I have just returned from a visit to New York to attend the Surtex Trade Show, an event that lets reps show their artists' work to people who buy licenses for things like fabrics, wrapping paper, calenders, paper goods, cards, and all that fun stuff. My reps had a booth, and a banner with my work, and ipads set up with portfolios. (They put one of my designs as the ipad skin!)
All of this was very exciting and inspiring, but most of all, I enjoyed the conversations with various other artists who do what I do. Some of them have been doing it for decades, and I met several who were just so generous and open with their ideas. Others were cute young things, right out of school, who had invested someone's life savings to start up a design business, and it was super fun to chat with them, too, to see their fresh work and starry eyes. (and creative displays!)
The world of licensing is new for me. Rather than being out selling my work, I have been here on-line, showing the world my journal pages, and making collages for I think over ten years. I was selling cards and originals in galleries and craft fairs, on-line, and certainly to friends and family. Little local things that made a few hundred dollars, and involved me hand making all my own inventory.
I knew the world of licensing existed, I just had no clue how to break in. The funny thing is, this timing is now perfect for me. I think if it had happened earlier, my work would not have been ready. For better or worse, maybe I have a slow learning curve, but it really did take me the last ten years of journaling and making collages to find my own style, and develop my own voice as an artist.
Now, I feel ready. At Surtex, I had so much positive feedback, it was one of the more uplifting four days of my life.
and I must mention my amazing reps at Parcai, Teresa and Lainey. They are simply such classy ladies, smart, professional, hard working, and deeply kind.
Usually gallery shows leave me exhausted, depressed, and wanting to quit selling art. This left me eager to get back to the studio and get to work! I have a few calender requests I am putting together right now, and other ideas in the making.
So, I guess I am sharing all this here to say, thank you to my art journaling, a slow turtle like me is actually hitting the design world with my own style, personal and unique, and coming straight from my heart.
Who knew at age 51, I would figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up?!
Passion, maybe is a key to success, and I think I have that. I love what I am doing, and I am happy with my art.
What a blessing to be doing this work with such great people.