Monday, September 28, 2015

Pumpkin Painting Idea - First video using Periscope!

Hey Everyone!
OK, I am experimenting a bit. I signed up for Periscope. It is a video social media site. I like that you guys can join me live and send comments and hearts. You can hear that I am trying to figure out how it works and talk at the same time! LOL! I didn't end the video after I said bye because I can see who all is joining me and commenting. This will definitely take some practice! I now know how to stop the video <3 - one less thing to learn ;-)

I have been painting faces on pumpkins for years. Used to paint them and give them to the kid's teachers. This is a design I believe I saw on Pinterest last year and it is quick and easy to do.

I may film a little of the pumpkin carving contest action between my daughter and I. This will be the 3rd year where you all voted either for MY pumpkin or my daughters. This is MY year to win, she beat me by a landslide the first two years. By the way, she already knows what she wants to carve?! (pumpkin carving contest)

I don't think I need another social media site but so far Periscope looks to be interesting. Let me know if you are on Periscope and I will follow you. I have the same avatar as on twitter with the pink ladybug / Annie Troe. Let me know what you think of Periscope - would love to hear!

Thanks for stopping by the blog,

Friday, September 25, 2015

Behind the Scenes: Building a Painting in a Collection

Happy Friday Everyone!

This is a follow up post to "How I am Building an Art Licensing Portfolio". In that post I talked about painting a lot of icons. This photo post will give you a better idea of how I do it. No worries if you pull icons out of your finished paintings. I am sure there are as many ways of doing this as there are artists :-)

This collection is acrylic paint on canvas panel.  Click images to view larger.

Above are a few of the icons in my "Pumpkin Snow" collection. I scan in the finished icons so I can easily use them in a variety of situations for art on products.

I have scanned in the barrel. I chose the highest dpi that the scanner will allow me to choose. For this image that was 1,800 dpi. That means this barrel can be almost 3 feet in size at 300 dpi.  Now it is time to turn it into a painting :-)

I like to leave some space in the painting so I can add other elements in Photoshop for variety.

Love how the blue makes this pop!

Notice the barrel on the flag - fun to change it up!

How do you create art for licensing?

Thank you for stopping by the blog. All of you sharing and supporting this blog makes it work! Sign up for my newsletter if you don't want to miss anything :-) .

Friday, September 18, 2015

Bo's bLAWg: Foreign Copyright Registration in US

An artist in Europe (UK) was wondering if they needed to register a copyright with the US too.

Fantastic!  Bo’s bLAWg goes international!

The short answer to this question is “No.”  The better answer is “they should.”

It is understandable that there is confusion over whether or not foreign works should be registered in the US.  Until the US joined the international Copyright treaty, the “Berne Convention,” which it failed to do for 100 years until 1989, the foreign copyright holder could not know whether the US courts would provide her a legal remedy under US law as the courts of any other Berne Convention signatory would.  Under the Convention, the foreign copyright holder had the right to bring an action to enforce their copyright interest under that country’s copyright laws.  They could do so whether or not they had included a copyright notice on their works, and whether or not their own country required registration – which few did. The US Copyright Act required both copyright notice and registration before an action could be brought.

Once the US signed the treaty, it still did not deem its mutual recognition of copyright laws to be “self-executing,” but took the position that the US would pass its own laws to conform with Convention procedures and remedies.

Since the Berne Convention requires its signatory countries to mutually recognize the copyright interests of each others citizens without an obligation to register those copyright interests in each foreign country, the US had to amend the Copyright Act to allow for protection of foreign works without requiring registration of those works.  To that end, the US amended USC 17 § 411 of the Copyright Act to limit its registration requirement for infringement action purposes to US works only.  Section 411 now expressly provides that, “…no civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until preregistration or registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with this title.  (See )

Hence the short answer, “No, the European artist need not register her copyright in the US to protect her copyright interests here.  BUT…

The US Copyright Act deprives not only foreign copyright holders, but US holders too, of key remedies in the course of bringing a copyright infringement action unless they have registered their copyrights within three month of publication of their works.  (Again, see )

Section 412 of the Act provides as follows:

In any action under this title… [exceptions]  no award of statutory damages or of attorney’s fees, as provided by sections 504 and 505, shall be made for —

(1) any infringement of copyright in an unpublished work commenced before the effective date of its registration; or

(2) any infringement of copyright commenced after first publication of the work and before the effective date of its registration, unless such registration is made within three months after the first publication of the work.

As discussed more particularly in my January 16 bLAWg earlier this year, registration of copyrights with the US Copyright Office – including those belonging to foreigners -- adds valuable statutory protections that the copyright holder would not otherwise have.  Unless registration has been timely made and these statutory rights secured, if an unregistered artwork is infringed upon, the copyright holder may not be able to afford to bring a lawsuit.  These statutory registration benefits include: 1) the right to elect statutory damages of up to $150,000 for a willful infringement of your copyright instead of being limited to “actual damages” which may consist only of the infringer’s profits – if any; and 2) the right to ask the court to have the infringer pay your legal fees and costs, which you would otherwise have to bear yourself.  (See Copyright Act Sections 504 and 505 )

So, does a UK copyright holder “need” to register her copyrights in the US?  No. But if they are going to be published here in the US, or there is any likelihood that they will be infringed upon here, as a practical necessity, she should register her copyrights.

If you have further questions about this that you want to direct to me personally, I can be contacted through my website linked below.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is not intended as legal advice. 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, September 11, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Lisa Conlin

Thanks, Annie, for spotlighting me today, it’s an honor. (Welcome Lisa! :-D

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?

Like most artists, as a child I was happiest with pencils and paint brush in hand. There was really never a doubt that the art world was where I needed to be. I attended the University of Hartford Art School where I earned a BFA in Illustration with a heavy emphasis on painting, photography, and art history.

Out of school, I became an illustrator and animator for a children’s educational software company. Animation was not something that I had any sort of training in so it was definitely a self taught kind of thing.  Over time the software company grew and became a part of Vivendi Universal Games. I grew with them into a software designer, art director and executive producer.

After the birth of my first daughter I decided home is where I needed to be and I have been freelancing ever since.

Nowadays you can find me creating home decor collections for use in art licensing, freelancing in illustration and graphic design, and teaching my own after school art program called Art Explorers. I guess you can say I wear a few artistic hats.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?

My mediums of choice are watercolors, gouache, acrylics, colored pencil and even a mix of marker from time to time.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from so many things: nature, books, music, my family, and friends. It’s really everywhere and in everything. Oh, and a trip to the Met is always, always inspirational for me. I could hang in the Impressionists wing for days and not get bored.

What are you working on now?
This month I have a Christmas collection on the drawing board and a coastal collection being assembled on the computer.

I work as the primary freelance artist for TSC Giftables, for whom I’ve just finished creating packaging for their new soap line. I’ve created several collections for them and the matching soaps hit the shelves next month, which is very exciting!

This month my Art Explorers program will be expanding into a new space and classes will be starting soon. I’m always excited for a new session of students - we always have such a good time.

Anything else you would like to share with us?
I’m thankful that I am in the business of creating pretty things, and for my art licensing agent, Carol White from Artworks! Licensing, who helps me share those pretty things with the world.

I’m also grateful for the opportunities I have had freelancing. I’ve worked with some really great clients over the years. I’ve always found working with and creating exactly what a client is looking for very satisfying.

I’ve been lucky and blessed to be surrounded by family and friends in my life who are such great cheerleaders, especially fellow licensing artist Jackie Decker. We have been best friends since college and have been boosting each others artistic souls to shine bright ever since.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?

I am a die hard night owl. For what ever reason I feel like my creative mojo flows the best then.

What is your favorite food?
I love Italian food. Don’t let my last name fool you, my Italian heritage runs deep.

Thanks again for spotlighting me Annie!

You can find Lisa:
Like me on Facebook: Lisa Conlin Designs

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Agent Spotlight - Lance Klass, Porterfield's Fine Art

[click images to view larger}  I first learned of Lance and Porterfield’s Fine Art Licensing when I was searching the internet for information about art licensing. There are a lot of great resources on the page about becoming a Porterfield’s artist Even more info on Porterfield’s blog!

"Lance J. Klass is the founder and President of Porterfield’s Fine Art Licensing, a full-service international art licensing agency that provides companies in many countries with beautiful, charming, inspirational, seasonal and always compelling artwork for their retail products.
Lance wrote his first art licensing contract in 1985 and hasn’t let up since, beginning Porterfield’s in 1995 and growing it to an enviable position in the field of art licensing".  

How long have you been in business and how did you come to be an agent?
I was working as a principal at a major collectibles company in Santa Barbara, later to become its president, and finalized my first art licensing agreement in 1985, with many to follow.  That was with The Bradford Exchange, an excellent company that I’m still very happy to be working with. I enjoyed working with artists, and when I went out on my own in 1994 and established Porterfield’s, L.L.C. (which became the parent company to Porterfield’s Fine Art Licensing) I took on Porterfield’s first artist.  In 1996 I moved the company to New Hampshire and the number of artists under representation began to quickly grow.

Back then, business was finding its way onto the internet, banks and finance companies were experimenting with encryption, a few companies were trying to figure out how to create and run shopping carts and direct sales on the internet, and major national corporations were beginning to put their companies on view, using their own company domains.  So I thought I’d investigate this new program, Microsoft’s Front Page, and see if I could figure out how to create an art licensing site. I did, it worked, and when Google was established it put my new site,, as its #1 site in art licensing.  Yahoo finally realized that it couldn’t keep up with the rapidly-increasing number of sites for individual review and cataloging, and followed Google’s lead, so we wound up as #1 there and on other major search engines as they evolved on the Google model.  Being #1 on Google for fully 12 years, coupled with a “stable” of really excellent artists, led to rapid growth of the company; I recall telling my wife that getting new licenses was like picking apples from a tree.  How I wish it were that easy today!

Do you have help/employees?
In addition to my assistant, who focuses on digital scans, site maintenance and growth, and art presentations in certain areas, we have 34 artists currently, all remarkably talented and easy to work with.  Three are from the UK, another three from Canada, one New Zealander, and the rest are Americans.

Who are the manufacturers you work a lot with?
We supply art to manufacturers in a very wide range of fields.  Retail products include quilting and bolt fabric, prints and canvasses and other types of wall décor, needlecraft of all types as well as other craft products, calendars and cards and a wide array of other stationery and paper products, home décor, home fabrics, kitchen and dining room tabletop products, nonprofit printers, tins (one of my favorites because I do love chocolate), labels, juvenile – you name it, we have art for it!

How do you market artists? Who pays for this? (Anything  different for new artists?)

Artists make no financial investment when we accept them for representation, other than whatever it might cost them to provide us with large, high-resolution scans of their work.  We do all the rest.  I once figured out that including labor, direct expenses, overhead, advertising, conventions and the like, we invest as much as $10,000 in each artist we take on.  So the financial risk is all ours, and we don’t always win at it by any means.  The retail market is fickle and we’re still laboring under the after-effects of the 2008 recession and the unfortunate ideology of austerity that has gripped the Western world at a time when economies need  to be stimulated, not suppressed. 

The way we make money is the same way that most art licensing agencies do: we split any and all income from our endeavors on a 50-50 basis with our artists.  Needless to say, it takes varying amounts of time before an artist “breaks even” for us, and unfortunately some never do.

What do you look for in an artist?
I look for artists who are expert at creating pleasant, appealing and compelling commercial art that is suitable for our licensees and our current retail market.  Artists must be talented, versatile, motivated and easy to work with.  In years past, I would have easily a thousand artists coming to us every year.  That’s three artists a day, every single day of the year. In the past few years that number has declined significantly but we still have a half-dozen or more artists coming to us for representation every week.  Despite this plethora of art talent, we only take on perhaps 2 or 3 new artists a year because the specific abilities we’re seeking are not that easy to find.  Plus, we need artists whose ego’s are not wrapped up in their work and who understand that manufacturers may wish to crop their images, alter colors, and make necessary modifications so the art looks good on their products, good enough to have their products jump off the shelves and increase their sales.

Do you feel an artist needs an online presence?
Every artist who wants to become known and make money needs his or her own site on the internet.  A presence in social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn for starters – can be extremely helpful to an artist in developing and expanding a client base.

How much art do you expect and artist to create in a year?
I’d like every one of our artists to send us 10 images a day, but that’s just a fantasy.  Our artists live in the real world.  Sometimes they’re able to devote lots of time to creating art for license, and other times life events push away the palette for some while.  I have one artist whose house was flooded out in a major storm and who hasn’t been able to get her contractors to finish repairing it for almost eight months, during which time she wasn’t able to create art for license.  Those things happen.  I have another artist who, despite success in licensing and repeated requests from licensees for new art, made the decision for personal reasons to focus on other parts of her life; we still license art from her portfolio online but haven’t had new art from her for several years.  One of my most sought-after artists is deceased (not something I would recommend, but those things do happen).  As for those still alive and under active representation, I would hope that they’re “on” with the program and despite up’s and down’s and seasonal fluctuations are still committed to making art licensing work as a part of their income stream. 

Any advice or other information you would like to share?
Did you ever ride an old-fashioned carousel and try to grab the brass ring?  It’s not easy, and requires a sharp eye, expert timing, flexibility and dedication to the goal, but it can be achieved. Keep that in mind if you’re talented artistically, flexible and versatile, and want to make headway in having your art reproduced commercially on retail products.  It isn’t easy, but you can get there.  Learn as much about the field as you can.  Don’t let occasional set-backs get you down. And read the articles I’ve written for artists that I’ve posted on our art portfolio site, and those on my blog on the business of art licensing, as well as the articles and blogs of others who try to educate artists on this field.  Learn, study, survey the market, perfect your craft, keep at it and you’ll get there.

You can find Lance:
Art portfolio website:
Blog on The Business of Art Licensing:
Direct email: 

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 Don't want to miss the good stuff? Sign up for my newsletter ;-)

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