Well, that title sounds really foreboding, so let me just roll into this story of how a new design project/ line of product/ effort at making a bit of scratch this summer all went to a quick grave. It's been quite the journey.
As an illustrator-designer, it all starts with having a multi-sensory 'vision' of what a dreamed up THING will look like in the flesh. So, two years ago, a sweet Astoria public works project caught my eye, and I began popularizing and celebrating it through art and design. This is the newer storm drain cover that graces the re-paved streets of Astoria. You know, look down below your shoes, it's the one with the native salmon jumping up to catch a dragonfly - that's right, a nice lady made dang sure that the adipose fin on the fish was present in the design.
After I got approval to use it, I drew it in two dimensional form with pen and paper. It was really gratifying. Then, I sent that design off to an Oregon engraver/ manufacturer to decorate little pieces of wood with it! That worked out swell, as the proofing process began, wood choices were made and stain colors were tested, and it all came out so nicely.
As time went on, I created interest in my product through social media, in-person conversations, and cold, hard marketing by pounding the pavement. And you know what happened after all that? The company wouldn't supply the wood anymore. Followed by, "we're ceasing operations soon, so we can't fill any more orders."
So as an artist who has already seen some profit on all this effort, do I look for another manufacturing company or move on to another inspiration? Because the journey is certainly fun and rewarding when I make people happy with my work, but I'm also one to change directions when I feel the pull.
And I feel the pull. So what's the great dilemma as an artist/ designer? Do I jump into the next thing to make money? Or do I satisfy myself, making art for my own sake, for the sake of purging my soul and expressing the beauty I see in my inner eye? It's a toughie for sure, since we all have those "bills" that need to be paid.
Well, stay tuned for the next big thing if you want to see where I go, and thanks for coming along this far with me. And if you want one of the remaining, now SUPER LIMITED EDITION coasters sets, you can buy them HERE in my Etsy Shop. Sorry, but the aqua stained sets have been sold out for a month now! Thanks to a nice city councilwoman who bought the last set ;)
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