A brief sneak peek at some print-on-demand merch I’m working on for the 2020 Holidays. The line is set to go live this Friday at noon.

What’s print-on-demand?

I’ll have a bunch of designs out of my paintings ready to go, customers pick what they like, complete an order, and it will be made just for you and shipped out in a few days.

A sneak peek at a mockup of my painting design on a face mask. I’m not sure about the mountain reflection. It makes a sort of exaggerated mouth shape.
The painting design for the face mask above.

Why am I suddenly working on my own art merch?

This comes out of a wish to see more art out and about in the world. I’ve had it in the back of my mind for quite a long time, and finally the technology has caught up enough to make it accessible to a one-woman show like me. Let’s let art out into the world to mingle with life, shall we?

With these designs in particular, I’m playing with the differing moods that come with differing palettes.

While I’m usually quite careful to use photo editing only to get an accurate picture of my work, this is surprisingly difficult to do! And most of us experience art on our screens these days through social media, blogs, articles, online galleries, and so on…. This inspired me. Why not capitalize on the digital colour, light, and contrast perspectives (filters) in my praxis.

I’ve wanted to work more with prints for some time, but simply offering prints of my paintings is practical and affordable for customers, which is great! Don’t get me wrong. Accessibility is one of my core values as an artist. But I get excited, artist (mouthwatering) excited about these digital alterations.

I see them as another layer of my art, of a specific painting, enhancing its aliveness, and bringing into focus the way our visual media constantly recreate our art. They add to it, change it, replicate it in slightly or greatly differing ways.

No painting looks the same on any two people’s phone, desktop, or laptop screens. Photographs are no better due to various settings and the way cameras work. Even the painting itself looks different from moment to moment, whether this is due to changing light or the way we experience the painting with our interpreting senses and minds.

How did I discover this possibility?

While using Photoshop Express for working on aptly capturing my paintings in as true of a light as possible , I come across interesting filters time and again that allow you to see a painting from new colour perspective. I find this intriguing, especially the photo negatives. I’m not exactly sure why, but it feels to me like I can see beneath the surface of the painting, see what lies hidden below its appearances.

Often when I’m painting, I feel as if something is eluding me, and when I view it in reverse, it feels complete, satisfying, and grounding.

Abstract landscape no. 3 in progress. It needs some more work with the colours…
…but I’m already loving the photo negatives. They look like they’re showing the earth underneath the water.
This one is a bit different because it comes from one of the original edited versions that scales the contrast and hue a bit differently. Which one is “truer”? 🤔

This then brings me back to taking art out into the world on tote bags, masks, laptop cases, socks, etc. It feels like it would help restore some sort of balance in our daily experiences, which are dominated by brand messages, logos, colour schemes, and so on. Or there’s a lack of interest in aesthetics.

I would love to see art as a greater part of everyday life. Hence, my own art merch.

What can you do?

If you’re interested in this print project, stay tuned here, check out my art shop and follow me on Instagram to see updates as they roll out. The line is set to go live this Friday (November 20th) at noon!

You can also DM me if you want me to keep you posted personally. Or you can subscribe to my email list at the bottom of any of my main pages, i.e. Contact, and watch for updates in your inbox.

I just realized that it’s funny how my excitement over this versioning of art is opposite to Andy Warhol’s criticism of the lifeless, soulless nature of mass reproduction. Thankfully, by now the technology has become so accessible that it can be used to support creativity and a burgeoning mass of artists who were previously dependent on people with capital. Now it’s all at the touch of a screen.

And Campbell’s Soup is kind of quaint now, nostalgic of simplicity and comfort. It is within the iterations (or re-iterations) that even mass produced things like Campbell’s Soup change. They change in how we experience and interpret them.

I’m going to think on that some more, and pick it up for another post later. Anyone who has thoughts now about the intersection of these contexts and ideas, please share them.

In the meantime, may you live with art in your heart & soul.

xo Julie


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