A New Kind of Canvas

I'm learning a lot from Facebook. In fact, it seems that I see more news updates on my FB wall than anywhere else. Then there are the hacks for just about everything. The word "hack" has taken on a new status the same way "likes" and "friended" have. I've taken to sending some of the posts to myself on Messenger just so I can dig them up when needed (like the one on cleaning an iron or drinking water with lemon and baking soda).

Of course I'm particularly drawn to the ones that have to do with the work I do. I'm always on the lookout for new techniques or new ways to get my art on something. So when I saw a sponsored ad by Vida, I naturally clicked on the link and found another way to get my artwork on something useful. I'm big on wearable art!

I have some designs on Zazzle, some fabric on Spoonflower and Patternbank, and I even dipped my toes a bit at the Society6 site. But Vida is different in that I can use a whole surface to get art on, not just a rectangular portion on the front or the back of a tee. The other sites do offer an option where the design is printed all over the tee or the leggings--they call it the sublimation process. There's even one site that puts your print on a dress except I keep thinking that it must be meant for people with no traces of fat anywhere or at the very least, for those whose curves are in all the right places. Personally, I feel it also has age-appropriateness issues.

After reading Vida's backstory and seeing the "canvas" options, I knew I just had to give it a whirl. There are specific design dimensions which they provide in a handy PDF you can download. The files will be large and uploading the high resolution designs can take a bit of time. The mockups are provided so you can adjust the size of your design as needed.

There is an artist's resource kit so for a fee, you can have your designs made and professionally photographed, put into a brochure, or even featured in the curated section of the website. I'm not ready for those, however, so I used the generic mockup for my first try at advertising my wares.

The design on the racer-back top is also on a wrap. I carved the rose and made some prints, scanned them, and recolored them digitally. The background was done in watercolor and finished the same way. I ordered the sheer wrap to see how the actual product will look like. The website says orders take 4-6 weeks because each piece is made on demand--the printing, sewing, and hand-finishing will take time unlike other sites where the design is printed on a ready-made product. It'll take a while so I'm hoping it will be worth the wait!

There are two tops I really like. One is the modern tee and the other is the sleeveless top. I created the goldfish digitally and used a background made by running a paintbrush with watercolor loosely all over a sketchbook page for the sleeveless top. Since the not all the mockups are good, I decided to make my own. 

I was going to use a photograph but decided to do an illustration instead. As a teen, I used to imitate the illustrations on the pattern catalogues of Butterick, Vogue, and Simplicity. That was a few lifetimes ago so I turned to Skillshare for help. I found a class by Elena Fay (which I highly recommend, by the way) and got started.

Showing a close-up of the print seemed to be a good thing to do so I included a swatch with the illustration. I posted the final version on FB and Instagram.

I've already carved stamps for a new design I have in mind. I'd like to do something in black and white that'll do nicely for both office and casual wear. We'll see how that goes =)

Being able to create the prints and seeing them on more than just a tee or fabric is fun and I really enjoy the whole process. Business and revenue-wise, I'm once again a tiny fish in a vast ocean. But hey, putting myself out there and exploring that vastness is better than griping about it and staying hidden. I'm taking's Dory's advice and keep on swimming!


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