I am passionate about creating unique, eye-catching digital imagery using original photography and vintage designs. It’s a part of what I do every day at Oliopix.
As an artist/designer yourself, you may be asking why you should purchase digital collage/scrapbooking sheets from any of the myriad of talented online sellers, when it’s so easy to find free images on the Internet, buy ready-printed designs, or you don’t think your home computer/printing equipment is up to the task.
Let me attempt to convince you…
Unique, crafted digital artwork
Digital artisans (for that is who we are) create highly unique artwork in their own right. The fact that it is marketed as a ‘supply’ does not diminish its artistic worth.
Of course you can find attractive imagery by perusing your favourite image search engine, but the majority of that work is not free for the taking.
Visiting the Internet stores of artists (whether completely independent or via marketplaces such as Etsy) lets you see their body of work in one place. Buying supports the time and talent they have invested.
As with many other digital versus physical products, the digital product is generally cheaper than any physical equivalent. As a bonus, it’s usually available immediately rather than you having to visit a store or have it posted to you.
Of course, there are many wonderful ready-to-use collage sheets available in a huge range of styles and formats. That’s the best option when you want materials which are hard to use at home, or techniques you haven’t mastered.
But remember: digital supplies don’t run out. You have the freedom to print out your digital files (or just parts of them) again and again, rather than having to buy more paper/card packs when they’re used up.
Control over printing
Even fairly basic computer and printer setups now have an amazing ability to manipulate digital files and to print out on a wide range of papers, cards and other material.
You can use free image software (you don’t need Photoshop) to do a number of common tasks such as resizing, recolouring and simple editing of your purchased digital sheets.
Even basic inkjet printers will produce excellent results on many types of glossy and matt papers and cards. It’s also not nearly as expensive to buy a colour laser printer any more, offering smoother printing.
Of course, once you’ve printed the images, there’s nothing to stop you applying other creative processes to them – embossing, stamping, distressing, collage, resins… the limit really is only your imagination.
Develop custom designs with personality
Many digital collage sheets come ‘as is’, so what you purchase is not completely unique. However, a number of designers are happy to work with customers to create bespoke pieces either from scratch or based on existing designs.
We’re a pretty generous lot when it comes to letting you use our work. Personal and small business use is fine, and if you’re a larger business (selling many hundreds of items) there are often very reasonable additional licenses available.
Find and collect work by artists you admire
Once you find artwork you like, you’ll often want to see more creations by that artist. It is possible to do that using the likes of Google, but it’s much more satisfying to visit the artist’s own web site and online store and begin building a more personal relationship with the person whose work you love.
Support small, independent business
The majority of artists who sell digital download sheets are indy businesses. Most work for the love of what they do, and many are also fortunate enough to make money from it.
When you buy these images, you really are supporting a small business.
Peace of mind with legal images
Finding and using images online can be a minefield. While it’s rarely a problem if you’re using them in personal projects, if you intend to sell items you may want to be assured that no copyrights or licenses have been infringed.
I can’t guarantee every seller is diligent in this respect, at Oliopix we do our utmost to ensure that any images we use or manipulate are either wholly owned by us (such as our own photography), is truly in the public domain, or we have licensed to be used.
So, have I convinced you?
If you’ve never considered buying digital supplies before, or you’re a Google Image search aficionado looking to get a bit more personal with the art you use, do take a look.
Artwork used in this article:
- The numbers are part of this digital pack: Numbers collection featuring vintage patterns based on microscopic organisms, digits 0-9 numbers 10-18 plus 21, 30, 40, 50, 60
- The butterfly header is based on part of this digital pack: Vintage Butterflies, Aged Book Effect, Digital Collage Sheet