I thought i’d take a break from the normal ‘how to build a visual effect‘ tutorial posts for a day and talk about a fun little project we have going on at Synthetik. In the process of that discussion, we’ll take a look at using Studio Artist to build custom art images specifically for printing on physical media, be it custom prints, coffee mugs, shirts, or in this particular case, mouse pads.
The story behind this post started when someone working for Synthetik said, ‘hey, I need a new mouse pad, can you approve me purchasing one’. I thought about it for a moment and said, why not design your own personal mouse pad using Studio Artist.
There are some amazing opportunities for personalized printing available today for creative artists. This goes beyond the conventional ‘generate mounted prints for the gallery’ kind of printing. There are several companies available online that allow you to custom design all kinds of everyday objects. Things like mouse pads, clothing, mugs, etc.
In the old days in order to do something like this you would need to generate a print run with a significant quantity of some individual item, be it a tee shirt, or a mouse pad, etc. but now days, with modern ‘on-demand’ printing technology, and via access to that technology via the internet, you can custom design all kinds of different objects you would have purchased from some store that were mass market designed for sale at K-Mart or some other cookie cutter chain store.
So we decided to start taking this seriously here at the office. The example I posted above is a custom mouse pad generated by one of our interns. We’re also designing our own custom tee shirts, as opposed to buying mass market designs in stores. We all took a pledge to try and dive into the notion of customizing objects we use in our daily life. And of course we’re using Studio Artist to do the art creation for these customized objects.
It’s so easy to get focused on whatever particular approach you normally take to working with your personal digital art, and how you conventionally present it to the world, be it art gallery shows, online blogs, animation film festivals, etc, that you can forget there’s a million other opportunities to incorporate your own personal artwork into your daily life.
If you need a mouse pad, design your own, don’t go buy a pre-existing one in a store. If you need a few new shirts, design your own, as opposed to running down to Target. If your coffee mug breaks, design a new one rather than going on Amazon and purchasing something mass market designed. You can even design your own custom postage stamps. The range of different everyday objects you can custom design is pretty astonishing. Become your own designer for all of the mundane objects you use in your daily life. Live your art.
The particular internet company we’ve been using for our custom object printing is Zazzle. Their business model is kind of interesting, because you can order one off (or quantities) of all kinds of everyday objects that will be custom printed with your own individual artwork. You setup the whole order online, upload your artwork, and the physical object shows up at your house a few days later.
But you can also submit your own custom designs to be sold on the site if you wish. Again, since all of the printing is on demand, you could have your own online store via zazzle for selling customized objects based on your custom artwork. With no upfront costs associated with originating and maintaining inventory that would have been required before this kind of on-demand printing and integrated fulfillment business model via the internet was available.
So, tomorrow we’ll get back into the details of building Studio Artist visual effects. But today, I wanted to take a break and explain a little how we’re trying to utilize Studio Artist in our daily lives here at Synthetik to try and custom design different objects we use in our daily lives. To force us to become the artistic designers of our own lives, in addition to just thinking of digital art as something to be observed in a gallery. Maybe it will give you some ideas for taking your own personal artwork and doing new and different things with it.