At the end of 2020 I decided to gift myself with a new laptop sleeve from my RedBubble shop! I like to order designs from my shop so I can showcase what my designs look like in print, and also test the quality of the items I'm selling for myself. Since my bad cats pattern became so popular in 2020, I decided this would be a good pattern to go with! This is not the first time I have ordered from RedBubble and not the first laptop sleeve - I ordered my first one back when I started my shops in 2015. I had been using that one for the past 5 years, and decided it was time for a change of design. So this isn't just a new laptop sleeve review, it's also a "check in" to show you how my old laptop sleeve has held up over the years!
A bit of background image on RedBubble laptop sleeves! First, they are available in 3 standard sizes for MacBooks (or any kind of laptop that is around the same size of a MacBook - they have a sizing chart on the product page so you can check!) - MacBook 12", MacBook Air / Pro / Retina 13", and MacBook Pro / Retina 15". I purchased the 15" size. The sleeve is made of polyester, with foam padding on the inside to protect your laptop from scratches and minor impacts. The inside of the sleeve is super plush and soft too. The sleeve closes fully with a black zipper, and features high quality print on the front, and a black panel on the back. The outer stitching and sides is all black, and the plush padding on the inside is black too.
I mentioned that I had purchased a laptop sleeve from RedBubble in 2015 too. You might be wondering - how did it hold up over time? How does it compare to the new 2020 one? I can tell you that over time my original sleeve has held up beautifully. The quality of my original sleeve matches the quality of the new one, so if you purchased one a while back and are unsure if a new one would be similar, rest assured that the quality has remained consistent over the years. I've brought it back and forth to work, with me on trips, and generally used it in the house to protect my laptop from any kinds of accidents. The print has not faded and remains crisp and vibrant through all this. The padding has slightly become more compressed over the years, and my new sleeve has much more of a cushion than my old sleeve. There are a couple of catches in the top design from cat claws, but other than that, no major rips or anything (my cat loves this sleeve lol). If it hadn't been for a want of a design change, I would go on using my original 2015 sleeve for many years to come!
The main draw of these laptop sleeves is being able to print completely unique designs on them. And the printing is top notch - despite being printed on fabric, the design is crisp and has minimal bleed. This means the smaller details that I added to my artwork are still visible in the printed product. My 2020 purchase features a simple black and white artwork, which printed as expected (the blacks were black thank goodness! :P ). My original 2015 laptop sleeve featured all the bright peacock blue tones that were in my original artwork, very accurate to the original!
Despite ordering over the Christmas rush, shipping was really quick. I got it within 12 days of ordering. It came via Canada Post too, so I was able to get it from my community mailbox instead of having to drive down to a depot because I missed a delivery.
Shipping is usually a pain point for me here in Canada. Some print on demand websites charge exuberant fees to deliver to Canada. Not only that but I've also been hit with duties and fees at the border - which is especially painful after paying large amounts of shipping. RedBubble is one of the only print on demand websites I have ordered from that have not resulted in me having to pay extra duties & taxes upon delivery, on any of my orders. RedBubble calculates their shipping costs based on the items that are being shipped, and where the order is being shipped to. They do not have a free shipping minimum or anything like that, so you will be paying shipping. I find the shipping costs are fair, and paired with the fact that I was not charged duties or taxes, I can't complain.
Rather than using USD they let you choose which currency you will be shopping with too. I like this because I was able to see what my purchase price will be in Canadian dollars. If any of my Canadian friends or family wants to purchase something from my shop, I always recommend they go through RedBubble because I find it more Canadian friendly for shipping (and I can stand behind the quality of their items).
Overall, I am incredibly pleased with my laptop sleeve purchase and am thrilled to have something in my bad cats knocking stuff over pattern! I've been using this sleeve for a month now, and I am confident that it will hold up as long as my original 2015 laptop sleeve has.
Have you purchased from RedBubble before? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below!
Cats are great pets. They are fun, cute, often cuddly and have such personalities. But... they can also be jerks! Cats have a sassy streak to them that isn't shared by their popular pet counterpart, the dog. When a dog chews a couch or a pillow, they look at you ashamed, sorry to be in trouble, giving you those super sad eyes. When a cat is knocking a glass or your favourite plant off the table, they stare you right in the eyes like "TRY TO STOP ME, FOOL!!". Not sorry at all. This makes for very funny internet cat videos. I could watch cats knocking stuff over for hours. I love it. It just makes cats more awesome in my eyes. :P
Why do cats knock stuff over?
It is thought that cats do this when they are not getting the attention that they desire at that particular moment. So, if you're busy doing something and your cat appears and you don't acknowledge it, this could be the moment they decide to stare into your soul and knock your shit over!
I do believe this is true. On one occasion where my lovely black cat Darcy came down to see me. I pet her for a while then stopped to do some work. She then proceeded to bite my favourite cactus! I brushed her from the table and got mad at her. She never listens (and I probably just made her angry by telling her no), so she knocked the cactus over, completely defiant and not guilty whatsoever. As cats do. Less funny when it happens to you, more funny in the cat videos.
Another funny cats being jerks moment that I find hilarious. My grandparents had a siamese cat named Sukie that loved my mom. One day when she went to visit, she hadn't pet Sukie when she came in, as she usually did. Out of revenge, Sukie peed in my moms shoes. LOL. So yes, I really do believe that when cats don't get the attention that they want, they will act out!
So in celebration of this hilarious feature of cats, I drew it! It was an idea I had for a while, and when I finally sat down to create it, I was pretty happy with how it turned out. The original drawing was done with Procreate on the iPad, with a very sketched and hand drawn technique. I thought this light & playful sketch look would add to the fun subject matter. I drew these black cats knocking a variety of stuff over, a potted cactus, a vase of flowers, a mug of coffee, a TV remote, and a glass of water. I even drew some of them staring back, because I find this to be the funniest. Also I mentioned I have a black cat and I love them, so I decided to feature black cats in this drawing. I've made this drawing into a seamless pattern, and added it to a variety of home decor and accessory products! I've also created it as a fabric, so if you are crafty, you can turn it in to whatever you want! (Side note: if you do use it as a fabric, I would loooooove to see what you make! tag me @tanya_draws on instagram!) It is available at my Zazzle, RedBubble, and Society6 shops. I hope you enjoy this pattern as much as I do!
Would you like to see a different version created with another type of cat? What kind of cat would you like to see?
I've always loved the simplicity of my pineapple pattern, so I've recoloured it on many instances. This version takes my original collage - like pineapple drawing, recoloured in a shimmery looking rose gold glitter texture, with a pretty blush pink background. Rose gold is one of my favourite colour trends, so I just had to add it to one of my favourite patterns!
Since I added this to my Society6 shop it is now most popular designs, becoming a top seller across my home decor line. I think it would be fantastic for a pretty tropical themed room - with matching curtains and duvet cover, you could definitely make a relaxing and comfortable summer feels space!
I have also since added it on Society6's new lineup of outdoor decor items. Chair cushions, picnic blankets, foldable chairs and even sun shades form the lineup, so you can create a whole matching pattern themed set up on your patio or backyard area. This would be so cute for a rooftop patio!
I've recently started working on my RedBubble shop more, so this pattern is now also available there too on products. I love Redbubble, I find it to be a very international friendly shopping experience - living in Canada, I've personally never had to pay extra duties or shipping fees on products from RedBubble and the print quality (and products) have been excellent. So, it's always the first place that I recommend to my international friends and customers! :)
Below is my pineapple pattern on some of my favourite products.
If I were to recolour this design again, what colour theme would you like to see? Let me know in the comments!
This snail pattern is an oldie, but a goodie! :) I had originally drawn this back in 2014 in markers and ink, before I even started an art shop! I always thought snails had a quirky cuteness to them, so this little illustration became one of my very first patterns in my shop. Flash forward to today, and it's one of those niche drawings that I have that many of you have enjoyed, and purchased on a variety of products.
Looking back at it, one thing I would have done differently is kept the traditional look of the markers. I actually turned this drawing into a vector in illustrator, so that I could resize it for large products like duvet covers and curtains. It was a nice thought, but I could've just as easily scanned and used the original in a repeating pattern such as this! Ah well, you learn as you go. The original marker drawing actually has the snail sliding along amongst tall blades of grass. Now that I know a lot more than I knew then, I plan on revisiting this illustration and making a new pattern, keeping more of it's original charm.
While I look back at my oldest pattern I can't help but think of how I would do it differently now - but regardless, it is still an important piece in my portfolio, marking the first pattern I completed where I really felt myself falling in to a style and workflow. And more importantly, I see this pattern and think of how fun it was to draw this with my markers, and it inspires me to break out my traditional tools once again and do more like this! I plan on taking some time off from work this summer to give myself time to work on new pieces, and the light charm that this pattern brings is the direction I want to focus on.
Here is my snails pattern on a bunch of stuff - it is on the entire range of products at RedBubble and Society6, and on select products at Zazzle. Recently in the midst of COVID-19, I added fabric masks to my RedBubble product line up, and masks in my snail pattern are by far my best seller so far!
If this pattern wasn't clear, let me tell you... I am Canadian, and yes, I love maple syrup. My love for maple syrup runs deep. Love it on my pancakes, my bacon, in my coffee instead of sugar, AS my coffee (if you love flavoured coffees but haven't tried a maple flavour yet, I highly recommend!), and I love those little maple sugar candies, the ones that are melt in your mouth pure sugary goodness. Every year I've taken a trip down to the sugar bush with family or friends, and we enjoy a nice hike through the forest, savouring freshly made maple syrup candies, and taking in the smell of maple sap boiling down into maple syrup. It's something I look forward to doing each March! Unfortunately I wasn't able to go this year due to COVID-19 and missed out on this fave tradition, which reminded me of my maple syrup pattern.
I drew this pattern as part of my daily draw challenge a while back, and for a while decided to focus on patterns of some of my favourite foods! I came up with a creme brûlée pattern, a pancake pattern, and this maple syrup pattern. The maple syrup pattern shares the love of a Canadian favourite in a fun and casual way, through a doodle lined and simply coloured design.
If you were to draw your favourite food... what would it be? :)
I recently purchased a carry all pouch from Society6! I purchased it for my mom, who wanted something to put in her purse & hold all the little things she has in there. There are 3 sizes of pouches available so I purchased the medium pouch, my mom wanted something that was a bit larger than what the small size would be, but also still small enough to fit in her purse. She wasn't picky on the design, but loved this quartz design that I made recently, so I decided on this one! I was curious to see how this design translates to print, as it is the first time I have used real photographs in my pattern. The photos used are macro shots of real white quartz.
Here is a bit of info on Society6 carry all pouches. These carry all pouches are made from a durable canvas-like material for the outside printed portion. The inside is crafted from soft 50/50 poly-cotton black interior lining. The zipper is a YKK zipper, and comes with a faux leather pull tab. Society6 has 3 sizes of pouches available on their website: Small (6" wide x 5" tall), Medium (9.5" wide x 6" tall) and large (12.5" wide x 8.5" tall). You can also purchase a pack of 3 matching pouches in all 3 sizes for a discounted price. Cleaning this pouch is easy - it is machine washable.
These pouches are called carry all pouches for a reason. With the variety of sizes you are bound to find one for whatever small items you need carried. They make a great idea for your toiletries during travels, for keeping all your makeup in one place, or can be used as a pencil case. The medium size, I found out, is large enough to hold my 2nd generation iPad mini, so it would make a fantastic iPad sleeve. The large pouch is big enough to fit the new iPad Pro as well! So it could be a really great pouch for all of the iPads and e-readers out there. The medium size pouch also features 2 mini pockets on the inside of the pouch, which could be good for separating smaller delicate items, such as jewellery or earphones.
As for the size, functions and materials, this pouch turned out to be exactly what I was hoping for. The materials I felt to be quite a nice quality, however the construction quality I was a bit iffy on. There was a few things that I did not like about the construction of this pouch. The outside for the most part looks great, except the Society6 tag on the side was stitched a bit too far in, so that you can't actually see the full Society6 name on the tag. Not a big deal, but since it's there, it would make sense to be able to read it. The inside of the pouch had some stitching that was incomplete near the zipper, one of the stitches ends half way through the pouch. The other thing I did not like about the inside of the pouch is that there was this huge giant tag stitched into it, which you have to cut out. I cut it out and it left pieces, to remove it completely I'd have to pull out the stitching. I wasn't too impressed by those things, but otherwise the outer part of the bag and the main stitching holding everything together looks good and feels sturdy.
On to the print. Overall I was pleased with the colours and overall clarity of my design on the fabric. This kind of design I think is most suited for glossy print items, due to the nature of the gold foil pattern and the "shininess" of the quartz. It printed well nonetheless and with minimal bleeding. The colours were a bit cooler in my print than they were in the mockup and my original design, my original definitely has more oranges and beige notes. But overall, the colours are quite close and with the sizing, placement, and general look of the design in print, I feel like I've received something that is very close to what I was expecting.
Overall, I would say I am pretty happy with how it turned out, the printing from Society6 always seems to be great and the actual construction materials of this bag were nice, as were the little details. I love the gold zipper, and loved the little faux leather tab on the zipper detail. The sizes are also very nice, allowing you to hold a wide variety of things - and since this one is going to my mom as a gift, I may have to get one of my own to use as a sleeve for my iPad. The only thing that cheapened the whole pouch for me was the giant tag stitched into the inside of the pouch, as well as the half finished random stitches on the inside. That was unexpected, and before I opened the pouch, my initial thoughts were that this was a good quality pouch. I think the next pouch I purchase, I'll purchase from my RedBubble shop - just to compare and see what a pouch is like from there.
Have you purchased a pouch from Society6 before? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Cute little groundhogs pop out from the green grass, hoping to spot some early signs of spring. I always love groundhogs and the tradition of Groundhog Day, it's always fun to see what the groundhogs will predict - an early spring or a late winter! This year was an early spring, so I'm hoping this prediction comes true! ;)
This was a simple vector illustration, I used a watercolour texture to give the groundhogs more of a fur texture, and surrounded them with sprigs of leaves and grasses to illustrate the signs of early spring. I drew it as part of a daily drawing challenge - it's always a nice change to draw animals that I don't often draw, and drawing challenges push me to explore.
I've added this pattern to my shops! Take a look at it on some of my most popular products.
2010 - 2019 has been a whirlwind of a decade - in both my personal life and with my Tanya Draws shop! In this decade I have graduated college, switched careers, started freelancing, stopped freelancing, started drawing patterns, started my print on demand shops, grown my shops and my pattern portfolio, moved out, went on my first flights, first trips, got engaged, launched my website.... it has definitely been quite the time!
Now those are the highlights, it wasn't always good and I had a fair bit of challenges and possibly experienced the lowest points of my life this decade, most of which I am happy to leave behind. People say that the high school years are rough - but man, for me my 20s were, at times, the worst! They truly had me beat in ways that I would have never imagined. At the same time though, I think its easy to fall into the trap of looking at the short term and feeling like you aren't progressing. So to make sure I don't fall into that trap, it helps for me to look at how far I've come from my lows & take a look at the positive things that have happened and achievements over the years!
For me, this decade has been a lot about experimentation and about finding my style. I taught myself pattern making and launched my print on demand shops in 2015, and have been running wild with them ever since, learning new techniques, drawing new stuff, using new textures and designing all sorts of products.
So, here's a round up of my major milestones (so far) with my Tanya Draws Shop!
Since I began experimenting with patterns in 2014, I have covered a wide range of subjects... from animals, to inanimate objects, to florals and cacti, to geometric shapes and colours. Through all this, I definitely have some favourites and some that I did for experiments sake, that I'd rather never post for sale. I did an art challenge early 2018, where you had to draw a pattern a day. I think that is something I would like to try again this year because it really expanded my horizons, and got me searching for new themes and styles to try.
My portfolio has grown, and many of these patterns are now available at my shops! To date, I have over 163 designs available to buy at my shops! It's hard to imagine that I created that many things, but I did! Visit my Society6 shop to see my complete pattern and design collection.
Perhaps in 2020, I can try to reach a milestone of 200 designs for sale? :)
The Shop & Sales
When I started my shop in 2015, I thought it would be a neat little hobby that would keep me motivated to draw. Never did I imagine that it would become as big as it has become, and that I would be actually using it as an actual source of income. (Yes, I know, the point of things for sale is to make money, but I didn't think that would actually happen!)
I tried many different print on demand shops to list my artwork at, and after years of trying all the different ones I've finally settled down with my 3 favourites - Society6, RedBubble, and Zazzle. These websites are where my illustrated patterns flourish the most, and where I've been able to garner the most popularity.
To date, I've made over 4500 sales at my shops combined! I still find this astonishing, and am blown away that this many individuals out there are enjoying things that I have designed. I get so excited whenever I see my products going to different areas of the world... my products are now residing in more states and countries that I could visit in my lifetime. I've seen my stuff go to customers in Australia, almost every different state in the USA (even Alaska!), all across Europe, and places that I never expected to see sales in - Hong Kong, Japan, Bahrain, New Zealand... and yes, I also see my fellow Canadians placing orders, which feeds my dream of randomly seeing one of my designs out in the wild some day! XD
My best selling products to date are Comforters on Society6, Business cards on Zazzle and Stickers at Redbubble! A wide range of products for sure, and no one design is the most popular across all shops.
My 3 best selling products of 2019 have been my pineapple comforter from Society6, my pink and gold pineapple comforter from Society6, and my customizable iridescent geometric business cards from Zazzle:
RedBubble was not in the running for me this year, Society6 and Zazzle made up at least 80% of this years sales. But I'm hoping to focus more on my RedBubble shop in 2020, because I really believe in the quality of their products, love the platform for designing, and think they have a great product lineup.
The Website, Blog & Social Media
Soooo this has been a bit of a pain point for me, as I am bad with schedules, a notorious procrastinator, and tend to lean towards posting new art rather than focus on the marketing for said art. Despite this, I've managed to maintain my instagram and twitter account quite well I think, but I'm hoping to maybe get into creating some time lapse art videos this year to add to it. You may have noticed a little youtube icon on the bottom of my website, it is currently a blank slate but is something I'm hoping to get in to this year!
When I started my shops in 2015, I had a blogspot blog. There, I occasionally posted some things, new art, artist tips etc. and generally used it as a website. Well, it wasn't that great of a website, and I am not that diligent of a blogger, so for me it made no sense to have something that was mainly a blog doubling as a website. In 2019, I finally decided enough was enough, and made myself the website you see today! It has a blog, it has a gallery (updating slowly but surely!), links to shop all my stuff, spots for me to feature my newest designs... it is my ideal "hub" for everything Tanya Draws! It took me so long to finally get to this point but I'm so happy I'm here, and think its a great, fresh way to start off this new decade.
Tip: My shops now have their own dedicated shops page, where you can click through to shop my Zazzle, RedBubble & Society6 print on demand shops. I even list active promotions and coupon codes there, so check it out (Shop in the top right nav bar, click here to see the shops page!) every once in a while!
So there you have it, some of my major accomplishments of my shop so far! I'd just like to give a shoutout to all of the customers, followers, and fellow artist friends who have supported me through this journey. Of course, I could not have gotten this far without your support. Seriously, it blows my mind that I'm able to draw what I love, and that you guys enjoy it too, and that you love it enough to actually buy my artwork!! Did I mention how surreal it is to me that I actually earn an income from drawing things?? So, THANK YOU! I look forward to creating new stuff for you all in 2020, and to see what excitement the next decade brings!
It's 2020 (a new decade!) and in looking over the patterns I've done over the last decade... my pineapple pattern has by far been my most popular. Not only is it a best seller in all colour options (pink and gold, rose gold, and gold), I also won my first online art contest - a fabric design contest on Zazzle - with this pattern in its original form, watercolour on blue. But the pink and gold palette remains one of my favourites. I always love gold pineapples as a motif in jewellery and trinkets, so adding a faux gold look to these pineapples only made sense! The blush pink background paired with the gold is perfectly feminine and pretty.
Shop this pattern on some of my top products from Society6 and Zazzle, shown below! I love it on decor and accessories... what do you think?
Shop these products and more in my Pink and Gold Pineapple Pattern by clicking the links below!
So a while back I purchased a serving tray from Society6! I've shared photographs of it on instagram on a few occasions, but thought I'd finally right my official review of it. Society6 has bamboo and acrylic trays available, but I opted for the bamboo one as I quite like the light bamboo accents, and also the bamboo ones are available in larger sizes than the acrylic tray. The one I ordered is designed in my gold pineapple pattern. I chose this pattern because I thought it would make a great subtle accent piece for my coffee table, and since it is one of my best selling patterns, want to see how it looks on various products in print.
Here is a little info about Society6 serving trays. These serving trays are crafted with a 100% eco friendly bamboo wood frame, and feature a glossy high quality print to cover the interior of the tray. The tray includes cut out handles for easy carrying.
This versatile accessory can be used as a traditional serving tray, but it can also be used as an organizer for bathrooms, an accent piece for displaying decorative items on a table, a plant holder, a coffee table platter. With the artistic design, it makes a nice accent piece in any scenario you use it for. It would make a nice housewarming gift.
It comes in two sizes - Medium (18" L x 14" W x 1.75" H) and Large (22.5" L x 17.5" W x 2" H).
The one I ordered was the medium size. I wanted something that was large enough to sit my laptop in, but also wanted something that would not take up too much real estate on my coffee table. The medium size turned out to be perfect. As you can see from my photos, I usually use it to kind of tame the miscellaneous decorative things that end up on my table. My plants, candles and things that can roll off said table (I'm looking at you, Apple Pencil). It works quite well for this.
As for the quality of the serving tray, I was pleasantly surprised by it all. The bamboo frame looks exactly as it is shown on the website, and feels pretty sturdy. I've been using it for months, often carrying my laptop or food items from room to room and it still looks and feels as new as it did when I ordered it. It seems to be crafted well, there were no rough edges to the wood, no pieces sticking out, no adhesives visible. Overall impressed.
On to the print! I was very happy with how the printing turned out. The colours in my design look very close to what I got in print. The colours are slightly more subdued in print, but hardly noticeable. The design was printed nice and crisp with no bleeding or smudges. The sizing of my artwork was printed out exactly as I had formatted it on my serving tray mockup, so no surprises there. The surface that the artwork is printed on has a slightly glossy look to it, but not overly shiny. It works well with my design, being a faux-gold foil textured look. When the light shines on it, the slight gloss to the surface helps enhance that effect so that's a pleasant bonus.
Overall I am very happy with how this turned out, and would definitely order a serving tray from Society6 again. I also really liked my pineapple design on it, I thought it worked nicely with the soft wood shades in the bamboo.
My only one complaint is more of a Canadian specific complaint. :) Society6 products come from the USA, so when it arrived in Canada, it was sent to my nearest post office for me to pick up, because I had to pay duties on my purchase. It wouldn't stop me from purchasing again, but just keep this in mind when placing your Society6 order. I always order during sales or free shipping times to try and offset the cost of possible duties!
Have you purchased a society6 tray before? What did you think? Share your comments below!
Also a side note, you may have noticed my unimpressed cat planter. Where did I get it, you ask? From Home Sense, my favourite place! It was a candle, once upon a time. When I melted the candle down, I reused it as a planter for my cactus. Which is obviously now a CAT-CUS. :)