Camera Stickers I’m Obsessed With

Last week I got a chance to actually take some photos at my job instead of just editing! It was a wonderful if short-lived break from staring at a computer, and it inspired me to pick out some of my favorite photography and camera stickers.

Clear Cameras

As you may have heard, I am not in the planner community (yet!), but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate planner stickers. These clear ones are extra cool and really accentuate the classic, simple design.

I Heart Portra

Film portra sticker

When I worked at a photography store (where I got this sticker), we were always selling out of Portra 400. We tried to figure out if there was an exact source recommending the film, or some other reason people were SO obsessed with it. But nah, it’s just a solid stock with good latitude.

Photographer MacBook Decal

Uhm WHAT. This is so cool. I have an orange skin with a film slate on my elderly MacBook, but this kind of makes me want a new one.

Mamiya TLR

Yes, this is my sticker. Did you know it’s based on a real camera that I own? When I discovered medium format photography in college, I fell in love. I really have a thing for square frames, so finding out I could use them outside of Instagram was pretty sweet.

I Shoot People

If you’re a photographer you might be sick of this joke. But come on, it’s still a little funny. (I actually have this sticker. Love this shop!)

Heartbeat

Young, idealistic me would have loved this sticker. Older, still-idealistic-but-sometimes-not-as-much me also likes it. Capturing an incredible image really can get your heart racing.

Don’t Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Can Do Today

I saw this in one of my recent searches and had to include it. Just because you CAN Photoshop, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. (This also applies to filmmaking.) Almost any time I’ve been lazy and not fixed something during a shoot, I’ve regretted it. Seize the moment, friends.

Have a cool sticker that I missed? Let me know in the comments!

Best camera stickers Pin It For Later: Camera Stickers

Places to Put Laptop Stickers Besides Your Laptop

or: obvious things you carry around with you that have some amount of surface area

While portable computers do provide the perfect canvas for expressive adhesives, you can think outside the box (literally) and display your stickers all over the place!

Phones

Smartphones are basically tiny laptops at this point, so you can definitely put a laptop sticker on your phone. Smaller, not-as-smart phone? Smaller stickers. Chances are you take your phone everywhere with you (I know, society… technology… go climb a tree… blah blah blah), so you can really get your couple bucks worth out of that sticker! (Please tell me you didn’t pay more than a couple bucks.) The one thing to consider is the durability of the sticker – if your phone is going in and out of your pocket all the time, the sticker might wear down.

Tablets

Also small computers. Decorate them with personality and love.

Instrument case

Desperado Antonio Banderas

As a musician, you’re probably an artistic person who likes to express yourself. (Unless you’re a drummer.) Well that guitar case could use a sprucing, don’t you think? Just don’t get upset if your stickers are exposed to cheap beer, cramped vans, or face-melting solos. And if your guitar case is actually holding a bunch of weapons, it may be better to keep it nondescript.

Skateboards

Skaters are probably too cool to be reading this post, but maybe you know someone with a skateboard. I bet they would love some stickers for it.

Cars

I am still on the fence about bumper stickers, but they are a classic choice. Recent favorites: “Adults on board – we want to live too” and “Giant Meteor [for president] 2016.” Some laptop stickers may not fare well on the outside of your car, so bring them inside! You could even get some scratch-and-sniff stickers instead of an air freshener. (Kidding.)

Shoes

I don’t know how long it would last, but you would definitely have most unique pair of kicks in the room if you slapped a sticker or two on them.

Beverage containers

Coffee laptop stickers

A travel mug sticker, which you could stick on a travel mug.

If you’ve gotten into this whole ~hydration trend, why not get even cooler and decorate your water bottle? Or travel mug, if you’re more into the caffeination thing. Of course, these stickers will need to be waterproof to make it through washing.

Wallet

If your phone case is your wallet, see first list item. Also, don’t you worry about losing everything at once?

Notebooks

Whether you’re in school, an aspiring author, or Harriet the Spy, brighten up those bound pages with a quirky sticker. Who knows, it could be a conversation starter while you’re writing at your favorite coffee shop.

Albums

If you’re a serious collector, get a sticker album! They even make ones that allow the stickers to be removed.

 

Do not recommend:

Doors

As someone who is already dreading re-painting her apartment in like, over a year, this scene from Broad City haunts me. (For more than one reason.)

Clothes

Unless it’s a name tag. And even then, it’s iffy.

Sunglasses

May impair vision.

 

Bottom line: stickers are fun, so find places that need fun, and add a sticker!

Laptop stickers Pinterest

Pin It for Later: Places to Put Laptop Stickers

The Artist’s Inspiration

Wait for it…

…Keep waiting… or not. I do believe patience is a virtue, but as an artist, I’ve always wrestled with the idea of waiting for inspiration. Sometimes it’s just too easy to say “I don’t feel like it right now.” However, you’re supposed to write your way through writer’s block, so isn’t it the same in other media? Still, a lot of the time it feels like waiting for the perfect storm of the right mood, a good idea, and the time to execute it.

artist inspiration sketchbook

Sketchbook

The Inevitable Lull

I recently was creatively and Etsy-ly inactive for about a month after going through a wonderful ordeal of having a nightmare roommate, apartment hunting in Los Angeles (again), moving, and then being evacuated from my new apartment for a weekend after living there less than two weeks. Yes, I was stressed and exhausted and not in the best way to build a “one drawing a day” kind of habit. However, I do think self-expression (and I don’t mean bitching about my old roomie) is really important and I find drawing to be particularly relaxing. Looking back, I think I could have better kept up with my doodles just to help with my sanity level.

Business or Pleasure

That is, of course, all about my personal life and not my business. So there’s another question – do you just make whatever you feel like, or do you let the market influence your choices? I started off entirely in the former camp, but if you really feel that way, why start a shop at all? I have to admit that I would like to make a profit from my Etsy store – shocker, I know. So while I still draw things I like and hope other people like them too, I research what’s popular, as well. As long as I’m still putting my own spin on things and not just churning out copies of other stores’ bestsellers, then I’m happy.

What’s your take on it?

creative inspiration blog post

Sticker Stories: The World Cup

I grew up in a sports town – mostly football, but also hockey, and a baseball team that didn’t have a winning season the whole time I was growing up – but I was never into soccer. I even lived near a park where tons of kids would flock to play soccer every Saturday. When my mom asked if I wanted to play, my response was “meh.” My younger self was a hipster for sure. (I did play basketball, though.)

So if you had told me a year or two ago that I’d be stoked for the World Cup, I would have been skeptical. I remember watching some games at a bar the last time it happened, and the whole thing was well, foreign to me. But that’s one of the things I love about soccer now – it truly is a global sport, and America really needs to get with it.

World Cup soccer FIFA sticker

World Cup sticker

Admittedly most of my knowledge of soccer comes from Netflix’s hilarious Club de Cuervos, but my newfound fondness for the sport comes from someone else I’m quite fond of – my boyfriend. (Getting into sports for a guy? I’m such a cliche.) He watches games and commentary even more than I watch the Food Network, and that’s saying something. I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy seeing people enjoy things. And I’m  a curious person, so I wanted to see if I would enjoy it too.

I’ve always loved how sports can bring people together, and the communities surrounding soccer teams are straight up impressive. The energy level the fans maintain throughout the game rivals the players sometimes. So my World Cup sticker is my little tribute to this great sport and the culture around it. Yes, my stickers are first and foremost fun little doodles, but just know that they’re made with love, too.

The Right Sticker Paper

I’m not always spontaneous, but when I am, I do things like move to the other side of the country. Abruptly buying sticker paper may not be quite on that level, but I have tried out several products that I am happy to discuss.

vinyl sticker paper sheets

Stickers on vinyl paper

Avery Sticker Project Paper

My foray into sticker-making included buying this introductory matte sticker paper. With illustration, I find printing on matte is a lot easier than glossy – the colors are more predictable. (Strangely it’s the opposite with photography, so maybe I’m delusional. Or maybe it’s my printer.) This paper is easy to work with but does have the Avery logo stamped on the back, so it’s not a good choice if you’re selling your stickers. And the matte finish on its own is of course not a good idea for any stickers that are going to be out in the elements. Perfect for planners, though!

Finish: Matte
Price: $9.50/20 sheets
Best use: personal, planner stickers

Online Labels White Gloss Inkjet

Next I found Online Labels. They’re good for buying in bulk but the prices aren’t too bad even if you’re just buying 20 or so sheets. At first I thought the paper was too thin but it’s still good quality. It comes in letter-sized sheets with no branding on the back, so you won’t have the problem you had with the Avery paper. I would definitely suggest exploring the website – there are SO many options! I also tried the weatherproof paper, and it unfortunately still faded over time. However, I’ve wondered if it’s related to my printer ink, which is a combination of pigment-based and dye-based ink, more than the paper quality, since the paper gets great reviews. Still, I would add a protective coating on your stickers rather than leaving it up to the paper.

Finish: Gloss, but they have everything
Price: $17.49/20 sheets
Best use: labels for your products, small stickers

Photo Paper Direct

I was STOKED when I found this paper, since it’s actually vinyl. It’s a little thicker than the Online Labels paper, though it’s mostly the backing that makes it feel sturdy. That has also made it easier for me to handle when I cut by hand, though it works on a cutting machine too with higher settings for the thickness. This is what I mainly use to make my stickers. The paper is durable though still needs to be coated. You can buy it on their website for a potentially cheaper price (they have sales and coupons all the time), or you can buy it Amazon if you have Prime and you’re impatient.

Finish: Gloss
Price: $20+/20 sheets
Best use: laptop stickers

I mentioned protective coating a lot in this post. Stay tuned for a post with all of those that I’ve tried!

Ready, Aim…

Hello audience. Have we been introduced yet?

Focusing in on a specific demographic has definitely been an obstacle for my sticker business. I’m aware that knowing your audience is a key to success, but marketing such a small item with no obvious utility is a bit of a puzzle. (My answer to life’s problems is usually “Google it” and searching “who buys stickers” has not been super helpful so far.) A large part of my production is still a creative outlet just for me, so I guess that means my target market is twentysomething women who like quirky cute art and want to support independent artists with a couple bucks.

messy desk with stickers

Making stickers

That may sound specific at first, but is it, really? To be honest, sticker culture is fascinating, to say the least. If I were going to generalize sticker fans into Mean Girls-style groups, I’d say that you have:

  • the street artists out there slapping and swapping,
  • the overachievers (I mean that in an admirable way – I tried to have a bullet journal once and it lasted a month) with their planner stickers for literally any occasion you can think of,
  • …and children. Kids still like stickers, right?

So that observation left me wondering, where do I fit? It’s been very tempting to try my hand at each genre, but I know that would become a messy web of inconsistency. So I looked at shops that sell similar products to mine, thought about what uses my stickers could have, and imagined who might be buying them. If I had to pick something (and I did), I would say that my stickers naturally fit in the sort of card/stationery shop category. However, I have been very adamant (with myself, no one else is arguing with me) about mastering stickers before considering any other products. But that’s about where I’ve landed with my target audience at this point.

Who are you aiming your products at? Have you hit a bullseye yet?

Pin It for Later: Finding an Audience

In the Beginning

Vintage cameras. That’s the last thing I remember before I decided I wanted to make stickers.  When I first started, my friends and family asked how I got the idea (you know, besides being inspired by the million cool stickers already out in the world), and all I could say was, “well I was at work one day looking at cameras on Etsy and then…?”

Something about the art, the process, must have clicked with my brain. I had already been dabbling in digital art for a while and had even printed a few things out on my Little Printer That Could. Realizing all I needed was sticker paper, I did a little research (and am still doing it today) and ordered some Avery paper. Then of course I took it to the group chat – what kind of stickers would my friends want? Unicorns were a popular answer, so I drew my Winking Unicorn, printed it, and cut it out.

Unicorn Sticker

I was so EXCITED. Sure I was lucky that it turned out well on the first try, but.. Something that I could take from an idea to a tangible result on my own? An outlet for amateur doodles besides the endless hashtag void? A potential ~side hustle, even? Yes yes yes. “Stickers are exactly what I needed” is a funny sentence, but it’s true for me.

Eventually, I felt ready to open my shop, and talk about the whole experience on the internet, so that’s what brings me before you today. Not only do I love documenting things for my own personal amusement, but I hope that reading about my experiences can help other handmade sellers, sticker makers, and artists. So get ready for everything from product tests to social media woes to visual envy – I mean inspiration. And thanks for reading. Really.