Come over and join the informational free-for-all at www.artlicensingblog.wordpress.com!
I'm sharing the joys and trials of moving toward the holy grail of art licensing, and the resultant successes and personal growth experiences.
See you there!
It's been swell living here on my website with my blog and everything, but I think I need more flexibility, the ability to add pictures, offer webinars, run faster, jump higher !!!, and the ability to communicate with more ease with those of you who are hanging out with me here.
So we're moving!
I love that this requires NO boxes, NO packing tape! Whoopee!
Won't you come to the housewarming? Here's the address: www.artlicensingblog.wordpress.com.
By the way, I have started a Group Page on Facebook, "Freeing Ourselves Through Art", which you can find by going here: www.Facebook.com/Freedom.Through.Art. This isn't an art licensing page, but it is about sharing what art does for us: give us fun, insight, creativity, exploration. On that group page I've put a sample page of my upcoming art journal/personal growth coloring book there for everyone to download. I hope you'll join me there too. Say hi if you do, okay?
[By the way, if you haven't yet learned how to get a url for your Fan or Group pages on Facebook, head to this link: http://www.askdavetaylor.com/create_custom_url_for_facebook_fan_page.html. You'll be off and running in no time!]
So this is the last blog from this address, and I look forward to offering you some finger food and champagne when you arrive at www.artlicensingblog.wordpress.com! Thank you so much to those of you who have subscribed to this blog - I hope you will consider opening a new subscription at the new digs. Over time I may transfer some of the more popular blog entries to the new one - we'll see if time allows. Meanwhile, this one will still be here; I just won't be adding to it.
See you at the new place!
I just took a walk through a new art licensing website - mmacgregordesign.com - and I want to recommend it to you as a really fine example of how simply, beautifully and cleanly an art licensing website can be done.
Tara Reed suggests - and it makes great sense to me - that when offering an art licensing website, you stick to art licensing and put nothing else in that particular website. In other words, if you want to sell your products yourself in a non-licensing manner, don't put that information into your art licensing website.
Marilyn MacGregor has stuck to licensing, and done it beautifully. Take a look at her website - www.mmacgregordesign.com while I tell you why I not only think that this is a tremendous sample website, but why I removed pages from my own and streamlined it using some of the ideas from her outline - e.g., showing the icons that make up the pattern, and showing the pattern as well.
I know she inspired me reorganize and redesign my own, and as a result my website has really increased the professionalism of its look, reflecting self-confidence, capability and style. Thanks, Marilyn!
NOTE TO BLOG SUBSCRIBERS: Thank you for subscribing! I want to keep you with me, so I want you to know that I am considering making a move to Wordpress. If I follow through with that, you'll have to re-subscribe to keep the blog notifications rolling. So I wanted to give you a heads up and tell you that I will keep you posted!
Would you like to be on my email list? If so, let me know by sending your name and email address, and I'll send you a recording of my most popular blog - "It's All About You" - that you can play when you need to remember that competition is all in your head, and that you can change your thinking and get back on track. I am working on a workshop and an art journal, and I would love to keep you posted.
Cheers! Keep on keepin' on!
It's a new day. January 1, 2012. Time to get our licensing on!
I don't do New Year's Resolutions, but I am aware of a profound shift available to me as the old year walks off into the sunset, leaving me with all the green newness of the new year before me. So, what to create in this brand new year? What seeds to plant?
The two major seeds, this January 1? A day job, and licensing contracts. So, it's time to get practical. Since we can all use a little bit of organizational butt-kicking once in a while - and particularly after a holiday season, I'm thinking - I want to share with you my plans, beginning January 3rd (I'm still on vacation, so it'll wait, but only until 6:00AM, 1/3/12! I'm locked and loaded!).
I am going to start by using (1) A Daily Schedule, and (2) An Intentions List.
The Daily Schedule
The daily schedule is going to look like this (in theory, anyway, until the practice portion of our program shows me what adjustments need to be made):
6:00AM - Meditation
7:00AM - Food
8:00AM-Noon - Le Job Hunt! And email check (personal and business).
Noon-1:00PM - Food (see the repetitive pattern here? I do like to eat.). And a walk.
1:00-2:00 - Gather information on two, and only two, places to submit my work for that day,
2:00-3:00 - Do what I can to put my work into proper submission format for those two places.
3:00-4:00 - Submit! Mail! Email! Whatever it takes to make my new daily goal of 2 submissions.
4:00-5:00 - Draw
5:00-6:00 - Food (Yay!)
6:00-8:00 - Draw, Draw, Draw, and work on my business and marketing (Somewhere in there I'm supposed to be blogging, etc..., which brings up The Intentions List).
The Intentions List
Here's where the Daily Schedule takes a shot to the head, I'm afraid, because as I become more invested in growing my business, these intentions are going to impinge on and irrevocably alter my Daily Schedule! Here we go:
(1) Setting up webinars.
(2) Doing some marketing in regards to my blog, and looking into video and audio blogging.
(3) Communicating on a daily basis with my fellow artists - through LinkedIn, email, Skype, whatever it takes.
(4) Continuing to learn about licensing from Tara Reed, Joan Beiriger and others. And continuing to apply what I'm learning!
(5) Preparing art for Valentine's Day projects I've been invited to participate in.
(6) Continuing to work on my art collections so that I have 12 pieces for each collection; this is supposed to be the magic number.
(7) Continuing to create other artistic marketing tools that are not yet completed.
This is more organizational thinking than I've ever done in my life - at least for my own business. I've been an administrative type for too many years to count, and I've done the organizational bit for others' businesses. But for my own? Different! And now that I'm looking at the daily schedule and the intentions -uh - I'm gonna have to do my daily schedule over again. D'oh!
I will be having a talk with my cat, Thomas, to let him know that if my head explodes, he should just prop me up against my desk until I come to.
Oh yes...I forgot about the recording session I'm going to be doing on the 6th for my singing. Where does that fit in, exactly?
If anyone has any better organizational ideas, I am all ears!
You gotta start somewhere.
Tara Reed – Licensed Artist Extraordinaire – got into art licensing from a marketing perspective. She was a trained marketer, and not so much an artist. But she liked the idea of art and marketing as a union and is now a very successful artist and art licensor: Licensing via marketing.
Artists, from the great masters like Picasso and Van Gogh, to more recent popular painters like Thomas Kincaid, were artists, not marketers, and now their art can be found on so many products! Licensing via artisanship.
There’s an expression: Bloom where you’re planted. It took me a while to get what that one meant for me. Now I know. I’m an artist; that’s where I’m planted. And I must be a good gardener if I'm going to bloom in a healthy and lush way. So, that means pruning the bushes. What are the weeds? Simply my ignorance, and it's easy to deal with that. I just have to know what I don't know, so that I can find out! In the interest of honesty, then, here it is: I’m not a marketer. But I can learn. I can plant some of those brand new seeds now, while I prune the bushes of my ignorance.
Letting myself share my art, benefit from it financially, and love my life is the whole point of this exercise! That's my intention. So, to bloom where I’m planted means (1) letting myself accept the opportunities that come my way, and (2) figuring out – or just being honest about – what I don’t know, so that I can learn.
More honesty: I’m not a businesswoman…hold on. Wait just a minute there. I just sold 20 greeting cards for $2 each to a local book shop. They additionally asked me to be their artist of the month this coming August; my work will be in their window for an entire month! An artisan shop in Livermore, CA (The Artistic Edge) is going to carry my cards and giclees, and also asked me to be part of some art events in January and February where I will sell some of my work. And someone hired me recently to make some artwork for them to use on a flyer for their workshops, and paid me $250! Do you know what this means? I’m a professional artist!!!!
And in case you’re thinking: Well, that’s not art licensing, I’m sticking my tongue out at you, because I have just moved so much closer to my first licensing contract. The buzz is starting, about my work. It’s a small buzz, but it’s real. Feet-on-the-ground real. And not only my confidence, but my faith in myself and in the process is rising like mad! And my determination is on the rise, and that’s what it takes – we have to feel certain, and passionate, and determined and sure! Not “hopeful” and “wishful” that something “might” happen, because that puts the entire thing out of our hands; hoping and wishing always feels to me like expecting a likelihood that my dreams won't come true.
I deserve better than that. Rather than hope, I am going to make damned certain that I will be recognized, because I can!
I started from a place, once upon a long time ago, where I drew, but did not consider myself an artist. Then I went to a place where I felt like an artist, but not one that anyone might pay attention to. And then I started to admire my own work, after which I was able to talk glowingly about it to others, and accept opportunities and walk into them. Amazing. And now I am paying attention to teachers like Tara Reed and others who know about the world of art licensing, and offer guidance. I now know that I need to have at least 12 images of each collection to present, so that is what I am working on. And I am knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that my steps are meaningful and exciting and purposeful because they are growing me along with my art so that when I take off – and I will take off – it will be with my feet on the ground. Incredible.
You can get there from here, wherever your “here” is. It doesn’t matter where you start. Knowing that you are an artist, start looking for anything that allows the expression of that reality. Don’t insist that that opportunity (or opportunities) look like you think it ought to. Forward movement – that’s the ticket. And being humble enough to see how what you’re doing right now is perfect for the development of your person. That person that is going to reach your goals step by step, right from where you stand.
Glorious! Aren't we?
You bet we are.
I have read about art licensing a lot this year - and about how it is supposed to be really hard to "break in". Challenging to keep the faith with that kind of message, but it's the holidays, and what the season of miracles does well is remind us of the Truths that we need to keep in mind:
We're going to make it.
We're going to succeed.
We're going to define our successes in ways that support us on this amazing path.
And we're going to do it all in 2012. We're going to do it by:
1) Keeping our eyes on the prize, whatever our individual prizes are considered to be.
2) Knowing that success is step by step - that success is actually comprised of successes.
2) Letting possibilities be our focus, and rewards be those that are unexpected (whoopee!) as well as hoped for.
3) Keeping the fun in our efforts, and letting go of the attitudes that give us anxiety, because anxiety just slows us down.
4) Understanding that this is a journey.
5) And setting up a schedule of submissions, because this is a numbers game.
So I'm giving myself a birthday present (Christmas Eve is my birthday), and a holiday gift (Channukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Years): I'm giving myself the benefit of the doubt, tied up with the most beautiful bow. I'm also giving myself the gifts of focus, perseverance, compassion and patience.
And I'm accepting those gifts whole-heartedly.
I wish the same for you in your artistry, in your year to come, in your hearts and self-love and in your creative efforts. I'm honored to be on this journey with you.
Thank you so much - those of you who have appreciated my blog this year, and those who have reached out and expressed that appreciation. Stay tuned: Next year will see more blogging, and maybe even some audio and video blogging.
May the holidays be joyous for you, and may the new year find you with renewed strength, enthusiasm, and the friendship of other artists to help you along the way.
I will be honest with you: I have spent many years perfecting the art of being real, which can lead toward not feeling particularly positive, sometimes. But I have been making a big change in my outlook - towards the positive. Not the Pollyanna outlook - heavens, no! That wouldn't work for a former Negativista or someone with simply a realistic attitude! - but an outlook that says I'm on the way to wonderful, and I know it because I'm having fun with some of my efforts right now.
So, the difficult thing of this season was: I was "freed" from my long-term temporary job a week before Thanksgiving. Almost everybody I speak to tells me that I should look at this as an opportunity to really focus on my art. That works for me until I have bills come in - then it takes some effort to keep the faith.
One thing that helps me stay afloat in my boat called I-do-believe-my-efforts-are-working is that my step-at-a-time process is working these days! Licensing isn't happening at the moment, but something else is, and it's amazing! I'm thinking that the purpose of this seeming side-road detour is the opportunity to build my confidence and keep teaching me what I know to be true, but so often forget to remember (if you know what I mean), which is that if it ain't some degree of enjoyable and instructive, forget about it. Some people can push against life and wrestle it to the ground and make it give up its secrets, its money, its successes. Not me, it seems. The harder I push, the less seems to happen. And if you don't think that frustrates me, well, you would be wrong!
So, taking the Humility Path, so to speak, here are the doors that started opening without my even trying!
But I'm taking these particular avenues at the same time because these are the doors that are opening in front of me and it is important to me that I walk through every level of this process; from the beginning to the end, the "low" to the "high". It is important because I have made the mistake in the past of trying to swim in the deep end of every business pool, before I have waded into the baby pool, which has netted me no results. I'm willing to try this approach, even though the part of me that really loves deep-sea diving types of efforts is screaming; because it's real. Because I will get there from here.
So, my next plan is to make a list of places to submit my work for art licensing, choose how many submissions to strive for each day, and start working the numbers. It's a numbers game, right? And in the meanwhile, while my confidence and experience grows, I find that the people I'm meeting give me incredible pieces of information, not to mention ideas for new artwork. What a path. What an adventure. And sometimes - let's be honest - what a pain in the neck!
It takes courage to find our own way. It takes patience and persistence to get art licensing going. It takes a passion for art to get us to open every door, knowing that we're on the way there, somehow, and that whoever is touched by our work in any way is a big part of why we do it. All roads lead to Rome, they say; it is wonderful to have your good company along the way, my fellow artists!
Lordy, I'm tired.
I'm tired of my own nonsense. What is this junk I hear in my own head??? "They accepted me! They rejected me!" Nonsense! I am walking through a field of flowers, and some of them will spray me with yellow gunk, so I avoid those; and some of them look nice but have hooky thorns - so I disentangle, put on a band-aid and keep on a'walkin'; and some of them caress my face as I lean down to smell them. It's my good fortune to be honing my skills around discrimination, judgment, and plain ol' horse sense.
In fact, there's something else in the field: brand new, never-before seen plants, and I'm just the girl to plant 'em! I'm bringing the seeds of Art Licensing Awareness to those who didn't even know they needed me, or that they could need me!
I'll be at an Entrepreneurial Fair in a few days, and while I'm hawking my cards, I"m also hawking Art Licensing - which means I'm going to be educating some folks! (The nice extra in this is that to some of them I'll look like a brilliant goddess of knowledge. Won't that be fun? Why yes it will!) I'm printing out some pages with art shown on products (no, I have not had any products actually created yet, but I have put together images of what shower curtains, and mugs, and clocks and all kinds of things will look like with my beautiful artwork on it!). I will have those pages at my table, and I will have them tabbed: Cards, Art Licensing for Your Business, Wall Art. And people will stop and look and say to me, "What is Art Licensing?" and I will say, "So glad you asked!"
And since I will have these sample pictures in my book (alongside my designs for wall art and cards), even those who can not imagine how they could make good use of what I have to offer - personally,or professionally - will be helped to think outside of their normal ruts! I will see the little light bulb go on over their head, and hey presto! they will fill out my order forms like rabbits creating lots of smaller rabbits!
It should be fun, and I'll bet you it turns out to be lucrative!
So...Keep creating - not just the artwork of your hands, but the artistry of your fine minds - and I'll meet you on the flip side of this one and let you know what happened!
Cheers and blessings!
Thinking outside the box is something that madly successful people do - not following the rules, but making new ones that work.
That sounds good, doesn't it?
I've been thinking about how often I've subscribed to "the rules" - you know, those rules that someone or everyone teaches you that you blindly follow the rest of your life. In my life, that has translated to thinking that there is a Point A and a Point B, and there is only starting at Point A and winding up at Point B. Which has gotten me roughly...nowhere.
In other words, (A) In order to be a successful licensed artist, (B) I must be licensing my art. What if there is a "C" to that one? What if the "C" is the art of living your life for the joy of it, and letting the Truth of yourself - you are a successful artist - come to fruition and reveal itself to you, beautifully?
I am opening up to being a full-time artist and actor, and I am more than happy to let that begin (and continue!) in even the most unexpected of ways. And that is exactly what is happening.
I started an art project a year ago that I put down because I thought, "Well, that's not art licensing!" But I just picked it up again and when complete I'm going to use it for a webinar which is going to help both the artist and the non-artist with freer self-expression! And I don't have to worry about whether that is Point B on my path - you never know who will see your work.
And as for the webinar, what could be lovelier than to talk and work with others about art, and have the work go deeper than the art itself, into that upon which we all build our artistic expressions: instinct, intuition, intention, and release?
When I began my look into art licensing, it was from a purely financial perspectivce. But as I delve into this path, more and more I find all that I love is finding its place in the work: mystery and magic, joy and wonder, spirit and fun.
It seems that in leaving the myopia of "I'm going to be a licensed artist only" behind, I continuously float closer to that artistic goal - and have a grand time as I go along. And that is an artistic life.
Hi! I am a licensing artist, professional actor, and ardent lover of just about anything creative. My motto is "Enjoy! Succeed! Share!" This blog is a window into art licensing as well as my artwork and the creative process that feeds, delights and sometimes pummels us all. Here's to the artists!