Thank you for reading this post. It says you have some awareness of trends—at least partially some of the time—when not feeling angst over pandemics, presidents, and protests. Whether you can name a trend or will think hard enough to identify one, you’re exposed to them all the same. What’s more, is you are influenced by them whether you care to admit it or not.
Trends form like schools of fish where masses effortlessly turn on a dime in perfect unison to embrace or reject them. Seemingly in a moment, black becomes passé, Myspace is uncool, or minimalism is everywhere.
Here’s the Deal
Mass media, mass marketing, and social media inextricably link us. We can’t unsee or unhear things that influence us. That’s good because mostly we—at least secretly if not openly—want to be in the know.
Today, minimalism is in the ether. While hardly a new concept, it’s getting lots of notice across many spectra. Google “minimalism trends 2020” to see what I mean. You see the effects of minimalism in fashion, tiny houses, design, web design, lifestyle living, and more.
Should Artists Let Trends Affect Their Art?
The reality is because you are connected to the grid trends already sway you. You can choose to embrace or disdain them, but they are still there plunging into your consciousness. You can fight to be original until you realize everything is a remix. And no, I did not bring this up to jerk anyone’s chain or start an argument. Ask Einstein or Led Zeppelin.
Besides, stories, art, and tradition passed through generations are artifacts of trends. They are integral to who you are as a person and artist.
And the Answer Is…
The answer to the concept of following trends for artists is it depends. You can make the conscious decision to let trends inform your work and your business. Or you can carefully avoid trends at all costs. (But realize by trying to avoid trends you become part of one.)
The decision depends on you. That’s the benefit of being an artist. It’s your business and your life. You get to decide.
I can tell you this. Googling for trends in 2020 brought me to this post, 5 Trends for 2020. Each of the five is mind-bending in one way or another. The take on brand avatars is a trip. It hipped me up to Lil Miquela and scared me some, too.
The YouTube video on the “The Curious Case of Lil Miquela” explored here will also unravel your brain a bit. Seeing popularity helps to explain why so many people are getting comfort from Replika. It’s an AI app that talks to you like a caring trusted friend.
I’m Down for Classic Blue. It Makes Me Happy!
If adding the Classic Blue Pantone Color of the Year for 2020 to your palette works for you, that’s a good thing. If someone chooses to criticize your choice, well, unless they are paying your mortgage, their unsolicited observations are opinions with little value and no impact on your life and career. Never let fear or shame from the opinions of others deter or affect you. Be calm and carry on.
It’s valuable to know that smart people often get things wrong. When someone accuses you of being a slave to fashion or a trend, you need to know it’s because they desire to enslave you to abide by their opinion, which, of course, is formed by some trend.
That doesn’t mean you should avoid all advice. Just take it lightly unless your gut tells you it’s right. As nearly always, knowledge is power and a freedom ticket for you to choose what is right for you. The most significant thing about being human is free will. You get to choose what you like and what to do.
Minimalism Is in Even Though It’s Not New
Minimalism is all around us now. You see it in tiny homes and off-grid and simple lifestyle movements. It’s in graphic and web design, fashion, home construction, and more. It’s made Marie Kondo into a phenom.
Just as classic blue is always there, (despite being the 2020 color of the year), minimalism never goes away, and it is ascendant now. I like the trend. Clutter is unappealing… now if I could only get Marie to tidy up for me. But what about you? How do you feel? What can you do as an artist to get with the minimalist movement? Or should you soak it in only long enough to jump into another lane that embraces disorder?
How to Add Minimalism to Your Art Now
Off the top of my head, I say, rethink your picture framing. If you have something elaborate and ornate, try it with a float frame or a no-frame gallery wrap. Work up some smaller sizes to go to smaller places. Or make affordable open edition prints in smaller sizes. You get the idea. Turn things around to think in a new direction. I’ll leave it to you to decide if minimalism should influence how you make your art.
Minimalism in Marketing Art
In 2016, before Marie Kondo was on the map, I wrote Guerrilla Marketing for Artists. Despite its age, the information in it is mostly evergreen. I believe the advice is as useful and informative today as it was back then.
What’s of greater interest in how it relates to this post is its subtitle. “How 100 Collectors Can Bulletproof Your Career.” I can’t help but brag by saying I was minimalist before minimalist was cool. The 100 Collector Theory is that artists don’t need to have huge lists of potential buyers to sell most all or most of the work they make—a small list works well.
If you like the idea of the book, you should consider buying it and joining the Art Marketing Mastery course. It’s on sale for the best price ever as my response to COVID-19. The two follow similar threads of marketing concepts. They go together like toast and jam. You’ll see some ads on this page for the course. You also get access to me in the Facebook group for members.
The Smallest Increment Is One Buyer. Start There.
That concept should be music to your ears. Don’t you agree finding 100 people to buy your art sounds more manageable than trying to market your artwork to the masses? To get real minimalist, let’s start with getting one person to buy your art. One begets two. Two begets five. Five begets twenty-five. And that is how it goes and grows. Sooner than you think, you have 50 or 100 buyers who you can turn into collectors. You can make a tidy living with a tiny list. You can believe me because it’s true.
With this outlook, you turn down the pressure, turn up the charm, and start selling art. What? You say you don’t do charming. Then kick up another persona that is so impressive it makes charm irrelevant. (That’s a topic for another post.)
No matter how you start and continue to build, you do it one at a time. That’s how you keep things steady, sane, and doable. And doesn’t that sound like an excellent way to manage your art business?
Wow. You’re Impressive!
Hey, you’re my favorite kind of reader. You got all the way to the bottom. And for your interest, you have my humble gratitude. If you found this post a worthy read, please use the links below to share it.