This month I had the pleasure of presenting to the East Bay Artist Guild on the topic of "Art from an Interior Designer's Point of View". Having worked in the field for over 20 years, it was quite an experience to go back through the years and consider what I know that I could share with fellow artists. I started seriously working in interior design while I was still in college studying illustration. Houses and their unique character have always been an important part of my work.
At the high end, where I mostly worked, I was in the practice of keeping the visual artist in me far from the design office. The motto was "don't try to be both to your clients". To combine the two in any way (other than just using skills to execute the interior design process) would be considered a poor execution of design. But the artist in me could appreciate and help promote the work of other artists if I had the opportunity.
Some of my basic tips for artists have to do with realizing that designers are professionals in business, and when working with artists, they expect the same. To transact with designers on a business level, artists must provide adequate levels of documentation of their work to facilitate the designer's ability to promote and sell it to their clients.
In this day of electronic everything, the more electronic renditions of the artwork, promotional materials, business documents, sales platforms, and social media venues, the better. The long and short of it is, if our clients and customers are going online, then so must we!
It was fun to sift through photos of binders and reams of documents that used to make up a design office, and to know, that while some are still using fax machines, the large majority are fully digital, and pushing less paper and more "paperless".
With these lessons in mind, to consider my own art practice, the value of the actual artwork becomes more nostalgic with each technological advancement. Digital and print reproductions are easy to create and will continue to get easier and better. Certainly, the implementation of digital age business practices is an on-going and ever changing preoccupation for all of us. But as we continue to chase the electronic moving target, the real deal original hand painted artworks, in my estimation, will only get more valuable. I find myself evermore excited and committed to making original art, one painting at a time!
What I love about illustration is the marriage of pictures with words. A blog puts the two together so well! Which one makes the point come across better?