Category Archives: Artists

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

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

What to do when the Show is over

There is a bit of a let down at the end of Surtex. Once more we are back in our studios alone.

I am presently working on a watercolor of a  Thanksgiving turkey. He is not as loose and free as I would like, but I think I am okay with what is coming out. Sometimes it takes a few days even a week to see something differently.

I found myself thinking while I  followed thru on design requests: What did I want to do next? Thinking and thinking didn’t help. So I began googling because you never know where you are going to end up. What I found was very much in synch with my thinking. If we tune in to ourselves we will find what we are seeking.

As my mind was going through its litany of “you should do this and you should do that”………I began to imagine and feel that what I wanted  was to free up and loosen up even more. And not just in terms of style, but to let my thinking and creative mind be more open to all sorts of possibilities. It’s not necessary, I realized, to box myself in to one style, one subject etc. The creative process is a discovery and a searching and that cannot happen in a box. It is an exciting process because when you give over to it you never quite know what is going to happen next. And you begin to develop a way of working that allows for this process.

So, I am going to do the paperwork, the follow thru and all the not so fun stuff. But I am going to look at art that inspires and begin to doodle and scribble.

Luli Sanchez

Luli Sanchez

I found a wonderful textile artist, Luli Sanchez whose work and sensibility I find very inspiring and exciting.

Kaffe Fassett designer

Kaffe Fassett designer

I also discovered a wonderful artist, textile designer, quilter, knitter named Kaffe Fassett . I read about his book , Dreaming in Color and ordered it right away.

Journal roses sketch

Journal roses sketch

Journal sketch Wish fairy doll

Journal sketch

I also got out ten of the  journals which I have been keeping for years. They include sketches, cartoons, ideas as well as recordings of events and feelings. Looking through these helped remind me of the creative person I am. I found, among many others, a drawing I did for a Wish Fairy doll I wanted to make and a lovely sketch of June roses.

Here’s one more thing. When I find myself feeling discouraged, feeling that nothing is going to come of the show and why am I doing this, I pull out my cognitive thinking book, Feeling Good by David Burns and find a chapter and exercise that relates to what I am thinking. In a very short time I am back on track again because I see that the self-defeating pattern will get no positive results. Have something you can turn to when your thoughts get gloomy.

And Stay happy.

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Filed under Artists, Cognitive Thinking, Creativity and Fun, Surtex, Trade Show

The New York Gift Show at the Javitts Center

In years past the New York Gift Show at the Javitts Center was a great place to meet and see some of the larger paper goods and giftware companies like CR Gibson, Boston International, MeadWestvaco and Enesco to name a few. This has been changing over the last five years as more and more of these companies no longer showed here. The reasons had to do with the downturn in the economy . As products other than paper goods (such as jewelry) began to sell more and as Business

has been changing and the Gift show was no longer the right place for them to make their sales. Many moved to the Atlanta Show.

Gift Show Divisions

Gift Show Divisions

The show was divided into sections. For example the General Gift, Tabletop, Accent on Design and Children and Baby and personal accessories.

At the Gift Show

At the Gift Show

The Accent on Design section was a bit of a disappointment. I remembered it as being an exciting, innovative and inspiring part of the show with booths from all over the world and varied product lines. This year it seemed to me to be a bit lackluster.

The weather outside was .....well wet

The weather outside was …..well wet

Despite the rain and snow the show was well populated which was encouraging.

Dennis and I were very surprised at the overall change in the show. We found very few gift and stationery companies in the Gift Division. There were more companies that sold pillows and clothing. Many more companies that sold the kind of giftware that would fit in with some of the categories I names above.For the most part not the kind of products that would require licensed artists for the designing.There were lots of big publishers like Penguin, Chronicle and Workman to name a few. More companies that sold Judaica and body care products. In the tabletop division most of the companies that have always shown at the gift show were there.

Despite these drawbacks (from our point of view as art licensors) we enjoyed walking the show. We made new contacts and did some trend spotting. Of course owls everywhere. We also had a good meeting with a potential client. We returned to the studio and began working on a few presentations for this company.

Tonight I was remembering advice that was given to us when we were first starting out as illustrators and we took a wonderful course offered then by Elaine Sorel which truly gave us a legs up on our journey into the world of illustration and commercial art. Elaine beside being the wife of Ed Sorel the well known illustrator and one of the co founders of the Push Pin Studios was a thorough professional and very knowledgable person about how to do business as an artist and succeed at it. She had been an artists agent for 15 years representing top people in creative fields. She began doing the workshops when she stopped being an agent. One of the things she told us that I have never forgot (and I paraphrase). “It’s important to genuinely enjoy the people that you are doing business with.” Don’t fake it in order to get work. You are much more likely to get ahead if you form relationships that are mutually enjoyable by all.” I was reminded of that today as we had our meeting. She also said, and again I paraphrase ” Don’t show your work with the expectation of getting work. Show it because you are proud of what you do and want to share your creativity.”

Stitchery illustration by Margaret CusackImport

Stitchery illustration by Margaret Cusack

I also have the pleasure of knowing Elaine’s very talented artist and teacher, daughter Madelaine Sorel. Madelaine and I are both part of an illustrators lunch group that was founded and kept alive by the efforts of Margaret Cusack, who is both a wonderful stitchery artist and a world class promoter. It was difficult picking an image to use in this post as Margaret has many varied and wonderful stitched art that has been used in editorial, advertising and gallerty exhibits. This lunch group has been meeting once a month for lunch for over 20 years. It has been a life saver and thriving sharing creative community for those of us who have been regulars.We share business, art and our personal lives at these monthly meetings.

And once again Dennis and I are back at work doing what we love most. Designing and painting and dreaming about our next project. Top priority is finishing the two remaining Halloween cupcake designs.

Whoo knows

Whoo knows

Art licensing is a risky and exciting business to be in. Whoo knows where it will lead us next.

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Filed under Art and Design, Artists, Halloween, Holidays, Javitts Center, Licensing, Manufacturers, NY Gift Show, Owls, Trade shows, Trends