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How To Create and Sell Watercolor Clipart Stock

This article has been contributed by KT Mehra and Joanne Green.

When you hear the term clipart it might conjure up those basic, clunky looking images you can download in Microsoft Word. However, clipart is so much more sophisticated now. Demand for high quality clipart images is high and people will often pay well to have a beautiful painted design, especially if it is uniquely made for them.

In layman’s terms, clipart refers to a digital image that can be downloaded and used in a variety of different ways such as a design on a t-shirt, coffee mug, sticker or on a webpage.

What is Watercolor Clipart / Stock?

Watercolor painting is the method, traditionally of using water-soluble paint on a canvas, to create anything from landscape scenes to portraits. Paints are usually blended with water to create soft brushstrokes that allow the pigments in the paint to blur and merge with other colors creating delicate and unique brush patterns.

Warecolor Painting

Watercolor clipart is the digital form of this painting medium, created either by uploading the image of the painting to a computer or using a specialized app to paint digitally.

How to Create Watercolor Clipart

There are several different ways to make realistic watercolor clipart paintings. You can use online apps to give a photograph a watercolor effect, upload a physical painting from a canvas or create your art directly onto a digital platform.

There is no right or wrong way to create and digitize clipart. Some artists are very proficient with a camera and enjoy the tangible feel of paint on canvas. However, for many artists who fancy the idea of uploading their artwork to sell online, digital painting is a very efficient medium.

1. Digitize Your Watercolor Art

Now you’re ready to digitize your watercolor painting and sell your clipart. There are several ways to digitize your art that depend on your preferred method of working.

Photos

If you’ve created your artwork using paint on a canvas, you’ll need some equipment to upload your images to the computer. If you have a good camera that has a high resolution, you can use it to take overhead shots of your paintings. Your mobile phone can work just as well too if it has a good camera on it, which most do.

If you’re going to use this method, it’s a good idea to remember to take photos of your artwork with a good natural light source (but out of direct sunlight). You can also use a piece of white card to create an even light source. However, you must be careful not to overexpose the picture, as this will make the artwork tricky to rectify when it’s uploaded.

Digitizing Watercolor Painting Photography

Scanning

Do you find that your photos don’t do your paintings justice? If you’re not confident with the camera, a quick way to upload your artwork is by using a scanner. This method will capture your art at the perfect angle and give even exposure to light. Scanning at about 600dpi will make sure you get the best resolution to your upload.

2. Create Your Artwork Directly on a Digital Program

Cut out the hassle of composing shots and uploading them. Go full-on digital and create your painting directly in an app like Illustrator, Photoshop, or Procreate.

Procreate is like Photoshop in many respects. However, the former has much more going for it in terms of its artistic features and creative options because it is designed precisely for creating digital artwork.

However, we’re not knocking Photoshop by any means. In fact, it’s a great tool to use before you finally upload your artwork to sell. Photoshop is perfect for sorting out any edits that might be needed to return the watercolor to its former glory.

How to Create Watercolor Clipart with Procreate

If you like the idea of creating watercolor art directly onto a digital platform, one fantastic tool that is making a name for itself is Procreate.

Digital painting cuts out the ‘middleman’ of having to take a photograph or scan and spend time editing the painting to reflect its former glory and Procreate seems to have really thought about the needs of its users.

The Procreate App

Procreate allows you to create beautiful works of art digitally and is packed with intuitive features and tools. With the app’s brush studio, you can create your own unique brushes or download some from a vast array of brush packages.

One of their newest features allows you to use your iPad camera to convert and upload colors from the real-world to create your own individual palette of realistic colors.

The app also lets you edit the brushes you’ve bought. By manipulating your brush to your unique tastes, you get complete flexibility and control over the final look of your artwork.

Procreate is simple to use and suitable for beginners and seasoned artists alike, with easy to access tools and editing at a tap of the screen. We love Procreate for its unique features and ease of use, making it an app that stands out from the crowd.

How to Use Procreate Brushes to Make Watercolor Clipart

Digitizing Watercolor Art

Procreate doesn’t come with any quality watercolor brushes, but you can create your own as mentioned above or download a brush package.

If you’ve decided to download some watercolor brushes to the Procreate app, you can access them at a tap in the handy paint tool menu. From this menu you can do so much, from selecting your preferred tools and organizing them into categories to duplicating and editing brushes. The collection of brushes ranges from traditional paint brushes to fountain pen ink and quill brushes.  The duplication tool is a fab feature to play around with as you can create a brush to suit your unique style without losing any of its original features.

You can also edit the brush names so you can easily select the right tools to create your artwork. For example, renaming the brushes to something you understand will make it quicker to differentiate which brushes will achieve the best blending results and which will make the best finer, detailed, finishing strokes.

Procreate also lets you view in-depth details of the brush, such as the overall shape and grain source, so that you know which brush to use to get the desired results you want to achieve.

Once you’ve selected your canvas and brush it’s time to choose a color from the extensive Procreate palette range and get painting, it really is that easy.

If we could give you one tip, however, it would be this. Unless you’re a seasoned user of Procreate it’s probably a good idea to experiment a little with the brushes and size adjustment panel first. The app is designed to be as realistic as possible (without the mess), so everything, from the pressure you apply to the screen, speed of your stroke, and size of your brush can create different finishes.

How to Edit Your Watercolor Artwork

Photographs tend to be duller than their original form when they are uploaded and therefore need a little more color correction work than scans. However, scanned artwork can have its issues too and can sometimes suffer from an over-saturation of light. Really, the amount of editing you need to do all comes down to the equipment you have and the original artwork.

Editing in Photoshop

There are many options for editing your artwork in Photoshop, but when dealing with watercolor, sometimes less is more. To achieve a natural finish, we recommend tweaking just the brightness and saturation to color correct your artwork.

So, to do a simple color correction in Photoshop you need to adjust the level of brightness. You can also change the contrast until the artwork is like the original. Once you’ve made your desired tweaks here and there, you can adjust the saturation of the composition until you are happy with the overall finish.

Editing in Procreate

If you have the Procreate app there is no need to use Photoshop as you can adjust the saturation and colors directly in the app in its adjustment’s menu. From here you can change the Hue, Saturation, Brightness, and Color Balance using simple sliders. Procreate recommends the Hue, Saturation and Brightness option as the simplest way to make quick color adjustments.

However, if you’ve created your artwork directly in the Procreate app, there is no need to do any editing at all!

Top Tips for Making Money Selling Clipart
Create What People Want

To make money and sell your clipart online, it’s worth remembering that people will only buy what they need. Perhaps a hard pill to swallow for those of you who throw yourself into your art and create whatever you feel. However, if you’re painting without thinking about what customers want, then you probably won’t sell much. Think about how your artwork can be used, check out online resources, and research current trends.

So, you’ve got a portfolio. You are confident people will want to buy your art. Now you need to get yourself in front of your ideal customers.

Make Yourself Visible

It may seem like common sense but, nobody will buy from you if they don’t know you exist. Whether you have your own website or shop on a site like Creative Market, a presence online will make you look professional and legitimate to customers.

Market and Present Yourself Well

Something else you can do that is super simple to encourage sales is to keep your portfolio organized. People are busy, time is money after all, and they don’t have time to do lots of searching. If you make it easy for potential customers to find the things they need, they will be more likely to buy from you.

Finally, you’ll want to promote yourself and market your talents. Social media is a fantastic tool for creating awareness around you and your artwork. Platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are ideal for engaging with your audience. These social media tools also make it easy for your followers to share and promote your posts.

Add Value

If you aren’t camera-shy, YouTube or Skillshare channels are brilliant promotional tools to market your talents in a non-salesy way. By creating tutorials to share valuable content based on your passion, you can make a name for yourself as an expert and someone who is knowledgeable and professional in their craft.

There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to digitizing and selling your watercolor clipart. You need to do what feels right for you and play around with different techniques and tools.

Where Should You Sell Clipart?

Once you’ve finished digitizing your artwork, you’ll want to sell it on the best platforms available and get the best price for your hard work. But how do you get your art in front of the right people?

There are many places to sell online clipart, but not all of them are right for selling watercolor clipart. To help you find your ideal customers here four online platforms that you could sell your watercolor clipart on.

Photography hard drive

Etsy

Etsy is a global online marketplace where you can sell your artwork directly to customers. Selling your clipart on Etsy is simple. You need to create a virtual shop to sell your goods then you are charged a small fee for your product listings. However, you only pay transaction, payment processing, and offsite advertising fees when you make a sale. Etsy is an ideal platform if you want to sell clipart to supplement your full-time job.

Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock gives you control over the license of your artwork, so for every sale you earn royalties for the use of your art. The platform also gives you the possibility to create a free portfolio to showcase your beautiful artwork.

Another bonus is that thanks to Adobe’s multiple cloud apps, your artwork can also reach customers around the globe.

Creative Market

Creative Market calls itself ‘the world’s marketplace for design’ and is a hub for artistic entrepreneurs. Creative Market gives you peace of mind by handling the transactions, marketing, and distribution of your artwork. Like Etsy, the site lets you create an online shop but also gives you statistics so that you can analyze your sales data.

Shutterstock

Shutterstock is a site that will also license your artwork for you. You can apply to become a seller for free and receive payment each time someone downloads your artwork.

Shutterstock also offers support to its sellers through guides and research on top trends and content. Perfect for designers who want to get ahead of the competition and create the type of images people need and want.

If you’re serious about selling your artwork, make sure you get in front of the right audience and produce the kind of content they want. By following these tips, you may find that as demand for your art increases, moving from physical canvas to a realistic painting app like Procreate is the way forward.

_

About the author: KT Mehra is an entrepreneur who fell in love with pens, brushes, and ink.  She started Goldspot Pens in 1999 to sell fine-writing and art equipment to a passionate audience.

The post How To Create and Sell Watercolor Clipart Stock first appeared on JUST™ Creative.

Read more: justcreative.com

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Best Christmas Gifts for Designers in 2020

To say that 2020 has been a tough year would be a cinch to win the Understatement of the Year award. With all of the things that have been going on around the world, we’ve finally reached that time of year where people can start thinking of the best gifts to get the ones they love.

Being such a stressful season already, we thought we’d put our Santa hats on and play a little Secret Santa and help you pick the best gifts for the graphic designers on your list this year.

Grab that list and let’s get going!

Best Christmas Gifts for Designers in 2020

Buying a gift for a graphic designer is a lot like buying gifts for someone who works in construction. Namely that whatever it is, it needs to be useful and that it’s something that they will be sure to use just about every day. With these prerequisites in mind, we thought we’ve come up with a pretty good list this year.

Sharpie Permanent Markers Ultimate Collection – $84
Sony WH-1000XM4 – $278
Wacom Cintiq 22 – $1149
Apple iWatch Series 6 – $379
Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription – $52
Logitech MX Master 3 – $68
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra – $1049
AmazonBasics Backpack – $33
Apple iMac Pro 27″ with 5K Retina Display – $8199
reMarkable Paper Tablet Digital Notepad and e-Reader – $444
Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull – $19
Apple iPad Air – $599
Herman Miller Aeron – $1919
Microsoft Surface Book 2 – $1940
LED Word Clock – $99

Looking for more gift ideas?

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Best Christmas Gifts for Designers in 2020

 

Sharpie Permanent Markers Ultimate Collection – $84

Sharpie Permanent Markers Ultimate Collection

Never look for a pen again

While it may be a bit ostentatious, the Sharpie Permanent Markers Ultimate Collection comes with over 100 different markers in assorted colors. From fine tip markers, ultra-fine, and chisel tip to twin tips, neons, and even metallic, this collection of Sharpie markers is truly the ultimate choice for anyone who may even remotely use Sharpies in their work and can even be a great gag gift.

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Sharpie 1983255 Permanent Markers Ultimate Collection, Fine and Ultra Fine Points, Assorted Colors,...


2,784 Reviews


Sharpie 1983255 Permanent Markers Ultimate Collection, Fine and Ultra Fine Points, Assorted Colors,…

Make your own masterpiece with the vividly bold Sharpie Ultimate Collector’s EditionProudly permanent ink marks on paper, plastic, metal, and most other surfacesRemarkably resilient formula dries quickly and resists fading and water; AP certifiedEndless marking options: Fine tip for impressively bold marks, ultra fine tip for ridiculous detail, chisel tip for broad and fine lines plus versatile twin tip markersThe ultimate collection: 40 fine, 42 ultra fine, 8 chisel and 12 twin tip coloring markers in unforgettable original colors, 5 luminous neon markers, and 8 shimmering metallic markers

$84.99

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Sony WH-1000XM4 – $278

Sony WH1000XM4

The best headphones just got better

Acoustic design: Closed | Weight: 8.95 oz | Cable length: 3.94 ft | Frequency response: 4Hz to 40kHz | Drivers: 1.57-inch | Driver type: Dome-type | Sensitivity: 104.5 dB | Impedance: 47 ohm | Battery life: 30 hours | Wireless range: 30 meters (98ft) | NFC: Yes

If you’ve ever read some of our other articles, you’ll know that we love the WH-1000XM3 headphones from Sony and didn’t think anyone would be able to dethrone them. Turns out, their younger brother the 1000XM4 has done just that. While aesthetically, they don’t look all that different from the previous version, the XM4 comes with some new features including multipoint pairing, conversational awareness, and autoplay/pause using a built-in sensor make these the headphones to buy this Christmas.

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Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for...


3,996 Reviews


Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Mic for…

Industry-leading noise canceling with Dual Noise Sensor technologyNext-level music with Edge-AI, co-developed with Sony Music Studios TokyoUp to 30-hour battery life with quick charging (10 min charge for 5 hours of playback)Touch Sensor controls to pause/play/skip tracks, control volume, activate your voice assistant, and answer phone callsSpeak-to-chat technology automatically reduces volume during conversations

$298.00

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Wacom Cintiq 22 – $1149

Wacom Cintiq 22

The best drawing tablet overall

Active drawing area: 19.5 x 11.5in | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: HDMI, USB 2.0

With its combination of a huge drawing area, highly sensitive stylus, affordable pricing, and excellent drawing experience, the Cintiq 22 from Wacom is by far the best drawing tablet in 2020. Bundled with the Pen Pro 2, the stylus has 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, and the screen comes with an anti-glare surface so they can work outdoors without any issues.

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Wacom DTK2200 Cintiq 22HD 21-Inch Pen Display Tablet, Black


302 Reviews


Wacom DTK2200 Cintiq 22HD 21-Inch Pen Display Tablet, Black

22 inches HD display features a wide format, full HD resolution and extra wide viewing angleWork naturally and intuitively directly on screen; Sketch, paint, design and edit directly on the surface of the screenWacom’s most advanced pressure and tilt sensitive pen technology replicates the natural effects and experience of working with conventional tools such as pens, markers, and brushesTime saving express keys, work easier and faster with customizable express keys, 1 touch access to your favorite shortcuts

$1,149.00

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Apple iWatch Series 6 – $379

Apple iWatch Series 6

Perfect for anyone with an iPhone

OS: watchOS 7 | Compatibility: iOS | Display: 1.78″ OLED | Processor: Apple S6 | Band sizes: Varies based on watch size | Onboard storage: 32GB | Battery: 18 hours | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: Water-resistant to 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE

If you have a graphic designer on your list that swears by all things Apple product, especially their phone, then the iWatch Series 6 is the perfect addition to their “collection”. While not a complete upgrade from the previous model, the new features can be handy such as the blood oxygen monitoring and a chipset that has been upgraded. If you have an Apple-lover on your list, you can’t go wrong with the best watch the company has made yet.

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New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS, 40mm) - Blue Aluminum Case with Deep Navy Sport Band


175 Reviews


New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS, 40mm) – Blue Aluminum Case with Deep Navy Sport Band

GPS model lets you take calls and reply to texts from your wristMeasure your blood oxygen with an all-new sensor and appCheck your heart rhythm with the ECG appThe Always-On Retina display is 2.5x brighter outdoors when your wrist is downS6 SiP is up to 20% faster than Series 5

$379.00

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Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription – $52

Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription

The perfect addition to any designer’s toolbox

While pens and pencils can certainly help a graphic designer in the short run, where they make their bread and butter is through the use of computer programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, or even After Effects. This is why an Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription is such a great idea. A 12-month subscription that auto-renews, there are more than 20 apps that they can use plus the subscription includes access to Adobe Fonts, Behance, and access to the Creative Cloud Libraries. With all this packed neatly together, you’ll definitely win Christmas this year.

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Logitech MX Master 3 – $68

Logitech MX Master 2s

The mouse recommended by Jacob Cass himself!

DPI: 4,000 | Interface: Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless | Buttons: 7 | Ergonomic: Right-handed

Ok, we know what you’re thinking. A mouse is a mouse correct? Au contraire mon ami. Customizable buttons, a design-build to fit ergonomically in their hand, a thumbwheel, and at its lowest price, the MX Master 3 from Logitech is truly an extension of a graphic designer’s arm. On top of all of the specs and features that the mouse contains, it is also the preferred mouse of choice by our very own Jacob Cass. If you’re looking for a great gift, pick the one that already comes with a ringing endorsement.

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Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse – Use on Any Surface, Hyper-fast Scrolling, Ergonomic Shape,...


7,344 Reviews


Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse – Use on Any Surface, Hyper-fast Scrolling, Ergonomic Shape,…

Cross computer control: Game changing capacity to navigate seamlessly on 3 computers, and copy paste text, images, and files from 1 to the other using Logitech flowDual connectivity: Use with upto 3 Windows or Mac computers via included Unifying receiver or Bluetooth Smart wireless technologyAdvanced ergonomic design: Perfectly sculpted, hand crafted shape supports your hand and wrist in a comfortable, natural positionAuto shift scrolling: Speed adaptive scroll wheel auto shifts on the fly from click to click to hyper fast scrolling; Wireless operating distance: 10 mBattery: rechargeable Li-Po (500 mAh) battery. Rechargable battery: Upto 70 days of power on a single charge; Number of buttons: 7

$68.75

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra – $1049

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The best smartphone for creatives. Period.

Weight: 208g | Dimensions: 164.8mm x 77.2mm x 8.1mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.9-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3088 | CPU: Snapdragon 865+ | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 108MP + 12MP + 12MP | Front camera: 10MP

If you’re looking to buy a graphic designer a new phone for Christmas, you owe it to them to get the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra from Samsung. Cheap, it is not but for the money, it’s well worth the price. An amazing phone for creatives, they can scribble, draw, or even take notes throughout their day. Thanks to the removable S Pen stylus, all of this is possible. We haven’t even mentioned the camera yet – the Note 20 Ultra includes a versatile camera that is capable of shooting in 8K. All in all, you can’t pick a better phone.

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Samsung Electronics Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G Factory Unlocked Android Cell Phone, US Version, 128GB...


1,463 Reviews


Samsung Electronics Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G Factory Unlocked Android Cell Phone, US Version, 128GB…

S Pen & Samsung Notes: Pen precision meets PC power with S Pen & Samsung Notes; So responsive, it feels like you’re using a real pen; Jot notes, sketch ideas, then convert into Microsoft Word or…Intelligent Battery & Super Fast Charge: Adaptive power that meets your needs with an all-day intelligent battery that learns from how you work and play to optimize battery life; Plus, Super Fast…Display & Gaming: The best Galaxy mobile gaming and display experience yet; With a breathtaking screen refresh rate, adaptive Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, Galaxy 5G support & advanced processor, you get…HyperFast Processor: Multitask with Samsung’s fastest Note processor yet; Hyperfast process speeds transform your gaming and binging with less interruption; Catch every idea, knockout work, score…Point to share: With point to share technology, you can share information directly with other compatible Samsung devices; Simply select the pictures, videos or documents you want to share, then point…

$1,240.56

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AmazonBasics Backpack – $33

AmazonBasics Backpack

Their very own Santa’s sack

Material: Canvas| Size: Fits up to a 17-inch laptop

Our Christmas list features a lot of tech and they’re gonna need something reliable to lug that around every day. Made from a lightweight canvas, the Basics Backpack from Amazon is a quality backpack with enough room for all of their stuff. A padded back helps keep things comfortable while padded straps keep the pressure off their shoulders. While it may not be as high-tech as some other options that are out there, the combination of price and quality that only Amazon can offer makes this a must buy.

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AmazonBasics Travel 17 Inch Laptop Computer Backpack


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AmazonBasics Travel 17 Inch Laptop Computer Backpack

Multi-compartment laptop backpack equipped with one large packing compartment, separate laptop compartment, tablet holder, and front pocket organizerFits most 17-inch laptops; separate padded laptop compartment with zippered side entry for easy access and velcro strap to keep laptop in placeBuilt-in padded tablet holder next to the laptop compartment for easy storage; fits iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, Google Nexus 9, Amazon Fire HDX, and other tablets up to 12 inchesPadded shoulder straps and back padding offer extra back support and comfort; top loop handle for a secure hold when picking up or moving the backpackInternal cell phone pouch with headphone port; water bottle pouches; removable key ring

$31.10

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Apple iMac Pro 27″ with 5K Retina Display – $8199

Apple iMac Pro

The “Great White Buffalo” of Christmas gifts

CPU: 8 to 18-core Intel Xeon W | Graphics: Radeon Pro Vega 56 – Radeon Pro Vega 64 | RAM: 32GB – 256GB DDR4 ECC | Screen: 27-inch 5K (5,120 x 2,880) Retina display (P3 wide color) | Storage: 1TB – 4TB PCIe 3.0 SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 65 x 20.3 x 51.6cm

If your goal at Christmas is to wow the person you’re buying a gift for, then you can ignore all the other options on our list and pay attention to this right here. The iMac Pro from Apple is at the top of the mountain when it comes to workstations for creatives. Not only does it boast a 27-inch 5K display that looks insanely gorgeous but has the most powerful hardware inside that Apple could fit. While all that is impressive, so is the price. So if you’re really thinking about wowing someone not only this year but for the next few years, get them the Rolls Royce of computers.

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Apple iMac Pro 27' with 5K Retina Display; 3.0GHz 10-Core Intel Xeon W, 128GB RAM, 2TB SSD, Radeon...


Apple iMac Pro 27″ with 5K Retina Display; 3.0GHz 10-Core Intel Xeon W, 128GB RAM, 2TB SSD, Radeon…

Apple 27″ iMac Pro with Retina 5K Display (Late 2017) – Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (Space Gray) – Magic Mouse 2 (Space Gray) – Lightning to USB Cable – Power Cord – Apple 1 Year Warranty (90…Operating System: macOSProcessor: Intel Xeon W 10-Core 3.0GHz (turbo 4.5GHz) 23.75MB cacheMemory: 128GB DDR4 SDRAM 2666 MHz ECCAvailable Memory Slots: None

$8,199.00

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reMarkable Paper Tablet Digital Notepad and e-Reader – $444

reMarkable Paper Tablet Digital Notepad and e-Reader

The best gift for a bookworm

If you know an avid reader who loves technology, then the reMarkable Paper Tablet Digital Notepad and e-Reader may be the perfect choice for them. While it’s a little more expensive than a Kindle or Fire, the reMarkable comes with 100,000 pages that they can use to sketch, write, and scribble all of their notes for their latest projects. On top of that, the pages feel like real paper, reducing any discomfort that someone may have switched from a pad of paper. Plus, they can read their favorite books on it as well. Which makes our next gift even better.

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reMarkable - The Paper Tablet - 10.3' Digital Notepad, Paper-Feel with Low Latency and Glare-Free...


275 Reviews


reMarkable – The Paper Tablet – 10.3″ Digital Notepad, Paper-Feel with Low Latency and Glare-Free…

The reMarkable paper tablet – a digital device for writing, reading & sketching that feels like paper.No other tablet in the world gives you an experience so close to paper as reMarkable.Here to replace your notebooks, printouts and documents. A groundbreaking device that changes how people work.Super low latency, 226 DPI CANVAS display. You’ve never experienced anything like the CANVAS display.In the box: reMarkable, Marker, 8 extra Marker tips and charging cable. Original reMarkable Folio (sleeve) NOT included.

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Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull – $19

Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmul

Best gift for a graphic designer stuck in a rut

Ever heard of Pixar? You know, that little animation company that every movie they’ve made has been gold? Ed Catmull, one of the co-founders of the company, has authored a book that should be read by anyone whose goal in their work is originality. The book takes a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at Pixar and at its heart, it is a book about the creative process and how those ideas and practices make the best in us possible.

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Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration


2,673 Reviews


Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

Creativity IncHardcover BookCatmull, Ed (Author)English (Publication Language)368 Pages – 04/08/2014 (Publication Date) – Random House (Publisher)

$19.15

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Apple iPad Air 4 – $599

Apple iPad Air 4

The iPad Pro in Air form

Weight: 458g | Dimensions: 247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1mm | OS: iPadOS 14 | Screen size: 10.9-inch | Resolution: 1640 x 2360 pixels | CPU: A14 Bionic | Storage: 64GB/256GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP

The newest version of the iPad Air is an iPad Pro in sheep’s clothing. Although it has a cheaper price than the Pro, it certainly resembles one with its all-screen front and like the iPad Pro, it supports the second-generation Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard. The internal chipset, the A14, is the same one that is in the new iPhone 12 and actually newer than what is currently in the iPad Pro. With four powerful speakers, a decent screen, and good battery life, the iPad Air is a great tablet, plus it comes in a wide range of colors. Something the iPad Pro definitely does not do.

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New Apple iPad Air (10.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB) - Sky Blue (Latest Model, 4th Generation)


319 Reviews


New Apple iPad Air (10.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB) – Sky Blue (Latest Model, 4th Generation)

Stunning 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone and P3 wide colorA14 Bionic chip with Neural EngineTouch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay12MP back camera, 7MP FaceTime HD front cameraAvailable in Silver, Space Gray, Rose Gold, Green, and Sky Blue

$599.00

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Herman Miller Aeron – $1919

Herman Miller Aeron

A throne fit for a king

While the world of office chairs comes with many options that a graphic designer can choose to sit in, the one that we keep coming back to is the Aeron by Herman Miller. The mesh design and clean design lines that contour to a person’s body makes this chair a thing of beauty. Made to be 94% recyclable, the Aeron comes with a wide variety of customization options. Even though it was originally released 26 years ago, it still stands as one of the best chairs ever made.

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Herman Miller Aeron Ergonomic Chair - Size C, Graphite


419 Reviews


Herman Miller Aeron Ergonomic Chair – Size C, Graphite

Your purchase includes One Herman Miller Aeron Ergonomic Chair – Size C, graphite colorChair dimensions: 43″ H x 28.25″ W x 18.5″ D. Seat heights: 16”-20.5”.Tilt Limiter lets you set the recline range at one of three postures. Tension control lets you adjust the amount of effort needed to recline comfortably. Seat Angle Adjustment changes seat angle from…Try the Adjustable PostureFit Sacral/Lumbar support. Two individual pads flex independently and can be adjust to fit the curve of your spineFully Adjustable Arms adjust from a height of 6.8” above the seat to 10.8 inches above the seat, slide backward and forward over a range of 2.5 inches, pivot 15 degrees outward and 17.5 degrees…

$1,919.98

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Microsoft Surface Book 2 – $1940

Microsoft Surface Book 2

The ultimate laptop for graphic designers

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15-inch PixelSense (3240×2160) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

While it’s not the newest iteration of the Microsoft Surface Book series, Book 2 is an incredible 2-in-1 laptop. Perfect for any designer who also draws, the Intel quad-core Coffee Lake processor and 16GB of RAM make this laptop incredibly powerful and fast. The versatility of Book 2 is where it shines. Use it as an editing workstation on the go or detach the screen to use it as a tablet. While the newest version has all the latest bells and whistles, Book 2 is a great choice at a significantly cheaper price.

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Microsoft Surface Book 2 15' (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256 GB)


845 Reviews


Microsoft Surface Book 2 15″ (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256 GB)

Microsoft Surface Book 2 Features a 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7 Processor, 256 GB of storage, 16 GB RAM, and up to 17 hours of video playbackEnhanced Graphics performance with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 discrete GPU w/6GB GDDR5 Graphics MemoryThe fastest Surface Book yet, with 4x more powerVibrant PixelSense Display: Now available with a new 15″ touchscreenFour versatile modes of use and new USB C port; Contrast ratio: 1600:1

$1,875.00

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LED Word Clock – $99

LED Word Clock

The perfect quirky gift this holiday season

We’ll just come out and say it – graphic designers can be a bit quirky and what’s better than getting them a gift that’s not only unique but can also appeal to their quirkiness. The LED Word Clock is a great gift for someone who likes to decorate their home office a little differently. While it doesn’t tell the exact time, it is pretty close but the gift isn’t about the accuracy. It’s about style and if you know a graphic designer with a unique sense of style, this will go over big.

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LED Word Clock - Displays Time as Text - Powered by AC Adapter (12' x 12' Aluminum)


519 Reviews


LED Word Clock – Displays Time as Text – Powered by AC Adapter (12″ x 12″ Aluminum)

Forget numbers, this unique clock has a matrix of words which are selectively highlighted to display the correct time.The time is displayed as text in five minute intervals, with 4 LED ■ Indicating the minutesBeautiful Aluminum Clock Face, Wall mount or desktop with built-in stand.NEW! Brightness Adjustment: Set the Clock Brightness on Low to use in a bedroom at nightDimensions: 12” x 12” – Includes AC adapter/ Unit will operate on AC power only

$99.95

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Best Christmas Gifts for Designers in 2020

While our choices may not fit all of the names on your gift list this year, we think that if you decide to choose one of the gifts we featured as the best gift for graphic designers, there will be a lot of smiles on Christmas morning.

Happy Holidays!

Cover photo by Gareth Wood

The post Best Christmas Gifts for Designers in 2020 first appeared on JUST™ Creative.

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8 Graphic Design & Branding Services for Musicians, Bands & Artists

This article has been contributed by Nick Voorhees.

It’s no secret that social media is over-saturated with competing interests ruthlessly seeking attention. An unfathomable amount of new posts are uploaded every second and most of us mindlessly scroll while our minds are elsewhere.

Like any other business owner, musicians, music producers, DJs and other music creators are forced to navigate these oversaturated waters that are essentially a popularity contest. The music industry has reached a point where branding can create a more successful career than the music itself.

Standing out in a unique way is more crucial now than ever, which has led many musicians down the path of working with visual artists.

The demand for talented graphic designers is at an all-time high because of the large range of services that are needed to create an unforgettable brand. However, it can be hard to know exactly what music creators need and how to connect with them.

There are many ways to find clients in the music industry, and some services are starting to gain more popularity, especially during the pandemic.

1. Cover Art

Unfortunately, people are judged by their covers

Mood album cover by graphic designer

Image source: amazon.com

“Mood” by 24KGOLDN and Iann Dior has generated around 36 million streams on Spotify this year, which means listeners have seen this album cover 36 million times – much to the graphic designer’s advantage. It’s no surprise that many music producers take album art seriously because it will forever be associated with their brand.

Album covers are the most commonly used promotional tool in a music artist’s toolbox. For every song release, the album cover is a powerful resource that can be utilized to capture the attention of the public. A professionally made album cover increases the likelihood that fans and potential fans stop what they’re doing to press play.

The design needs to reinforce the music creator’s brand in an eye-catching, relevant and honest way. If music creators can find a graphic designer that can help them produce a cover that is both original and demands attention, they have won half the battle to create a successful career.

If you’re a graphic designer that wants to sell cover art, check out Melody Nest. You can sell pre-made album cover art as well as custom covers to music creators that have song releases coming up.

Pro tip: Motion cover art has become widely popular on Instagram and many artists post 5-10 second videos with visual effects layered on top of their previously-made cover art. Lots of musicians are willing to pay a small additional fee for this service, so be sure to upsell!

2. Logos & Branding

Musicians have a deep desire to be famous

Music artists' logos

Image source: edmtunes.com

If you’re a true music fan, it’s probably easy to conjure up images of the logos of your favorite musicians. Logo recognition is an integral part of being a true fan because it makes you proud that you even know what it looks like.

An easily recognizable logo is integral to the careers of many music creators’ careers. According to soundplate.com, having a unique and powerful brand image makes musicians “more desirable for bookings, help you shift merchandise and make your online music profiles look much more professional.”

Music logos appear across a range of mediums, including:

live event posters,
merchandise,
social media,
music streaming services and
music videos.

In all honesty, musicians can at times be oblivious to what they want in the first place when they approach designers for a logo, so be prepared to be patient –– you’ll make a lot more sales if you remain calm and collected. If you’re able to create magic, musicians will love you for it and will want to share and post your work everywhere.

If you want to find immediate access to musicians to work with, AirGigs, Melody Nest and Upwork provide options for graphic designers to sell logos to musicians, music producers and DJs.

3. Photoshopped Images

Give their fans something to share

Photoshopped images for musicians' social media

Artist credit: Downlink

Since the majority of musicians need content to post on their social media accounts every day, they need new and creative ways to do it. A great way to stand out from other artists is with images like the one pictured above. Obviously, not everything shared on an artist’s platform will be created by a graphic designer, but they will need more than just cover art and a logo to share with their fans.

Lots of music creators commission artists to edit photos to give their fans a taste of how they want to be portrayed. Artwork like this is very popular in the electronic dance music realm, and DJs love to share visually captivating posts of themselves –– their fans eat it up.

It’s important to remember that each genre in music has a unique aesthetic and visual appeal that’s original to the style of music. Even two styles of similarly aggressive music can have completely different looks. If you’re not sure how to figure this out, make sure to get your client to send you plenty of references.

If you’re willing to conduct business via social media, Instagram is a great way to get this done. Search for tags like #electronicmusic, #musicproducer or anything similar and find artists that post these kinds of edited photos. You may land clients just through a few cold messages.

4. Music Visualizers

Keep listeners entertained

Music visualizer designed by graphic designer for YouTube channel

Image source: ondesoft.com

For those that aren’t really sure what these are, music visualizers, or audio visualizers, are animated videos with visual effects that react and change to the sounds of a song, creating a pleasant experience for the listener. Visualizers are a great alternative to music videos because they are far less expensive.

On YouTube, visualizers have become extremely popular with channels in all types of genres, especially EDM. With the fast growth of electronic dance music, there are many high-profile channels on YouTube with millions of subscribers that use captivating visualizers to keep their fans listening to their channels for longer periods of time. Here are a few worth checking out:

Trap Nation
SuicideSheep
Proximity
UKF

If you’re a graphic designer that has any experience with Adobe After-Effects or other video editing software, then creating interesting visual effects to sync along to music is something that’s worth exploring. Music visualization is a lucrative market that has remained quiet in the mainstream for reasons that still seem unclear, so now is the time to jump right in.

Related: 40 to70% off Adobe Creative Cloud

Oddly enough, Fiverr generates a lot of business for music visualizers. Obviously, they are known for offering “cheaper” work, but there are a good amount of graphic designers charging fair prices and landing a lot of sales. They seem to be the only marketplace online currently selling music visualizers.

5. Lyric Videos

Make lyrics look good

Many artists reach for lyric videos instead of visualizers or music videos for some music releases, like Katy Perry’s Firework . Lyric videos are a bit like a music visualizer but the designer will add in the artist’s lyrics in clever and eye-catching ways.

If you haven’t made a lyric video, below are some helpful tips:

Listen to the song a few times to understand the mood
Google the type of music to learn more about the aesthetic of the genre
Have your artist gather images they want to use
Use the artist’s lyrics as inspiration for fonts, colors, etc
Constantly send updated versions to musicians (a lot of them are extreme perfectionists)

Fiverr is a good choice for lyric videos, but there are plenty of options that you can find in Facebook groups where artists will post queries looking to create these animated videos. If you search for groups like “music producers”, you can find people asking and inquiring for design services.

6. Merchandise Design

Sell out of merch at every show

Music band's merchandise clothing

Artist credit: Illenium Clothing

All great artists have merchandise – whether it’s hats, shirts, jerseys, socks, sweatshirts ot stickers. Many musicians make a substantial amount of their total income selling merchandise at shows and online, so it’s critical to have great design work. This is especially important for larger acts.

According to Tone Deaf, “nowadays, touring artists earn between 10-35% of their revenue through merch sales… the very biggest names bring in $300,000 to $400,000 USD per year.” Merchandise sales fall right under touring as the most lucrative aspect of being a professional musician.

Musicians want to create imagery that not only represents their brand, but something that will sell. So, if you’re talented in both design and marketing, you can really hit a home run by approaching artists both large and small with a few mock-ups (even if they didn’t ask for it) and see if they bite. If what you have is amazing, they may just buy it from you.

Design Hill makes it easy to pitch your work to musicians to help them create their merchandise. Otherwise, create original work and start sending emails!

7. Video Editing (YouTube)

Bring originality to their subscribers

Video editing on desktop computer

Many music artists release videos on various social media channels to increase their brand exposure and generate engagement. As well as the expected music-related videos, some artists have branched out into content like tutorials, tips and tricks, journaling and funny clips.

If they have a lot of subscribers on their channel, they’ll be open to inquiries from good designers to help them broaden their content. If video editing is your wheelhouse, use YouTube and Instagram to find music creators who could use the help of an editor, and reach out to them directly.

Keep an eye out for musicians creating tutorial or educational videos that are of a lower editing quality and send a message to them asking if they’d like help. Music creators will most likely be receptive at some point, so getting yourself known to them at the beginning is a good choice.

Pro tip: Try to find musicians gaining traction as they will generally be the most excited to get some extra help.

8. Social Media and Music Streaming Banners

Consistency is key

SoundCloud banner

Artist credit: Cloudsz

For platforms like SoundCloud, Mixcloud and Facebook, instant visual appeal is mandatory for serious music artists. Great banners are sought after on these platforms because that’s where a musician’s music lives. They want their music’s home to be not only auditorily amazing, but visually stunning as well.

As you can see from the photo above, the circle with the usual Soundcloud profile picture on the left blends into the banner. This is the standard layout for any successful artist or upcoming artist on Soundcloud, so many hire a professional for this job. Usually, musicians hire the designers that made their cover art, so to get your foot in the door, start selling album covers! Offering bundle packages is a good way to upsell.

Conclusion

To really stand out and find clients on any of these platforms, it’s all about having something special to offer. There are countless sellers that all have the same goal in mind… and that is to sell. In order to separate yourself in these competitive landscapes, you have to offer more value than the rest.

One way you can set yourself apart is to provide free samples to potential buyers. To be clear, I am not advocating for accepting jobs for free. But if you’re contacted on freelance platforms and a musician is describing something they need, surprising them with a mock-up without them even asking will immediately pull your potential buyer in.

You can also choose to be receptive and engage with potential buyers for an extended period of time. Ask a potential buyer a lot of questions and get them to talk about their project – musicians often love to discuss their visions anyway. The more a musician speaks with you, the better chance you have at working together.

If you’re looking to sell on social media, rather than reaching out to prospective clients with your pre-made portfolio work, reach out with a design specifically tailored for them. You don’t need to spend hours creating it, but something that showcases that it was made specifically for the target buyer, and only them, will open the door to meaningful dialogue and lead to a mutually beneficial experience.

Provide true value and you’ll do great things.

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About the author: Nick Voorhees is a drum and bass music producer and the owner of the musician freelance platform Melody Nest. He is a graduate of University of California, Santa Cruz, Icon Collective College of Music, and has been working in the music industry for almost a decade.  

The post 8 Graphic Design & Branding Services for Musicians, Bands & Artists first appeared on JUST™ Creative.

Read more: justcreative.com