Web Design, Murals, Fine Art, Faux Finishing

An Important Question that really hit home

Naples Mural Painter
Hand Painted Murals 239 417 1888

Is Faux Finishing a Dying Art?

Is the artist’s trade another of the ones dieing out?

So many of the talented artists are now first creating a digital canvas image and then painting on it to create something that they call original. It is a new way of creating. Easy, fast and a little like the mapped out fill-in-the colors that we used to do as children. The vision of the artistsis paramount and this is one way of creating. As good as any other.

But besides this is the the use of digital prints for all purposes. The artist was important earlier because he was the only one who could record life as an image. Then came photography. Now making copies is easy. Creating originals is even easier.

So many trades have died out. Brocades, carpets, furniture, jewelery are all being made and reproduced by machines. Then wither goest our artistry?

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Permalink Reply by Arthur Morehead 20 minutes ago

I dont believe it is “dieing out” or ever will , But I do believe it is going through a transitional period of confusion. The digital age is going to make more of a presence for a while because of the new technology and like everything else it causes a “trend”. With the new look of today being “chic”, modern, contemporary, will only be around for a couple of years and will come full circle to the traditional, charleston , french country as it has in the past.

I think of this as the “Disco” days of the 70’s and 80’s where a lot of pop art reappeared, and now it has come full circle with what is being called miami modern, and clean sharp lines of stainless steel in combination with bright intensive compliments and split compliments without moving to far into the earth colors.

I am not an Interior Designer but I have been slinging paint and plaster for over 30 years and I have seen these trends come and go. From my past experience, people tire of these modern, sleek looks and end up going back to the more traditional looks which is when we will see more of the traditional art.

I have been trying to point out to interior designers that true decorative artists can be very versatile no matter what the trends are. I have been using a lot of cadmium colors in different ways as to not cross over into that “old world” look that so many faux finishes have a characteristic of. Many of the manufacturers of faux finishing products didn’t take into account of the shifting trends which is why Interior Designers steer away from the faux finishes today because no matter what the “trained” faux finisher of today does to the product line they are using it still carries the “old world ” look and feel.

During the faux finishing craze of the 1990’s and 2000 we were in the middle of the traditional, European, Tuscan circle which was perfect timing for the manufacturers of faux finishing products to really hit the market. Because of the innovative design of one product line in particular the market exploded, which brought with it the imported plasters from Europe to try an match and compete with what was going on in the market, hence “faux finishing” became a booming market, BUT they didn’t plan far enough ahead for the changing trends and now that we are on the far side of that circle most finishers who have relied on the market not changing are at the wayside waiting for things to come full circle again trying to use the products they were “trained ” with to keep up with the Interior Designers demand for the modern clean look. This is where the separation comes in to being a versatile and creative artist and to be able to totally step away from a product line that just doesn’t work for the existing market and being creative enough to satisfy the market trend and demand of the current climate. The hardest part of the artists is to convince and re-educate the Interior Designers that faux finishing is not just for the kind of interior design that it has become associated with. In a sense its up to the decorative artist to bring to the designers a fresh look and educate them that faux finishing is not just an old world technique but unless the artists themselves step away from the “old world” designed product lines then the artists are just wasting their time.

Designers are trained professionals when it comes to their knowledge, training and experience, just as we as artists should be in our field. A professional Designer can change with the trends and styles by knowing what product lines work for each individual market trend, just as we as artists must be able to be versatile enough to step away from product lines that effect our designs and be creative enough to keep up with the ever changing trends. You see PK products is what has made a lot of faux finishers what they are today and if you take away that product line some are not versatile enough or trained enough to be able to keep up with the changing trends and are lost with out it, so they struggle with working with a product that just simply will not give them or the designers the look they are searching for.

This is why it looks as if the artists trade is “dieing” when in fact it isn’t, it’s just reinventing itself and it is up to the artist of today to be innovative and creative enough to be able to step outside that box and give the professional designers what they are looking for. The definition of the word “innovative” explains everything that I have written here in one short sentence……… but I thought that after reading your question that this would be a perfect place to maybe open the eyes of both artists and designers in general and because of the efforts and caring of our trades that the owner of this forum Jim Courtney has I’m sure he will see that this discussion will not die at this thread and will probably get this thread out there for as many people to read as possible so I feel my efforts here were not a waste of time for any of us.

I believe that this is an important subject and I am glad you brought this up, because it could very well change many artists lives by bringing up g the importance of continued education for  artists is just as important for the professional Interior Designers which is why I have grown so attached to this forum and the ones who contribute to it, because of the freedom that Jim lets us have to promote our businesses and say what we feel needs to be said……

This Important Question Really Hit Home

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2 thoughts on “An Important Question that really hit home”

  1. I have to say that you hit it right on about designers and their inability to recognize the versatile nature of the decorative arts.I had been in business in Miami since 1994 exclusivly as a decorative artist working with primarily designers and my biggest frustration is having to constantly re-educate them as to my ability to give them what they want.Unless they see that particular finish in front off them they assume you can’t produce it for them .I moved here last October and have been knocking on design firms doors trying to show my versatility as an artist and faux finisher.My biggest frustration is not being sure what each separate designer would like to see.While I have tried researching their tastes prior to going to their offices ,I leave packets with photos attempting to illustrate my versatility,along with info and designer and client referrals only to leave feeling like they don’t realize the range I am capable of.I try to see the trends coming and adjust but I am really struggling here. thanks for listening Joe Orsini-Orsini Arts -Ft Myers

    • Thanks for commenting Joe’
      Yes it seems that some interior designers and home owners for that matter do not really understand the versatility of an artist. There are those out there that do and these are the clients that need to be focused on. The problem with marketing ourselves is that we as artists just do not have the skills to do it successfully which is why its a good idea to hire a professional. In these economic times though its nearly impossible for us to do so. One of the things I have learned, is the harder you try to sell yourself the less likely people will buy from you. I have actually found better success in getting involved with the community more by networking and going to social events. I don’t wear my “company shirts” or try to stand out in the crowd, I just go to these events and meet new people and ask about what they do before I jump right in and tell them what I do. No one likes to be “sold to”. I have obtained more leads simply by striking up casual conversation at these events and passing out my card only if the person really seems interested.
      The interior design market is one of the hardest hits from this economy and I don’t try to market myself to them for two reasons. 1). The trend in the modern market is just not in demand for our skills unless you are working with “removable art” (acrylics on canvass impasto type work is very popular) sculptures, digital art, etc. 2). Many designers are struggling and are stressed. Rather than take the chance of making them feel pressured with a presentation by cold calling or “stopping by unannounced” I will send them an invitation to a networking event to try and help them with getting some business. People are looking for answers right now and if you become someone who is willing to network with other businesses at the social events you will soon see that people will start recommending you. Network Marketing is the future and is doing quite well locally, especially on the internet, I will be writing a blog post on the opportunities I have discovered to generate extra income for artists that has actually brought some unexpected results.

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