Craft Platforms: Case studies 李艳刺绣艺术工作室-Li Yan Embroidery Art StudioJune 16, 2020 2020-11-15 9:27
Craft Platforms: Case studies 李艳刺绣艺术工作室-Li Yan Embroidery Art Studio
Li Yan Embroidery Art Studio
- Li Yan’s studio follows two paths. One is a collectible and the other is an industrialized embroidery product. Among them, Li Yan is responsible for the production of collectibles, which often takes several years to embroider into a single piece. And her daughter Chang Ni and Chang Ni’s husband are mainly responsible for embroidery products.
- They believe that they benefit from (Reputation)and are limited by tradition (materiality, form, audience, etc.).
- On the one hand, Li Yan Studio actively promotes its products in WeChat. On the other hand, “Li Yan” is a relatively well-known brand in the Hunan embroidery industry and even the handicraft industry, so there are many digital platforms that actively seek cooperation.
- Li Yan’s daughter, Chang Ni, was majored in product design, and Chang Ni’s husband is also good at production and promotion. Therefore, in Li Yan’s studio, the combination of traditional embroidery skills and modern innovative design is better.
Figure 1: (Left) Li Yan’s studio logo, (Right) Li Yan herself and her work
Li Yan is a master of Chinese arts and crafts and a representative inheritor of the intangible cultural heritage of Hunan Embroidery. Three existing works are on display in the Great Hall of the People. The work has been given as a national gift to foreign heads of state who have visited China many times, and has won the China Baihua Award.
Li Yan Embroidery Art Studio was founded by Ms. Li Yan. It is a professional studio integrating the innovative research and development, process design, heritage protection, and advanced customization of Hunan Embroidery. The studio was established in 2017 and is now an executive member of the Hunan Provincial Arts and Crafts Association. There are currently 2 Chinese arts and crafts masters, 4 Hunan arts and crafts masters, 6 provincial senior arts and crafts artists, 15 intermediate arts and crafts artists, and more than 40 professional embroidery staff.
The studio’s physical store is located at 101 Facade, Building E1, Hunan Embroidery City, Kaiyuan West Road, Changsha County, Hunan Province. There is a factory.
Figure 2: (Left) Studio overview, (Right) Li Yan’s daughter, Chang Ni
DIGITAL ‘TOUCH POINTS’
Use of Digital equipment
The production process is purely manual. But before the embroidery, some digital equipment is used.
- Hand-painted board, iPad. Used for hand-drawn patterns, illustrations, etc.
- Mobile phone. Used for taking pictures, videos, etc. Chang Ni said, “When I make a product, I usually consciously take pictures of some processes.”
- German non-contact scanner. Scan the hand-drawn pattern later to get a high-resolution digital version of the picture.
- Print the pattern on the fabric with digital equipment.
Figure 3: Chang Ni is using computer to help design product
Use of Digital technologies
- Laser lettering. There are some graduation seasons and group gifts that require a custom logo. Previously, there were methods to embroider on the screen, but on the one hand it would increase the cost, and on the other hand, sometimes the logo was not embroidered well when the logo was more complicated, and the double-sided embroidery was reversed when viewed from the back. So the method of laser engraving on the frame is convenient and fast.
- Challenges: (1) Inter-professional cooperation requires communication and understanding of each other. (2) There are some parts completed by hand that cannot be replaced by digitalization and mechanization. For example, there is a studio for embroidery umbrellas. Because of the large number of umbrellas and the high cost of manual embroidery, they looked for machine embroidery. As a result, all the umbrellas were wrinkled, because the force of the machine was not manually controlled, and the material was pulled tight Will wrinkle.
Use of Social Media
- 机会：（1）昌妮说“ 社交平台对于推广手工艺、产品来说还是很好的，得发一些有意思的内容，其实有兴趣的人还是比想象中的多。而且现在他们00后喜欢汉服，他们对这种古典的文化还是很有兴趣的，所以点击量还是挺高的。比起看产品，他们更希望的是看过程，怎么绣的他们比较感兴趣。”（2）有很多网红想来与手工艺人合作直播。他们有粉丝有流量，手工艺者有内容吸引别人，双方是互补的，可以寻求合作。
- WeChat (just recently, more than 5,000 fans), WeChat public account, Tiktok (only sent 2)。
- Challenges: (1) Limited by the number of fans, the spread of communication is small, and traffic promotion is required, but the workers in the traditional artisanal industry do not have this ability. (2) At present, the product volume is small and the price is high (more than one thousand yuan), which is not suitable for promotion on digital platforms. Chang Ni said: “Our focus is currently on developing products, only after the product is more complete, and then start promoting.” The focus is on developing products under 400 yuan, which is more suitable for online promotion.
- Opportunities: (1) Chang Ni said, “Social platforms are still very good for promoting handicrafts and products. They have to send some interesting content. In fact, there are more interested people than expected. And now they like Hanfu after 00. , They are still very interested in this classic culture, so the traffic is still quite high. Compared to looking at products, they are more interested in watching the process, and they are more interested in how to embroider. “(2) There are many nets Red wants to work with craftsmen to broadcast live. They have fans and traffic, craftsmen have content to attract others, and the two sides are complementary and can seek cooperation.
Figure 4: (left) WeChat personal account, (right) WeChat public account
Figure 5: Display of some content in wechat
Figure 5 (left) is a circle of friends who introduced the work (a double-sided full embroidery).
Figure 5 (middle) is the introduction of the new product. Including materials, usage, price introduction, real shot details and models.
Figure 5 (right) shows the manufacturing process of some customized products.
Figure 6: Part of the content in wechat
Figure 6 (left) is a small video of Li Yan Studio’s entry into the Hunan Provincial Museum.
Figure 6 (middle) is to participate in public welfare activities to deliver love materials for children with cerebral palsy.
Figure 6 (right) shows the process of participating in the “Daxiu China-Journey of Embroidery”.
Online sales platform
Online sales platform:
- Promotion on WeChat circle of friends; Taobao stores; cooperation on other platforms—such as JD.com ’s official flagship store of China Industrial Art (China Arts & Crafts (Group) Company) and ICBC ’s ICBC e-commerce shopping platform.
- Chang Ni’s husband: “We actually cooperate across many platforms. Our own operating team operates Taobao stores, while authorizing our products to other platforms with operating teams for them to operate. Have an agreement with them and then Unified sales price. Now the big concept is that platform vendors are looking for high-quality content to drive traffic. Now they are more professional. They only do platforms as a platform and find ways to bring in traffic. Do content and content to satisfy platform vendors to attract traffic .Because circulation is inheritance, and flow is economic value. After signing a (craftsman), they spread across the entire platform. It is now convenient to issue it through the network in one click. “
- Chang Ni: “Now more platforms actively come to us. We will also screen because we also make brands ourselves. We are not processing factories.” Li Yan “is a collection-level thing, but the logo” 艳 “(yan) It is our registered trademark and brand, so we still have to choose the platform, I will click to see the level of people who cooperate with the platform. Because it is necessary to send high-definition pictures in the past, plagiarism between peers is very serious. Like I do now These jewellery boxes are flying around. “
Figure 7: (left) WeChat friends circle to promote products, (right) Taobao shop homepage
Figure 8: Li Yan Studio’s products sold in the official Gongmei flagship store on JD.com’s shopping platform
Use of digital software
- Graphic design software. All manuscripts are hand drawn. In the product design, publicity, packaging, etc., a large number of plane software is used. The scanned artwork is clear and the work is more refined.
- 3D modeling software. It is applied to the design of product shape, such as boxes and refrigerator stickers. Product radians, angles, etc. are marked at the technical level, which will be more convenient when communicating with manufacturers, reducing time costs and communication costs.
The challenges of applying digital platforms
- This means that social platforms care about how many fans and friends you have. When you post an article, only so many people will read it, and not everyone will help you turn it around, and the scope of spread is not particularly large. It depends on how many fans we have and how interested we are in the content itself. Now most of the network promotion is traffic. There are many operating companies that do these high-cost traffic promotions. One is that our traditional craft industry does not have this condition. The other is that our output is still relatively limited and is limited to us. Of customers. For example, Weibo has only 10,000 followers, so there is only such a point of view.
- Intellectual property. The plagiarism between peers is very serious, and it is impossible to prevent it. Therefore, Li Yan Studio’s philosophy is to continuously innovate and develop new products, apply for patents first, and reserve the right to investigate. Protecting rights in China is difficult, and the effort spent on defending them is not proportional.
- Lack of platform to help craftsmen to connect with manufacturers, so as to meet their needs for small batch production. Alibaba has. Domestic factories like to make large-scale (over 500) orders without challenges, they are used to it. So Li Yan’s studio does product packaging with friends.
- Sales: For customers over 50 years old, accessories are the mainstay of purchases. Customers under the age of 50 buy more practical products. Many young people prefer more functional and practical products, such as business gifts, wedding supplies, and home furnishings.
- How to explain and spread the value of your craft products online? Three points, one is our originality of things, the other is that the artwork is authorized, and the third is manual and craftsmanship.
- You can show the difference between handmade and machine embroidery in the store. How do you show this online? Chang Ni’s husband “In fact, we generally avoid this point and leave it alone, because the main thing is that I am manual, and I don’t need to compare with others.”
- How do you think of the impact of digital on craftsmanship? Chang Ni “It can be understood more quickly and conveniently. You have to catch a young man to promote crafts to him. He has already run away, but on the Internet young people will take the initiative to open it. It’s still special. The first point is to attract his attention. “Chang Ni’s husband ” Yes, the pursuit is good-looking, first catch you visually, you will click in to look good and interesting. The same is true of our promotion , Good-looking can be attractive, so he can click in and understand. Digital technology, including photography and graphic communication, facilitates us. “
- On the one hand, Li Yan Embroidery Art Studio is protecting, inheriting and carrying forward the intangible cultural heritage of Xiang Embroidery. On the other hand, it is also actively exploring new things and keeping up with the trend of the times.
- Li Yanxiang Embroidery Art Studio has a wide range of applications for digital equipment, digital technology and social media. There are relatively complete processes in product design, production, promotion, and sales.
WeChat personal account：embroidery_yan
WeChat public account：国大师李艳刺绣艺术工作室
Link to the latest article in WeChat public account：https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/QowcyXHQXfiYWUqnRb7NMA
Craftplatforms.org has been produced by the project research team at Queen Mary University of London, UK, and Hunan University, China.
Contact E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Nick Bryan-Kinns
School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
Queen Mary University of London
London E1 4NS
Prof. Hao Tan
School of Design, Hunan University
Yuelu Mountain, Changsha