Anonymous said: Hi, so first of all this blog is really helpful thank you so much. Second of all I didnt see any posts on things such as plastic sleeves. I know a lot of artists use plastic sleeves and im not sure where to get them, or really anything else about them. Considering i dont have that much money i probably wont use them but just for future ref is a common source for acid-free print sleeves. They offer a variety of options depending on your specific needs! I personally use the safety-flap style, which has an adhesive strip on the bag rather than the flap so you don’t risk getting your print stuck to it. The same company also runs, which doesn’t have a minimum order but offers much worse per-unit prices.


A follow up to a previous post i made comparing Ink it Labs charms and Zap Creative Charms! Please see said post for full disclaimers. Yes I water marked them this time because the photos are quite high resolution so people can get a good idea of the quality of print and acrylic.

Recently I had the pleasure of seeing mojgon again at a convention and noticed she had gotten her charms remade. She confirmed that she got the new batch from Ink it Labs, so we now have this rare instance the same art from the two companies! Previously the comparisons have only been different art but same type of charm, this time we get a direct head to head comparison :O 

Note: There is a very small size discrepancy between the charms, I wasn’t paying attention when i took the pictures so it looks exaggerated. The real difference is only about 1mm-2mm when looking at edge to edge acrylic top to bottom.

Like before, mojgon is not affiliated with this review I am simply using charms i got from her. She has no input on these photos or what i write. Do NOT pester her unless she reblogs this / openly says she’ll take questions.

Anonymous said: [same anon] thank you!! And what type of file should I save them as? Like.. JPEG or TIFF etc...??



Unless the print shop requires a specific file format, a high-quality JPEG should be fine.

I work at a print shop and typically we prefer a good quality PDF since JPEGS lower the sharpness of most images.

JPEGS work well if they are really large, but PDFs are usually the way to go. (Although I do find that the colors of a PDF tend to be slightly darker than any other format.)

Interesting point! My experience with printing 300-600 DPI high quality JPEGs vs PDFs is that there isn’t a significant difference, and that PDFs tend to be a significantly larger file size due to being a lossless format. It is true, though, that if one is extremely concerned with sharpness and fidelity to the original file and/or isn’t concerned with file size then a lossless format such as PDF or TIFF is probably better. 

Tags: prints advice


Designing a vending space: yet another thing they never teach you in art school.

Most of what I’ve learned about attending cons as a vendor I have acquired through observation and trial and error.  There’s many factors to consider:

  • What will make my work most visible and accessible?
  • Will the display be too heavy to transport together with my wares/personal luggage?
  • Will this who thing collapse and kill me?

And then there’s things you can’t account for, like rude-ass convention-goers sitting/putting their food on your display (please don’t fucking do this! ever!) and generally making a mess of your perfectly organized table.

I would like to someday collect a bunch of resources on creating your vending space.  If you have any, please send them my way!

My latest trick has been the good ol’ pipes and clamps display. it’s secure,comparatively light, lets you build very high, and can also be customized to different table shapes.

Tags: Display

Anonymous said: How much money/different bills should I have on me at my table for change?

If there’s a bank in the immediate area then $100 in change split up into about 20 ones, 10 fives, and 5 tens should be sufficient. Play with this as you like, a lot of people just plain don’t bother with tens and more ones could be a good thing. I’ve found that at a con, you either have basically nothing but ones or you’re constantly running out of them - there is no in-between. When you’re running low on change you can take the large bills you’ve accumulated to the bank and exchange them for smaller bills. 

If there’s not a bank close to the convention then it would probably be better to bring ~$75 change per day the con lasts. Go heavy on the ones in this case, because running out of them can be disastrous. 

Anonymous said: [same anon] thank you!! And what type of file should I save them as? Like.. JPEG or TIFF etc...??

Unless the print shop requires a specific file format, a high-quality JPEG should be fine.

Anonymous said: How do I prepare my images/drawings to be printed at a print store? Like large prints, small keychains, etc.

Different print shops have different preferences, so it’s good to check with them first. You’ll always want to make sure that the file is at print resolution, at least 300 pixels per inch. Some print shops require that the file already be converted to a CYMK colour profile, whereas some require that it is in RGB because they prefer to convert it themselves. Either way, you should check over your images to make sure that there aren’t any colours that don’t work well when printed using CMYK inks. Bright reds are the worst culprit for that, but any very bright or flourescent looking colour won’t look nearly as good on paper as it does on your screen. Some print shops also require a specific file format and will charge a fee if your files are not in that format.

Catprint sticker semi-review

Just used Catprint for Animenext. Awesome for prints, VERY CONFUSING for custom stickers/labels. The site is is wishy washy when explaining the process and doesn’t mention you have to email them the dieline for where your stickers peel/cutout and NOT add them as a 3 page pdf file to your order like their site vaguely suggests, or just plainly doesn’t mention. (if you do that it triples the price b/c it thinks you’re printing 3 sheets instead of 1)

Also! When you’re emailing what you need printed, you may run into a lot of trouble with exporting files. For some reason the dieline I created in photoshop refused to work on their end (they say it kept dropping out?) and when I re-did the lines in illustrator like they requested, the dieline and images would not match up and it also acted as if I had saved it at 72dpi.

This is most likely be because I have no idea how to operate illustrator, and adobe never makes it easy to transition between their products, especially when it comes to document settings. 

EITHER WAY it was a pain in the butt and customer service didn’t tell me until it was too late that they had a designer I could pay 12 bucks to get them to make their own working dieline.

The sheets cost about a dollar each to print (25 sheets for 25.81 usd) and each sticker could sell for a dollar when cut out, sheets sell well (sized at 8.5” x 5.5”) priced for five dollars. Add the 12 for the designer fee and sheets cost 1.48 each to print so I think it’s worth it if you have to end up spending on the designer, especially when comparing prices to places like stickeryou (costs $15 for a single 8.5x11 sheet I think?).

They only offer one option - Label Paper Matte (60lb cover, white bg, smooth satin finish) but they’ll be good for making a profit.

Sadly I had to cancel my order because they mentioned too late about the designer and I didn’t have time to request samples (though I will now) so I didn’t get to see how exactly the come out, but I think they’d be good seeing as their regular printing came out great.

Side note their customer service is patient and AMAZING. I never had to wait more than 3 hours for an email reply, but they’ll usually reply back and forth relatively immediately. I was the one slow at replying which made our back and forth last like 6 days. I only wish they’d mentioned their designer could fix it sooner!


A little comparison shoot I did with some of my charms and charms i got at the a-kon artist alley~ Since a lot of people ask me what i use and if i knew anything about Zap. 


  • I personally use Ink it Labs and have written a review in the past. 
  • I have never used Zap Creatives, I only own charms that were produced by them via other artists.From what i hear from various people, their staff is very sweet though some times misleading in terms of shipping times or formatting standards. I can only speak to Ink it Lab’s service ^^;;
  • The other artists are not involved with this photoshoot/review/post at all. They do not support nor have any input on these pictures.Please DO NOT pester them unless they reblog this and let you!!

The Terra charm is from mojgon, she draws beautiful work and i’m 99% sure it’s a raster file. 

The Isabelle charm is my own, it is a vector file using spot colors

The Leafeon is from maridrawsdotcom , i believe it’s a vector file but NOT using spot colors.

My own notes:

  • The thickness of the acrylic seems identical, and colors are vibrant on all of them.
  • But the zap print quality is a bit weird, the white layer is very visible around the edge esp in back view (it’s visible in darker ink it charms as well sometimes, but not as much) and in some places seem to “escape” out and create a kind of drifting ink effect? You can spot it in the 3rd photo the easiest.
  • The edge of the charms of ink it labs is much clearer and soother, while the Zap ones are banded and have little cracks here and there.
  • Zap I believe does not offer any kind of gloss finish option, so the matte/shimmer is what you get? 

Zap Creatives IS some what cheaper than Ink it, but for myself I prefer the outcome of the Ink it Labs charms more. 

I do own several more charms from both companies from different artists in different styles, but they are currently attached to my phone which i used to take the pictures. If anyone has a burning question about other charms or what not I can take some time to remove them to photo them XD. 

Again, the artists of these charms are not connected to this post in any way, take that how you want!

Tags: charms

Anonymous said: Hello! I'm planning to make a storenvy, so I recently started looking into making products such as cosmetic bags (I always see amazing cosmetic bags on sale when I go to the Artist Alleys). I tried to see if any artist was willing to let me know where they order them, but I haven't had any luck;; I looked up online to see if there's a website, and I found a site called "Artscrow". There were mixed reviews on this site. Should I trust it? Or is there a better site? Thanks!

Artscow is the standard source for cosmetic bags in the Artist’s Alley. They can be a bit pricy, though, so it is best to wait for a sale and then order a bunch at once!

Tags: Anonymous Misc