Graphic Design

To fill my shop, or not to fill my shop

I’ve had an Etsy shop (spoiler alert, it’s empty) for a while now that has changed as my interests have morphed. When I was in college, I was into making jewelry, so I started an online store to sell my jewelry and take custom orders (it wasn’t through Etsy, but the site no longer exists anyway). Now that I have a house and am far more interested in home improvement projects and other sorts of crafts, I rarely make jewelry. So when my jewelry listing expired, I didn’t renew them.

Nowadays, my interests fall under design: interior design/decorating and graphic design. It’s actually a little surprising to me that I was ever super into making jewelry since I wear almost none myself… but I digress. I do a good deal of graphic design at work and just got a drawing tablet from my hubby for Christmas that I’m pretty excited to learn how to use. So now I am toying the idea of filling my Etsy shop with some of the prints I’ve designed. I even went so far as to create a bunch of prints last year that I planned on listing. BUT, I’m super indecisive — or am I? … I can’t decide — and I can’t decide if it would be better to sell my prints as a PDF that a buyer could download and print on their own, or have them printed out and mail them to customers.

That’s my dilemma. There are pros and cons to each, but I welcome any thoughts! Do you own a shop where you sell prints? Do you sell them electronically or physical copies? If you are interested in buying a print (not necessarily from me — from anyone!), would you prefer they mail you one and you pay more, or to get the file and print it yourself?

OK, enough of me thinking out loud/in writing. Here’s are a few of the prints I created last year. I think they’d be adorable in a nursery. I can customize the background colors and swap out the animal name with a baby’s name.

The fox is my favorite.




I really love this little whale, too!


I’m excited to start using my drawing tablet to create even more fun prints. I hear it takes a long time to get used to it, but I’m up for the challenge.


8 thoughts on “To fill my shop, or not to fill my shop”

  1. I’ve been thinking about this lately too! I never really considered digital as I felt it could easily be sold on without your knowledge. Also if someone prints it themselves, they could have a bad quality printer and it won’t reflect your work to its best potential!

    If you’ve already got a shop, I say give it a go. Take baby steps and you’ve got nothing to loose!

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts! I really value getting feedback about this sort of thing.

      That was one of my biggest concerns with going digital — people downloading and then reselling without my knowledge. I think that’s the No. 1 thing holding me back from listing them as digital prints.

      If I sell as actual prints, which I think is the right thing to do, I need to figure out a good place to get things printed and whatnot. So that will take more work, but it’s probably the right avenue.

      Thanks again — and your blog is looking great so far. You are so talented! Really enjoyed reading your portfolio post and your drawings are incredible. I’ve never been a great drawer on real paper, but I love to create graphic drawings.

      1. You’re welcome !

        You could always print from a home printer if you have a good quality one and invest in good paper to start with? however it could end up being more costly !
        That’s my main dilemma is printing and where to print that will be high quality.

        Thank you, that’s so kind ! It’s all just practice, same as the computer (except I find drawing easier). Your graphics a really cute !

          1. Etsy had a seller seminar online in Nov about finding and choosing the right vendors to help you carry out “production” in a consistent way. I didn’t pay mich attention to it at the time, but that might be useful to you as a starting point.

  2. What does the fox say?? Hehe sike.

    If you sell the file, they could print a million, but also share them with their friends, make coffee mugs for christmas, etc etc. Not that your customers are dishonest….. But, people tend to not realize that they’re doing something unethical by using another person’s art for their own benefit.

    If you made a custom piece for them, then digital would make sense to offer, and you can sell the rights to do whatever they want with your art.

    I’d say for your own protection and brand integrity as an artist, sell the physical copies.

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