Friday, August 14, 2015

How I am Building an Art Licensing Portfolio


Happy Friday Creative Souls! (Click images to see them larger)


Before I start, there are always many ways to do something. I don't think my way is by any means the best way :-). Also, it is a safe bet in a year from now, I will be doing things differently. Based on feed back from my fabulous agent artsdg.com and a manufacturer, I just recently made adjustments! This is a great thing <3




I am heavily icon based in creating art. So what I mean by that is I only occasionally complete a painting with background and supporting images. Depending on the collection, I will paint a couple of different backgrounds (this one has some different color washes for backgrounds). I put the icons etc, together in photoshop. The upside is speed. I am just shy of creating a collection a month. The downside is I don't have a finished original painting to sell. Another upside is it is easier to isolate the images when their isn't a background to remove. The photo below was taken close to completion.


A collection for me means 4 - 6 central images. (There are 3 "images" above). 6 snowmen doing different things would be the main players of a snowman collection. For the above collection I painted supporting images: Swirls, 4 ladybugs, 3 dragonflies, 3 leaves and I think that was it. It varies with each collection. Some are much larger.

After I get the painting done and scan in all the art, next comes patterns & borders! In the beginning I would do fewer patterns. Now I am setting up a minimum of 6 patterns, with at least two colorways (I usually do 3-4 colorways). The patterns can take as long as the first stage of creating and scanning. I like to be sure to have some subtle and or small scale patterns to use as backgrounds/textures. Borders are great to set up. They can ad more interest to a product and make a stripe pattern or two.


Finally I set up a few product mocks and tear sheets. (Image at the top of this post). I like doing the mocks for a few reasons. It lets my agent know a few of the products I think the art will be fabulous on. It shows a few ideas of how to use the art. I like it because it makes the art 'real' for me and gets me jazzed to see it on all kinds of products. Something I have started more recently is setting up some 4" x 6" layouts (flags, greeting cards etc.) some 6"x4" (rugs, doormats, placemats etc.) and some Round designs. I am wondering if I should set up some squares too - Do any of you set up square designs?

The tear sheets are portfolio pages for me. I also use them to upload to ArtLicensingShow.com to speed the uploading of art. 4 or so tear sheets shows the majority of a collection, instead of taking the time to upload each individual image/pattern/mock.

I have a list of collection ideas. It is pretty long. For example, I have 12 ideas for winter/holiday. I may never get to them all, but I write ideas down when they pop in my head. Usually when I am wrapping up the patterns and creating mocks I am thinking about the next collection and sketching out what I will do next. If I don't get it down, it disappears from my brain :-)

How do you build your portfolio and any please share any tips you may have. Thank you for stopping by the blog. It really makes my day! Sign up for my newsletter if you don't want to miss anything.










24 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tips Annie! Great when we can all learn from one another. Bless you!
    Mara Trumbo

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    1. Happy Friday Mara! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog - feel free to share any tips of your own if you like :-)

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  2. Great post Annie! I'm starting to research and build my portfolio and am always happy to hear what works for others in their process. Thanks for sharing - love those gorgeous flowers.

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    1. Hey Angelica! So welcome :-) THANK YOU for stopping by the blog!

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  3. This is really interesting, thanks for sharing your process. Love your designs and how you've laid them out. I work in a similar way creating several motifs on one page and not doing a complete painting. I do try and make some kind of story around a collection, this helps me pull ideas together, sometimes it's just one sentence, but it helps me focus. Your mock ups are gorgeous, I need to work on that and presentation, good to see yours.

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    1. Great tip to have a story around a collection - Thanks! I love it when we can trade tips/info. Thank you so much for stopping by the blog - 'see' you on social media!

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  4. I appreciate you sharing your process Annie and your work is so lovely. xx

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    1. Hi Daniela - Thank you! That is so wonderful to hear :-) Thanks for stopping by the blog <3

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  5. Thank you for sharing your process Ann, this is a great post.

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    1. MAY! Great to "see" you! Thank you for commenting :-D

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  6. Annie I work similarly but it's nice to see how you lay your images out. Thanks for the tip.

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    1. Patti - Great to hear someone else works similar to the way I do. I am sure it will change as I learn new things. Keep in touch and thanks for stopping by :-)

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    1. Deborah! You are the best! Thanks for all you do and commenting on the blog <3

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  8. your presentation is really professional, how do you set up your mock up? Is there a template out there I can download? THANKS

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    1. Hi Artistretreat :-) I have been a graphic designer for a long time. SO, some of the images I use for mock up I purchased a white stock photo for in the past. I believe people who have shops with places like Zazzle.com "use" some of their templates.

      On my 'Useful Stuff' blog page, under tools is a link to Phyllis Dobbs templates. If you purchase them, let me know what you think of them :-) http://phyllisdobbs.com/products/create-product-mockups/ I haven't purchased them, yet. Hope this helps a little.

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  9. Annie, What a wonderful, fresh, collection! Thanks SO much for sharing your process with us.

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    1. Hey Ev! REALLY appreciate your kind words and stopping by the blog! Keep in touch :-D

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  10. Annie thank you for sharing. Love your work

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    1. Nadia! So nice to "see" you ;-) Thanks so much for your kind words!

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  11. This is great advice, Annie! How do you get the mockups (like the pillows and plates) to add your design to? Did you photograph blank ones yourself? Thanks!

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    1. Hey Magill! I have been a graphic designer for a long time. SO, some of the images I use for mock up I purchased a white stock photo for in the past. I believe people who have shops with places like Zazzle.com "use" some of their templates for mocks.

      On my 'Useful Stuff' blog page, under tools is a link to Phyllis Dobbs templates. If you purchase them, let me know what you think of them :-) http://phyllisdobbs.com/products/create-product-mockups/ I haven't purchased them, yet. Hope this helps a little.

      Thank you for stopping by the blog!

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