The Atlanta Show January 2014

I had hoped to get this posted sooner ……..but……..after the show we went to visit our good friends Pat and Arthur Ginsberg in Palm Beach.Where it was…..you guessed it warm! It was a good chance to relax and chill out. While there we visited The beautiful and serene Morikami Gardens

 Zen Garden Palm Beach

Zen Garden Palm Beach

Relaxing in Palm Beach

Relaxing in Palm Beach

It was a welcome mini vacation and time with dear friends, light and sun.. Then back to the Arctic freeze in NYC.

TIP: Make sure to give yourself rewards for a job well done.

Having fun and relaxing is an important part of it all!

Since we’ve been back a week we’ve just devoted ourselves to the show follow thru. This is a very important part of the process. Don’t neglect any detail. Send what you have been asked and on time, early if possible.

TIP: Plan ahead on your calendar for follow thru time.

This may very well be the most important part of the process.

We had set up 6 meetings before we left  NYC and in three days at the show we ended up having 15 very good meetings with manufacturers we had wanted to see. And…….lots to follow up on. Designs to send out from our portfolio, revisions and additions to existing designs and reformatting for specific products.This time we also came back with some resin figurines to design. No contract yet but not a reason not to follow thru!

TIP: Stop in at the showrooms you’d like to have a meeting with.

If the art director is there request a meeting.

If he or she is not free then set up a time to come back and meet.. Sometimes there is someone who can see you on the spot.

More than 50% of our meetings happened this way.

Autumn melody mocked up as tableware

Autumn melody mocked up as tableware

One of our mockups is for the Autumn Melody design.Showing dessert or salad plates and mug designs.Again no contract yet but very important to follow up on specific requests for reformatting designs.

 By the end of this week we may be finished with most of the the follow up. Give as much time and thought to this stage as you did to planning for the show.

TIP: Follow through also includes making updates in your contact files.

Entering information about Manufacturer’s schedules for the year to come.When will they be looking for what and what the cut off dates are. Get your submissions in as early as possible.

We also saw some of the products and collections that came out of our show meetings in January and from subsequent mailings. This is such fun.

Dennis sends out our new designs regularly to our manufacturer and client base. One of the new contracts that resulted from this kind of mailing are the new Peacock coasters and trivets for Thirstystone.

TIP: Have a system for getting your new designs to clients.

Show them off on Social media, blogs and mailings!

In my previous post I showed how the peacock design came about. I got great feedback on this post. I love to read about how a design was done.

This was a team effort. And the other half of my team is so important to our designs.

Dennis Kendrick was a great gift and came into my life 33 years ago. He is a terrific designer/illustrator and very knowledgable on the technology side of things. My best friend (in addition to my sister Pat), smart, intellectual, funny and so solid and down to earth. Without him to anchor me I would be in outer space much of the time!

Our team

Our team

I was so excited to see the products at the showroom and to meet with Thirstystone again. This was another wonderful company that we met with at the July show. Totally unusual for me. I take so many pictures.

At the Dallas Gift show just after Atlanta The Dallas Arboretum picked up the design as a name drop for trivets. Name drop I found out means that The

logo of the Dallas Arboretum will replace our french label. We haven’t seen it yet but it seems like another good placement. We are keeping our feathers crossed that our peacock gets good placements and lots of them.

Our Peacock

Our Peacock

We also found out at the show that Custom Decor, a flag company will be doing three of our Christmas designs as flags, mats and mailbox covers. We’ve been designing borders for these products.I won’t show them until they debut at the July Atlanta Show. Custom Decor was a company we met with in Atlanta in January and we are very pleased to have them as a new licensing partner.

Seeing our new stained glass “Trellis” collection at the Amia Showroom was so exciting. There are around 15 or so different and beautiful products in this collection. I found it difficult to take photos because there was so much reflection from the lights on the stained glass and the mirrors on the shelves. And I wanted to take one of the Artist in front of her noew collection shots.  But the shelf was too low!

Here are the best shots from the showroom. We’ve been so busy since we got back that there hasn’t been enough time yet to unpack all our lovely samples which arrived just before the show.

Some of the Amia collection

Some of the Amia collection

One of our favorites

One of our favorites

And in between meetings we had lunch, coffee or met colleagues in the showrooms or hallways and always stopped to chat. We had dinner with our good friends Ingrid and Duane Slyder of Ingrid at Nutshell Designhs. That was a highlight of our visit to Atlanta.

TIP: Networking is very important.

And fun too!

It is social and enjoyable. Then too it is a way to compare notes or ask questions, get information and share the joys and tribulations of being a licensing designer.

We saw five of our designs in the Jelly Bean showroom. Two of them are coastal themes. JellyBean does very nice quality area rugs. The cats are going to love our new Jellybean area rugs and so will we. The one with the feet requires a special order!

Jellybean Lighthouse Rug

Jellybean Lighthouse Rug

This one has legs!

This one has legs!

Shell design Jellybean

Shell design Jellybean

 I have been reading Joan Beiriger’s three part posting on the Atlanta show.

“Licensed artist Joan Beiriger is widely regarded as an expert in art licensing. Her popular blog features informative articles designed to educate those interested in the art licensing industry and attracts hundreds of readers each week.” Joan’s maintains a web site, Joan Beiriger’s Art for Products,http://www.joanbeiriger.com/JoanBio.html. Her blog,  is always full of wonderful information and is a great source material for all of us in the industry,joanbeiriger.blogspot.com/ ‎Thank you Joan.

“One of the points she brings up that I have found so helpful is asking lots of questions. Talk to the sales reps. They can tell you what is selling well and why. Ask questions in your meetings to get to know more about the company and its needs so you can target designs in their direction. Exchange some personal information. Remember you are forming a relationship not just looking for new licensees. I am a  people kind of person and love finding out about clients families, pets, what their life is like etc. A friendly and well meaning Yenta maybe!

TIP: Make notes of these conversations too and when you get back to your studio enter this info in your contact data base.

This information will help you to develop a more personal relationship with theCreative Director and give you more of an understanding of what his or her lifestyle is like.Find out about them on social media. What is their professional background?

It is much more fun to be sociable. I do this not only with our licensing partners but with our friends and family. Don’t expect to keep it all in your head.I like to keep up.

Another very good point that Joan makes is; ” Also notice what products the buyers indicate to showroom reps they want to purchase. Every bit of knowledge leads to insight on the art that buyers think their customers will buy. And, that will help you decide on the art themes to create that will have a better chance in getting licensed.”

Talk to and listen to gift shop owners. I have found that I can get valuable info on trends and best selling products from these talks. At the show and when you are in gift shops. Talk talk talk.

TIP:Remember that February is “cabin fever” month

Plan fun things to do, not just work! It’s a good time to send a bright and cheery message to your clients. We all have missed the sun!

And a happy New Year to all. I missed my New Year’s post so here’s my wish for you now. Enjoy life as much as you can. Laugh every day. And spend time doing what you love to do!

My painters cap is on again and I ready to rock and roll again.

My Painters cap is on again

My Painters cap is on again

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Filed under Artist Studio Space, Atlanta, Atlanta January 2014 show, Custom Decor, Dallas Arboretum, Gardens, January 2014 Atlanta show, Morikami Gardens, Thirstystone, Uncategorized

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The ball drops on 2013

Wherever you are tonight you may be watching the ball drop.Here in NY Times Square will be packed. Dennis and I will have a quiet New Years at home and tomorrow we’re going to see Nebraska and have some great chinese food on 9th avenue. I’ll do my traditional New Year’s journaling. In a cartoon fashion I map out the year we are leaving and the new year ahead. What happened, what I hope will happen and spaces for surprises. I always leave those spaces. Them there is room for new things to come into my life.A  Feng Shui principle

We want to thank our wonderful licensing partners for the opportunities they have given us and for the great relationships we enjoy so much. Thanks to our colleagues for support, friendship and sharing. It is truly an exciting business, this art licensing and we are very happy to be a part of it.

One resolution: I am going to learn new things about Marketing and time management and how to maximize our on line presence.  I will try a suggestion from our good friend Sheila Cunningham who is a marketing consultant to spend one day a week just doing marketing. I will spend more time painting!!!

Dennis and I extend our warmest wishes for the New Year 2014. Fill it with happiness and fun and work and family and kindness and helpfulness.

Fill it with fun

Fill it with fun

Warmest Wishes

Warmest Wishes

from Andrea and Dennis, Maggie, Louisa May and Buster

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Filed under Artists, Buster, Cats, Feng Shui, Louisa May, Maggie, Marketing, New Year's, NYC, On Line Presence, Time Management, Times Square

The post after the last post of 2013

The last post was accidentally published before I meant to. Most of the content was there.

But one thing got left out. I had said that one of my wishes for 2014 was to see more of our designs on new and diverse products. My connection with the Wish Fairy is always helpful and in this case I have let her know my wish.

The wish Fairy

The wish Fairy

She will be glad to hear yours too.

Dennis and I wish you and yours a very happy healthy  2014.

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Last Post of 2013 republished

I accidentally pushed the button to publish this post before it was finished. Add to that that I am not sure if it went out to all my followers.

So please forgive. I am sending it again with the missing ending.

We’ve just been through our Christmas holidays and I hope that everyone had a warm and wonderful time. Dennis went to Connecticut where we always go to visit and be with his family. This year though I had to stay behind to take care of our senior cat maggie.

I was thinking about what my end of the year post should be.  The last designs dennis and I did this year is a series called Autumn Melody. Three different mums and a sunflower make up the melody.Think of Nat King Cole singing Autumn Leaves. I listened to that song as I painted.

I wanted richness of color and form this time.

AutumnMelody Red mums

AutumnMelody Red mums

AutumnMelody.sunflower.

AutumnMelody.sunflower.

AutumnMelody.brownMum

AutumnMelody.brownMum

AutumnMelody.yellowMum

AutumnMelody.yellowMum

I like what I achieved and now want to do more in this richer more solid color. My next project will be four rooster designs. Roosters are colorful and very patterned and feathers are fun to do. We have two weeks before the Atlanta’s Mart show and I am considering getting one painted before then. Maybe even two and a background. Roosters are always popular.

I’ve been busy getting our appointment schedule set up and I am definitely ready for something creative.

Amia, the company that does beautiful stained glass objects and who did my hummingbird and morning glory design, is now rolling it out into a full product line of around 12-15 lovely products. Can’t wait. Our peacock design is close to becoming coasters. New Christmas flag and bag designs on the way. A new coastal flag and coastal Area rugs which we should see at the show. Ooh la la Paree will be appearing on mugs, bags and  flags.

stained glass morning glories

stained glass morning glories

Ooh La La Paree

Ooh La La Paree

           .

One of my New Years wishes is to see more of our designs on diverse products. I’ll have to speak to the wish fairy about that.  Feel free to contact her with your own New Year’s wishes!

The wish Fairy

The wish Fairy

Happy New Year

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Filed under Amia, Autumn, Manufacturers

Takes two to make a peacock

I thought it would be interesting and perhaps helpful to see  how our new Peacock design came about. It is a good illustration of the process involved and how Dennis and I share the art.

A peacock is a spectacular bird and also has been very trendy in our market. So why not!

After I gathered reference I began to watercolor using my chinese brushes. I use them almost exclusively these days.

I painted the tail separately

I painted the tail separately

Just in case the tail didn’t come out right I painted it separately then added it to my bird.

I start to paint the peacock

Now I add the tail and paint the feathers

When I showed my peacock to dennis he liked everything but the tail. The design of the feathers was kind of hodgepodge. Too exacting for my way of watercoloring.

So I repainted the basic colors of the tail as well as one feather. I added the lower part of the body to the tail. Now I had a headless peacock.

And one feather

And one feather

In the meantime I had repainted the tail and where it attached to the body and the start of the neck. The original Head was still separate and then that got attached. A bit like surgery.

The new tail gets attached

We sliced off the head and I repainted the tail and the body up to where the neck began

The head got reattached and Dennis did a magnificent job of placing the feathers on the tail. We added type to the background and added blue poppies.

Dennis creates the pattern of the feathers

Dennis creates the pattern of the feathers

 Blue poppies that I had previously painted. And added type to the background.

The blue poppies

The blue poppies

Texture and color were added to the background and we both agreed that our Peacock was completed.

Finishing the background

Finishing the background

A feather in my cap
A feather in my cap- not a real one!

And one for Dennis too!

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Filed under Birds, peacock, Trends, Uncategorized, wildlife and birds

Fall 2013 Tabletop Show

This has been the week of the big Fall Tabletop Show in NYC.

If you haven’t been there yet it is well worth going. The next show is in the Spring so check the dates on line. The showrooms are at 41 Madison Avenue and today we discovered that across the street at 43 Madison is the big Lifetime Brands Showroom. This was a new discovery for us. Lifetime owns Mikasa, Pfaltzfraff, Casamoda and several other companies.

We met with the Public Relations person Lisa Lochner who helped us with contact information for licensing designs. We looked at Two Artists Aloft on her ipad. Although she preferred no photos, she had no problem with my relating the information we had received. There were some beautiful designs, especially at Pfaltzgraff which were very much to my liking since the art was watercolor and loosely done. This is one of the pluses to visiting new showrooms.

Making contacts:

I entered all the info in our contact book and calendared a date after the show is over to call and make an appointment to see the licensing director at the showroom at 43 Madison.

Here are photos from three of the showrooms we visited. Villeroy and Boch and Vietri (neither of whom license) and Fitz and Floyd.

Villeroy and Boch Hens

Villeroy and Boch Hens and Roosters

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Villeroy and Boch Botanical

Villeroy and Boch Botanical

Vietri sculpted pieces

Vietri sculpted pieces

We always love to go see Fitz and Floyd known for their imaginative decorative pieces.

Fitz and Floyd

Fitz and Floyd

Fitz and Floyd

Fitz and Floyd

I still have calling Lifetime Brands to make an appointment on my to do list. Haven’t gotten to it yet, but I will. There are so many other things to do in running an art business including actually doing the art. I literally have different hats I wear to help me move from task to task.

my painting hat

my painting hat

The show will be around again in the Spring and it is well worth seeing.

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