Shop Talk

How to Make Meme Art that Sells

The meme is a millennial love language. One that speaks with imagery, a message that races across the internet like the stampede that killed Mufasa in the Lion King. Now you’re picturing the meme with Rafiki holding Simba in the air, aren’t you? Or you’re ugly crying. Sorry about that. It’s a touching moment.

Crying Onion by Redilion

by Redilion

Lion King Mufasa and Scar

The Lion King (1994)

Red Hair Crying Comic Girl by turddemon

by turddemon

Introducing memes into your portfolio is a way of connecting with customers. Memes tend to be lighthearted and fun. And then there are memes with humor as dark as the cloak that covers evil Kermit’s eyes.

It’s a playful merchandising approach to create original artworks around cultural moments. Let’s take a closer look at how memes can tickle your customers’ funny bones and bring them to your art.

Evil Kermit Meme

Evil Kermit Meme

Nope - Typographic Art by Sebastian Stadler

by Sebastian Stadler

Memes and Society

Aldous Huxley said, “You can’t have a lasting civilization without plenty of vices.” Hold my beer, Aldous. You can’t have a lasting civilization without plenty of memes.

The meme is a modern way of communicating feelings and experiences. Perhaps one day we’ll reminisce about the heyday of memes and think “It’s been 84 years…” For now, they are here for all to enjoy. Spit takes for everyone.

Creative Communication

Knowing how to tap into a trendy moment is more than following a crowd, it’s about creating opportunities for people to express themselves in a creative way when it matters to them most. As an artist, you get to reimagine the next iteration of a meme’s visual or vernacular aspects. Or you can put your spin on both. The creative possibilities within the meme universe are as limitless as ancient aliens theories.

History Channel The Ancient Aliens Guy

The “Ancient Aliens guy”

Alien by Lukas Brezak

by Lukas Brezak

Voice and Humor

While memes are similar in structure, they vary in style and evolve quickly. They reflect many comedic tones as well. From slapstick, sophisticated, cute, cheesy, weird, woke, fun to downright sick and twisted. But at their core, memes are comical.

Meme-based art is also a chance to connect your brand to the zeitgeist. Think your style is too dreamy, dark, or abstract for Meme-ville? Even grumpy cat is loved and admired by the masses.

Grumpy Cat

Grumpy Cat

Internet Car Fight by thom2maro

by thom2maro

Products as Personality

Memes are like fireflies. They flicker brilliantly then vanish into the eternal darkness of the interwebz. Condescending Willy Wonka might interject here to remind you to not to be one of those people who miss out on things.

Meme based art can be taken off your Redbubble shop once the moment has passed. It might take some getting used to, but having temporary designs in your shop helps with curation and keeping your shop feeling fresh. Once you get going, the ideas will flow. Pleasant distractions abound.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Now get to art-ing. Happy Memeing!

Featured hero design by Michael Carr

View additional posts by Taryn Smith

Taryn Smith

Taryn is a freelance writer, animal lover, and pilsner enthusiast based in Berkeley, CA. Connect with her at www.tarynshelby.com