As you all probably know from our Twitter and Facebook feeds, the Bright team have been showing off our wonderful artists at various trade events.
Hannah, our wonderful licensing agent-along with the support of James and Phoebe and an army of artists at PG Live and Surtex – had over 100 meetings showcasing all the new portfolios….candy in hand of course.
With the two shows, held within 1 week in two major cities, walking the exhibition halls, setting up stands (as well as one roof top pool) and our meetings, we can honestly say that it has been a whirl wind of a week, but completely exciting.
Working closely with Hannah, and watching Bright Art Licensing grow, has led me to understand the subtle differences between art licensing and publishing (my first love). Having attended both fairs, PG Live and Surtex, I want to share some of the strong market trends that I am seeing. Hopefully, for those of you who couldn’t attend the fairs, my highlights and observations will be seen as a direction and inspiration for you. Developing new styles and pieces that are essential in order to maintain and continue supplying the expanding needs of our clients.
So without further ado I present The Three Trends:
Lanterns and other Subjects
With Upcoming Trends:
Eastern Promise - ethnic prints and elephants
And cupcakes turning into the wide range trend Baking.
For those of you who don’t know, my sister runs a company out in California called Neon. She is a scientist traditional and I will be staying with her next week while I visit all the children’s digital developers in San Francisco. When I tell her the name of her company is The Big trend on style right now, I know she will nod in a very confident – ‘well yes, I just knew’ scientific kind of way. Whether she knew it or not when naming her company, Neon will be as big a brand in Britain as it will be everywhere.
Neon is huge! You can’t go anywhere without seeing it. In fashion it is bright pink coral dresses, with lurid gleaming stitching or ribbons. It is grey colored sweat pants with luminous orange trainers. It’s not full neon, it’s bright pastels with neon flashes.
The reason why I particularly love this trend is because it is happy. Everyone looks a little Brighter with a splash of color. It’s fun, it’s confident and it’s positive. I, for one, have a new laptop back in bright coral that ‘pops’ and when working at the show we jumped on the trend, wearing the neon color yellow on day two.
I remember when artwork needed to not look digital. Everyone painstakingly made things look like it wasn’t digital and the initial surprise was ‘wow, is that not painted?’ has now moved on. They know it’s made digital, they have ‘caught on’ and are no longer mesmerized with traditional looking digital art. Currently they want something beautiful and digital. They expect digital and want it; it’s cool and edgy, but they still want fresh designs showing of talent, beauty, sophistication and being, dare I say it, delicate.
An artist at the show that I thought really captured this was a lady called Ella Leach. Her designs can be found Here. Ella is from Australia and her work had a sophistication to it that was delicate and rich.
Of our own artists I thought of: Sue Hendra. I think Sue was a main player in driving this trend. Sue’s art is digital, but unlike other ground breaking digital artists, Sue’s work does look digital – but it’s not flat. It’s deep, layered and has perspective. It’s artistic and the hours and time that goes into her work – with the details and extra elements – make it sensational. Below is the cover of her book ‘No Bot’. You can see delicate sophisticated line and texture in a very obvious digital style, but it’s so well executed that this digital piece is now accepted as art.
Nicky O’Byrne also has a great softer style that looks digital, but has great warmth in it.
Rebecca Elliott’s work, although flat and digital, has great character, personality and warmth. It feels more sophisticated and well executed. It’s beautiful and accepted as art.
I predict that we will see more and more ‘digital’ designs. Digital art is not about trying to look like it’s painted, but embracing digital on its own merit.
Objects that are always in fashion, and have been since the turn of the last century includes flowers, stripes, trees, abstract patterns, etc. more recently we have seen a rise in subjects like sunglasses, lollies and cupcakes. Moving on to current content/subject matter I am seeing trends that include old cameras, jam jars, cowboy boots, flip flops and paper lanterns.
Focusing on my current favorite, Lanterns, I believe they are great, colorful and have an exotic/mysterious feel-while still being fun and celebratory. You see them at weddings and parties providing some glamor. I see exotic parties in faraway places when I see eastern colored lanterns.
Art Licensing needs new and fresh products to be bought and licensed. To start off on the right track artists should form 1-4 designs so clients can commission further range extensions. In other words we can’t do a great job selling work, if we don’t have new work from our artists. Of course we fully understand that artists may not want to do new work if we can’t guarantee that it will eventually be paid. Which is why I think my observations could be helpful as you put together new artwork for us to showcase. Together we can keep portfolios on trend, and be at the forefront of all our client’s needs; guaranteeing work and spot on art.