A chance conversation with a friend over dinner gave me an interesting challenge: adding images of greyhounds to coloring patterns.
Amber works at a greyhound track. Her job is the welfare of greyhounds as they approach retirement from racing, and to raise funds for the charity providing after-retirement care of the dogs.
The charity holds seasonal “fairs” to help raise money.
I was retraining as a coloring pattern designer and told Amber. She asked if I could do some with greyhounds in to sell at the fairs.
We agreed quantity and price, and what rights she could have. As the designer of the piece I have full rights. Amber wanted to print off several sets for each fair without getting into legal trouble with me. I agreed to give her private label rights for the set.
Challenge 1: Finding a greyhound image with a commercial licence.
I tried my usual stock photo suppliers for a greyhound image. Lots of labradors, chihuahuas, huskies and greyhounds racing around a track, but no greyhounds out of racing garb. The designs were to support retired greyhounds so I wanted a greyhound without racing kit on.
I asked in some FB artists groups but no joy.
The designs were throwing up other challenges. Given that greyhounds are medium-large dogs, fitting an image of one in each of the four corner circles in the design at the top of this blog post wouldn’t be feasible. A paw print would’ve been ideal but I couldn’t even get a greyhound, never mind a paw print!
I kept working on designs and variations of designs. Some had the middle filled in which was no good because that was where the dog image would go. I invested £9.99 in a template with a gap in the centre.
No more guesswork and I would be able to use it with other designs.
I knew I would find a greyhound image but I was running out of stock image sites to try.
Someone suggested a clip art site. I lost count of how many I tried but all had “not for commercial use”. That was frustrating.
Reported to Amber and showed her how the designs were coming on.
Aware there were only three weeks to the fair, I was getting anxious. I even drove around my local area trying to find someone out walking a greyhound. There are one or two around here but they weren’t out when I was.
In desperation, I contacted the guy who trained me.
“Have you tried…..?” he asked, pointing me to a clip art site where most of the images are licensed under Creative Commons. They were royalty-free and could be used for any purpose including commercial.
I tried and they had one greyhound image. It was clip art and in black but it was fine. And no £xxx for a commercial licence.
I would’ve kissed him if he’d been in the UK instead of the US!
Amber was delighted when I told her and didn’t mind that I could only get one image. She was more concerned that the coloring designs would be different.
Challenge 2: Fitting the greyhound in the coloring design.
I went through 20 training videos on YouTube then found a tips-sheet from PhotoshopEssentials.com. It was written with clear instructions.
Tried it and got the greyhound in place on the fourth attempt. I was well chuffed and saw light at the end of the tunnel.
Yay! One down, nineteen to go.
The first one was easy but I knew some of the others would be more fiddly. This is the link to the set. Take a look, you’ll see what I mean.
One Chuffed Amber.
It took a week to get the designs how I wanted with the greyhound image. I did the private label rights licence and sent Amber the pack.
A few weeks later, Amber contacted me. She’d printed off six copies of the set and they’d all sold at the fair. She’d had to write a list of people who wanted their own sets.
It’s not my place to say how much donations have increased but Amber prints off six sets for each fair and all six are sold, helping more retired greyhounds to be rehomed and looked after.
(NB – Personal details have been changed to retain anonymity. )