Friday, January 30, 2015

Peek into Creating Art for Licensing - Patriotic

Happy Friday Creative Souls!

I like to see how other artist create their work. Everyone creates a bit differently. These are progress photos for acrylic paint on canvas panel. I have done this a bit backwards. If I were creating a 'typical' painting I might paint the entire background and then paint the detail on top. It just depends on what I want when I am finished.

First I sketch out ideas - in this case 'icons' for a patriotic theme. Nothing fancy, this is computer printer paper. I also make some notes, so that as I am painting these I don't forget what I was thinking! (click on images to see them larger).

Next I clean up and re-draw to scale of the canvas panel I will be painting on. For this collection I scribbled on the back of my drawing with pencil so I could trace/transfer it on to the canvas panel. The largest panel is 8x10 so it will fit on my scanner.

Jump in and start to paint! I paint the 'icon' first so that I can scan it in an drop out the background easily.

Time to scan, These do have quite a bit of texture - some of it will get lost when you scan it and color correct. You could take photos to capture more texture.

Once I have the isolated icons scanned in, I finish the paintings and then scan them in again. Since I do paint some background only panels - I don't know that I need to do this step, but it does give me a few more options.

Now it is computer time to set up patterns and product mocks! Taaaa Daaaaa!

Do you paint with acrylics? How do you use that medium to create art for licensing? I would love to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by :-)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Teresa Ascone

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
First, Ann, I want to thank you for this interview. As we know, getting the word out is of primary importance – a key component in the field of licensing. This is a big favor for me! About me: I’m a 69-year-old lifelong Alaskan who has been in the arts field for about 35 years. I’m a poster woman for “it’s never too late!” I do not have a degree, but have taken instruction from many artists and studied on my own. I was fortunate to have early luck in selling my landscapes, which encouraged me to continue. My licensing venture started in about 2007, when I met a woman through a gift shop owner here who became my first mentor in licensing. She was a rep for several fabric manufacturers, had faith in me, and eventually succeeded in getting my line, Creatures of the Wild, with Robert Kaufman Fabrics in 2011. Actually, in the middle of that time another mentor, a rep for gift lines, had gotten my artwork on tempered glass kitchen art and asked me for an “artsy salmon” that could go onto tempered glass trays. I dithered around and it took me about a year to get the art to her due to fear and procrastination -  and it was the true beginning of my wildlife art, which led to the fabric license. I am so grateful for the role models and mentors who have guided me along this licensing path. Without them I would be nowhere in licensing.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?

I live in Alaska, where the rugged landscape dominates and the grandeur of the mountains will not be ignored. When I began to paint, my perceptions changed and it was as if I saw everything through a lens of creativity – how would I paint those clouds, that mountain?

Creative excitement and the lure of wielding magic have kept me engaged in the world of art. Yes, magic – because there is something magical about touching brush to paper and creating something that did not exist before. New inspiration happens as my work evolves and new tools come into play. Computer design programs add more magic to the mix as my pencils and paint evolve into stylus and pad, becoming a launching pad into different realms. I suppose I will continue to do art until I cannot hold a brush or stylus – it’s an innate part of my being.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?

I began in oils, then pastels, then watercolor. Now I’m mainly working with watercolor as a basis in design work, and turning to Photoshop for finishing. I learned the hard way to save in layers so that tweaking is easier! Different manufacturers need art that will fit their particular products.

What are you working on now?
I always have several projects going at once. I recently have had my art licensed to Sandstone Creations a deal which came from the same rep who wanted the artsy salmon. Right now, I’m working on the 2016 Creatures of the Wild line for Kaufman, some floral designs for my Spoonflower page, and always, the fairies are hovering around wanting attention. Wait! Before you think I’m in la-la land, I must tell you that my abiding love is for the Alaska Berry Fairies. I have written and illustrated two fairy tales, published by my own Alaskan Portfolio Press, featuring the fairies. I continue to create more fairies, and have them on several products such as lip gloss and blueberry soap (packaging images licensed to Denali Dreams) tempered glass coasters and trivets (McGowan Manufacturing). My friend Chris of Chris Hearts Collectibles is a wizard of fabric art. She has created sweet fairy aprons and other items from the specialty berry fairy fabric I have at Spoonflower.  I have two additional tales written but not illustrated yet. The fairies will always be with me!
My website is:

I’m currently in a project to archive all of my artwork that I can find. The most complete collection is here:

I am active on Pinterest:

Here is my featured artist page on Kaufman:

Spoonflower page:

Taku Graphics has represented me for cards, magnets, prints, and books since 1992:

My watercolor tutorials are here:

Friend me here:

Twitter feed:

Linked in:

Anything else you want to tell everyone?
Well. There is so much to say, Ann. I believe the most abiding qualities we artists must have are: an irresistible urge to create; relentless optimism; determination; discipline; and a plan of action. I’ve already mentioned the importance of seeking out role models and mentors. That said, I must also admit that I fall short on these qualities often, especially discipline. I would say, “Keep going. Keep creating. Keep getting the word out through the many avenues we have today.” Social networking has been a boon to us artists. Also vital is the world of computers. We can send images by digital means these days instead of sending slides in the mail, and make connections with our own websites and email.

Also I would advise budding licensors to learn something new every day; create something every day.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
Early riser! My best energy is in the morning.

What is your favorite food?
I love Italian food and good wine, preferably together. I also thrive on fresh vegetables and especially fruit – something we had little of as I grew up in Alaska. My parents would occasionally bring home a bag of oranges or apples, which we children would fall upon like a swarm of locusts. We would pick wild berries too, which are plentiful in Alaska. Southcentral Alaska has grown so much. I feel fortunate to live in an area where now we have such diversity in population that one can get Thai, Chinese, Sushi, Italian, just about any kind of food you desire. My dad was a hunter so we were raised on moose meat, salmon, and other Alaska game. Now you can get anything!

Contact: email:

THANK YOU for stopping by my blog!
Do you want to be spotlighted? Send me an email:
Make my day and follow this blog :-D

Friday, January 16, 2015

Bo's bLAWg

MJ Bogatin (Bo) of Bogatin, Corman & Gold answers some of your questions surrounding the business of Art Licening. - THANKS BO!

Q: Is it ok to show work (to public, manufacturers, art directors…) if you have not gotten a certificate showing the work is registered at the us copyright office. I understand it is taking a long time to get one.

A: Yes, it is okay. Even though online registration is presently taking up to eight months for the Copyright office to complete, the short answer is that your copyright registration will ‘relate back’ to the time your application was filed as long as it included all particular information, specimens and fees that are required. This is established by the Copyright Act itself, Title 17, Section 410(d)  The Copyright Act can be accessed online at .  See also the Copyright Office FAQ on this issue at

However, you do not need to have submitted an application for registration of copyright, much less received your certificate, to have a valid copyright interest in your artworks. First, as long as there is sufficient original creative expression, you have a copyright at the time of creation. Registration with the US Copyright Office simply adds valuable statutory protections that you would not otherwise have, and, if your unregistered artwork is infringed upon, you may not be able to afford to bring a lawsuit without registration protection. These statutory protections include: 1) the right to elect statutory damages of up to $150,000 for a willful infringement of your copyright instead of being limited to “actual damages” which may consist only of the infringer’s profits – if any; and 2) the right to ask the court to have the infringer pay your legal fees and costs, which you would otherwise have to bear yourself. (See Copyright Act Sections 504 and 505.)

Copyright law allows an Author/Artist to have three months from “publication” of her artwork to apply for registration, per Section 411(c)2 and 412.  So, even if your work were infringed upon by your distribution or imagery to art directors and manufacturers for potential licensing and/or sale, if you file your registration application within that three month window and your registration is subsequently granted, you will have the indicated statutory benefits.  That means you would not only be able to threaten a $150,000 willful infringement claim under Section 504(c), but a Copyright litigation attorney would likely take the matter on a contingent fee basis(!)

I should not fail to note that the Copyright Office recognizes a limited right of display of artworks other than for licensing or sale.  Such personal displays would not count as ‘publication’ and thus extend the opportunity to register within three months of a “legal publication.”  However, it is likely to be argued that your showing the artwork to the “public” is ultimately for the purpose of obtaining a sale or licensing opportunity.  Accordingly, to be safe, I recommend pursuing registration within three months of any first potential “publication” to people or entities that might make use or the imagery without a license from you.

If you have further questions about this that you want to direct to me personally, I can be contacted through my website linked below.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is not intended as legal advice. Because the law is not static, and one situation may differ from the next, we cannot assume responsibility for any actions taken based on information contained herein. Also, be aware that the law may vary from state. Therefore, this website cannot replace the advice of an experienced attorney. Receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. MJ Bogatin, Bogatin, Corman & Gold,

Thank you so much Bo! EVERYONE, watch for Bo's post next month. If you don't want to miss these, I will post a link in my newsletter or follow this blog :-)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Nancy Lemon

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I have been drawing since I was able to wield a crayon!  I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Clemson University and completed graduate studies in illustration at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta, GA.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
I get inspiration from nature, old photographs, making silly lists (ex: "Things that make me happy", "simple pleasures", "in the kitchen") and then drawing them, going to the library to look at children's books. Walking can be a bit like meditating, and it helps if I ever get stuck. So sometimes I'll pop my little girl in the stroller and daydream as we cruise around the neighborhood. Many times, she sparks ideas, as the world is still very new to her. It is very inspirational to see her get excited by birds or the moon.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I am a bit ADD (I prefer the term 'curious') when it comes to materials, and I work in several...pencil, pen & ink, watercolor, gouache and digitally. Lately I have returned to carving my own stamps, stencils and linocuts. I love the smell of printing ink!

What are you working on now?
One of my pieces was recently used as a wallpaper for WeTransfer.

As it is the new year, I am busy taking stock and am tasking myself with creating a set of about 12-15 mixed media pieces of vintage ladies inspired by a stack of old photographs a friend gave me. In addition to this, I am really working on putting more into my Etsy store and my Society 6 store, focusing on printmaking.

Anything else you want to tell everyone?
I am fairly new to art licensing, but am experienced in illustration and graphic design. I've finally realized that to succeed in an artistic career, you also have to think in terms of your art as a business.  (Yes, this seems obvious, but for a long time I was wrapped up in just creating.) After writing out a business plan and some daily, monthly, and yearly goals, I am excited for all of the possibilities this new year will hold!

Are you an early riser? or night owl?

It just hit me today that while I fancy myself a night owl, I am really more creative in the morning.  However, with a toddler and a job, I have to fit in the art work wherever I can, so I guess I am just a cuckoo clock bird, fitting into whatever time is available!  

What is your favorite food?
This is I am a big fan of all food! I would probably have to go with sushi, as I only eat it as a special treat. :)

You can find Nancy:

Phone: 843.709.6411



THANK YOU for stopping by my blog!
Do you want to be spotlighted? Send me an email:
Make my day and follow this blog :-D

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year Giveaway! Starts Jan 6th - Ends Midnight Jan. 12th, 2015


Enter once a day to win these TWO books autographed by author Ronnie Walter - COOL BEANS! - Jeanie P. is the Winner!

No strings attached - I do need your email address to contact you when you win! I won't keep your email. I will post the winner's first name and last initial once they have been verified. 

"Gruesome Greetings: A Georgie Hardtman Mystery": I have a copy and have read the first few chapters and can't wait to read more!  Love this Amazon blurb: "Greeting card artist Georgie Hardtman is leaving Oslo Lake, Minnesota and heading off to New York City to exhibit at Art LicenseFest!, the biggest artist trade show of the year! She had high expectations for an exciting trip, but when she discovers a dead body in her booth on set-up day, everything---and everyone--- she thought she knew in this business is turned on its clever little art directed ear! And when another body turns up, Georgie can’t help but ask, “Am I next?” With her reputation at stake, Georgie needs to find the killer before the show closes in four days--but she’s not sure who she can trust as she delves into a world that looks cute on the outside but quickly turns sinister!"

"License to Draw": I have read this book and dig Ronnies sense of humor and can relate to her story :-) Here is the blurb about her book on Amazon: "Have you ever wanted to license your artwork on gifts, stationery and greeting cards? Artist and writer Ronnie Walter has done exactly that and now she's written a book about the ins and outs of the art licensing business. Written in a friendly and readable style, you'll find inspiration, motivation and a step by step explanation of how to get your work published. You'll also travel along Ronnie's journey of how she went from a scribbling third grader to a successful artist with hundreds of products generating royalties."

Back in February Ronnie was spotlighted on my blog - get to know her a bit and see some of her art here:

BIG thanks to Ronnie for donating the autographed books - girl you rock! 

Share this with your friends! You can enter once a day :-) US residents only. No PO boxes. See Terms and Conditions. Thanks so much!

Terms and Conditions: Giveaway ends January 13th, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. CDT. Open to Residents of the US only. Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes. Winner will be selected by and be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please note that and Ann Troe is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. I have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. I will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you. The product provided for the review was free of charge from the company. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Blogger and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone. I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.

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