As you may know, I have been working on a new greeting card project with other artists.
After talking with fellow artists, a theme kept coming up: "How do we get more exposure and work as early career, or young artists?" and the other question "Without a huge social media following, or established work portfolio, reaching an audience is a challenge. Even print media is shrinking." There is a disparity between the countless (albeit amazing) outlets for artists to sell their artwork and any promotion to make sales. Often balancing classes, or careers, with families and limited time for art, many artists find themselves lacking time to promote or sell works. Time is further limited after investing precious hours of effort setting up online commerce platforms.
What can you do to support artists? Well... I started buying art from several of my favorite and insanely talented artists, which quickly became costly, however rewarding. I also started promoting them on my personal social media outlets to help add to their following. I still wished I could do more to support the hard work and career path of the artists I admire and respect.
I found myself wondering 'How do I help promote these people?'
This is where I got the idea to make cards, and license art. What if I could pay artists to use their artwork, and I would use my lifetime of sales skills to sell the cards? Their work would reach more eyes in different areas, and more people would get to enjoy artwork they may have never seen before. I had the printing capacity already set up and stores selling my cards, why not do it for other artists?!
Industry rumors murmur of a dramatic slump in sales for major card companies, resulting in closed locations, less purchasing from overseas manufacturers, and of course; not hiring new artists. There certainly is a huge swing in what the card market is doing, but it's not toward the end of greeting cards. Imagine the door closing on mass produced and commercial manufacturing, but a window opening to a more conscientious making process.
Human feelings still exist and need to be shared. People that live further away than ever, need to be reached. The soul searches for a social connection outside of the computer. There are more reasons then ever to write a letter, or send a card.
People are still buying and sharing cards today, but are far more aware of ecological and socioeconomic impact than card givers in the past. I am one of them; an aware consumer, and we have high standards. We want to know that money spent on a card will support a community, and those who are working hard to make a career. Protecting the environment is also an absolute necessity. The art on a card has to be different too, simply representative what the heart is feeling in a way that will clearly speak to the person who receives it. Lastly, a card just has to be... perfect, and feel REALLY nice in the hand.
I decided to try this idea, just run with it. I made a few hundred test cards and to my delight, customers and retailers agreed wholeheartedly with my vision. Believing in these standards has lead me to doing all of the printing in house, using only 100% recycled paper with a wonderful texture and cut, folding and packaging by hand. The artwork on the cards is also SO amazing; you may even want to frame them.
In a digital EVERYTHING age, I think it's time to reconnect; with our community, our environment and the people we love the most. My goal is that FoxFern cards will be a part of that.
Please let my efforts in this project serve as a sincere "Thank you" for all your support, encouragement and for being aware of our world and our responsibilities to it.
I still have a childlike excitement when I walk to the mailbox, don't you?
Our blog author is Jennifern; her thoughts on work, events, adventures and other amazing people.
Illustration & Design