Artists are finding more unlikely avenues to tell their story through collaborations with entrepreneurs. The creative power of art to generate discussion and thought has been truly harnessed for commercial gain. Art is the future of marketing, industry experts claim. It’s not a great stretch to say marketing is the future of art.

Negotiating the limitations of commercial art can be a challenge, and working to a brief can be a creative restraint. An artist imprints upon a product, and in turn, shapes their own narrative to fit into a brand’s image. It’s an uneasy coalition of the creative and commercial, but many painters, digital artists and photographers have turned their passion into a commodity, and become an artist for hire.

For young artists, collaborating with new industries that are building their own identity is an effective way of finding an audience and growing their portfolio. Sam Chirnside, an Australian artist now based in Berlin, creates psychedelic dreamscapes that feature on album covers, skateboards, and clothing. His clients include Red Bull, Sony and Nike. One recent project is a collaboration with e-liquid producers auster.com, creating striking box art for their vaping subscription service.

Vaping is a new social pastime exclusively in the hands of millennials and gen-yers that defies any traditional advertising narrative and has taken the world by storm – ‘vape’ was declared the word of the year in 2014, mere months after it was first added to the Oxford Dictionary. There’s no TV advertisements or glossy magazines here – just word-of-mouth and online engagement. Auster used Steve’s art to communicate their vision and image, melding his creative narrative with their own brand story to create a product.

Often, when businesses approach an artist, they want to apply their creative vision to an upcoming and existing product. Sam told Auster he was ‘lucky’ to enjoy free reign on the creative process for most of his work.

I think it’s actually about artists and clients finding an element of my work and my aesthetic they’d like to express in their visual identity,” he said. “Normally they come to me with some direction or something they have seen of mine that they’ve liked, and then I use that a point of reference to begin.”

As marketing and advertising becomes increasingly ingrained in our everyday lives, more businesses will stretch across the creative aisle for artists, photographers and designers, to seek out their stories and voices and apply them to their own products. And for young artists to survive in a competitive world and showcase their creative vision to the world, the patronage of a product or brand that aligns with their own aesthetic may be the place to start.