Sometimes the wolf at the door can be your friend.

Adam Konigsberg came to New York to try his luck on the gallery scene, a Penn MFA on his résumé and a portfolio of paintings under his arm. His luck turned out to be the hard kind, and he soon found himself contemplating other ways of gaining a presence in the art world. He began branching out by translating his art into wearable accessories.

He started out hand-painting silk scarves and ties, using floral designs based on his original artwork. Soon he began diversifying into active-wear and home décor to be more cost effective. For each new design, he would paint a watercolor image that would be shot digitally or scanned with a flatbed scanner. The image would be blown up two and a half times its original size for shawls, or reduced to form-repeating patterns.

“I can either lay it out in the computer and make a repeat pattern if I want a repeat pattern, or I can create different patterns,” says Konigsberg. “I don’t have a traditional repeating-pattern program. Nothing that I do is done in a traditional sense.”

Konigsberg subcontracts production of men’s ties to a tie-maker on Long Island, collects fabric swatches from Philadelphia-based sample-makers, and has all his printing done in North Carolina. Originally from Philadelphia, Konigsberg has chosen to remain in the city, making it easier to distribute his accessories to local boutiques and showcase interior-design work out of his own home. In the coming months, he hopes to add a PR person to help with marketing and industry connections and expand sales options on his website (www.adamkonigsberg.com).

Konigsberg will be visiting trade shows throughout the spring and hopes to do a soft launch this fall. He believes his company will be at an advantage because advances in digital printing will allow him to do limited production runs for retailers and refill orders for pieces more quickly than much larger companies.

“I’m told that raising capital to move the project forward may be a little more difficult,” he says, “but [given] the uniqueness of what I’m trying to create, there shouldn’t be a problem when I’m trying to move this to the next level.”

While he’s put aside thoughts of teaching at the university level, he doesn’t plan to stop painting.

“It’s just a matter of when I can get the chance to,” says Konigsberg. “I think about painting on a daily basis—but I need to make sure X dollars are coming in to cover the expenses.”

 

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