Guest Author - Susan Alison
Some people find that just exercising their creativity is fulfilling enough for them. The 'doing' is what satisfies them and the end result isn't so important. Some people find that they need an end result that pleases them before they're happy with their creating. Some people need an end result that they feel they can give to friends and family as gifts. Yet others feel the need to sell their creations thereby earning back a bit of money to justify the time they've spent on them.
There are many different aspects to the expression of our creativity.
This article describes one outlet for our work for those of us who find greatest satisfaction in having a finished product that can go 'out there' and be seen by others and possibly purchased by them, too.
Greeting Card Universe is an online marketplace where you can create greeting cards from your own artwork - be it created with a brush or with a mouse or camera - and consumers can buy them. The cards don't exist until they're ordered ie this is a print on demand site. Follow their guidelines and the site works well; the cards are also of very high quality. If you like creating Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) or larger paintings, then they too can be transformed into greeting cards for this site - it doesn't have to be artwork that's been especially created as a greeting card.
So you can upload artwork that has already been created and scanned in to your computer - whether it's a painting or a collage. You can use photography and embellish it in Photoshop or some other image-editing software. The possibilities are endless. The guidelines are easy to follow and people on the forums very helpful should you have a query. (I always make my cards 5.1x7.1 inches before uploading them, in a jpeg file of less than 3.85mb, and I haven't had any problems, but I suspect we all have slight variations in our methods).
Below is 'Gottit!' and 'Pink becomes Her', originally painted as ATCs but just the sort of images I will be putting onto cards etc.
On this site the cards can be customized to say whatever the purchaser wishes to say to the recipient - but you can have a great time composing your own greetings and poetry to go in them. The customer can change that or delete it completely and replace it with their own words.
So you could design your own card, write your own verse for it, upload it, get it approved (because I'm sure it will be perfect) and then you could purchase it yourself and have it sent directly to the recipient of your wishes. And, of course, if other people buy it then you earn royalties on the sales.
You can set up your own shop, the forums are easy to use and the staff friendly and helpful.
All in all it's a great place to start if you want to get your creations 'out there'.
Below is a link to my store on GCU - I've only got about 300 cards on there so far, but I've had great fun building it up - there are paintings of dogs in various scenarios, and some of my non-dog photography, too.
click here for my shop on GCU