How to Fill Out the W-8BEN Tax Form for Print on Demand Sites

print on demand tax forms and information


Ah tax forms, one of those annoying administrative tasks we have to do to sell artwork online through Print on Demand websites. Many U.S. based Print on Demand companies, like Zazzle, require a W-8BEN tax form to be filled out and submitted in order for payments to be processed.

This form can be confusing, and if you don’t submit it or fill it out properly your royalties can be subject to a whopping 30% withholding tax!

As long as you live in a country that has an income tax treaty with the U.S. (such as Canada) you do not need to pay this withholding tax, or may have to pay a reduced withholding tax. Here is a short list of countries with tax treaties with the U.S. and their withholding amounts. A more comprehensive list can be found on the IRS website.

To get started, you will have to download the W-8BEN form from the IRS website.
Below I have provided an example of how to fill out the form as a Canadian.

how to fill out us tax withholding W-8BEN form

Things to note:

  • The SIN number (Line 6) is the same as a U.S. Social Security Number. I am assuming most countries have an equivalent personal identification number for tax purposes.
  • The ____% rate of withholding (Line 10) may differ depending on the withholding tax rate of your resident country. This is where you will use the list provided at the link above.

I hope this guide will be helpful to those of you who are getting started selling your art through Print on Demand websites and are required to submit this form.
Let me know your thoughts or questions be leaving a comment below.

Cheers!

Julie

Looking for more information about selling your art through Print on Demand sites?

Check out these posts!

How to Design for Print On Demand Websites

how to design print on demand websites

If you’re just starting out selling art and designs on Print on Demand websites it can be overwhelming!  How do you decide what kinds of designs to make?  How can you optimize your artwork for all the different Print on Demand sites?

Below I’ve compiled a list of tips to make it easier for you.  I’ve been selling my art through Print on Demand websites for over 4 years now, and I’ve learned a few things in that time.  I use Photoshop and Illustrator mainly, but these tips can work with whatever software you use.

So, read on if you need help with designing and optimizing your artwork for sale on Print on Demand sites such as Society6, Redbubble, Zazzle, Teepublic and others!

(Here is a list of 10 print on demand websites I recommend)

Designing for Print on Demand Best Practices

  • Research trends. Use Pinterest or a search engine to see what kind of art is currently trending, then use this for inspiration to create something in your own style.
  • Start with a large file size (10,000 pixels covers most products).
  • Keep your designs in layers to easily make changes or re-use elements later on.
  • Design with the products you want to sell in mind.  For example, most Print on Demand sites offer products like t-shirts, throw pillows and cell phone cases.  Keep these products in mind while you create your designs.
  • Keep images crisp (300 DPI), and colours relatively saturated (more saturated colors tend to look better when printed on fabric).
  • For drawings, use a scanner if possible (rather than photographs) and use the available settings to scan a large, high DPI image file.
  • For line drawings or black and white drawings, use Illustrator to make your lines crisp.  Check out my tutorial here for instructions.
  • Don’t up-size your artwork if possible, this leads to a pixelated fuzzy look on the final product (this is why you start with a large file size in the first place).
  • Depending on what kind of artwork you make, you may need to adjust the size or medium you use in order for them to look good on the computer. Play around.
  • Don’t use copyrighted images, text, logos or anything else, or you risk the image being taken down, or even your account being suspended.  Some sites allow “fan art” but make sure you follow all the rules.

Now that you have some designs to work with…

Optimizing your Designs for Print on Demand

  • Each website has it’s own file size and type requirements so make sure to check that before you start uploading.
  • Curate designs for each platform. Some designs might work better in different stores depending on their audience.
  • Save layers separately if you sell on Zazzle because you can layer different images and text on that particular POD site.
  • Create the same design in different colors and variations, especially once you have an idea of which designs are popular with your audience.
  • Adjust designs for individual product types. For example, use a transparent background for a t-shirt or sticker, use coloured background or make the design into a pattern for tapestries and pillows, remove text for leggings and apparel where it doesn’t work, etc.

Extra

Here are some more posts to help you sell your art online:

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you’ve found these tips helpful.  If you have any other ideas or questions feel free to post in the comments below!

Cheers,

Julie

Drawing of Mountain Mandala

Hi guys! Today I’m sharing a speed drawing video I created showing the making of my latest design “Mountain Mandala”!

After drawing the mandala I scanned and edited it using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. This process is not shown in the video, but you can find more details on how to clean up your line art drawings using Photoshop and Illustrator in this post.

I’ve started creating videos to work on my recording and editing skills, which has become a fun creative project to work on!

I recorded this video on my phone, which is funny because I tried using an old digital camera but it was worse quality than my smartphone!  It’s crazy how quickly technology improves.

To position the phone above the drawing surface I used a flexible holding arm I bought  from Amazon. I edited the video using Adobe Premiere Pro.

My Mountain Mandala design has been uploaded to my various stores, and you can see some sample products below!

mountain mandala drawing blanket

Mountain Mandala Throw Blanket from Society6

mountain mandala drawing mug

Mountain Mandala Mug from Redbubble

mountain mandala drawing tank top

Mountain Mandala Tank Top from Society6

mountain mandala sticker redbubble

Mountain Mandala Sticker from Redbubble

mountain mandala drawing wall tapestry

Mountain Mandala Wall Tapestry from Society6

Feel free to check out some of my other videos and/or follow my Youtube Channel to see more videos in the future. 

I have been thinking about sharing some tutorial videos and other things like that on my channel, so if you’re interested in that make sure to hit that subscribe button!

If you have any questions about my process feel free to ask below!

Cheers,
 
Julie

Cleaning up Line Art using Photoshop and Illustrator

cleaning up line art in photoshop illustrator

Hello friends! Today I would like to share with you my design process, specifically how I clean up my line art drawings using Photoshop and Illustrator.

Smoothing out your line art is especially important if you are selling artwork through Print on Demand stores like Redbubble, Zazzle, Society6, etc.

This is just one of many ways I create designs, and a technique you can use to turn black and white drawings into digital line art — which you can then use any way you choose.

How to Clean up Line Art using Photoshop and Illustrator

  •  Start out with some ideas in your sketchbook, and make a short list of designs to try drawing.  I often look online for inspiration and have a few things in mind before I get started.
sketchbook
  • Once you have a design you like, re-draw it lightly on a clean page in pencil.
  • Go over the pencil drawing with a black Sharpie or another fine black ink pen, to get something like this:
sketches black and white
  • Make sure you erase all pencil lines.
  • Scan each design separately into Photoshop.
line drawing in photoshop
  • Clean up the image as much as possible using tools such as desaturate, Brightness/Contrast, Curves, and erase to clean up any little black dots or dust bits that are showing.  
  • You can also use the colour selection tool to select the black line only, then create a new layer and fill it in with black. Once I am finished with this step, I save the file as a .PSD.
  • Next open the .PSD file in Illustrator, and use the Live Trace or Image Trace tool to turn your design into a nice smooth vector image. This is a great tutorial on using Live Trace in Illustrator that I often follow.
live trace in illustrator
  • The result of this process is that you get much smoother lines. This is important if you are having the designs printed, especially in large sizes.
  • Save the image as a .AI file.
  • Open up the file in Photoshop and set the pixel size to something large, like 10,000 x 10,000 pixels.
  • Fill or colour your line drawing however you like.  I like to use layers, fill with gradients and use layer settings (ex. Screen) or just paint on another layer using a drawing tablet.  There is basically an endless variety of ways you can use your line art.
  • Save your finished design as the correct file type and size(s) for the POD site you are creating for.  I always save a .PSD file as well (with all my layers in tact) so I can open it again later and use the same design multiple times.

Here are some examples of work that I have used this technique for:

tangled black and white yin yang mandala live trace illustrator
pot head teapot live trace illustrator tutorial

And there you have it!  Hopefully you now have a little bit of insight into how I create my designs for sale, and maybe even learned a new technique to try out for yourself.

Feel free to leave any questions or comments about this process in the comments section below.

Have a great week everyone!

Cheers,

Julie

Linocut Print Making Tutorial

linoleum for linocut print making

Hey guys! Today I’m sharing a simple Linocut print making tutorial featuring a project I’m working on for my Printmaking class at school.

Linocut is basically what it sounds like, carving out a piece of linoleum to create a surface to print from, or “matrix”.

The above image shows what the piece of linoleum looks like before it is carved.  You will begin with something similar to this.

Step 1

Draw your design directly onto the surface in pencil.  Then you can go over the pencil with Sharpie or another permanent marker that gives the lines some thickness.

linocut print making

At this point don’t worry too much about making mistakes since you can adjust the image when carving.

Step 2

Use your carving tools to carefully carve out your designs, scooping out a little bit of material at a time until you get the design and depth you want.

After carving out the plates they look like the ones below. You can also cut around the edges to get rid of unwanted material.

linocut tutorial

Step 3

Before printing your designs on expensive card stock paper make a few test prints. I like to use regular printer paper for this, to see where I might need to make some adjustments. 

Squeeze out your printing ink onto a glass plate and scrape it around using a palette knife so the ink will be the right consistency.

This is called “warming” the ink.  Sometimes the ink can be too wet or too dry so you have to experiment with it to get the look you want for your print. 

I had to leave my tube of water-based relief ink overnight with the cap off because it was way too watery. 

linocut print making tutorial

Step 4

Use your brayer to ink up the carved linocut plate over a clean piece of newspaper. The ink tends to get all over the place so you have to be pretty careful and wash your hands a lot and use a clean piece of paper between each print.

The ink always seems to wind up going somewhere you don’t want it on your plate so one way to counter this is to rip off tiny pieces of paper and put them on top of those spots before printing.

Step 5

Lay the paper carefully over the inked linocut plate. Then you need to press it down so to do this I use a wooden spoon and rub in small circles all over the design. You will need to press fairly hard and try to get it even in all areas.  I go over it several times to make sure the print will be as even as possible.

Here is how mine turned out next to my wooden spoon.

relief prints

Peel off your paper, and voila! Not too bad right?

Here are the finished prints I made with these linocuts!

I hope you’ve found this post interesting and useful.  If you would like more information about this printing process do feel free to leave a comment.

If you like my work please check out my website and follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more updates! 

Thanks for reading and have a great day,

~Julie