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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How to Keep Art Fresh & New: Continually Evolve Your Work - Part 2

How Angela Anderson Evolves her Art to Keep it Fresh and New.
by Suzanne Cruise

Another artist that I represent is Angela Anderson whose art has really evolved in the years I have represented her work. Below are a series of three Santas and three Snowmen that Angela painted. Each were done about two years apart. Her comments as to how she did them are included below. When these paintings are viewed side by side, the differences are striking but the differences would be much more subtle if the interim Santas and Snowmen that Angela created were added to this line up.

Angela's work appeals to a wide variety of manufacturers. Her style is one that consumers understand and are very comfortable having in their homes. Her work has been licensed on products such as home decor, wovens, puzzles, paper party goods, greeting cards, gift bags and wrap, giftware, rugs, flags, mailing labels...and much much more.

As a side note, I want to add a comment on artists and their researching of trends/icons, etc. Angela lives in a small town in Indiana and she is not much of a shopper, but she makes it a point to go to stores that can possibly give her trend ideas. She also follows several blogs for ideas in helping her with design direction. I want artists to understand that you don't have to live in New York or Los Angles to have access to good research. With so much available on the internet alone, researching trends is what you make of it.

The following comments were made by Angela of her three Santa paintings and the steps taken to not only make them fresh and new but also to make them easier for manufacturers to reproduce. 1. The first Santa was painted in 2000 as completely flat (lettering, pattern…everything) with lots of "chunky" detail. The eyes were hard for companies to reproduce. 2. The second Santa was painted simpler but the eyes were still hard to reproduce. The lettering and the stars with holly were painted separately, then scanned and placed on separate Photoshop layers. This made it a little easier to format the art for multiple products. 3. The third Santa has cleaner lines, a simple pattern in the clothing, and less detail in the face to make it easier to reproduce. All the elements are in separate Photoshop layers in order to make the art easier to alter. The simpler lines (notice Santa's stylized beard), simpler border design, and brighter colors make the art seem fresh and new.

The following are Angela's comments on the differences between her three Snowmen paintings. 1. This first snowman painting was painted completely flat with a plain scarf and was not very exciting . The individual elements and snowman would be difficult to use as separate icons because they overlap. Therefore this painting would be difficult to reformat for different product shapes. 2. The second snowman was painted more stylized with brighter colors and all the elements are in separate Photoshop layers so that they can easily be reformatted for many products. 3. All the elements in the third snowman are in separate layers. More details were added to the snowman's clothing , the border simplified, a title added and all the elements stylized even more so than in the second painting.

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