Following the release of Pantone’s 2018 color of the year, we decided to see what other trends we have to look forward to in the craft world this season. With Millennials jumping on the minimalist lifestyle of living in tiny homes and VW buses, it seems craft trends have followed a similar clean-lines & modern-economic road.
So what do these current lifestyle trends mean for our art? What colors do we have to look forward to? What about new craft ideas, fashion, marketing and public workshop trends?
Colors are a very powerful thing, whether we realize it or not. Notice that hospital walls are always a light green or faded baby blue color? That’s because these colors are proven to calm the nerves and promote rest and healing. Red can symbolize aggression or danger but also beauty, power, and warmth. Orange can make you hungry, promote creativity, motivate your fitness goals, and exemplify wisdom. Yellow, our color of summertime sunshine and fun, also indicates uncertainty, forgiveness, and intelligence.
What exactly does the release of PANTONE’s 2018 Color of the Year- 18-3838 Ultra Violet mean? A stark difference from last year’s “life-affirming” shade 15-0343 Greenery, which signified a reconnection with nature amongst the chaos of the current political climate and other societal issues- Ultra Violet provokes us to move forward creatively, with determination and mindfulness.
“A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future”. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute continues to explain, “We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to PANTONE 18-3838 UltraViolet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level. From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come”.
“Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to UltraViolet. The color is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world. The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places energizes the communities that gather there and inspire connection”.
With going from Greenery to UltraViolet, a fire has been lit. Creating a new drive for those in the art world, these colors are a call to nature and a burst of ambition to really assess what we need as a society to be productive while still emphasizing frugality and thrifty, efficient lifestyles.
We see the meaning of these colors in many of the recent craft trends, as well. With fashion, we are definitely seeing brighter bold colors like Greenery and UltraViolet, but sewing machines are also quickly making a comeback! Clothing patterns are seeing a surge in sales with individuals choosing to make their wardrobes rather than buying from chain stores.
Not too long ago most people in their teens and 20’s didn’t even know how to sew a button back on their pants. Outsourcing seemed to be easier for those trying to make it in modern society- until we realize how much it adds up. Author Erin Bried of How to Sew A Button and other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew explains “Once the DIY movement caught fire and we started taking these simple tasks into our own hands, many of us realized that not only can we do/make/create/fix things ourselves, but doing it is also fun and empowering.”
In a world that gets increasingly harder to “stand out” in, fashion has always been an outlet for self-expression. Large retail chains no longer cut it for those searching for unique, one of a kind pieces. These outfits are more often found in thrift stores, tweaked to fit only the individual wearing it. Sewing patterns once found in small, local crafts stores in small towns are making a resurgence on popular online sites like Etsy and Amazon.
Which brings me to my next topic of…
Artists are so in love with their crafts that they are beginning to share it with everyone else, convincing the general public to find their creative roots. With the takeover of Pinterest, DIY Craft workshops are still popping up at skyrocketing rates across towns and cities and people just can’t get enough.
Grace Dobush writes about these Pinterest-esque shops and what we should expect from them in 2018. “Shops, where wannabe artists can have a glass of wine while painting together, have become a booming franchise business. But a Phoenix-area shop called Pinspiration has a new take on this successful business model: Rather than limiting projects to paintings, Pinspiration lets customers select from dozens of Pinterest-worthy projects vetted by staff with instructions conveyed via iPad videos and all materials included. “We eliminate the craft fail,” founder Brooke Roe says. At Creativation, the store put together a splatter room with 3M’s tape and Tyvek suits and DecoArt’s paint”. Pinspiration plans to franchise and open over 100 more locations in the next four years. It’s safe to say that our traditional painting workshops will have to add to their project catalogs to keep pace with other craft workshops.
Though I’m sad to read that adult coloring books are slowly melting into the past, I am also told that planners are making a comeback. The meditative and calming benefits of coloring will never fade, the books themselves seem to be. However, a few coloring pages and mandala-like images are sneaking their way into the 2018 planners I’ve seen recently at TJ Maxx and Passion Planner. What can we say, we have places to go and people to see and we must keep track of it all somehow! And even though we have enough apps and computer programs to keep us scheduled until the end of time, everyone still loves a book in their hands.
Crafting has also always been closely in-touch with and influenced by nature and we are seeing it more and more. Bringing nature into any aspect of life adds exhilarating and organic detail that bring out the unique aspects that make each piece individual and gorgeous. You will see more leaf motifs and an influx of floral patterns you might remember in your grandmother’s living room but with their own modern tweak and cleaner lines.
Now, let’s talk about handwriting. Calligraphy is another medium of art that has always been popular. While artists are trying harder and harder to reach people at a more personal level, handwritten projects are becoming increasingly popular. Products like a hand-drawn wedding or baby shower invitations will stay on the fridge significantly longer than something printed from your home computer on Microsoft Word. Clipart is a thing of the past, my friends.
And perhaps the trend I love the most: creative reuse. Websites like RecyclArt and No Time for Flashcards are a goldmine for recycling and upcycling random items you may have previously deemed useless. Did your grandma also give you a jar of two million buttons along with the floral couch? Have you been hoarding bottle caps and Altoid tins for the last ten years? There are thousands of ideas online to reuse just about anything! Clear that clutter and give clever gifts for holidays this year!
In the last year, there have also been a few new non-profit shops popping up that are full to the brim with donated art supplies. This is the art major’s heaven in a world where a bottle of oil paint can cost $20. Turnip Green Creative Reuse in Nashville, Tennessee, is one of these hidden gems. (I almost hate to tell you about it, solely so I can keep it all to myself, but alas, I am feeling kind today).
TGCR was dreamed up by Kelly Tipler, with inspiration from The Scrap Exchange in Durham, North Carolina. “A retail donate what you wish to store, education/outreach, artist support, and a green gallery. It provides a welcoming and neutral place for artists, educators, and any creative person to connect. We hold a high priority to serve the art community as well as work with children in our community, bringing them ways to create from what they see going in the trash every day.”
Craft Marketing Trends
Now that we have read about all the craft ideas and trends we will be seeing, how will we be seeing them? Marketing trends change almost daily, but it will be interesting to see what evolution it makes as the DIY culture grows. How will the craft world sneak its way into our lives, even when we aren’t thinking about it?
While individual artists are able to make a living doing their craft, it is hard to make, market and sell. We can’t all be super-human. This is where shop local initiatives and mainstreet associations help support and spread awareness of their local artists.
Laura Abrahamsen the author of 2018 Craft Marketing Trends, explains, “reaching the potential customers who self-identify with the maker movement is a little tricky. Since much of what they value is generally anti-consumption, marketing to their desire to acquire can be counter-productive. Event-based marketing that reaches out to their priorities of community, sustainability, and shared resources may be a more effective approach”.
Abrahamsen continues to explain, “The customer who identifies as a maker wants to buy craft supplies from other makers, people who share her making lifestyle. The popularity of an event like Indie Untangled, the offsite indie-dyer pre-party that’s held in a hotel convention space the Friday night before Rhinebeck, is an example of such an event. Dyers who don’t have booths at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival itself banded together to put on their own event, which is a huge draw for customers who usually buy from them online or possibly at smaller festivals. Yarn enthusiasts really enjoy the opportunity to meet and buy from the dyers whose yarn they want to knit or crochet”.
Amongst predictions that we will also be seeing a growth in “open-studio” events and pop-up shops where local artists partner with longer established businesses in the community, she also reminds us that, “while we’re focusing on how to reach that millennial maker customer, we don’t want to leave out the traditional crafter, and connecting those generations is one way to do it. Today’s hipsters are the grandchildren of the hippies, and they share that do-it-yourself ethos. Reach out to both customer bases with intergenerational how-tos, where the elders are teaching the craft skills, and the youngers are teaching the tech skills that enhance the crafting experience for both”.
It’s hard to not feel inspired after reading about all these amazing art, ideas, and marketing concepts we get to see this coming year! Have any predictions yourself? Let us know!