Over the summer when there are no classes in session and little activity to indulge in, besides vacation and creating art, I work in retail. Retail can be a very interesting experience for those who haven’t worked in it before and to my surprise there are art and design components that it can include. While working in retail, one of my particular frequent departments is clothing/apparel and when I have shifts in this department I have found that I use color matching quite frequently. Within my apparel department there are many different colors and shades of clothing. Due to this, organization can be based somewhat on these colors and shades. For instance, in one section, my company has yellows blues reds and pinks, each of these colors are separated to match one another in a neatly organized manner, this happens throughout the entire clothing section.
There are other instances where say if there is a customer interested in buying a dark blue pair of sweatpants and they want to match it with a shirt, as an apparel associate, I will help them figure out what would fit best and this is where my color matching skill comes into play. I will choose the best matching options based on color and tone. So for a dark blue I might pick a lighter blue or a light gray option. This becomes really helpful to elderly customers because they usually have a harder time determining tones and colors or clothing. A design aspect that I have found while working in retail is the use of designing clothing on mannequins. This becomes important because, when done correctly, the design of the clothing not only is a good art style but it also helps the company sell more merchandise. For example, this one mannequin (above to the right) has a t-shirt and a sweatshirt on it. The sweatshirt is designed to sit halfway on the torso to visualize the t-shirt in a way that doesn’t look messy but rather eye-catching. Its design aspect draws in the customer.
Before working in retail I have never really thought about art and design being a part of this type of work, it always just seemed well put together and I thought nothing else of it. Now with my own experience, I can safely say that art and design is incorporated into our world without us even realizing it. Being an art student really seems to help me understand how businesses work regarding design and set up. I’m happy to say that I’m glad I have this experience because it is different from what one might think when simply speaking about art.