabean

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

New Design: Window to the World Mandala

Another new mandala design:

This teal and silver one is based on our photograph of vintage windows with peeling paint.

It's currently available at our Curioos and FineArtAmeria stores; coming soon to some of our other print-on-demand vendors,

- Lynne Sabean

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

New Designs on Society6

We recently updated our Society6 store to add hundreds of fresh products for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas:

We know different people like different print-on-demand vendors, so we do our best to be everywhere you are.

- Lynne Sabean

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New Design: Spring Fantasy Floral Mandala

With our holiday designs essentially complete, we've turned our attention back to making mandalas. This pretty design is based on our photograph of light pink and yellow summer flowers.

It's currently available on Curioos and FineArtAmerica; coming soon to some of our other print-on-demand vendors.

- Lynne Sabean

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We're Giving Away What Others Charge For

Last night, we listened to a podcast about a man who made more than $250K in one year with one of the print-on-demand t-shirt vendors we also use. He didn't do it the way other people do: with one or more trendy designs. Instead, he went to local businesses and charged them $250 each to set up new storefront and upload the companies' logos for them. While we applaud his entrepreneurial spirit, that's just not the way we do business.

  • First of all, it takes only a few minutes to get up a storefront with most POD vendors;
  • Next, most companies already have high resolution versions of their logos that can be uploaded in seconds;
  • Third, most companies already have robust mailing lists which they can use to alert their customers about their new t-shirts and other branded products;
  • Also, his business model dried up when his PoD vendor got a waiting list and became available "by invitation only";
  • And finally, we think the guy was actually leaving money in the table by not setting up an arrangement where he'd get a modest fee for sales of those products. While he won't get $250 up front, he'd be building a passive income stream going forward.

In contrast, here's how we prefer to do things: we will help you set up your own Zazzle storefront at no charge to you. All we ask is that you add one or more of our products in your store's offerings. So why would we do this for essentially free, when others charge a consulting fee to do something similar? It's actually pretty simple:

  • You can easily figure this stuff out on your own, but it's still nice to have some hand-holding;
  • We know that most people will link to more than one of our products once they see them;
  • We don't want a "one-off" transaction: we want to build ongoing business relationships;
  • Our success is tied to yours: do a great job selling our products and we make royalties and you make a referral fee; and
  • You'll enjoy working with us so much that when you're looking for help with special media marketing, you'll consider hiring our sister company, ThinkJanusian.

Ready to start? Send us an e-mail.

- Lynne Sabean

Monday, October 9, 2017

5 Key Mistakes We Made on Zazzle

Lessons from the school of hard knocks:

1. Opening stores too quickly: We were so captivated by the idea of passive income that wanted to post as many products as fast as possible. We should have spent more time on Zazzle first, browsing through the site the way buyers do, testing templates, comparing prices, etc. With more than 7,500 products today, we've spent literally hundreds of hours fixing our early mistakes.

2. Not having an established social media presence before opening our first store: Not only did we have to learn the intricacies of our Zazzle storefronts, but we had to open new accounts for Janusian Gallery on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. and build our audiences.

3. Believing too many articles and videos on how easy passive income is: Success leaves clues, right? Maybe, but when the successful person has been doing this for a decade or more, they definitely had an early entrant's advantage that no longer exist today. Much of their advice on staying ahead of the competition is given from the perspective of already being in the #1 position. It's not as helpful to someone with new stores trying to break to break away the herd.

4. Underestimating the importance of a robust e-mail list: Dig a little deeper into the stories of people who claim to have built a Zazzle business bringing in a full-time income and there's usually one similarity: they already have another similar business (t-shirt shop, interior design business, etc.) with a fabulously large and clean mailing list.

5. Too much time designing, not enough time marketing: This one was particularly avoidable and inexcusable because we also run a social media marketing business. We relied too heavily on comments from other designers that Zazzle does so much marketing on its own that you have to do is ride its wave. So we focused on stocking up our shops when we should have been spending more time getting the word out about our existing products.

We have to confess: we actually made a lot more than just 5 big mistakes. But we want you to visit our blog again, so we're saving more to share later.

- Lynne Sabean

(Become a Zazzle affiliate and we'll help you avoid mistakes like these when you open your store that includes one or more Janusian Gallery products.)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Find Janusian Gallery Mandalas at ImageKind

We recently opened a presence on ImageFind and posted some of our favorite mandalas there:

We'll be adding new designs over the holiday season, so visit us often!

- Lynne Sabean

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

New Lower Prices on our Merch by Amazon T-Shirts!

We're only a few sales away from graduating to the next tier at Amazon. We really want to hit our mark within the next week or so, because it'll allow us to upload a motherload of new designs just in time for the holiday season. So we just lowered the prices on nearly ALL our t-shirts there to just $16.99. This is our best ever price on Ts and we're going to keep those prices into the New Year. Just go to and search for "Janusian Gallery."

- Lynne Sabean

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Friday, October 6, 2017

How and Why Social Media is Influencing Design Styles

If you're thinking that design styles from print-on-demand (PoD) vendors are looking a lot hipper, fresher, and younger these days, you're probably right. And there's a very simple explanation for this: social media.

Here's why:

  • To make good money online and build a loyal customer base, designers and store owners need to drive as much traffic as possible to their online storefronts and PoD vendors. (It's not enough just to have a presence on Zazzle, Amazon, etc. and rely on their search engines, because there's so much good competition out there.)
  • In order to drive this traffic, designers and store owners need to effectively utilize a wide variety of social media tools.
  • Who is most facile with social media tools and who spends the most time interacting on social media? Most often, it's teens and young adults.
  • The more online "friends" and "followers" a designer has (and the more friends those friends have), the more prospective customers a designer or store owner has.
  • The more effectively prospective customers can be targeted, the more likely these prospects are to visit the PoD site.
  • But just being able to drive a large volume of traffic to a print-on-demand site isn't enough. Designers and store owners have to have a compelling reason for people to want to stay and explore their offerings. In other words, they need to convert prospects into customers.
  • That key reason for buying? That fool-proof way to convert targets into buyers? It's great design at the right price.
  • The lifestyles, interests, and tastes of buyers dictate which products and designs become best-sellers on PoD sites. For example, older customers may gravitate toward products like mouse pads, playing cards, greeting cards, and coffee mugs with traditional designs. On the other hand, time-pressed parents with young kids look for birthday party supplies, gender reveal invitations, and t-shirts in colorful, customizable designs. 20-somethings are more likely to be interested in funky apartment furnishings (posters, pillows, etc.), backpacks, wedding invitations, and sneakers. (Notably, all three of these demographics can be price-sensitive, so finding the "sweet spot" of how much someone is willing to pay is crucial.)
  • As more young people visit and buy from the sites and storefronts their friends tell them about via social media, sales increase for "younger" items, colors, and styles. Trends are created.
  • Successful designers and store owners are sensitive to trends, because they affect profitability. They try to predict trends, create them (or at the very least, participate in them). So one successful design can lead to five more, which can lead to 50 more.....
  • And where's one of the best places to keep abreast of trends as they break? You got it... social media sites. And so the circle continues.

- Lynne Sabean is co-founder of Janusian Gallery and founder of Think Janusian, a social media consulting firm.

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New Thanksgiving Collection: Give Thanks

Introducing our most colorful Thanksgiving collection ever:

See the entire collection at Zazzle:

- Lynne Sabean

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

New Design: Thanks and Giving

We're proud to announce the launch our newest type-based collection, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Get it now at Zazzle; coming soon to other platforms.

- Lynne Sabean

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Our Halloween Designs Now Available on RedBubble

We recently updated our Halloween collection at RedBubble:
Start shopping here.

- Lynne Sabean

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Another Redesign: Halloween Black Cat

You know how you buy a new knick-knack for the living room and it looks so good you decide to paint the walls or buy new furniture? We're kinda feeling that way about some of our graphic designs these days.

We honestly started out with manageable and humble intentions. We freshened up a few of our older collections, where we weren't getting as many views as we wanted. We liked our new designs so much that the other illustrations and copy started to look stale. So we began revising those, too. Soon, everything just snowballed and started to take on a life of its own.

For example, here's one of our minimalist designs from 2016.

At the time, we intentionally kept it very simple. We created it with our easily-recognizable take on Kawaii-style designs: asymmetry; one eye much larger than the other; crooked smile, etc. Looking back now, the artwork seems flat, unoriginal, and incomplete.

So we went back to the drawing board and here's what we came up with:

We kept many of the characteristic aspects of our Kawaii style, but "maximalized" it by adding a spirit board, fortunetelling cards, and a crystal ball. We redid the eyes, since there was so much going on at the left of the image. Making both eyes purple helped add some weight to the intentionally unbalanced composition.

We'll be rolling out this design over the next few weeks on Zazzle, RedBubble, and Society 6. (Links at right.)

- Lynne Sabean

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