Your Art "Here"
September 27, 2013
I had ordered a decorative laptop “skin” customized with an image detail from one of my own shibori-dyed silk organza wall works. The value of utilizing one of these many “your art here” services was immediately apparent.
Now, when visitors approach the desk, this unique laptop skin often becomes a starting point of conversation about my work.
Check out Skinit for computer, cell, iPad, iPod, Kindle – even vehicle skins – meaning vinyl stickers that are produced specifically for the type of electronic device or item you are covering. Skinit is a great tool for helping an artist to share their work, but is by no means the only “your art here” service.
My matching mouse pad came from Zazzle, along with the case for my new iPad. Though I could have easily made a sleeve for my iPad from some of my hand-dyed fabric, I was able to share another of my silk organza pieces without having to slice it up or spend time sewing the case. (The case started several conversations during Textile Society of America’s fall 2012 conference, including one with SDA Digital Publications editor Leesa Hubbell that sparked the idea for this SDA NewsBlog story.)
It was as simple as uploading an image to Zazzle. This on-demand customizing service will print on a wide range – over 50 – of product categories (including US postage stamps). They claim to produce and ship most items within 24 hours. You might also want to check out CafePress – a similar company with many substrate options.
It was during a meeting of Southeast Fiber Educators’ Association (SEFEA) that I learned about the possibilities offered by Walmart’s photo department. SDA Member Patricia Mink, head of the fibers department at East Tennessee State University, has her own wide-format Epson printer to print background fabrics for her fiber pieces, but she recently discovered an unexpected source offering a type of custom-printed fabric available in a larger, textured form. Though Patricia found many services that will print fleece and other ‘gift’ photo items, none are as inexpensive as Walmart and Sam’s Club. She was happy to discover the fleece is printed by a company in North Carolina.
Here is her digitally-manipulated photo printed on fleece, pinned to a workboard as the foundation for further development of composition:
Here is Venice II, her finished composition:
She explains, “the biggest advantage of having the fleece printed is the size; the blankets are available up to 60” x 80″ – much larger than my printer can print a single piece.
The disadvantage is that it is synthetic polar fleece. And it’s Walmart/Sam’s.
It’s not the ideal set-up, but it has interesting possibilities.”
Patricia has been able to work on a larger scale to create layered, collaged wall works using the printed fleece as the base for her pieces. She continues to use the Epson printer for additional fabric layers, fusing the printed fabrics onto the base.
Now you can also adapt your work for the interior design and decoration of your home. Since SDA Member Laura Foster Nicholson wrote her SDA NewsBlog article Repeat Behavior: How Spoonflower Feeds My Passion for Pattern (April 2011), Spoonflower has begun offering custom designed wallpaper. Close your eyes and visualize your latest screen or mono-printed image, art quilt, embroidery or other design in repeat on your walls.
So how will you creatively deploy YOUR next design?
Share your talent and start some buzz about your work with these print-on-demand resources.
The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!
Past SDA President Candace Edgerley is an artist and educator who lives in Alexandria, Virginia.
She designs wall pieces, clothing and accessories under the label Ginkgo Designs by Candace. She also teaches surface design for textiles at Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, DC.