ART BECOMES FABRIC FOR WEARABLES AND MORE
by Carolyn Edlund
Two artists use very different methods to have their artwork placed on fabric, allowing them to expand their collections into wearables and other products. Here’s how they did it.
Ever wish you could leverage your paintings or 2D art by transforming your designs into a variety of products for sale? Artists often use Print-on-Demand providers to sell their art on clothing, pillows and other items, but that only creates a small stream of income. POD providers do most of the work, so they keep the lion’s share of the price. But there are other solutions to creating art on fabric that can give you the opportunity to sell increase sales by offering a wider line of products.
Painter Eileen Seitz shares her experience, saying “I have always made my own clothes, and dreamed of designing textiles for interior furnishings and clothing. A very good friend of mine knew this about me, and has friends overseas that have a studio. While on one of his trips, he emailed, asking me to send images of textile designs I would like for them to make for me as samples. After having them in my hands upon his return, I placed my orders.”
Turning over designs to another studio involves trust and a willingness to allow your work to be interpreted by others. She explains, “I am at the hands of other painters that hand paint the liquid medium onto the fabric with a sponge. Even though I went to the studio, it is a process. I did not have the time or practice to do it myself. Hence, I cannot control the final color blends. Each fabric design is one of a kind, a unique piece of artwork. They are not printed, not consistent, like on plates and presses. I have to accept this part of the process. I am also limited to the size of the cut piece of fabric 48″ x 72″. I cannot buy a 200 yard bolt of it, so again I am limited.
Despite challenges, Seitz has been successful selling her work as wearable art and accessories. How does she do it?
“I sell my clothing, pillows, fabrics at art shows, in my gallery and on my website,” the artist says. “Once I wore my handpainted camisole visiting a friend. Her friend asked me about my camisole. After trying it on with my magenta leggings, she bought both right off my back!”