Art Meets Brand

Brand. A manifaesto of marketing. A brand, that metal heated and used to stamp ownership, the ultimate signature of an indelible presence. It says what an artist does that sets the work apart, or makes it stick in your mind. It points to one's style, aesthetics and character but more. So what about Artimentary, the brand of Antonia Lindsey?

I admit, I come from another time and place in our culture. When small things made the big difference. The word "Art" in german means the way of something, its nature. I grew up at that last edge of time when art and industry meant more than money. Time was more than money. Time was presence of attention, a quality of focus. People made tools and many basic materials from scratch. A great portion of our economy was built on the exchange of actual, not imagined, goods and real services -- not just glimpses of them. We were makers and doers, knew each other and stood behind our words, craftsmanship and products as a matter of integrity. Way before the "superstore" concept, when communities were rich with local smaller suppliers and family-run businesses.There weren't many premade widgets, and sending far away for them meant these were precious and well-made by reputable tradition among those of other countries who also understood the inherent trust implied by the honor of a purchase. Old things were maintained and used until they could be reclaimed for materials or parts, then those were used. This was not being green, just practical, frugral and smart. Ideas were tested by actions, and actions told the story of trust that undergirded the exchange of goods and services. The keeping of the flow. This is the art in Artimentary: keeping the way of creating in mind. It's not just the what, it's the how.

What is fresh right now, whoops --that moment's obsolete..NOW is... Well you see what I mean. Ideas fly. Words hold the place for the actions...by the time something is actual it is not real, but 'old'. Notice the change in perceptions, the manipulation of our experience and how we frame it? Removes responsibility for where the buck stops. No time to find out where, what...? More of the world is a hologram. Actual freshness is for food and flowers.

American culture before the atomic era understood limits, like time, and still wanted progress but not empty promises for a dollar of hard earned money. Sure we like adornment, but waste is not wearable once the novelty passes without the transformative power of art. Iconic commercials about life in techno paradise from the atomic age made a bad marriage to insatiable appetite in America over the past 75 years. Demand can be fabricated with ads; hurried and overstimulated people confuse novelty and quality. Hooked into impulse for novelty, we mistake greed for need. Error! The new, the bigger, the better, the easier, the faster, are not the same as best. How do you define best? Stop and think.

Now the word is green, but mind the message, the product, the processes. Check for the pedigree, people. Art takes time. The handmade movement should lead in thinking seriously about what we make and how we make it. Does what we do in our craft show our time, training, good design and worksmanship? We can be self-taught or schooled, regardless, if we want to stand out, we have to decide where we stand.
Ideas to help you grow your brand:
1. Use what is at hand to the fullest, before purchasing the latest fashionable trend in medium or process.
2. Consider traditional methods then pick from the glut of innovations which will come and go like the fad of the month.
3. Pick a next theme or project by interviewing elders in your family or area who remember methods passed down through generations of artists and craftspeople. Find your roots as an artist.

Art is not yet a lost language. Some of us want to pay it forward to the next generation in the deepest sense. The joy of a process that has years of stories with it brings an unmistakeable energy. For examples check out the link to Tod Pardon, one of America's artists who keeps alive the reality and the integrity of art from which this most recent handmade movement has sprung. (Find him at http://todpardon.com). Look for the work of artists who build a relationship with their craft over time. It is all about making with purpose, not just making more. Who is oldest person you know who loves what they make? Have you learned from this artist or asked their story? Isn't this more touching than hours of crafting shows with people on TV? and doesn't it fire you up to create?