Updated: 6 days ago
Understanding the Wall Art Industry
In our first post, we introduced you to our “If Your Walls Could Talk” blog and why we felt it was important to take the time to share an understanding of the wall art industry with you, and how we hope to help you find your voice and decoratively express it in the wall art you choose for your home. We gave you a little background about ourselves, what we love, and why we are here with you in the blogosphere. We also promised that our first batch of posts would cover the wall decor near and dear to our hearts…Coastal Art.
But before we dive into our first category of Coastal Art, we thought it would be important to share a little background about how the wall decor industry has changed in recent times, and how that has impacted both artists like ourselves, and shoppers like you
Mom & Pops to E-Commerce
Not so long ago, most licensed artwork sold in the U.S. was printed by art publishers also based in the United States, and sold in small, local poster and frame shops and other mom and pop stores. Fast forward to today, as I’m sure you already know, the internet, digital printing and outsourcing to overseas manufacturers have revolutionized the wall art world. The number of brick and mortar poster shops and art stores has tumbled from thousands to a rare handful. Today, there are thousands of companies designing and producing wall decor through print on demand (POD) e-commerce sites. With POD services, e-commerce sites like Amazon, Wayfair, Art.com and thousands of others can literally produce millions of wall art designs, available for you to hang on the walls of your home…literally at the touch of a button, and with no inventory required!
Big Box Stores
And big box retailers? Decades ago, they ordered their wall decor inventory on a chain-wide basis, through one main store buyer. Today, if they are still in brick and mortar business, they typically order a more limited inventory of art, and it’s often done on a regional basis.
How Did we Get Here?
Sooo…,you might ask, how did we find our way into the big, booming e-commerce wall art marketplace…and even into big box stores? Well, we actually started out as a tee shirt design company. (That’s why we’re called Graffi*tee Studios. You get the *tee part, yeah?) When we founded our company, we saw a niche market creating unique tee shirt designs, and sold them at local stores, trade shows and trunk shows. We even managed to generate buzz and gain traction in NYC…of all cutthroat retail spaces!
But because our love of photography is first and foremost, we decided to try our hand(s) at creating some unique photographic wall art collages. Our town-based designs for a variety of coastal communities across the northeast were something no-one else was doing, and locally, a hit. The reality of the situation was, we are both very personable introverts (LOL), so the whole ‘sales' thing was REALLY not in our comfort zone!
What Happened Next?
Karma is indeed real! The positive vibe energy that has been our mantra since we started our biz came right back to us in the form of a store owner who loved our designs, and suggested that we connect with a licensing agent. Licensing agents work with artists to represent their work to manufacturers like wall art publishers, jigsaw puzzle companies, rug companies, greeting card businesses, you name it. That good karma continued, and we found the right licensing agents to represent our work, and have been happily creating artwork ever since. Our designs can now be found on countless products sold all over the country, and some internationally as well!
Since our comfort zone in creating art has always gone Coastal…we’d like to impart some knowledge about Coastal wall decor choices, and what vibe they can bring to the walls of your home. And since chatting about this particular wall art category is a totally arbitrary place to start, we decided to begin with Coastal Abstract design. How random can you get?
Abstract Coastal Wall Art
Abstract art is all about leaving behind the confines of reality. It’s about stepping out of the physical world and into the realm of emotion. And what better place to do that than at the beach?!? Let the gentle ocean waves wash away your thoughts, your notions of scientific reason (and maybe some of your reliance on tech to feel connected)…and let’s take a little walk along the coastal happy place of your dreams. Our mission? If you can’t be seaside 24/7, at least you can drift away just by gazing at the walls of your home. After all, you DON’T need to live at the beach to add a coastal vibe to your home.
So let’s escape together and feel the ocean breezes in the shapes, colors and lines of these abstract coastal designs, and connect to the emotions that may be stirred by the zen of one piece, the vibrant movement of another. As En Vogue so brilliantly put it, “Free your mind, and the rest will follow.”
Coastal Abstract Colors: Zenergize or Energize
When it comes to creating a Coastal vibe in a room, an important consideration is whether you want your abstract art to induce a sense of calm, or a big wave of energy. We’ve selected some colors and designs to show you what we mean:
Zen Coastal Colors
A lot of the coastal art you will see works with this palette of colors…for obvious reasons. This zen sea and sky abstract will automatically transport you to the aqua/navy/sand/creamy dreamy tones you see in nature’s splendor at the beach…maybe after you’ve had a few piña coladas. It will work in most decor styles from Coastal Grandma to Coastal Baby…to eclectic spaces in your home.
Sea foam green could have directly gotten it’s name from this relaxing abstract of a gentle wave upon the shore. It’s a pretty, old-school color with a fresh, new take. If you want to create a space where your thoughts can ‘just be,’ meditate on where in your home this piece might bring you peace.
Coastal abstracts don’t necessarily need to be in traditionally seaside color schemes. Think about what existing colors you have in a room, or what different tones you would like to bring in. For example, this coastal abstract with pinks, browns and a touch of lavender would be great in a room with earthy tones.
Energizing Colorful Coastal Abstracts
This design brings in just about every shade of blue and aqua you find on the coast using a bold color palette, while still adding a drop of calm to the space. Putting a splash of seaside blues on your walls can compliment a room with whites, neutral tones or pale shades of buttery yellow and coral.
What if you want to amp up the colors adorning your walls a bit more? Nothing says fun in the sun more than a pop of geometrically colorful beach balls. Go a little wild! You don’t have to be a kid to add this playful touch to any room.
Coastal and Modern decor blend together perfectly in these two Longboard Classic designs that have nothing classic about them! If your vibe is contemporary, line up and catch an abstract wave of brilliant colors with this modern set of surfer dudes and chicks.
Coastal Abstract Art: Shape & Line
Now let’s look at Coastal Abstract art from another viewpoint - shape and line. Do you have a “thing” about what your favorite shapes are…like we do? If you’re a fan of circles or rectangles, go with the flow of this bright and beautiful day at a French beach…complete with coastal blues, sunny yellows, and touches of aqua and pink…perennial coastal color faves.
If ovals are the shapes that appeal to your sensibilities, pair them up with some bands of tranquil navy waters, and this aqua and sand sunset will provide serenity at the end of a long day.
Nothing says Coastal with a modern flare like this scalloped wall art design. The coral and aqua colors of these overlapping circular shapes invoke tropical fish scales reflecting in the sea and sun.
Navigate your way through the waters in a sunflower yellow boat, sure to add sunshine any day, to any room, anywhere! Triangulate your way to a point far from shore…
Buoys come in a favorite-crayon-variety-pack of cool colors and sizes…and are iconic Coastal shapes. Buoy up a simple white wall with this set of modern floats.
Contentment and relaxation abound in this color block aqua and soft white Coastal Abstract design.
When you’ve settled in and it’s time to chill, this perfectly soft pink sunset and beach chair made-for-two scene is a nod to being with the one you love…in an abstract, we’re the only ones in the world sort of way.
Time for bed? This duo of abstract navy lounge chairs invoke the quietude you deserve as you drift off to a heavenly slumber.
Coastal Abstracts: Movement
If there’s one thing we know about the sea and sand, they’re forever in flux. From the changing tides leaving their mark on the shore, to the sandy beaches that have a different face from winter to summer. Let’s look at some truly moving Coastal Abstracts!
The perfect companion for a good night’s sleep…the gentle sway of the surf in this blue and white Coastal Abstract will lull you to dreamland better than your sound machine!
For a little more sway and maybe the promise of a rockin’ night…
Make a splash in your home spa…or your cozy half bath that needs a pop of tropical tide pool turquoise. This Coastal Abstract wall art design adds very subtle movement to any peaceful, zen space.
Capiz shells provide protection from the outside world for the sea life hidden within their walls. In the decor world, capiz shells are used in everything from lighting fixtures to softly swaying wind chimes…and of course, wall art!
And always remember that wall art should breath creativity into your home. You don’t need to stick with one design style to make a room ‘work.’ Here’s an example of an eclectically decorated room that works to say, “there are so many movements to who I am…catch me if you can!”
Stay Sunny xoxo
Nancy and Kellie