Studio F Provides New Art Marketing and Display Opportunities

Studio F is a new art marketing platform through which artists can sell their work as high-quality vinyl decals and wrapped canvases on Part of the Fathead family of companies, Studio F uses the marketing prowess and reach of the Fathead brand along with Fathead’s digital graphic technology to reproduce curated artists’ work as decals that buyers can display as frameless wall art, furniture enhancements, or window art.

Colorful Launch over Thanksgiving Weekend

To demonstrate the full potential and scale of Studio F’s creative capabilities, Detroit artists Ellen Rutt and Patrick Ethen were commissioned to create RADIANT CITY, a large-scale public art installation that in downtown Detroit. The artists were commissioned to help create an exciting experience to unveil Studio F and the transformative nature of the product.

Fathead launches Studio F, a new artist portal, with stunning exhibit RADIANT CITY in downtown Detroit (PRNewsFoto/Fathead LLC)
Fathead launches Studio F, a new artist portal, with stunning exhibit RADIANT CITY in downtown Detroit (PRNewsFoto/Fathead LLC)

The installation was open November 25-27 during the festivities surrounding America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van.

Rutt and Ethen designed over 300 one-of-a-kind patterns that were sampled from Detroit architecture, printed on Fathead vinyl, and applied to the tops of tables by IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer. Using downtown Detroit’s beautiful, historic Grand Circus Park as their canvas, Rutt and Ethen arranged the tables to form an enormous mosaic and immersive color field around the Russell Alger Memorial Fountain.

“The patchwork quilt is a powerful metaphor for Detroit,” says Ethen, “there are so many people, ideas and cultures at play. This city is best understood as a plurality—nothing less than the sum of its parts.”

The duo explored Detroit to archive a collection of patterns from all over the city. “It’s important for us to make work that’s imbued with a sense of place,” adds Rutt, “There’s such a rich creative history in Detroit, so much inspiration surrounding us already, that sourcing patterns from local architecture was an obvious choice. RADIANT CITY symbolically references the present cultural climate, the energy and passion that is so tangible here.”

After the exhibit closed, some of the art-topped tables in RADIANT CITY for Studio F were donated to Humble Design, a non-profit group that provides furnishings and design services to families transitioning out of homeless shelters. The remaining tables will be sold on  December 1 in celebration of #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. All proceeds will go to Humble Design.

RADIANT CITY for Studio F was a colorful launch celebration for Studio F. Fathead worked with Minneapolis based advertising agency Fallon Worldwide to develop the launch idea and choose Ellen Rutt and Patrick Ethen as the first artists to be featured on the Studio F website.

“Studio F is the next evolution of Fathead,” said Joanna Cline, chief marketing officer, Fathead. “We can now offer our quality products, stellar marketing support and customer service to the artistic community.” Established artists and “artists to watch” will be able to expand their art collections to this dynamic new online gallery.

Information about how to apply for inclusion in the Studio F gallery and earn commissions for the sale of your work can be found on the Studio F website.


Studio F


Minted Crowdsources Wall Art Collection for West Elm

While the concept of  “crowdsourcing” may have gotten off to a rough start within the creative community, the practice has matured. Some of the more reputable firms now enable talented, independent creatives to get greater exposure and additional opportunities than they might have gotten on their own.

For example, if you haven’t visited Minted in awhile, maybe it’s time for a second look. Minted defines itself as an online marketplace for independent design and art. Using crowdsourced graphic designs and art from a global design community, Minted sells premium printed products for the $10 billion stationery market, the $48 billion wall art market, and the $7 billion party décor market.

Minted defines their mission is “To find exceptional artists and designers all over the world and bring their work to consumers who appreciate great design.” According to their website, “We believe that great design lives and thrives in the hands of indie designers that people may not have access to through traditional retailers. Our goal is to use technology to allow our community to discover the work of great designers from all over the world. And at the same time, create a place where designers can get exposure and build their careers.”

All designs and art featured on Minted are sourced through design competitions and curated by the community. The company holds ongoing competitions, giving designers and artists the opportunity to submit their work. Those voted to the top are sold on the site. Designers earn cash prizes and commissions on all their sales.

 Partnership with West Elm

Minted recently announced a partnership with West Elm to sell crowdsourced art prints at West Elm home-furnishing stores nationwide and on This is the first major retail partnership for crowd-sourcing pioneer, Minted. It is also the first content licensing partnership for Minted. Minted sourced and licensed the art to West Elm, who manufactured and marketed the final products.


The two companies launched the Minted + West Elm Wall Art Challenge only a few weeks after meeting at West Elm’s Brooklyn headquarters. Within another two weeks, artists from around the world had submitted more than 1,400 works of art via Minted’s crowdsourcing platform. As with all Minted challenges, the winners were selected by the public’s vote and the winning artists will earn a commission on every sale.

West Elm’s creative team hand-picked 25 of those winners to be produced and sold by West Elm. The winning works include photography, graphic patterns, and painterly landscapes.

“West Elm and Minted share a passion for discovering and supporting exciting independent artists,” said Minted CEO and founder Mariam Naficy. “I am thrilled to introduce Minted’s talented community artists to more consumers through the West Elm brand.”

“Our Minted collaboration provides us with a great opportunity to continue to support and elevate independent artists,” said Jim Brett, West Elm President. “The Minted community and crowd-sourcing platform has helped us curate a beautiful collection that we’re confident our customers will love.”

The framed wall art is priced from $59 to $199 and is offered in ready-to-hang formats in a variety of frame colors. West Elm encourages customers to create their own collections by piecing together their favorite works into a gallery wall.

Rose Lindo, a winning artist who lives in Austin, Texas, has her work “Man Meets Nature” for sale at West Elm. “Being from a teeny town in Oklahoma that recently got its first grocery store, it’s mind-blowing and humbling that my work is now sold by a major American brand,” said Lindo. “West Elm has an aesthetic that inspires me.”

About West Elm

Mixing clean lines, natural textures and handcrafted collections from the US and around the globe, West Elm offers unique, affordable designs for modern living. The brand introduced its first catalog in 2002 and opened the doors of its first retail location in 2003. The brand’s collection of modern furniture and room décor is now available in 55 retail stores in the United States, Canada and Australia, and at


West Elm-Minted Collaboration

About Minted



Interior Designer Offers Custom Furniture Skins and Wallcoverings

San Francisco-based interior designer Maloos Anvarian specializes in “modern furniture with a history.” She likes taking styles of historical importance and bringing them into the 21st century. That might mean furniture that could be described as Contemporary Baroque, or an interior that conjures up the star- crossed feel of Country French kissed by Hollywood Regency.

Anvarian recently announced three products created with 21st-century printing technology and the types of specialized materials that you can see displayed at the annual expo of the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA). DWM | Maloos offers:

  • custom-designed vinyl skins for furniture
  • stock (aka prêt-à-porter) wallpaper patterns 
  • “couture” varieties of wallcoverings

The furniture skins are made from a very pliable, yet durable printable vinyl. When applied to the intricate surfaces of a piece of furniture, the printed vinyl fundamentally alters the personality of the furniture — much like an iPhone skin personalizes a phone or printed graphics change the look of a a car or truck.

All skins are designed and produced in-house at DWM Maloos. They are being promoted as a way to make old furniture look new again.

Before the skin was applied.
Before the skin was applied.
















After the wrap was applied
After the wrap was applied

The new wallpaper is available in two versions. The pre-designed (prêt-à-porter) option is available in more than 25 designs, all of which can be ordered in custom colors. According to Anvarian, the stock versions “are designed to be as bold and stylish as good clothes.”


For the personalized (couture) wallpaper, Anvarian first takes the client’s specifications and supplied photograph, sketch, patterns, or other graphic. She will then lay it out in a wallpaper design that takes into account the size and features of a specific wall or room.

Both options can be printed on panels or rolls in widths of 24 or 50 inches. The 50-inch width means fewer seams and a more efficient installation. Clients can choose to have the designs printed on pre-pasted paper as well as fabric, all of which are available in eco-friendly wallpaper options.

All wallpaper is printed in small batches, which allows for greater flexibility and consistent quality.


DWM | Maloos Furniture Skins

DWM | Maloos Custom Wallpaper


Create Photo Montages on Repositionable Wallpaper Panels

Yesterday, I published a post about how specialty printing is sparking fresh opportunities for creative entrepreneurs. Here is an excellent example.

WeMontage is a new online service through which anyone can turn a collection of high-resolution photos into a photo montage on removable, self-adhesive wallpaper material. Because the wallpaper sections are completely repositionable, they are easy to hang and re-hang when you move into a new home or office.

WeMontage founder James Oliver, Jr., was inspired to start the business after watching an episode of Home by Novogratz, on HGTV. In this particular episode, the remodeling crew was hanging photo collages as large wallpaper sections in the basement of a family home.

“I was mesmerized by the beauty and uniqueness of the concept,” says Oliver. He soon discovered that no one seemed to be making it easy to recreate what he saw on HGTV.

Users of WeMontage (which is currently in beta testing) gain exclusive access to the proprietary platform that was initially created with professional photographers and interior designers in mind. The site’s “drag and drop” montage tool gives customers complete freedom to create their own uniquely styled wallpaper collage.

WeMontage hosts the actual application so the customer doesn’t have to download anything. You simply create an account, upload your edited photos, and drag and drop the pictures onto the montage canvas.  In order to print images at the 1 x 1.5-foot size, the photos should have been shot with a 4 to 6-megapixel camera.  To include 2 x 3-foot images in your montage, it’s best to use a 10-megapixel camera (or higher-resolution model).

Once you approve the design, it’s ready to go.

Photo montages can be printed as a single 6 foot x 4 foot wallpaper section or printed on multiple panels to cover a whole wall.

Your printed montage arrives ready for application to a smooth, flat wall surface. The sections peel away cleanly and easily if you need to reposition them. The “About WeMontage” link below takes you to the sign-up page for the company’s beta testing program. Oliver is running a crowdfunding campaign on the Indiegogo site.


About WeMontage

Support the WeMontage Crowdfunding Campaign


Specialty Printing Sparks Opportunities for Creative Entrepreneurs


Photographer Creates Custom Art Prints for Corporate Offices

While researching a magazine article on art collecting, I had a great conversation with artist Bonny Lhotka. She told me about some of the art works she has been commissioned to create for corporate clients. She said many corporations want something that conveys their brand and what they do. Instead of displaying graphic advertising or posters in their reception areas, they want art that conveys a subtle connection to their business.

Not long after that interview, I ran across a news release about a photographic art project that reinforces what Bonny had told me about opportunities for talented artists and photographers.

When designing their new corporate headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, executives at Clear Channel Outdoor America (CCOA) wanted custom artwork that would add visual interest to their offices while conveying the essence of their brand. So they commissioned photographic artist Nat Coalson to create six large-format canvas art prints that give viewers a sense of the wide range of clients who advertise on their assortment of billboards and other out-of-home displays. Because CCOA prides itself on offering innovative solutions, they wanted art that went beyond traditional documentary-style photography.

So, Coalson used a decidedly abstract style to create a collection of photo montages. Each montage provides enough detail to convey the CCOA brand.

“We commissioned Nat to capture a set of unique images of a rather mundane subject: outdoor billboards,” said Ron Cooper, former CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas.  “We wanted something that was consistent with our brand–colorful, exciting, high impact, and easy to identify, but less ‘literal’ than a typical head-on photograph of a billboard. Nat delivered a creative and clever interpretation of our ‘product’ that is now an integral part of the new corporate office decor.”

Originally from Colorado and now based in the United Kingdom, Nat Coalson has worked professionally in design, photography, digital imaging, and printing since 1987. His work has been exhibited extensively and he is the author of many photography-related books, including “Nature Photography Photo Workshop” and “Lightroom 4: Streamlining Your Digital Photography Process.”

To start the series for Clear Channel Outdoors, Coalson used high-resolution digital cameras including Hasselblad H4D and Canon EOS 5D Mark II systems to photograph billboards and other advertising structures at locations in Los Angeles, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Over four days of shooting in the two cities, he produced nearly 1500 photographs. Throughout the shoot, clients could see online proofs of all of the work in progress.

CCOA team leaders then selected which billboards and advertising structures they wanted to include in each of the finished artworks. The chosen images were then paired with photographic backgrounds featuring iconic landmarks selected from CCOA’s key markets across the U.S.

Using digital compositing capabilities in Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Lightroom, Coalson seamlessly merged the billboard structures with the background plates. To complete each composite, he added actual advertising imagery from CCOA’s client archives onto the face of billboard.

The digital images were printed by The Studio, a fine art printmaking agency in Phoenix, and installed in custom aluminum frame structures supplied by FM Solutions, the interior design firm that handled the build-out of the CCOA offices.

The images hang in locations throughout two floors of the CCOA office space and integrate well with the décor. Like CCOA’s billboards, the finished art has visual “stopping power.”


Nat Coalson Fine Art + Design Website

Books by Nat Coalson

Spoonflower Lets You Custom Design Wallpaper

Digitally printed, custom wallpaper is a rapidly growing trend in the decorating world, but until now it has been expensive and hard to find. With a new line of eco-friendly wallpaper and wall decals, the website has put personalized home decor within the reach of more designers, including crafters and do-it-yourself decorators.

With an eye toward environmentally conscious consumers and moms looking to decorate nurseries and kids’ rooms, Spoonflower wallpaper is printed on PVC-free paper using durable, eco-friendly inks. Unlike traditional wallpapers that can be devilishly difficult to take down, Spoonflower wallpaper is removable, making it suitable for renters and college students.

Individuals who don’t feel comfortable designing their own wallpaper can choose from thousands of designs by independent artists who have made their work available first on digitally printed fabric, and now as wallpaper.

The wallpaper sells for $5 per linear foot (24  by 12 inches), or $60 per roll (24 by 12 inches).

Spoonflower also offers three sizes of peel-and-stick wall decals: 5 by 5 inches, 15 by 15 inches, and 30 by 30 inches.  These easy to reposition decals are printed using eco-friendly inks on a tough polyester material that’s perfect for any room in the house, as well as for decorating furniture, trays, refrigerators, laptops, and many other everyday items. The decals can be easily removed.

“Wallpaper is definitely on an upswing in the decorating world, especially in the US, where it used to be perceived as fussy and old-fashioned. We’re incredibly excited to introduce custom wallpaper and decals at prices that make them accessible to everyday people, using materials that will appeal to folks who rent as well as homeowners,” said Spoonflower co-founder Stephen Fraser. He  says he hopes to persuade his wife to let him cover one of the bathrooms in their house with narwhals in the near future.

Lori Craffey of Little Rhody Design Company, a crafter from Rhode Island who sells on Etsy, was impressed by Spoonflower’s new products: “I just received my first wallpaper samples today! I love the quality and the packaging.” Craffey is one of thousands of indie artists on Spoonflower planning to make their designs available for sale to consumers as wallpaper.

Spoonflower has been in business since 2008, making it possible for individuals to create, print, and sell their own fabric designs. The site was founded by two Internet geeks who knew nothing about textiles, but had crafty wives.

Spoonflower’s community includes more than 600,000 individuals who use their own fabric to make curtains, quilts, clothes, bags, furniture, dolls, pillows, framed artwork, costumes, banners and more. Spoonflower’s marketplace offers the largest collection of independent fabric designers in the world.


Spoonflower: Create Your Own Wallpaper

Spoonflower: Custom-Designed Fabrics


Yonder Creates DNA Portraits in Neon

Each person’s DNA is entirely unique and holds the basic code about who we are as individuals. Yonder biology is a San Diego-based art/science collaborative that can convert your DNA into a distinctive portrait for wall display. Using DNA gathered from a simple cheek swab, Yonder’s scientists interpret the DNA code in the Yonder biology lab. Then, the group’s artists use the interpretation to create wall art that people can point to and say, “That’s me!”

“We understand the beauty in this genetic code and want to provide an artistic window for people to share their individuality with others,” says a Yonder spokesperson.

You can choose t have your DNA displayed on photo paper, canvas, acrylic, or aluminum. Or, with Yonder’s new Niteo collection, you can create art that glows, with the use of neon, LED, or EL wire.

Yonder provides a dedicated consultant for each project. And you will receive a ‘DNA Art Guide’ that describes the scientific meaning behind your artwork.

This story represents yet another exmaple of how creative entrepreneurs are building businesses to meet the growing demand for custom wall art with personal meaning.


Yonder Biology: The DNA Art Company


Personalized Decor Prints Last Longer Than Valentine’s Flowers