If you’ve got a customer facing business, chances are you’ve got a physical location. As noted in 15 mistakes that cost your small business, business – customers view your store and your brand as one in the same. A dilapidated store screams a dilapidated business. Office artwork can make all the difference.
A few paintings can do wonders to embed the essence of your business, create an area of interest and make your location a more enjoyable place for your workers.
The only thing is, artwork’s expensive right? It can cost hundreds of dollars per piece? Well yes, artwork can cost big money. And since money is usually tight, this money can be hard to justify. Afterall there’s bills to pay and customers to pursue.
Create Your Own Office Artwork
I was met with the same dilemma a few years ago. Two afternoons and $250 later I had seven pieces of original artwork that perfectly suited my space and the business. I was even flattered that someone offered to buy one (and no it wasn’t my sympathetic Mum).
As you can guess, I bought a few canvases and painted them myself. It was fun. And it didn’t take a bundle of creativity, so don’t use that as an excuse. All it took was a bit of planning, a few materials, an uninterrupted space and a some rockin’ music.
The Tools You’ll Need For Your Office Artwork
Head off to your local craft or hardware store and pickup the following items:
- Art brushes (1 x wide brush for backgrounds and 1 x small/medium brush for details)
- Paints (red, yellow, blue, black and white)
- Paint mixing tray
- Empty ice cream container (fill it with water to clean the brushes)
- Optional: Textured paint, masking tape or PVA glue
What You’ll Be Painting
Time for a reality check. You’re a small business owner, not a Rembrandt savant. So when it comes to creating your artwork, you need to play to your strengths. Your best option is to steer clear of complex detailed images and instead embrace producing abstract art. Now I’m not taking away the talent of artists that create abstract art, because some of it is actually quite good. I’m point out that it’s a lot easier for you to produce aesthetically pleasing abstract office art than other forms of painting.
Abstract art fuses colours, shapes and patterns to create interesting paintings. Here’s an example of some famous abstract artworks:
Art can be intimidating. Especially if you’re admiring an art gallery next to an Englishman with a monocle.Fortunately there’s a way of soaking up inspiration from accomplished artists and applying it to your own work.
Simply Google ‘abstract art’, and click on the top left ‘images’ search tab. You’ll be met with hundreds of pages of abstract art examples. Take 20 minutes to scroll through the pages and save the designs that you think best capture your business and the environment you are striving for.
Once you’ve saved your top 20, reassess the designs and determine the parts of each abstract painting that resonate with you. The trick is to now take these designs as inspiration and create new draft designs, either on paper or by using a graphic design application. I also recommend you take a moment to view which colours work best together.
Do not copy the artwork designs, as these are protected by copyright. Just use them as inspiration. Don’t get tripped by this fine line – make a concerted effort to ensure your artwork is original.
Once you have your draft designs, hop to it. The hardest bit is starting. Just dip your brush in and start. Rest assured that any mistakes can be easily painted over. In general the more basic your design is, the more likely your painting will get good reviews.
“I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.” Pablo Picasso
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous you can also add another dimension to your artwork. Try squeezing some PVA artwork on your canvas before you print (cross hatching works well), using masking tape or adding textured paint.
And if you’re feeling adventurous you can even sign it.
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