845-252-6650 debra@debracortese.com

Nature’s Energy “Orchid Cascades” collection for art licensing

I’m really getting into preparing design collections to exhibit at Surtex in May and am pleased that so many of my existing artworks can be updated and reworked into coordinating designs, patterns, silhouettes and borders! Also am definitely appreciating my graphic design and print production background. Always knew it was an advantage, but it really does give me a big edge for editing and adapting art for the licensing business.
Below are a few images of the creative process (Note: My favorite part, inherent in every step, is actually feeling the magic of nature’s energy as I’m working with the images)!

Here’s the original photo that all of my Orchid Cascade designs are based on:


“Photo taken by Debra Cortese at 2008 Orchid Festival
atFairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
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One of the first designs was ‘Orchid Cascades Reflection’ which has become
one of my top selling
Cortese bag designs:


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The last image shows the latest adaptations of Orchid Cascades – for fabrics,
gift wrap, journals, mugs, calendars, cards. I’d love to have it on a shower curtain!


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© 2008-2011 Debra Cortese/Nature’s Energy Cortese Designs

Surtex show is top priority for Cortese Designs

Rainbow World Peace pattern by Debra Cortese

I’m now fully immersed in preparing to exhibit at the Surtex show in New York in May.

I wrapped up my flight and hotel reservations this week; have intensified my pre-show research, which now includes daily reading, listening and re-listening to Art Licensing ASK calls, show set-up and marketing webinars and…production of my art licensing portfolios is my TOP priority!
it feels sooo right and good to focus 😉

I ordered and read art licensing guru, Tara Reed’s “How to Maximize Your Time and Investment in Trade Shows” in one night and am re-reading it as new questions come up. There’s a lot to do and getting the art into shape for a licensing portfolio is a different presentation than a gallery portfolio.

I’m reworking many of my existing designs and creating new holiday and themed collections for categories that fit my nature’s energy styles.

I’m really having a blast creating new nature’s energy patterns like the top image which is called Rainbow Women World Peace Pattern and below is my Rose Garden Pattern based on the best roses I’ve ever had in my Miami garden earlier this year! The third image is an abstract pattern based on the beautiful red and pink frangipani flowers that adorn so many south florida gardens.

Rose Garden pattern by Debra Cortese

Many of these will become handbags and matching scarves for my Cortese line and of course, I’m envisioning them on shower curtains, table linens, tableware, home decor, cards, calendars, all kinds of fabulous products that people buy because they are attracted to the color or design on the product! Creating art that sells products is exciting!

Surtex, along with the National Stationery Show® and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair® is located at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. The show runs from May 15 to the 17th. It is a Trade Show, so you’ll have to be registered to attend and please do look me up –

Cortese Designs in booth #644.

Frangipani Red Pink pattern by Debra Cortese

NOTE: I only recommend products and services that I personally use and believe in. I have an affiliate account with Amazon and I may earn a commission on products that you purchase from following my link. This is another way an artist/entrepreneur is able to earn money and continue doing the kinds of work I love.

FOCUS: art licensing and Surtex 2011

Nature's Energy Wildlife Ornaments, Parrotfish, Angelfish and Red Cardinal

I’ve set myself some solid goals and even created an action calender for the next 6 months – all based on my commitment to exhibit at Surtex in May 2011! I’ve had the art  licensing dream for over 25 years and have dabbled in it intermittently over that time period. I’ve created a lot of art for hire – logos, t-hirts, custom designs for client products and events; have a respectable presence on Cafe Press where I share my art on calendars, mugs, shirts, hats, magnets, cards, ornaments and more… and of course there are the Cortese Design Bags, but I ultimately want to create art that gets seen every day!

Many artists I know cringe at the thought of having their art reproduced on ‘God forbid – a shower curtain!’ and I do understand where they are coming from. I have many paintings and images that I am very emotionally invested in for all kinds of reasons and would not want these reproduced on placemats or paperplates! However, because of my experiences when observing the nature elements that I photograph for my art, I know that the energy of the forest, trees, fields, plants, flowers, and wildlife is not only palpable, but the vibrations that they emit can profoundly affect our physiology. Have you noticed how much better you feel after even a short walk in nature? Granted, the physical movement of your body is a major aspect of this experience, but a walk along a mountain stream is infinitely more refreshing and energizing than a jog down the cement sidewalks of most city neighborhoods.

I’ve been hiking, gardening, and walking in nature and enJOYing this for as long as I can remember. I have delightful childhood memories of helping Nana in her huge vegetable garden along the Delaware River; of playing along the banks of the pond my father carved out of stream beside our home in Narrowsburg, NY and picking wildflowers along the country road walk home from our neighbor’s farm where I’d visit as often as possible to see the animals and help weed the gardens 🙂

Every day I visualize my work on thousands of home, garden and personal items. A huge part of this vision is to share the magic, the powerful energy that I feel when I’m working with the nature images. I know many, many people are avid gardeners, flower enthusiasts, nature lovers and I’m pretty sure they will all agree that there is no better feeling than being ‘in’ nature, whether tending a garden or hiking a new mountain trail. It is so much more than it appears on the surface. The vibrations of our physical bodies align with the vibrations of the plants and we literally ‘feel’ better, happier, healthier. I believe that the images and designs created from nature’s palette of vibrant colors and shapes produce similar vibrations and when people use a product that features a Nature’s Energy design they will be able to experience some of the magic and power of nature.

For fellow artists or anyone who is interested in getting or staying focused on something you are passionate about, I’d like to recommend listening to, or reading any of the work by Esther and Jerry Hicks and Abraham. They are releasing a new CD this week – Getting Into The Vortex: Guided Meditations CD and User Guide – and I can’t wait for mine to arrive!

Affiliate Note: I only recommend products or services that I personally use and believe in and I may earn a commission on products that you purchase from following a link on this page. This is another way an artist/entrepreneur is able to earn money and continue doing the kinds of work we love.

The Business of Art Licensing – A Workshop For Artists

If you’re an artist in the Miami area and would like to know more about the business of licensing your art, you may be interested in a workshop that I’ll be presenting in Coconut Grove and on Miami Beach titled: The Business of Art Licensing – A Workshop For Artists.

Sweet Sprouts -garden art by Debra Cortese

A bit of background information:

In 2009, I facilitated the highly successful 8 week  ‘Art Marketing Salon‘ based on the book, “I’d Rather Be In The Studio.” by art business coach, Alyson B. Stanfield.  Over two dozen people (artists, curators, and agents) participated in the Art Salons which culminated with an outstanding Summer Salon Art Exhibit and Fashion Show on June 6, 2009 at the Windisch-Hunt Fine Art Gallery in Coconut Grove, FL.

As the Art Marketing Salon was coming to an end, we briefly touched on the subject of art licensing and about half of the artists said they would be interested in learning more about this topic. Since this is a subject dear to my heart and work, I made a verbal commitment to the group and myself to develop an art licensing workshop. After months and months of reading, researching, and networking, I realized one workshop would not even come close to covering the subject. So now, 14 months later, I’m putting the final touches on the first three workshops which will begin later this month starting with the introductory session: The Business of Art Licensing – A Workshop For Artists. I’m offering the introductory session at $15 per person because I want artists to have enough information to decide if art licensing is something they want to pursue. The progressive sessions will explore key topics more thoroughly with specific research and creative assignments to help each artist move forward and create a portfolio of work specifically geared to the business of licensing art on a variety of consumer products.

The material I’ll be presenting is based on my personal experience and a good portion is based on the work of artist Tara Reed and her Art Licensing Info business. I’ve been following Tara for over 2 years and highly recommend that any artist interested in learning more about licensing your art follow her blog and listen in on her free, Ask Calls where she conducts live interviews with many of the top selling licensed artists in the country.

Tara Reed Paul Brent

Tara Reed interview with artist Paul Brent

She’s interviewed Paul Brent, Mary Engelbreit, Jill Seale, Suzanne Cruise, many others and many more are coming up.  In addition, Tara has been creating and licensing her own whimiscal art for over six years and regularly attends the Surtex and Art Licensing Expo trade shows where the majority of art licensing connections and contracts are made every year.

If you’re an artist in the Miami area and would like to know more about the business of licensing your art, here is the link to full details on “The Business of Art Licensing – A Workshop For Artists” which will be presented in two locations, one on Miami Beach and another in Coconut Grove, Florida.

If you are not able to attend the workshops and want access to some of the most informative and useful information available on how to get started in art licensing, I highly recommend Tara’s eBook, “How to Get Started in Art Licensing”.

NOTE: I may earn a commission on products that you purchase from following a link that I recommend and I only recommend products or services that I personally use and believe in. This is another way for an independent artist/entrepreneur to earn money and continue doing the kinds of work you love. It’s also a good topic for another workshop 😉

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