I recently received an unsolicited email that gave me reason to pause and reflect. A designer of women’s clothing randomly stumbled upon my artwork and invited me to design for them. As it turns out, according to their website information, they solicit artists from around the world to place their artwork on women’s clothing, specifically scarfs and tops.
Aside from the usual debates about scams, copyright, payment, etc., the idea of using my artwork in another venue was intriguing. I had dismissed such attempts as a diminishment to my role as artist and a dilution of my standards of how fine art should be presented. Do I let commercialization takeover as a guiding force in determining my direction as an artist? What am I expecting, going forward, for my art? Is entering various contests, participating in gallery shows, maybe selling a few pieces as a result, all that I expect or want from my art?
After some soul-searching, I have decided to create a marketing goal, high-level though it might be. My goal simply is to get my artwork in front of as many different pairs of eyes and at as many levels of viewer participation as possible with the hope that this may open doors previously unknown or unavailable to me in the past.
By levels of viewer commitment, I am referring to what I call the Brooks Jensen, editor of LensWork magazine, marketing approach. This approach describes the fact that viewers bring to our art varying levels of commitment. You can find out more about this and many other marketing ideas in his dvd video, Finding An Audience For Your Work . Some only want to click on thumbnails on our website to experience in our art. Others only want to spend a few dollars and download an ebook of our latest project, or purchase a hard-covered photobook. Still others are willing to pay gallery prices for specific examples of our work. The point is, don’t we wish to communicate with as many different types of viewers as possible to experience our art?
I need to push my boundaries, get out of my comfort zone, and explore and experiment in order or me to continue to grow as an artist. This really is nothing new for me, since I want my viewer to explore his inner child!
As for getting as many different pairs of eyes as possible on my artwork, this is now where I think I need to branch out and explore. Is the print the only option? Apparently not, according to websites like VIDA . Many other artists have already explored other mediums for their visions. It wasn’t until this recent email that jolted me out of my comfort zone and made me consider other options.
So ladies, drumroll please!, now introducing my first Jerry Grasso designed clothing line!
Am I going to get rich? This is not my primary goal. Will I sell anything? Maybe a few, but again this is not the only goal. What I hope is that I may draw more people to my website.
If I fail, at least I can feel as if I tried something. After all. isn’t this part of learning?
If you have any thoughts about this, drop me a comment below.