Weinberg’s sophomore, Chloe Chow, used tote bags as her canvas at the Evanston Made Maker Market.
The Maker’s Market, held monthly from May through October, is held in an outdoor parking lot and features handmade goods by Chicago-area artists. Painter and designer Chow, who makes art “all by herself for fun” and posts it on her Instagram, said she attended the event earlier this summer and became interested in sell his own creations there.
“I’ve always wanted to sell my art somehow, so I thought this would be a great way to start,” Chow said. “I use tote bags every day, so I figured I could buy tote bags online and paint on them.”
Chow also sold original gouache, acrylic and oil paintings at the September 4 Maker’s Market. She said she decided to focus on selling hand-painted tote bags because she wanted to make products she could “mass-produce.”
Chow took to Twitter to inform about her designs, asking her followers what they would like on a tote bag. From those responses, she created six digital designs, then solicited feedback on who liked the art the most. Chow painted the three most popular designs on 24 tote bags.
Chow said several people tweeted him to buy his tote bags, while others went to the market to buy directly from his stand.
Chow’s method of selling versions of original artwork on different products is called “product merchandising,” which Evanston Made founder and executive director Lisa Degliantoni said she encourages artists to do.
“If she puts (her art) on a tote bag, she’s not only providing someone with a usable product, but she’s taking the show on the road by having an object where someone says to themselves, ‘What? is that that bag? Who did that?,” Degliantoni said. “It’s almost like free marketing for his work.
Degliantoni said encouraging young artists to market their wares was one of Evanston Made’s goals, which Chow said he enjoys.
Weinberg’s sophomore year, Anika Kaushikkar, Chow’s friend, was one of his clients. Kaushikkar said she chose a landscape depicting a sun over hills.
“It was nice to have something I could use and it was pretty,” said Kaushikkar, who also praised Chow’s art. “I really love how she captures people’s faces and their emotions – it’s the little things.”
Chow sold enough of his paints and tote bags to exceed the cost of his materials. She said she enjoyed her experience at the Maker’s Market and would like to resell her art in the future.
Degliantoni expressed her gratitude to Chloe for her contribution to Evanston Made’s mission of connecting creatives to a larger community.
“I’m really grateful to people like Chloe because she makes Evanston Made fun to do,” Degliantoni said. “We want more Chloe.”
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