Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Failed Product Experiments

One of my favorite aspects of my art business is creating new products and new functional ways for you to use my artwork. While everyone loves to hang artwork on their wall, I find that my customers only have so much wall space. So I really enjoy the challenge of taking my original fantasy art and turning it into a fun new way for you to experience my work using only the tools I have available to me in my studio. I don't outsource any of my printing or products, so everything that I offer for sale has been developed and handmade by me. This is both very rewarding and also very challenging. And yes, incredibly frustrating at times.

There is a lot that goes into product development. I have to come up with the idea in the first place, use graphic design elements to make my artwork "fit" the product, find quality materials and supplies (this is always the hardest part), make my product prototypes, perform testing if necessary and develop and design packaging. I have a lot of successes, but also a lot of failures. I thought I would take some time to show you a couple of my failed experiments and explain why these particular products never made it to my stores.

Notepads with Velcro Closures

Even though these never made it to my store, I still LOVE them. They are definitely one of my favorite things that I've made to date. These are little notepads that I created. I found the white notepads at an office store and created a laminated cover with my artwork to go over them. Then I created a Velcro closure and added a little rhinestone.

The main problem with these was getting the Velcro to adhere properly. I was using self-adhesive Velcro. The cover needed to be laminated to protect it from getting scratched, but the Velcro just didn't want to stick to the laminated surface. I actually had to take sand paper and rough up the surface of the lamination to get the Velcro to stick. Thinking back on it now, I could probably try out some kind of glue. I just wanted to make sure that the Velcro wouldn't come off after opening and closing it multiple times and since I couldn't be confident of that, they never made it to my store.

Door Hangars

This is another fun item that I tried to develop! I created a door hangar and then laminated it. I even thought it would be fun to personalize them at the bottom with someone's name like "Jennifer's Room" or make them dual sided with "Come In" or "Keep Out" etc...

My main issue with these was cutting them out. Looking back I should have tried a really sharp exacto knife, but I was trying to use scissors to save time (that and I really don't like exacto knives for some reason). But I couldn't get a smooth cut out around the circular part of the door hangar where it hangs on the door handle. Also, when I laminated them for extra durability and tried to cut out the lamination, it was hard to get it smooth and not jagged around the circular part.

Glass Tile Pendants

I really hated these from the beginning! There are many people that make glass tile pendants and they are very good at making them....I am not one of those people! I had grand plans to create necklaces, charms, key chains and all sorts of things with glass tiles, but unfortunately that was just not in the cards for me.

You have to use this glaze medium to adhere the image to the glass. You squirt the glaze on the back of the tile or the front of the image and then press it into the back of the glass. First off, my images  always seemed to bleed from the glaze which was really frustrating. Then, there were all sorts of imperfections under the glass...I guess you could call them bubbles? After that, you have to cover the back somehow, so I used black paper. Then you have to apply more glaze and somehow make it smooth looking... while trying not to get a cat hair or fuzz in there in the process!

I discovered quickly that I don't have the patience for jewelry making and my time would be better spent creating new artwork. So that is why these are still sitting on my shelf at home and not in my store.

Well, that is all of my failed product experiments for now, but I'm sure there will be more in the future lol! I hope you all enjoyed taking a look at my production process. =)


  1. Its great to see the failed products against the win products! Could you not do glass tiles or necklaces on zazzle?xx

  2. I LOVED reading this! And good for you for sharing! It's nice to read about the trials and tribulations of other artists - its also nice to know I'm not the only one with flat out failed projects - though I think all of your project ideas are fantastic and hope there's a way to incorporate them into your shop in the near future - I think they'd all do well. Maybe a magnetic strip of some kind for the note pads? Just an idea.
    LOVED this post! :)