a girl who creates
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
New Licensee

My new year started off great when I found my work up on Oopsy Daisy's site - even in cute styled shots (see the mermaid on the beach?). I licensed a few Junk A Doodles® with them and can't wait to get my hands on the actual canvases. They have been on my client wish list for quite a while and I'm glad my persistence and follow-up paid off. So excited about this new relationship!

Tomorrow I'll show you a detailed look at the Valentine's placemats I did for them - super cute! I blogged a sneaky peek here.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009
Custom Portfolio
Target recently contacted me (via a contact made at SURTEX) to send them "my book" to share with their creative team. My 3-ring binder of samples or my black leather portfolio was not going to be good enough for them, no, no. I needed something that said "Hey, look at me!", showed off my style from the front to the back and incorporated my love for found objects, lettering & color, so I created an entire customize album (that I can use later) where the contents can be easily edited and expand to any size.

I mailed it off a few weeks ago and got it back today in the same condition I sent it. I had a professor in college who had made this really cool portfolio that turned into a house (as part of her application for a architectural graduate program) and when it came back to her, she said the person looking through it must have been eating a snickers bar. There was caramel & nugget stuck to most of the pages. So thank you Target creative team for taking such good care of it.




(I'm pretty big on reusing packaging materials so that's what I did)

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Sneaky Peeks

I've been working recently on a ton of licensing and children's illustration projects (guess people are back to spending money again before their budget year is up). So above is a sneaky peek of 2 projects. Yeah, I know you'd love to see the rest, but I think I need to hold off for a while.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Art Licensing Resources

Tara Reed has got some really great resources for Art Licensing! I'm a big fan of these and I was so excited to see her email newsletter this morning announcing her latest product: Product Mock-Up Magic. I can not begin to tell you how much time this will save me!! I've struggled with getting images together to mock up and honestly, I just don't have time time. And my philosophy is if you don't have time, get some one else to do it for you, and Tara has done that. I love her "teaching" technique. She is so thorough so anyone not totally familiar with Photoshop can easily follow her steps to help grow a licensing business. The product will ship on October 21st, but go ahead and pre-order it now because you'll save $20. I just ordered my copy and can't wait to get it and start mocking up products. I'm throwing out all my old mock-up because I never really liked how they turned out and these from Tara are so much better. Click here to learn more and purchase.

In the past I have also purchased Tara's repeat pattern e-book to refresh my memory on how to make patterns (hadn't done it since collage and I totally forgot how). I think it is a must-have and patterns are very addictive to make!!

She also has this cool affiliate program with all her products too so you can refer people to her products, get paid for it and use that money to buy more of her resources. So...I'd like to refer you- Go to the bottom of the page, click "affiliate program" and sign-up. Super easy!

Tara also agreed to be one of the judges for Pumpkin Junkin' so she just all around ROCKS!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I haven't posted to Illustration Friday for a while, but since this week's topic is "pattern" I couldn't resist. I love making repeat patterns and they are quite addictive. If you don't know how, Tara Reed has a great e-book for it and you'll be making patterns in no time!

Here's the piece I designed first:

And then a "pattern" made from it:

And just a reminder that Pumpkin Junkin' started Thursday!

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Friday, September 11, 2009
art filled weekend

I am determined to have an art filled weekend! I have a promo to do for the Illustration For Kids mailer, greeting card ideas to finalize, some product ideas to compile and send to a manufacturer, plus start junkin' my pumpkin for my annual contest & exhibit (you can follow Pumpkin Junkin' on twitter or facebook for updates)!

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Thursday, May 07, 2009
Surtex Sneak Peek Design

Just a sneak peek at what I'll have at Surtex. I love this circus pattern and the little plush lion as a mock-up of what could be done with a character. My licensing manager made the lion and I love how it turned out!!

I'm going to try and post everyday until Surtex and plan on blogging and tweeting from there too! All my tweets will show up on facebook too in case you're not on twitter.

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Friday, April 17, 2009
Surtex Planning: Part 5

Surtex is officially one month away and I still have a ways to go, but I;m feeling really good about my progress so far. I figured out my booth layout and what all I will show (the biggest stressor for me). I used my skills from my environmental design class in college to work up a to scale elevation of the booth:

The green areas are what I already have printed out, the pink areas are what I still need to print out, the blue areas are signage and the orange areas are things I need to mock-up (I'm still working on my last panel though). I spent Tuesday and Thursday this week printing. I am using someone's large format printer by paying them per square foot. I like this better than sending it out somewhere and hoping it looks good when it's all done. This way I can check progress as I go. Luckily I haven't had any issues. I've cut everything out and will later mount it all on boards:

This week I also worked on some postcards for Surtex. I decided not to use the USPS postcards like i normally do because I'll be writing small notes on some of the mailers and I couldn't do that with the others. One is a mailer I plan to get out next week (we went through names yesterday and have about 220 people to send to), a bio postcard to hand out as giveaways and I had extras printed to include in any samples we mail, and thank you postcards (for Surtex and later). For the design I went with a design I originally went with
last year

I still have to print my other giveaway goodies, so hopefully I'll get to all that next week. Other things on the to-do list:

  • Get everything printed and assembled for my press kit (everything is written, just need to print it all out)

  • Mock up several physical products to show

  • Mock up products to put in design book - I think I'll get my designer to work on those next week

  • Start packing my suitcase of of things I'll need for the booth (scissors, stapler, tape, etc.) - just filling it up as I go so I won't have to get it all together at once

  • Chart out our road trip via Garmin

  • Download audiobooks for the trip

  • Shop for clothes and comfortable shoes

Now I'm off to spend the day preparing for the Woog's 5th birthday party tomorrow!!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Thank You cards

The above is a thank you postcard I designed last week to send to clients after I work with them (this is for my licensing clients - I have a different one I use for my children's illustration clients). I am getting them printed through Overnight prints since they did an awesome job with my business cards. I hope to get them early next week and I'll show the final product then (along with my Surtex postcards!).

Exactly one month from today I'll be on my way to NY for Surtex. Things are coming along great and I have yet to freak out (but there's still time). I finally figured out what I will show in my booth and how it will all look. That was the biggest stressor and now I feel like a load has been lifted off. I'll be posting tomorrow or Friday on part 5 of my Surtex Planning.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Surtex Planning: Part 4

I've been able to flush out my booth design in the last few days and I'm feeling pretty good about how I'll have it organized. I do have to keep telling myself that it's not a one-shot deal for me, they have Surtex every year and it's not my last trip to New York, so don't try and cram everything in while I'm there. So the first thing I wrote in my sketchbook when planning my booth was:

I need to ingrain this into my brain. I don't have to show everything I have on the wall. I'll have a book with all my designs in it, and I only need to show my best and most relevant work on the walls. I also realized that I may need to take things down after each show and keep them in the secure area of Surtex or take them back to my hotel room. Yesterday the need for that came to the forefront of my mind again when I read Ellen's post on someone stealing her design book. I need to really plan out how many 3-D/removable objects I'll have since I'm going to have to lug them in and out everyday! So keeping this in mind I started sketching and making notes:

Like I've said before I'll have a corner booth and as of last week the local has been changed. I'm now at booth #349:

Seeing how my booth configuration is opposite than what I originally had, I sketched out the booth layout:

There are eight "categories" I want to show things in and this will work perfect the way the walls are physically set up.

I am also working out how to use the space on the vertical corner post I have. I want at least one dimensional element on each panel just some my booth is more dynamic and not too flat. I'm working on some easy shelving issues that will hopefully work.

Now onto tourism. This will be my first visit to New York and I would like to see a few things while I'm there but need to keep in mind that I will be back and I don't have to see everything in a day. One thing I need to decide is do I go to the Met or MOMA? At the moment I'm torn. I could do both, but that cuts into other site seeing time. Any suggestions? Any must sees while I'm there?

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Surtex Planning: Part 3

I meant to get this up yesterday, but ran out of time. I don't have anything too exciting to share. I just keep plugging along. I'm slowly getting a game plan together. Thanks to google maps, I can now see exactly where I'll be staying in relation to the Jarvis Center and scoping out the best way to get there. I plan on doing a lot of walking to avoid cab fees so hopefully the weather will be good while we're there.

For promoting, we're still researching more companies trying to get a list together for a postcard mailing. I want to send out 2 or 3 mentioning Surtex, just not sure who on my list I should send them too. I'm slowly working on what samples to show and how to display them within the booth. I'm starting to get some visual ideas, but nothing specific yet. Since the National Stationery Show is at the same time and location as Surtex, I'll be getting together special samples for those companies coming over to our show. I'm also trying to think of some kind of shelving system and 3-D elements so everything isn't just flat against the wall. It's been a challenge since it needs to be lightweight, compact and not much assembly needed when we get there.

I have to admit that my mind has been all over the place with licensing. There's just so much that can be done! I'm working on rubber stamps, greeting cards, partyware and even product development ideas to show. There just seems like there's so much to do and even more that can bee done. One big thing I'm working on is physical mock-ups of projects to show. Last week I purchased a few things to use and am constantly on the look out for other things I can use. If I didn't learn about spray mount or have a packaging design class in school, I would be totally lost on how to mock anything up. I'm also trying to get as much work out there and submitted before Surtex so I can go ahead and be "seen" plus "introduce" myself to those going to Surtex. I'm still panning on unveiling some new designs specifically at Surtex so I can use that teaser as a promo too.

I've also been looking at who will be my booth neighbors. So far it seems a little empty around me but hopefully those will fill up with last minute exhibitors. That reminds me, I need to look this week and see if anyone new has been added.

The most important thing is that I'm doing something everyday to grow my licensing business!

EDIT: Just got an email from Surtex that they are changing the layout of the show and my booth number has changed to #359. There was also a mention of maybe staying open for half a day on Wednesday. That cuts out my site seeing time, but you can't turn down the extra exposure!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009
baby heads

One thing I really love about licensing is you can draw one thing way back when, and use it for something, use it for something else, and then take it use it for something else. The first image is a tag I put on the back of the baby gifts I make, I then later took it and put it in my doodle+daddies™ collection and then reworked it for a shower invite.

I've been doing more Surtex planning and feel a little more confident and in control of it now. I'm deciding if I want to spend any extra money on on-site marketing now. I'll be blogging and update on the planning process in a few days. Oh, and I'm on twitter now. One of the things I'm going to do during Surtex it twitter during it to give everyone first hand accounts on the show. If you're on twitter, follow me!

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Surtex Planning: Part 1

I've spent the last month doing some Surtex planning and getting a to-do list together. I've been scouring the web seeing what other artists have done with their trade show booth. I've found some great references here (includes great tips too!), here, here, here, here,here, here and here. I have a 10x10 corner booth that will be on the top floor. I tried to search for the person who had my booth last year but the layout seems to be different so I couldn't find them. I did find that Carol Eldridge had a corner booth once and this is what she did.

My main focus for Surtex is presentation. What am I going to show and how am I going to display it all. I'm still thinking about all this. I know I don't want to spend a lot of money because I don't think I would use any or much of it again. I know I want some kind of dimension to it rather than just flat panels and am considering mocking up some products to display. We will be driving rather than flying to ensure that my display get's there in one piece. It will be a long drive from Nashville to Manhattan but being my first show, I don't want the added stress of worrying about having my display getting lost in the mail or the airport, plus I'd like the opportunity to bring some back up things like a printer, etc. in case I need to print something I forgot.

So...on my immediate to-do list:

1) Get business cars designed - My info on one side, my licensing manager on the flip side. I received some print samples from overnight prints and I really like the satin finish on them. Now, to decide if I should get the straight cut or rounded corners....

2) Start printing out my pages for my portfolio (which I will have set up for buyers to flip through at my booth) print out 5-10 pages a week. I kind of have everything in layers on one photoshop file so I need to get them all separated first - UGH!

3) Get my listing set up on the Surtex site which I have done. See it here

4) Start designing a mailer to send out, inviting people to my booth. We have about 325 companies on our list and we are in the process of getting contact info from their buyers.

5) Create 5 new designs a week

6) Keep researching artists that have been at past shows to see what did well for them or how they designed their booth

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Friday, January 09, 2009
The Doll House
We had a good Christmas here and finished up the dollhouse early Christmas Eve. It took about 20 man hours total but the Woog has totally enjoyed it. We painted every inch of it, glued about 800 + shingled on and "hung" the wall paper for every room (spray mount and scrapbook paper). It's actually still sitting in the middle of the living room floor. She has spent hours moving furniture and people from room to room. We equipped the house with a kitchen so far and will continue to furnish it here and there. Here's how it turned out (click the image for a larger picture):

(we put it on a lazy susan so it would be easy for her to play with the front and back - when I was a kid mine was on a lazy susan and I thought it was the coolest thing)

And little peeks of some licensing work I've been working on for babies:.

SURTEX planning officially starts next Tuesday so I'll try and document my planning in a timely manner. I have ideas and thoughts rolling around in my head but have yet to put them on paper. I've delayed writing them because I think I'm just still a little nervous knowing that I'm going and have to sell myself face-to-face rather than via web, email and snail mail.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

I think I've turned back on work wise and my wheels are spinning again. I'm working through some ideas at the moment and getting excited about possibilities. Above are some monogram designs I'm flushing out.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Let the Promoting Begin

I finally have my licensing site up and organized how I want it. I still have some tweaking to do but it's suitable for public viewing now :) Above is a rooster form my junk-a-doodle-doo™ collection.

Over the last few months I've been collecting contacts and researching licensing. I've found out a lot The possibilities seem endless. With everything I have going on, I've brought on a Licensing Manager who will allow me to have more time being creative. She seems just as excited as I am which makes me more excited!

I've also feel in love (it's become an obsession actually) with making repeat patterns. It had been so long since I made them I had forgotten most of the steps. So, I purchased
Tara Reed's e-book and my memory was instantly refreshed on those few simple steps. It was well worth the money for the one page of steps I really needed.


Monday, September 08, 2008
The World of Licensing

The above is my full color logo that reflects they type of work I've been getting ready for my licensing portfolio. It's nice to do something a little different from drawing kids :)

I have totally engulfed myself in the licensing world and what I've been finding out is that there are a gazillion companies out there that license work and there is this air of secrecy that surrounds the entire industry from both artist and companies. It's really hard to explain but it's become very evident to me. I understand that some artist have to keep their licensing partners confidential due to specific contract agreements but when you can't see any of a companies or artist's work unless you are a manufacturer, that seems a little weird to me. I totally get why they do it that way, but I'm wondering if people are hurting their business by being so hush-hush (visually and informationally). I'm in no way telling people how to run their business (I still have secrets under my belt) and maybe they've been burned in the past? I think I feel this way because I've always had an "open" portfolio and freely talk about my experiences in the illustration field. It has gotten me thinking if I should be secretive with my work and information. I don't know the answer yet... Anyone else get this vibe about the licensing industry?

I had a great, awesome, long-overdue, meet-up with an old professor of mine from college. She was my absolute favorite and I had lost touch with her after graduation. Over the last 8 years I've been periodically googling her seeing what she was up to and couldn't find anything. When I started thinking seriously about licensing, I thought about how great it would be to pick her brain since I remembered she had dealt with licensing and product development for a company. Well, low and behold, while doing my research on licensing, I happened to find her on the staff page of a licensing agency. Serendipity? Serendipitous in deed! So I was able to pick her brain last week and my brain hasn't stopped firing since.

I've also been reading a lot of blogs from licensing artists and since Christy (love her!) tagged me, I'll share some of my recent licensing favorites:

Tara Reed's Art Licensing Information Blog
Heather Bailey's HELLOmynameisHeather
Paula Prass' Show + Tell
Amy Schimler's Red Fish Circle

And here's a fun piece I did this weekend. It's been on my to-do list for a while. Now I'm working on some things to compliment it:

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Thursday, August 28, 2008
just a peek

Here's a snipet from what I was working on yesterday. I'm please with how the entire piece turned out. I see myself going more and more in this direction for licensing and children's work. There's something so relaxing about making 3-D art :) Now, off to the two, 2-D projects due today...

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I love when you just stick stuff on a scanner, do a little in photoshop and it becomes something cool. This is from today's Woogie Wednesday. These will appear in an assignment I'm working on and also future pattern designs for licensing. A few weeks back I designed some stamps specifically for my junk a doodles work so this is really the first time I've had a chance to use them.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008
Licensing Postcard

I worked on a new mailer for licensing. Not 100% sure I like it yet though. I want to go ahead and get some promos out there and then figure out what my next step is for promotion. I don't think postcards are the entire way to go for this type of work so I'm coming up with some other ideas. I've found a lot of companies who have take email submissions so I've emailed them my tearsheets. It's been fun watching my stats as these companies come to visit my site.

I've also loved having the opportunity to just play. I've been experimenting with textures and more collage in my work. I've been able to break more rules and get out of the ridgidness (is that a word?) I've put myself into with children's illustration. I'm loving it!

I have big plans and expectations for my licensing work and I've been tackling it like I did when I first started out to become an illustrator. It's been so fun and I've already learned so much!! I've even decided to take on a marketing assitant who will do a great job for my business and I think be a great agent/rep one day. She has a sales background and is used to the phone call, meet and greet scene (something I'm not into and don't like very much) plus, I'll have someone to travel with for trade shows and such. Plus part of her responsibilities is window shopping so that's right down her alley! I'll be sharing what all she's doing for me throughout the process.

Thanks to everyone for the "good luck" and "advice" emails. I really want to thank Vela at Little Star Soup for being so generous with information. Isn't her work the cutest?

By the way, my desk still looks like it does from the last post. Maybe I'll have time to clean it today....

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Monday, August 04, 2008
See. It did help showing my logo to the world. I took action! I'm getting everything together for my licensing push. I have a meeting with an attorney tomorrow about it all and then I'll start making some contacts and getting my work out there. The site is coming but I need to figure out a few things before it goes live. I have a pretty big client wish list so here's hoping they like my work!

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