Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pumpkin Carving Contest - I sure hope I win this year ;-)


HaPpY hAlLoWeEn!

Posting the winner as of Sunday Nov. 1.  - "A" Emily's pumpkin had 57 votes when I stopped counting and "B" Ann's pumpkin had 5 votes! This is pretty much what happened the first two years, I almost get skunked! I have paid up and the winner is below holding her pumpkin. Thanks for voting - we had so much fun with this :-D

This is the 3rd annual pumpkin carving contest between Emily (daughter, 19 yrs.) and myself (Annie 51 yrs. young). No pressure, but I have lost the last two years in a row. IF Emily wins, she gets $25. WHEN I win, I get bragging rights for a year. (College kids need cash :-)

We don't tell each other what we are going to carve. We BOTH decided on owls! I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree :-) Emily suggested I buy a Speedball Linoleum Cutter for easier 'peeling' of the pumpkins. It worked great!

Please vote for "A" or "B".  You can vote in the comment section below - anonymously if you like, email me: info@AnnGraphics.com or through any of the social media site I am on.

I will post the winner sometime on Sunday.

THANKS to all of you for voting! We have so much fun doing this and kidding each other. LOVE that many of you have asked if we were going to do this again this year :-D

Here are last years' pumpkins: http://annietroe.blogspot.com/2014/10/pumpkin-carving-contest-aka-i-am-going.html

First years' pumpkins: http://annietroe.blogspot.com/2013/10/pumpkin-carving-peeling-teeth.html

Friday, October 23, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Beth Parker


Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I am self taught. A great learning experience for me was participating in the All Media Art Event at WetCanvas.com. Every week, I churned out a lot of paintings in a bunch of new mediums, with each being finished in 2 hours or less. It stretched me creatively and gave me a great community. I have always gravitated to a style that people recognize as Bethville.  "Art that makes you wiggle your butt."

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
My favorite mediums are watercolor and acrylic. I have recently fallen in love with polymer clay and I find that when I try new things, they sort of cross pollinate, if that makes sense. I love mixing things up in a way that carries one medium into another.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?W
I get a lot of inspiration from living in a small town. I like turning complicated things into simple, less serious versions of themselves. A patron at an art show once studied a small town painting for a long time, then proclaimed, "I know what's going on here. Someone just told a joke and your buildings are laughing." I loved that so much! It's not uncommon to see a paisley cow or a quilted pig in my art somewhere. I get a lot of joy from making people happy. 

What are you working on now?
I have been asked to do a coloring book from my small town paintings and I'm working on three welcome signs for our town, based on one of my watercolor paintings.  I have owned a sign shop for 23 years and these signs are very exciting. A local nonprofit group got a grant to do the signs and they selected the painting. I am also adding collections to ArtLicensingShow.com.  I'm working on new collections all the time.

Anything else you would like to share with us?
I like to keep busy. I have a lot of irons in the fire, because it keeps me creating and learning. Being self employed for over 23 years has taught me to diversify and to not be afraid to switch gears when the market or the client dictates it. My art is in Our Favorite Place, a made in Oklahoma gallery. I have an Etsy shop for my jewelry and a Society 6 presence for prints. The last two are new this year.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
Absolutely an early riser. I have a studio in my home and I spend at least an hour on my art every morning before I go to work. (On weekends, I get a little more time to create.) Morning is my favorite time of day.

What is your favorite food?
Ice cream.  If coffee was a food, I'd have to pick that.  I love my coffee!

You can find Beth:

Email:  bethparkerart@mail.com

Do you want to be spotlighted? Send me an email: info@AnnGraphics.com
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Monday, October 19, 2015

ALSC Artists: Get in on ArtLicensingShow.com Coloring Book!

Get your coloring pages submitted! Free marketing opportunity :-D

Thurs. October 1st to Friday October 23rd.  The earlier the better as we are already designing the final book. Preference will be given to submissions that are sent in earlier than later, so don’t delay!"

Reminder you need to be an artist on ArtLicensingShow.com (ALSC) or your agent to submit up to 3 pages.
Just a heads up since the deadline is soon <3
Happy Creating,

Friday, October 16, 2015

Bo's bLAWg - Get Back Your Rights: Royalty Minimums


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.  www.calawyersforthearts.org  Bo is available to answer some of your questions surrounding the business of Art Licensing. - THANKS BO!


An artist asked how they can get back her rights to a group of illustrations that are licensed exclusively but are not making her any money.

The main way that an Artist can look to insure she can get back her rights to an illustration under an exclusive license that is not earning sufficient royalties is to include a provision in the License Agreement that requires minimum royalty benchmarks to be satisfied on a year-to-year basis. At least that is what I look to do for my clients.  Establishing such benchmarks need not be put in terms of royalties, but can be based upon the Licensee’s earnings of sales, whether the Licensor Artist’s royalties are based on gross or net receipts.

This is part of the conversation that the Artist or I would have with the prospective Licensee in the course of negotiations. What is the projected sales income? If the Licensee’s projections compute into royalties that satisfy the Artist’s minimal royalty expectations, then look to include those sales thresholds as ‘minimums’ for the Licensee to maintain exclusive rights. At the very least, even if the Licensee insists their rights continue for the full term, it is possible that the License can be converted to a non-exclusive one – either automatically or upon written notice.

One additional term that might be included is that if the Licensee pays the Artist additional royalties to make up the difference between those actually earned and the minimum expectation, the Licensee may maintain exclusive rights. In that way the Artist can be assured that her minimums are always achieved, or some or all rights revert to her for further use of the licensed image(s).

I can provide specific language on all these terms as needed. Just ask. 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, www.bcgattorneys.com

Friday, October 9, 2015

Agent Spotlight - Carol White, Artworks! Licensing

I am friends with several of Artworks! Licensing artists and very much admire the talent this agency has. So, you can imagine how thrilled I am that Carol is sharing her perspective on art licensing. --Click images to view larger.

How long have you been in business and how did you come to be an agent?
I have been in the Art Directing/Art Licensing field for over 25 years. Initially I worked for a direct-mail greeting card company and expanded their stable of freelance artists so that resources of new art came from a variety of sources including art publishers and national greeting card companies. It was during this period of over ten years that I came across so many talented artists across the country, most of whom didn’t have a clue about marketing and promoting their art, that I decided to set off on my own and establish a licensing agency that would help new artists become established. The licensing industry was just taking off and more companies were becoming open to the idea of licensing art for their product lines. I consulted for a national art publisher for a few years, helping to build their licensing department and then eventually decided to give a 100% of my efforts to start Artworks! Licensing. 

Do you have help/employees?
Most of the relationships that are established with customers come through my connections in the industry.  One very important element in any successful business is the solid relationships that are formed with not only customers, but also artists. I have the pleasure of working with artists who are able to format their own designs avoiding the need for a staff designer.

Who are the manufacturers you work a lot with? 
Our customers consist of a wide variety of manufacturers in both the home d├ęcor and gift markets such as Carson, burton&BURTON, Creative Converting, The Manual Woodworkers & Weavers, Conimar Corporation, C.R. Gibson, E.K. Success, Ravensburger Puzzles, KayDee Designs, etc.

How do you market artists? Who pays for this? (Anything  different for new artists?)
We market artists through social media, websites, emailing, trade magazines, attending gift markets, and by exhibiting at licensing shows such as the New York SURTEX.  We take full responsibility of covering all costs for the advertising regardless of the medium.

What do you look for in an artist?
It’s important that artists have a sense of who they are as an “artist” or “designer” and create a portfolio consistent with collections in various themes.  We look for artists that have on-trend designs and who are familiar with some form of digital application such as Photoshop. In most licensing venues, manufacturers seek to license art that has been created in layered files so that the image can be applied to a variety of product types.  We are always open to looking at an artist’s portfolio; however, we make it a point not to have significant overlap in our artists portfolios.  It’s important that each artist feel they are unique, rather than competing, within the agency.

Do you feel an artist needs an online presence?
Yes, particularly now more than ever.  With access to the Internet and Social Media, it is important for an artist to have a strong presence online which could be a website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc. All of these mediums help support the promotional and advertising efforts that the agent provides for the artist.

How much art do you expect and artist to create in a year?
We select artists who have an existing group of images in their portfolio asking that the they continue to submit their new work as they complete it. Rather than expect an artist to create a certain number of designs in a year, we encourage the artists to add designs that may create a more well-rounded portfolio to appeal to more customers. For example, if an artist is very prolific but focuses more on Spring and Garden designs, we would suggest that they add Fall and Holiday designs to their portfolio. This creates a broader balance for customers because many times if a customer likes a particular artist’s style or that style sells well for them, they will want to consider a variety of seasonal designs for their product lines rather than limiting to one.

Any advice or other information you would like to share? 
One bit of advice I would give any artist attempting to get into the licensing industry, is “don’t be afraid to be you”. Researching the market for trends and styles is a great means of staying current; however, it’s important to stay true to your own unique style rather than try to emulate other artists.  Manufacturers look for art/artists that offer a fresh approach to a classic or ongoing themes.  Competition is tough in today’s licensing world.  More and more artists are entering the business, yet manufacturers are limiting the amount of licensing and outsourcing of art they acquire on a yearly basis. So, do your research, stay on trend, and look for agencies that may benefit from your unique style rather than agencies that already represent several artists like you.

You can find Carol:
Website: www.artworkslicensing.com
Email: carol@artworkslicensing.com
Phone:  (561) 253-8100

THANK YOU for stopping by my blog and all the social media shares and support! I look forwards to your comments.

Do you want to be spotlighted? Send me an email: info@AnnGraphics.com
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Friday, October 2, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Deborah Faenza

Ciao a tutti !!!

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I frequented a specific Italian High School of Arts where I had the basics on different Art Techniques: oils, acrilics, watercolour, I also learned how to do the “Affresco” paint and Screen Prints.
After the High School I took a really intensive web design course where I discovered Photoshop.
So I tried to focus my attention on melting the two things I liked more:  draw and Photoshop (at that time I also developed a lot of really cute Flash ECards and Flash animations for websites).

I think I have found my style just practicing thru the years , have specialised myself on Whimsical recognizable Illustrations.
Now we just have to share them with the world !

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I’ve gone thru several mediums but the one that had my attention most are watercolour and markers. Now I started working more with Markers.
These are my steps: I always start with hand drawn pencil lines , then I outline with really thin multiliner and to complete, I fill the colour with Markers. Scanned the work at high resolution. I manipulate to the final work in Photoshop.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
Did I tell you? We live in Italy, on the coast, is that inspiring enough?! Everyday life, nature, pictures, but the deep inspiration are my two Kids. We use to draw a lot together and I have to admit that sometimes I borrow what they draw. When It's time to color my works I use to print out a copy just outlined for them. Some mix of colour or particular in drawings are inspired from an 8 year old boy and a 10 year old girl.

What are you working on now?
I’m working on a Christmas (digital part at the moment) and Spring (still on the drawing table) Themed Collection. It’s very exciting to work on something that I am so passionate about.

Anything else you would like to share with us?
Licensing my art was in my mind before I knew it: When I was six years old I tried to sell copies of my drawings to family’s friends and I remember I also made my Personal Coloring Books (May I be an early TrendSetter?)

Where does your passion for greeting card illustration and the choice to turn it into a job come from?
I spent Four years in Wichita Falls Texas, at that time I was doing most of all, Flash animations as a freelance, not feeling too happy because I wasn’t expressing myself truly. I missed paper and pencil, then, when I had my first Child I was submerged by the cutest Greeting card seen ever. My curiosity has grown about the topic. I start reading about greetings card illustration, still remember the book, Eva Szela “The complete guide to Card Design and Illustration”.
I was Hooked. 
It was what I always looked for .

Draw by hand,  use sentiments,  adjust digitally.

That's why the Texas' years are so important to me, I became a mom and I discovered what I truly Love.
I can say I’m from Italy with TEXAS in my Heart.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
Definitely a night Owl, some of the best ideas come from a really late night Inspiration.

What is your favorite food?
Can I say Pizza? 

You can find Deborah:
ArtLicensingShow.com  Deborah Faenza
Instagram   https://instagram.com/dedadesign/

THANK YOU for stopping by my blog!
Do you want to be spotlighted? Send me an email: info@AnnGraphics.com
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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