Sometime back in July of this year I began looking for an affordable quality product to offer alongside my original artwork. I decided it would not be prints although I have offered them in the past. I do still have some prints in inventory and will still produce a limited number in the future I'm sure. However, no, there were some qualifications for the "product" that would eliminate prints from the competition. First, the product would have to complement my original artwork and promote it at the same time without replacing it (i.e. an appropriately sized print might replace the purchase of an original artwork). I also thought that it should be usable "as is" meaning that the buyer would not have to take any additional steps once he or she purchases "it", such as framing it, etc. So, Mr. or Ms. Buyer should be able to take said product home and immediately be able to enjoy it. Now, the third qualification helped me to truly narrow the field. I wanted it to be something that could be and would be handcrafted by me! Now, as an artist, I generally only want to produce original art so this product would have to be "art" requiring creativity on some level without distracting me from painting. To close the competition, my final requirement was that it would have to be something that I don't see many other artists offering. Yikes! That made it really difficult.
But suddenly, it was right there before my eyes! This is where I would like to say that I woke up in the middle of the night with a genius brainstorm but, alas no. It really was right before my eyes and under my tea cup! A stone coaster! If you know me at all you would know that I am just a little particular about some - okay, a lot of things - so coasters are a requirement in my home. And a couple of years back I bought two sets of beautiful stone coasters that were made by the mother of one of my friends. She had made very creative use of stamping to produce her sets. That was it!
Now I only needed to figure out how to get images of my artwork on the tiles. I work primarily in acrylic paint and had used an acrylic gel transfer method within my artwork and figured the same should apply here. It's just a matter of substrate. Okay, the substrate is stone so there were a few additional steps needed to produce the result you see here. But it worked!
And how it worked! I started offering these during a show in August. I've offered them at five (5) separate art fairs that I've participated in since that time. I've had to restock after every show. The little tiles have wings! This was intended to be essentially a "marketing" item. You know, sort of like an art souvenir! It would remind you of that wonderful original painting by yours truly that you are considering contacting me to purchase! This still could happen. After all, hope springs eternal! In the meantime, the universe had other plans. My original artwork sales are moving along at an expected pace but the "little tiles" have forged their own place in my offerings. Many artists count on moving prints and other lower cost items because not everyone is able to fork over the dollars for an original art piece. I love the fact that while I am offering a lower investment item, these tiles actually are originals in that each one has its own unique characteristics due to both the stone itself as well as the qualities achieved when I apply the transfer method. This is the little tile that did it!
Vivian Mora Art
Fine Art & Illustration
P.S. The tiles have their own page on my website now. Click on this url or the tab for art tiles: http://www.vivianmoraart.com/art-tiles.html