How I Do Product Packaging

As I’ve sold my work over the years, I’ve had to learn some aspects of product packaging that help me solidify my presentation and brand. I’ll show in a few steps how I put together my packaging for cards and prints, so you can see how its made before shipping out.


When I ship out a print or card, I want it to look professional. Putting the packaging together helps cement a consistent reputation of your product quality. Something put together in a half-assed way won’t give that much of an impression. I want the first impression to be of good quality.

business cards


The items within the packaging will be your products. In my case, cards, prints, or original artwork. However, you’ll want other things like a business card (or two so they can be shared), envelopes for cards, and the clear sleeves everything will be placed inside. You can also add freebies, such as small extra items to make their buying experience more unique.


Supplies that you’ll need will be dependent on what products you are selling. You can use bags, wrapping paper, plastic, boxes, etc. For my own uses, I use clear sleeves as most of my stuff is flat. These bags have a back flap with an adhesive strip that I close upon completing the packing.

I get my business cards done at Vista Print. is a wonderful site that offers a multitude of packaging options, and it’s where I purchase mine.

Sets vs. Singles

When making products, you can create them in matching series, or as singles. I have both for my greeting cards. Both singles and sets are contained in one package. You can make these packs as elaborate as you like, but I opt to keep it simple.

Functions – Protection / Branding

Your packaging should protect the product from the elements to some degree during shipment, but also serve as an adequate container for the time being. Branding can be established using logos, company labels, and consistent quality and style. This will set you apart from other sellers by showing what your product looks like, the quality it delivers, and the clean presentation upon arrival to your customers.

In Conclusion

Product packaging is one step to getting your products out to customers, but one that shouldn’t be overlooked. The appearance of products upon receipt can make or break a seller’s reputation. Research your options, and cement your brand by delivering something uniquely you to your customers!

How I Do My Product Photography

Showcasing products visually is one of the first ways to sell just about anything. I’ve had to experiment over the years of selling my own work on Etsy. For a while my product photos weren’t the best, but I’ve improved with time. I can share with you here examples of my first attempts, and more recent ones having used better skills and materials.


  • LightBox – This is the one I use here. This is a box with either internal lighting, or windows for directional lights.
  • Mini Tripod – This is a great tool for getting stable shots at different angles, without any blur. Any of the other focusing features on your camera won’t be disrupted. There are many sizes and types of tripods, so search around.
  • Backdrop – In my case, my backdrops came with my lightbox kit. However, you can also choose your backdrops whether they are physical places, or an artificial setup you make yourself.
  • Accents – Seashells, decorative rocks, or floral pieces are great additions to spruce up product images. You can even use themed items for specific holidays or seasons depending on what you can find. I have been using seashells and sea stars recently. You can pick up these accents at places like Michael’s, or any craft related stores.
  • Smartphone or Digital Camera – You can use either of these. Make sure the capture resolution is 12 megapixels or more. I often use my camera phone, but also have a digital camera, too.
  • Photo Editing Software – I personally use Adobe Photoshop for my photo editing after the shoot is done. However, there are other free photo editing apps you can utilize for this purpose. You may also be able to edit the camera settings, and even images on your phone.
lightbox setup

Step 1: Setting Up The Lightbox

I first arrange my accents, and product position. My products are typically centered with specifically chosen accent pieces. I also switch on the LED lights inside my lightbox, and choose between cool and warm light tones.

lightbox 1

Step 2: Prepping Camera/Tripod

I usually make sure my phone, or camera is charged, then start adjusting settings. Some things you may want to check are white balance, turn off flash, and set quality settings to the higher end. The tripod is pretty straightforward, and you should position it at the right height to get the shots you want. You can adjust this for different angle shots.

Step 3: Shooting

Take several different product photos and then evaluate them. This can involve showing the items in context (ie; in use), in packaging, and with a basic white backdrop. You will need to be the judge of what works for your brand. I tend to prefer the more basic of the three types, but I have some product photos showing packaging.

Step 4: Photo Editing

Using Photoshop, I usually go in and crop images, do some color correction if needed, and removing any unwanted objects. There are some other great photo editing sites such as Canva, Fotor, Pxlr, and Snapseed.

Examples of my First and Most Recent Product Images

Progression from 2021 to a year later using a lightbox instead of using natural light and busy backgrounds. Artificial light has allowed me to develop cleaner, more professional looking product images.

Conclusion: Why Product Images Matter

Product images are the first focal point for your customers, and they need to succeed in drawing them in. Keep consistent with shoot style, branding, and quality, as these will boost your online presence. Each of these skills takes time, and won’t develop overnight. As long as you utilize the toolkit mentioned here, you can experiment over the months and years to develop branding and style for your products. I’m always continuing my own journey with this and other aspects of selling my work. Hope this helps others learn to photograph their own work, too.

Update 06/21/2018

I got caught up in other things again, but haven’t stopped arting away. It took some time for me to finally finish my new piece “DragonGears”, and I hadn’t done a 11″ x 14″ size artwork in a while.

Ended up with some steampunk gears in the background. Goodies and prints of this piece are now available through the shop links listed on the homepage.

I have had some issues with camera and video editing for my youtube channel the last two weeks. Couldn’t get my camera positioned right for filming, and failed to try and understand the LightWorks video editor. As a result, the last part of this artworks progress was all in still shots.

I’d been looking for a decent editor to help improve the quality of videos and utterly failed with that particular one. I finally found one that has an easier to grasp interface called VideoPad. It has a nice design and welcoming interface, along with added effects and things to help make videos look more professional.

In other news, I have new products exclusively available through my Etsy shop. Bookmarks and 11″ x 17″ posters of some of my work is slowly being added to shop sections. The bookmarks are pretty nicely made, and aren’t available anywhere else.


Here is a look at the posters I have in stock.


















Buy them here –

I have lots of small and medium sized original artworks for sale, and there is a 25% off sale going on until this Sunday. Just use code 25OFF at checkout!

YouTube Channel Updates & New Work

I’ve been working on improving the youtube channel, and recently learning to make better, more eye catching thumbnails. The keywords are more tricky, and peoples’ interest are always fickle.

I’m maintaining the style of fantasy, women, and reptiles, which seems to attract a decent amount of attention. I haven’t really seen anything else quite like what I’m doing. Women and dragons are another route to take every so often. Can’t go wrong with dragons.

As I type this, I have my bearded dragon soaking in his designated tub while I’m updating things online. My desk is also a mess, with two new artworks on top of each other, bills near by, an open package of batteries, and color pencils and tools spread everywhere.You can also see where I’ve utilized one of my reptile clamp-lamp fixtures as a spotlight for my videos. I usually have it attached to the tripod for filming, but has the habit of falling if not clamped on properly.

Despite my potentially dangerous workspace, I have managed to make a few decent new videos. Here are the latest.


And I have new products coming this week that will be available through my Etsy shop. They will be 11″ x 17″ art posters of some of the best pieces in my collection. I will update as soon as they come in.



02/11/18 – Mini Drawings!

Keeping busy finishing some turtle artwork, and the accompanying videos for my YouTube channel. Here are the latest entries in the finished pieces.

And here are the latest things I’ve been doing. Mini Drawings: these are 5″ x 5″ colored pencil drawings of turtles and bearded dragons. These are available through both Society6 and RedBubble shop links on the homepage. I’m also selling the originals on Etsy for $12 each. I’m making new ones each day, with new color variations.



Here’s a quick video on how I went about making one of them.




A Torrent Of Turtles

This artwork depicts many of North America’s common species; (from top left) Eastern Box Turtle, Florida Box Turtle, Wood Turtle, Yellow Bellied Slider, Red Eared Slider, and the Spotted Turtle.

This one is available as prints and other products through the links on the homepage.


I have started adding narration to my videos explaining what I’m doing in each artwork. Here are a few videos I made for each stage of working on the above artwork.



That’s it for now. I’m always keeping busy, so if you don’t hear from me here on the blog, please check out the links on the homepage where you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and any of the shops I run online.

~ Angela


Happy New Year!  Here’s to hoping everyone meet their goals for this year!

Among the gifts I got this Xmas, were giftcards for certain chain stores, or ones that I have free reign to spend where I like. Books are one of my favorite things to buy, and I can’t do this too often or I go broke. Those costs add up. However, through Barnes & Nobles, you have the option of buying used books for very reasonable prices. As low as $1. It was this method I used to buy some science fiction classics I have yet to read. There are two books relating to the subject of biology; One on Coyotes in America, and the other on the cognitive abilities and otherwise fascinating info on octopuses.

Here is the stack of them.


I will be posting reviews of these books over on my writing blog here –

I have been continuing my videos on YouTube now focusing on each artwork I work through. I show timelapses of the stages of drawings, highlighting, shading, and coloration of a subject.

I’ve not done as many tutorials lately, but will be doing some when I can incorporate them as I work on each piece.

Here are the latest videos!  Check them out, and if you’d be so kind, like the videos and subscribe to my channel. I thank you for watching.


Here is the new work!

“Blue Nova”

colored pencil drawing sketch turtle reptile
Blue Nova

Buy prints and other products of this artwork at the links below:

Society6 –

RedBubble –

Fine Art America –


I have more art to work on, so keep a lookout for more videos and artwork shortly!


Update 12/18/17

Holiday sales have been keeping me busy, as well as producing ideas and completed artwork. Had to order some supplies that were running low, too.

I am getting back to doing youtube videos, but much more limited since I needed to narrow the scope of what I was doing before. I’m currently working on a bearded dragon animation for my new intro.

I do have a 35% off sale going on in my Etsy shop, so definitely check it out!


I also made a sale in each of my new shops on RedBubble and Society6, which is good news no matter how small.

My newest pieces feature Philippines Sailfin lizards, and Bearded Dragons. Links to art prints for each shop are listed below.

“The Summoner”


Dragon's Call
“Dragon’s Call”


RedBubble Links:

The Summoner Art Print

Dragon’s Call



Society6 Links:

The Summoner Art Print

Dragon’s Call



That’s it for now. More content coming soon.

~ Angela



Weekly Update 11/16/17

House Rabbit Box
I can’t imagine what it would be like if she actually had laser beam eyes. She already nips my toes if I don’t give treats right away.

The last week has been a little draining with bogging myself down with the details of the new online shops. I also had a two commissions which were due, and they’ve been sent out to their new home. I already have a few repeat customers, which is a great asset to have for my business. Everyone I’ve worked with so far has been great, and I’ve enjoyed the challenges of each piece.

The shops are what I find a little draining. Getting familiar with, and using better search tags, proper image resolutions, making image edits for certain product templates, as well as deciding which artworks to cement my brand have been the bulk of setting up those accounts. With most of that done, now I have to do the work of gaining followers to reach a wider audience in those arenas. This includes promoting/ or adding other artists’ work to my favorites. I’ve also been leaving comments, and following some of them, too. This is something I have read needs to be done daily, if not every other day, and it seems to help in the long run. Artists promoting each other is part of the networking process on these sites. So far, I have a few new followers, and eventually that should build up to higher numbers and then sales.

I have noticed another detail in looking over the products available at each site, and realized that some product options are unique to each shop. Where you can buy that particular item on RedBubble, it doesn’t exist on Siciety6, and vice versa. For instance, RedBubbble offers drawstring bags, scarves, dresses, mini skirts, and acrylic blocks. Society6 offers backpacks, dufflebags, and all-over print shirts.



The artwork I had didn’t fit a few of the products on RedBubble properly, so I opted to just have those available through Society6. The apparel, home décor, and tech accessories products in each shop are virtually identical. In this line of thought, I felt it would likely be a good prospect to capitalize on each site’s unique products, rather than have just the same in each spot. Only time will tell which on these becomes more popular.

As per my usual dose of self doubt that pops up every so often, I happened to look up how long most small businesses take to finally get off the ground. The average, depending on many factors, is 3-5 years. This made me a little depressed, but at the same time, I’m learning albeit slowly not to overload myself. I want things to happen faster, so some of my worry might go away, but worry is the hallmark of starting a business. It probably continues afterward, too, but the initial startup gets everyone stressed. One thing I did read that for some odd reason made me feel a little better was that the first year is also the most fun. This is because this is the time when you are learning where your niche is, and figuring things out. There’s some relief in thinking that I will figure out what works and what doesn’t and finally get the routine of things.

In the meantime, I can finally get back to creating new art again. I have a few rough sketches for some ideas, and here are a few.

Stay tuned, as I will have more updates with new products and art coming out in the next few weeks. ~Angela

New Online Shops!

I have branched out to add new online shops for my work, as well as have new and really awesome products. I’m getting out my brand and hopefully expanding in potential revenue streams. Society6 and RedBubble are where I set up a few spots of my own. I may also be adding Threadless soon.

Products include apparel, home decor, stationary, drinkware, and tech accessories.

My RedBubble shop is here.   Here are just a few images of what’s available there.



Check out my Society6 shop here.


Meanwhile, I’m taking a break from the YouTube videos for a while. I enjoyed doing them, but they were an added chore getting in the way of my priorities. I will have a loose uploading rhythym for now, but mainly for videos having to do with my own work( not tutorials) and the occasional pet video.

My most recent video was actually taken at an event held by my local reptile club where we have animals displayed and educate the public on reptiles and how they’re kept. Some really cool animals were brought out. Dax (Eastern Box Turtle) & Gimli, my bearded dragon were brought along with me to meet the public. Dax is a great little turtle to bring, just as an example of how NOT to care for a box turtle, but so many people loved him for his cuteness and colorful markings.

Stay tuned for updates!


Bearded Dragon Commission

I recently had the pleasure of doing a commission for a fellow bearded dragon owner, and I was pleasantly surprised when she sent me these photos after she got it in the mail.

It’s one of the best responses I’ve ever had sent to me on facebook. Here is the 8″ x 10″commission once I finished it.

Beardie Comm1

Another thing that I got done last week was a video about my pet turtles and the Mid-Atlantic Turtle & Tortoise Society. MATTS does wonderful work promoting responsible care of captive and wild turtles and tortoises, as well as rescuing and adopting out those in need of homes. If you like the video, please share it. More people should know that pet turtles are a commitment, not a throw away pet.

In the meantime, I posted two new tutorials, so here they are for your viewing pleasure.

Be back next week.