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Giving in to Trends

Sep 6, 2012

by Chappell Ellison

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

For creative types, the blogosphere often seems like a living, breathing organism, constantly reinventing itself to suit the new style. On sites like Pinterest, it’s possible to observe visual trends pop up in real-time: the insanity of ombre cakes, chevrons-on-everything, and outlandish photo booth props. Sometimes trends seem faddish or impractical, and it’s easy to keep them at arm’s length — but at what point is it wise to give in to a trend?

This topic is especially sticky for artists, whose creativity can blossom under the umbrella of the latest fad. However, “giving in” can prove to be a double-edged sword: while bringing mass appeal to your work can be positive (and lucrative), it can also limit your vision. George Lois, the true Mad Man of advertising, warned creatives about falling into this trap. “In any creative industry, the fact that others are moving in a certain direction is always proof positive, at least to me, that a new direction is the only direction,” he says. “The solution to each new problem or challenge should begin with a blank canvas and an open mind, not with the nervous borrowings of other people’s mediocrities.”

So how do we as creatives allow trends into our lives while maintaining individual expression? Though he comes from the the stock market realm, Jonathan Hoenig’s “follow the trend, not the crowd” mantra is solid advice. “We need not buy into every trend, but being aware of them provides the most meaningful insight into the markets there is,” says Hoenig. “Moreover, being a trend follower doesn’t always mean you’re part of the herd.” In other words, there’s no shame in making the ombre cake. But if you do it, make it your own.

More Posts by Chappell

4 Featured Comments

  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    Judith and Raymond from AnnaOliveDesigns said 4 years ago Featured

    Current trends (and sometimes fads) have always dictated our tastes and actions. Remember pet rocks? Social media, magazines, television and our close circle of family and friends influence us greatly. I think it is important not to focus on what is trendy or in fashion, but what is true to our hearts.

  • DewyMorningVintage

    DewyMorningVintage from DewyMorningVintage said 4 years ago Featured

    Trends are part of our histories, they come and go but it is important to be aware of them but not live and breathe by them. I watch trends but I also have a strong anti-herd mentality as well. I try to live in balance of both.

  • PeonySTBebe

    Bebe from 14PeonyStreet said 4 years ago Featured

    I like watching trends. It's sorta like the "variety is the spice of life" idea--trends are a way to see what people are paying attention to lately, and since they come and go, you never get bored. What's interesting too, is when a trend can become a classic, like Cat-eye glasses. Even though most of us would probably not wear them today, they're a classic icon of the 1950's. I wonder which trends we're seeing today will become icons of the 2000's?

  • ArtistaTree

    Emily Miller from ArtistaTree said 4 years ago Featured

    This post reminds me of what my very wise painting teacher taught me about the true meaning of the word "aesthetic", which from its fundamental Greek roots means a deeply felt experience. The true meaning of aesthetic has little to do with the dictionary definitions we now find of it meaning the appreciation or worship of that which is beautiful. Creating means feeling your way through the process, not just looking at it and seeing it it's pretty. I think the same can be true for trends. I can feel when I've sold out or when something is authentically mine.

133 comments

  • stepbackink

    Sam from stepbackink said 4 years ago

    Great read. I set my own trend when I setup in shows and they always seem to work magic.

  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    Judith and Raymond from AnnaOliveDesigns said 4 years ago Featured

    Current trends (and sometimes fads) have always dictated our tastes and actions. Remember pet rocks? Social media, magazines, television and our close circle of family and friends influence us greatly. I think it is important not to focus on what is trendy or in fashion, but what is true to our hearts.

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering said 4 years ago

    Thought provoking!

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 4 years ago

    Interesting and thoughtful What would Don Draper do?

  • WhisperingOak

    Quality Handmade Items from WhisperingOak said 4 years ago

    Interesting read. We can always add our own spin to a fad and come up with the new "it"

  • TheCatkinBoutique

    Nicola B from TheCatkinBoutique said 4 years ago

    wonderful advice" <3

  • SketchAway

    Suhita from SketchAway said 4 years ago

    One it I've found to be useful with trends is NOT to make items to 'fit' them, but to look at what I produce and see if any of them could honestly be tagged to wrk with a trend... but other tan that , they're interesting to me from the perspective of what the current look is, but I wouldn't go out of my way to create neon, chevron-inspired, tribal art :)

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 4 years ago

    Great post!!!

  • rickrackshack

    Vanessa Ryerse from TheMosaicButterfly said 4 years ago

    Chappell, you write my favorite articles. Last night while clicking around Pinterest, I thought, "Obviously, my next mosaic better be ombre."

  • littlepancakes

    Melissa Pancakes from littlepancakes said 4 years ago

    Etsy definitely encourages people to follow trends. Not that it's a bad thing, but following them and being in line with merchandise reports seems to help people get promoted by Etsy. I follow some but ignore others.

  • prchalartstudio

    John and Nacene Prchal from PrchalArtStudio said 4 years ago

    I agree with Suhita's comment. Once I have completed a painting I try to see what decorating style or trend it may fit in with, so I can use that in tags and descriptions - but when I start to paint something I don't have a plan - the painting just happens intuitively. I don't think that I would very happy for long just creating things because they are popular. I like to think that if you are true to yourself and create what you truly love, your work will reflect that and that some people will be drawn to it.

  • thenakedbird

    Brooke Griffin from GideonAndBrisby said 4 years ago

    such a good topic and advise. I have trouble with this too. a lot of my creations are just ideas that pop into my head and I have to see them through. and when i'm stuck in a rut, I look for what's trending. unfortunately, those aren't usually my best works or what i have the most fun creating. and sometimes they bring business in and sometimes not. It's definitely hard finding the balance but something good to think about!

  • mienkintoshfairie

    Aja' from mienkintoshfairie said 4 years ago

    Lol, and I just added a chevron clutch...but it's in my own original purse pattern!

  • ArigigiArt

    Gina from ArigigiArt said 4 years ago

    People always go crazy for something, now ombre, before mustache,,, do you remember the tamagotchi? :))

  • VintageScraps

    Meg from VintageScraps said 4 years ago

    Ah yes, there's always a delicate balance between the two!

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka said 4 years ago

    (: Great advice!

  • jgaido

    Josie from JosiesBoutique said 4 years ago

    Great advice!

  • bedouin

    Nicole from bedouin said 4 years ago

    Everyone has something to offer and as we praise individuality its important to keep in mind our talents come from our unique selves ~ As for making money at what we as artists love to do, trends in conducting business is pretty necessary and ongoing.

  • RenataandJonathan

    Renata and Jonathan from RenataandJonathan said 4 years ago

    great advice !

  • anotherghostquilts

    Nancy from anotherghostquilts said 4 years ago

    Nice piece, thank you. I've thought about this often because I like to make what I like to make, not what sells.

  • EmiliaFaith

    Edie Ann from OhHoneyHush said 4 years ago

    Very interest !

  • LAccentNou

    Anastasia from LAccentNou said 4 years ago

    It is not easy to avoid not to be influenced by trends. And it's curious how filtrating them through our personality we create infinite varieties of the same but different.

  • LilaJo

    Shana from LilaJo said 4 years ago

    So True!

  • CecilandCo

    Lisa from CecilandCo said 4 years ago

    Yes, a real balancing act...but be true to yourself...:) first! Chappell... I love your articles...:)

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags said 4 years ago

    Merci !

  • silviaberrios1

    Silvia Berrios from DesignsbySilvia said 4 years ago

    Current Trends? Oh well!!! Just take a look at most of the Hand Picked, Front Pages on Etsy, it tells you a lot...

  • CelesteCraft

    Celeste from CelesteCraft said 4 years ago

    I'm very bad at trends. Whenever I make an assumption about what everyone will want it falls flat. Instead, I make what feels fresh and makes me happy. I go with mistakes and see where they take me. If they make me giggle, all the better. Then a potential customer contacts me wanting a similar item in chocolate brown. It's not what I planned, but the original design concept made it mine, and the personalization made it theirs. If the client gets what makes them happy, that's the only fad I need.

  • HestiaHandKnits

    Connie Powers from HestiaHandKnits said 4 years ago

    This is a timely blog post for me. I recently had a good friend, a visual artist no less, tell me regarding my designs, "its not about you", meaning I should be designing according to what others want and like, rather than creating what I like and value. That comment has weighed on me for a few weeks, but I've realized I can't stray from my own personal style very much or I end up making things I'm not proud of in the end.

  • reflectionsjewelry

    Emily Delfin from reflectionsjewelry said 4 years ago

    I struggle as an artist with the same issue of whether or not to follow a trend. But I feel that only using trends that speak to me, and somehow making them my own, is the key to being true to yourself while creating something that is sell-able.

  • coalchild

    coalchild from coalchild said 4 years ago

    a lot of friends suggest different trendy things and shapes i should be making to ride the current wave and sometimes I try to design what they suggest but those ideas have been done and don't seem to be as awarding as that original design that you created yourself...trends are cool as they open up oportunities to sometimes see beyond the trend..if that makes sense. great blog!!!

  • IlluminatedPerfume

    Roxana from IlluminatedPerfume said 4 years ago

    I've found that creativity birthed in a place of pure authenticity, melding with trends from there proves the best results completely aligned with your core.

  • Adelaida

    Aleksandra Chabros from Adelaida said 4 years ago

    It's best to find an aspect in a trend you like that suits your style and could be simply added to it - without changing your art too much but only making it taste differently; more trendy ;) Trends tend to change rapidly so I don't think it's a good thing to go with each and every one of them, but there's nothing bad in trying out bits of them here and there. They don't even have to stay with your personal art/craft style; can be just a a breath of fresh air that will lead you to something new. And create your very own and personal trend :)

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 4 years ago

    I agree wholeheartedly with George Lois. Once something has trended it becomes old & boring, I was sick of moustaches long before they started to tail off & I've already had more than enough of neon chevrons. (Trust me, if you could actually remember the 80's you really wouldn't want to go back!) If you keep doing your own original thing then sooner or later you'll notice others following & you'll have started a trend... however, the mindless copying might just prove annoying.

  • LaMeowVintage

    Regan from LaMeowVintage said 4 years ago

    I do not usually pay attention to trends much when It comes to personal style. But I have to admit, I just started watching that show New Girl and now I want to get some false eyelashes, because her eyes look so beautiful. But I think I may be a little late on that trend.

  • DewyMorningVintage

    DewyMorningVintage from DewyMorningVintage said 4 years ago Featured

    Trends are part of our histories, they come and go but it is important to be aware of them but not live and breathe by them. I watch trends but I also have a strong anti-herd mentality as well. I try to live in balance of both.

  • cberez

    CB DESIGN'S from CBDesignsPR said 4 years ago

    Interesting!!!

  • Stories2Wear

    Ioanna Galanomati from Stories2Wear said 4 years ago

    Important issue raised here... Well..whether you follow the trends or not (and you're probably going to follow one or two each time) I believe in reinventing and trying new things. Having your own personal style is important, but you have to keep it evolving rather than re-doing the same thing. That's partially what trends are there for, to keep us moving forward. New is good :)

  • AlpineGypsy

    Heidi from AlpineGypsy said 4 years ago

    It's funny - I don't tend to pay attention to trends in general, but they always seem to creep into my style somehow anyways. Perhaps it is so part of our visual language, these trends, that even if you don't think you are being influenced by them - most likely you are in some invisible way. Personally I admire the people that buck trends entirely - those are the folks that will form the next trend on the horizon! It's good to just get to know yourself, and to know what turns you on. Not try and find something trendy that you can get on board with - it's just not as interesting as the former. Great article ~

  • sarahknight

    Sarah from sarahknight said 4 years ago

    A stopped clock is right twice a day. So, if you simply follow your path you're bound to run into success eventually, just perhaps not instantaneously. Whoever you are, you are a consumer, and if you appeal to your own personal taste and have the underpinnings of feelings that you're an artist - then there's someone else out there just like you who is going to want what you make regardless of whether or not all their friends think it's cool or trendy. There's an individualist in every clique, and if you're not on the trend bandwagon intentionally, then that's who you're aiming for, and regardless, someday that too will be a trend.

  • aalondos

    alicia londos from aalondos said 4 years ago

    agreed...trends to need to be noticed, but they shouldn;t over take your art work. nice read :)

  • chemindesmuguets

    chemindesmuguets from chemindesmuguets said 4 years ago

    Amen to this! Muguet

  • TheVintageApartment

    Caren from TheVintageApartment said 4 years ago

    Touching base with trends + fads isn't harmful, in fact it can add to one's creativity. The tricky part is knowing where your own inspiration begins and where the influence ends. (loved reading this article + the comments! :)

  • jacklom3

    Sara from jacklom3 said 4 years ago

    great topic! very well written :) but why so much hate for the ombre cake?? :) LOL

  • loopyboopy

    loopy from loopyboopy said 4 years ago

    Is it wrong that I giggled through this entire article on Etsy?

  • KrystynPecora

    Krystyn Pecora from QuirkAndSparkle said 4 years ago

    I find this blog post so ironic - considering the amount of chevrons I see on the front page of Etsy. I personally make what I like... If I wouldn't wear it myself, then why bother? And while I love fashion... I hate trendy. If I ever caught myself dressing like Snooki, because it's "trendy" then I feel I have failed as a person. Do what you love. Who knows, maybe by doing what you love, you'll start the next big thing instead of just being a follower.

  • Gosyma

    Lisa Harling from Gosyma said 4 years ago

    Occasionally Mum would dress my little sister and I alike. Perhaps that's why I never wanted to be dressed like everyone else. Trends are good for inspiration, even if subliminaly, but they date an item and thus reduce its lifespan. I believe in following your vision, as both consumer and maker, trendy or not. It brings to mind couturier, Madeleine Vionnet, who in 1934 scrapped a whole collection to reflect the skirt trend at the time. However she was an innovative and visionary artist, who recreated trends in her own way, and called the term "fashion" an "empty word".

  • leeannasjewerybox

    Leeanna from LeeannasJewelryBox said 4 years ago

    While I worked at a bead store I saw all the latest trends of jewelry come and go.(1990's) I saw bone chokers come back (Janet Jackson inspired), Charger lighting bolts (The Charger football team), and many more. They seem to last one ore two Seasons. I work with beads, and that is where I get my inspiration from, the bead itself. Some styles are timeless, and many designs have already been done. I don't mind making the classic style because that is where my heart lies. Fads are fun when you participate a little, but I never overdo it.

  • YourPersonalJeweller

    YourPersonalJeweller from GemsBridal said 4 years ago

    I have been a jeweller for 30 years. I have seen trends come and go, but customers who purchased from me 30 years ago still come back and will be handing down their well made classic rings to their kids, who will hand it down to their kids..... Interesting that rose cut diamonds are now in fashion.(Trend) Check out your grandmothers mother's ring. Now that is reused, renewed, recycled, and green........ My advice is buy a WELL made classic engagement ring that will withstand Trends in fashion and can be worn with any style of clothing. You will never go wrong....

  • Oldylocks

    Miranda Schubert from Oldylocks said 4 years ago

    Great advice thanks!

  • dessertfirstdesigns

    Miranda from dessertfirstdesigns said 4 years ago

    Sometimes I adhere to the trends, or the changing tides. Don't want to be too old and stale.

  • Parachute425

    Terry from Parachute425 said 4 years ago

    Keep calm and be trendy.

  • FancyFawnVintage12

    Ashley Lowe from FancyFawn said 4 years ago

    Great read!

  • wheatleypaperworks

    M Wheatley from wheatleypaperworks said 4 years ago

    It was generous of you, Chappell to use the phrase "giving in" instead of "selling out"...

  • treasureagain

    treasureagain from treasureagain said 4 years ago

    Very Nice! Thank you!

  • diybeads888

    diybeads888 from DIYbeads888 said 4 years ago

    Great advice thank you!

  • TreadleLady

    Donna Kohler from TreadleLady said 4 years ago

    Trends cycle, it is surprising how often they cycle but always with a little twist. It's important to know what the trends are but look ahead to be at the beginning of the next trend or start it!

  • PippiRabbit

    Yen from PippiRabbit said 4 years ago

    Being aware of the trend sometimes give me new ideas of creativity in the opposite direction.

  • jmayoriginals

    jean from jmayoriginals said 4 years ago

    i rarely follow trends. i'm mindful of them for sure, but i tend not to "follow the crowd" when it comes to creating.

  • MerCurios

    MerCurios from MerCurios said 4 years ago

    Awesome Post! Thank you so much for this.

  • WingedWorld

    Vickie Moore from WingedWorld said 4 years ago

    It seems like a trend disappears after only three to six months, so unless you plan to sell out your entire inventory within that time frame, there has to be something classic, timeless or unique about what you sell.

  • kalyxcraftopia

    kalyxcraftopia from kalyxcraftopia said 4 years ago

    most of the time I just like to make what interests me but I totally agree about making a trend one's own if they decide to go down that path. otherwise there isn't much of a point in spending limited resources like my time on something that others are already doing, and hopefully doing well.

  • ESTATENOW

    VINTAGE NOW from ESTATENOW said 4 years ago

    Great Idea, Thanks..

  • iammieCLAYshop

    iammieCLAYshop from iammieCLAYshop said 4 years ago

    Nice post!

  • byjodi

    byjodi from byjodi said 4 years ago

    So perfectly put!!!

  • lizhutnick

    Liz Hutnick from LizHutnick said 4 years ago

    Interesting read, thanks!

  • Musclesandcrafts

    Melanie from merVazi said 4 years ago

    Any trend can inspire a person to push beyond their boundaries. It just comes down to whether or not you have the guts and the talent to venture out of your comfort zone. I find that when I try something 'trendy', I can easily make it my own by modifying the style or the design to suit my style.

  • JennysTreasuresForU

    Jennifer from JennysTreasuresForU said 4 years ago

    Sometimes I worry about not being with the trends,and then I worry about not being different from the trends!lol. What I've learned is that if it's a trend I honestly like,such as ombre or vintage,then to go ahead and be part of it,otherwise,no.One thing I was wanting to make was a wire and pearl bird's nest,but I was thinking,eh,there's so many of them already out there,but I had so much fun making one,I decided to just go ahead and make them,and try to make them a bit different from everyone else's. :) Still working on a few designs inspired by that.

  • FrancesMarin

    Frances Marin from FrancesMarin said 4 years ago

    Very relevant to independent artists! It's really important to experiment in the early stages/years in order to make good work. This means you might be under the influence of others, but also doing your own thing in order to make something meaningful and unique. I also love the Laura Amiss art pictured :)

  • maryankastudio

    Marina Kasner from maryankastudio said 4 years ago

    I trust the classic with a touch of trend :) Great advice!

  • OliCreations

    Francesca from OliCreations said 4 years ago

    I was actually thinking about this the other day...but from a slightly different perspective. An important part of the idea of buying handmade is that you prefer quality over quantity, you are willing to pay a little more because of the effort the maker put into making the object and, in theory, the idea is to not discard the object straight away. The problem with following trends is that what is trendy this year, won't necessarily be trendy next year. As a knitter I hope if someone buys a sweater of mine, they won't throw it away the next year because it is out of style, but still I don't want to make things that are outdated. So I try to strike a balance between modern and classic, and especially I focus more on the long term trends...the ones that take a while to come and go... For example, remember how at the beginning of the new millenium we all wore flared jeans and short t-shirts? Then, over time, it became all about skinny jeans and long t-shirts, and now we're moving towards oversized t-shirts and blouses...I try to keep up with these slower moving trends but I try to avoid falling into the trap of what's "oh so 2012" because it probably won't be fashionable next year...

  • MinaMinette

    Jan Penn from MinaMinette said 4 years ago

    I agree with Donna K! I've been around a long time and I've seen trends come and go...and then come and go again! If you are going to concern yourself consciously with what's trending, you'd better put your efforts on getting aboard the next great thing...which was most likely a great thing once or twice in the past. In my own artwork, I find that no matter where I go, there I am...even if I try to follow a trend, I can't seem to get very far from that which is truly me!

  • OliCreations

    Francesca from OliCreations said 4 years ago

    I was actually thinking about this the other day...but from a slightly different perspective. Part of the idea of buying handmade is that you prefer quality over quantity, you are willing to pay a little more because you value the effort the maker put into making the object, and the idea is to not discard the object straight away. The problem with trends is that what's trendy this year won't necessarily be trendy the next year. As a knitter I don't like to think that if someone buys a sweater I made they will throw it away the next year because it is out of style. So I try to strike a balance between modern and classic. Also, I try to follow those long term trends that take more time to come and go. For example, remember how at the beginning of the new millenium we all wore flared jeans and short t-shirts? Then it gradually became all about the skinny jeans and long t-shirts...and now we're moving towards oversized t-shirts and blouses... I try to keep up with these slower moving trends while avoiding to fall into the trap of what is "so 2012" because chances are it won't be fashionable next year...

  • OliCreations

    Francesca from OliCreations said 4 years ago

    I was actually thinking about this the other day...but from a slightly different perspective. Part of the idea of buying handmade is that you prefer quality over quantity, you are willing to pay a little more because you value the effort the maker put into making the object, and the idea is to not discard the object straight away. The problem with trends is that what's trendy this year won't necessarily be the next year. As a knitter I don't like to think that if someone buys a sweater I made they will throw it away the next year because it is out of style. So I try to strike a balance between modern and classic. Also, I try to follow those long term trends that take more time to come and go. For example, remember how at the beginning of the new millenium we all wore flared jeans and short t-shirts? Then it gradually became all about the skinny jeans and long t-shirts...and now we're moving towards oversized t-shirts and blouses... I try to keep up with these slower moving trends while avoiding to fall into the trap of what is "so 2012" because chances are it won't be fashionable next year...

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 4 years ago

    Thanks!

  • OliCreations

    Francesca from OliCreations said 4 years ago

    I was actually thinking about this the other day...but from a slightly different perspective. Part of the idea of buying handmade is that you prefer quality over quantity, you are willing to pay a little more because you value the effort the maker put into making the object, and the idea is to not discard the object straight away. The problem with trends is that what's trendy this year won't necessarily be trendy the next year. As a knitter I don't like to think that if someone buys a sweater I made they will throw it away the next year because it is out of style. So I try to strike a balance between modern and classic. Also, I try to follow those long term trends that take more time to come and go. For example, remember how at the beginning of the new millenium we all wore flared jeans and short t-shirts? Then it gradually became all about the skinny jeans and long t-shirts...and now we're moving towards oversized t-shirts and blouses... I try to keep up with these slower moving trends while avoiding to fall into the trap of what is "so 2012" because chances are it won't be fashionable next year... And combining trends with your own personal style in your work is also a difficult balance to find...

  • OliCreations

    Francesca from OliCreations said 4 years ago

    ooops, sorry about that, my computer went a little crazy...

  • JewelleryByJora

    Jora from JewelleryByJora said 4 years ago

    I think you have to find a balance, give the people what they already think they want (fashion) whilst putting your own stamp on it in some way and developing it that one step further. Of course then there's always giving the people what *you* think they'll want, regardless of fashion.

  • hurdyburdy

    Beverley Richmond from hurdyburdy said 4 years ago

    The problem with following a crowd is that you can get lost in a crowd. It's always good to know what's trending but standout creatives win in the longterm. Individuality and fresh thinking are key.

  • finefettle1

    Fine Fettle from Finefettleshop said 4 years ago

    Brilliant article! Thank you. Your article is comforting, when there is a trend...it is hard not to follow. If there is a mass appeal for something, then there must be something appealing and silly to ignore. In the same breath, I would agree to keep the herd mentally at arms length, there is nothing more rewarding than finding your own voice.

  • furniply

    Ingus Jākobsons from Furniply said 4 years ago

    Trend is nothing more then fast moving obsession with useless stuff! Pins and Likes - popularity that fades after few weeks!

  • PetitsBijouxGems

    Emma from PetitsBijouxGems said 4 years ago

    This is really interesting. I'm just starting to plan my christmas items, and literally 5 minutes ago googled "trends for xmas 2012"...

  • AllOccasionsWrapping

    Reina Blocker from AllOccasionsWrapping said 4 years ago

    Very nice article! Sometimes its hard to know what to create and having sort of a guide helps with that, but by making it your own its whatever you make it to be not just another "copy".

  • barrondesignstudio

    barrondesignstudio from BarronDesignStudio said 4 years ago

    Fascinating spin. Amusing and frightening at the same time. My definition of "giving in" is still selling out.

  • collectiblesatoz

    collectiblesatoz from collectiblesatoz said 4 years ago

    I always say.........be your own person. Individually! Make your own way. Mine is vintage and antique. Great post and good info. Thanks for sharing.

  • WildflowerGirls

    Melody Bruneau from WildflowerGirls said 4 years ago

    love this<3<3

  • Squintphotography

    Sonja Quintero from Squintphotography said 4 years ago

    Good article! I struggle with this as a photographer on Etsy. Most of the top photo sellers here have a "trendy" style thats very similar to each other and they sell very well, so it's quite obvious thats what the majority of buyers here are looking for. But although, I like their styles, it's not me and what I like to photograph. I know I could do it, but it wouldn't be true to me. So, I shoot what I want and try to make it original and interesting and appealing to buyers. Its a tough road, but the only direction I can take. Hopefully someday it'll pay off. :)

  • KaysGeneralStore

    Kay from KaysGeneralStore said 4 years ago

    I do find this article to be somewhat ironic, since Etsy pushes current trends ... I don't see anything wrong with trends. If we didn't have trends, nothing would ever change. I personally get a chuckle when I see trends from the 70's/80's pop up ... brings back great memories. I'm all about doing your own thing, but basic business savvy would dictate that trends should be incorporated to some extent. I'm certainly not going to be critical of a Seller who is smart enough to figure it out. I would love to see a Disco Revival every year ... those were good times ... haha! Lighten up folks :)

  • PeonySTBebe

    Bebe from 14PeonyStreet said 4 years ago Featured

    I like watching trends. It's sorta like the "variety is the spice of life" idea--trends are a way to see what people are paying attention to lately, and since they come and go, you never get bored. What's interesting too, is when a trend can become a classic, like Cat-eye glasses. Even though most of us would probably not wear them today, they're a classic icon of the 1950's. I wonder which trends we're seeing today will become icons of the 2000's?

  • rushgirl2112

    rushgirl2112 said 4 years ago

    I'm sorry, did you say Pinterest? Because I'm pretty sure you just described Etsy's front page pretty well.

  • lovelyfeverboutique

    Jessica from LovelyFever said 4 years ago

    I can see how following trends, whether you make it your own or not, can be very lucrative--especially with wearable items. I, however, do not follow trends when making my mixed media art items, but rather, I follow my heart. The number one reason why I opened shop is that I love to create and innovate. Following trends to a tee can result in being a copycat. The amazing thing about Etsy as a marketplace is that this is one place you can buy something completely unique.

  • dgordon

    dgordon from dgordon said 4 years ago

    For years I wouldnt give in to the "fads and trends" and stayed a "struggling artist". About two years ago I started looking to see what was trending and how I could make it "mine". I'm here to tell you that owls, dragonflies, and ring holders made me able to "quit my day job".

  • RopesofPearls

    Jenny Whisconier from RopesofPearls said 4 years ago

    Yes, watching the trends is very important -- but then, you gotta make it your own. I'm still working on new items and always striving to steer away from the 'original' and find my own way.

  • sarahndipities

    Sarah from Sarahndipities said 4 years ago

    Great points! Thanks for sharing this interesting article! A lot of food for thought!

  • ArtistaTree

    Emily Miller from ArtistaTree said 4 years ago Featured

    This post reminds me of what my very wise painting teacher taught me about the true meaning of the word "aesthetic", which from its fundamental Greek roots means a deeply felt experience. The true meaning of aesthetic has little to do with the dictionary definitions we now find of it meaning the appreciation or worship of that which is beautiful. Creating means feeling your way through the process, not just looking at it and seeing it it's pretty. I think the same can be true for trends. I can feel when I've sold out or when something is authentically mine.

  • youbahandmade

    Beth Young from YoubaHandmade said 4 years ago

    I love this. I feel as though I have so many creative ideas that I could never just focus on being trendy. I have crafting ADD. I'm new to Etsy but I'm already in love with everyones ideas.... I even love the different spins on what's trending :)

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth said 4 years ago

    When I first started Bambu Earth, I must admit that I fell into this trap. Especially since my business was on Etsy, it can be really easy to see what "everyone else" is up to and feel pressured to keep up. It wasn't until I released that and tapped in to my inner creativity that I was able to start branding my company the way I wanted. It's still a work in progress, and the biggest challenge has been how to manifest my vision into my work. But that's also the best part! I get to experiment through graphic design, photography and written description expressing who my brand is. It's a fun journey. ♥

  • pinkparrotshop

    Pink Parrot from PinkParrotShop said 4 years ago

    It's hard to stick with what is your own style when everyone seems to be making moustaches, but if your goal is to define yourself as a brand, chasing trends will pretty much rule out the posiibility you'll ever stand out or evolve your style.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 4 years ago

    I'm aware of trends, but I never follow them!

  • TheWindowArtisan

    Susan Spurr from InSpurations said 4 years ago

    Trends are like current events. Be aware of them but draw your own conclusion.

  • lepetitoisillon

    lepetitoisillon from ThePurplePim said 4 years ago

    Ombre cakes - never heard of them out here in Paris! Another convert - I'm hooked. Damn and blast!

  • L2Country

    L2Country from L2Country said 4 years ago

    Chappell,...I always love to read your BLOGS....TXs so much for another good one!....LINA

  • CarpetShopPrincess

    Katie Koshy from carpetshopprincess said 4 years ago

    "nervous borrowings of other people's mediocrities..." hmm....that might be the best description ever. reminds me of kids who used to cheat on tests in high school.

  • galjsaig

    Gal Saig from OsMarket said 4 years ago

    really cool blog, amazing writing ... :)

  • LazyTcrochet

    Tricia from LazyTcrochet said 4 years ago

    "if you do, make it your own" is great advice. I pondered the peter pan collar and decided to make a few and post a free pattern on my blog. Having made similar button-style collars in the past, it seemed like a good time to revisit this style, though it's probably not something I'll continue with. Great article. Thanks!

  • recycledwares

    Nerrissa W from RecycledWares said 4 years ago

    Vintage trends change so often that I find myself buying things that I really like or think someone else would like instead - color and texture also capture my eye and are important factors in what I purchase.

  • elkarbnav

    Gretchen Smith from GretchenSmithJewelry said 4 years ago

    I try to avoid trends. The area where I live is usually anywhere from 6-12 months behind on trends so when I see what is supposed to be a current trend, I know I can't do it for several months if not until the following year. Instead, I focus on what people seem to like overall and work with that.

  • CaboDesigns

    CaboDesigns from CaboDesigns said 4 years ago

    Love the advise, thank you

  • 111collagedesign

    Abby from 111collagedesign said 4 years ago

    I think it depends what you make. I have no interest in pursuing trends in my own art, but I am aware of them.

  • TheThrivingArtist

    Linda Smith Jackson from TheThrivingArtist said 4 years ago

    I have found in life..if you try to help someone or fill a need,you'll be successful. Need size 11 women's shoes? Or a 1950's Girl Scout belt? I 'll pass my "anointed" paint brushes on to a new artist! It makes for an electic shop and people find alot of what they want. Don't worry over your bills,just help someone else.

  • Sreya

    Sreya from Sreya said 4 years ago

    Something else that should be kept in mind is that if you DO decide to follow a trend, do it right and with class! I just found a funny video on YouTube that reminded me of this blog entry, "Just Glue Some Gears On It and Call It Steampunk." Talk about trying to cash in on a trend! :~D

  • SeaKnightsCraft

    Rose Gonella from SeaKnightsCraft said 4 years ago

    Sounds like what I do in my collage work.

  • JewelMeShop

    Georgia from JewelMeShop said 4 years ago

    I believe we shouldn't get trapped in specific fashion rules. Each one of us is unique without a need to adopt fashion styles that can't express our personality. In my point of view being aware of the trends means that we can keep pace with the world's changes. We just have to find the trends that can work with our style and personality.

  • womanundone

    Jessica from womanundone said 4 years ago

    Always a good debate... when is it selling out and when is it business skills? If someone decides to try to be be *trendy*, they've got to make sure they don't produce a ton of product that's just gone out of season or style.... got to be ahead of the trend! I say go timeless ;)

  • ThreeStonesJewelry

    Rossana from RossanaJewelryDesign said 4 years ago

    I believe that the true artist can always be inspired by seeing something new and there's always room to take something of that and make it yours.

  • KaiceJoy

    Kirsti Joy from KaiceJoy said 4 years ago

    Great post....I agree that it can be good to watch the trends, maybe do some of them, but I love the idea to still make it your own! I personally think its exhausting trying to keep up with every new trend!!

  • KaiceJoy

    Kirsti Joy from KaiceJoy said 4 years ago

    Great post-I personally find it exhausting trying to even keep up with all the trends....but like the point about making whatever you do, your own, even if following a trend!

  • NannyMadeandfound

    Melinda from sixtybeansVntg said 4 years ago

    I like classic things... with a little trendy thrown in to spice things up :-) it's good to balance out the two.

  • Fiume

    Erin O'Rourke from Aruguletta said 4 years ago

    There's something kind of incredible about the way trends rise and fall; they take on a life of their own and go beyond consumerism. I think we can't help but be influenced by them if we're paying any attention at all, and creative inspiration leads us to improve on those ideas, or transform them.

  • LoriMarie

    Lori Cellini Deal from LoriMarie said 4 years ago

    I think we should be aware of the trends. That being said, even if owls are big right now, everyone has their very own creative process.

  • butler295

    elizabeth butler from Theartisanmonkey said 4 years ago

    My grandmother said trends run a cycle every twenty years or so. The hip huggers and bell bottoms were in fashion in my youth, tie die, smiley faces, the one trend I didnt follow(computors) m now i play catch up. In each generation there have been a few trends that can stay in that generation, then there are a few trends that should probably be kept around a little longer. With trends there is usually something for everyone!

  • butler295

    elizabeth butler from Theartisanmonkey said 4 years ago

    Thinking about trends, Holidays are on their way, anyone care to guess which holiday customs started out as trends?

  • surlefeu

    Kristine Fachet from surlefeu said 4 years ago

    I think that if you're selling fashion-related items then it's a mistake to NOT follow trends - after all, fashion is really just a series of trends. The trick is to make sure your personal point of view shines through. I generally will only make items that follow a trend only if I myself like the trend, and I feel that it blends well with my shop's visual statement.

  • saburkitty

    saburkitty from saburkitty said 4 years ago

    "Is it possible to be inspired by the latest fads while standing out as an individual?" Yes! and nail art does this perfectly. I sound like a broken record everywhere I go but nails are a mini blank canvas for not committing to a trend. lol

  • storeythreads

    Naomi Storey from StoreyThreads said 4 years ago

    Please Check out www.StoreyThreads.etsy.com For some fantastic vintage

  • DebsDelightDesign

    Deborah Tucker from DebsDelightDesign said 4 years ago

    Trends all had their beginning at someone's creative idea that spawned a work of art that had enough uniqueness and interest to attract mass appeal. Think of it this way...something interesting and unique in the sky catches someone's eye and they point it out....pretty soon everyone is standing around and staring at the same thing. "What's everyone staring at?" THAT'S trending! We all have creative abilities and the huge variety is mind boggling. Where does it all come from? From the ONE CREATOR with unlimited variety! Nothing wrong with acknowledging a certain attraction and appeal to a particular trend, but everything wrong with not adding your own unique stamp to reflect the endless variety of your Creator! We all see things differently and our unique perspective keeps the creative juices alive, changing, fresh, innovative and yes, impacting trends.

  • FeltHappiness

    Juliane Gorman from FeltHappiness said 4 years ago

    Hmm, interesting...I was just pondering the various routes that inspiration can take: nature, color, architecture, art history and fashion. I guess that only the first two inspirations might be trend immune. But didn't the Victorians have a mad thing about collecting natural history specimens? There is a shudder-able display stuffed with an enormous amount of humming birds at the Natural History Museum in London. http://piclib.nhm.ac.uk/results.asp?image=042562 However,even fine art has had patterns that become defined as styles/trends within art history. One could say its part of the zeitgeist, the spirit of a time. And fashion is all about trending. All good to chew on as one creates. Thanks.

  • Agentshowcase

    samantha mills from AgentShowcase said 4 years ago

    It would be a good Historical read, to analyze trends and how often they loop. For example the Baroque trend was around in early 90's I have a Karen Millen dress similar damask fabric to primark pants available this season. Therefor does the early 90's Karen Millen dress become a Vintage item and a classic?

  • riverlightjewellery

    Riverlight Jewellery from RiverlightJewellery said 4 years ago

    The 60's were fashionable 4 years ago and came back 2 years ago again since Mad Men! Swing dancing is also a big trend now here in London, UK! All those tortoise rim-spectacles and pettycoats ;-) Just love it!

  • ferdi

    Ferdi from ferceramics said 4 years ago

    It's ok follow the trend a bit, but I like things that have something different, something like a personality you stand out from the crowd and make it unique. Great article. Thank you! :-)

  • cointreau

    cointreau said 4 years ago

    This article really resonates with me and I love how it covers lots of different angles. I have the exact same reaction to ombre and chevron trends! Often the designer is exposed to much more examples than the customer though, so the 'new' ideas are exciting and fresh to them. It's more challenging but ultimately more rewarding to set your own trends :-)

  • AMarigoldLife

    Lynn from AMarigoldLife said 4 years ago

    Loved this article! Thanks so much for all the insight here!

  • marykay4

    Mary Kay Smith from MayzeeKJewelry said 4 years ago

    Trends are just that- trends. They are temporary and they change by the day it seems. I follow my heart and what makes me happy in my creative world and I make pieces that I love and connect with- sometimes that fits with others and sometimes it doesn't but at least its me with my quirks and all. I don't feel like my jewelry would be as authentic otherwise.

  • suzanneartist

    Suzanne Urban from SmirkingGoddess said 3 years ago

    If I see one more owl. . .or and now it's the mighty fox. . .I did make a magnet based on Zombies, but gave my own spin on it. I don't have a problem with ETSY starting trends, as to me I realized how influential ETSY was when I saw owls in chain stores. And that's a good thing. I think ETSY shouldn't run from the trends that flourish here but rather embrace them by having quarterly contests where artists/artisans/vintage sellers capitalize on ETSY's visual impact to the outside world by posting something based on an ETSY generated trend. If you want to read a fascinating book on how Trends grow in to the general population read Malcolm Gladwell's book THE TIPPING POINT. Really a fun read!

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