mousemade (adj.)

mousemade (adj.)

There’s a new player on the web called Creative Market.  They describe their wares as mousemade, a term I’ve long sought.  Not handmade, not machine-made.  And digital, but not generated by software — as a manufactured widget might be.  Mousemade implies there’s a human hand on the mouse and a human sensibility driving the creation, morphing it to satisfy an inner eye.

Early computer drawings had controls for lines — width, length, orientation, to be spread across the page with algorithmic care.  Logic-crafted machine drawings.  And just as those machines never quaked with mirth, the artwork they produced could have no wit, no heart.  Just logic.  Humanity can’t be written into code.  Yet.

Now think of all those smartphone apps, plus the weighty Photoshops and Chromes.  They’re mousemade.   Also fonts, icons, custom brushes.  Tiling backgrounds, Wordpess themes.  And beyond that are digital works of art, collages, paintings, interactive installations, animations, videos.

Artificial Intelligence research inches toward code-writing machines but right now mousemakers are the handcrafters of the digital age.


 Creative Market is a place where mousemaking artists both buy and sell.  An art-supply store for digital artists in need of a new custom brush, also a place for those custom-brush makers to open up shop.  I can see that we may need a Pearl Paint of digital goodies some day, five virtual floors chock-a-block with mundane necessities in 200 flavors and arcane specialties you didn’t know anybody supplied.  Creative Market surely hopes to grow in that direction.

Being a seller on Creative Market.   Sellers keep 70 percent of their asking price, $3.50 if your item sells for $5.00.  It looks easy to set up your own shop.  More detailed information is here: Creative Market information for sellers.

I’m not sure what the website provides for its 30 percent cut.  It doesn’t need to have a storefront or warehouse, heat and cool it, pay the taxes.  I’ve been comparing a variety of online outlets and makers for digital artists and each has a different scheme — their pricing, their services for your customers and for you.  It’s apples and oranges and kumquats everywhere you look.  As these businesses unfold it will be good to keep weighing what’s best for you.

Sample Creative Market Wares

Clouds Brush Pack 1 by Design Panoply            for sale on Creative Market

sprout script font by I’m Sprouticus!        for sale on Creative Market



Autumn Leafs pattern by rubyvillasenor    for sale on Creative Market

Being a buyer on Creative Market.   For now the categories offered are these, with some ideas of what’s in them.
  • Graphics — icons, vector ornaments, textures, browser mock-ups, banners, silhouettes, logos, 3d renders, illustrations, patterns
  • Templates — brochures, invitations, websites, business cards, cards, presentations, magazines
  • Themes —  Tumblr, WordPress
  • Fonts — blackletter, display, non-western, sans serif, script, slab, symbols
  • Add-Ons — actions, brushes, gradients, layer styles, palettes, plugins, shapes
Think if all the sites for plugins, sounds, shapes, 3d models, fonts, e-goodies were all under one e-roof.  I give Creative Market credit for seeing the future and I’m glad that future starts now.
My feeling about Creative Market is Wahoo, it’s here!  In February they told me they thought they’d open in a few weeks but you can see what a big unwieldy beast this project would be.   Plus the task of making it all look simple and coherent to us out here.
Look at how the iTunes Store has changed us.
Two requests to the folks at Creative Market, which are probably in the works already.  Please allow those of us with the bandwidth to see 50 or 100 items at a time.  And also display a range of page numbers so we can go right to page 30 if we want.
As the ancients wisely warned, caveat emptor, Let the buyer beware.  Same as in an App store — don’t overpay.  The clouds depicted above are a set of 12 Photoshop brushes, hi-res, 2500-pixel sized and cost $3.  If you search Creative Market for clouds you’re also offered a set of 34 Photoshop brushes,  300 dpi, 2500-pixel sized — which is 22 more clouds for $8, but they’re cute and sketchy and not magnificent.  At a $5 bump.
It’s still very early days for Creative Market and sellers will get more experience at pricing as the site matures.  My personal price point is $5 and under — which is more generous than my $2 rule on the iTunes Store.  Even so — I just counted up my iOS apps and I needed a wee gulp of air.  They mount up.
So ask yourself how much wallop or workhorse you’re buying.
I’m likely to try selling some of my repeat patterns on Creative Market.  I’ll let you know if I do.  And by the way, they’re never made with a mouse — my hands hug a trackball.


 look further:

Creative Market

Featured artists
  • Design Panoply on Creative Market.  This vendor has 37 offerings already.  Plus their own website.
  • I’m Sprouticus! on Creative Market. Her real name is Lesley Yarbrough.  She’s Creative Market’s Community Builder.
  • rubyvillasenor on Creative Market.  I like the lively un-machinelike work.

For more information on software designed and proofed by machines



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