For our final major project we were given the opportunity to create our own project that would challenge our skills and knowledge to benefit our future in the art world. I chose to base my project around designing to sell and decided to focus my time on learning the skills involved in advertisement and selling online.
As creating products can be harmful to the environment I decided to go down a more eco friendly route and concentrate on sustainability. To do so I sourced recycled wood for my key rings and serving boards as well as using recycled canvas material for the bags. Although I am pleased with this decision I encountered a couple of problems; It was noticeably more difficult to find affordable recycled products online to purchase. I was still determined to continue with the sustainable work ethic and I feel as though these problems taught me how to email companies with enquiries about products and despite the extensive search the result was successful.
I started out my research looking at the history of mandalas as I wanted to have a fair amount of knowledge on the skill before progressing with my own style. Mandalas are often looked at as representations of the worship of nature and its cycles. After exploring the different aspects of the art work it was clear that mandalas are found amongst the most ancient art forms created by by humans and this inspired me to keep my style as authentic as possible. Before making a start on my experimentation I looked at a variety of different artists who work with mandalas. An artist who I felt was particularly inspirational was Lize Beekman, an artist who reinvents old traditional mandalas into something more unique whilst staying true to the original meanings. She works with a range of materials and this prompted me to be more experimental with my style.
Creating the designs and producing them onto the products was definitely the most enjoyable part of the project. I taught myself how to draw onto wood and although difficult at times, with practice I quickly learnt the skill and was able to apply my designs successfully. Designing and getting my world map design printed onto canvas was challenging as I was discussing my outcome over email but with different sketches I was able to achieve the desired product and I am very happy with the overall result. If I had more time I would have liked to have experimented a bit more with printing the design myself. I felt as though the key rings and ceramic pots were a great addition to the two main products as they offer a more affordable option and I learnt from my marketing research that this is always important.
Throughout my research and experimentation I have definitely learnt a considerable amount on how to create as well as promote my art products. This project has fuelled my passion for selling art online and promoting my brand and style through social media. If I could have done anything differently it would have been my timeplan as although it was very helpful I found that I did not designate enough time for certain aspects such as experimentation and producing my final outcome. I still feel that my overall project was successful and I am pleased with the final result.