Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Free patterns! and Would a Poll be Fun?


Hi Everyone,

It has been awhile since I posted the link to the handful of patterns I have. They are FREE for personal and commercial use. Cool Beans!

There is a chevron, a "skip" chevron,  squares, scatter dots as well as the patterns above that I just uploaded to the 'download' page. (Blogger isn't set up for downloads).

SHOUT OUT to my son (graphic designer for Big Frog Custom T-shirts and More). He is the creator of the sweater pattern. :-D

Feel free to convert these to your program of choice, scale them etc.

Poll Questions: 

I am thinking it might be fun to have a poll on the blog. Are there any questions you would like to see in the poll? Example:
Do you have more than one job?
Do you have multiple streams of income for your art?
Do you hire help with bookkeeping/taxes?
Do you paint out of the tube?
What time of day are you the most creative?
Do you consider chocolate as a food group? - I do <3

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Sign up for my newsletter. (top right of this page). I hit the highlights once a month with links back to the blog. Giveaways will be announced to newsletter subscribers first :-)

I really appreciate the 4,000+ page visits a month from all of you! This blog only works because of you, your input, support and feed back. Looking forward to hearing what you think!

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Anne Was Here

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I’ve been passionately creating since I was a little girl but I never understood that I could have a career in art outside of being a gallery artist, which I wasn’t interested in. I double majored in Studio Art and Speech Communication in college with no intention of pursuing art as a career. I did know I wanted to be in a creative field and I got my first job working in an architecture & interior design firm. I ended up being an interior designer for almost 8 years. As an interior designer I was introduced to Photoshop and Illustrator and realized that I was more interested in print design. I started taking night classes while working full time and eventually got a job as a designer for a large stationery and gift manufacturer. For the first time since college, I was drawing and painting again. But this time I was creating art for products and I loved it! Working as an in-house product designer was an extremely valuable experience because I worked on all stages of the process including getting retail buyer input, designing, production all the way through to product sample reviews. I would highly recommend working as an in-house designer for a product manufacturer early on in a design career, it’s a great way to learn the ins and outs of making art that sells product and knowing how to work with manufacturers. At this job I developed my illustration style and after a few years realized that I wanted credit for my art. I started my own illustration and art licensing business, Anne Was Here, in May of 2014.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I work in several mediums including gouache, watercolor, Illustrator and Photoshop. Most often I work right in Photoshop using my Wacom Cintiq which allows me to paint digitally. Having learned Photoshop from the vantage point of multiple fields of discipline I received a really well rounded and in depth understanding of the program. After getting to know a lot of artists in the art licensing industry, I realized that so many of them were doing things the hard way when it came to Photoshop. I started creating some short video tutorials for artist friends to help them save time and hassle. Eventually I decided I wanted to share my time saving tips and tricks with artists on YouTube. I’ve included my YouTube channel information below, please subscribe if you’re interested! If enough people express interest, I’m entertaining teaching a more in depth Photoshop Class for Artists in the near future.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
I am inspired by the things that many artists are; nature, culture/travel, and amazing artists past and present. But even more than that, I am inspired by people who take risks to pursue their passions. I listen to a lot of creative podcasts/webinars and get a lot out of the interviews. Some of my favorites are, Smart Creative Women, Fresh Rag, TED Radio Hour, and Creative Live. I think there is so much to learn from listening to other creatives talk about their own successes and failures, how they got where they are, how they worked through problems and how they strategized for the future. I always feel so fired up after listening to someone who I admire talk about their creative journey. I am also involved in several artist groups that meet either physically or virtually on a regular basis to provide support, feedback and inspiration to each other. The artists that I have met and befriended in these groups have been incredibly inspiring to me!

What are you working on now?
I am thankful to have so many exciting projects that I am working on right now! Some of the bigger projects are my third fabric collection for Clothworks, a series of calendars for Orange Circle Studio, several gift lines with Tri-Coastal Design, developing my own product line, and preparing for my debut exhibition at the 2015 Licensing Expo in Las Vegas! I’ll be blogging about preparations for the show and sharing tips from my experience as well as lots of photos of set up, finished booths and people at the show. I found that while there is a lot of information available about Surtex, there is very little information out there on the Licensing Expo for artists. I’m hoping to change that! You can follow along on via Instagram, Facebook or my blog. Details below.

Anything else you would like to share with us?
If I could offer advice from my humble experience, I would say do not underestimate the value of paying for good advice or assistance. The right advice is worth every penny! I don’t have an agent, and so far I’ve been able to manage on my own better than I expected to. That being said, there have been times that I’ve needed help and I paid for expert assistance. I have never regretted doing that. Not only did I receive help on the immediate problem, but I also learned through the process of working with these experts how to better handle things in the future. The awesome Maria Brophy who “helps artists master the business of art, one strategy at a time,” helped me navigate through a complex contract and also negotiated on my behalf. Check Maria out at I can also recommend Jennifer Nelson, who is an amazing art agent that is offering her advice and consulting for professional artists. Jennifer offered incredible insights to my licensing career and also helped me craft language for a contract I needed. I ended up getting everything I wanted out of that deal! You can find out more about Jennifer Nelson’s advice for artists at 

Are you an early riser? or night owl?

Neither! Isn’t that horrible!? I am Oscar the Grouch in the morning and turn into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight. However, I know that this is not a recipe for success so I force myself to get up early every weekday and be productive. I may or may not spend most of the day working in my pajamas though.

What is your favorite food?
I have a life long love affair with Mexican food. Can’t get enough.

You can find Anne:

Instagram: @annewashereandthere
Twitter: @annewashere1
Etsy Shop:
Society6 Shop:

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Bo's bLAWg: Trademark Basics


MJ Bogatin (“Bo”) of Bogatin, Corman & Gold, is an Arts and Entertainment Attorney in San Francisco.  He is also Co-President of California Lawyers for the Arts.  Bo is available to answer some of your questions surrounding the business of Art Licensing. - THANKS BO! 


'I saw that you need to decide on your trademark application whether you are selling goods (a product) or services. I'm hoping to sell goods but then I saw that if you plan on selling on your website that's considered services?? Can I choose both goods & services? Thank you! Kathy'

The short answer to this question is that trademarks can apply to goods and services, in which case you want to look to register your trademark in both classes – which you can do at the same time, but which requires additional application fees.

What this question also invites is an opportunity for me to address the fundamentals of trademark law. Like copyright, trademarks are a matter of Federal law – the Lanham Act, 15 USC Chapter 22,  However, this Act applies only to goods and services in interstate commerce.  Goods and services that are made available ‘locally’ in intrastate commerce, would not necessarily qualify for Federal Registration, but would be eligible for State Registration.  Most states provide for registration of such marks through their respective Secretary of State Office.

In my prior bLAWgs I have focused upon Copyright issues.  There is a keen distinction between Copyrights and Trademarks that is a “natural” aspect of the intellectual property interests of their owners and creators.  First, let’s distinguish between them by definition.

Remember, a Copyright is the original expression of an idea by way of writing, composition or recording.  A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others, while a service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods.  The popular term these days for such commercial identification is “branding.” The word “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks. 

Copyright law allows for multiple Authors to claim an IP right in a substantially similar original expression of an idea. Hence, there are legitimate claims of right to very similar illustrations, photographs and paintings.  Any and all of such Authors can claim ownership of their own original expression as long as they have not copied from the other.  An example:  Every tourist who takes a photograph of the Golden Gate Bridge at the same moment of dusk from the same pinnacle at Lands End can have their own copyright claim in that unique photograph, and all the exclusive rights that attach to their photograph.  However, it is not an infringement of their Copyright for another photographer to publish and exploit a nearly identical photograph!

On the other hand, because trademarks are for the purpose of identification of the source of specific goods and services, it is important that the owner of a given trademark have the exclusive right of use to that mark as against any and all others who might like to use the same or a similar mark in the same class of goods or services.  The purpose of this exclusive interest is to insure the public consumers that they are purchasing the brand they are intending to purchase, not a ‘pretender.’ You may not have realized it, but underlying the purpose of trademark law is consumer protection! 

The Trademark Office has identified 34 classes of different goods and 11 of services from which the prospective Trademark registration applicant must select the most appropriate for their product or service.  Hence, it is possible that there are similar Trademarks in other classes, but obviously not related to one another, and will neither compete with one another or lead to public confusion.  Hence you could have both Apple Computers and Apple Records operating at the same time without a problem.  However, once Apple Computers got into the music business (with iTunes etc), litigation commenced.

Unlike Copyright, where ownership in a similar representation (of an object) can be claimed again and again, the maxim for Trademark is, “First in time is first in right.”  The first person (or company) to use a given word or logo as their trademark has a “senior” user right (superior right of use) against any latecomer (“junior” user) who might want to use the same or a confusingly similar mark.  The basic legal test for Trademark infringement is whether or not use of a given mark may cause public confusion as to the source of such goods or service.  There need not be actual public confusion for a mark to be refused registration.  It is enough that a junior mark may confuse the public as to the source of the seller’s good or services.

Must all marks be registered? No, but Federal registration has several advantages, including a notice to the public of the registrant's claim of ownership of the mark, a legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and the exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services set forth in the registration.

If you claim rights to use an unregistered mark, you may use the "TM" (trademark) or "SM" (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim of ownership of the mark, regardless of whether you have filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, you may only use the federal registration symbol "®" after the USPTO actually registers a mark, and not while an application is pending.

The Trademark Office fees for an online registration range from $225 to $325 per mark per class.  The Lanham Act allows for registration of a mark the applicant has an Intent To Use (“ITU”) to reserve rights in the mark pending manufacture and distribution.  (15 U.S.C. § 1051b) 

So, Kathy, if you intend to use the same Trademark for both goods and services, be sure to first do a thorough search of marks being used in the classes of each.  One senior rights-holder with  the same or a confusingly similar mark in one class or the other will likely spoil your plan to use the same mark for both.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is not intended as legal advice or a solicitation of business. 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,

You can use the search box at the top of the page to read more Bo's bLAWgs.
Send me your questions for Bo! Thanks,

Friday, April 10, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Karen Thrasher

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I actually went to architecture school at the University of Kansas; I've practiced commercial architecture for over 15 years. 

My artistic endeavors which have kept me sane all these years have been self taught explorations.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?

Ever since I was young, my first love was working with pencil and charcoals.  Since architecture school, I find myself exploring more with pen and markers.  Then recently I find myself drawn to the digital format, crafting pieces which fit more in graphic the design and the typography arts. 

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?

This is a tough question--what doesn't inspire me?  I guess I would point to the colors of the seasons and nature as well as the textiles I seek out or come across.  Its funny, my mother was a seamstress when I was growing up.  I couldn't tell you how I much hated it when she would drag my sisters and I into a fabric store!  Of course when you're young, those trips seemed to last hours and hours.  Now, I do the same thing to my own son just to browse through the fantastic patterns, colors and styles.

What are you working on now?

I've been concentrating my efforts on filling out my own greeting card line:  Doodle Therapy.  It's most definitely been a learning process.  I started just under a year ago as an effort to reconnect with my artistic roots after becoming burned out with architecture...hence the name Doodle Therapy.  In doing such, I've begun to hone in my 'style' and explore various mediums. 

Anything else you would like to share with us?

I'm grateful for having artwork in my life and the means or ability to push myself to share it with others.  At the beginning of this year, I left the architectural firm I had been with for over nine years in order to work for myself and explore other opportunities outside of the architecture world (i.e. art and illustration).  I've never felt more alive and more like myself!  So fulfilling!  But part of the process has been to learn to let go of the fear of sharing my art.  Not having the formal training others do, I often feared being called out by others.  It's been an incredible experience to summons the courage to reach out to local shops and other vendors in order to get my artwork out there.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
I am definitely an early riser.  In fact, if I find I'm most productive before 4pm.  After that, I just seem to hit a wall and things go a bit haywire!

What is your favorite food?

I'd love to say something fancy like sushi, which I do love, but the truth is I'd settle for cheese. In any form.  On just about anything.  Cheese makes me happy.

You can find Karen:
Facebook: DoodleTherapy
Instagram: @doodle.therapy
Etsy: DoodleTherapy

THANK YOU for stopping by my blog!
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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"2nd Thursdays" is Tomorrow! April 9, 2015

Hi Everyone,
Just a quick reminder that "2nd Thursdays" meets tomorrow April 9th, 6:30 pm Central time.

The group is part of you can find it here:

Since we have such a large group, we meet in a chat room. NOTE: the link will change each month! I have posted the new link in the group info and on the group wall.

I am Thrilled to announce Madeline Faiella has partnered with me to help manage this group. THANKS MADELINE!

Bring your favorite beverage and what you want to chatter about! Really looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow :-)

Friday, April 3, 2015

10 Things You Don't Know About Me

1. Hired a PR firm to market my graphic design business.
Many of you know I have an agent :-) I used to do it all on my own and I really like having such talented help! PR firm:  Agent:

2. Mashed potatoes and gravy is/are my favorite food!
Since I have a mild chocolate addiction - I best mention chocolate is also my favorite food.

3. Always have a couple of running to-do lists.
Usually just two list. One work, one personal. They help keep me on track AND are a good way to remember things. It empties my spinning head :-) I never get all the way through a list because there is usually something new to add. That is OK, it is job security! I re-write my work to-do list every couple of days or so - it gets messy.

4. Own TWO Volkswagen Beetles...
When my daughter (19 yrs.) turned 16, I gave her my beloved red VW bug and purchased a newer used yellow VW bug - you can click the photo if you need it larger for reading. Yes! we get looks when people see two bugs in the driveway/garage... My daughter and I are like Ketchup and Mustard ;-)

5. Like to use paint out of the tube.
I know you palette mixers are cringing right about now. It is practicle. No mixing or a lot less mixing of color. Easy to pick up later, I don't have to try to save mixed paint. And, I like the bright colors right out of the tube.

6. Exercise every day Monday - Friday.
Why?! I think part of it is just that I have been doing it so long. Also, I can sit/stand alone in my office for long periods of time and it gets me out of the office. I played a lot of sports growing up and like to move.

7. Make jumping frogs and stars when I am scanning in a collection.
The frogs are a half of a post-it note. The stars are cut strips of paper 1/2" x 11". I scan really large and it takes a few minutes to scan an image in. My son (23 yrs). Is a graphic designer for Big Frog Custom T-shirts and More. He took a half gallon mason jar to work full of frogs! They hand them out to kids and adults :-)

8. Spelling is a stuggle for me - I leave out words too. (struggle ;-)
Just always has been a challenge. No clue why - I will see (later) a post of mine on social media with a type-o or an oops. There are worse things in life. When spell check came out - I was THRILLED!

9. My cat Freckles fetches paper wads.
I had another cat that did this too. It just happens over time. I throw a small paper wad an they attack it. Over time, they figure out if they bring it back, I will throw it again.

10. Need to call the copyright office - again.
I have a collection that has been on the copyright site for 13 months. They must be busy.

Whatcha think? Any questions for me? :-) Anything you want to share?
Thank you for stopping by the blog - always fun to see you.

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