Q & A: Designing Online for Beginners, Graphic Designers, Amateur Photographers, and Writers

Q & A: Designing Online for Beginners, Graphic Designers, Amateur Photographers, and Writers by Eve PenmanThanks to @mastersquill on Instagram (a.k.a. David Nelson) for reaching out to me with some questions about my design work! πŸŽ†

I wanted to share the information on my blog in case anyone else had similar curiosities; if anything is unclear, please leave questions in the comments or email them to me here. πŸ“§

> I am most curious about how you found vendors; 
> Do you do all the art; 
> Do you ship products or do the vendors; 
> Do you use PayPal or another collection system? 

> I never had to look for vendors, and I have never talked to the vendors who make the items in my stores. πŸ‘

> A few years ago I did an online search in the hopes of figuring out what else I could do with my photographs, instead of printing them to sell since that wasn't an option and not what I really wanted to do; I can't remember the words I used in my search, but I discovered Zazzle in the process and that was where I started my first shop, Prose & Pix. 🎈

> I now have a couple stores at Zazzle, as well as stores at RedBubble, Society6, TeePublic, and Fine Art America. πŸŽ‰

> I have no contact with the vendors, 
> I ship nothing, 
> I handle nothing, and 
> I do absolutely nothing with production. πŸ‘

> Load my image files into the online store interface, 
> Design products for my stores, 
> Promote my creations via social media, and 
> Collect the payments through PayPal when products sell. πŸ‘


> As far as the artwork on my products, it is a mix: I do my own digital photography with use of the online photo editor app Ribbet; the graphic designs are public domain clip art that I use to create new designs, often by incorporating typography with witty sayings that I enjoy writing. πŸ“·πŸŽ¨✏

> When a buyer makes a purchase online, it is the vendors who do all the production, handling, and shipping; the online store is the middleman who brings vendors, designers, and customers together (Zazzle, etc.); the online store is the entity that pays the designers their portion of the sale (payment settings vary by site). πŸ’²

> All the sites I use take PayPal, and some sites have other payment options but I am not sure about specifics; PayPal is all that is needed, though, to set up a store and receive payment through any of the sites discussed in this article. πŸ’

> There are no contracts on the sites I use; plus, customers do not have to be members to shop or browse the stores. πŸ‘

> There are other sites that offer the same services, such as CafePress; so do a search to see what else is out there since all sites are different. πŸ”

> Zazzle, RedBubble, and TeePublic are free and charge no money to set up a store as a designer, so I recommend starting with a free account at one of those sites; Society6 charges $1 and Fine Art America is free for the first 25 images. All the sites offer the same services, in that once your account is set up you will then have access to site-specific learning tools to help you build stores, design and promote products, and everything else you most likely have questions about. πŸ‘

I hope these answers help David and anyone else who is interested in starting an online shop. πŸ’

I believe one of the best ways to learn is through hands-on application, trial and error, especially when it costs nothing but time. So, throw yourself into the fray and go set up an account at a site of your choice; follow the information they provide to begin testing the waters and let me know how it goes. 
~ Eve Penman 🌸🌺🌸

Feel free to visit my shops for examples, and also explore the sites to see what other creators do in their shops @ Fine Art America, RedBubble, Society6, TeePublic, and Zazzle.



  1. You've done it, Eve...answered all my questions simply and thoroughly. Thank you so much. I now have my sailing orders and plan to weigh anchor soon. I will keep you posted as I navigate the online waters.

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