845-887-3156 debra@debracortese.com

my Art Licensing Story via Tara Reed’s Art Licensing Info blog

Debra Cortese\’s Art Licensing Story via Art Licensing Info blog by Tara Reed

Still working on my art licensing website and getting the Surtex show followups out!
You can see my work at: www.debracortese.com and please note, most of the new art licensing designs are not yet online.

I have a very long to do list 😉

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.

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 😉

Three Steps For Artists Who Think They Want to License Their Art*

Many of you have already heard me talk about art licensing and my plans to share art and design work in and on as many places as possible in the coming years. I’ve always known that art licensing suited my goals of doing work I love and earning a living from it. Times have changed and the economics of being a self-supporting artist are, dare I admit, even more challenging than ever before, at least for many of us ;-).

Happily, I also have an unquenchable thirst to learn new ways of doing art and business and ultimately to move forward toward my goals. One of the ways to most effectively do this is to seek out and follow a mentor. I now have several and for the specific topic of art licensing, I look to artist/entrenepreneur, Tara Reed. We share similar backgrounds in the areas of graphic design and marketing. Tara is a working, selling, licensed artist, AND… she shares her experience and knowledge and expert use of today’s social media marketing in useful, informative products and through interviews with top licensed artists and other professionals that specialize in helping artists develop the business side of their careers.

That said, I will be posting a series of articles that Tara Reed has authored (LEGAL NOTE: I’m an affiliate for Tara’s products because I use her products, believe in the business of art licensing and also want to share this information to help fellow artists. If you purchase any of the products that are on this blog or page, I get a commission. Multiple streams of income is part of building a successful business and enables artists to do what we love – create art!)

Three Steps For Artists Who Think They Want to License Their Art
article by Tara Reed

Licensing art can sound like American Idol(TM) for art. Put your art on stage and become an overnight sensation! A road to riches, paved with glitz, glamour and lots of cash. When people first hear about licensing, they often hear about the rock stars of licensing. The people making millions that have become household names. Names like Thomas Kinkade, Mary Engelbreit, Debbie Mumm, Paul Brent, Susan Winget and the like.

This is often what you hear, “So-and-so’s art is on thousands of products each year, selling millions of dollars in retail stores and the artist gets a percentage.” Well yippee! Who wouldn’t want to do that?

But how did those artists get there? There is a lot of work, dedication and persistence that gets you from learning about the industry to becoming a rock star of licensing.

Here are three things I recommend artists just learning about licensing do, to decide if licensing their art will be a good fit for their art, their lifestyle and their goals.

  1. Make sure you like the way the day-to-day job will be. Don’t just throw on your rose colored glasses and create. Seeing the end goal is good but if you are unhappy with the way to get from zero to millions (or even thousands) you probably won’t get there. Like any business, there are steps to take, things to do on a daily, monthly and yearly basis to move you towards your goal. Things like creating art collections, figuring out what manufacturers license art, contacting them (or finding an agent to do your sales and marketing side), etc.
  2. Start to think about your art like an artist who licenses. Thinking like an artist who licenses their art is a shift for many people. Unlike creating art to sell in a gallery or commission work, you need groups, or collections, of art to license, not just single images. Think about products you see in stores with art on them then consider the pieces a manufacturer needs to make it. Take paper party goods for example. The plate might have a central image and a coordinating border around the edge. The napkins have a repeat pattern. The cups have a solid color and bordered edge. Then you might see a few images used for invitations and decorations. So what does the artist provide to the manufacturer to achieve this party collection? What themes do you see over and over?
  3. Make a plan and create at least a dozen collections to get started. Even if you want an agent, you need to show that you aren’t a one-hit-wonder and that you can produce art for licensing again and again. Quality, quantity and speed are three keys to success in licensing. Another reason to create a dozen collections is that during this creation process, you will discover if you actually like thinking and creating like a licensed artist. It isn’t for everyone and I believe that there are so many things you can do with art, why not pick something you love and are passionate about?

When you have your dozen or so collections, start looking for an agent or showing your art to manufacturers. See what they say, listen and adapt.

Get a jump start on licensing your art by claiming the first chapter of the eBook “How to Get Started in Art Licensing” FOR FREE when you visit http://www.artlicensinginfo.com/freebie.html

From Tara Reed, a licensed artist who is doing what she is teaching and creator of ArtLicensingInfo.com the place for artists to learn how to earn an income licensing their art.

Make art. Make plans. Make money.

Get your copy of the eBook “How to Get Started in Art Licensing

Kreativ Blogger Award – The Power of The Blogging

A Kreative Blogger award has recently been passed to me by fellow Miami artist, Rosie Brown and I’m honored that she chose me to receive it. I’m also delighted that it was presented to Rosie by Monique Lassooij. Both artists were participants in an 8 week long Art Marketing Salon* that I facilitated at the Windisch-Hunt Gallery in Coconut Grove, FL in 2009, and, in passing along this award, they are affirming the value of social media marketing as one of the most effective marketing tools around today: blogging!

Since I’ve become a bit of an information addict, I couldn’t do this without a little background research. I quickly found reference to the original ‘Kreativ Blogger’ post and requirements for nominated Kreativ Bloggers. I believe they have been edited and abbreviated over time and cyberspace.

Kreativ Blogger originated in May 2008 in a post by Huldas Verden as noted by Clay Garden author in this April 2009 post:
“Finally I found that it was started in Norway by a blogger named Huldas Verden.”

When the Clay Garden post was written in April 2009, the author’s Google search came up with 712 entries for Kreativ Blogger.
When I searched today, Feb 28, 2010 for ‘Kreative Blogger’ awards, Google comes up with 23,200,000 entries! Hence, the power of blogging!

Here are the requirements that I found, and am passing on to 7 fellow Kreativ Bloggers (names and links to blogs at the end of this post):

The Kreativ Blogger award comes with the following requirements:
1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link the person who has nominated you for the award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.

Seven things about me that may be of interest:

1. I’ve always loved nature and art and just knew this was my path in life.

2. I did, and still question, my choice of life experiences and have finally come to terms with accepting that whatever happens, as long as I pay attention and learn something, I can move forward.

3. I’ve been married 3 times – divorced twice and widowed. I have two amazing daughters that I’m very proud of. My third husband died when my youngest daughter was 4. I’ve been a single mom for the last 14 years and must say, I really don’t enjoy being the responsible adult all of the time.

4. Self sufficiency is admirable and it gets the job done, but the ability to ask for help and help others empowers everyone.

5. Travel is now high on my to do list. My youngest daughter will graduate high school this year and she has plans for college so the timing is right for me to go on my walk-about. Thus far, I’ve only been out of the USA to Canada. Mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans, deserts and cities all around the planet are out there, full of fabulous nature creations that I’ve yet to see and can’t wait to photograph!

6. You really do teach best that which you need to learn, and actions do speak louder than words.

7. I truly believe there is magic (healing, restorative power) in the energy of nature and that is what I hope to share with my art.

Sample of my nature’s energy photo-digital art: “South Beached Man-O-War Reflection”


Alyson B. Stanfield http://www.artbizblog.com/
Tara Reed http://artlicensingblog.com/
Eric Francis http://www.planetwaves.net
James Echols http://www.soulofmiami.org/
Tom Falco http://coconutgrovegrapevine.blogspot.com/
Heather Allard http://www.themogulmom.com/
Catrien Ross http://www.energydoorways.com/category/blog/

* Art Marketing Salon is a group or community, guided, do-it-yourself workshop with all materials provided by Alyson B. Stanfield, Art Biz Coach. I highly recommend Alyson’s book, “I’d Rather Be In the Studio” and signing up for her newsletters which are full of valuable marketing information for artists and business people alike.

NOTE: I only recommend products or services that I have experience with, believe in and support. When you click on a link in this blog and make a purchase, I will receive a referral commission. This is one of the ways an artist can earn a little extra income and support her family!