6 design ideas for your art

I think Function and Art should date more often.

If Imagination is Art's DNA, then the space it occupies surely extends far beyond the confines of white walls and hollow exhibit rooms.

If there persists within us creators a different, if not better vision for our world, what's stopping us from extending these ideas as far as we can? Being an artist is a continual call to have the world look at the angle from which we understand it.

"We are trying to evoke and reinforce meanings from the spaces we cover and the times we're given. Short or long this becomes our purpose. What we artists do is important stuff." - Robert Genn

Late last year, I taught a class on artistic thinking and art marketing, 30 Days of Open Art. Many of the young artists and creators who joined the workshop were deeply interested in making their artworks more serviceable to others. And because it was a very artistpreneurial question, I just had to help in answering.

Here are 6 ideas to make your art more useful. 


1. Interior Art

Why not specialize on creating artworks for interior spaces such as offices, restaurants, hotels, and other institutions? Add value to your service by offering to make pieces that will not only fit your client's aesthetic identity but one spark inspiration in their space.

2. Surface Print Art

I think Art printed on everyday things is the damnedest innovation to happen in the industry yet. Have you seen these divine duvet covers? Sorry, Van Gogh, I don't want to just stare at your starry night, I want to spoon underneath it, too.

With the rise of print-on-demand businesses like Society6Redbubble and Zazzle, illustrators and designers can now have their works sold as iPhone cases, homewares and other fine products with much less risk and stress.

 Duvet cover art by  Soaring Anchor Designs

Duvet cover art by Soaring Anchor Designs

 iPad case art by  Vladimir Stankovic ; wall clock art by  Oksana Smith

iPad case art by Vladimir Stankovic; wall clock art by Oksana Smith

3. Packaging Art

Collaborate with creatives and art-preneurs to develop rad packaging art for their products like album art for your favorite local band, book covers for budding authors, box designs for your coveted cosmetic brand. Go crazy. The possibilities are endless.

4. Wearable Art

Bring your obra to life by bringing life to someone's wardrobe. Stylish people are some of the biggest art hounds out there.  They would be only happy to see more wearable versions of your artworks. There is a wide range of products to play with - from resin jewelry to all-over printed garments to hand-painted handbags.

Seriously, who needs a museum when you can have people as your mobile galleries?

Sites like PAOM and Constrvct let you design and print your own garments. Go figure!

5. Mural Art

Literally, take it to the streets. Why not send the Department of Tourism or your local municipality a proposal on how you can help add more attraction to its outdoor spaces with your creative prowess? A city can always benefit from the beauty of a work of art.

6. Promotional Art

I have built my art career from designing posters, invites, stationery designs, and other marketing collaterals for various events and startup companies. Many businesses today are now embracing the use of art when it comes to promoting their products and services. Let people know how you can help boost their marketing campaigns by fusing your creative vision into their brand identity. 

 Festival poster by  Micaela Podržaj

Festival poster by Micaela Podržaj

 Calling card designs by  Dot Dash

Calling card designs by Dot Dash

While these mostly apply to illustrators, I dare and encourage you, non visual artists - musicians, writers, performers, etc. - to come up with some ideas of your own on how you can let push your own frontiers and make your art more purposeful.  Don't be afraid to experiment with different mediums. It's too fun to make and too important to share to let it just stay in one frame.

Do you have more tips on how we can make Art more functional and essential to our daily lives? Life's too short for hoarding ideas. Sound them off below!