For as long as I can remember one of my hopes for when I'm a full-time working artist is to be creating my own artworks to sell in the form of prints, t-shirts, and various other items however I never make the time to create artworks for myself meaning when I do have the opportunity, I realise I have no idea 'who I am as an artist' and 'what I want my work to say'. It is important to me that my work has meaning and after a lot of reflection this summer I realised I just needed to look at my upbringing, experiences, what makes the world special to me. I decided I should use 4th year as the opportunity to get going with this project. Combining my country upbringing, surrounded by flora and fauna, enjoying secret 'hidden worlds' and a great appreciation of what nature has to offer with my love of graffiti art, hand cut stencils, printing processes illustrators and a more urban art world, I intend to create designs which can be produced in various forms as my first collection to be sold through Rotten Core.
The project allows me to: work on my nature, wildlife and landscape photography in the research stages, establish my own illustration style, find my voice as a creative, free of the limitations of clients, screen print lots of things, work on fashion photography and video skills by creating a look book and promo video of my final collection and broaden my knowledge and experience in marketing as well as solidifying and focusing my business plan and hopefully put me in a position where I have a strong brand with clear body of work to sell as I graduate. While I intend to focus on invironments dear to my personal history for this first collection, I see this being a gateway to what could be a very promising route. Collections in the future will concentrate on different locations/ animals in need/ particular animal charities. Items sold would come with a little info card relevant to the character in the artwork, giving information about that creatures' plight and things that can be done to help it. I hope to be in a situation where money made from these can be donated to the relevant charities/ conservation efforts.
So in short, this project is about me figuring myself out as an artist, drawing on my life so far but the bigger plan is for this to become work which raises awareness and gives a voice to creatures, plants, and environments in need.
Photographers of: Landscapes, plants, animals, fashion/ models
Illustrators- just go through all my favourites. Discuss their work, life style if possible, what products they sell, anything about their business model.
Animal illustrationsT-shirt designers/ companies: Any Forty, Abandon Ship,
Screen printed art prints of designs vs digital prints
Stickers, badges, packaging, tags. Subject matter: Plants, animals locationsMarket, audience, demand, cost, marketing.
Screen printers (to use) vs expenses myself.
T-shirts- research fabrics, sizes, fits, tags.
Prints- research paper
Look BooksVeganAnimals in need
Sort out photos
Get some printed!
Start drawing from plants
Make repeat patterns, stencils. Consider hand cut vs laser cut, research artists.
Explore print- as in, lino printing, mono printing etc.
Learn to draw animals.
-I think it would be lovely to have some books. Either separate photo book (research photography) and look book (fashion photography) or one book which contains all of it. Photography from research, process, products.
-Tshirts- 12 designs is calling to me but financially that’s an impossibility. I could do screen prints though til I make money. If I make money.
-Fine art prints
-Photos to sell?
-Framed hand-cut stencils.
-Stickers, badges etc.
-Video. I have to have a monitor with a video. I’m not going to have enough room.
Degree show: Not just plain white. Either a big vinyl sticker background or something painted straight on. I should incorporate my painted frames for displaying stuff.
I should meet with SIE etc. again. Treat this year as starting a business and do it right from the start.
Name: Alex Pardee
Name: Egon Schiele
Name: Dan Mumford
Name: Jenny Liz Rome
Name: Daniel Danger
Name: Matthew Griffin
Name: Rotting Graphics
Name: Olly Moss
Name: Shepard Fairey
Article on Giclee Prints
prints on canvas
Spectrum Online - Good price for Giclee prints, student discount and sensible postage.
About £60 more than Spectrum for the same order however discount applied at quantity, regardless of number of designs. 100 prints gives 55% discount. 100 prints (say 4 releases of 25 would work out at £9.18 each + postage. Only £1 more than printing A2 at uni.
Seems more expensive. Offers 15% student discount, 25% discount on orders of 100+ and 10% on their environmentally friendly bamboo paper.
Where to Sell
Packaging and finishing touches
I keep having ideas, doing research and shopping for the various items required when it comes to selling my products and not noting any of it down because I'm an idiot but it's all still totally valid work.
Various tag options on garments
I would love the inner necks to be personalised rather than having the standard garment tags left but this will come down to price. Awesome Merchandise offer de-tagging for 50p per garment (£25 for 50 tee's.) They offer inside neck prints for another 50p each but do not offer relabelling. Awaiting quotes from Monster Press who do have this service.
My heart says that I want my own labels put in, it feels like a step up from a screen printed back but my head says sometimes garments have really itchy labels or labels that have a habit of sticking out and the screen printed inner would remove those potential problems. My Any Forty t-shirts have their own personalised labels on the inside and I love them, they're just a little detail that make me happy every time I see them because it makes me feel like Al really cares about his brand. But maybe the 'general public' don't give a crap and wouldn't even notice?
A detail I definitely want is the little stitched on tag you occasionally get on the front, side hem of t-shirts. I love it just as a look but it allows the logo and name of the brand to be shown at all times without encroaching on the t-shirt design- enforcing the brand is important, always important but especially being a start-up. This is something Awesome Merch don't offer. My options are to use another printer - I've used Awesome for several t-shirts so I know the quality is very good, I trust them and don't have that peace of mind with any other printers- or find a company just to produce the tags and sew them on myself. This may end up working out cheaper and I am more than capable but I think this is one DIY option that I wouldn't want to risk messing up. I would feel more confident having this done professionally. Maybe I'm silly, trying to be as high-end as I can, maybe I should be trying to do as much myself as possible. I know I could do all the screen printing myself too but I'm just conscious that when these items are going to be sold, I want people to be getting as much quality as possible for their money. Too many things are done on the cheap and it's shit paying big money for low quality. But then maybe, if I do everything myself, I'll know it's at least been done to my standards. Not sure. I know people say you can't do everything yourself but some people do and I'm kinda one of those people.
Swing tags- not quite as important in terms of identity if I have the other 2 tags but useful for showing size (although this would be on the neck label) and to put the price on. Swing tags would be necessary for selling in shops, price and barcode. With Awesome, these are another 50p per garment addition. If I decide to have swing tags, I would just print them myself, possibly screen printed. Of course doing my own swing tags would require the neck tag to tie them through, wouldn't work with the neck print. Maybe that decides it for me!
Images from Monsterpress.co.uk
I think it's important to be consciencous about packaging and waste but at the same time I want to be launching Rotten Core as a provider of quality products which exude care and consideration and thought out packaging tends to be a strong way of expressing that, on top of just good designs. Also, plastic packaging when posting helps protect the item should it get wet for any reason. Gift boxes and tissue paper would be lovely but I think for having piles of stock, plastic wrap is better for keeping things clean and protected.
Awesome merch are charging 50p per t-shirt for cello-bagging. That's an extra £25 per run of 50 tees. I knew there was no way it was costing that much per bag, what one has to remember is that everything also costs man hours. I'm waiting for quotes back from Monster Press, they also offer bagging. However, I've looked up just buying bags myself and have found a website that does biodegradable bags which would be fantastic. Being able to tick 'quality' and 'environmentally concerned' with the brand would be excellent.
I'm not sure on size, I'll have to get some tshirts out and have a measure but here's one example from polybags.co.uk:
£30.97 for 1000 bags. That's about 3p per t-shirt plus a couple hours of my time. 1000 bagged t-shirts from Awesome would cost me an extra £500, mental! And there's no mention of theirs being biodegradable. I could/ should shop around for other options but I certainly would not begrudge that £30. Ooooh, they let you order samples! Ordered.
You can also get your packaging custom printed. That would be cool but I can also make a stamp or stencil myself. I guess they all send different messages that need to be considered. There was a link on the site about 50% off start-up costs for businesses, it took me to this page though so I'm not quite sure, but something to remember.
Clearbags have some eco options but seem to be an American company so they're out.
Eco-craft have biodegradable 'display bags' which just seem like bigger versions of what you use for gift cards. Work out about 13p eah.
Bags- paper for in person sales- customised, sticker on top.
Carrier Bag Shop have lots of paper bag options, including lots of colours to choose from. Depending on size, they work out around 20p each.
EcoMailingBags are a small, indie UK company, all things I'd like my business to support. They have a big range of colours and patterned degradable mail bags. Pricies vary, 18-40p per item. They also have a points system so I'm guessing rewards at some point, might be beneficial.
Stickers to label tubes
For cases where I'm selling at events, it would be best to have art prints already safely tubed up. Yes, some people might buy multiple prints but I'd rather give away a couple extra cardboard tubes than have to expose and package art prints in less than ideal environments- craft tents etc. So I'd like to get stickers made of the artwork that's in the tube to easily identify what's inside. This also means if someone else is manning my stall, they know at a glance exactly what stock is what, without needed to remember titles of pieces etc. Another bonus is, if I'm selling to people like me who have far too many prints living in tubes at home, then it's another easy way to keep track of what's inside. Considering stickers are pretty cheap, I'm surprised I've not come across anyone else do this.