It has been an exciting time at Tracey Thornton Artist. Ever since I first started showing my Butterfly Series, I have had people asking when I was going to bring out a range of products. People would frequently say “Your paintings would make great fabric for cushions, curtains, bedding, clothing, stationary” and so on. But I didn’t set out to be a designer. I think of myself first and foremost as an artist. However, I am a big fan of making art available to as many people who are interested in it as possible. To this end, I maintain social media accounts, exhibit my work locally and internationally and have offered print reproductions (Limited and Open Editions) and embellished prints. It is a fine balance between making the art available and retaining exclusivity.
But as I looked into translating my working onto products I felt really excited at the opportunity of making my art portable. I had already launched a luxury wall mural range with Flat Space Design so had departed a little from the traditional artist model but that project still links art to wall space. So, I started looking at products specifically valued by women. After all, I know a little about being a woman. Every woman I know owns at least one bag (lets face it, that is just the tip of the ice bag – see what I did there?).
We are rarely without some bag or other. Whether it is for the essentials, or for work, or to carry all the things for the children, or for shopping, or travelling, or an evening out, we like to have a bag with us. But, as many women will attest to, life is so very busy such that alternating bags can be a low priority on the To-Do list (if it makes it on the list at all!). Women tend to have a go-to bag regardless of whether it makes the outfit or not. Despite having it on or by their person for much of the day.
I thought long and hard about how my designs could translate to bags, but I did’t want to compromise on quality or functionality. I was designing my Bags & Accessories range for busy women. For women who like style and fashion. For women who had limited time to think about what to wear but wanted to look and feel good about themselves – with minimal input. I was designing a bag for you. And for me.
One Size (Or Style) Does Not Fit All
After conducting several rounds of market research, it became obvious that there is not a one-size fits all solution to what makes the perfect bag. My own solution to this was the bag-within-a-bag. In order to ring the changes with bags without mislaying the essentials that travel with me wherever I go (phone, keys, tissues, hand cream, snacks for the kids …) I use a compartmentalised insert so I know where those essential items are at all times. It then means that adding in a tablet, book or magazine to whichever bag I have on the go is simple and stress free – after all fashion is meant to be fun. All my bags feature inside pockets (zipped/open) but these bag organisers give the option of a degree of organisation and easy transference that once tried I wouldn’t be without. They are readily available on Amazon.
Available from Amazon
It was also really important to me to give customers the option to find their own style. I could do this by offering different trim colours on top of the various design options. Customers can tailor their own bag and accessories range to meet their own tastes and requirements. It’s hassle-free, fun and they know they have a quality, designer product that is a Limited Edition and far more original and arty in design than many of the ranges currently being sold in Department Stores.
Busy, Stylish Women
Who doesn’t want to be stylish? Who has the time to think about being stylish on the dash to work, the school run or the supermarket shop? Who has the headspace to think about being stylish when they are juggling meetings, children’s activities, domestic duties and the 101 other things that they need to accomplish before their second cup of coffee of the day?
That being the case, one of the things that I have loved most about designing this range is how easy it has been to feel good. A good design can be teamed with the simplest of outfits to stunning effect. All my designs lend themselves to setting off a staple outfit: a pair of jeans, black top and “Out Of Darkness Tote” is just fabulous. Or the “Four Seasons Summer Zip Top” with jeans, boots and leather jacket adds an effortless wow factor.
I have received such lovely and encouraging comments and compliments throughout this design process and have been delighted to launch my initial Bags & Accessories range in time for Christmas. So here is a massive shout out and THANK YOU to all of you who have taken the time to read this blog, comment on my social media platforms, share with your friends and ultimately choose your very own Tracey Thornton product that works for you.
So What’s Next?
It is a particularly busy time of year for getting commissions and print runs ready for Christmas but I am already exploring clothing and homeware products to bring online in early 2019 – so watch this space!
I passionately believe that art should be accessible and inclusive: whether it is on a wall, on a bag, on a cushion or on a mug, or on a personalised hanging ornament with your own special message. Happiness is worth investing in!
Love art. Love fashion. Love life. Find your joy at www.traceythornton.com.
Tracey Thornton is an international mixed-media artist Originals, Prints & Products from www.traceythorntonartist.com Facebook @traceythorntonartist Instagram @tracey.thornton.artist