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Fabric painting is not the most conventional of careers to choose from; in fact most would relegate it to the hobbies listing, an obscure craft. Some would ask, “Who would want to spend their career with fabric paint?” But think about it; if the career were not a significant one, we would all be sitting on bland, colorless and design free furniture, we would probably all be dressed up in flour sacks and staring at blank walls. Of course that’s a slight exaggeration, but you get the point, I’m sure.
As a career fabric painter, you have the opportunity to add creative and sometimes colorful value to the world we live in. Although fabric painting can be a laborious pursuit it has become thousands of times easier to reproduce fabric painting on numerous mediums. With the advent of digital art, reproduction artwork can be placed on cups, plates, textiles, shoes, wood and more.
The prospects are actually quite exciting when you think about it. Rather than designers buying that blase fabric for their fashion accessories project, you can now offer them custom fabrics, specially created for their specific use; something unique to their collection. Designers can now say bye, bye to boring; and hello to happy. Their clients will love you for it.
Artists can now create their masterpieces and have them duplicated for short run reproduction just as easy as or perhaps easier than it would have been to process the art through the traditional fabric mills. This is great but there are still some major manufacturing companies that hire artists to create hand painted designs for their new collections. They then take the artists designs and produce them on various types of fabrics.
One career that is easily integrated and is an offshoot of fabric painting is, screen printing, which in itself is a vast field. Traditionally, screen printing has been viewed as the answer to producing tee shirts for schools and casual wear. Today the screen printing industry is booming as artists are getting even more creative and adding flair to their designs.
The sizes of screens have grown from a little bitty square on the front of your shirt to a large format screen designed for all over tee shirt design. Still there are others who use this screen printing method to create custom yardage for sale and for creating their own line of goods.
Such artwork was initially painted on fabric and later printed on garments for toddlers and adults alike. Just as the original was embellished with studs, stones, sequins and glitter, so too are the creations of the silk screen artist. The beauty of course is once the original design has been developed on fabric and screens created, the design can be produced in unlimited colors, sizes and of course quantities.
On the flip side of the screen printing issue are the embellishers who are also fabric painters in their own right. These artists take a generally basic design and customize it, giving it the oomph it may have needed. This is done many times with fabric paint, rhinestones, mirrors, ribbons and a host of other accessories.
write by Julio Figueroa