Sunday, April 21, 2013

Art on Products - Some History

One of my elementary school teachers had just asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" The first answer that I thought was, Artist. But for some reason, at the time, I thought, "No. I'd better come up with a second choice."

For whatever reason, I thought no, I can only guess. Perhaps it was in my consciousness that artists don't become successful, at least not in their lifetime, or so it seemed. Or perhaps it was because I got the most praise and encouragement to work on math, from my father. So for whatever reason it was, it was a decision that I made way back when that I've had to overcome, and make a new one.

When I finally gave myself permission to become an artist, I wasn't all that good at it. It wasn't something I had been honing all of those years. I had to learn skills. So I set about practicing; I purchased artist books, did the exercises, and so forth. I also attended an artist week long workshop.

Once I got some techniques down, I had to decide on what kind of art I wanted to create. A sales clerk commented to me one day that as I got better, I would want to buy bigger canvases. After that purchase, I commenced to buying bigger canvases. It was kind of nice painting large. I joined an artist's group and exhibited some of my paintings. That didn't go over so well. But I did get some comments that so and so would like a particular design on a t-shirt. Hmmmm.

Anyway, I searched for other avenues of making art. I like functional art, I like things that serve a purpose. I read about floor cloths and started making those. I sold some at an art fair. I made some more, but also realized that I was running out of space. I also had to get down on the cement floor to glue (hem) the edges, and leave them their with weights on the hems, while they dried.

I went smaller and started making pet placemats. Size wise, it was working out better; I didn't have to get down on the floor so much, but then I had placemats drying on the washing machine and dryer, and wherever I could find a place. I sold some to friends, around town, and also on the internet. I got great positive feedback, yet I knew I didn't want to keep wondering where all I was going to place them, and what I would do if I did receive any large orders.

I went smaller, and started hand painting postcards. I got an order for fifty and graciously accommodated the customer. It was pretty cool. They all fit on my table; I didn't have to worry about size and space. Yay! Sometimes I really got in to painting a particular design. Then it wasn't so appealing to me to repaint it over and over again. Hmmmm.

I was finally figuring out my don't likes and likes. I did like painting small after all. I didn't like repetition so much. Hmmmm. My next step was the internet in a bigger way. I could paint small. A print on demand company could easily do the repetition. Yay!

The first print on demand company that I went with, was a lot of hassle. After figuring out some more of my don't likes and likes, I started affirming to the Universe my likes. I then heard about another print on demand company that was a much better fit.

I had already come up with a business name, back when I was making floor cloths, Creative Brushstrokes, LLC. It was too long to fit in the number of boxes I was allowed to use on the print on demand site, so I went with my first name. That is how CherylsArt was born.

I have been creating small designs ever since, and love it. I love the freedom it gives me in creating, and that the print on demand company does the printing, shipping, and billing. My designs are printed on every day products, including t-shirts; a very functional choice. It works for me.

Another one of my favorite loves is cats. Our cat Muffin is so full of love. I did a picture of her in pointillism and put it on a background painting of hearts:

Cute Tuxedo Cat, I love you Card
Order Cute Tuxedo Cat, I love you Card by Cherylsart
Look at Tuxedo Cards online at

She seemed to be a purr-fect match for conveying love.

To view more family friendly designs, visit CherylsArt on Zazzle.

Cheryl Paton