Discovering Surtex and art licensing: the blog post that changed my course.
Knowing about Surtex and Art Licensing happened very randomly and completely changed my life. Here are the highlights, from the day I first read about this (3 years ago!) until now...
March 2007: - As I was aimlessly surfing on the web, I accidentally stumbled upon the blog of a very talented children’s book illustrator. Her name is Susie Lee Jin (Susie Studio). She was blogging about her preparations for a certain design show, as a first time exhibitor. It seemed like a big deal, so I looked it up. - I learned about art licensing from the Surtex website. I had an idea about art licensing, but I didn’t know it was such a big industry, and I had never heard about Surtex before.
May 2007: - I kept reading about art licensing on the internet, and stumbled upon other artists' blogs. Every article I read about that industry was getting me more interested in it.
July 2007: - I kept reading Susie’s blog, and I sent her a message asking her questions about licensing. She gave me the contact of the person who helped her: Cheryl Phelps, who’s an artist, and an art licensing “coach”. She organizes workshops and offers in-person and phone consulting about the art licensing world.
August 2007: - I registered to Phelp’s next workshop: “The Greeting Card, Licensing and Art Biz Workshop” in New York in November 2007.
September 2007: - I found a name for my business: Pokidots! studio. I registered it, created a logo and business cards, and started doing my freelance graphic design work through it. - I bought “Licensing Art and Design – A Professional’s Guide to Licensing and Royalty Agreements” by Caryn R. Leland, A book that taught me most of what I know now. It is a small book that covers pretty much all aspects of the business, especially the legal aspect. I definitely recommend it.
November 2007: - I attended Phelp’s workshop, and I did a consulting session with her after the workshop. It was very helpful, and Phelps provided us with a booklet packed with information and contacts! I learned a lot! I also met very interesting and talented artists who were also trying to take the first steps into the art licensing business.
January 2008: - I created a website that I never published, and I started doodling… When you have to come up with an art collection from scratch, it is not easy to know where to begin or what to draw.
Time went by… I still had a full-time design job, I was still doing freelance design work on the side, and I was still reading about art licensing, but I was just not ready for it yet.
February 2009: - I had left my full time job and took some time off. - My first licensing collection was complete, along with Pokidots! website that my friend Laura helped me with. Great!
May 2009: - I walked the Surtex show for the first time. It was beautiful and overwhelmingly inspiring. I talked to a few artists and I knew then that I definitely wanted to be a licensing artist, and exhibit at this show the next year.
I continued reading about art licensing, and doodling and working on graphic design projects. I started offering printing services with my designs and Pokidots! was doing well.
January 2010: - I moved from Montreal to Vancouver (BC), and started getting myself mentally ready for Surtex, although I was still unsure if I was really ready to be part of it. - I created a Twitter account and discovered artists who were talking about licensing and about Surtex. I also “met” Tara Reed (ArtistTaraReed) who always has something very interesting and helpful to share with artists. She is an experienced licensing artist and a consultant; her tweets, blog, videos, tutorials and the teleseminars she organizes every month are so informative and helpful.
February 1, 2010: - This was the deadline that I set to have my new, redesigned and updated website ready, and my dear friend Gus who made it happen was done at 11:59 on January 31. Right on time! I am so happy with the result, he did an amazing job, and it is the website that I have right now on http://pokidots.com. Gus is the man behind all the online work for Pokidots! including this blog. (Thank you!)
April 2010: - I bought my booth at Surtex, and booked my flight to New York. Exciting! - I started planning my booth and ideas for new drawings and collections were popping in my head constantly!
May 2010: - The Surtex Show was a success! It was a beautiful experience and I was proud of how my booth turned out. I received a lot of positive feedback and made good contacts! - Click here to read more about my Surtex experience.
It did take me literally 3 years to actually start in art licensing, since I knew about it, and I needed all this time. My last work experience was the best. I learned a lot and everything I did during those 3 years got me more ready for now and I am definitely happy about that.
A random blog post got me into the art licensing business. What about you? ☮