Saturday, October 15, 2011

Marian Cates

Store Name
Marian Cates
How has zazzle changed your life? *

To a large extent, my life revolves around my Zazzle shops. I'm primarily a writer but have always loved art. My mother was a painter and graphic designer. She taught me how to draw when I was a young girl and drawing was my primary hobby all the way through college and into my twenties, when I added painting with acrylics, pastels, and colored pens, as well as textile arts. Then I got so caught up in my writing that I let my artwork drop. Becoming a Zazzle artist and shopkeeper helped me rediscover the joy of creating art and led me to expand my artwork into digital painting, as well as graphic and text design.

Zazzle is a... *
  • Part Time Job
What advice would you share with a friend or family member if they wanted to join zazzle? *

How you go about setting up your shop(s) depends on the kind of person you are. I wrote an article for HubPages on this subject, because it's so interesting to compare all the various approaches one can take. I'm a jump-into-the-deep-end kind of person, so I just dived right in and learned from doing. This has its pros and cons, as I was (and, to a certain extent, still am) always playing catch-up on the technical aspects of shopkeeping. But the advantage to just diving in is that you are immediately involved in the creative and artistic side of shopkeeping. And that's what is most important to me. For those who have a more reasoned approach to life, starting out with Zazzle's tutorials might be the best approach. Then you will grasp the technical elements first. Whatever approach you take, my advice is to just do it! That's the only way you'll find out if online shopkeeping is for you. And, last but not least, yo u'll most likely have to market your shops through all the available venues, including blogs, e-zines, online writing that's related to your shops, and social networking. At first, this can seem a daunting task. But as you become accustomed to marketing, it becomes simply an extension of your shop work and a way to share with others what brings you fulfillment and joy.

What other PODs do you use? *
  • Zazzle
  • Fine Art America
  • Imagekind (by Cafepress)
What do you do when you are not zazzling? *

I'm a writer and publish online on HubPages and in my e-zine Art-Online. I'm also a novelist, short story writer, and songwriter. My greatest joy is writing musicals, for which I write the script, the music and the lyrics. I love reading, particularly audiobooks and am taking the first steps toward becoming an audiobook narrator. I email a lot, with personal friends and my online colleagues. I watch streaming TV and movies on Netflix. And last, but not least, I have an adorable Miniature Poodle named Albemarle, nicknamed Albie, who is the light of my life and with whom I converse all through the day. In the evening, he takes me for walks. As an added plus, he gives me the opportunity to supply him, day and night, with dog treats and morsels of food from my own plate. What a champ!

How many stores do you have on zazzle? *
Which do you prefer and why? 1 Mega Store or Several Niche Stores *

I prefer having a series of niche stores. They're easier for me to organize than a single mega-store and simpler to market, as each one has a particular theme. Since I'm very visual, I find working on varied shops refreshing. My shops focus on a variety of niches – dogs, cats and wild animals; Victorian America; Bonsai trees and Haiku verses; special occasions, holidays, and Scottish Clans; and kids games and toys, card games, and humor. I also have a shop in which I offer matching stationery, posters and prints of the paintings and photos that I showcase in my online studio, "Ocicat Studio."

I usually work... *
  • On my laptop in bed
A List of your stores *

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