Monday, February 4, 2013

Pt. 2 - Art Licensing: Walking SURTEX, Planning an Exhibit, Working the Plan

As promised, here's part 2 of my post from last week. If you missed part 1 you can read it here:  Art Licensing: Walking SURTEX, Planning an Exhibit, Working the Plan - Part 1


Get to work immediately

Build on the excitement you have from walking the show. Don't take a break. Get your plan in motion. If you’re planning to exhibit the very next year then you don’t want to waste any time. There's much to do and the time goes by very fast. I still can't believe SURTEX is such a short time away. It seems like I was just there.

Below are some tips to help you get your plan into motion:

#1 - Determine how much money you’ll need to display at the next show. SURTEX is not cheap. You will need to pay for display items, pre-show marketing materials, promos if you choose, travel and lodging, meals and shopping - seriously, it's in New York - meals and shopping are part of the experience! Find out when the payments for the show are due and make a plan to get the money. Sell your art, do shows, crank up that Etsy shop, have garage sales, etc.

If you're limited on funds, try getting an art licensing agent to represent you. There are many companies out there. Joan Beiriger has a list of art licensing agencies, here’s the link: List of Over 50 US Art Licensing Agencies. (Joan's blog has great information for artists so plan on staying a while and check out her other posts and tutorials.) Parcai Designs is mine and my partner’s company and we will be at SURTEX in booth #765 near the Trend Theatre. If you'll be at the show and are looking for a licensing rep, we’ll have a box at our booth where you can drop your contact information. We’ll get in contact with you after the show.

#2 - How does your portfolio look? Do you have full collections or single art pieces? What do you need to round out your portfolio and set up collections? How much work do you need to do for your artwork to be ready for licensing? How are your computer skills? Do you have a computer program to transfer your artwork into digital format? Do you need to buy and learn Photoshop and Illustrator? Make a plan, and write it down. Organize your artwork into folders in the order you are going to work. Only keep the current artwork in front of you and work on it until it's finished and then move to the next one. Set a schedule to get the work done. Know when you will need to order your marketing materials and banner displays, this is your actual deadline. A bit of planning will reduce stress and help you be show ready.

Check out my post on working with Adobe CS6 in Adobe Creative Cloud: Adobe CS6, Art Licensing, SURTEX, Oh My!

#3 - Plan your day: Do you work a full time job? Do you have a family? Both? Plan time for your art like it’s just as important as anything else in your life. Make the most of what time you have. Some days my personal creative time is from 8:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. and I make full use of it. Do what works for you. If you're a morning person and can get an hour or two before you start your day, then go for it. There are days I create in bits and pieces of time because that's what I have to work with. If you want something badly enough you can make it happen. 

Here is one of my older posts about time management: Pockets of Time

#4 - How will you display your art? Do some research and pricing with printing companies. Do a Google search and you will find lots of information about tearsheets/sell sheets and display books. A good place to start researching is on Natalie Timmons site here: How to Create a Killer Sell Sheet for Artists.

#5 - Don't be afraid to put your work out into the world because of art pirates. If you don't show your work you will never get noticed. And while the art pirates are redrawing your art from yesteryear, you’ll be moving on to something new and better from the wealth of ideas that will be flowing because you create original art on a regular basis. Do what you can to protect yourself. Copyright your work and use Tineye or other reverse image search sites to look for your art. And don't let dishonest people limit your creative flow.

#6 - Again, be original. My favorite way to come up with cool new designs is to doodle. Do this every day, doodle when you're watching television, in the waiting room at appointments, before bed, riding in the car - passenger seat please :o). I now find that the minute I lay my head down on the pillow, designs start playing like a slideshow in my head. I keep an art pad and pen by the bed so I can do a quick sketch of ideas. I’ve trained my mind that down time is time for creative thought. And it’s really nice to go to sleep with a new idea and have it waiting on me in the morning.

Here's another post about getting and keeping a steady flow of ideas: A Date With Your Muse 

#7 - Fear and negative thinking: Fear can be motivating or paralyzing, it just depends on how you choose to handle it. If you let fear steal your dreams then you will never get anywhere. But you can use fear to help you be productive. Use fear as a gauge and let it tell you what you need to work on. Are you afraid your art isn't good enough? Then do a show and get some feedback. Chances are you’re just being too critical. If it really isn't good enough, then make it better by learning art techniques in the medium of your choice. Some fear is normal, but don’t let it stop you from achieving your dreams. Keep plunging ahead. When you put enough work in, your confidence level will be higher and you will have less fear. Sit down with a pen and paper and write down what you’re afraid of. Just the act of writing down your fears will reduce the power they have over you. Look at that list and if you find valid points, figure out how to overcome them. Some fear will always be there but that doesn't mean it has to control you. Face fear and walk through it.

#8 - Feeling Overwhelmed: Getting ready for any trade show can be overwhelming, even for seasoned professionals. And if this is something new it may feel out of reach and not attainable. I promise you can do this if you break all the tasks down into manageable pieces, make a plan and work your plan. Get loved ones and friends to help. Make your business a family business and get the kids involved. Children are very computer savvy. Kids have fantastic ideas, my young nephew and niece are awesome at brainstorming ideas for me and their enthusiasm motivates me. I have a list of new art to create thanks to Bryce and Bailey. Older children can do some of the research on marketing materials and art licensing blogs for you to read. Delegate and let others be part of the dream. And let them reap rewards for helping.

That pretty much summarizes my suggestions for before the show, walking SURTEX, and putting a plan together when you get home. I would love to hear your thoughts or questions.Lainey


Parcai Designs, LLC

My other posts about SURTEX and art licensing:

Planning Not Panicking - Working Toward SURTEX 2013
Adobe CS6, Art Licensing, SURTEX, Oh My!
Art Licensing Agency, Parcai Designs - Press Release

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