New Website Helps You Produce and Ship Small Runs of Custom Designed Apparel

DESIGNERS. ARTISTS. The vPersonalize.com website enables designers to visualize, produce, and deliver small batches of their exclusive designs of apparel and accessories. Or, artists can promote and/or monetize some of their works by converting them into merchandise. You can preview your creations in 3D in the chosen style and size before approving it for manufacturing.

Right now, you can decorate more than 30 products including T-shirts, tunics, shorts, backpacks, dresses, scarves, trousers, and messenger bags. Sell the items through Etsy or on your own website.

“One of the barriers for emerging designers has been access to an easy and affordable manufacturing platform,” says Lee Hagelshaw, co-founder and CFO for vPersonalize.com. With vPersonalize.com, you can produce designs under your own label and have them shipped direct to customers, without having to pay for a larger run from a manufacturer and being stuck with excess inventory.” And like e-books, no design ever goes ‘out of print’ because all products are made on-demand.

vPersonalize

“We have continually improved our platform. Features such as advanced error checking point out any problems in visual design. Auto-fit, mirror and clone functions make it much easier for any creative individual to design professional looking products,” says Bala Selvarajan, Co-Founder and Chief Technologist for vPersonalize.com. “We have also added a much requested feature from designers – the ability to select and reorder their older designs.”

As a pioneer in full custom, design-your-own apparel and accessories, vPersonalize’s 3D visualization and automated pattern-generation technologies support custom sizes, full-bleed, all-overprints, custom styles and choice of fabrics.

LINKS

vPersonalize.com

Infographics of Sales and Seach Data Help 3D Model Designers

DESIGNERS. If one of your goals is to become a best-selling 3D artist, the team at the 3D model marketplace CGTrader has published some useful data about which models sell best, how to price your models to grow your sales, and which 3D modeling categories are the top selling.

The first two infographics in the series were:

Exclusive Data on How to Sell 3D Models

Exclusive Tips for Maximizing Your Income for Selling 3D Models

CGTrader is is a community-based 3D model marketplace that was founded in 2011 by 3D designer Marius Kalytis. His goal was to create a just and favorable online platform for 3D designers seeking a mutually-beneficial partnership. As a 3D artist himself, Kalytis knew about existing platforms that paid little thought to fair royalty system for users. So, Marius started his own business marketplace granting generous royalties to 3D artists and vowing to democratize the 3D modeling market. CGTrader has evolved into a community were designers help each other, buyers and sellers communicate, jobs are offered, and innovation is sparked.

“We focused entirely on empowering 3D designers by giving them all the support we could think of: helping them sell, share and improve their work, take custom jobs and choose their clients,” added Kalytis. “This is a kind of freedom that I was seeking for myself and that every artist deserves.”

The site has quickly grown to include more than 120,000 registered users and about 85,000 3D models for sale.

To help designers better understand what types of models people are looking for, here is CGTrader’s newest infographics about the most popular search terms in 2014.

CGTrader 2014 search infographic

LINK

About CGTrader

Designers to Show Styles Created with Digital Dye Sublimation During New York Fashion Week

With the announcement of their “Digital Couture” project, Epson is continuing to inspire creatives!

When Epson collaborated with world-class photographers, they helped make pigment-ink prints suitable for museum exhibitions of fine art photography. Epson StylusPro printers gave professional photographers greater control over how their enlarged prints would look.

Now Epson is showing fashion and textile designers some of the creative possibilities of top-quality dye-sublimation inkjet printing. During New York Fashion Week February 8-13, Epson will host a “Digital Couture” event.

Digital+Couture+Proyect+Final_midEpson is teaming up with 11 select fashion designers from New York, Los Angeles and Latin America to demonstrate how fashion and textile designers can use Epson SureColor F-Series dye-sublimation printing technology to bring their ideas and inspiration to life.

“We are excited for today’s fashion designers to bring their creative visions to fabric in new and versatile ways with advanced digital technologies during New York Fashion Week,” said Agustin Chacon, VP, subsidiary sales and operations, Epson America, Inc. “Epson’s dye-sublimination printing technology provides another level of creativity and functionality for young fashion entrepreneurs and well-established fashion brands looking to produce their in a more efficient and affordable manner.” In the dye-sublimation printing, designs and images are printed with specialized inks onto a transfer paper.

Epson SureColor F7170 dye-sublimation printer

Epson SureColor F7170 dye-sublimation printer

When the printed transfer paper and blank polyester fabrics are run through a heat transfer press, the Epson dye-sublimation inks on the paper permeate the surface of the fabric. The printed fabric retains its softness and wearability because the inks don’t sit stiffly on the surface of the garment.

Dye sublimation is already a popular method of decorating performance apparel for marathons, cycling races, and other sports events. The process is also used to make photo gifts, and custom-designed snowboards.

Epson SureColor F-Series dye sublimation printing technology offers designers a versatile, accessible, high-quality method of printing for printing short runs of polyester fabrics that can be cut and sewn into garments or sold for use in other textile goods.

In keeping with Epson’s proven expertise in image reproduction, the Epson SureColor F-Series are designed to produce sharp, vivid images with rich colors, intense blacks, and smooth gradations on fabric. This capability provides greater freedom and control in printing original designs that will define your signature style.

“Art + Fashion Meets Technology” Show in Las Vegas

At the 2014 SGIA Expo for digital printing businesses in Las Vegas, Epson hosted a poolside fashion show entitled “Art + Fashion Meets Technology.” Models showcased a collection of resortwear designs that were printed on demand on the SureColor F7170 64-inch dye-sublimation printers. CAWEpson Beachwear Fashion Show_Welcome The designs were brought to life under the guidance of Carol Yeager, the owner and creative director of MY Prints, a Los Angeles-based digital sublimation print house that prints fabrics for the apparel and movie industry.

Carol started her fashion career more than 10 years ago and has held Design Director and Merchandiser positions for leading garment/textile companies in Los Angeles. Her designs have been sold in major department and mass-retail stores, including Nordstrom, Macy’s Kohl’s, and Target. Yeager is known for her instincts in color and trend forecasting with technical knowledge.

Carol Yeager

Carol Yeager

For the “Art + Fashion Meets Technology” fashion show, Yeager said her goal was to create a visually graphic collection with vibrant colors and whimsical earthy elements. Her garment designs fused contemporary artwork by artist Sohail J. Coelho and fashion-forward silhouettes with the drape and movement of the sublimated fabric created with Epson’s advancements in dye sublimation.

“I love that there was a story behind each print,” said Yeager. “I designed swimsuits and cover-ups that would best showcase the prints as well as the beauty of the woman’s form. I kept the silhouettes refined and elegant.”

Garments featured in the show included geometric deep-V one-piece swimsuits paired with a colorful, maxi-length kimono for a poolside party, a graphic black-and-white athletic one-piece layered with a short, matching feminine cocoon kimono for a backyard barbecue, and a playful rash guard paired with a lotus flower bikini bottom for a surfer girl ready to catch a wave.

CAWEpson Dye Sub Garments_Solo 9

CAWEpson Dye Sub Garments_Solo 3

“I was very particular about the fabrics used to maintain the high-end look,” said Yeager. “Finding the right polyester fabric is key to maintaining a nice hand. The swimsuits were made from a Poly Spx swim fabric and the cover-ups and kimonos were made with a Poly sheer chiffon and Poly woven with a silk hand.”

Yeager said the beauty of digital dye sublimation is immediate gratification. The collection for the fashion show at SGIA Expo was designed, printed and sewn in less than a week: “With dye-sublimation printing, there really are no boundaries or restrictions to designing and executing prints. Samples can be printed within days of conception, and a collection can come to life in the fraction of time it used to take with old methods like pigment or wet printing.”

She believes the advances in dye-sublimation will change the way that apparel world can capitalize on speed-to-market trends. Eleven designers who are early adopters of digital sublimation printing will be featured at the “Digital Couture” event during New York Fashion Week. The designers include:

  • Ay Not Dead from Argentina
  • Pilar Briceño from Colombia
  • Dual from Costa Rica
  • ESOSA from New York City
  • Leonor Silva representing the Caribbean (Venezuela to Miami)
  • Elisa Guillén from Ecuador
  • Maggie Barry from Los Angeles
  • Marco Antonio Farías from Chile
  • Mariana Morrell from Brazil
  • Moah Saldaña from Peru
  • Pineda Covalin from Mexico

“Dye sublimation for textile applications is trending in Latin America. Many Latin American have been textile exporters for centuries,” said Catalina Frank, product manager for Epson Professional Imaging. Epson Latin America has participated in several fashion and textile-related events in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador.

“Incorporating dye-sublimation into some of the processes of fashion creation can help designers and manufacturers reduce overall operating costs,” said Frank. Dye sublimation makes it easier to produce one-offs, small limited editions, or short runs for proofing and merchandising.

“In addition, a company can reduce inventory levels, turnaround times, and offer versatility for cut-and-sew sublimation printing or blank garment sublimation printing.”

LINKS

Epson Pro Imaging

You Tube: Epson Ecuador Presents Fashion Show at Xpotex

You Tube: High-Performance Apparel Production with Epson SureColor F-Series Dye Sublimation

Starting Salaries for Creative and Marketing Pros Will Be Up About 3.5 Percent in 2015

The Robert Half 2015 Salary Guides show that U.S. starting salaries for professional occupations are projected to increase an average of 3.8 percent this year. Among all of the fields Robert Half researched, the largest expected gains in salaries are in technology. The average starting salary for a newly hired information technology worker will be up by about 5.7 percent. Accounting and finance and creative and marketing professionals can expect starting salaries to rise an average of 3.5 percent.

Salary_Guide_The_Creative_Group_2015The Creative Group’s 2015 Salary Guide lists starting salaries for more than 125 creative and marketing positions in five fields: design and production; interactive design and production; content development and management; advertising and marketing; and public relations.

Growth in the digital space, particularly mobile, is driving the demand for professionals such as digital marketing strategists and user-experience specialists. Businesses also seek content strategists, web designers and front-end web developers.

Specific job titles covered in the report include: content strategist, market researcher, blogger, copy editor, digital marketing strategist, illustrator, graphic designer, package designer, 3D modeler, video editor, web content writer, interactive art director, technical illustrator, and studio artist.

According to a section on 5 Trends Heating Up Hiring, “Talent is harder to come by. Hiring managers report that demand for top creative talent is outstripping supply in some cases. Candidates with strong portfolios and the right mix of technical and soft skills frequently field multiple offers….In addition to recruitment concerns, retention is becoming more of a priority.”

The Creative Group’s 2015 Salary Guide (“Moolah Palooza”) also says agencies and in-house departments are bringing in freelancers to help manage workloads and provide specialized skills that don’t exist internally.

Information in the Salary Guides is based on the thousands of job searches, negotiations and placements managed each year by Robert Half’s staffing and recruiting managers, along with the company’s ongoing surveys of executives. Continuing or ongoing salaries are not reported because many external factors — such as seniority, work ethic, job performance and training — impact the salaries of full-time professionals as work histories develop.

The Creative Group is a leader among creative and marketing staffing agencies. The firm specializes in connecting talented, creative professionals with companies looking to hire interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations talent. As the creative, and design staffing division of Robert Half, The Creative Group offers flexible solutions to meet companies’ project, contract-to-hire and full-time employment needs.

LINKS

Robert Half 2015 Salary Guides

The Creative Group 2015 Salary Guide: Moolah Palooza

Register for Free Thriving Artist Summit January 5-18, 2015

Thriving-Artist-Summit-Square-1-LargeArtist and designer Bonnie Glendinning is striving to empower artists while making art more accessible to a broader universe of buyers.

She founded The Thriving Artist Summit and Thriving Artist Academy to help you develop the business skills you need to build the type of art career you really want.

Bonnie is also the founder of Artmuse.com, an online, curated gallery that sells museum-quality prints to anyone who appreciates quality contemporary art but isn’t yet comfortable investing in higher-priced originals.

Thriving Artist Summit

The Thriving Artist Summit (January 5-18, 2015) is a free, online gathering designed to help artists, designers, and makers take their creative businesses to the next level. Through a series of hour-long interviews that Bonnie has conducted, artists, experts, and mentors will discuss how to:

  • build your brand for your ideal buyers
  • price for real profit and growth
  • increase sales marketing, PR, and social media
  • diversify into licensing, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sales
  • get into galleries and shows
  • raise project funds
  • develop your creative practice

Some of the artists, experts, and mentors who will be featured in the 2015 Thriving Artist Summit include:

  • Brand Strategist Shenee Howard
  • Photographer and Selfie Expert Vivienne McMaster
  • Agent, Author and Artist Lilla Rogers
  • Publisher Tom Morkes
  • Fine Artist and Illustrator Lisa Congdon
  • Mixed Media Artist Tamara Laporte
  • Jewelry Designer and Mentor Tracy Matthews
  • Business Strategist Tara Gentile
  • Teacher Karen Gunton
  • Artist Owen Garratt
  • Choreographer and Teacher Gina Morris
  • Writer Kristen Fischer
  • Artist and Designer Jessica Swift
  • Author and Teacher Samantha Bennett
  • Gallery Owner Jason Horejs
  • Marketing Mentor Ilse Benun
  • Art Marketing Advisor Barney Davey
  • Designer and Editor Jess Van Den
  • Business Strategist April Bowles-Onin
  • Artist Coach Gwenda Joyce
  • Indie Retail Expert Clare Yuille
  • Creative Business Coach Lisa Jacobs

If you are too busy to listen to the interviews during the first half of January, you can sign up to get a discount for purchasing the Summit audios for anytime access.

Artmuse

Through this online gallery of colorful modern art, art lovers can buy museum-quality, limited-edition art prints at prices starting at just $25 for the smallest size.

Bonnie Glendinning founded Artmuse.com in 2009 to help artists reach a wider audience and enable visitors to discover new artists. One of the gallery’s missions is to help build relationships between artists and collectors. As she explains in the guidelines for artist submissions: “We want buyers to learn about you as an artist, enjoy your art, and collect your art throughout your career.”

The site’s philosophy is to showcase contemporary art one artist at a time: “Art is to be savored, not consumed….We believe that the more collectors can learn about you the artist, the greater their interest will be in collecting your art.”

Artmuse looks for artists who are committed to their artistic vision, philosophy, and craft. While they aren’t seeking a specific style or medium, they do look for a “combined continuity of intention, inspiration, execution of an artistic vision, and perspective.” Your art should also work well in printed form. This typically includes drawing, mixed media, painting, photography or watercolors.

LINKS

The Thriving Artist Academy

The 2015 Thriving Artist Summit

Artmuse.com

Artmuse.com: Artist Submission Guidelines

Blog Post on The Thriving Artist: The Power of Possible Thinking

JWT’s Future 100 Report Highlights Trends to Watch in 2015

JWT Intelligence has released its annual report of 100 things to watch next year. Presented with a new look and format, the report is entitled “The Future 100: Trends: Trends and  Changes to Watch in 2015.”  The 100 trends are grouped into ten categories: culture, beauty, brands, food and drink, innovation, lifestyle, luxury, retail, sustainability, and technology.

As a freelance writer, I love reading this annual report because it helps me market my own services to editors and content publishers. Designers, artists, and photographers will also find many useful insights in this report.

JWT Intelligence can help you make sense of the rapid changes we’re seeing all around us. Some of the Future 100 trends will expand opportunities for creative professionals; other may require us to continue to adapt our services.

In the foreword, Lucie Greene, the worldwide director of JWT Intelligence, notes that “The ubiquity of the web has accelerated the pace of trends, the spread of information, and the sophistication of consumers.” As a result, consumer expectations and aspirations are shifting. She says, “Brands are expected to deliver experiences, be hyper-transparent, and achieve sustainability. They’re expected to produce beautifully designed products and environments. And they are increasingly expected to be societal leaders, benefactors, innovators, and philanthropists.”

Here are ten items in the Future 100 report that summarized and articulated some of the trends I have been noticing as I read through press releases:

Digital High Culture: Live streaming and digital technology are opening up high art to mass audiences in new ways.

Intellectual, Artistic Gaming: Gaming is evolving in multiple directions to appeal to new audiences, including the growing number of women gamers. Gaming mechanics are being used in everything from music videos to retail.

Experiential Public Space: The JWT analysts note that “Creatives are helping us explore the outside world with new multisensory experiences that augment nature and public spaces.” The streetscape is becoming a rich palette for interactive retail, location-sensitive games, and experiences.

Universal Intelligent Design: Consumers, particularly Millennials, expect good, intelligent design in everything from products to mass-market services. Stores, hotels, supermarkets, and fast-food restaurants are being reimagined with new looks.

Mass-Market Art-tail: Luxury brands aren’t the only ones seeking close ties to the art world. Mass-market brands are also aligning themselves with cutting-edge creatives.

Retooling for an Aging Workforce: There is rising appreciation of the strength and tenacity of older workers. Companies that have been strongly focused on Millennials will recognize the benefits of a mature workforce.

Airport Art and More: As more consumers become global travelers, airports are becoming hubs not only for retail, but for lifestyle and leisure as well. Airports are becoming venues for art, architecture, and gourmet food.

Me Brands. Millennial consumers are starting to think of themselves as brands, monetizing their online image through social media clout, micro-retail platforms, and YouTube. And they are using new platforms to become micro-entrepreneurs.

Professional Content Creation Goes Mobile: The latest smartphones enable consumers to become content creators and generators of entertainment and high-quality visual media. The increased technical capabilities of smartphones are taking over from traditional SLR cameras.

Third-Way Commerce: Consumers, particularly Millennials, are evaluating brands on their ethical behavior and sustainability. They are looking for companies with clear values.

JWTIntelligence defines itself as “a center for provocative thinking that focuses on identifying shifts in the global zeitgeist.” Its aim is to inspire ideas beyond brand, category, and consumer conventions, and to identify emerging opportunities that can be leveraged for business gain.

I have been following JWT’s lists of “Things to Watch” for several years now, and am impressed by how accurate their foresight has proven to be. In the Future 100 report,trend-spotters uses photos and examples to define each trend, and explain why they find the trend interesting.

LINKS

The Future 100: Trends and Change to Watch in 2015

Survey Shows Advertising and Marketing Execs Anticipate Increased Hiring in 2015

Creative professionals should see more hiring activity in the months ahead, according to new research from The Creative Group. One-third (33 percent) of advertising and marketing executives surveyed said they will expand their creative teams in the first half of 2015. This is up 21 points from six months ago. Fifty-six percent plan to maintain current staff levels in their organizations. Only 5 percent project hiring freezes and 6 percent expect to reduce the size of their staff

The national study was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on 400 telephone interviews — 200 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 200 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

Key Findings

  • Thirty-three percent of advertising and marketing executives interviewed plan to add new positions in the first half of 2015, up 21 points from six months ago.
  • Forty-one percent of advertising and marketing executives said it’s challenging to find skilled creative professionals today. Hiring managers at large advertising agencies (100+ employees) expect the greatest difficulty, with 59 percent of respondents who reported it is somewhat or very challenging.
  • Web design/production, social media, content marketing and brand/product management are the top areas executives plan to hire for during the first half of 2015.

“Customer experience drives many business strategies given the power of today’s consumer. As a result, companies are looking to refine every aspect of their offerings in the new year,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “In particular, in-house departments and agencies alike seek creative professionals who can help strengthen organizations’ online branding via compelling websites and real-time interaction with virtual communities.”

Marketing and Advertising Specialties in Demand

When executives were asked in which areas they plan to add staff in the first half of 2015, web design/production topped the list (28 percent), followed by social media (23 percent), and content marketing and brand/product management (19 percent each).

Marketing and advertising executives were asked, “In which of the following areas do you expect to hire in the first half of 2015?” Their responses:

  • Web design/production: 28%
  • Social media: 23%
  • Content marketing: 19%
  • Brand/product management: 19%
  • Media services: 18%
  • Print design/production: 17%
  • Marketing: 17%
  • Marketing research: 17%
  • Account services: 17%
  • Public relations: 12%
  • Creative/art direction: 12%
  • Mobile development: 11%
  • Copywriting: 8%

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group specializes in placing highly skilled interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals with a variety of firms on a project and full-time basis. Other resources that can be found on The Creative Group’s website include online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios, and TCG’s blog. Gain insights into the latest hiring and salary trends in the creative and marketing fields at The Creative Group’s Salary Center.

LINKS

The Creative Group

The Creative Group Salary Center

TCG_1214_Hiring-Climate