Monday, April 23, 2012

Interview with Sean Parsons of Mystica Maxima


Sean Parsons of Mystica Maxima 
Sean Parsons


Rico:
What's Your Name?


Sean Parsons
 

Rico:
List your shop(s) -


Sean Parsons :

Mystica Maxima

This was my first "real" gallery. I have always been interested Buddhism, Zen and spiritual things in general, which is why I joined Zazzle in the first place. I wanted to promote alternative ways of thinking and do my part to try to popularize things the general public aren't necessarily aware of. "Mystica maxima" is a corruption of Latin, meaning "a very holy place".

Art Through the Ages

I have an enormous respect for all artists, but especially those from the Medieval era to that of Post-Impressionism. Works by Bouguereau, Moreau, Caravaggio and Klimt are some of my favorites. In creating this gallery, I felt I could showcase all of the artists that had been of particular interest to me. Many of my friends are artists, or are interested in art. It isn't everyday you have the ability to purchase anything from a coffee mug to an Ipad with your favorite work of art on it!

Native Americana

By heritage, I am Cherokee-Iroquois, so it was a given that if I had some success at my previous galleries, I would definitely open one based on Native culture. Unlike 'Mystica' and 'Art', I've added links on various organizations that I hope people go to when visiting. I should also add that 10% of my earnings for this gallery go directly to a relevant charity. I can't use their name here due to self-promotional issues, but the money gets to where it needs to.



Rico:
What type of product do you sell the most of?


Sean Parsons :
Postcards! I sold 89 in a day from the same customer. I assume it was a business stocking-up, but I can't say for sure. They're still my biggest seller. I almost didn't include them at all since I thought the pay-out was too small, but I'm happy to say customers usually buy them in bulk.


Rico:
How long have you been at Zazzle?


Sean Parsons :
I joined Zazzle in April, 2011, after losing my job as an assistant chemist. I didn't really do much until August of the same year, and now things are finally taking off!


Rico:
Are you a ProSeller?

Sean Parsons :
Not sure how to answer this one. The guidelines state making 100.00 in lifetime earning by .com customers. I hit that mark on December 15, 2011, but still waiting on the badge. I read in the forum they're giving them out in late February, so we'll see! Rico: Update: Sean got his well deserved badge! 

Rico:
How did you find Zazzle?


Sean Parsons :
It was late March or very early April of 2011. I was filling-out online applications and CNN had a feature on Zazzle. I promptly went to the site, signed-up, and have been at it ever since. I knew before the end of the CNN feature that I'd found my new place of employment, lol.




Rico:
What made you decide to open your own store?


Sean Parsons :
I immediately understood the potential when I signed-up. There was no question I was going to create as many products and stores as possible, and since last April, things have only gotten better.
 

Rico:
What's the best advise you got when you were starting out?


Sean Parsons :
READ THE FORUMS!! Seriously! I have been saved from so many pitfalls, I couldn't even begin to explain. The forums have been around awhile, so pretty much any question you have has already been asked. Not all, of course, but a good 99%. Zazzlers on the forums really go way out of their way to help you out--especially if you're a newbie. Plus there's tons and tons of information on learning html (Sugar vs. Spice and Bradley from Ars Celtica come to mind), ways to promote and just generally get a helping hand on whatever you need!




Rico:
What was your first sale (include link)?


Sean Parsons :
A black and silver pinback button in the form of the zodiac sign of Cancer.



Rico:
What medium/tools do you use to create your designs?


Sean Parsons :
GIMP (Gnu Imaging Manipulation Program). I can't say enough about it! It's a free alternative to PhotoShop, which can run upwards of 500.00, yet GIMP can do practically anything PhotoShop can do. It takes a while to learn, but is well worth the time!

Rico:
What is your favorite aspect about Zazzle? 
 

Sean Parsons :
Personally, since I consider this a full-time job, I have no one barking orders and I don't bark orders to anyone. From the artistic point-of-view, the ability to sell art knowing that someone will be enjoying what they've purchased, is definitely the best part.
 


Rico:
Who or what inspires you?


Sean Parsons :
Many people inspire me. I'm a history/philosophy buff, and it's the people that had the world against them and still stuck to their guns because they believed in themselves. Einstein was a failure for years as a patent-clerk; Darwin definitely had his opposition, and there are plenty of others to draw inspiration from. Ordinary people would have given-up, yet they pushed forward and are now household names for many people. 



Rico:
How much time a week to you spend on Zazzle?


Sean Parsons :
I have a 2-year old daughter, so it differs from week to week. I try to fit in 6-8 hours every week (before she wakes, during her nap and after she goes to sleep), sometimes more, sometimes less. I also try to split my "Zazzle-time" up between creating products, and promoting the sites. 
 


Rico:
What's the best advise you can give someone just starting out on Zazzle?


Sean Parsons :
Aside from joining the forums, I'd say don't get too discouraged! I've heard it again and again that this CAN be a career, if you take it seriously, but it is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes time to learn how to create products, templates and programs; it takes time to learn to promote...just understand that you do have to put a lot of effort into promoting until you see any significant changes. 
 


Rico:
What do you like to do when you are not creating art?


Sean Parsons :

Read and hang-out with my daughter. What could be better?!
 
 
 Rico:
For most each product or design they create is special. What is your most favorite design and why (include link)?


Sean Parsons :
'Golden Papyrus', by far. I'm an armchair Egyptologist, and using GIMP software to manipulate a page of the Papyrus of Ani, and having it come out like it did, was very special.
 
 


Rico:
Tell me 5 random things everyone should know about you?


Sean Parsons :

1.) No matter how I try, I cannot for the life of me grow a beard!

2.) I'm left-handed.

3.) Learning T'ai Ch'i (we'll see how that goes, however!)

4.) I've lived in 9 different cities and 5 states.

5.) I'm a Jeopardy fanatic! 


Rico:
Include links to 3 of your favorite designs you want me to feature. Tell me something about each design.


Sean Parsons :

'Golden Papyrus' Plaques


This was one of my first decent designs using GIMP. It was basically just a worn black & white from an old book, and after learning some cool tricks, it turned out amazing! The contrast between the gold and black, for me, has made this one of my top sellers.



'Blue Diamonds' Print

'Blue Diamonds' zazzle_print
'Blue Diamonds' by nativeamericana
Get the best in online poster printing at zazzle.com

I don't have much of an interest in patterns in general, but this one really wakes me up! It reminds me of one of the hippie posters from the 60s that if you stared too long at it, you'd get vertigo.  
 


'Snow Princess' Poster


This was a black & white photo one of my relatives had given me long ago; pretty plain and not very interesting by any means. Again, using GIMP software, I was able to bring this young woman back to life with vibrant colors and a snowy, swirly foreground. This one is hanging on my wall as we speak!   


Rico:
If you could purchase ANY item (of someone else’s) what would it be? Why?


Sean Parsons :

Sagittarius Zodiac Sign Tile


Probably 'Sagittarius Zodiac Sign' Tile, by Specialeetees' 'Earth Magick shop. There are a huge number of extraordinarily talented Zazzlers, but personally, I enjoy her creations the most.   


Rico:
Zazzle has helped many people meet goals that they otherwise wouldn’t have achieved. What has Zazzle helped you to achieve in your personal life?


Sean Parsons :
I am a single parent to a wonderful 2 year old daughter, and I get to spend a lot more time with her now that I work from home. I will be achieving much, much more in the future, but being allowed the opportunity to spend as much time with my daughter is incomparable.    
 


Rico:
Where else can our readers find you online? (Facebook, Twitter, other blog or website)


Sean Parsons :
 

Rico:
Anything else you'd like to share?


Sean Parsons :
Just another tip for we newbies: promotion is just as important as creation! If you plan on making any money, you should spend at least as much time promoting as you do making your products, and get the Google Keyword Tool--it's FREE!

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