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Rainbow Connection: Fresh Summer Hues

June 12, 2018


Get inspired with these Fresh Summer Hues I found on the internet this week:





Nuts and Bolts: Estate Planning for Artists.

June 8, 2018

Nuts & Bolts – Estate Planning for Artists 
It is a difficult topic to approach but having a plan in advance will prevent family members or friends additional grief.
We are by no means experts in Estate Planning and you should discuss with a lawyer.  Outside of GCU, as an artist, it is a good idea to account for your creative works in your estate planning. The copyrights to your creative works are assets as are their commercial usage.
Here is the suggested process at GCU to transfer your account after your passing:
1. Ideally it is best for the artist to arrange in advance who the GCU account beneficiary, successor or heir will be. This can be done formally in a will with a lawyer or by other means assigning your copyrights to someone else upon death or incapacitation. 
2. Provide the following GCU account information to be communicated with the executor or beneficiary:  Artist id#, account login and password, GCU website URL
3. Upon passing, the beneficiary should contact GCU and provide some proof of passing and right to the account for verification purposes:
a) Death Certificate
b) Proof of Succession
c) Power of Attorney
4. The beneficiary can keep the GCU account under the same email address if they have access to it, or more likely change it to their own.  If they have the original login credentials they can do this on their own, otherwise GCU can assist. 
5. Other important account information that should be updated:  mailing address, phone number, payment method.  Most importantly they will need to update the Entity Type and SSN or EIN for tax reporting purposes. For Non US citizens, a new W8-BEN will need to be on record with GCU reflecting the beneficiary. 
6. If the beneficiary is NOT able to make design changes, custom requests or submit new cards they should a) let GCU know and b) turn the Custom Request option to NO in Global Preferences
Overall this can be a gift to the surviving family member(s) as not only do the earnings continue but also their loved one’s art continues to be enjoyed as a lasting tribute and legacy.
GCU of course will work with the beneficiary, successor or heir to help with the above and facilitate a smooth and successful transition.
Here are some helpful and related articles:




The difference is made in the details!


GCU Community Manager

Freebie Wednesday: Free Little Mermaid Graphics.

June 7, 2018

Freebie Wednesday: Free Little Mermaid Graphics.


The Hungry Jpeg has a cute collection of underwater fantasy graphics available for you this week. Free Little Mermaid Graphics offers:


Collection pack includes: 12 cute mermaids (color and black & white), 11+ design elements, 2 seamless patterns. All files are grouped in separated EPS files and separated PNG files with transparent background.



This product comes with a complete commercial license.


Wanted New Cards: Father’s Day for Twin / Triplet Dad.

June 7, 2018

wanted new cards head

Wanted Cards – Father’s Day for Twin / Triplet Dad


We know dads need to earn their keep to not be outshined by those super moms. Certainly dads of twins or triplets have to work double or triple! We have added a new category for Dads of multiples – twins, triplets and quads … oh my!


Please consider creating cards for:
Holidays >> Father’s Day >> For Dads / Father’s of Multiples


with subcategories for:
>> General
>> Twins
>> Triplets
>> Quads
>> Other


There is a related category in which you can leverage these designs with some minor edits:
Holidays >> Father’s Day >> Dad / Father >> From Twins
Holidays >> Father’s Day >> Dad / Father >> From Triplets


(And after approval, if you’re really inspired we have the same categories for Mother’s Day)
Remember, children come in all ages so these are not just dads of babies but dads of multiples of all ages.


Here is a reminder on addressing different ages in your card meta-data:


We’d like you to create at least one card for these categories using the Stock Cards function (Bigstock) or your own graphic designs.

Remember, when you’re submitting your new card, add a little note about the intended category in your Notes to Reviewers. Be inventive,  be clever, be creative. Go for it!

Rainbow Connection: Retro 70ies Wall Paper Inspiration

June 6, 2018


Here’s some really funky Retro 70ies Wall Paper Inspiration I found on the internet this week:

Dash of Inspiration: Big Stock ONLY Design Challenge JUNE 2018

June 1, 2018


Happy June and happy summer, everyone! I found a category in need of fresh designs and stock cards are perfect with their delightful collection of offerings. So, while May’s challenge entries are sent off to the judging panel, let’s get started on a new Big Stock Challenge.


Theme: Music Themed Thank You


  • ONLY Big Stock cards will be accepted in this challenge.
  • MUSIC is the focus of this challenge on it’s category specific: Occasions > Thank you Cards > Music / Instruments 
  • Write your own verse, be creative with a message that ties the image you choose, the recipient and the category together.
  • The judges will be looking for professional quality text layout, typography placement and font combinations in addition to a unique and captivating message that tells the story of the stock image you choose. Your added value needs to wow the judges!


Entry Deadline: Saturday, June 30th


How to Enter: Post the PID (card number) and the URL (public storefront link – please WAIT for the card to be available in the public marketplace, please DO NOT post a link to your Manage Cards area) as a post in the challenge blog. We’ll forward your entry to the jury.

NOTE: Submissions will appear immediately in your Private gallery as they await review.  If approved, the reviewer will move them to the public gallery – they will then become ‘live’ in the marketplace within 24-hours or so just like regular submissions. Be patient and wait.

CATEGORY SPECIFIC CHALLENGE: Occasions > Thank you Cards > Music / Instruments

Note: Utilize the Notes to Reviewer field to include any helpful notes to the reviewer AND to indicate your intended category since you cannot select a category during submission.

Tip: Choose and work with an image that you feel a) fits with your vision and b) will meet GCU’s Submission Guidelines and c) is as good as or better than what’s being offered in the category of submission.



  • Submission must meet GCU’s Submission Guidelines and be Approved through the usual Review Cycle. Big Stock creations are automatically identified as Fast Track – please add in the Notes to Reviewer: June Design Challenge Submission here is the link to the blog post: (include THIS blog post URL)
  • Only ONE card per artist per challenge.
  • Submissions must be NEW, no existing designs.
  • Your entry must meet the Challenge Requirements and Theme or it will not be included in the challenge.
  • Big Stock Card Creations ONLY will be accepted.
  • Your designs should differ from those already offered in the categories above to offer shoppers a variety of choices, not more of the same.
  • No BLANK cards will be accepted.


BLIND Judging: We hope each of you enters every month! Entries are submitted anonymously for judging by the GCU Challenge Jury which means that before and during the challenge, judges do not have any way of knowing what artist is behind each entry. This eliminates any and all concerns with ‘favoritism’. Results will post on the Community Blog. The jury will judge the entries on the following criteria:

  • How well the card meets the Challenge Requirements and Theme.
  • How well the card speaks to the Category the artist chooses for the card submission.
  • Creativity, Execution and Marketability. Your overall ‘added value’ determines this.


Winners: 1st Place:

  • The winning designer’s card and store will be featured on the GCU Public Blog – the blog which customers view and follow.
  • As well as featured on the GCU Public Facebook Page – nearly 46,000 followers, now THAT’S exposure!
  • The winning card will be Design of the Day following the announcement of the winners (within 48-hours).
  • The winning card will be added to the Greeting Card Universe Design Challenge Winners Pinterest Board – currently GCU’s Pinterest Page followers: 2K!
  • Winning card will be included in a marketing email to over 100,000 customers!
  • GCU will create a Meet the Team board for the winning artist under the Pinterest GCU account where the winning artist will be able to pin and promote her own storefront and all that makes them a unique card designer and one of GCU’s artistic community team member.
  • Winning card will be posted on GCU’s Instagram with 2,000 followers and counting!

2nd Place:

  • Your submission will be Design of the Day the following week of announcing the Challenge winners (within 7-days).
  • Your card will be added to the Greeting Card Universe Design Challenge Winners Pinterest Board.
  • Winning card will be included in a marketing email to over 100,000 customers!
  • Winning card will be posted on GCU’s Instagram with 2,000 followers and counting!



To make sure your music lover card is found by customers, make sure you include the type music and/or instruments in your meta-tag data.

Visit all the available tips, tricks and guidelines offered on the Big Stock Creation blog page!

Nuts and Bolts: Custom Request Design Change

June 1, 2018

Nuts & Bolts – Custom Request Design Change 
When a shopper wants something the quicker you reply the better, while it’s fresh on their mind and they have a sense of urgency. Your time to respond can make the difference between getting the sale or not.  Strike while the iron is hot! 
We’d like to share a recent example by GCU artisShoaff-Ballanger Studios.   We’re talking breakneck speed here, people!
The shopper’s request came in on May 24th at 5:50pm.  The card was complete and link sent to the shopper on May 24th at 6:45 pm.  The shopper made their purchase on May 24th, at 6:56 pm.
From the shopper:
May I ask for cover to say, “Dearest Friend”?
Original Card:                                             

Resulting Card:

from the shopper:


Hello Jay and Susan,
Your response time was amazing and I am so appreciative. Your prompt response allowed me to add the card (and so beautiful I ordered 2) to my current order and take advantage of the sale which ends today. To be available prior to a holiday weekend – extraordinary! Thank you!  I can’t tell you how very grateful I am to have discovered Greeting Card Universe. Your art becomes beautifully crafted for the customer, packaged beautifully, shipped promptly, and everyone loves them. Shopping for cards and taking my time for each person – family and lovely friends – was one of my delights but due to health changes, I can no longer stand for long periods of time so my ventures to retail stores that offer unique cards are now a rare occurrence. My delight has returned thanks to your creative artistry shared with this website.  Many thanks!

Wow!  Jay and Susan, thank you for taking such good care of the shopper and making all of us at GCU look like superstars!


NOTE: Some good reminders here about custom design change requests.  Here is a look back at some good tips to not miss any shopper requests. 



The difference is made in the details!


GCU Community Manager
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