I think it's important for creative types, especially those who work on their own as independent artists, to continue pushing the envelope and design from the heart, let go of fears, not design based solely on what will sell or according to what trend setters forecast to be the next big thing, but show your true colors and what you stand for in your work. Isn't that what indie artists set out to do in the first place, rebel a little and have ultimate creative freedom?
And while I'm completely open to trends and enjoy shopping for something trendy now and then, I set a rule for myself as a consumer that I'll only buy something that's a so-called trend if I truly like it. No peer pressure, in other words. For example, I'm not about to hop on the skull-as-a-motif bandwagon simply because it's a trend. I don't like skulls and no matter how hard I'm being told that I should, I don't and that's the end of it. I'm also not a fan of chintz. Call it my southern upbringing, but I think being around it for years has left me a bit uninspired by it. (Sorry, Domino.)
As consumers, we have the choice to shop for what we like. As indie designers, you have the right to explore the possibilities and dive into whatever it is that you're passionate about. Jump!
This is precisely why I like Turtle Papers. This lady designs what she likes, using motifs she enjoys, and sure cupcakes are a bit trendy, but it's okay to incorporate a popular motif into a collection if you truly like it and you're taking a popular motif and giving it your own spin. But if everything you create is based on a trend or what the market is telling you will generate the most money, then designers may find themselves losing their joy and passion over time. Isn't that why some leave corporate in the first place, because they are tired of designing what their company tells them to, according to their standards? Some of the most successful small business owners are those that go into something because that is what they wanted to do and they are designing products that reflect parts of themselves. As a result, they may not always generate huge profits, but they are happy and happiness is priceless, right?
At the end of the day, being happy and authentic, being yourself, is more important to me than anything else. So if you are considering opening a store selling your wares, go with your gut and push the envelope. Design products that you are passionate about. Put the independent back into independent design.
(images from turtle papers)