Friday, May 30, 2014

Artist Spotlight - Leslie Mark


Don't you just love Leslie's color combinations!

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I have always loved to draw, paint, write, sew, and decorate. While others stood out for their athletics, musical talent or clever wit, I always felt most secure using my creative gifts. Studying business Administration at the University of Maine was a very practical choice motivated by limited resources and a misunderstanding of the career options in the arts. Although I don’t regret my path, I acknowledge that I am a late bloomer. These days I spend a good portion of my time scouring the internet for new sources of information about art, design, trends, tools, licensing and the industries that rely on art to sell products.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from? 
Growing up on a small Island off the coast of Maine where time stood nearly still and craftsmanship was highly valued, I have carried with me a love for nostalgia, simple lines and traditional forms. I find a tremendous amount of inspiration in the buds and blooms of the spring that follows the harsh Maine winter.

Do you work in just one medium? Several? 
Right now I concentrate almost exclusively on drawing. It is so simple and portable. I am most productive when I carry my sketch book and iphone with me so I can document everything that catches my eye. I use Adobe Illustrator to refine, colorize and layout finished patterns.

What are you working on now?
Right now I am working on a paisley print. I have always shied away from paisley for fear that it had all been done before. I challenged myself to put a new spin on the traditional pattern. I allowed myself to create some really ugly sketches and eventually, it started to feel more comfortable-even fun. 

In the bigger picture, I am working on designs which I hope will grab the attention of art buyers in the home fashions industry. I have worked with home decorating fabric in making window treatments, bedding, pillows etc. and I’m eager to break into this category. Currently, I have licensing contracts in the tabletop, rugs, cases for mobile devices and quilting fabric. My fabric collection, Unity, was manufactured and distributed to independent quilt shops through Clothworks Textiles ( The others are still in the product development stage, so I’ll keep you posted on those.

Anything else you want to tell everyone?
I try to acknowledge my gratitude every single day. I surround myself with a great group of people who also live in gratitude. At the top of my “thankful for “ list is my amazingly supportive husband of 23 years, 2 teenage boys who are kind and fun-even with each other,  a loving extended family and a core group of girlfriends that keep me laughing and on track.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
I am a night owl. I could work all night but I resist the urge knowing I will suffer the next day in the real world.

What is your favorite food?
That’s a tough one. Probably anything made by someone else. I am so over cooking. I do make a mean, green protein smoothy.

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

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Art Licensing Academy - June 3rd 2014

Quick Reminder

Note: May 29, 2014 - just found out this is the last time this class will be offered for $197. Next class with jump to $497. 50 spots are available and I know several have been sold already. FYI Annie.

If you are interested in Tara's group coaching: "Art Licensing Academy" - click the links from my blog for more information - I will get a commission if you sign up through clicking my links. THANK YOU in advance! This will help support me and my blog just a bit :-)

"The Art Licensing Academy is a  4 week Group Coaching Program that allows artists access to information, support and inspiration at the fraction of the cost of private coaching." 8 sessions for $197 and there are some bonuses too!

Thanks again everyone who stops by, shares, comments and follows this blog - I have gotten so much more than I can describe from all of you! :-)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Surtex 2014 and My Biggest Take-a-Way!

Art Licensing! (click photos to see them larger)


Surtex fires me up! I am going to start with my biggest take-a-way because I know you all are busy! Have you heard about It is Cherish Flieder's amazing site opening June 2. Founding Artists members can start signing up on May 27th - THAT is soon! No matter your role in the art licensing industry, this website is for you. It is 5 years in the making and I am very excited about it! Read about it and sign up for email updates here:

I got to meet Cherish - finally, and what fun we had at the Art of Licensing meet up! ( There were two drawings and ARTISTS! It was loads of fun talking with so many of you. We need to get together more often - it is so good for my soul :-D I had a few artists sign my Annie's Doodlebugz logo backpack including the fabulous Ronnie Walter. She has a new book: "License to Draw: How I built a fun career in art licensing and you can too!" ...I didn't want her to sign my iPad since I have the eBook version. :-)

Lastly I have to give a shout out & a big THANK YOU  to my Agents Lainey and Teresa - Parcai Designs. Because of all of their heavy lifting at Surtex (and through out the year!) I can connect with all of you :-)

Please share your Surtex experience with me! Thank you so much for stopping by.

Friday, May 16, 2014

First Selfie - Photo Bombed!


See you at Surtex!

Happy Friday Everyone :-) Yes. This is really my fist selfie! I think I have had my iPhone 6 months or so and it never occurred to me to take one. AND when I did—just a the few of my gang decided to photo bomb me.

I will hopefully get good Surtex show photos to look at - getting permission to take them of course! If I can I will post them before next Friday so you can see them ASAP.

Gotta get back to work. When ever I tell my clients I will be out of town, they swamp me with work. That is a good problem to have.

Looking forward to meeting many of you guys!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Peek Into Watercolor and Ink Process

Click images to view larger.

Halloween art debut at Surtex 2014, Booth 221 - Parcai Designs


Don't you love seeing how other artists work? :-) Here is a peek into how I create art for licensing using watercolor and ink. With this one, I am using a fine point sharpie marker and some tubes of guache and watercolor.

First, I scratch out some ideas (above). There were several more that I ended up tossing out. They just were not tripping my trigger. I usually scan in my ideas and print them our larger, cuz then they are easier to paint.

Next, I will trace the enlarged print-outs with ink on watercolor paper. When I do this, I am only using 90 lb. paper so I can see through it on my light table. I have been doing the inking first, because then I can scan in high resolution line art with no color. Comes in handy for rubber stamps. You can set up a "computer-colored" version of your work etc.

Once the line art is all scanned in and cleaned up, I finish painting and scan it all in again. I am not saying you SHOULD do it this way - just something I have been doing lately.

I really had fun creating this brand-spanking-new Halloween collection! Came up with some really cute patterns to go with it :-) Below is a peek of just a few of the things I did with this collection.

Artists: Let me know if you ink first or last, and how that helps (or why you like it). Maybe you don't ink at all!

Manufacturers: See the whole collection and a bunch more of my new art at Surtex in NYC, booth 221 or visit

Thanks a bunch for stopping by and commenting. I love hearing from you :-)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Artist Spotlight - Jessie G

A peek into a surface pattern artists life.

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I attended Edinburgh College of Art from 1994-97, where I studied Interior Design plus Stain Glass. Since then, I have worked as an Interior Designer in London and Sydney. As a designer, I have always had a keen interest in the relationship of form and colour within an environment. I have recently graduated from the 'The Art and Business of Surface Pattern' E-course, following completion, I am now focusing on a career in SPD.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
Oh, I can get inspiration from anywhere, there is always something to catch my eye! I love to potter around the city, walking through the streets and parks. Your visual senses are overloaded with inspiration; from a shadow created by a building, a coffee cup or the delicate pink petals of the cherry blossom trees. 

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I take many (many) photos on my iPhone which I use for reference, for forms and colours, when sitting down with my sketchbook. Once I am happy with the sketches I have, I transfer them onto the computer and set out the motifs, playing with scale and layout, to create a colourful pattern. I also love screen printing and the results you can achieve with the ink prints on paper and fabrics.

What are you working on now?I am currently designing a new collection, based around photos and objects I have found on beaches here in the UK. I am having fun sketching and experimenting with mark makings. I am also contacting companies with my new portfolio for possible work collaborations.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
I love to get up early and wonder off for a walk on the way to one of my coffee shops. This really sets me up for the day and gets the creative juices (and the all important ‘to-do-lists’) going for the day ahead.

What is your favorite food?
My favourite food, home and especially in it's native environment, is Japanese. While travelling around Japan, I found so many lovely little Inns that offer fresh and tasty food; and they make it look so stylish as well!

You can find Jessie:

Do you want to be spotlighted? Send me an email:
THANKS for stopping by - make my day and follow this blog :-D
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