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1000 Black Lines

:: digital coffee stains on the paper of the blogosphere ::

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Cafe Press will print anything, but is it art?



"Take That Hippy,
Four More Years"
Is there any thing Cafe Press won't print on custom t-shirts, mugs, stickers, clocks and tote bags? At first, I was really turned off by Cafe Press because it seemed like it was a repository of asinine political slogans. Admittedly, some of the customized products are pretty funny regardless of an individual's political leanings. Most, however, are simply vituperative.

But there is more to Cafe Press than politics. For example, this month they feature, or rather support, Breast Cancer Awareness with several custom products. There are even categories for blog and graphic design products. Some artists offer their drawings, paintings and photographs as a framed panel print. Heather Hacker offers gorgeous collage apparel and merchandise as does Susan Powers who offers her paintings as framed prints and posters. Even a friend of mine has his own Cafe Press storefront.

So, what am I waiting for? I glance over at the right column of this blog and wonder if anyone would buy framed prints or posters (even note cards) of those paintings. Part of me doesn't like the idea of offering my art as disposable prints and posters. I guess it's something to do with the commercialization of art. I'd prefer a person to buy the actual art object. It was handled be me--its creator. A framed print or poster is merely a reproduction. My hands did not create them. The other part of me acknowledges the incredible marketing and PR potential of making my paintings available through Cafe Press. Oh, the dilemma of an idealist in a consumeristic society.

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