Friday, September 23, 2016

Agent Spotlight - Jewel Branding & Licensing


Julie Newman, founder and president of Jewel Brand Licensing takes some time to talk with all of us:

How long have you been in business and how did you come to be an agent? 
We are officially 8 years old on September 17th!  It doesn’t seem that long as it has been so much fun!  I became an agent through a contact I made at AT&T when I worked for them in Florida.  He was the licensing agent for Thomas Kinkade.  He asked me to come work for him and I started my licensing career in 2003.

Who are the manufacturers you work with - how did you establish those relationships?
We work with all kinds of manufactures in stationery, greeting cards, textiles, wall art, apparel, and also many worldwide agents.  I established those relationships at shows, through networking events, cold-calling, and referrals.

Do you have employees/help?
Yes, there are 9 of us!  It’s still hard to believe there is that many but we all work together and divide up the artists and brands so we can provide a high level of service to our licensees and to our artists.

How do you market artists?
We market artists at Licensing Show and Surtex and also to people we meet at various trade shows around the country.  We also have a website that we launched in 2012 that gives each artist their own page as well as an artists information sheet.  We also market in emails to our licensees on a regular basis.  We try to keep our designers top of mind as much as possible with our manufacturers.

What do you look for in an Artist?
I look for a unique style and design.  Something that stands out from our other artists as well as something that I know our licensees are looking for.  We also like a strong social media presence, a good size portfolio that contains a range of artwork and mock ups in categories for home d├ęcor, textiles, stationery, etc.  We also encourage our artists to promote themselves as much as possible through their website, Instagram, etc. 

How much work do you expect an artists to create?
I prefer quality over quantity every day!  I also feel that when an artist is inspired by something, I love exploring that with them to make it licensable. 

Any great news you would like to share?
Yes, we have an IPad app, where licensees can login and search all of our artists designs!  We were the first agents to offer this type of technology and we have gotten a great response.  You can find it here.

How has the Art Licensing business changed over the years?
It seems that competition is tougher than ever and licensees have so many places to find designers from Instagram to Etsy, etc.  We have to really work hard at picking out the best of the best and then make it easy to work with us and the artist.

Any advice or information you would like to share?
Just that licensing is an amazing entrepreneurial business segment that we are all in and I get inspired everyday by creativity and people willing to take the risk and spend the time and money to build a licensing program.  It truly is the American dream and I love being part of it. 

You can find Jewel Branding & Licensing:
Facebook - @JewelBranding
Instagram - @JewelBranding
Twitter - @JewelBranding


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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Bo's bLAWg - The Copyright Term Follow Up


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!


Dear Bo, in last month’s bLAWg you indicated that works published before 1923 are in the Public Domain.  Does that mean that as of January, works published before 1924 will be in the Public Domain? Rick

That would seem to be logical, Rick, but that is not presently the case. 1923 will remain the cut-off date for automatic Public Domain for two more years under the Copyright Act.

Under the 1909 Copyright Act, the copyright term was 28 years with the right to be renewed for a second 28 year term.  Under the 1976 Copyright Act, the one that set the ‘new’ ‘life of the Author plus 50 year term,’ came into effect January 1, 1978.  As of Jan. 1978, the ‘oldest’ copyrights that could still be in their second renewal term under the 1909 Act must have been registered in the first instance in 1923 or later.  For example:  A work that was first copyrighted on January 1, 1923, and renewed between January 1, 1950, and January 1, 1951, would formerly have fallen into the public domain as of January 2, 1979.

Last month I mentioned Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998.  Besides extending the existing copyright term from 50 years after the Author’s death to 70 years, a provision of the CTEA extended the duration of copyrights in their renewal term at the time of the effective date of this Act to 95 years from the date such copyrights were originally secured.

Since the ‘oldest’ renewal registrations under the 1976 Act were from 1923, the CTEA extended those copyright terms to a maximum of 95 years, through 2018.

Accordingly, no new works will fall into the public domain until 2019, when works published in 1923 will finally be deemed to have expired. THEN Rick, you will get the ‘rolling’ year-by-year expansion of Public Domain.  In 2020, works published in 1924 will expire; in 2021 all works published before 1925 will have to have expired, and so on.  That is, unless the Copyright Act is amended again to alter these expectations!

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,

Have a legal question? email it to I will forward it to Bo. It might be a blog post! You can search "Bo's bLAWg" to read more posts. I am looking forward to your comments and thanks for sharing this great information on social media.

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Artist Spotlight - Mary Tanana

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?  
I went to Syracuse University and majored in Fashion Illustration. After college, I ended up getting a job at a jewelry manufacturer. They trained me on the job to design jewelry, and that’s what I’ve been doing up until 5 years ago. I decided to completely switch careers and become an illustrator and surface designer.  I took a few classes online and at The Rhode Island School of Design so I could learn more about creating digital art. It’s been a tedious journey, but I’m loving every minute of it!

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I usually work digitally, either in Photoshop or Illustrator to finalize my designs, but I always start out simply drawing with pencil and paper. I am starting to experiment a bit more with watercolor and gouache. I love doing very complicated designs loaded with detail. The more intricate the design, the more it makes my brain happy. Every element or motif that I use is initially hand drawn. I absolutely love to draw, pencil on paper. It’s an essential part of my process.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
I have always been an avid gardener. I love looking at nature and the outdoors for inspiration. I love to photograph my flowers and get lost in sketching them for hours. I also love folk art from all around the world, especially from Eastern Europe and Russia. Lately I’ve been collecting antique embroidery books from Europe for inspiration.

How did you start licensing your art?
My first few experiences licensing my art were epic failures! I quickly figured out what types of companies to avoid and which to pursue. I now have an agent, Jan Draheim from Painted Planet Licensing Group, and I’m starting to see some of my artwork come to life in a number of different product categories. So exciting!

What are you working on now?
I’m just finishing up a few coloring calendars. Then I’ve been asked to create some ceramic collections, which is something really new and challenging for me. I’m really excited to work on some fabric collections in the near future. I love creating patterns. And I love seeing what people sew with my fabric designs.

Any great advice for our readers?
Try to not compare your work or achievements to other artist’s accomplishments. This is one of the hardest lessons that I’ve learned. We are all on different paths, are at different levels, and have unique styles. Comparing your work to others makes the journey even harder. Also, try to find your “art tribe”. Find a group of artists that are like-minded, and that you can trust to give you advice. I found a fantastic group of women through an online course that I took a few years ago. We have a Facebook group, where we regularly talk about our work, post photos, and bounce ideas off of each other. We also have Skype calls every now and then. This has been an immense help, considering most artists work alone from home.

Anything else you would like to share with us?
A lot of the work that I’ve done in the past year has been for the coloring book industry. Last year my coloring book, Christmas to Color, was published by Harper Collins and was a big success. This year they’ve put together a set of coloring holiday post cards, due to be released this Fall. I’ve also licensed more holiday coloring ornaments and art with Primitives by Kathy.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
I always have been a night owl. I think I started this habit in college, I loved to work at night because it was so quiet. Still do!

What is your favorite food?
I have way too many favorite foods! I think I’ll answer with my favorite cuisines: Mexican and Thai.

Quirky information about me
I have my childhood stuffed animals in nooks around my office as good luck charms.

See more of Mary's work on Painted Planet Licensing Groups site here.

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