Discovering Surtex and art licensing: the blog post that changed my course.

June 15, 2010

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 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? ☮


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