Sticker Art Blog
Utah Stickers completed! And more failure of course...
What a wild ride the last few months have been. It has been dumping snow over the SouthWest which has made focusing on this small business harder. We want to get our shred on but we also need to pay the bills so it's a balancing act as usual between play and work. And business as usual means failing lots more.
The Kickstarter for the Utah Sticker Art designs was a monetary flop only raising around 10% of the goal but as usual lots of lessons learned. The biggest - there just isn't much urgency in buying stickers. Regardless we used our own savings to invest in printing all the Utah stickers since we absolutely love Utah and just know people out there feel the same way.
We made a few Delicate Arch stickers as it's simply one of the most magnificent features in nature you'll ever see. We continued the Camp Cup series with the camping in Moab Sticker which I think captures the feeling of camping out in the solitary desert quite well. And of course the Explore Utah sticker is simple and iconic. It's a bit smaller than our usual size, only around 2" tall but still 4.75" long.
Two of our new favorites have to be the VanLife sticker and Indian Creek Rock Climbing sticker. We spend a lot of time car camping and in Indian Creek and personally felt like these activities and places are often over looked in the world of stickers. We're pumped to create such niched sticker design for things like rock climbing and vanlife. Many more rad Utah sticker designs are available, go scope them out!
- Bryant AuCoin
The Process, Inspiration and UTAH!
STOKE LEVEL IS RISING. Scope the below sneak peak drafts of the first Sticker Art designs for Utah! Come October we will be launching a KickStarter to bring these designs and a bunch more Utah inspired stickers to life. We're also collaborating with a studio on the East Coast who are experts at creating laser etched art pieces which we'll launching with that Utah Kickstarter - more on that soon. For now, enjoy these drafts of Angels Landing Zion and Delicate Arch!
The first step in creating a sticker for us is adventure and an open mind. These stickers exist only because the landscape is here to show us the way and the people we hang out with are stoked on pursuing our common passions. When we come home after a morning of hiking on a sweet ridge line like we did yesterday as seen in the video below, our creativity levels are highly increased. It's hard to explain but being outside is as productive in the long term as sitting here in front the computer, if not more. Being outside is a catalyst for creativity and idea generation.
Once the outdoor world provides me with the inspiration for a sticker concept I collect a group of pictures that conveys the visual perspective, occasionally a very crude awful drawing of my own, a bunch of text direction that correlates with the pictures (think mood board here) - and send all this to the artist that best matches the concept. Once that's done I receive rough drafts like the Utah ones above and then artists like Kayla Edgar pretty much take it from there and blow it out of the water! Below is a sweet and short time-lapse of her designing the new Ski sticker and the Car Camping sticker.
Without the willingness of great friends to put up with my picture taking and throwing idea's off of daily Sticker Art would likely never of happened or at least not to this point. It's incredibly important (seriously, very very important) to be able to share daily with someone in the small successes and excitement. Some people are more involved in this (work out partners essentially) and some just help keep my stoke level high which is equally important. It helps keeps things fun and not seem like work.
- Bryant AuCoin
Seek failure, suffering and jump when you're ready.
I've been failing all my life, starting around 3rd grade when I was held back in school. Prior to founding Sticker Art I worked the same job for 8 years and in my 5 - 9pm attempted to start and build multiple businesses, all failing and some in more spectacular fashion than others.
The TV you see is a digital signage company I helped start, next is a CAD design of a travel mug and third a long-range drone. I spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars of my savings attempting these businesses and many others.
They were creative and all could have worked with proper execution but didn't for a plethora of reasons. The drone I simply crashed into a class 5 whitewater rapid while filming some climbing, the digital signage company had too many people involved early on and the CAD design was too expensive to create a prototype of and we had no capital.
When I thought of the idea for these stickers while on a climbing trip in California I nearly immediately knew the idea had credibility because I had previously failed so many times. And it was a business centered around enjoying the outdoors which I love.
So again, I jumped in and started a new business. Fast forward 9 months to August I quit my job of 8 years and now I'm doing this sticker thing full time attempting to make ends meet and adventure as much as possible.
I still fail daily.
Recently I posted to a subreddit called "ShutUpAndTakeMyMoney" and was quite surprised at the feedback. Some asked if the characters in the sticker illustrations were going to do erotic things, others simply stating my product was shit. I still however made a number of sales from this post which was pretty cool. I learned that I should explain the product a bit more and I shouldn't expect much from a community that is mostly into gaming. Know your demographic! I'll try to re-post something more genuine in there next month to see how it goes, I'll probably fail again.
"I wouldn't wipe my ass with this product"
This business certainly isn't going to break the bank but I connect with it which is why I think it's working and you guys can feel that connection. The more we adventure the more ideas for rad stickers we get.
It's a beautiful thing that I'm so excited to work on and share with you all. So, take a jump and fail a bunch. It's fun and you'll have some great stories to share. Thankfully the jump below didn't fail but I was indeed very ready for it. [warning explicit language!].
What makes these stickers different?
So we're taking something incredibly simple and common place, stickers, and turning them into Sticker Art that hopefully connects and inspires you to explore your world. The illustrations on the stickers are inspired by the landscape we adventure in and designed to pass on that inspiration to those of you who rock our stickers, encouraging that daily pursuit of your passion. When we say "inspired by the landscape" we literally mean actual locations we draw inspiration from to make into stickers as seen in the squished pictures below.
We drew inspiration from the iconic and classic rock climb Wham Ridge on Vestal peak in the San Juan Mountains to illustrate the Alpine Rock Climb sticker.
These aren't your everyday stickers either. They are die-cut to the shape of the illustration, silk screened printed which means they are heavy in your hand and weather / U.V. proof. Since each sticker is so unique every sticker has a story of what inspired it printed on the removable backing and gives credit to the illustrator who designed it.
We're incredibly excited to make more sticker designs featuring yoga, SUP, rock climbing, National Parks, surfing...basically all the rad things in life we get stoked about. Stay tuned for tons of rad stickers! Thank you so much for your support, HERE WE GO!!!
- Bryant AuCoin