Friday, May 29, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Pamela Vale

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I feel like my informal, organic art education started pretty much from birth, with my teachers being two very different but very creative parents. Having a parent that was a recognized artist in the entertainment industry, another parent that is incredibly gifted with style and trend awareness and having lived in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, I was deeply immersed in an environment surrounded by creativity and fantasy.

Throughout my childhood, I always knew I was different where art was concerned. Anything creative or art related came very easy to me and I couldn't get enough of it. It was really some kind of involuntary force or drive that needed to be satisfied. Having parents that recognized and supported that drive made it possible for me to experiment with pretty much every medium or craft available at the time. In fact, one of the best holiday gifts I ever received from my parents (as a teenager) was a huge box filled with everything I had circled in a FLAX Art Supply catalog...EVERYTHING!!! It was amazing and almost 30 years later, I still use some of the tools that came in that gift.

I never thought I would do anything other than be some sort of artist as my profession and ended up going to The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California, graduating with a degree in Fashion Design.

I am constantly learning and a lot of what I do now is self taught, building on a good foundation of more formal art education. I love to learn, I am very curious about new techniques and I enjoy finding unexpected ways to use common tools.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?

Over the years I have enjoyed working in many mediums. The majority of my career has been as a Decorative Artist, painting murals, decorative finishes and hand painted furniture and home accessories. For that part of my business I used primarily water based or acrylic paints. I have painted on every surface you could, paper, ceramic, wood, fabric, metal, etc...

I also use watercolors, Prismacolor colored pencils or even watercolor pencils. I am intrigued by the whole Copic marker phenomenon and while I have a nice set going, I haven't yet mastered the execution. For vibrant, translucent color, I really enjoy working with Dr. Martin Dyes. I use them with a paint brush like you would work with watercolors. I think there is something kind of cool when your paint comes out of an eye dropper!

Over the last few years, my whole creative life changed with the purchase of a Wacom drawing tablet and my continued education of Photoshop. Where have these tools been my whole life?! The realm of creative possibilities has no limit now...that's really how it feels and it’s marvelous.

So currently, I draw most items by hand, either on paper or more frequently on my tablet. I scan and color, edit, highlight, etc... in Photoshop. I also use my own photographs to build on.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?

As far as inspiration on a bigger scale, sometimes, I am so inspired by my immediate surroundings, it becomes overwhelming. Again, it feels involuntary. I notice every detail of wherever I I write this at a local coffee house, every time I glance up, I see something new...some design element...the wood rails on the backs of the chairs, the stripe in the booth fabric, the stria in the floor tile, the way the branches in the potted tree make little "v" shapes, a pattern someone is never ends.

Pattern artists will get this....I was recently in a restaurant bathroom and as I stared at the tile border, my mind immediately did a "pattern repeat check" to find where the design repeats (does anyone else do this?) and I was annoyed when I noticed that in several places, the carved flowers in the border were not set using the correct repeat which made some of the same flowers end up next to each other instead of more random I'm sure the designer intended. I actually took a picture and had a brief thought of sharing the oversight with the restaurant owners. It's funny now and I know that most people would NEVER even notice. It's kind of a sickness.

On a smaller scale, when I need inspiration for a specific project or job, I first go surfing. Not on the water...but online. The amount of visual information available to working artists in this day and age is incredible. That's almost always my first point of attack. I google all kinds of phrases and words to begin to build a frame of reference in my mind’s eye. I LOVE Pinterest for this.

I am also supremely inspired by existing design elements and client briefs. I love to work with a random group of prompts and craft them into a cohesive image or collection. I love client feedback and really enjoy collaborating. That is one of the reasons that designing custom tattoos has been such a wonderful fit for me.

What are you working on now?
I am at a very exciting point in my career. After full time decorative painting for 20 plus years, I decided to take a break. I was having some physical issues related to repetitive motion, I was burnt out artistically and needed to refuel creatively. I took a couple of years off from having my art be my main source of income and focused on other things. About three years ago, those artistic embers began to smolder and grow until I couldn't ignore them anymore. I began designing the custom tattoos for an international website and within a few months became their top selling artist, where I have remained. This got me back in the art game and exercised my drawing skills.

I am so excited to return to art as my full time job with a new focus as I transition to art licensing and illustration. I believe that there are no accidents and that things happen for a reason. I know that everything I have done, all of my experience and training, has lead me to this point and this niche.

I am currently working on building collections for art licensing and to offer in my own online shops.  Also, in the near future, I am hoping to sign on with an art licensing agent for that division of my business.

Anything else you would like to share with us?

I am very grateful for the advances in social media and technology. When I started my business, there weren't outlets like this to share current work, market yourself or even just to connect with fellow artists. Being an artist can be a solitary profession and these advances have made it possible to collaborate, inspire and support each other in ways that just a few years ago were not available.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
I'm kind of flexible. If I don't have to get up in the morning and I am enjoying what I am creating, I can stay up all night and never even notice the time until the sun starts to rise...but, recently when my husband and I were having a conversation about where we might like to move someday, he asked me "do you want to see the sun rise or set?" And my immediate answer was "rise"...

What is your favorite food?
More of a food group.....but I LOVE vegan deserts!! Not having refined or processed ingredients tastes so much better and they don't "set me up" to want to binge, making it possible to really, thoroughly enjoy every beautiful bite.

This is a favorite recipe from The Minimalist Baker website “5 Ingredient Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Truffles” (

You can find Pamela:

Business Name: Veggiemuse
Veggiemuse on Facebook:
Art Licensing Show Portfolio:
Private Portfolio: please email me for access
Veggiemuse on Instagram:
Veggiemuse on Twitter:
Veggiemuse on Pinterest:

I am checking out the "Salted Carmel Peanut Butter Truffles"! YUM :-)

THANK YOU for stopping by my blog!
Do you want to be spotlighted? Send me an email:
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Photo Review: A look at Surtex Booths &

Hey Everyone! :-) This post is from my seat on the Art Licensing "bus".

Click on images to view larger.

Yup that is me above standing next to my very cute Mummy/Monsters/Halloween art. Don't you just LOVE Artistic Designs Group new logo! Sorry Joanne Fink,! I am standing right in front of your art... ADG had a larger booth, this picture doesn't begin to show it all. They represent such amazing artists! You know how it is, I had to show my folks my banner in their booth :-) —Hi Mom and Dad!

Backing up a bit, above is the layout of surtex - This is for those who haven't been and/or who are thinking of exhibiting next year. It gives you the layout and how many booths. LOTS more info and a PDF of the floor plan can be found on

Above right is the layout of Javits. There are couple of shows going on at the same time. I did walk quite a bit of NSS ( but I didn't ask anyone if I could take pictures of their booths.

Some booths are double, triple the size of one booth, some are corner booths. These photos don't do justice to seeing it in person! These are the booths/people I got permission from to take photos.

I got to spend time with both of these ladies! It was so much fun to get to know them better. The booth is Painted Planet Licensing Group On the left is Jackie Decker - TEASER! I will be featuring Jackie soon on this blog - she has a VERY interesting art story. On the Right is Jan Draheim, President and all around cool lady. Quick Shout out to Leah Cochran, Asst. Acct. Manager - I had a great time getting to know you as well :-)

Many of you know these two ladies! On the left is Christine Reed Cavanaugh (sister :-) And Tara Reed is on the right. This is Tara's booth I have links to several of Tara's cool products to help artist on my Useful Stuff page (I have purchased some myself).  NOTE: there is a wonderful FREE call coming up that Paul Brent does with Tara wrapping up Surtex. This links tells Tara you found it through me (but I don't make any money from it, it is a free call :-) click here for Surtex Review with Paul Brent.

This is Dinah's Booth We kept running into each other - even Monday night on the streets of New York :-) She is an artist to keep you eye on.

I Chatted a bit with I didn't want to take up too much of anyone's time - they are at Surtex to do business! Not talk with me :-) The Owl on the top left is what stopped me in my tracks. I also notice they represent an artist that is one of my favorites - Nancy Medina. We haven't met yet, I am sure some day we will :-)

This is a partial photo of Cultivate Art Collective I met Betsey Hodson (left) this year and Susanne Kasielke (right) last year when she and I walked Surtex together. Here is a blurb from their website: "At Cultivate Art Collective, we actively support artists, illustrators and designers by providing them with the opportunity to show and exhibit their work to a global audience.  We do this through the benefits of our membership website, professional peer support and community, our new quarterly e-publication CROP, marketing and promotional opportunities, and by attending and exhibiting at various international trade shows such as SURTEX, the Licensing Show and Printsource."

This is Cultivate Art Agency - Yes there is a connection to Cultivate Art Collective. You can read up about it on or on Cultivate Art Collective's website link above. Pictured is Rachelle Panagarry - she is such a delight!

I snuck in a photo of the Trend Theater. There are quite a few free presentations you can get in on while visiting Surtex. There are also seminars you can pay to attend.

Now for! This site is growing like a weed! The photo shows some of the people that I got to chat with and the giveaway items from the Monday morning meet up. I am guessing about 40 people showed, maybe more. This is a NEW site that is still in Beta testing. I personally got a nibble through this site already and I am very excited to hear how the meeting went with my agent at Surtex! You can join this site for FREE if you are an artist and want to just look around scroll down for options and pricing.

Licensees, Art Directors and Manufactures join for FREE and can really simplify their lives with this online art licensing show.

This is the very same site that I have my group "2nd Thursdays" (235 members and growing) that you may have seen me talking about.

Well this is a fun post and gives you an idea of what Surtex is like. For me, it gets me energized and fired up to create a bunch of new collections.

Thank you to Rose Mary Berlin for bringing a "Biscutt" book and signing it for my daughter. So glad I ran into Lisa Conlin in one of the Surtex isles. It was great to pal around with you.

Thank you to all the cool people I got to meet and hang out with and to all of you for following and supporting this blog! Let me know what you think of this post. Please share your thoughts and experiences on the shows.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bo's bLAWg: Fair Use of Logos

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! 

"Thanks for your bLAWgs distinguishing copyright and trademarks for us.  Tell me, can I use trademarked logos in my illustrations?  Examples:  an illustration of an iPhone with the Apple icon, and illustrations of matchbook covers featuring the trademarks of various restaurants and hotels."

A follow-up question.  Great!

I will address this question in parts.  First, I will consider those trademarks that include original artwork subject to copyright protection.  This would likely include some of your matchbox covers.

As previously mentioned, trademarks may include original artistic designs which are subject to copyright protection.  Those copyrightable elements of a logo cannot be used in any derivative fashion without the permission of the copyright holder unless they are in the public domain (published before 1923), or if your application of the illustration constitutes “Fair Use.”  Fair Use is defined under Section 107 of the Copyright Act.  In short, copyright law contemplates that fair use of a copyrighted work without permission is available for ‘free speech related” purposes such as (1) criticism and comment, (2) parody and satire, (3) scholarship and research, (4) news reporting and (5) teaching.

Whether a given use qualifies involves an assessment of four “Fair Use factors” that the courts must apply to each fact situation to determine whether a particular use of a copyrighted work is or is not fair use. These factors are:

1)  The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2)  The nature of the copyrighted work;
3)  The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4)  The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The courts must consider all four factors; no single factor is sufficient to establish Fair Use.  

Note that Fair Use is a defense to a legal action, not a bar that would prevent the claimant from bringing such an action.  However, an infringement lawsuit will often be averted by persuasive argument that a Fair Use defense will be available if the claimant were to file an action in court.

If your use of a copyrighted logo is not for the indicated free speech related purposes, including a broad interpretation of parody and satire, and your use is commercial in nature, it is likely going to require a license to avoid the possibility of a copyright infringement claim.

The second issue pertains to logos subject to the Lanham (Trademark) Act.  

You will recall that logos are a form of trademark. Trademarks identify the source of specific goods and services.  Consumers have the right to know that the goods and services they are purchasing come from the company identified with the logo. Trademark law assures the owner of a given trademark that it will 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 and cause public confusion as to the source of the goods or services. 

There is a “Fair Use” corollary that applies to the use of trademarks as well as copyrights.  In legal terminology this is known as “Nominative Use.”  The Nominative Use Doctrine provides that a person may use the trademark of another as a reference to describe the other product, or to compare it to their own. Like Copyright Fair Use, it is only an affirmative defense to a trademark infringement claim, not a bar to bringing a claim.

The nominative use test essentially states that one party may use or refer to the trademark of another if:

1)  The product or service cannot be readily identified without using the trademark (e.g. trademark is descriptive of a person, place, or product attribute).
2)  The user only uses as much of the mark as is necessary for the identification (e.g. the words but not the font or symbol).
3)  The user does nothing to suggest sponsorship or endorsement by the trademark holder. This applies even if the nominative use is commercial, and the same test applies for metatags.

Nominative use does not require that ownership of the trademark be acknowledged, for example by use of a sentence such as
"is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.". Such statements may, however, be required by the terms of a license agreement between the parties, and they may be prudent (and courteous) as a way of preventing misunderstandings or allegations that your illustration is sponsored by or associated with Apple.

However, your creative use of the logo is not necessarily nominative.  If it transforms the logo in some way that is uniquely artistic, like Warhol’s use of Campbell Soup cans, there is a transformative element involved that by its nature can be seen to distinguish the artistic rendering from the corporate use on goods or in conjunction with services.  Such transformative use is not definitively Fair Use if the public could be confused as to its source.  Indeed, had Campbell Soup wanted to stop Warhol or his Estate from publishing his exacting images of their logos, they probably could have.  Sometimes, the trademark owner may decide that the artwork although infringing, promotes their brand without damaging it.

If your use of the logo is to make fun of the company, the free speech aspect of Fair Use may apply.  At its core, (pun intended), a parody of the Apple logo that makes fun of Apple or one of its products may well be privileged as there is no likelihood of confusion.  Clearly, your use does not use the Apple logo to identify the origin of your artwork, but to make a kind of joke.  Such  “parody” is at its essence, free speech.

Legitimate parody may however ‘cross the line’ and be seen as slander of the trademark owner’s brand.  Even if a trademark infringement claim may be defended, the illustration could be seen as “trade libel,” and generate a defamation claim.  The elements of trade libel are:

1)  The material in question can be shown to be a false statement of fact;
2)  The defendant’s statement caused the plaintiff either financial or reputational harm;
3)  The defendant didn’t sufficiently research if the claim in question was true before publication or broadcast.

So, if your illustration does not alter the logo or add information that suggests the company has done or supported something negative or offensive that it did not do, or you can prove that your use of the logo in this fashion did not cause harm to the business, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to successfully defend against such a claim.

Bottom line, if your use of a logo in an illustration might cause the corporation that holds a trademark and/or copyright interest to object to your use, there is a risk to you involved.  The corporation is likely to have much greater assets than you do.  They may insist you “cease and desist” from your use or it will bring a legal action even though your use is defensible as a matter of law.  Can you afford to defend on principal if you have to?  You may have to, so be careful.  Consult with counsel as needed!

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,

Monday, May 11, 2015

2nd Thursdays meets THIS Thursday - May 15, 2015


Hey Everyone!

Quick reminder that "2nd Thursdays" meets THIS Thursday, May 15th, 6:30 U.S. Central Time (Chicago). I will post a new chat room URL the day of in the group on (ALSC)

TOPICS: Cherish will be on hand to answer questions about ALSC, Getting social with ALSC and what is on your mindSurtex is just a few days away, are you going? Are you ready?

Did you see this!? ALSC has a Trade Show Round up for members - Coolio! Post your booth number(s) -- OR scroll down and post a link to your profile page <3 Here is the link:

Are you going to Surtex? I will be there Sunday afternoon and all day Monday. Send me an email and let's see if we can meet :-) OR just say hi to me at the Art Licensing Meet Up on Monday, 8:15 a.m.,  Level 1 food court, Javits Center. (I will have a pink cinch sack back pack with my "Annie" logo on it).

Great to connect with all of you,

Friday, May 8, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Jackie Holmes

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
Firstly I like to say a huge thank you Annie for this fabulous opportunity to be featured in your artist spotlight.

Like most artists I've been drawing since I was a wee tot and would often lose myself in imaginary little worlds I'd create. However my mum was less than impressed when my creations spread to her carpet and my clothes. Never the less I pursed my dream to art collage and studied Pre-foundation in Art & Design followed by a Diploma in Display & Design.

I went on to build my career as a Visual Merchandiser & Display Designer working for large retail companies planning and designing their retail interior spaces including developing fixtures, props, layouts and styling guidelines for merchandising. This included not only styling for their interior spaces and window installations but road shows, press shows and in-house magazines too. In that time I was lucky enough to work on several really exciting specialist projects that developed my skills way beyond my expectations culminating in my appointment to Head of Visual Merchandising.

After sustaining a back injury I returned to studying. I had always held a love of illustration from my early days absorbed in my childhood books so went on to study a Diploma in Children's Illustration. Having spent several years researching, learning, and developing my work & skill set further I finally launched Cheeky Monkey Studio last October. 
Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I work in several medium and love experimenting with new techniques and styles. A lot of my pieces are predominantly watercolour, coloured pencil, pen and ink or pastel but sometimes I mix a bit of all of them into a piece including a bit of gouache or oil pastel. I'm a bit of a magpie when it comes to art products, I have a wish list as long as my arm of bits I'd like to experiment with, just to see whether it can enhance or bring a new aspect to my work.

I have several different types of  watercolours from pans, tubes, water soluble pencils and work them in different ways depending on the finish I want. Quite often I have a clear idea of how I want the finished piece to look but I test different medium & colour palettes on photocopies of the original artwork before I colour up a final piece so I can play with how I'm going to layer colours & mediums and which techniques I want to use. I keep most of those photo copy tests and scribble copious notes on them even if that technique & palette might not get used in that piece there's always little nuggets & gems to hold onto for future pieces. 

I've also been learning Photoshop and have shocked myself with the amount of digital skills I've gained in the last year with the help of some fabulous online resource. Building my own website and working with a print company to produce my own products has also helped enormously to grow my confidence in utilizing and understanding it. Currently I mainly use it for some finishing and preparation to product so I've a very long way to go to release what I know is its vast potential. While the digital concept and the new aspects it can bring has its place I think for me traditional mediums will always be my first love.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
Anything & Everything!!!

The natural world is one of my greatest loves from flora to fauna to wildlife. I can spend hours watching wildlife which is probably why I love drawing animals more than anything else. Studying their behaviour, environment and how they interact with the world around them brings out their characteristics and that's something I love to capture in my work.  I've been lucky enough to have some truly amazing wildlife experiences even capturing some on camera. From close encounters with baby badgers, rescuing hedgehogs, watching a blue penguin hatch to being covered in orca whale blow as it breached right beside our boat.

It's not just visual things that can inspire me It could be a snippet of a phrase, a word, a Chinese takeaway menu (yep really!) to reading something wrong and making myself giggle. If I'm ever stuck for inspiration I just take time out with my library of books, sift through my numerous photo's or flick back through my sketch books and I soon find an idea waiting to be explored.

Wherever I am my camera & sketchbook are always to hand for when inspiration strikes.

What are you working on now?
The two main projects I'm working on at the mo designs for the mug line in my shop and promotional cards for mail shot.

I started work back in February on the "Little Acorns" Spring/Summer collection featuring a whole bunch of the cutest squirrels. I'm slowly  launching a varieties of products featuring them including a brand new product line of mugs. I was thrilled to have such a huge response to both the mugs and the squirrels that I'm now working on more designs including a complete seasonal set for the squirrel's.

It's been very exciting developing the promotional cards. I've worked on and off on them for a while now as I always have several projects on the go at once. They've changed a lot from my original plans and I'm really glad I didn't rush them. I feel they have evolved and developed with me as I've launched and grown Cheeky Monkey Studio. They're at their final prep for printing stage then I'm ready to unleash them on the world and show what me and Cheeky Monkey Studio has to offer.

Anything else you would like to share with us?
Originally I had never planned to open my own online shop but after doing lots of research I thought it would be a good way to be able to showcase a small selection of my illustrations to potential clients as viable product and to also learn more about my target audience and what they would want.

Little did I realize just how much work it would involve doing it all on my own, but the knowledge I have gained from producing my own products has been invaluable. From learning the processes of production, sourcing suppliers, trialling products, market research, customer focus groups to even number crunching (my least favourite part!) every step of the process has brought new learning experiences.

While it has at times been challenging, a defiant huge learning curve, it has taught me so much not only about the process but about myself too. I have always been plagued by self doubt and lack of confidence but by taking myself outside of my comfort zone and challenging myself to tackle things I would have never dreamt I was capable of, has shown me I have much more strength & ability then I ever realized. I may not always get things right but if I keep trying I'll gain more knowledge and a better understanding along the way.

It is still early days yet for both my shop and my business as a whole but seeing my illustrations on a product is a huge buzz and knowing they give others as much joy as they give me is incredibly rewarding. I am still learning and evolving every day and I gotta say it's one exciting and scary roller coaster of a ride but it's one I am sure glad I got on! 

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
Defiantly an early riser...once I've hit my second cup of coffee I'm motoring!

What is your favorite food?
Mmmmm favourite food.....i guess if I'm being naughty then it would be either hubby's homemade wheat free coffee cake, it's to die for! Or Wotsits, they are cheesy puff crisps (potato chips) kinda like Cheeto's. I'm completely addicted to them so I don't buy them that often as they don't last two seconds in my sticky mitts.

You can find Jackie:

My Shop:

If you'd like to contact me or to license any of my work:

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