The professionals and cons of constructing merch
Leta Sobierajski, David Shrigley and Morag Myerscough strain the ups and downs of the manufacture of goods and products – from the joy of designing tangible objects to the challenges of getting them right
"A long time ago people thought that as an artist, making goods would in some way make your production cheaper," says David Shrigley, the reigning king of artist-made goods. Throughout his career, Shrigley has made everything from duvet covers and salt and pepper shakers – labeled Heroine and Cocaine – to a pool toy in the shape of a tailless swan. And the fans ate it up and showed that while he is right about the ongoing snobbery, there are real connections and real money to be made in this area. Recent brand collaborations, including Morag Myerscough's Tatty Devine jewelry set and Leta Sobierajski's range of leather goods with American brand Dan Cassab, also show that illustrators, artists and graphic designers have more opportunities than ever to find new outlets.
Also, creating a physical object that someone can own is tempting. “The prospect of other people living and wearing your work is a really exciting feeling,” says Sobierajski, an artist and designer who has campaigned for Comme des Garçons, Gucci and Herman Miller and works with partner Wade Jeffree as part of the Wade and Leta studio.