Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Art Licensing in a Tiny Nutty Shell

Art Licensing 101 presented by Jodi Pedri- I'm on the front row.

Last week I had the great pleasure of attending a mix between an informal presentation given by artist Jodi Pedri of Working Girls Designs about her experiences in the field of art licensing.  Let me first say that I met Jodi maybe a year and a half ago when she dropped into the @Arthouselv gallery one afternoon when I just happened to be there.  The meeting might have been chance and lasted only a short time but it was like she was speaking straight to my goals list.  I immediately found her on Facebook and sent her a friends request because I just felt she might be an excellent  resource and an inspiration to me down the road.

If you check out Jodi's work and read her bio you will realize that she is very successful as a licensed artist.  Here are my big take aways from the evening.
Button that is now on my website Home Page

Most important is your portfolio. This portfolio should be easy to locate on your website home page. I made this button and I now have to right on my home page of my website.  Of course I'm still working on the portfolio page and have it currently "UNDER CONSTRUCTION" right now.

Get your work copyrighted.  This can be done periodically in collections.  She copyrights her work quarterly and includes all her drawings as a collection for the one price of around $55 at the website.  Intellectual property is automatically protected but manufacturers require that the images be officially copyrighted before they will issue a contract.
Building a contact list is extremely important.  Jodi suggests that as you walk through a department store that you pick up products that you are drawn to and flip it over to find the name of the manufacturer.  Make a note and then try to call them and get the contact information for their Art Director.  Build an email/phone list so that you can start sending out your newsletter to the appropriate individuals keeping them informed of your new projects and artwork.

Jodi also confirmed what I already knew that learning a program like Photoshop was key.  Even if you are 100% producing standard artwork using traditional mediums you will need to be able to resize and clean up the images.  She passed around some of her change orders that she gets from the manufacturers and the ability to have your artwork in layers only makes sense.  This gives you the ability to move elements of the design around as well as remove or add images.  Using Photoshop and keeping your artwork in layers is a must.  I'm starting to think differently when I sit down in the studio.  Rather than full compositions, I'm doing more of drawing separate elements that I can then bring together.  Here is an example where I took two existing sketches that I drew sometime ago and embellished them with autumn themed elements to create a completely different composition.

Create mockup images of your artwork on products that you are trying to target.  For example, a paper manufacturer would need to see your images on gift bags, party plates or napkins rather than on a piece of wall art.  It helps those in the decision making capacity to quickly see how well your images will work for their application.  Here is one mockup I put together to showcase my fine art.  It goes perfect with my Giraffe piece because of the stuffed elephant in the chair.   I want to create a mockup that has more of a country flavor because so much of my work is country influenced.

Mockup to showcase my artwork
Banner I created this week for my Etsy Shop using my artwork and Photoshop.  

Social Media Sign to add as a photo to each of my Etsy Listings

Thursday, July 13, 2017

This Week is all About Vegetables and Feathers

Just a typical week in the studio drawing all sorts of vegetables and then entertaining myself coming up with cleaver sayings and puns to go with them. These fine specimens are certified organic and GMO free and perfectly suitable for every member of your household. They are also guaranteed to make you laugh, which in this day and time is a really good thing.

The week prior to this, I had designed a set of stickers that I called "Life Began in a Garden" and these larger beet and turnips stickers evolved from that theme.  I'm no expert on the field of stickers or the organizing planner market, but I feel that if I just keep designing art that I find appealing that that I must be headed in the right direction.  Of course, I am still here waiting for those Etsy Shop sales.

I love the complimentary colors of green and shades of red.  I couldn't be more pleased in how they turned out and have already made them available for download on my Etsy Shop. I invite you to click the link below and check out all the items that I have available in my shop.
Julie Townsend Studio Etsy Shop-Crazy About Vegetables

At this point,  I do have turn my attentions elsewhere and get focused  on creating some new art for a really fun show that I am blessed to be part of.  Recently rebranded, th ART HOUSE LV, operating as a department of City of the World, Inc that has been operating in some capacity in Las Vegas for over 20 years.  The gallery is housed in an old 1940's railroad house, which really adds to it's charm and is located in the heart of the 18b Arts District in historic Downtown Las Vegas.  

 The gallery is also non-profit cooperative gallery and is a perfect place for emerging artists to come and grow and learn about the art business.  It is the first gallery I was involved in when I started painting and I have been actively involved there or going on  5 years.  Besides being the Treasurer and having my artwork on display,  I have also recently been promoted to the volunteer position of gallery director.  Well, there are actually 3 of us that share the work load and there is quite a work load to be had.

For August, it was decided that the 3 of us would put on a joint show and take the main gallery room as the featured artists.  We all have diverse styles and mediums that we use but we did decided that a constant theme in all our work is often that of animals, birds and fish.  So with that we decided to call our show "Fur, Feathers and Fins".  I put my newly acquired Photoshop knowledge to work and created this marketing postcard to advertise the show and the gallery.

If you are in the area in August, you would make plans to stop in and check out the show and all the fantastic art that hangs from the walls.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Turnip the Beet

Hollyhock illustration
It has been quite a week that has now has come to a close.   Running the gallery on First Friday each month is always so exhausting but also energizing at the same time.  I love talking to all the visitors and other artists about my artwork or about the gallery.  This month, I took my artistic journal sketchbook with me to show some of my friends my newest page that features a Rock & Roll Beet. Several of my fellow gallery artist take the time to look through the pages.  For me it was almost like having a someone flipping through your family photo albums and have them admire your children and talking about those fond memories.  Yes, it's pretty much the same with my art journal.

So even though I was pretty much worn out from my late night at the gallery, I found myself up early and anxious to work on my lovely beet sketch.  I am pretty happy how it has turned out and the little vegetable humor here as a spoof on the Dobie Gray song, "Drift Away".

After I finished working out the details of the sketch with my color pencils, I scan it and then fix up the digital file using a little of my newly learned Photoshop magic. All week I've been working on a sticker sheet collection that I'm calling "Life Began in a Garden" and this image is going to work perfectly with that collection.

My really big plan for this afternoon, after church of course... start working on drawings of turnips and paint some rocks. I know you are envious of this exciting artist life I lead.  Who doesn't appreciate a nicely painted rock and have you really looked at a turnip?  That gradation from purple to lavender to grayish purple almost white is amazing. Won't that be a fun challenge with my color pencils and just think of all those great puns I can come up with? TURNIP THE BEET for starters.

Life Began in a Garden handmade stickers
An example of one of the handmade stickers

I'm going to close leaving you these cute images and my completed sticker sheet that is available for download on my Etsy Shop.

Julie Townsend Studio-Etsy Shop

Now wouldn't you look awesome sporting this?

A number of my images are also available to be added to an assortment of merchandise. Here is an example of what my Rock & Roll Beet would look like on a hoodie.  Just check out all the options available on my RedBubble site:  Julie Townsend Studio- RedBubble

Sunday, July 2, 2017

You Take the Cake...and the Pies and the Cookies Too

"You Take the Cake" sticker collection now available on my ETSY Store
WHAT A WEEK!  I have spent a number of hours working on small projects in Photoshop and I couldn't be more pleased with this fact.  In one week I have learned SO MUCH!  With determination, using YouTube and a "Photoshop for Dummies" book I was able to break down that thick wall of fear and self doubt that I had built up over the years.  And to think that just a month ago I felt that I really needed to my kids to teach me this stuff.

To me, learning to navigate in Photoshop is going to be a real game changer when it comes to taking my art to the next level, especially when it comes to getting my art licensed.  Raising my computer skills is a must and has been a long time goal.  A while back I listed 5 goals on a large white board in my studio and learning Photoshop was number 1 on the list.   I'm going to be able to check that goal off my list here real soon.

For a long while now I have wanted to use my original artwork to make small items such as greeting cards, magnets and stickers that sell easily and bring in a steady stream of monthly income.  Yes, selling an original painting for $200-$500 is much more exciting than selling a $5 greeting card with that same image, but if I sell 100 of those greeting cards in a month.... Well, you can do the math.

I also see making this merchandise myself as stepping stone to getting my images possibly picked up and used by an art licensing company.  In my mind, if I have just smallest level of personal success this will serve as a segway into the world of art licensing.  By the way, I think art licensing is number 3 on that aforementioned whiteboard list.

If you are interested in downloading this particular sticker collection, then please check out my Etsy Store.  The cost is $3 for the download and then you can print as many of the stickers as you want as long as they are just for your personal use.

JulieTownsendStudio Etsy Store-You Take the Cake Stickers

Here is an example of the original artwork still in my sketchbook before I scanned the images.  I did realize that it would have made things a bit easier if I had spaced each image farther apart so that I had no need to erase portions of overlapping images.

Cupcakes and Baking 

Here is a close up of several of the finished cupcake designs that I came up with.  They are all fun and bright and were so much fun to design. For the sketches I used my Prismacolor Pencils, my Tombow markers and black ink.  I outlined each image with a white border which I think results in a sticker on a sticker look.  At this time, I'm really liking how that looks.  It gives the image a "Pop" effect.

These finished images will work great on not only stickers but as meme's, greeting cards and magnets.

Fonts are extremely important to the overall design when you want to include a cute message.  Two fonts that I fell in love with this week, during my many hours of working on Photoshop projects are Catchup and KG Summersunshine.  I will certainly be adding both to my list of favorite fonts that I keep in my creative journal.  I keep the list because I have difficulty remember all those silly names and would have to waste too much time scrolling up and down the list of hundreds of fonts trying to remember their names.  I'm getting old so you have to cut me a break.

Catchup is already on my default font list on my computer but I guess I have failed to really see it.  It is fun and yet not too difficult to read.  I love how it looks on my most recent sticker sheet.

 The next font I used this week was one I actually downloaded from the website "".  My first font download by the way.  I was looking for a block font that I could really doctor up in Photoshop and this one turned out to be perfect.   This eye catching block font is called

Kg summersunshine  If you would like to download it yourself than here is the link at  Here is the example of the flyer I made for a co-op gallery that I belong to in the heart of the Las Vegas Arts District.