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Nabaroo for Artists Review

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Jim Plaxco's Nabaroo Account
Jim Plaxco’s Nabaroo Account

A few days ago I received an invitation to join an online site for artists named Nabaroo. I had never heard of them but as stated in their email, Nabaroo is a new network for artists and I was being extended an invitation "based on your exceptional work." I regularly receive unsolicited invitations from businesses marketing one service or another. In fact I recently received an invitation from another online service for artists – that one being a print on demand site. In checking them out I decided that they were not a site that I wanted to do business with. You can read my review of their service in the article A Review of Selling Art on Artist Become (artistbe.com).

So I decided to give Nabaroo a look. In some respects, UI/UX for example, Nabaroo is similar to Pinterest. In other respects it is unique. It has a clean design and it is easy to create collections so you can organize your art into groups. They also make it very easy to add new content. Aside from being able to post/share your art and videos (in a process called nabbing), the site offers a Discussions feature and a Jobs section where artists can search for employment opportunities.

What I found particularly appealing, and unique, is Nabaroo’s Shop feature. When an artist shares their art on Nabaroo they are given the opportunity to add a link that directs viewers to the product page for that artwork, where ever that may be. Upon learning this I decided to do some fast data mining. I grabbed the first 500 artworks that showed up in my Buy Original Artwork from Nabaroo Artists stream. Following are the top print-on-demand/art products web sites that were linked to.

Online Vendor Artworks
society6.com 174
etsy.com 68
redbubble.com 37
inprnt.com 17
storenvy.com 17
saatchiart.com 11
crated.com 7
altitxde.com 6
displate.com 5
bigcartel.com 5
teepublic.com 5

I was surprised by the dominance of Society6. Notably absent from this list are such popular print-on-demand art print sites as Artflakes, CafePress, FineArtAmerica, Imagekind, and Zazzle. At this point I must offer the following supplementary information. The above is simply a count based on the number of artworks and not artists. For example, all of the 174 artworks for Society6 could have come from one artist. So these numbers should not be used to judge how popular a platform is with artists. I could have produced that number but the process of associating artists with individual artworks would have required much more work on my part. However, I can say that these 500 artworks came from 221 artists and that the number of artworks per artist ranged from 1 to 11 with an average of 2.26 artworks per artist. So it is safe to say that based on this information, it appears that the three most popular platforms for artists who are active on Nabaroo are Society6, Etsy, and Redbubble.

Also with respect to the above table, it is worth noting that a few of the artists, rather than linking to a product page, directed their "Buy on" link back to non-product web sites like their Facebook fan page or their Nabaroo account. I don’t know that this is a strategy that I would use but it is clearly an option.

Adding Art to Nabaroo

Adding art (or videos) to Nabaroo is quite simple. The dialog for adding (nabbing) art gives artists the option to either upload an image or video from their computer or from a web page (a very nice option). Artists are offered the following fields to describe their art/video:

  • caption – a text field for providing a description of the art
  • collection – a drop down list that allows an artist to add the art to a collection (or to simultaneously create a new collection to which the art will be added)
  • Buy on link – a field for providing a link to where the art can be bought
  • tags – tags for categorizing the art for improved searches

When adding (aka nabbing) art, you also have the option to share your nab on one or more social networks simultaneously.

My Nabaroo Account

In reviewing Nabaroo, I really like what I’ve seen and have created an account. While I have yet to really begin posting content you can see my account at:

Jim Plaxco’s Nabaroo Account

My only concern is with respect to their business model. At this time the site is free of advertisements and is free for artists to use. The only source of revenue I see is with respect to companies wanting to post job openings on the site – and even that is free for Nabaroo artists. As Nabaroo grows in popularity the site will require ever more computing resources to support that growth. I will be very curious to see what steps Nabaroo takes to generate the income they will need to pay their bills.

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Selling Art on Crated

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Jim Plaxco's Crated Portfolio
Jim Plaxco’s Crated Portfolio

Last friday I began selling open edition prints on crated.com. I initially uploaded only a few artworks while I got a feel for their workflow and researched the site. As an artist selling art, my initial experience with the site has been positive. As a part of my initial research into the site I’ve written a review about crated.com as a platform for selling art: Selling Art on Crated.com – A Review.

Since then I’ve added a few more artworks to my Crated portfolio and created several galleries. You can view my work at Jim Plaxco’s portfolio on Crated and if you are a member follow me as well.

If you are an artist investigating crated.com as a platform for selling art, you may find my article
Selling Art on Crated.com a useful addition to your research.

Following are the artworks that I have added to date on Crated.com. Clicking any picture will take you to that artwork’s page on Crated.


The 42 Million Pixel Shark digital painting
Nebular Connection digital painting
The Girl from Alpha Centauri digital painting
Digital generative painting of American author Edgar Allan Poe
Grecian Seaside Village digital painting
The Mirror in the Water is an abstract digital painting
Cape Cod Uninhabited digital painting
Sunset on the Marsh digital painting
Mistress Moon astronomical art
Hup Ho World cityscape painting of downtown Chicago

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A Redbubble Review and Free Wallpaper Art

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Warped Portrait of the Artist Damien Hirst
Warped Portrait of the Artist Damien Hirst

I set up an artist’s account on Redbubble a long time ago but confess to never having really used it. By chance I happened upon a link by an artist on Google+ to their Redbubble profile – at which time I decided to think critically about Redbubble as a selling platform and whether or not I should keep my account there. This led me to write up a review of Redbubble as a sales platform for artists. As a part of this review I thought it would be a good idea to upload some new artwork on the basis that this would help me with my review process. By coincidence I had just completed a new work of art using a 3D image painting program I had just finished writing. I decided to make that piece available as an open edition print on Redbubble as a part of my review process.

I originally intended to make my Redbubble review available here on my blog but judged it to be too long for a blog post. So I’m making it available as an article on my web site. You can find the review here:

Selling Art On Redbubble – A Review.

The review reflects my feelings about using Redbubble as a platform for monetizing my art. Spoiler Alert: my Redbubble review is a positive one. In fact the process of writing this review makes it more likely that I will become more active on Redbubble. My only negative issues were with regard to the profit potential for artists selling on Redbubble (addressed in the review) and that their web site is not mobile friendly.

Currently I have the following artworks for sale on Redbubble:

The Damien Hirst Illustration

I’ve illustrated this post with a small digital painting I just did of the artist Damien Hirst. I’m making a free wallpaper version available for anyone interested. Note that this is for personal, non-commercial use only.

Click here for the wallpaper version of Warped Portrait of the Artist Damien Hirst

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Grand Opening of Adobe Museum of Digital Media

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Adobe Museum of Digital Media
Adobe Museum of Digital Media Main Menu

Yesterday was the grand opening of the Adobe Museum of Digital Media and I was looking forward to my visit to this virtual museum of digital art. Arriving at the site – Adobe Museum of Digital Media – I found myself waiting for the museum to open in my browser. Unfortunately Adobe decided to implement their virtual museum as a completely Flash web site and that Flash file is really, really big. Even with my top of the line broadband internet connection, I had to wait some 45 seconds for the museum to open. A few browser reloads gave times in the 40-45 second range.

The museum opens with a city fly-around that focuses on the virtual museum building itself. This virtual building, a large white stylish futuristic looking building quite at odds with the surrounding cityscape, was designed by Italian Filippo Innocenti, an associate architect at Zaha Hadid Architect.

Adobe Museum of Digital Media Virtual Building
Adobe Museum of
Digital Media
Virtual Building

 

Upon completion of the fly-around the visitor is presented with three navigation options. One of these options is to see a message from the museum’s curator Tom Eccles, executive director and faculty member of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. The message is a brief introduction to the museum and the concept.

The second navigation option is to take a building tour. One of the sub-options, AMDM Cityscape allows you to replay the opening video. A second sub-option is Making the Impossible which opens a video describing the creation of the Adobe Museum of Digital Media with emphasis on the design of the virtual building that is meant to represent the museum.

The third navigation option is for the current exhibit. In terms of the actual art content, the current (and first and only) exhibit is Valley by Tony Oursler. I did not visit much of the exhibit because I did not find it to be particularly accessible from a user perspective.

There is also an option on various sub-pages to become a member by providing your email address and creating a user name. I joined as I am curious to observe how Adobe’s virtual museum evolves.

And Now – The Art Museum Review

My visit to the Adobe Museum of Digital Media was a disappointment. Not only does the initial page take an overly long time to load, but it also takes just as long for many of the sub-pages to load. In short, the site has a terrible time-to-content ratio – in fact the worst that I have ever experienced. Nor was I thrilled that the museum wound up kicking my laptop cooling fan into overdrive.

As to site navigation, at times it was not intuitively obvious where to click or where that click would take you. The flying eyeball that serves as your museum guide between the base pages was cool but only slowed things down more.

In conclusion, it looks like Adobe’s principal goal is to show off the virtual building they created to host the museum and to show off Flash’s visual capabilities. I think the public would have been better served if Adobe had concentrated on offering visitors a user friendly format in which to view digital art and to provide informative content in support of that art.

Visit the Adobe Museum of Digital Media

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