Last Chance to Paint with John Dyer

Last week Zazzle artist John Dyer travelled all the way from Falmouth, Cornwall to the tribal village of Mutum, in the Acre region of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil. With him, he brought some high-tech satellite equipment and plenty of art supplies.

The expedition is the first chapter in an incredible new project called ‘Last Chance to Paint,’ which will see John paint endangered ecosystems and peoples around the world. On their travels, John and his team will connect with schools via technology to share their experiences and art, and to inspire children to create their own paintings of rapidly disappearing wildlife and cultures.

We caught up with John before he set off to find out more about this exciting and eye-opening project!

Tell us a bit more about Last Chance to Paint! When and why did you decide to launch the initiative?

Ever since I travelled to the Amazon rainforest in 1989 as a photographer for Thames TV, I have been exploring the world through my art. That adventure convinced me that painting was a more powerful medium to connect to the natural world, and I have painted ever since. Painting allows an artist to not only capture what they see but also what they feel, and that magical place where the two intersect is art.

Over the last 18 years, I have been honoured to be able to explore environmental subjects around the globe, and in the world’s largest captive rainforest, with the Eden Project as their artist in residence. My last big project was in 2015 when I met an Amazon Indian, Nixiwaka Yawanawá. I discovered his dream was to paint and we worked together on ‘Spirit of the Rainforest’, which inspired more than 1,000 children to celebrate tribal culture with their own artwork.

Last year, I was 50 years old and a new book was published about my life and work with a foreword by Alan Titchmarsh:  ‘John Dyer – Painting the Colours of the World’. The last chapter in this book was titled ‘Last Chance to Paint’, and literally maps out endangered environments around the world that I would love to paint: the places, people, animals and plants we might lose if we are not careful.

I decided that if we gained support and used the latest satellite and web technology, we could make this idea into a much bigger four-year arts and educational project. We wanted to enable schools to be in the moment, to ask questions and to ‘travel’ with me to connect them to the world. Last Chance to Paint then quickly became a reality as it resonated well with everyone I approached.

What are the first locations on your itinerary? How did you choose them, and what are you planning to paint there?

The first three chapters of the project are funded and planned. I wanted to connect back with Nixiwaka Yawanawá to paint with him again as the tribe invited me to do so. This became the obvious first chapter and is called ‘Spirit of the Rainforest 2’. I will be travelling with one of the world’s greatest explorers on the first two chapters, Robin Hanbury-Tenison, OBE. Our next chapter will be to visit the Penan tribe in Borneo, where more than 90% of the rainforest has now been felled. I will also be working with the Orangutan Foundation and painting and drawing orangutans. So Borneo is Chapter two of the project and is called ‘Person of the Forest’. The third chapter is named ‘Precious Africa’, and is literally a Last Chance to Paint the world’s last two Northern White Rhino before this species is lost from planet earth. It has to be one of the first chapters because when I started to plan the project there were three rhinos, but with the death of the last male Northern White Rhino, there are now only two and time is very short.  

Why do you think art is such an effective medium for engaging children with important issues like conservation and climate change? How can schools get involved in this project?

David Attenborough said recently: “No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced.” This is exactly what we hope to address as when a child takes time to make a piece of art they are pausing to think, to reflect, to look and will start to care for the subject. This reflective and creative space is really important and is something I believe can be harnessed in a powerful way.

Schools can take part in Last Chance to Paint from all over the world for free! All we ask is that they let us know by registering their interest on our website. Once they have done that, they should follow the Last Chance to Paint live blog and social media so that can ‘travel’ with us and send us their questions. They can have a Q&A with an Amazon Indian tribe, the Penan Tribe in Borneo and experts in Africa, as well as asking me and the team whatever they wish via this page. It will send the content of their message to us wherever we are in the world via satellite. Pretty cool!

We also have downloadable lesson plans, created by the Born Free Foundation, available for teachers to make delivering the project really easy. We also hope every child will be able to have their art uploaded to us so we can exhibit it on our online gallery, which we aim to be the best and largest art celebration of planet earth by children in the world.

Will your resulting artwork be available to buy on Zazzle?

Yes! We have a new Zazzle store dedicated to Last Chance to Paint that already has several of my paintings. As each chapter of the project is completed, new artworks will be added and we are using the profits raised from the sales to help us fund future chapters of Last Chance to Paint. I think it is really inspiring for children to see an artist at work, to be able to ask questions and then to see that artist’s work published and available for sale. It’s an amazing process and the Zazzle platform allows me to make a great variety of art available on a wide range of items that will hopefully inspire and connect those who purchase them. If anyone would like to donate directly, they can do so on our gofundme page.

We can’t wait to see the new paintings added to John Dyer’s store, and will be tuning in to follow his adventures live from the rainforest and beyond!

Featured Creator: The Arty Apples

Design duo, Michelle and Leanne, started their Zazzle store The Arty Apples after realising that life is too short to not follow your passions. They now work on the business full-time from their homes in the Cotswolds, and are even getting younger members of the family involved!

Where is your hometown?

We both still live in our hometown where we were born. It’s a small market town in the Cotswolds.

Tell us about the space where you do your work. Do you have an official studio, or have you carved out a nook in your home?

We both work from our homes. As all of our design work is done on laptops, we have the freedom to choose where to work. Some days we will work at our desks, sometimes in the garden, and other times lounging on the sofa!

What is your background in art/design? What got you started creating?

Michelle: After working for many years in retail, I had had enough of middle manager demands and staff issues. So I started to learn some new skills in digital design. I then made the decision that life is too short to not do something you love, so that was the turning point for me. We now work full time on the business, and I enjoy it every day.

Leanne: I always dreamed of being a graphic designer and I studied Art and Graphics for GCSE. However, the careers advisor steered me towards Maths-based subjects because I had a natural aptitude. So art was put on the back burner. After becoming a mum, I decided I had to go back to my passion and set up a creative company.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Anywhere and everywhere. Once we get an idea for a product, we tend to research other examples to ensure our products would be different from what’s currently on offer. We draw inspirations from magazines, children’s books, illustrators and greetings cards.

When do you feel your most creative? Your least?

We both create our best work around the middle of the day. We’re certainly not early birds or night owls!

What are your favourite products to design on Zazzle?

Photo backdrops! They are a fairly new product and they complement the work we already have in our shop.

If you could wish for one new product on Zazzle, what would it be and why?

Zazzle has recently added some products we had been waiting for, such as photo backdrops! It would also be amazing to have letterpress because we know customers, particularly of wedding stationery, would love this option.

What was the very first Zazzle product that you sold?

Fall-themed address cards

Do you have any advice for new Zazzle Creators?

Don’t give up because it does take a while to get noticed and royalties can be slow to start. Just keep adding high-quality designs and the hard work will pay off!

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you?

We both love anything crafty, and we teach Leanne’s daughters, and Michelle’s granddaughters, in the hope that one day they will open their own Zazzle stores!

UK Creator Store Spotlight: Scrummylicious

Today we’re chatting to Sharon Turner, aka ‘Scrummylicious‘ from Nottingham, biomedical scientist turned artist! She’s inspired by nature, animals and architecture and her store is packed with eclectic animals and patterns. She’s a fan of sci-fi and dreams to live by the sea…

Tell us a bit about yourself! Where are you living right now?

I’m based in Nottingham, which is about as far away from the seaside as you can be. Not good planning on my part because I love the sea! Art is my work, my hobby and my therapy… I’m kind of lost if I’m not being creative. I love to draw. Drawing is the best thing ever.

Scrummylicious- Sealion Coaster


Where you do you draw? Do you have a studio or are you just as creative at home?

My studio is in the corner of my dining room, which looks out onto our lovely garden. I can lose myself in my designing but still be around for the real life stuff too. As long as my laptop is playing a movie for me to listen to as I work, it’s all good. Horror and sci-fi are my favourite genres!

Scrummylicious - Mandala Work in Progress


What is your background in art and design? What got you started creating?

I’ve always been a very creative person. I chose to study biochemistry and biomedical science for my degree, but found my way back to art after I got married. I’ve studied interior design, sewn home furnishings, made jewellery… I’ve always been obsessed by shape and colour! Now I draw and make patterns for a living. I’m very lucky.

Scrummylicious - Leggings

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Nature, animals, architecture… anything, nothing and everything! It’s hard NOT to be inspired. I love having beautiful patterns and prints all around me, all of the time.

Scrummylicious - San Francisco Clock

When do you feel your most creative? Your least?

I’m a night owl. I’m definitely the most productive in the early hours. And I need at least three cups of coffee in the morning to start being even remotely human.

Scrummylicious - Bike Mug

What are your favourite products to design on Zazzle?

I love the cushions the best. So many options, and they are such a great way to update a room. I also love the shower curtains and leggings. I’m fond of the bigger items as my patterns and animals look really great on them.

Scrummylicious - Fox Pillow

If you could wish for one new product on Zazzle, what would it be and why?

To be honest, you now have the one that I’d been wishing for forever – fabric! Designing patterns for textiles is fantastic, especially when I get to see what people make with it!

Scrummylicious: Deer Fabric

What was the very first Zazzle product that you sold?

I always like to have my best work in my Zazzle store. I occasionally have a spring clean to keep everything fresh. So (cough) I’m afraid I don’t know… I think I deleted it. But I’m sure it was lovely!

Scrummylicious - Shower Curtain

Do you have any advice for new Zazzle Creators?

I’m not very good at taking criticism or direction. I just do what I love. I think if you have art in your soul, you will be great. Just enjoy it. And drink coffee.

Scrummylicious - Panda Wood Wall Art

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you?

I’m arting all the time… my portfolio is getting pretty big! Do check out my website and follow me on social media to keep up to date! If you ever spot an artwork that you’d like on a particular product on Zazzle, drop me a line. I’m always happy to help when I can.

Creator Spotlight: The John Dyer Gallery

Today we’re excited to introduce our first featured artist on the UK blog, The John Dyer Gallery. John lives and works in Falmouth and his work captures the vibrancy of the stunning Cornish coastline and other destinations around the world. From bustling fishing harbours to the Amazon rainforest, every scene is full of life and fun. We had a chat about what inspires him as an artist, and his favourite products on Zazzle!

John Dyer Painting The Amazon Rainforest

Tell us about yourself!

I live in Falmouth, Cornwall – one of the art hotspots in the country and a super inspiring coastal location to live and work in! I am a contemporary artist, painter and my canvases are sold all over the world. I use elements from my paintings to create my designs on Zazzle. I am the www.EdenProject.com artist in residence and love to travel and study environmental subjects around the world.

John Dyer Seagull T-Shirt

Tell us about the space where you do your work. Do you have a studio or a particular place in your home where you paint?

I have always worked from home – cost effective and friendly! I have a large house and the three floors all have studio spaces for painting, packing, designing and framing. It is quite an industrious place! I live and work by the beach surrounded by wonderful light, sub-tropical plants and holiday fun.

John Dyer Painting Palette

What is your background in art? How did you get started?

My father is an artist, so I grew up surrounded by art. I trained in London in graphic design and then lived in Camden as a freelance designer and young artist. Travelling to the Amazon rainforest in 1989 converted me to a painter.

Spirit of the Amazon Rainforest Poster - John Dyer
Spirit of the Amazon Rainforest Poster

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

The natural world, my family, people on holiday and inspiring places all influence my work.

Summertime Night St Ives John Dyer Mug
Summertime Nights St Ives Mug

When do you feel your most creative? Your least?

When I have a clear head I feel the most creative and when I travel.

Cannes - South of France - John Dyer iPhone Case
Cannes – South of France Case

What are your favourite products to design on Zazzle?

I love the variety of Zazzle products, it’s a wonderful design process to go through. My favourites are the ties, phone cases and clocks, but my most popular items are posters and postcards. Overall, it’s the variety that I like and the challenge of working with new products all the time.

Horse Racing Tie - John Dyer
Horse Racing Tie

Do you have any advice for new Zazzle Creators?

Have fun! Design lots of products and don’t worry if some don’t sell – you need a wide offering to attract interest and then keep expanding the range. Order your own products, as presents for friends and family so you get to know what you are selling.

Any final thoughts for our readers?

Zazzle are a great company to work with and they look after our customers well. It’s a fantastic partnership!

Creator Tips: How to Create Feed Friendly Products

Today we’re sharing a post from Elizabeth on our US blog about optimising products for feeds. Over to you, Elizabeth!

Building your brand and finding new opportunities for growth is part of being a business owner. As a Zazzle Creator, you know the hustle from product creation and promotional efforts to marketplace optimizations. Today, we’d like to go over another way you can expand your customer reach without too much effort, by optimizing your products so they can easily be added to feeds.

As you can imagine, Zazzle invests a lot into advertising campaigns to drive customers to the site and to your unique products; shopping feeds are a key part of that strategy. We’re not just talking about Amazon, but also Google and Bing which have shopping ads. The example below shows how these ads appear on the web.

If you go on Google search and type in ‘custom pink daisy invitations,’ what comes up is a search results page with the Google shopping section on top or on the right-hand side. In the example below, five Zazzle invitations come up on top, under the shopping section.

How to Design Products for Feeds

If your product was to come up in an ad like this, it’s likely that you would get more traffic and sales for that particular product. In fact, we’ve seen a direct correlation with products getting surfaced in these external ads to the success of the product and the Creator on Zazzle. Not all products can be considered for these ads, but we’d like to share with you a few things you can do to improve your chances.

One significant factor that we consider for feeds is if a product has a good long-tail title and description. A long title means several descriptive words that are true to your design. In the example below, each word can be used to describe the invitation. You can think of the title below in terms of color (pink), descriptive elements (gerber daisy), and occasions (graduation). Be creative, but make sure the title makes sense as a whole so you can use it in a sentence, it shouldn’t be a number of keywords strung together.

How to Design Products for Feeds

The same idea goes for your product description. The description gives you an opportunity to tell the story about your design. What occasion do you picture your customers purchasing this design for? What’s its inspiration? What’s its history?

In the example below, we can see the description paints a picture of the customer using the product for a specific event — invite guests to a celebration honoring the recent high school or college graduate. It also provides a more in depth description of the design itself by highlighting the style (cute), medium (digitally painted photograph), and background (tan). To get ideas for titles and descriptions, you can do some searches yourself and see what type of titles and descriptions seem to work well in the ads.

How to Design Products for Feeds

Another important factor in getting in creating feed-friendly products is image quality. As the search engine (e.g. Google) wants to deliver the best possible customer experience, image quality is key. Among not accepting products with blurry images or images with text overlay, products with watermarks will also not be considered for ads. You can remove your watermarks from your products by unchecking the box in your advanced store settings.

How to Design Products for Feeds

Creating long-tail titles and descriptions, and not using watermarks are important parts of getting your products into feeds. The good news is that following these practices will most likely give you a boost in the Zazzle marketplace as well, so it’s a double win for you! We hope you’ll take this into consideration as you create your products and grow your business and your brand.

Mother’s Day Ideas – How To Make Mum’s Day On 11 March

Mother’s Day 2018 is just around the corner on Sunday 11th March. Whether you’ll be celebrating with mum, step-mum, nan or another super woman in your life, you want to show her how much she means to you. Flowers or a box of chocolate are sure to be appreciated, but there are so many more ways to make her day special. So we’ve come up with some creative Mother’s Day gifts and even activities for some full-on family fun. From cakes to walks to bubble baths, these Mother’s Day ideas are bound to put a smile on her face.

1. Send Her a Card

Sometimes the simplest gestures are the most personal and a handwritten card is always a winner. On Zazzle, you can even personalise Mother’s Day cards with names or photos.

2. Make Her a Photo Gift

Go through those old photos and pick out the ones that will make her smile or laugh. Use the best ones to create a photo collage or upload them to make photo mugs, canvas, key rings and more.

3. Plan a Pampering Session

Book a mani/pedi or spa for you both. Or just pick up her favourite beauty products, run a bubble bath, pour a glass of fizz and let her relax for an hour or two.

4. Share a Story

Give her your favourite book that she hasn’t read. Write her a sweet note in the front cover explaining why you think she will love it too.

5. Take Afternoon Tea

Get dressed up and head into town for a classic afternoon tea at a fancy hotel or tea room.

6. Or, Make Your Own

Bake (or buy) scones and cakes. Add jam, clotted cream, some mini-sandwiches and a range of high-end teas. Set a special table with custom plates, napkins and even a tea pot!

7. Have a Movie Marathon

Camp out on the sofa to watch her favourite films. Add popcorn, drinks and blankets for a perfect girls’ night in.

8. Make Sweet Treats

If she has a sweet tooth, why not make your own truffles, fudge or other treats rather than picking up a selection box. Dress them up with custom gift wrap like favour bags, stickers and ribbon.

9. Play a Game

Gather the family and play a board game, a cards session or, if you’re feeling active and there are lots of you, a team sport!

10. Give Her the Day Off

Let her lie in, get her breakfast in bed then give the whole day off, while you do any cooking, cleaning, gardening etc.

11. Go For a Walk

Set out as a family on a hike or just a walk in park. Stop off in a nice old country pub and treat her to Mother’s Day lunch, or bring a picnic if it’s sunny!

12. Prepare a Toast

Bring over her favourite bottle of wine and make a heartfelt toast to everything she does for you. Enjoy a glass or two while reminiscing over your funniest family memories. Add a personalised wine label for a special touch.

Now you have no excuses to pull off a fabulous Mother’s Day surprise! You can also shop for more on our Mother’s Day gift ideas page.

Wedding Trends To Watch Out For

As spring begins, so will the wedding season and a whole new bunch of wedding trends to get excited about. While classic wedding themes will never go out of style, a touch of a trend can set your day apart and make it more individual to you. So now that chalkboards and burlap are behind us (mostly), what will be the dress, stationery, reception, food or décor this year? From ultra violet to see-through table settings, there is lots of fun to be had. Get in there first with our guide to 2018 wedding trends.

Ultra Violet

Pantone of the year always plays a part in setting wedding colour trends. In 2018 it’s all about ultra violet, a deep blue-based purple with cosmic or even regal undertones. It might seem a bit bold, but sprinkled throughout your wedding – in the invites, table settings, bouquet ribbons or bridesmaid dresses – it can add energy and depth. The whole purple palette is trending too, from lavender to lilac.

Ultra Violet Wedding Invite

Midnight Garden

In 2018 we’ll be seeing a shift away from soft pastel palettes to the dark and dramatic. Rich and moody hues like burgundy and deep purples will appear in floral arrangements even mixed with berries and boho details like feathers. With a dark fairytale feel, this wedding trend works well for winter – it would look stunning against the snow. Set the tone from the beginning with dark floral invitations.

Greenery

Last year’s Pantone of the year, greenery, was a huge hit and in 2018 it is only set to grow. Not only is this trend visually beautiful but it’s budget friendly too. Try lush plants like ferns, eucalyptus, vines or succulents for stunning shapes or herbs like lavender, rosemary or thyme to even perfume your venue. Use to line your aisle, on the table tops and in bouquets. You can illustrate your theme on your stationery and other details like napkins or favour bags.

Greenery Wedding Invitation

Heralded Crests

Monograms have long been a chic way to personalise your wedding, on invitations, cakes, napkins and programmes. But now couples are going beyond simple initials and commissioning more whimsical letter art with floral flourishes or even heraldic style crests. On Zazzle you can print yours on everything from save the dates to favours.

Black Magic

Straight from the fashion pages, this trend is bold but beautiful. We’ve seen high-end wedding gowns with black accents, black bridal crowns and bridesmaid dresses. If you don’t fancy a dark wedding dress, you can still try black ribbons, invitations or favours. Black table settings like table cloths, place mats or napkins also look stunning paired with gold cutlery.

Black Wedding Napkin

Fun Food

From food-stations to trucks, eating is becoming more and more of an experience at a wedding. Unlike a sit-down meal, informal food means more mingling. It’s also a fun way to show off your personality by choosing the foods that mean a lot to you – from your cultural heritage to favourite guilty pleasures. Dessert tables offering a whole range cakes also go down a treat. Add some more personality to your food stations with personalised paper party supplies like plates, napkins, cups and more.

Copper

Move over rose gold, copper is this year’s must-have metallic. Perfect for an autumn wedding, copper accents such as cutlery, lanterns or even tables and chairs create a warm and cosy glow. It pairs well with dark colours like navy or a paler blush pink, but also with marbles or concrete materials for a more industrial look.

Copper Wedding Sticker

Transparent Touches

Mid-century design is having a moment, and with it we’re seeing the use of see-through materials like acrylic, Perspex and good-old glass. From glass marquees to floor-to-ceiling windows to see-through dancefloors, clear décor is modern and fun. It lets the light in and quite simply makes your space look bigger and brighter. These minimalist materials also put the focus on what they are displaying or holding, from colourful cakes to bright bouquets. Try serving the bubbly on Zazzle’s acrylic trays.

Written In the Stars

From the actual moon, sun and stars to mythical astrology, celestial themes are set to trend in 2018. There are many unique and beautiful ways to add a celestial vibe to your wedding, from fairy lights and disco balls to star sign favours or crystal-encrusted headdresses. While constellations and phases of the moon can create stunning graphics and interesting names for table plans. We think this trend is truly out of this world.

Celestial Wedding Invitation

Typographic Signs

Typography is nothing new but couples are being more and more playful with their words. Wedding signage spelling out your last name, nicknames, favourite quotes or an in-joke adds a fun and personal element to your wedding décor. They can also be repurposed in your home as a memento of the day. Wood or acrylic wall art or neon signs, will all make the transition from your wedding to walls.

Geodes & Crystals

There are plenty of ways to rock the geode trend on your big day. The beautiful colours and curvaceous shapes in these rock formations work beautifully printed on the invitations, table cards, plates and more. Couple are even ordering geode wedding cakes in jewel colours and encrusted with sugar crystals.

Geode Agate Wedding Wine Labels

Bold Backdrops

Wedding arches have long created a focus for the ceremony and of course the photographs, but in 2018 some new shapes will set the scene. Full-circle wedding wreaths are not only on the invites, but in the actual wedding. Whilst geometric backdrops like A-frame arches or diamond shapes are also being spotted in on-trend ceremonies. Bold backdrops elsewhere in the venue add a personal element and photo opportunities, from flower walls to commissioned murals.

Rehearsal Dinners

A longstanding tradition in the USA, rehearsal dinners are starting to take off in the UK and Ireland. Everyone is bound to be spending the evening together anyway, so why not make it a bit more of an occasion by preparing invitations and menus. Plan a dinner or drinks party somewhere special or even just a few down at the local. Remember it’s supposed to be fun, but not so fun you are still out at 2am…

Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

The Great Indoors

Let’s face it, the weather can’t be trusted. So rather than refreshing the forecast every few minutes, why not go indoors. Your inside reception doesn’t have to be a castle or manor house. Industrial loft-style spaces, museums ad even pubs are becoming more popular. Select a space that played a part in your relationship – where you had your first date or where he proposed. Low-key venues strip away formality and make guests your guests feel at home so you can just enjoy each other’s company. Better than a soggy wedding dress any day.

Me & My City: Ana, Project Manager at Zazzle, On Valencia

The people working at Zazzle are as diverse and unique as our products, and here at Zazzle’s International HQ in Cork, we have an amazing bunch from all over the world. In our new series ‘Me & My City’, we want to introduce you to some of the International team, what they do at Zazzle and tell us a bit about where they are from. You’ll meet our marketeers, translation experts, merchandisers and in-house creators, from Spain, Sweden, Brazil, Japan and of course our hometown Cork, Ireland. We hope you enjoy seeing a bit more behind the scenes at Zazzle, and then get some summer holiday inspiration to boot!

Today we’re chatting to Ana, our Project Manager and her city Valencia, Spain.

Beach in Xàbia, Valencia region
Ana, off duty in Xàbia in the Valencia region

Name: Ana

Hometown: Valencia, Spain

Tell us about yourself! What do you do at Zazzle?

I was born and raised in Xàbia, Alicante but I went to university in Valencia, which I consider my second home. I have lived and worked in different countries, but I moved to Cork, Ireland for the opportunity to work at Zazzle! I work as a project manager for our international markets, helping my team (an amazing group of colleagues from different countries) to localise the Zazzle website into eight different languages. We do everything from translating product descriptions to implementing SEO strategies to launching marketing campaigns adapted to different markets.

What is your favourite Zazzle product, and why?

I love the fleece blankets! The fabric is so soft, the print quality is amazing and there are many designs to choose from. They are perfect at this time of year to keep cosy in the cold weather.  

What are your hobbies?

I love travelling, history, walking and good food. Whenever I can, I take a flight somewhere in Europe, especially to destinations that combine all of these passions. 

What is there to see in your hometown?

Valencia is the city of light. I love the ‘Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias’. It’s a cultural complex with incredible architecture. The light in that area of the city is unique, especially on a sunny day when it reflects from the white buildings with different shapes. One building looks like an eye, another one like the ribs of a whale and so on. They all have different functions, from museums to an opera house to a cinema. They are located in the old riverbed, with nice gardens crossing the whole city from north to south.

Another area that I love in Valencia is the old town. You walk through it and you can see centuries of history and different cultures meld in the architecture. I recommend visiting el ‘Mercado Central’ (the Market) and ‘La Catedral de Santa María’ (the Cathedral). If you visit the Cathedral, don’t miss the art inside and take the stairs up to the tower called ‘Micalet’ to enjoy the most magnificent views of the city.

What should we eat there?

Paella! It’s originally from here and you won’t find a better version of this dish anywhere in the world than the one you will eat in Valencia. The whole of the Valencia region is known for its rice dishes. So don’t miss the opportunity to order rice for lunch! If you go in the summertime, you should also try ‘Horchata’. It’s a white, fresh drink made from tiger nuts (not actually nuts, but tiny root vegetables). It’s delicious! Of course there are many, many more dishes, but if I keep talking about food the list would be endless…

Are there any special celebrations in your hometown?

The most well known festival is ‘Fallas’. It’s a regional festival in March to celebrate Saint Joseph. People go out in the street to be with their friends; there are fireworks every day at 2pm; there is a parade where people wear regional dress and bring flowers to ‘La Virgen de los Desamparados’. But the most important part of the festival is that each neighbourhood builds a huge monument in the street, and then burns it to ashes on the night of 19th March, which is pretty spectacular. The Fallas festival is part of UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It’s really good fun!

Finally, are there any other interesting facts about Valencia?

One of the most important painters from Valencia is Joaquin Sorolla. He captures the light from the city like no one else. He also painted in Xàbia. I adore his art and I think you should see it at least once in a lifetime. One of his most important collections, called ‘Vision of Spain’, is in the Hispanic Society of America, New York.

Joaquín Sorolla - Couples On Horseback Postcard - UK Zazzle Blog

Joaquín Sorolla Guitar Players Postcards,UK Zazzle Blog

Calling All International Card Creators!

Do you fancy having your work featured onsite and on social platforms this Christmas?

We in the International marketing team are on the hunt for some standout Christmas cards created by creators in our International markets. In particular we’re looking for folded cards with greetings in British English or, if you are a native speaker, in French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Dutch or Japanese!

If you like the sound of FREE promotion on Zazzle (you might even make it onto the home page!) and the chance to be featured on our social channels, read on to find out how to upload Christmas designs in your native language.

Just follow these steps to submit your designs:

  • Go to the appropriate international domain on Zazzle to post your new design for sale.
  • To make sure your designs can be found on that domain, make sure all copy and content is added
    in the local language. This includes the design title, design description, tags and all template fields.
  • We suggest keeping your royalties under 15%.
  • Share your designs everywhere and with everyone – on your blog, Facebook page, Instagram,
    Pinterest, and more.
  • Any UK creators can add #myzazzle when posting your product on Instagram.

UK creators, please go to www.zazzle.co.uk and submit your designs HERE.

Australian creators, please go to www.zazzle.com.au and submit your designs HERE.

Canadian creators, please go to www.zazzle.ca and submit your designs HERE.

French creators, please go to www.zazzle.fr and submit your designs HERE.

Spanish creators, please go to www.zazzle.es and submit your designs HERE.

German creators, please go to www.zazzle.de and submit your designs HERE.

Dutch creators, please go to www.zazzle.nl and submit your designs HERE.

Japanese creators, please go to www.zazzle.co.jp and submit your designs HERE.

Portuguese creators, please go to www.zazzle.com.br and submit your designs HERE.

Swedish creators, please go to www.zazzle.se and submit your designs HERE

Happy designing and Good Luck!

The Best iPhone 8 Case For You

The new iPhone 8 sure looks stunning cased in glass, front and back. But even though Apple insists it is the most durable glass ever, it will be terrifying moment the day you drop your £700 device on the floor (you know it will happen).

But never fear! There are lots of strong but stylish iPhone 8 covers on Zazzle to keep your shiny new phone, shiny and new.

Here is our selection of the best iPhone 8 cases on Zazzle.

The Super Slim Case – Case-Mate Barely There

The original slim case, Case-Mate’s Barely There iPhone 8 cases are for people who don’t like cases. The featherlight design shows off the slim profile of your iPhone 8, in fact you, well, won’t even notice it’s there. The glossy, durable hard plastic shell and lay flat bezel protects from nicks, scratches, and scuffs but – take note – not BIG falls. So if you’re rather accident prone, you might want to invest in something stronger.

Blue Marble iPhone 7 Case
Blue Marble Barely There iPhone 8 Case
by Penzliks

The Rugged Case – Case-Mate Tough Extreme

Enter Case-Mate’s Tough Extreme: the ultimate protective iPhone 8 case. Rain proof, wind proof, dirt proof, sand proof and drop proof, this military-grade case is set to protect your phone on any adventure… or just the British winter. The main body of the case is made up of an impact resistant outer shell with a shock-absorbing flexible liner. A handy built-in screen protector stops screen scratches and cracking. Plus a textured exterior for added grip prevents your prized possession slipping through those fingers!

Wolf Apple iPhone 7, Tough Xtreme Phone Case
Wolf Tough Xtreme iPhone 8 Case
by MushiStore

The Hard-Core Case – Otterbox Defender

Let’s be clear, the Otterbox Defender does add a fair bit of bulk, but even the most fashionable phone is no good if it’s broke. Plus on Zazzle you can make your case more pretty by customising it with you own design! The Defender case offers three layers of protection against all sorts of knocks and tumbles: a polycarbonate exterior shell, rubber exterior slipcover and interior foam. The raised rubber edging also keeps the display off surfaces when placed face down, preventing any unsightly scratches or smudges. While the outer layer keeps out dust and dirt from your ports and buttons, but keeping them accessible. Even with all those layers of kit, this case doesn’t interfere with wireless charging.

Monogrammed Pastel Pink Floral Watercolor OtterBox Defender iPhone 8/7 Case
Pink Monogram OtterBox Defender iPhone 8 Case
by ljm_designs

The Clear Case – Uncommon iPhone Clearly™ Deflector

So you splashed out a seriously good-looking and high-tech phone. Now you want to it show off – those sleek edges, famous logo and perhaps even a chic rose-gold tint… We get it, and Uncommon’s clear iPhone cases will let you do just that. This case offers protection and personality, without losing your phone in a plastic block. Whether you adorn yours with your initials, a family photo or a wash of watercolour, the beauty of your iPhone 8 will still shine through. Built from shatterproof polycarbonate, this clear iPhone case doesn’t scrimp on the protective front either! Believe me, mine has had a fair few tumbles and my phone remains unscathed.

Clear monogram name watercolor hipster blue nautic iPhone 8/7 case
Watercolour Clear iPhone 8/7 case
by iGizmo

The Wooden Case – CARVED

If you like natural finishes, why not try a wood iPhone 8 case from Carved. Individually made from sustainably sourced real wood (choose your tree from Cherry, Walnut or Maple), each case has its own individual wood grain ensuring a truly one-of a kind finish, while the plastic casing protects the edges from drops and bumps. The plastic lip around the edge also means you can lay your phone face down and show off its beautiful natural finish, without scratching or smudging the screen. The real (but thin) wood panel look particularly good with vintage or rustic designs and is a real conversation starter.

Winter Forest Monogrammed Carved iPhone 8/7 Case
Winter Forest Carved iPhone 8 Case
by RedwoodAndVine

The Metallic Case – Incipio DualPro Shine

Another option in the slim and sophisticated category, this metal iPhone case is shiny but strong! You can choose from a range of metallic finishes from gold to silver to rose gold. With two layer it offers defense provide military grade drop protection: the shock absorbing inner core keeps your device safe from bumps and drops whilst the polycarbonate outer shell is scratch resistant. A pretty and practical choice!

Hi | Trendy and Cool Modern Script Typography Incipio DualPro Shine iPhone 8/7 Case
Rose Gold Incipio DualPro Shine iPhone 8Case
by christine592

So there you have it, an array of iPhone cases from the sleek and stylish to the ultra durable. Pick one for your personality and keep your phone in one piece.