Art may imitate life, but life, at least from the perspective of today’s consumers’, needs to embody art, rather than simply imitate it. The fast-paced, overly-processed marketplace of doubles and imitation has created a consumer culture hungry for authenticity.
Consumers’ deep yearning to bring a sense of authenticity to their world, has sparked their renewed interest in traditional and handmade items and incited their need to incorporate the “artisan element” into all aspects of their lives.
Every day items crafted in time-honored ways and exhibiting a personal look or touch, such as artisan fragrances or handmade furniture with rustic features, are deemed more aesthetically pleasing than mass-produced, “stock” items.
Social media outlets like Pinterest and Instagram have both capitalized on and perpetuated this trend by offering forums for consumers to share their likes, dislikes, desires and stories on how they instill a sense of the “tradition” in their lives.
The evolution of the “artisan element” trend is expected to continue throughout 2016-2017 and extend across a wide variety of markets from home décor to fashion, from beauty to fragrance. Similarly, its influence can be seen in all facets within any given market, especially in the product’s packaging and logo.
Unglazed, rusted and weathered finishes along with rough textures create a worked and tactile aesthetic. Materials found in nature, upcycling and repurposing continue to inspire design.
Textile collections celebrate nature through tactile, informal weaves, softly rustic patchwork and crocheted and other unrefined materials.
Beauty and Fragrance
Beauty brands and artisan fragrance marketers create handmade, small-batch and/or personalized products and scents which are crafted from natural ingredients. Many of these natural or nature-inspired ingredients are derived from organic and vegan sources.
Logos, Labels and Packaging
Illustrated logos and hand-stamped, hand-written details on product labeling impart a homey, handmade quality and artistic vision. Consumers continue to be drawn to products with recycled, reclaimed or minimal packaging.
Another piece of the “artisan element” puzzle is a renewed focus and appreciation of tradition and subsequent emphasis on “re-tribing” and “re-grouping.” Consumers of like minds are coming together to form close-knit relationships, giving them the sense of “roots” and belonging they desire.
The grounding force of the “tribe” shapes the identity of the individual, enhancing their personal creativity and in turn, re-energizing the very group itself. Additionally, this collaborative design builds new collectives and stimulates the urge to discover new roots and relationships.
The Maker Fair has taken this consumer interest in tradition and “tribe” and their growing affinity for the artisan element, and created an entire movement spotlighting the integration of arts and crafts and technology.
As the Maker Movement becomes a global phenomenon, consumers are connecting with their “inner artisan” and art no longer imitates life. Rather, art has become life itself.