It took me about five minutes to decide that I wasn’t going to release a range of Christmas cards this year, but it’s taken me a few weeks to work out how to tell you why. I’ve laid big chunks of my life bare on social media in the past because I’ve always liked sharing the good and the bad with you lot, so I felt like I had to do the same now. Plus there are people out there who have been huge supporters and promoters of my work and I didn’t want that to go unacknowledged.
In the end I’m going to cheat you a bit and not give you a reason. Because there are reasons (none of them bad for those of you who might worry), but they’re all my reasons and nothing that I need to share. In a world where so much of what we do is on show it’s nice to keep some things all for yourself occasionally. Suffice to say that you can’t always do everything that you want to, and sometimes you don’t want to do some of the things that you can.
I can’t tell what the future holds, but I have a strong suspicion that this won’t be the last you see of cheesy Samedog humour and pictures of sheep, hippos and assorted versions of reindeer on a Christmas card range. Even when I knew I wasn’t going ahead with them this year I still couldn’t help myself and ended up banking a handful of finished cards that I’d like to stick in front of your face one day when I’ve got more designs to keep them company.
BUT, it seems I found it quite hard to not release anything at all, so I have hit the publish button on one new design. It’s not anything flash, but it says a lot of things I’ve been thinking over the years in a couple of very short sentences, and now seems like a good time to give it its time in the sun. You can check the new design out here, or if you’ve got any favourites from the old lineup that you’d like to buy they’re still available right here. Or, you know, if you need to replace some Christmas t-shirts you can do that here (obviously more of a salesman than I realised!).
There’s only one thing I do ask: if you’re not going to spend money on Samedog products this year, please consider buying Christmas cards and products from other Red Bubble artists. There are so many cheaper options available to you in the supermarkets, but there are many talented artists out there who are doing much better things than the big companies and I’d love it if you could show them some support. I guarantee that you’ll get a unique design and you’ll make an artist’s day somewhere.
Thanks as always for your encouragement and enthusiasm along the way; it really has been a joy to unleash my work on you every year and watch you embrace what I’ve done. I can only hope that you’ll all stick around for the next part of the adventure.
When I first started coming to Tasmania eleven or twelve years ago I had no idea why I was coming. When I started coming back I had no idea why I was coming back. And when I came for a longer stay I still only vaguely knew why I was. The only emotion I could really pin to the whole thing was a notion of unfinished business.
Seven and a bit years on from the start of that longer stay I have a much better sense of what that unfinished business was. I arrived on The Island anxious, lacking confidence, unhealthy, directionless and alone in some ways. I will leave this place calm, relaxed, happy, motivated, healthy and gifted with connections that I didn’t see as possibilities back then.
And leave The Island I will. On 25th June I fly to Singapore to spend ten days with Mum and Dad. On 6th July my ticket will only take me back as far as Melbourne. I have a tiny shoebox in South Yarra to call home for a year, no job and a big dose of hope.
So you’ve seen pictures of my stuff on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or somewhere else? And you think you might like to buy something but you’re not sure how to go about it? Well, it can be a tad tricky, but I’m here to help. Strap yourself in and we’ll see if we can work through it all eh? Details »
OK, so those who know me well will notice that the title of this blog post is quite shouty, even by my standards. Having said that, if you were thinking of buying any Samedog Christmas cards or any of my other products as pressies, the NOW! in that sentence is quite important for a change. Normally I have all of my stuff ready to go long before now (I usually start thinking about Christmas in June would you believe?) and I can give you a lot more notice to buy. This is quite important given that the items need to be posted to you. This year I’ve been rather preoccupied by travel and other stuff, so one of my favourite tasks of the year took a back seat.
Here’s what you need to know: Details »
The good folk at Red Bubble keep coming up with great products to display my work on and have added some new options recently. First additions to the lineup a little while ago were throw pillows and tote bags. I love these products because they really show off my illustrations to great effect. It’s just like having a work of art to display on your couch or take to the shops with you. They are fantastic quality (I’ve road-tested them myself for you) and come in a range of sizes. Plus the pillows can be ordered with or without the insert. Mind you, the insert doesn’t add a huge amount to the cost so I tend to be lazy and order mine pre-stuffed! Details »
If you follow me on Instagram you might recall that I’ve signed up for the Sketchbook Project again for 2014. For those of you who haven’t heard about it, it’s a great project run by Art House. The idea is that you fill a little sketchbook with whatever tickles you (within reason) and the project takes it on a holiday around parts of the US. They set up their Library caravan all over the place and people get to show up and ‘borrow’ the book for a bit of a look-see. Being the high techo world we are, the artist even gets pinged with a message every time someone looks at their book. Details »
I’ve been wondering for a while how my greeting cards stack up against the big companies in terms of value. The price of one of my 100mm x 150mm greeting cards is $3.00 (AUD). It’s been a considered choice on my part to keep them at that price for the last few years. My rationale is fairly simple – I want to make a fair profit on my cards to justify the work I put into them, but I also want to keep them affordable to give people the opportunity to spread the word of Dog by giving their friends and family unique designs (and you do a bloody good job of that I must say). I’m not exactly sure why, but it’s also important to me that my cards are cheaper than a standard design you might get from one of the big multi-national companies in your newsagency.
So I donned my dark glasses and did some research in my local newsagency the other day. The cost of the offerings from the big companies varies a fair bit from your low quality imprints that they can manage to flog for $1.00, right up to the fancier offerings with embossing and glitter and digital recordings of cats singing carols which start at the $7.00 mark and spiral upwards from there. Their middle of the range cards that more closely match what you get from me seem to sit around the $5.00 mark so that’s what I’ve used for my comparison. After much clicking of my abacus this is what I’ve come up with: Details »
Tiger Bot was one of my best sellers in the early years, and while it’s still popular I’ve been wanting to do a fresher version for a while now. The result is the ‘wireframe’ type effect that you see here. I like the way this one has come up, but I also happen to know that illustration like this one and Christmas Beetle print really on my Red Bubble TShirts. If you’re looking for the perfect pressie for the Tasmanian in your life, or your favourite Thylacine hunter, this one’s the ticket.
Click here to trap this techno tiger
It’s free dress day at work on Christmas Eve and you really do need to be the envy of your colleagues. To help you out, I’ve been adding to the range of Christmas shirts that I have available in my online store. Favourites from previous years like All I Want and Oh Deer are still in the lineup, but you can also now get hold of a few other popular designs that have only previously made it into the greeting card range.
A piece of advice if you are thinking of buying any of my shirts as Christmas pressies – it pays to buy now. If previous years are anything to go by, the elves at Red Bubble get snowed under in December and I know there have been occasional tears when shirts don’t arrive in time for the big day (generally mine). At the moment orders are arriving in Australia within the advertised timeframes of about ten working days, so I’d encourage you to beat the rush and cross one or two of your gifts off the shopping list.
If Christmas themed shirts are about as appealing to you as those cartoon character ties that the guy in IT insists on wearing, I’ve still got all my ‘normal’ designs available here.
I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas
On 9 November 2012, a huge evening was planned for the Farm Bar at the Two Metre Tall brewery. An album was due to be launched by Andrew Marshall, buses were booked to bring in punters and the real ale was set to flow beautifully as always. Then a disaster struck. Almost. By mid morning the Bureau of Meteorology had issued a severe weather warning for Southern Tasmania including the chance of tornadoes. That’s right, tornadoes. And at the mention of the word tornado, Hobartians went just the tiniest bit crazy. Details »