• Martha Iserman

The Curio Cabinet Store

Recently I've opened an online storefront on the internet design assets marketplace Creative Market. I named my shop The Curio Cabinet and I plan to upload new products monthly moving forward. The work I'll be selling will be illustration-based, mainly hand-painted watercolor images, and centered on themes of natural history, science, and folklore.

Sounds great, but what are these 'design assets' and how can you use them? If you're completely new to the concept of clip art, Png vs Jpeg, and editing software, but are curious about this section of my work, here's a quick explainer.

I'm going to use my Insect Set as an example. The bundle includes 100 + hand-painted watercolor images, 8 seamless insect patterns, 3 pre-made insect posters, and flashcards of the major scientific insect orders.

If (when?) you buy the set, you get access to hundreds of these insect paintings for you to use however you'd like, depending on the license; Personal, Commercial, or Extended Commercial. Sounds complicated, but it's super simple. If you want to use the images for your personal stuff say... to decorate labels for your kitchen, to create an invite to an upcoming party, or on an e-card for a friend's birthday, a 'Personal' license is for you. If you plan to use the images for something commercial, like on stickers for your business's products, or on your store's website, 'Commercial' is the way to go. 'Extended Commercial' is if you planning on using the image within your copyright, as in part of your logo etc. It probably won't apply to you. More info on license types HERE.

You'll most likely use personal which is great because it's super affordable! So you have hundreds of insect images, in different folders and different formats downloaded directly to your computer..... what now?

A Brief Explainer of File Types


I'm not going to bore you with the definitions of file types. What you need to know is that JPEGs will have a white background behind the image (insect) and PNGs will have a transparent background behind the image (insect). If you want to use the image as an insect within a white square, which is usually how it appears, go with a jpeg. If you need transparent background to apply the image ONTO something go with a PNG.

How To Use a PNG

What can you do with the PNG? You can make a bunch of products! Stickers, Shirts, Icons, Cards, Social Media Icons, Posters etc. You can layer the images on top of each other to create a new image (insect piles). You can create your own patterns (more on that later).

You can use PNG and JPEGs in most editing software, the most powerful being Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. You should also use them within phone image editing apps like Google Photos.

If you're not an avid user of image editing software, you can still create print products using the Pngs via sites like Vistaprint.com and Moo.com. They are easy to use to create basically any print product you may need for both personal and commercial use. Business cards, posters, flyers, invites etc. Even T-shirts, clothing and stickers! Once you choose a product, they will bring you to an editing widget that will allow you to upload the PNG you would like and add elements like text, background colors, borders etc.

The online Editing Page on VistaPrint

Same thing with using the images online. You can upload the pngs to use as icons and avatars on your social media and websites. Remember that if you use the jpegs, the image will be within a white square background.


The Pattern files come as PAT files and jpegs. Admitadly, in order to use them as a repeatable pattern, say on clothing or wrapping paper, you'll need to have a more robust editing software like the Adobe Creative Suite. That's why I did include a jpeg tile of each pattern to use. The tile works like a tile on a wall. It's a square that will fit perfectly when stacked perfectly with it's multiples. So using the jpeg tile you can make a pattern that continues as much as you need!

So that's a very basic primer on how to use my product sets. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me at bigredsharks@gmail.com and I will do my best to clarify for you. I'd also love to see the products you create with my images! Enjoy!

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