Fashion and design trends influence everything, even our mixed-media art. We cannot help but be influenced by the color schemes, shapes and patterns that appear on the clothing and home fashions we see in our world.
Trends trickle down from fashion shows into magazines. In turn these find their way into furnishings, household goods, accessories and eventually art. When I ask mixed-media artists where they turn for inspiration, a majority will mention art, fashion or interior design magazines.
While it is not advisable to base your art entirely on current trends, they can provide a great source of inspiration to spark your creativity. I love to browse through quilt or fabric shops when I am in the creation process. I look for unexpected color combinations in fabrics or how designs play with one another through displays.
The savvy mixed-media artist will allow what they see to influence their art, but never dominate it. Unless you are designing for licensing, trend watching will just be one tool in your creative toolbox.
So What’s Hot for 2012?
Who is not familiar with the big-eyed girl trend? It has lasted much longer than most people expected. It was huge in the 70s and continues today. Collectors are still buying them, so artists are still placing them in their mixed-media pieces.
Texture is still desirable as some artworks beg to be touched. Artists are fascinated by the variety of mediums available today. Combining them to come up with new textures is still working for most mixed-media enthusiasts.
Stripes seem to be appearing in more and more fashion spreads. Look for unusual color combinations and/or variations in widths as we move into 2012.
Graphic patterns and designs that recall the 40s and 50s are showing up more often in interior design. We are also seeing more sleek and contemporary interiors in the pages of design magazines.
Found and created elements, figurative, abstract and typographic designs remain current and ever present in mixed-media artwork. Mark making has become popular among a large group of artists as a way to establish backgrounds with a natural flow.
The very nature of mixed media work involves the use of materials not designed or intended for use in art. As a photographic and digital mixed media artist, I am most excited about the possibilities of collage and photography combined with digital processes that more people are folding into their art.
Possibilities for stretching your skills and moving beyond the art you have created in the past are everywhere as we move into a new year. I encourage you to try something you have never tried or have been afraid to try. That would be a great artful resolution for 2012. Happy New Year!
Rebecca E. Parsons is the creative force behind Cre8tive Compass Magazine, Cre8Tiva’s Blog and Artistically Speaking Talk Show. In her spare time, Rebecca is a digital and photographic mixed-media R-tiste, Retreat Leader, Dreamer, Possibility Coach, Lifelong Communicator & Blissful Wordsmith—just one inspired creative soul on a journey to Cre8Topia. Unconventional and delightfully curious, she is passionate about helping others embrace the artist within and create a life around their passion.
MORE RESOURCES FOR MIXED MEDIA ARTISTS