Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Color vs. Design

When you are working on a craft project, after the design is decided upon, and that may or may not be an easy task, you have to decide on your colors. Now, I love color don't get me wrong, but I also have a tendency to pick colors that may be just a bit too bright, or colors that are known to clash...you get the point. It is fun though and often you are surprised at what turns out.

It is the constant playing with colors (and sometimes correcting one that was a poor choice) that gives you a better "eye" on what you like. Of course, what you like may not be what your customer likes.
Here a cobalt blue birdhouse is covered with a red red roof. Aided by yellows, yellow greens and a splash of white, you have a pretty wild item. It certainly would add color just about anywhere you put it. Luckily its not very big so as they say, a little color (on a 5 inch birdhouse) goes a long way.

However, not everyone likes this much color. Americans tend to downplay color not like their European cousins. If you don't believe me, those in range of an IKEA store need to take a look. Those Swedes are not afraid of color, ever!

A case in point is the two sales of items in my "crazy quilt" designs this past Christmas. The first few items started off pretty wild. Then after I got no nibbles (even after winning a national contest), I decided that the notepad holder that I had, poorly finished with a walnut stain, might be more acceptable if the colors were less exuberant. So every color was muted. Beige, creams, soft pinks and blues, celedon greens adorned this item. I must admit it looked nice, just like an old and faded quilt. Check out the Dec. 15, 2012 blog to see the comparison.

That both the original crazy quilt birdhouse and the notepad holder sold left me wondering. Was it the color that sold them or the design? Maybe both or because in some way they sold because the buyer just happened to like them and had no ulterior motive. As an artist you are always left to wonder. You wonder, at least in my case, what did they see that made them buy and can you replicate that buyer's motivation?

Ultimately I think that you must be true to yourself and let the marketplace decide.

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