Those who came before us

I don’t know if any of you have fully mastered the Redbubble layout yet but I for one am still struggling to figure it out after a year. I can’t decide whether it’s because the layout is confusing or if it’s because I’m just an idiot. But I can’t be an idiot because I completed that jigsaw puzzle the other day in under 6 minutes when on the box it said 2-4 years! Anyway earlier today I was trying to find my way to the recent writing page when I took a wrong turn and stumbled upon a Redbubble forum all about which actor would play you in a movie. I like to think Gerard Butler would play me, ya know just cos we’re so alike. But as I began to look a little closer at the posts in this forum I discovered that they all dated back to the very early beginnings of Redbubble, meaning the ones who posted them were among the first generation of Redbubblers. Carbon dating or ya know just looking at the date joined would put the profile pages at around 6 years old which in Redbubble years is like 3,000 years.

Scientists maintain that Redbubble was formed in 2006 A.D after a gargantuan cosmic event known simply as the ‘raising of the investor capital’. These profiles therefore are undoubtedly the ones who came before us, the first generation Redbubblers who arrived on the Mayflower… or ya know the AOL search engine. Legend has it, upon arrival, the first generation were greeted by the almighty creators of Redbubble who instructed the new arrivals to upload their artwork forthwith so that they may be sold to the general public and in turn receive for themselves a 20% cut of the profits. They were also instructed to create groups catagorized by particular themes such as “Pictures taken with the lens cap still on” and “Black and white pictures of Zebras”. Within these groups it was proclaimed, that challenges would be held, in which the winner would receive a gift voucher to the sum of $20 that may be used in the purchasing of items from Redbubble and Redbubble alone. It is said in ancient RB mythology that one of the very first challenge winners defied this rule in the fable of the foolish challenge winner who tried to pay for a rather fine veal cordon bleu at a fancy French restaurant only to find that the promotional code he provided to the maître d’ was not legal tender. In lieu of payment, the gentleman spent the rest of the evening in the kitchen washing up dishes.

The first generation rapidly grew ever larger in those early months, and it wasn’t long before Redbubble’s characteristic friendly aura was established as indicated in the Redbubble bible chapter 7 verse 4 “And Jonah said to the Redbubbelites ‘Hey, awesome, just been featured in the group Cats that look like celebrities’ and thus Mary replied ‘Nice one buddy, congrats’”

No one knows for certain quite what happened to the first generation. Some say they left to join Fine Art America after the great Redbubble layout change of 2009, while others maintain that they were plagued with slow broadband connection and consequently decided to jack it in all together, to live a life free from technology and that annoying little Microsoft paperclip. One thing is for certain though, that without the great efforts of those first few Redbubblers, sewing the seeds of collective creativity, Redbubble would not have flourished as it has, allowing the current generation to inherit the bubble we know and love.

Today we are left with a reminder, a legacy if you will, of their great and astounding artistic endeavours. And as I write these words, fully aware that I sound like an incredible douche, I am greatly humbled to be in the presence of such talent; for the artists may come and go but the art stays forever… unless they delete their account in which case they both go, but you know what I mean.

And who knows maybe when the next generation arrive they’ll look back at our profiles and think ‘Wowzerz these guys sure were real swell’ Yeah I predict that 1950’s American slang is gonna become real popular again within the next 10 years or so…


  • evon ski
    evon ski10 months ago

    Paul, this is a marvelous blend of soo many things I love!! You are the first Redbubble Historian I have read!!! I do hope you are wearing an obnoxious plaid vest! reallly funny as “ALL GET~OUT” in Just the right places with a nod t many things here I remember. yes bubbleland has evloved/morphed and changed an awful lot over the three very active years I have been here. I am not happy with many of the changes and am saddened that we seem to have lost some fab talent/persons . . . but I still find the joy of community here (in my pajamas and slippers sometimes) . . . .And with rare talented and pure delightful people like you . . . . I am here.

  • haha I do indeed! the most obnoxious plaid vest that “obnoxious plaid vest emporium” could offer :) aw thanks Y you’re so lovely!!! but I was merely relaying information that I’d read from the Redbubble Britannica, its a real book with pages and whatnot. I found it in a library when I was searching for 50 shades of grey because I was determined to find out what all the fuss is about… I erm… I now know what all the fuss was about… yeah… I dont think I’ll be reading any books more for a while lol I know its terribly sad that so many wonderful artists and writers have left in recent years, many of whom I was such a fan of, but you’re still here nice lady so im happy :) thanks so much for reading Y, my wonderful Redbubble friend!

    – Paul Hickson

  • Vicki Spindler (VHS Photography)
    Vicki Spindler...10 months ago

    WOW Paul!!! You know I ready scientifically, with a ‘once upon a time’ historic voice! :P Now who sounds like a douche! Wait…. Anyways great writing as always, really enjoyed it, 5*!!! FAVE :))))))))

  • Hahaha! Hey Vicki! Wow thanks so much, so glad you liked it :) xoxox

    – Paul Hickson

  • Nana Leonti
    Nana Leonti10 months ago

    I am a 2008 bubbler. Or you know… from the plestocene!

  • Hahaha!!! love it, thanks so much for reading

    – Paul Hickson

  • Andrew  Bailey
    Andrew Bailey10 months ago

    I am of Nana’s vintage and wbilst you may think that, I couln’t possibly comment.

  • haha aw well its nice to meet you sir, thanks for reading Andrew. much appreciated

    – Paul Hickson

  • trueblvr
    trueblvr10 months ago

    Dont worry, your not stupid…RB seems to be bent on making things as confusing as they can. And when we finally get it figured out…..BAM changes again without forewarning. I hang in because I have made some great friends here and that is a great +

  • trueblvr
    trueblvr10 months ago

    Just read through……Wowzerz, great write ’~}

  • Hahaha exactly! ya know what? I think they must sit around in their evil lair thinking up ever more ways in which to make RB confusing and difficult to navigate! they must be like “I know why don’t we take the writer’s page and hide it, muahaha!!!” lol thanks so much for reading, so grateful, thank you :)

    – Paul Hickson

  • autumnwind
    autumnwind10 months ago

    You are just what what we needed!!! This is so great you have no idea!!! Actually I have no idea either except that I smiled like an idiot all the way through it!! You just have that awesome talent of making people smile and laugh and I feel so lucky to be a Redbubbler the same time you are!!! What else matters??? More please …. : )))) xoxoxoxoxxox

  • awwwww!! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you are the sweetest most kindest person in the world Shar! what an absolutely wonderful compliment to receive, I am so appreciative thank you so much!! :) super duper happy you liked it!! :) xoxoxoxox

    – Paul Hickson

  • Ellanita
    Ellanita10 months ago

    Wowzerz!!!! Fabulous write……I’ve been here for a while , although have also been away for some time….missing some of the people that left…..made new friends and still love it….I have not even tried to understand some of the changes….oh well….love your writing, humour and how your mind functions…..

  • Hey thanks Ellanita, that’s so kind of you, thanks so much for reading :) x

    – Paul Hickson

  • shadowlea
    shadowlea10 months ago

    A great write and which I recommend all new comers read the history of what was once a very different RB……

  • Haha hey thanks, in the next edition we’ll be covering the Redbubble revolution and the discovery of the Redbubble terms and conditions which were found engraved on stone high on mount sinai

    – Paul Hickson

  • Jennifer Rhoades
    Jennifer Rhoades10 months ago

    I really wish I’d known about that group that had pics with the lens cap on. It really would have made me feel right at home. A GREAT write—and I have enjoyed my history/catechism of Redbubble immensely.

  • hahaha yeah I know me too, I probably would have been a featured member lol aww thank you so much, im so gad you enjoyed it, it was a lot of fun to write :)

    – Paul Hickson