I’ll trade ya!

I’m a huge baseball fan, and I *hate* it when one of my favorite players is traded to another team. But when it comes to trading artwork or design services, I’m almost never sad to see a favorite piece go, or to toil away in order to match what someone has given/done for me.

Yep, trading is pretty big in the art world. And I love it.

I’ve done quite a few trades over the years. I created an identity system for Knotty & Nice, whose owner, in turn, sewed me a quilt using tons of my old college-softball t-shirts. I traded one of my shadowbox collages for a killer necklace from Horseshoes & Chandeliers. And I recently had some head shots taken by Shelly Mosman of Shelly Mosman Photography in exchange for an illustration that she hopes to use in her upcoming identity-system refresh.

My head shot, courtesty of Shelly Mosman Photography

My head shot, by Shelly Mosman Photography

It seems to me that graphic designers and fine artists get approached often to take part in trades. Some artists are very willing, while others abhor making trades. I’m on the “very willing” side. I figure, I’m in a service industry and I also make art, which isn’t for me, anyway–it’s for whoever has a connection with it (quit gagging…it’s true). So I think it’s neat that I can get cool physical things or have cool things done for me, in exchange for doing something that I love to do anyway. It’s win-win, in my book.

Are you the trading type? If yes, what have you traded for? If no, why not?

And no matter if you’re on the trading bandwagon or not, if you could make a dream trade with anyone, who would it be with, and what would it be for? What would you offer them? (Keep it clean, people!)


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