If you follow me on Twitter, you may recall that I was writing a post about all my pet peeves, only it became so long I decided to make them they’re own separate posts.
So, let’s talk about bookish merch. And I don’t mean the things that publishing puts out or authors make/commission people to make to put out, I mean what individual artists make for themselves and consumers.
Some context. I’m going off to college soon and because of this I’ve been more aggressively looking into art prints on Society6- yes just Society6 because RedBubble has, like, no one.
I follow a handful of people on Society6 but I’m beginning to notice a pattern that’s seriously trying my damn patience.
It’s always the same damn thing. I can think of two artists who have a nice collection to chose from but everyone else? And I don’t want to keep giving my money to these same two people but honestly, they’re the only ones that have not boring and different options.
Here’s the thing, I’m usually not picky with this stuff. I’m not an artist so I take what I can get, right? That’s my usual mentality. Now I feel all hell and brimstone because I see all these amazing creators with so much potential doing the exact same thing.
I go on. There’s an SJM quote. Some HP stuff. Maybe a classic quote, depending on how many followers. Then it depends on the person but we’ll have an assortment of the following: Six of Crows (really Shadow and Bone), The Raven Cycle, or a Darker Shade of Magic.
Going along with that there’s usually some sort of picture of a book or pens, that has some text like “Read” or “Reading is Life”, something along those lines.
On a good day, this wouldn’t bother me, but these aren’t good days. These are anxiety ridden days where I’m about to start the next part of my life by being thrown into a completely new environment and I want some familiarity. That familiarity comes from books, only I’ll be in a small dorm where I can’t bring all of my books.
So, the next best thing is to get art prints inspired by those books, only, wait, there are so few and in between, I want to cry.
Seriously, I want to give money to more than the same two artists but they’re the only ones putting out quotes from a handful of the books I like and the rest have your typical SJM and HP stuff and that’s just tired and warn.
I want more Laini Taylor, I want more Alex Bracken, more Adam Silvera, more Becky Albertalli, MORE MARA DYER, Susan Dennard, An Ember In the Ashes, MARIE FRICKING LU, ROSHANI CHOKSHI, how about some art for THE HATE U GIVE,
And those are just the popular people? The more seasoned writers that people know. This isn’t even getting into the smaller books, authors, series that a lot of people love but don’t necessarily get the same recognition as the ones above.
I could list off everything on my shelves and any of it, at this point, would be amazing.
And you know what, I love graphics and designs with books on them and shit, but why just one book, why just something basic about reading or readers? There is so much creative potential, so many artists I know have so much potential and I see almost all of wasted on the same tried and true books.
I even like HP but god help me those are milked to the core. People don’t even seem to go deep in on what they could be doing for those designs. It’s the same basic deathly hallows symbol, the same quotes “Always” or “light can be found in even the darkest of places”.
Those are good or okay books! They have more quotes than those two! There are four damn houses, why does everyone focus on the same ones? It’s like they feel they can only chose one or two houses and also, mine is never one of them?
All I want in life are amazing graphics and designs for books that I love, books that I think a lot of people love. I’m tired of all that potential going out the door.
I understand people need to make sales and the easiest way to make sales is probably to go for the biggest of the big but I also firmly believe that if you have a variety of artwork for a variety of books you will do well.
Also, this is my friendly plea for people to start putting their work on RedBubble too. Society6 is great but I want to be able to wear the art sometimes. Society6’s close are shit. A large doesn’t even fit me and I take small to medium on a good day. That’s a damn problem.
Anyways, please, artists who make art PLEASE broaden your horizons. there is more out there than SJM and HP. There are some brilliant books coming out PLEASE make art for them!
I will probably buy it. Especially since S6 has so many damn sales. I just want art from my favorite books so I don’t feel completely alone when I go to school.
Well, that’s all for this Pet Peeves post, thank you for reading and check back later for the next pet Peeves post, more discussions, and reviews!