Vineyard student Chloe Chow used tote bags as canvas at the Evanston Made Maker’s Market.
The Maker’s Market, held monthly from May to October, takes place in an outdoor parking garage and features handcrafted goods from artists in the Chicago area. Painter and draftsman Chow, who makes art “for fun on her own” and posts it on her Instagram, said she attended the event earlier this summer and was interested in selling her own creations there.
“I’ve always wanted to sell my art in some way, so I thought it was a good start,” said Chow. “I use tote bags every day so I thought I could buy some tote bags online and paint on them.”
Chow also sold original gouache, acrylic, and oil paintings at Maker’s Market on September 4th. She said she decided to focus on selling hand-painted tote bags because she wanted to make products that she could “mass-produce”.
Chow took to Twitter to share her designs and ask her followers what they would like on a tote bag. From these responses, she created six digital designs and then sought feedback on which art people liked the most. Chow painted the three most popular designs on 24 tote bags.
Chow said several people sent her a message on Twitter to buy her tote bags while others went to the market to buy directly from her booth.
Chow’s method of selling versions of original artwork on different products is known as “product merchandising.”
âWhen she puts (her art) on a shopping bag, not only is she providing someone with a usable product, but she is putting the show on the street by having an object that has someone say, ‘What kind of bag is that? Who did that? ‘âSaid Degliantoni. “It’s almost like free marketing for your work.”
Degliantoni said one of Evanston Made’s goals is to encourage young artists to market their products, which Chow appreciates.
Weinberg student Anika Kaushikkar, Chow’s friend, was one of her customers. Kaushikkar said she went for a landscape design that depicts a sun over hills.
“It was nice to have something I could use and that was pretty,” said Kaushikkar, who also praised Chow’s art. “I really like the way she captures people’s faces and emotions – it’s the little things.”
Chow sold enough of her paintings and shopping bags to exceed the cost of materials. She said she enjoyed her experience at Maker’s Market and would like to sell her art again in the future.
Degliantoni thanked Chloe for contributing to Evanston Made’s mission to connect creatives with a larger community.
“I’m really grateful to people like Chloe for making Evanston Made fun,” said Degliantoni. “We want more Chloes.”
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