Sunday, March 26, 2023

love for sale

I suppose today's post on It's Been a Slice is the equivalent to an infomercial. For however long this blog has been raging on (it's been thirteen years, but who's counting?), I have referenced Mrs. Pincus's eBay store and the many places that have been my employer. Today, however, I offer a blatant plug for a little side hustle I got going. Perhaps you have seen it on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook if you are one of the tens of people who follow me and my internet antics. For those of you in the dark but still reading this far, I'll fill you in.

My first sale!
(No longer available.)
For the past few months, I have been selling t-shirts on a great website called TeePublic. I have been sitting at home, watching TV of contributing to my blogs (yes, that's plural. I have two) and wondering how I can make a few extra dollars from my silly little drawings and my slightly off-kilter sense of humor. I began to explore some options and decided that TeePublic's set-up made the most sense for me. One Sunday afternoon right around Thanksgiving, I created a few designs and selected a few drawings from my illustration blog (see? I do have another blog!) and uploaded them to my newly created storefront on the TeePublic website. Because I have a background in advertising and marketing, I also created a few graphics to promote my new business venture on several social media outlets. Almost immediately, I made a sale... giving me a false sense of security. It turns out, my first sale was to someone I knew. Nevertheless, a sale is a sale! I thanked her for her purchase and sat back, waiting for more sales to roll in.

They didn't.

However, I did get an email from TeePublic, that one of my designs was taken down for copyright infringement. A day later, I received a similar email and another one of my designs was removed. TeePublic is rampant with non-licensed designs of copywritten properties, yet I got busted right out of the gate. Still determined, I added a few more designs to my storefront. I chose designs of recognizable images and characters, trying my best to be discreet.

A few days after my first sale, I made two in one day. I began to think this little endeavor was gonna be great! Both, I found out later, were to someone else I knew personally.

Then, my entire store was pulled by TeePublic. Just four days after I "opened for business," I received this sad little email that began...
This is to notify you that, as a result of a violation of our terms and conditions, we have removed or disabled access to the material that appeared at Pincus and have deleted your account.

I stewed for a little bit, but I was determined. I rethought my approach and, with a different email address and a slightly altered name, I boldly relaunched my business as "JPiC Designs" on TeePublic. I scoured my website for drawings that I had done that were not overtly recognizable or could be altered so movies and names or references if they too drew much attention to a particular celebrity, movie or the like. I also began a series of illustrated song lyrics. Sure, that sounds like trouble in the making, but I was careful to select lyrics that did not mention a song's title. I figured these would appeal to true fans of a particular band. I also mixed in some famous movie quotes, again, careful not to use the actual title of the movie, but slyly employing recognizable typefaces and using images that could be.... well.... anything.... nudge, nudge.

I launched my TeePublic store 2.0 a week or so before Christmas. I made my first sale in the early weeks of the new year. I started the reboot with about two dozen designs and slowly added more each week. I have not bee sticking to any particular theme or style. I try to create what I think will sell, not necessarily what I like... but what the people will like. You know... give the people what they want! If you visit my storefront, you'll find movie quotes, song lyrics, goofs on famous works of art, silly drawings featuring both Jesus and Satan and a lot of designs depicting food.... because everybody like food. There are even a few designs aimed to please my fellow Philadelphians. Besides t-shirts, TeePublic offers a wide variety of other products, including hoodies stickers, buttons and mugs. Everything can be emblazoned with your favorite Josh Pincus created design.

So, there you have it. A word from our sponsor. Go take a look at what I have for sale. At last count, there are 240 different designs available. Some are drawings you may have seen on my illustration blog. Others are unique to TeePublic. I add new designs fairly regularly. Maybe there's something to fill that hole in your life you didn't know needed filling.

Or something like that.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post.


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