Friday, July 31, 2015

Hot Summer Updates from!

I am excited about (ALSC). I had a manufacturer find me through the site
already! I didn’t do a thing other than join. It is a brand NEW only-one-of-its-kind website for everyone in the art licensing business. I asked the Founder and CEO Cherish Flieder to tell us about what is new and exciting about ALSC.

What’s New? is fully up-and-running. We have heard many stories of artists and agents connecting, working on projects together and signing deals! It’s wonderful to hear that the Art Directors/Manufacturers/Licensee Companies are enjoying using the site to see art and it is a huge relief to artists as well. Now licensors can take back control of who exactly is seeing their art licensing portfolios online. (Most of the deals are top secret, so we can’t tell you details until the products are on the market next year.)

This summer, I flew all over the country to New York (Stationery Show/Surtex), Las Vegas (Licensing Expo) and Atlanta (Summer Gift Mart) connecting with members and potential members of the site. There was a very high level of enthusiasm in the air and we are very optimistic for things to come! Members are giving very useful feedback and are an important part of making this website an excellent place to network and show art online. Art Directors tell us that they are eager to see more art on the site from a variety of art and photography styles!

Our development team continues to develop the features of the site to run smoothly and securely in the background. Since we launched, we have added a vetting process for new Artists/Agents and Art Directors/Manufacturers/Licensee Companies to join the site. It’s a difficult thing to do sometimes, but adding this step in the registration process actually has attracted a more professional level of Artist/Agent as well as Licensee Companies. Overall, we are very happy with the progress.

We are getting social…
Art Licensing Show is now on Pinterest & Instagram!
In effort to give our members more opportunities to get their names out there, we have decided to partner with these highly visual social media platforms.

Art Directors are always using these networks to look for art. They can find out about a new artist they like on Instagram or Pinterest and click through to the site to see their private portfolios on ALSC.

Follow ALSC on Instagram:
Follow ALSC on Pinterest:

ALSC portfolio members can find out the steps to get featured here!

…and even more social!
ALSC has recently added social links to the portfolio enabled profile pages. Artists/Agents can share their links to: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Ello, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Dribbble, Blogger, RSS, Email, Vine, Spoonflower, Etsy, and Behance.


What’s Coming Up Next?

More notifications:
The ALSC development team has been adding new ways for members to know what’s going on within the site including notifications for trigger behaviors and email updates from groups. Settings can be managed in the notifications section. We hope to provide more helpful notifications in the future based on member feedback.

Re-ordering collections:
We are in the finishing stages on a new feature that will allow Artists/Agents to re-order how their collections will appear on the page. (It sounds simple, but the way the portfolios are set up to give specific permissions, it’s much more complicated in the code than one would imagine). We are happy to announce that this long-awaited feature should be up and running by next month. We have hundreds of ideas in queue that we are working on with our development team. Members are encouraged to contact ALSC with feedback and ideas. (

There are so many things you can do at, but there are also MANY lesser known strategies that will help you out. Cherish and I brainstormed on some tips that have come up in recent discussions. Hope you find them beneficial.

Tips & Tricks for Artists/Agents

• Mark each image with your name so if an Art Director saves the image on their computer, they will know it is yours when they come across it in their files later.

• Upload tear sheets/portfolio pages rather than individual art. It will save you time! You can edit the crop if you want to zoom in on a portion of it for the preview image.

• Get connected with industry leaders. Join a group that interests you. There are 20 specialty groups, so far, such as Greeting Cards, Trends, Home D├ęcor, Art Marketing, Tech Talk, Character Design, Art for Kids, Bi-Weekly Art Challenge, and Call for Submissions. Of course, Annie Troe’s “2nd Thursdays” group is very popular and a great way to get plugged into our community.

• Take time to add tags, keywords and descriptions. When an art director is in your portfolio and does a search (or clicks on a tag on your profile page) it is searching only within YOUR portfolio. Adding more art will make these searches more productive for them, which will give you more opportunities to license your art.

• Remember, this is YOUR private portfolio; you can invite any credible licensee to the site to come see it. They only need to register once and then they will be able to login and out with ease. (Invitation & art sharing steps:

• Sharing your art is VERY simple, but it’s not automatic. Login often to share your art with current and new Art Director contacts. Remember, you have 100% control of who sees your art. All you do is click the check box next to their name and it is instantly shared with them (no “save” button needed). (More info on sharing:

Tips & Tricks for Art Directors/Manufacturers/Licensee Companies

• Click on the “My Activity” link to see an archive of everything that has been shared with you. There is a thumbnail for each share that will take you in to see the full collection or piece at your leisure.

• Feel free to request Artists/Agents to submit to you though the site. It’s very easy for them to share work this way (since they have already uploaded their art, they only have to press the button next to your name, this means you get to see it even faster!). (Info on how to request specific art “shares” :

• All the portfolios are searchable, so you can find what you need at a moment’s notice. You can search within an Artist/Agent’s portfolio or the whole site if you go to the “Portfolio Tab”. In both cases, you will only see art that is specifically shared with you. (How to request art shares: )

• Post your art needs in the “Call for Submissions” group if you are looking for licensors to submit specifically themed images with your ALSC account. Don’t worry, submissions via ALSC won’t bog down your email with attachments. You can login to the site when you are ready to review fresh new art. (Ask to join the group here:

Note: You can join ALSC today and by setting up a free, enhanced “yellow pages” type listing for your business while getting a feel for the site. Also, if you want to learn more about the tools and resources available to you with the premium account options check out our knowledge base site at:

THANK you Cherish for writing the majority of this post. Love the "Call for Submissions" group - what a great idea! I can't imagine the amount of time (years!) you have spent researching and setting up this amazing new site. I REALLY appreciate it and I find it is worth every penny.

Everyone - let me know if you found this post helpful and feel free to post comments below or email me Thank you for stopping by!

Related posts: Why I am on Art Licensing Show

Artists: See how your profile page looks to Art Directors/Manufacturers :

Friday, July 24, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Jackie Decker


Editors note: I met Jackie at Surtex this year! - I am adding this quote - She used to give art lessons to Joan Rivers :-)

"Working with Jackie is a joy. It's rare that one finds someone with so much talent who is willing to share her knowledge and techniques with others. It’s that willingness to share that makes her illustrations accessible to both the young and the young at heart."

- Joan Rivers

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
When I was 4 and opened the book “Little Bear” illustrated by Maurice Sendak my career path was determined. The idea that a bear could wear a cardboard box on his head and travel to the moon or befriend a mermaid was a world I wanted to be a part of. I was lucky enough to meet and study under
Dennis Nolan at the Hartford Art School and he put name to my dream career - illustration.

After art school I worked as a software designer and executive producer for Vivendi-Universal games. When my son was born I changed course and freelanced as a children’s book illustrator.  In 2007 I started the MFA in illustration program at the Hartford Art School under the direction of Murray Tinkelman. The next two years were AMAZING and life changing. I  learned from
masters in the field and took the leap into art licensing!

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I work in a variety of mediums and because I teach I am always investigating new products. If I paint art traditionally its done in watercolor, gouache and graphite on Arches 140lb hot press wc paper. The art is designed modularly then scanned in and assembled in Photoshop. This allows me the most flexibility when designing.

As of late I have been working on collections using microns to do detailed line work then painting the art in Photoshop and adding textures from Corel Painter.

Prismacolor markers and colored pencils which allow for some bright dense colors get thrown in the
mix when designing garden flags.

Basically I'm a sucker for new art supplies so I have to limit my visits to Blicks!

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
I am inspired by the people I share my life with.

First is my family.
I love researching traditions from my Hungarian and Lithuanian roots then finding ways  to incorporate them into my collections.

My son and I have shared a studio since he was three. Growing up surrounded by art, he is always willing to share ideas and critique work. Its fun to brainstorm with someone who doesn’t hold back or edit himself  - that’s when the fun ideas happen!

Our family vacations to the Adirondacks and Cape Cod are the experiences and memories that lead to new collections. Lodge has been an important category for me in licensing and I guess it’s not surprising to know it’s my favorite place to be.

Then you have my students. I have been privileged to teach at Hartford Art School and Tunxis Community College. I love bringing real world experience into the classroom and it’s allowed us to share in our successes together. Spending my days with enthusiastic creatives is a gift!

What are you working on now? 
This past year a big check mark was placed on my dream to-do list. My Merry! Merry! Merry! collection with Raz Imports was introduced featuring nutcrackers, ornaments, pillows, trays, etc!
The collection was inspired by my grandmother who gave me a nutcracker each Christmas and we continue this tradition with my son. Standing in that magical showroom I was beyond thrilled and could imagine Grammy Y giving me that enveloping hug she was known for.

On my drawing board this summer are poinsettias, a group of woodland characters, a few seas shells and always some lodge. It’s that crazy variety that makes licensing fun!

Anything else you would like to share with us?
My family and I live in the church I attended as a child. We restored it together evicting woodland critters as we did everything from rebuilding the catwalk to tiling countertops and laying down wood floors. Each holiday season I become the most understanding wife and mother in town as my guys bring in a giant Christmas tree. Last Christmas was the record at 21 feet high!

Do you work with an agent or do it on your own?

I realized early on that with my schedule I would need an agent. Jan Draheim of Painted Planet Licensing and I have been working together for 5 years now and being represented by her was a smart and lucky move! I'm grateful for the connections we have made and to be able to count our clients as friends. Having an agent who truly is a partner has allowed me to concentrate on what I do best knowing that I have support and back-up on the business side of things.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
Like all moms I have been both at the same time but prefer being just a night owl. There’s something luxurious about working when I know the family is tucked in safe and sound while I paint into the wee hours with chocolate by my side!

What is your favorite food?
Hands down, my husband’s chicken burritos. Just thinking about the black beans and fresh cilantro is making my mouth water. Finish that meal with Lisa Conlin’s (best friend and fellow licensing artiste) chocolate chip cookies and you have just experienced a little slice of heaven!

You can find Jackie:

Saturday, July 18, 2015

What I have been working on - Copyright issues - Submit legal questions

Happy Saturday!

Posting a little late :-) Then again, I also posted early about the proposed copyright changes. I am thinking we should ask Bo who writes "Bo's bLAWG" on this blog, if he has any thoughts he wants to share about the proposed copyright changes. Feel free to post in the comments below or email me any legal questions you have for Bo around the topic of business/art licensing.

The copyright post has info about the issues, sample letter, links to letter ideas, Brad Holland's new video post talking about the subject.

(Click image to view larger)
I have been busy with line art lately. Set up 24 or so stamp sets ( above right). Had a lot of fun and it was nice to not worry about color and color combinations :-) I bet a lot of you can relate!

I also whipped up some last minute coloring pages! (Top left. Above, "game plan"). OK, I believe I averaged 3 hours a page :-) Part of the time was converting images into line art. Part of it was just the amount of 'stuff' on a page! It was a very short deadline, but once I got a little game plan going I just plugged away to see if I could get it done in time or not. I made it.

Tell me about what you are working on! I dig hearing about what is going on in your art world.
Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Orphan Works - Sample letter to Copyright office

August 24, 2015: Initial comments have been posted sometimes the site is down for weekend maintenance

IMPORTANT: Please feel free to paraphrase my letter! :-)  But if we all send the same letter, our efforts will loose its effect. You don't need to be an artist for "The Next Great Copyright Act" to affect you.

click image to view larger

Hi everyone! Posting early this week because I thought if you are like me, your first few thoughts about writing a letter to the U.S. Copyright office might be filled with questions! Lots of chatter online about this topic. ALSO I wanted to show you my letter isn't grammatically correct or perfect. The idea is to be heard and to be heard in numbers. Save your letter, you may want to send it to your representatives later down the road. My thought is seeing someone's letter may make it easier for you to write. - Let me know if this was helpful :-)

Let me back up a bit.


This issue has come up a couple times in the past. There are people who know more about it than I do!
Joan Beiriger has a fantastic blog post that talks about this issue - click here.

I used this blog post to help me write my letter It talks about what you might want to say if you are an artist and if you are not an artist :-)

Scroll down, this link has several letter starter phrases

There are many posts about this, here are a couple more: And/or you might like this one

Video with Brad Holland talking about the copyright issues

Thoughts: I think it is important to mention that copyrights are our source of income. The other point I found important is that publishing doesn't devalue our work. I don't think you need to live in the United States to be concerned, we have a global economy.

Here are hightlights of what you might want to say from Brad Holland's Post (link above).
So when writing, please remember:
– It's important that you make your letter personal and truthful.
– Keep it professional and respectful.
– Explain that you're an artist and have been one for x number of years.
– Briefly list your educational background, publications, awards etc.
– Indicate the field(s) you work in.
– Explain clearly and forcefully that for you, copyright law is not an abstract legal issue, but the basis on which your business rests.
– Our copyrights are the products we license.
– This means that infringing our work is no different than stealing our money.
– It's important to our businesses that we remain able to determine voluntarily how and by whom our work is used.
– Stress that your work does NOT lose its value upon publication.
– Instead, everything you create becomes part of your business inventory.
– In the digital era, inventory is more valuable to artists than ever before."

Deadline is July 23rd, 2015

Submit it here - it was easy

I sent a PDF, The link above list the file types they will accept at the bottom of the gray box.
Note: a PDF will be searchable unless you convert the type to outlines. Not sure about your PDF?,  just save your letter as a Word doc, RTF or ASCII file format.

Thanks for your time! Let me know if seeing my not-so-perfect letter made it easier for you.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Fizah Malik

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I am a Textile/ Surface pattern designer based in Sydney, Australia. I grew up in Pakistan and hold a Masters Degree in Textile Design from the University of Punjab. I am currently doing my second Masters degree in Design from University of New South Wales ( Australia). I have been freelancing for almost 6 years now and after my Masters degree I did an in-house job for one year. I moved to Australia after that and had to start all over again in a new market which was completely new to me with no contacts.

I started finding work online and eventually got a few projects from Australian companies and have been working with the same companies even after 3 years. I work as a freelancer for Specialty Fashion Group, Homebodii and Mrs. Darcy in Australia. I am also a part of Laura Campion design studio(UK) , which I joined 6 months ago.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I experiment with all sorts of mediums including watercolours, inks, photography, gouache & digital design. Photoshop has been my companion for many years and I am a newbie when it comes to Illustrator but its growing on me now. Although I love making designs digitally and would love to buy a Wacom Cintiq someday but nothing can beat the feeling while drawing on a fresh piece of paper on your sketchbook, it feels so natural and has a flow to it that I really enjoy. After staring at the screen for several hours a day I like to step away from the computer and just draw!

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
I have always been drawn to bold and bright colours, textures and detail. I think the beauty of the design lies in the detail and shows the commitment of the artist to that piece of art or pattern. Florals are my fav subject matter and nature gives me all the inspiration that I need.

Lately I have been drawn to fun and cute characters and have started taking interest in kids wear and  pattern design for kids and and I owe that to my 18 month old daughter.

What are you working on now?
I am currently doing an online course called Ultimate portfolio builder by Art of business and surface pattern design and trying to get a good body of work together to target towards the fabric/apparel industry. I am aiming to get licensing deals in the near future and exhibit at a show like Surtex or Printsource.

Besides this, I am doing a #100dayproject on Instagram these days. I upload a new pattern each day and will continue to do it for 100 consecutive days and it has not only helped me with my creative block but has exposed me to different opportunities. A Uk based company Flying Vinyl spotted me via Instagram and approached me to design the pattern for the Record sleeve for their company.
I also recently got the opportunity to be part of a new studio called Collective 12, which will feature the work of 12 artists working together and bringing their own unique style to the table and creating commercial surface designs for application on fashion, homewares, stationery and architecture. It's amazing that I was also discovered through Instagram for this project and was the 12th artist to join the team. This project will be launching in late July/August and I am very excited about it. This is why I love working as a freelancer because i am not limited to any space or city/country.

Anything else you would like to share with us?
I am grateful for all the opportunities that I have been getting lately. I have worked as a freelancer for many years now and always wanted to work on my own with no creative restraints. It's always rewarding to work as a solo artist and get recognised by your own unique signature style and that's what I am aiming for.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
I am a night owl and have been that way since my uni days. I enjoy the utter silence after my baby goes to sleep and I get time to myself to paint or draw or simply relax.

What is your favorite food?
I am a complete foodie and I LOVEEE pasta. I can eat pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner provided I don’t have to deal with the calories later ;P

My Online presence:

Fizah Malik




Friday, July 3, 2015

It is Time to Chat this Thursday!

 Editor's note: I am using this post for a landing page with links for our 2nd Thursday's Group. Chat with you soon!

Happy 4th of July to all of you in the United States :-)

Not much of a post this Friday - Family is in town an there is fun stuff to do!

Quick reminder that "2nd Thursdays" chat group meets THIS Thursday, July 9th, 6:30 pm U.S. Central Time (Chicago). I will post a new chat room URL the day of in the group on (ALSC)

Bring what you would like to talk about! Questions about ALSC - I bet someone will know :-)

Possible topics:
• How do you pay the bills? Do you have multiple income streams?

• I think Print on Demand sites are morphing into a combination business model where they also sell business to business. OR business to business is adding print on demand etc. Anyone else run into this?

BIG thanks for following my blog and on social media. Love chatting with you in the "2nd Thursdays" group. Send me your thoughts and questions for me or for Bo's bLAWG.

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