Expanding Horizons: Stickers and Adhesive Art
Stickers and Sticker Culture
Welcome to Thalo's "Expanding Horizons"! In this article series, we will be exploring and discussing topics pertaining to artists that are either cutting edge, underground or under-reported in the creative world. Hopefully, these entries will help inspire you to explore new facets of your work and find new ways to make artwork for you!
Artists have found no short supply and methods to merchandising their wares. Communities surround every form of collectible art, and today's spotlight falls on a kind of production that has been around for decades. Adhesive stickers are a culture all unto its own, a distant cousin to several other popular art and production forms such as graffiti and enamel pins (which we have discussed here before). Stickers have both form and function, having multiple practical uses in our day-to-day lives.
Stickers have been around since 1839 when Sir Rowland Hill invented adhesive paper, which then became the world's first postage stamps. The first sticker company was created by R. Stanton Avery, the founder of Avery Labels, in 1935. Stickers are just useful as they are decorative. In the mid-1900s, stickers found a purpose in political advocacy, much like pins did in the 1960s. This lead to the inception of the bumper sticker at this time.
Stickers were later incorporated into graffiti in the '70s and '80s. It has since had a place in the street art culture ever since. There are countless artists, communities, magazines, and groups that create, share, produce, and distribute stickers. Now, stickers span from crafting, book-making and more home decor to the radical and mass-produced pop culture side of the artistic spectrum!
Stickers have become as diverse and inclusive a form of expression as any other, with artists creating their DIY labels both online and independently to grow their brand and build a community around their work.
Whether you are a beginning hobbyist or a seasoned veteran, stickers offer a great way to make and sell your work for others to use. You can create and sell sticker packs, as well as make your own using packing stickers/labels. The applications are broad and can be used in both tech-friendly and fine art-capacities.
With their typically easy access and low cost, stickers are an excellent way for artists to industrialize their work. And, with the internet being the everlasting source of information, here is a list of different ways to create your sticker-based materials.
Online Sticker Printing Companies:
There are many sticker-based companies you can employ to turn your art into stickers. Some do custom printings and have great deals on bulk orders. There is a wide array of ways to produce, ship, and monetize your artwork, and there are several sites that cater to this movement. To name a few:
- Sticker Giant (stickergiant.com)
- Sticker You (stickeryou.com)
- Sticker Guy (stickerguy.com)
- Sticker App (stickerapp.com)
There are several sticker-focused groups on Social Media. These groups discuss and share artists' work and have monthly "Sticker Pack" giveaways. There are publications dedicated to showcasing creatives and their contributions to stickers, like Peel Magazine.
It's a great, diverse community to get involved with and support, and you just might find an avenue for your creative endeavors using stickers!
Hopefully, this is helpful to you! If you have any questions, feel free to let us know in the comments, and we will be back with more exciting ways to expand your horizons with new and overlooked opportunities!