Wow, the culmination of a year and half’s work is finally, unbelievably here. Bright and early tomorrow morning, I’m taking the train to New York City. By late afternoon, I’ll be setting up my booth. Sunday through Tuesday, 8am – 6pm, is show time. I’m looking forward to making new connections and reconnecting with friends. If you are attending and/or exhibiting, stop in and say hello at booth #764 – and I wish you the best of luck!
There is a nifty article in the Wall Street Journal about the art licensing industry, called ” For Artists, a Change of Canvas Can Be Good Business.” You’ll definitely want to check it out.
I’m starting a new topical thread called the “Damn That’s Good List.” I could have just as easily called it the “I wished I’d thought of that” list. As an almost 30-year marketing pro, good marketing catches my eye. However, I now find myself to be much like the plumber, I’m keeping everyone else plumbing (i.e. marketing) running smoothly with not as much time as I’d like to take care of my own. And honestly, even if I did have more time, I do realize there’s always going to be somebody out there who’s doing it better or spot on.
Here are three self-promotion videos that have made my Damn That’s Good List. Everybody, me included (I’ll be in booth #764), is getting ready for Surtex 2013. They are updating their sell sheets, press kits, postcards, business cards, booth displays and more. A few Surtex-bound artists have also done some really clever video promos.
Here are a few that I particularly envied …oops I meant to write, “enjoyed” – LOL!
Kudos to the artists and their producers!
If you have a self-promo video that you’re proud of and want to share with the world, post a link in the comment box or sent me the link and I’ll add it to the post.
You know how they say “it’s the journey not the destination?” Well, for the first time in my life, I can honestly say I am completely and totally in love with the journey. Every now and then I have to pinch myself because I just feel so dang lucky to be doing the work I love.
The art licensing industry is not an easy industry to get into. The experts tell us it takes 2 to 3 years just to get your foot in the door (I’m in year 1.5). They say not to expect instantaneous rewards because the market has shrunk and there are fewer manufacturers with a lot more artists all vying for the same piece of pie. Any normal person would probably walk the other way.
Instead, I’m running straight for it. I can’t explain it. It’s just something I have to do. I have to see where it takes me. Where will that be? I have no idea. For once, it almost doesn’t matter because I’m having so much fun along the way!
One of the keys to enjoying a journey in which the destination is potentially years away is celebrating the little successes along the way. Today I am celebrating one of those successes – my first feature story as an artist! I can’t possibly convey how excited I am about this. It’s not just any publication. I’m featured in one of my all-time favorite blogs on art licensing called The Moon From My Attic by Alex Colombo. It features inspiring stories on artists, agents and manufacturers in art licensing. It’s the blog I read first – and now I’m in it! Whoo-hoo me!
Help me celebrate by jumping over to Alex’s blog to read An Art Licensing True Story – A Late Bloomer’s Path and share a little bit about your journey. Let’s enjoy the ride together!
PS: A million thanks to artist extraordinaire, Alex Colombo, for this incredible opportunity. She really lives her mission “Partnering to Make the World a Better Place Through Art!”
Sometimes I leap spontaneously and other times with great consideration. After a year of weighing pros and cons, I left a full-time job a year and half ago to go back to consulting, part-time this time, so I could use the other half of my time to build a portfolio and launch myself into art licensing.
For me, quitting my full-time job was easier than signing up for Surtex. It’s roughly a $10,000 commitment once you add up the exhibit fees, display materials, advertising, travel and so on. However, I’ve been a businesswoman for 29 years, so the money investment, although considerable, wasn’t the biggest hurdle for me to overcome. The biggest thing for me to overcome was fear. Fear of looking amateur, fear of failing in such a public way, fear of not being good enough, fear of succeeding and keeping up, etc. Facing those fears was like peeling back an onion. I’d expose one, only to reveal another.
How did I overcome those fears? I haven’t. As the saying goes, I “feel the fear and do it anyway.” I also think I’m able to forge ahead because I have another fear that is way bigger than all the others. And, that’s the fear of having regrets. When I’m 95, I don’t want to look back and think, “I wish I had tried that.” I only have one life and I want to wring every ounce of joy and living that I can out of it. For me that means following my heart and passions.
I really believe my art, personality and business acumen is a great fit for art licensing. I can’t think of anything more satisfying than see my art on product. I enjoy working with clients on a common goal. I have no qualms about editing or refining my art to meet client expectations. As a marketing consultant, my clients love my responsiveness and passion for helping them succeed. It’s just part of my nature. I think art directors and manufacturers will appreciate these same qualities.
The bottom line in art licensing is creating great art. This is where I focus most of my time and attention - becoming a better artist and surface designer. And, I’m even excited about that because with each collection I create my art just keeps getting better and better. A great example of this is my new Cowboy Christmas Snowmen Collection.
Besides creating great art, there is much I’ve done to put my best foot forward in the art licensing world, from hiring a coach, participating in blogs, creating a tagline, developing a new logo, and more. I’ll share some my experiences in upcoming blog posts. And please, if you go to Surtex 2013, leap on over and say hello. I’ll be the “contagiously happy lady” in Booth #764 living the dream!
After an agent complimented me on the professionalism and quality of my sells sheets, it dawned on me that what I’ve learned about creating sell sheets might be helpful to other artists. In that spirit, I created a free eGuide called, “How to Create a Sell Sheet for Artists.”
I’m not an expert in art licensing. I’m actually new to the industry. However, I do have 28-years experience in marketing communications. I’ve created hundreds of literature items, including brochures, catalogs, direct mail, print ads, and yes, product sell sheets. In addition, I’ve gleaned valuable information through some great coaching by Tara Reed, blog articles by Joan Beiriger and Kate Harper, as well as posts from many artists and agents on the Art of Licensing LinkedIn group.
The eGuide is a compilation of what I’ve learned. Since artists are predominately visual, I tried to keep the guide mostly visual. I anticipate this will be a “living” document and that it will grow and evolve as our industry does.
How is an Artist Sell Sheet Unique from other Sell Sheets?
Creating a sell sheet for a product like printed circuit boards is quite a bit a different than creating a sell sheet for art that goes on products. In both instances, the purpose of the sell sheet is the same – promote the product.
However, the presentation of the two is quite different. With product sells sheets, words and images are used to promote the key benefits of the product. With artist’s sell sheets the presentation is almost 99% imagery.
How do you promote the key benefits of your art to a manufacturer without words?
The answer is breathtakingly simple – you SHOW them! This is why creating mockups and displaying your art in various orientations (horizontal, vertical, square, round, etc.) is so important. It shows manufacturers how irresistible their products will look with your art on it.
There is no cookie-cutter formula for creating sell sheets. You have a lot of flexibility in how you design one. However, there are key elements that every sell sheet should have. Download and read the free How to Create a Sell Sheet for Artists eGuide to learn more – and if you like what you read, feel free to pass the link (http://natalietimmons.com/PDF/How_to_Create_a_Sell-Sheet_for_Artists_eGuide.pdf) onto a friend or share it on your blog, FaceBook or Twitter feed.
Got a Great Sell Sheet?
Got a great art licensing sell sheet? Email me a JPG or PDF and I’ll post in on my blog with a link back to your website.
I first learned of the “Rocks, Pebbles, Sand” philosophy from Stephen Covey.
The theory is that we all have the same size glass jar, which is 24-hours in a day. If we fill our glass jar with pebbles and sand (less important activities) then we won’t have room for the big rocks –or the goals or activities that really matter. To improve productivity and efficacy fill your day or week with the “big rocks” FIRST, and leave the remaining space for less important activities.
Big Rock examples:
- Painting or doing your art
- Business planning
- Marketing your art
- Obtaining “X” number of licensing contracts
- Selling your art online, shows or galleries
- Teaching or designing a new class
- Writing a book
- Learning or honing your skill
- Running errands
- Playing iPhone or video games
- Watching too much TV
- Spending too much time on Pinterest, FaceBook or other social media
What are your big rocks? What can you do today that will help you make progress on your big rocks and hopefully your dreams? Focus your attention there and you will eventually move mountains!
Rocks, Pebbles, Sand, the Modern Nomad Blog
Big Rocks First: Double Your Productivity This Week by Zenhabits.net
Timeless Truth from Stephen Covey: Put Your Big Rocks in First
Did this article make you see things in a different way? Did you find it helpful? What do you do to stay focused on your goals and dreams? Comment below and let me know!
- Am I taking my goals seriously?
- Am I taking myself and my art seriously?
- What else in my life am I giving my priority to?
- Do I love myself enough to spend time on the things that really matter to me, especially my art?
Sure life gets in the way occasionally. Most successful artists do their art anyway, through thick and thin, sickness and health, and so on. They do their art whether they feel like it today or not. Some days the work flows and we are in artist’s heaven. Other days it feels like all we’re creating is crap – but do your art anyway. In the book the Outliers Malcom Gladwell repeatedly emphasizes the “10,000-Hour Rule”, saying that the key to success in any field is a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours. Don’t waste an opportunity to perfect your art. It all adds up.
Put thousands of little baby steps together and you can climb a mountain!
Your friends and family, your church, your art group, and your coach can support you, encourage you and BELIEVE in you. But only you can do the work.
That’s my “tough love” talk for the day. Write me a note and tell me how your doing with your goals.
Ps: Check out these posts if you need more inspiration:
How “running away from home” helped my regain balance and find my creativity - http://artlicensingblog.com/
Goal Setting and Seasons - http://deborahapeters.com/2012/motivation-goal-setting-work-motivation-seasons/
7 Ways to Get Motivated and Achieve Your Goals - http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/7-ways-to-get-motivated-and-achieve-your-goals/
How to Cowboy Up & Create More Art - http://natalietimmons.com/how-to-cowboy-up-create-more-art-in-2011/
KINGSTON, NH –The Art Licensing Group of New Hampshire (ALGNH) will host its next meeting on Saturday, September 8 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at the Kingston Community Library, 2 Library Lane, Kingston, NH (across from the Carriage Towne Plaza). The group offers support, education and networking opportunities to artists, illustrators, graphic designers, fabric & surface designers and photographers who license their art or are in the process of entering the art licensing field. There is no fee to attend but advanced reservations are required.
During each meeting attendees have the opportunity to speak and share their artwork, set individual art goals to accomplish by the next meeting and learn more about a variety of art licensing topics including copyright, contracts, marketing, design techniques and more. Members also have access to the Art Licensing Group of NH FaceBook group, a closed, members-only group, where members share their artwork, news, challenges, and offer each other support and encouragement.
Photographer and digital artists, Patricia Edsall of Bedford, NH said, “The ALGNH offers an environment where each member is allowed to grow her business at a level that is comfortable for her to succeed. It has a genuine atmosphere of support for all members. And I look forward to each meeting knowing that positive energy is around each one of us.”
The group typically meets the first Saturday of every month from 9:30 – 11:30. In addition, Attorney Emily Danchuk, with Furman Gregory Deptula, will give a free seminar on Art Licensing Contracts on Saturday, October 20th, from 9:30 – 11:30 at the Kingston Community Library.
There is no fee to attend but advanced reservations are required. To reserve a seat please email Natalie@NatalieTimmons.com or call 603-642-4949.
About Natalie Timmons
Artist Natalie Timmons specializes in creating “contagiously happy” nature and animal art for licensing. A painter for more than 25 years, Timmons predominately works in watercolors, pen and ink. She also has a strong background in acrylics as a decorative painter. She found her “sweet spot” when she began combining her two passions – painting and graphic design – to create art that sells products.
Timmons also operates Creative Leap, LLC, a marketing communications and graphic design firm. She has more than 28-years experience in the field. She was formerly a marketing communications supervisor with Mersen, a global manufacturing company, the President of ComCoach Design & Marketing, Community Relations Director with Home Health VNA and Vice President/General Manager of Merrill Associates. She is the founder of the Art Licensing Group of New Hampshire.
Don’t have enough time or money to take an art class or learn all the things you want to about the business of art? Try multi-tasking! I subscribe (via iTunes) to about a dozen free postcasts on the business of art, art marketing, creativity, business and personal development. I make a playlists of the most recent shows, then I sync them to my iPhone, iPod and iPad and I listen to them while I paint in the studio or take my morning walks. I have a friend that listens while she cooks dinner for her family.
Here’s one that I particularly enjoy. It’s a podcast called Artists Helping Artists. Some of my favorite shows have been on Best Art Books II, Hot Tips for Growing Your Blog, Secrets to Creating a Great Studio, Top Apps for Artists, Finding the Right Art Workshop, interviews with artists and more.
You can visit their blog and listen to an episode via your computer at http://artistshelpingartistsblog.blogspot.com/. Or you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/artists-helping-artists-selling/id383323608
What is your favorite thing to listen to or watch while you’re in the studio?