Saturday, August 30, 2014

Giveaway: "License to Draw" by Ronnie Walter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Editors note: Maureen F is the winner! WOOOP! This giveaway is just for fun! Ronnie is autographing a paperback copy for the winner! I won't keep your email if you enter - I need it to notify the winner. 


I have read Ronnie's book and love her 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 copy - girl you rock!

If you have something you would like to giveaway or a fabulous idea for a giveaway, leave a comment below or contact me by email:

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

Friday, August 29, 2014

First Steps into Art Licensing

This is another suggested topic from the last giveaway, Thanks!

I don't know where the beginning is. Really, being a graphic designer is so helpful!! That could be considered the beginning 26+ years ago.

I think maybe the person who asked is looking for the order I did things in. This isn't a straight line, just a synopsis of how it went for me. I would bet all of you have a different path :-)

So, my kids got older and I started drawing again. I started taking my paper pad and color pencils in the car (red VW Bug back then) with me when I went to get into line to pick up kids from school. About 10 years ago. MUCH more convenient than watercolors in the car. Oh what fun and how I had missed that.

Then I had several images, monsters, halloween, snowmen - what ever the mood and season and what to do with this art? I went looking online and found CafePress and Zazzle. I built a CafePress store and at my best point, was donating $300/year to my local food bank. Fun :-) I think this was around 5 years ago. I joined Twitter around the same time to help promote the store.

One day while shopping I actually "heard myself". I would pick up items in the store with art on them and say "I can do that". Many times I would say "I can do better than that!" I have been saying this for god knows how long, but not listening. My now adult kids remind me that I am still saying it...

(2-3 years ago?) Fired up Google and found lots of great information on sites and blogs. See my Useful Stuff page for links I found helpful. Thanks so much for all the amazing people in the Art Licensing biz! I started mocking up my art on products and creating collections. I worked on my portfolio first. I think I had 30 collections, it depends on how you "count" my early collections were just one image :-) Now a collection could be 6 palette knife paintings.... 30 Halloween icons, or some where in between.

Next came my website to show off my portfolio on and let folks know I am darn serious about this Art Licensing thing :-) About the same time I bought Tara Reed's book "How to Find an Art Licensing Agent" which I talk about in my How I Found an Agent blog post. (Note: since I have purchased some of Tara's products and they helped me, I am now showing affiliate links on this blog as both helpful info AND a little income to support my time spent blogging).Now we are to the point where if you want more steps See the blog post How I Found an Agent.

It gives a bit of the background I have just mentioned and more detail about finding an agent.

If you haven't read it already, you also might like knowing Why I Want an Agent. An agent isn't for everyone :-)

Thanks Doodlebugerz! Heads up: I will be announcing a no-strings attached Art Licensing giveaway on Tues. Sept. 2nd. Be the first to hear about it by signing up for my newsletter. Next issue comes out ASAP. (I will collect emails only for the purpose of notifying the winner).

Friday, August 22, 2014

Artist Spotlight - Monica Martin

Be sure to visit Monica's website (link below), then click on her blog to see her new studio!

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I'm a licensed mixed media artist. I started my business in 2011. I am a native Southern Californian. I did not go to college for art, but took art class all four years of high school. I went to college for merchandising/design in the fashion industry. I learned so much about color and textiles there, and feel like it often applies to my artwork now.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
My inspiration can come from most anything. A combination of colors, a quote, a feeling about something, or often, a simple flower. I paint flowers a lot.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?

I work in acrylics, pastels, and watercolors. My favorite is acrylic because of its vibrancy. It adds so much color to anything I work on. I've recently learned to apply acrylics and watercolors layered on top, and I am enjoying experimenting with that combination.

What are you working on now?
I am always working on new artwork. Whether it be for an upcoming show/event or just to add to my portfolio for licensing contracts. I have all of my licensed contracts listed on my website under Where to buy. Some are retail, while others are wholesale only.

Anything else you want to tell everyone?
I truly feel that "if you believe it, you can achieve it." I put my heart and soul into my business every day and am blessed to know that my artwork goes into my customers homes. It is an honor.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
The sad part is, I am both! Especially since opening my studio in August. There is always something to do or work on. I would say I am a great night owl and very productive, but can also be spunky and ready to plan things out for my day.

What is your favorite food?
I would have to say my favorite food is shrimp. Sauteed, grilled, fried, any way is good.
For dessert, I'd say cheesecake.
As far as drink, I am a Diet Coke girl. Not Diet Pepsi. No coffee.

You can find Monica Martin/The Artsy Girl Studio

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

Friday, August 15, 2014

How I Pay the Rent

Click image to view larger.

Happy Friday Doodlebugerz!
This topic was sent in through the blog giveaway I had recently—Thank you! Short answer - my husband pays the mortgage! I pay for groceries, car payment, cable bill/utilities , business expenses.... we divided up the bills ages ago.

The majority of my income comes from my graphic design business. Right now on my graphic design plate are t-shirt designs for the orthoditists above, Billboards for Celebrity Homes (above middle brochure pages),  two 28-page magazines (top right is one of them) and a 12 page newsletter for the City of La Vista. I'm pretty sure another new home builder is going to have me do a watercolor of an aerial photo. I am excited about a possible new client with a postcard campaign they want designed. There are a few other clients - but that is a long enough laundry list.

I have been a graphic designer for 26+ years. Owned my own business for 16 of those years. I always new I wanted to have a creative career. WAY BACK then, becoming an illustrator was just too scary for me! I didn't have much interest in galleries back then either. For me, sharing my art is a much more vulnerable thing to do. I know many of you can relate :-D

Until very recently, I had a small part time job at a 'paint your own pottery place'. I liked the "mad money" and the families that came in to paint. I miss the kids! If money got tight, it helped to stabilize my monthly income.

Forever I have been walking around stores, looking at stuff with art on it and saying "I could do that!" My adult children can't remember a time when I didn't say that :-)

I am on the new end of art licensing and THRILLED to be here! It is the absolute perfect combination of art and graphic design for me. I love the challenge! I feel so very blessed to be able to do what I love and get paid too :-)

Thanks so much for stopping by - please comment below and tell me a bit about you. If you don't mind sharing how you pay the rent - please share! It might spur an idea in someone else.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Art Licensing Academy is Open - Register by 9/20/14 Get 3 FREE Books!

Quick post to let you know

Hey Doodlebugerz,
For those of you who are interested in Art Licensing Academy there is a GREAT FREE bonus if you register by September 20, 2014. Yup, it is the 3 books in the photo above! I am reading The Big Leap right now and The War of Art is on my to do list. I think I better ad the 3rd book to my to do list too :-)

This link is an affiliate link - if you click on it and purchase, I get a small fee as an affiliate that helps support my blog. THANK YOU! Art Licensing Academy

If you don't want me to get the fee - here is a non-affiliate link. No worries. I would rather you get the info! Art Licensing Academy

Staycation Update:

On a whim I tossed out into the internet if anyone would be interested in a group text chat to talk about Tara's free Staycation Audios. 15 of you signed up and I am thrilled how well the first group chat went! My fingers were sore from trying to type fast ;-) I really enjoyed chatting with other creative souls.

Be sure to stay connected with me :-D

Friday, August 8, 2014

Artist Spotlight - Jo Lynch

I started following Jo on Twitter in 2009 :-) Her images and technique are stunning!

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I have always loved drawing, but I did not work with it consistently until the early 90's.
It began then as so many things do, with a simple watercolor class one morning a week at an old school building. It grew quickly from there to a real love for the medium of watercolor.  Since that first watercolor class, I have worked with watercolor, and taken numerous workshops internationally in France, Holland, and Bermuda, as well as up and down the East Coast of the U.S. I have taken drawing & painting classes at Anne Arundel Community College, in The Maryland Hall School of Arts, The Casements in Florida, & various other institutions.  The classes I have taken have always been just a day or so, or week long workshops, and a few drawing classes that were a few months long, so I’m a mix of self-taught and everything I’ve learned from the various workshops and classes I took along the way.  I never went to “Art School”. 

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from various places.  Some of my inspiration comes from my own wide collection of photos. Sometimes a trip to Blue Springs where the Manatees live in winter, or a trip to the zoo, or beach will fill me with inspiration.  Occasionally I’ll see a face that draws me in, a face with strong lines. Mainly I paint animals because I love them, and they make me happy. I can paint almost any subject matter in my “Whimzicals” style though, such as buildings, people, faces etc.  I like to find things that have a shape that appeals to me.  Inspiration comes in many shapes. :)

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I work mainly in watercolor as it is by far and away my favorite medium.  I love it’s translucency, the beauty of the colors and they way they blend and mix together during a painting.  They are almost jewel-like when they are still wet.  The other mediums that I enjoy are pencil, colored pencil, and pen & ink. 

What are you working on now?
Currently I am working with a copper company overseas, and together we have created a line of “Whimzicals” copper jewelry.  It took us about 6 months of working together to get the designs sized so that they would fit on the small space of an earring, necklace or bracelet, and still remain recognizable.  They can be found at the link at the bottom of this interview.  Also at this time of year, my mind turns toward the holiday season, and I will paint a few holiday animals....and lastly I am always painting something, so the paint and paper call to me everyday, simply because I love watching the colors emerge on the paper. 

Anything else you want to tell everyone?

I consider my technique loose, which to me, means I prefer not to paint everything I see, but to give a loose interpretation.  I also love design and shapes.  I think I have a feel for design, rhythm and balance.  I love making shapes, thus the “Whimzicals”(tm) were born.  Prior to 2006, when I began thinking in design and shapes, I was a traditional plein air painter, painting on location wherever I was.  A sample of my art prior to the Whimzicals style can be seen on my website, under the Galleries page.   I also enjoy working digitally with my work, and I’ve learned how to separate each design from any background it may have, thus I am able to create a variety of uses for a single design.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
Early .... I work best from early morning until mid to late afternoon.  After that, it’s all downhill other than working on the computer. 

What is your favorite food?
Without a doubt, Ice cream  anytime and always. 

Main website: 

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, August 1, 2014

Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Editors note: Aug. 13, 2014 - HIGH FIVE!! Just sent the $50 Amazon Gift Card via email to Kristen. Thank you everyone, this was fun! :-D Check the newsletter and follow me on social media for the next giveaway.

Editors note: you don't have to sign up for the newsletter - probably the easiest way to enter is to like my facebook page through the giveaway box above. I am using Rafflecopter's free service because it make it easy for me to notify the winner. I won't be keeping your email addresses unless you do sign up for the newsletter :-) You can also read the Terms & Conditions above.

I need your help to get my newsletter off the ground and blog post ideas!


Thank you all in advance! You can come back tomorrow and enter again by giving me another blog post idea. You can sign up for the newsletter and like my Facebook Fan Page only once. Each task gives you another chance to win.

Giveaway ends 12:00 a.m. Wednesday August 13th. I will email and post the winner same day (on the blog). Only US citizens can win.

I would be really grateful if you are interested in getting my monthly newsletter. Sample of what it looks like is below. Get tips, freebies and artist spotlights that I have on this blog delivered right to your email in-box! It will change as I get feed back from all of you. BIG THANKS-A-LATTE for getting it off the ground :-)

The blog stats give me a good idea of what post are popular - but I want to know your ideas for blog posts. The whole point of this is what works for you guys!

If you have already signed up for my newsletter prior to this giveaway, you are already entered to win! You can enter again by liking my fan page and/or leaving a blog post idea.

Thanks again for your time and input - I hope you win! Make my day and follow this blog :-D

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