Joan Website | Joan Bio | Joan Licensing Info | Joan Contact Info | Blog Main Page

Art Licensing by artist Joan Beiriger: I'm happy to share art licensing info but please
give me credit and link to my blog when using it on your site. Thanks.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Art Licensing Editorial: AmericasMart - Videos on Atlanta Gift Show Products and Trends


The following article is mainly aimed at artists new to the art licensing industry and those that are interested in viewing products at the AmericasMart in Atlanta where the Atlanta Gift Shows are held. 

Artists and art agents are always searching for manufacturers that license art.  One way is to attend trade shows where manufacturers sell their products to stores (internet, retail, gift, etc.), organizations, and more.  It is an excellent way to find manufacturers that license art even though not all manufacturers exhibiting at these shows do.  Often manufacturer art directors attend the larger shows especially those shows that have permanent showrooms. Thus, those are the shows that most artists and art-licensing agents attend so they can connect with the art directors.

AmericasMart
The largest gift trade show in the United States is located at the AmericasMart in Atlanta, Georgia. It has two gift and home furnishing shows each year in January and July.  The dates for the next shows are July 10 - 16, 2018 and January 8 - 15, 2019. The Mart consists of three buildings with 15, 18, or 23 stories that are accessed by elevators, escalators, stairs, and enclosed walkways from one building to another.  It has more than 1400 permanent showrooms and about 2500 temporary booths during a show.

Artists and agents that attend the Atlanta show are able to approach companies (manufacturers and distributors*) for contact information, meet with art licensing directors to show art for licensing consideration, get inspiration by looking at all the products, and view what art themes and colors are trending. Because the show is a wholesale trade show for buyers, artists/agents are only allowed to attend if they qualify for the AmericasMarts admission policy. Artists/agents can qualify by being a guest of a company exhibiting at the show**, a guest of a retail buyer attending the show, a buyer if the artist owns a business and qualifies as a buyer, or as press/media (some bloggers have been able to quality). To find out more about qualifying, read “Admission Policy” and “Press Credentials".
*  A distributor is a company that manufactures hire to promote and sell their products.
** A company that is exhibiting at the show normally is willing to get the artist/agent a badge if she/he has licensed their art with them.

Showrooms, Products, and Trends
The Mart showrooms on most floors have floor-to-ceiling glass windows that showcase an amazing number of “eye-candy” products. A person walking down hallways on the many floors in the Mart can quickly get sensory overload!   Below is a list of short videos from the 2015, 2017, and 2018 Atlanta Shows.  Numerous products and trends are shown in the videos. Make sure that you check the date the video was published so that you know that the art may not be the latest trend. However, some art is popular year after year and is still very licensable.  Not all manufactures in the videos license art.  Although, viewing the products is still helpful to spot what is popular for products, art design, texture, and color.

•  “Gift at AmericasMart” promotion for the 2018 July gift show. Six videos with interviewers Brian Patrick Flynn and Patti Carpenter.

1. "High Design, Gourmet, & On-Trend” Join Brian Patrick Flynn for some favorite picks from the High Design, Gourmet, and On Trend floors at AmericasMart.

2.  "Terri Schuver from American Made Collective” Patti Carpenter caught up with Terri Schuver and other artists from American Made Collective to talk about the trend of American-made and about how some artists achieve their unique spin.

3.  "Tamra Bryant from Creative Co-Op” Patti Carpenter caught up with Tamra Bryant from Creative Co-Op to talk about the new Pure theme, among other new product trend releases.

4.  "Robin Goad with Waterford” Patti Carpenter caught up with Robin Goad from to discuss how millennials can be brought into the high-end table top market.

5.  "Michael Brezicky with Kitchen2Table” Patti Carpenter caught up with Michael Brezicky to discuss how millennials can be brought into the high-end table top market.

6.  " Ellen Fruchtman from Mud Pie” Patti Carpenter caught up with Ellen Fruchtman from Mud Pie to find out what is going on in terms of experiential engagement to create inspiration for attendees.

• 2018 January Show
– "Live from the Show Floor: Gift" - Published on Feb 26, 2018

– "Creative Co-Op Seasonal 2018" - Published on Dec 26, 2017

• 2017 January Show
– "RAZ Imports Christmas 2017 Glimpse of the line 720page" - Published on Jan 19, 2017

– "Creative Co-Op Showroom Sneak Peek: Traditions 2017" - Published on Dec 20, 2016

– "Creative Co-op Showroom: Home Dec 2017" - Published on Dec 29, 2016

• 2015 January and July Shows
– "The World of Gift" - Published on Aug 28, 2015

– "Spotted at AmericasMart Atlanta" - Published on Jan 20, 2015

Your comments are welcome. Click on the comments section (below) to write your comment. Note: Some people have a problem in leaving a comment. The most successful method is to comment as Name/URL (your name and website or blog with a "complete" URL address. For example: http://www.joanbeiriger.com/

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Art Licensing Editorial: January 2018 Atlanta Gift Market Success & Trends

Although attendance at the January 2018 Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishing Market at AmericasMart Atlanta seemed to be down from last year, manufacturer exhibitors that I spoke to were VERY satisfied with sales.  In fact, AmericasMart vice chairman, Jeffrey L. Portman, Sr in the article “AmericasMart January 2018 Market Sees Steady Pace of buying Power and Optimism” stated that "What we’ve seen, heard and experienced over eight days of nonstop buying and selling is unprecedented in recent U.S. wholesale trade history. This show marks the restoration of business confidence and hope for the future.”

It is easy to believe that sales at the Atlanta Show were up because holiday retail purchases were up 4.9% and retailers needed to replenish their merchandize. The article “2017 Holiday Retail Spending Up 4.9%” stated that the 2017 holiday season was the largest year-over-year gain since 2011. No wonder Jeffery Portman in the previous paragraph said that the Atlanta Show had a steady pace of buying power and optimum.  And, this surge in sales is VERY good news for artists that license their art. Not only will artist's licensing revenue increase as the manufactures sell more products but manufacturers will need more art for their products.

Read “2017 Holiday Spending Season to See Strong Growth, Finds ETA and The Strawhecker Group 2017 Holiday Spending Report Card” on the reason for the 2017-spending surge.

• Pantone Color of the Year
Last December Pantone Color Institute announced that Ultra Violet is the 2018 Color of the Year.  Pantone is a color consulting company that chooses a color each year that symbolizes design trends and cultural mood. According to Pantone, "A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.”  Note: Ultra violet color on products at Atlanta was not prominent. But, since the color was just announced it was too early to see if manufacturers will be selecting art with it for their products.  The use of color on products depends upon the art theme and product type. So ultra violet will not be appropriate for all.

• Trends
Atlanta had so many trends at this show that it was hard to keep track of them.  Of course, themes that are consistently good sellers for products were on all kinds of products.  They include flowers, butterflies, pets, seashells, anchors, roosters, pumpkins, fall leaves, turkeys, Santa Claus, snowmen, pinecones, and much more.

The most prevalent theme was words/phrases and quotes on every type of product imaginable.  Vintage campers and trucks were also on a large variety of products.  The lake theme is increasing in popularity as well as honeybees.  The popularity of farm themes is immense. And, flamingos are very popular with the coastal theme.

The newest animal that is replacing the popularity of the fox and hedgehog is the Llama. It was on all sorts of products at Atlanta.  Note: I kind of "scratched my head" on why a South American animal is so popular in the US even though it is very cute. That was until I read on Wikipedia that Llamas are becoming well known In North America since there are now over 158,000 of them living in the US and Canada.  Llamas are used as pack animals in the Rocky Mountain National Park, livestock guards for sheep, and for their wool. Lamas are intelligent and friendly and make good pets IF they are trained not to spit.

Another huge trend is the advent of cactus and succulent on products. With the ease of indoor care and the popularity of bringing the outdoors in, it is not surprising that cactus and succulents are popular.  Figurines of cactus and succulents as well as wall art, rugs, pillows and tabletop were in many Atlanta showrooms.

There was not one trend that seemed to be prevalent in all the showrooms that had Christmas themes except buffalo plaid (see below for the discussion about buffalo plaid).  Some showcased Santa’s, or snowmen, or elves, or reindeer, or moose, etc. icons. The large Christmas themed showrooms had vignettes of a variety of individual icons.

Below are pictures and discussions on the tends of words/phrases/quotes, buffalo plaid, vintage trucks and campers, animal head art, farm, coastal, nautical, and lake/camping themes seen at the Atlanta Show.


– Words/Phrases/Quotes
At the 2017 Atlanta Gift Show, phrases on plaques and other products was featured in numerous showrooms.  And, at this show the phrase only theme (no art) was even more widespread with many new companies exhibiting at Atlanta that sold products with phrases. However, the use of words, phrases and quotes WITH ART was also on every kind of product imaginable as illustrated by all the pictures of manufacturer displays in this article.  Note: I received permission to photograph all the displays shown in this article.

Hand lettering of words, phrases and quotes is very popular. All kinds of commercial fonts including hand lettering are available on the Internet for sale and some are free.  However, even if they are labeled for commercial use that means they can be used in licensing, you should make sure from the seller that they can be legally used in your licensable art.  The term commercial use does not necessarily have the same meaning for everyone.


– Buffalo Plaid
The red and black check plaid has been used for blankets and shirts in the US for over 100 years.   In the late 1800’s, the Scot "Big Jock MacCluskey" introduced the plaid to America.  He bartered his Tartan woven blankets for buffalo pelts from the Sioux and Cheyenne, which they named "buffalo plaid.”  Read "Buffalo Plaid’s 100-year-old Mysteries, Finally Solved” for more information on the history of buffalo plaid.

Since 1916 when mythological lumberjack Paul Bunyan made his movie debut while wearing a buffalo plaid shirt, buffalo plaid became the symbol of America's rough and rugged wildness.  Buffalo plaid is often used as accessories on lodge themed products.

In the last couple of years, the buffalo plaid design has been seen on lots of clothing (men and women) and other products such purses, totes, pillows and of course blankets. Last year the use of buffalo plaid escalated and were on all kinds of Christmas decorations and Christmas themed products including wall art, tabletop, pillows, and towels.

Note:  Although the nickname" buffalo plaid" for the tartan red/black check design was not used at the time, the red/black checked tartan design has been produced for men’s shirts by Woolrich Woolen Mills since approximately 1850.  For more information, read "A brief history of buffalo plaid”.


– Vintage Trucks/Campers
Vintage pickup trucks has been slowly appearing on mostly harvest themed gift products in the last few years. However, recently they popped up on numerous themes besides harvest such as Christmas, Halloween, farm, lake, camping, gardening, and anything outdoors.

Vintage campers also started slowly for lake and camping themes but at Atlanta they were used on products for many other themes.  See the above picture that has fall truck and camper products.


 – Animal Head Art
One of the most prevalent themes seen at Atlanta was animal heads on various products such as mugs, plates, etc.  But it seemed that if an exhibitor had a pillow line the design on the pillows were animal faces.  They consisted of wild animals, woodland animals, horses, farm animals, dogs, and llamas.



– Farm
Vintage farm themes on products were also widespread.  Many of the products had farm sayings on them such as “Farm Fresh” without art and with art.  Chickens, roosters, cows and pigs are the most popular farm theme images.


– Coastal
The coastal theme last year was VERY strong.  It was not this year as nautical and lake themes took over.  Turquoise and coral colors for the coastal theme are still popular. Flamingos are VERY popular but the popularity of mermaids have severely dropped from last year.


 –Nautical
There were more nautical themed products than coastal at Atlanta.  Art with anchors seem to be the stable icon for nautical themes.  Blue and red colors on an off-white background were the most prevalent.


– Lake/Camping
Lake and camping theme trends are increasing.  Phrases related to lakes, rowboats and canoes with wooden docks on water and trees in the background are popular for lake themes.   Phrases related to camping, vintage campers, tents, and outdoor cooking are popular for camping themes.

• Related Articles
-  "Art Licensing Editorial - 2017 January Atlanta Gift & Home Furnishings Market Trends / Record-Breaking Attendance

– "Art Licensing Editorial - 2016 January Atlanta Market Trends

Your comments are welcome. Click on the comments section (below) to write your comment. Note: Some people have a problem in leaving a comment. The most successful method is to comment as Name/URL (your name and website or blog with a "complete" URL address. For example: http://www.joanbeiriger.com/

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Art Licensing Editorial: Why Should Artists Read Retail Trade Magazines?

If artists do not sell products to consumers, why should they read magazines aimed at retailers?  The reason is that retailer publications show new products, discuss what is trending and what products consumers are purchasing. Thus, artists will learn what art to create that consumers want and have a better chance in licensing it.

Another reason to read the publications is to find manufacturers that license art. Many publications have links to manufacturer websites. Artists can review the websites and see if the manufacturers use art on their products and determine if they licensed it. Note: Not all manufacturers list the name of artists who create the art on their website. But if they are listed and numerous names are shown then most likely the manufacturer licenses art.  Also if there are no names shown but there are numerous art styles used on the manufacturer products then the art may be licensed. Simple graphic designs on products are usually either purchased or created by in-house designers.

Also, a couple of publications websites have videos that show and discuss products in trade shows, interviews with various manufacturers, and discussions by related industries such as Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of Pantone Colors (2016 NSS presentation about color combinations).   The videos have valuable information that helps artists create licensable art. Note: Some manufacturers also have videos about their companies on youtube.com.  Those videos gives insight into the manufacturer product lines, how they produce their products, what is selling, etc.  Search youtube for specific manufacturers to see if they have posted a video(s). Examples are Demdaco (Willow Tree Family Groupings), Ne’Qwa Art (hand painted glass), and Robert Kaufman (fabric).

Below is a list of mostly gift retail trade publications. By searching the Internet trade there are trade publications for all kinds of products such as for tabletop and for bathrooms.

Retail Trade Publications
The following retail trade magazines have information for retailers on how to grow their business. Many also feature products, discuss trends, have trade show calendars, and links to digital issues of their magazines.

Gift Beat
Has a newsletter that tracks the pulse of the gift industry by surveying retailers across the United States on best-selling products and then sharing that information in national and regional charts. The newsletter is a good way to determine what manufacturers are very successful in selling their products, which means more licensing revenue for the artist.

Gift Biz Buzz
Has an Internet trade publication that shows products, trade show calendar, links to gift manufacturer websites, etc.

Gifts and Dec
Has a website and publication that shows new product introductions, consumer trends, market calendar, pre and on going market news articles, etc.

Gift Shop
Has a website and publication that shows product trends, free digital issues of magazine, videos of manufacturer showrooms (located under resources), etc.

• Giftware News
Has a website and publication that shows new products, trends, free digital issues of magazine, online gift directory (links to many manufacturer sites that license art), gift show directory, industry news, etc.

Independent Retailer Magazine
Has a website that list links to various wholesale suppliers, and has articles about trade show and retail news.

Smart Retailer
Has a website and publication that shows new products, product trends, trade shows calendar, etc.

• Souvenirs, Gifts & Novelties Magazine
Has a website and publication that shows new products and discuss trends sold in resorts, hotels, and gift stores in parks, zoos, museums, gardens, etc.

• Stationery Trends
Has a website and publication that shows the latest trends for greeting cards and social stationery and related lifestyle gifts with access to free digital issues of magazines.  It also has interesting interview articles about artists and retailers in the greeting card and stationery industry.  And, it has videos about different greeting card and related product manufacturers.

Your comments are welcome. Click on the comments section (below) to write your comment. Note: Some people have a problem in leaving a comment. The most successful method is to comment as Name/URL (your name and website or blog with a "complete" URL address. For example: http://www.joanbeiriger.com/

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Art Licensing Editorial: Tips on Creating Licensable Art for Products

If artists hope to license their art to manufacturers, they need to create art that consumers want to see on products. Therefore, artists in the art licensing industry cannot just create any type of subject matter and expect to be able to license it for any type of product. The art licensing industry is very commercial. Artists that create art subjects that they love do not necessarily mean that it is licensable. Instead an experienced, and savvy licensed artist first researches what art manufacturers need to be able to sell their products AND THEN creates art that fits the manufacturers product line(s). Those are the artists that are successful in licensing their work.

Of course, there are exceptions. For example, flower art is very popular and if the artist loves to paints flowers then of course it will be licensable IF the composition is well arranged and formatted correctly for the product. But, if the artist only paints roses then the possibility of licensing the art is limited because currently roses are not trending except for vintage art. Believe it or not, daisies and flowers that resemble daisies are currently the most popular for the majority of products. But there again, there are exceptions depending on the season or holiday. Poinsettias are popular for Christmas, tulips and other spring flowers for Easter, sunflowers for summer and autumn. That is why it is so important that artists learn what kind of art manufacturers license for their products before creating the art. Submitting art to manufacturers that they will not put on their products is a waste of time for the manufacturers and for the artist.

• Create Licensable Art
As mentioned above, not all art is licensable or the art is limited in the type of products it will be licensed for. Your art may be beautiful and your family, friends, and even other artists may love it but unless it meets the needs of manufacturers selling to the mass or niche markets it may not be licensed.

The following articles discuss more about licensable art and has suggestions on how to make your art licensable if you are struggling to get deals.

– "Not all art is licensable" Make sure you read the comments because not everyone agreed with the title of the article when it was first posted in 2010.

– "Is Your Art Good Enough to License?"

– "Creating Licensable Art: Composition Tips"

• Tips on Size, Shape, and File Format of Art
The size and shape of art that should be created for licensing consideration depends on the type of products that manufacturers produce. It varies between the different product industries and even between the different manufacturers in the same industry. Thus, there is not a standard size and shape used to create art for ALL products. See below for more information about the size, shape, and format in creating art for licensing.

– Shape
As mentioned previously, art should be created for products. That means the shape of the art (vertical, horizontal, round, and square) depends on what type of product it is created for. The basic shape for greeting cards, decorative flags, gift bags, and some wall art is vertical. Doormats & rugs, cutting boards, placemats, jigsaw puzzles, and some wall art are usually horizontal. Coasters, wall clocks, and dishes are usually round. Coasters, dishes, and wall art are sometimes square. And repeating patterns for fabric, gift-wrap, and scrapbooking is usually square or vertical. Although, product shapes depend upon individual manufacturers so it is important for artists to know what shape each manufacturer use on their products before creating and submitting art to them. For example, not all coaster manufacturers produce only square coasters so if you plan to submit coaster art to numerous coaster manufacturers it would be wise to format the coasters not only square but also round.

– Size
Art should be created large enough so that the resolution will not be lost when placed on most products. For instance, if art is painted on a 5 by 7 inch sheet of paper (standard size for greeting cards) the resolution will NOT be good enough when enlarged for a 28 by 40 inch decorative flag. Each artist needs to figure out what size works best for the products they license or hope to license. Read "Art Licensing Tip: Creating the Correct Art Size" to find out more about the size of the art that should be created for products.

– File Format
Most artists scan their art or create their art in Adobe Photoshop at HiRes (high resolution) of 300dpi (dots per inch) because most manufacturers only need 300dpi. However, some manufacturers ask for 600dpi or even 1200dpi when the art is very detailed. The drawback in using a large dpi file is that if the file size is large it takes up a lot of computer space. Also the file takes a long time to transfer to the manufacturer over the Internet especially if the file is a layered Photoshop .psd file. Note: Many manufacturers asked for layered Photoshop .psd or .tiff files so they can adjust the size of the image. Some manufactures also ask that the image have a 0.5 or 1 inch or more bleed. A bleed means that the manufacturer wants the art to extend beyond the cutting edge so that no white area shows after trimming. For example, if the size of the final art will be 28 by 40 inches for a decorative flag, and the manufacturer asks for a one inch bleed, the artist would extend the art an additional one inch on each side and send the manufacturer a 30 by 42 inch image.

When submitting art to manufacturers for licensing consideration, artists normally send LowRes files at 72dpi. Many artists send a LowRes 8-1/2 by 11-inch sell-sheet that has the image(s) and artist contact information on it. Also some artists use sell-sheets to submit a collection of art and product mock-ups illustrating what the art would look like on products.

• Research the Art that Manufacturers License
Manufacturers license art to help sell their products. They are always looking for new art that standout and are popular with consumers. New art does not always mean a new theme but maybe a new refreshed look of a popular theme such as snowmen, lighthouse, or flower gardens. Or, new could mean a new central image(s) in a popular theme such as a mermaid for a coastal theme and elves for a Christmas theme. Or, it could even be a new theme like woodland animals that was introduced several years ago and is still popular.

Successful licensed artists are continually looking at products to find manufacturers that license art and see what kind of art they license. They visit all kinds of brick-and-mortar stores and manufacturer trade shows* that sell to retailers. Searching the Internet is an indispensable method in finding manufactures and checking out the art used on products.  

Note: Finding what art is used on products by looking at manufacturer websites is not always possible because many have their product section(s) and catalogues password protected for use only by retailers. However, by searching the Internet you can find retailer e-stores that show manufacturer products they purchased to sell to consumers.

* Manufacturers exhibit their products at all kinds of trade shows. The most popular trade show that artists attend is the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market held in January and July each year. The Atlanta show has a huge number of manufacturers that exhibit their products (both permanent showrooms and temporary booths) so it is the go-to-place for artists to view products that uses licensed art. There are also many other trade shows besides gift shows that specialize in products such as apparel, outdoor equipment, hardware, textile, home and garden, kitchen and bath. Most trade shows can be found in the "Wholesale Tradeshow Calendar". FYI: This tradeshow calendar is not up-to-date with all the show dates but it does list the trade show websites so that you can get accurate dates and location information.  

Note: Because the purpose of trade shows is for manufacturers to sell their products to retailers, they are normally closed to the public and difficult for artists to attend. Read "Art Licensing: Why Walk Wholesale Trade Shows?" to find out more about trade shows and some ways that artists can attend them.

Related Articles
– "Is There a Formula to Successfully License Art?"

– "Art Licensing: The Importance in Knowing What Sells at Retail"

– "List of Manufacturers that License Art"

– "Art Licensing Editorial: Tips on Getting Deals"

– "List of Art Trends" The trends mentioned in this article are NOT up-to-date and you will probably see that some trends mentioned are not now seen on products.

• Know Your Competition
Because there are now thousands of extremely talented artists competing with each other, it is imperative that artists know what other artists they are competing against. Recognizing other artists work as similar to yours is important so that you do not waste your time in continuing to submit art to a manufacturer that is already licensing that artists work. For example, if the art style and themes are Americana and a manufacturer is already licensing art from one or more artists with an Americana look than they probably would not be interested in art from another artist with the same look.

Some manufacturers use preferred artists when they have small product lines such as calendar manufacturers that only produce one or two calendars a year per theme (cats, dogs, birds, coastal, etc.). On the other hand manufacturers that have large product lines such as greeting card manufacturers prints hundreds of cards a year and they are always looking for art. Thus, artists have a better chance in getting a deal from them. Researching the art that the manufacturer has licensed to make sure your art is different but still fits their product line(s) will ultimately save you time and give you a better chance in licensing your art.

• Licensing Realities
Being a licensed artist has its pros and cons. Creating and licensing art for products is hard work. It is frustrating when you submit art and seem to wait forever to get a reply that you got a deal OR you never hear back. The more licensable art you create the better chance you have in licensing it but the reality is that most of the art you create will never be licensed. Theoretically art created for numerous types of products should be licensed for those products but in many cases the art may only be licensed for only one type of product. Now products have a shorter shelf life so monies earned from each licensing deal is lower than what was earned ten years ago. And, now more artists are licensing their art so the competition is stiff and each artist is getting fewer deals than before. Therefore, less artists are able to live only on the money earn from licensing their art.

So why do artists continue to create art for products and try to license it if there are so many negatives? Every artist does it for different reasons. Some love to create and getting paid is a bonus to them. Some need to earn any money they can by licensing their art. Some love to see their art on products. Others enjoy the kudos from family, friends, and artists in creating wonderful art and getting deals. And some even enjoy the challenge in creating and licensing their art. Or they love it all! So whatever the reason, enjoy creating art to be licensed for products :) I wish you much success!!!!!

Your comments are welcome. Click on the comments section (below) to write your comment. Note: Some people have a problem in leaving a comment. The most successful method is to comment as Name/URL (your name and website or blog with a "complete" URL address. For example: http://www.joanbeiriger.com/

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Art Licensing: Tips on Using MacOS Cool Apps and Tricks

Macintosh computers operating systems (OS) have time saver options, robust ways to find and organize files, and other cool things that many Mac computer users may not know about. The newer MacOS applications (apps) have updated OS apps. Therefore, not everything mentioned in this article will be available to users depending on Mac operating system they are using. For instance, the use of Tags to organize files and to easily locate a file is not available on Mac computers if the OS is not OS X Mavericks (OS 10.9) or greater. And the use of Labels to colorize the text below files and folders is only available if the MacOS is less than OS X Mavericks.

• Paste text without its original format
Have you ever been about to "tear your hair out" when copying an article headline from a website and pasting it into an email or Microsoft word document and the font is different, a huge size, and spaced way down the page than the font you are using? What a pain to correct it so that it is the same format and size as the one you are using in the email!

TIP: Instead of using the normal Command V keys on the keyboard to paste the copied text, use Command/Option/shift/V keys and the copied text format will be the same format you are using in your email. Now that is a time saver!

• Using Emoji characters  ❤️  😀  🌺
In case you do not know, the colored smiley faces and other symbols used on social media sites and emails are called Emoji. Emoji (comes from the words picture and character) originated on Japanese mobile phones in the late 1990s and became popular worldwide when Apple's iPhone supported them. Note: Not all email clients or devices support ALL Emoji and some Emoji may look different in emails supported by different clients and on various devices.

Emoji, pictographs, and many other characters can be found in the Finder Special Characters app.
1. Go to Finder and click on Edit to open the window.
2. Then click on Special Characters to open its window.
3. While in an email (or social media site or other applications that support Emoji), double clicking on one of the Emoji or other characters in the Special Character window and it will be transferred to the email.

A lot more Emoji characters are available than in the MacOS Special Characters app. The one that I like is emojipedia.org because it shows what the character looks like when used on various devices and social media sites.

Did you know that Emoji and symbols could also be placed in an email subject line? I often receive emails from companies with an Emoji character in the subject line. What a great way to get attention and differentiate your email from others! Read the thought provoking article "Using Emoji and Symbols in Your Email Subject Lines" that describes how to use Emoji in place of words or complement words and to engage and connect with the person you are sending the email to.

• Highlighting file and folder names
If your desktop is full of files and folders, it may be difficult to spot the one you wish to open. One way to differentiate them is to use colored text labels for files and folders by using the OS Finder/Label app. Note: This is available with Mac OS that is previous to Mavericks (OS 10.9). With OS X Mavericks (OS 10.9) and greater, the Finder/Label app was replaced with the Finder/Tabs app that helps organize files and folders. Instead of colored text, a dot that can be colored is placed in front of the text. To find out more about Tags, read "Tags to help organize files" section in this article.

Do the following to change the color of the text below a file or folder.
1. Click on the file or folder on the desktop that you wish to change the text color.
2. Click on File in the Finder app. And then, click on one of the seven Label colors (Finder > File > Label). The original color of the text will be replaced by the color selected.

• Customize the original file folder icon
Another way to easily differentiate folders on the desktop is to replace the original folder icon with a picture that pertains to the files in the folder. For instance, if the folder has flower files in it than a flower picture could be used to replace the generic folder icon as shown above. Or, use Photoshop or another application to create a word image on what type of files are in the folder (i.e. flowers, licensing info, contracts, trade shows, copyrights, Ads, photos, etc.) and use it to replace the generic folder icon. Another suggestion is to use the logo from a particular manufacturer website for the folder that has files related to that manufacturer.

Do the following to customize file folder icons
1. Copy to the clipboard (Command C) the picture you want to use. A low-resolution jpg image is recommended.
2. Click on the folder on the desktop.
3. In Finder choose File > Get info to open the Info window.
4. At top left of the Info window, click on the generic folder icon and paste the picture from the clipboard (Command V). The generic folder icon is replaced with the picture and is now visible on the folder.

• Tags to help organize files (OS X Mavericks and above)
OS X Mavericks (OS 10.9) includes Tags with a powerful way to organize files. With Tags, files can be organized by project without having to move them into a folder. Tags automatically appear in the Finder sidebar, so it is easy to find tagged files no matter where they are located. Read more about it in "OS X: Tags help you organize your files"
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202754

• More Cool Things
Below are articles about more MacOS cool things.

– "How to Customise Your Mac: 15+ Cool Ways to Do It Quickly" shows ways to personalize OS desktop, menu bar, finder, and preferences to your specifications. Note: The author of this article used Mac Sierra (OS 10.12) so not all Mac OS app tips shown will work the same way on the OS you are using.

– "The 50 best Mac tips, tricks and timesavers". Some of the tips in this article will require recent versions of the Mac operating system such as the latest OS X Sierra – but not all of them do. This article has too many nifty tips to list and I recommend that you flip through it to find some amazing cool things.

Your comments are welcome. Click on the comments section (below) to write your comment. Note: Some people have a problem in leaving a comment. The most successful method is to comment as Name/URL (your name and website or blog with a "complete" URL address. For example: http://www.joanbeiriger.com/

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Art Licensing Editorial: Is There a Formula to Successfully License Art?

Licensing art to manufacturers is a challenge. The competition among artists to license their work is growing as more and more artists enter the licensing industry. Different ways in selling products to consumers is evolving with the advent of Internet E-stores and kiosks in shopping malls as print-on-demand stores. These stores allow the production of popular custom and personalized art on products that has a wide range of art styles and themes. The different generations (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y/The Millennials, Gen Z) are influencing the type of products sold at retail. Each generation views the world differently and thus they purchase products with a diversity of art on them. As the majority of purchasing power is transitioning from one generation to another there is constant changes in art styles and themes needed to effectively sell products. And because of these fluctuations, there is NO set formula that an artist can follow to successfully license her/his art.

However, there are certain fundamentals that artists can pursue to have a better chance in licensing their work. Below is a discussion on some of them that should help to get deals.

LICENSING FUNDAMENTALS
• Create art that sells product
Artists new to the art licensing industry often make the mistake in creating art with themes that “they” like but may not be what consumers want. The art MUST appeal to the mass market so that manufacturers can entice a profusion of consumers to purchase their products. Even if the art is extraordinary it may not be licensable if the themes or the art style does not appeal to enough consumers. It is difficult to find manufacturers to license art themes that are unlikely to sell products. Thus, artists that want to be successful in licensing art must create art with themes that consumers want.

Get tips on creating beautiful licensable art by reading, "How to Create Art that is Licensable". And read the article "List of Art Trends" for themes that sell products year-after-year.

• Be prolific in creating art
The more licensable art an artist creates, the better chance she/he has in getting deals. Submitting lots of art with a variety of themes gives art directors more choices when selecting art to be licensed. Also, as art licensing agent Jim Marcotte states in his article "10, oops, 17, Things You Need to Learn to Make It in Art Licensing", "The majority of what you create for licensing will never be licensed, so you need to create constantly and keep feeding it into the pipeline."

It is SO true that a lot of the art generated is not licensed. But, do not despair that the art is kaput. Unlicensed images can be refreshed to look new or parts of it can be used in other images.

• Build relationships with art directors (AD)

It is not always possible, but working directly with a manufacture AD is better than just submitting art to a submission committee. By building a relationship with the AD she/he becomes more familiar with the artist work and also enables the artist to ask questions. Learning about the company and what themes are trending and/or big sellers is invaluable for creating new art.

Hint: Being easy to work with, willing to compromise, and willing to alter art helps create a friendly relationship and gives the artist a better chance to get deals.

• Submit art at the right time
Knowing when to submit the correct art themes to manufacturers may determine if the art will be licensed or not. Unfortunately there is no standard time of the year to submit the different art themes. Although, art is usually chosen by manufacturers at least 12 months in advance of the season or holiday.

Each manufacturer tends to have their own deadlines so it is important to contact them. A few manufactures have art licensing guidelines and submission deadlines on their websites but the majority of them will need to be contacted. Some manufacturers periodically send emails to artists that are on their art call-out requests. Ask art directors if they request art by doing call-outs and if they do ask to be put on the list.

• Do not give up

Licensing art is VERY frustrating because getting deals is hard, VERY HARD. Artists can submit a lot of art that they know is perfect for the manufacturer's product line and they never hear back from the AD. However, unless they are persistent in submitting art they never will license their art.

Every successful licensed artist has gone through the frustrating process of submitting art and not getting deals. The one thing they all have in common is that they did not give up. Read artist Barbara Johansen comments on not giving up in the article "Don't give up Your Dreams and Grow a Thick Skin - Part 1" and artist BJ Lantz comments in the article "Don't give up Your Dreams and Grow a Thick Skin - Part 2". Both these articles were written in 2009 and the information the artists shared still applies today.

It is crucial to create, create, create AND submit, submit, submit art to successfully license it. Getting a deal takes time, sometimes M A N Y months, so be patient and do NOT give up!

RESOURCES
Everyone has an opinion on what it takes to become successful in art licensing. Below are opinions by three-experienced agents. But, beware that these articles were not recently written. If the authors are asked today about how to license art their opinions may be different due to the transformation of the art licensing industry.

1. "What Does it Take to Make it in Art Licensing?" by John Haesler of MHS Licensing

2. "Ten Secrets to Success in Art Licensing" by Lance J. Klass of Porterfield's Fine Art Licensing

3. "Break It Down" by Jim Marcotte of Two Town Studios

4. "10, oops, 17, Things You Need to Learn to Make It in Art Licensing" by Jim Marcotte of Two Town Studios

Your comments are welcome. Click on the comments section (below) to write your comment. Note: Some people have a problem in leaving a comment. The most successful method is to comment as Name/URL (your name and website or blog with a "complete" URL address. For example: http://www.joanbeiriger.com/