Archive for the ‘My Creative Business’ Category
There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.
Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
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I decided to write four posts about SURTEX due to the amount of information I wanted to share and the personal process involved in this adventure. It is not a secret that I registered to SURTEX at the last minute. This “last minute” decision was by itself a difficult situation and I learned a lot from the experience, A LOT.
I want to be honest and clear in one thing, I am very happy, very proud, very satisfied with the experience..but there is a lot to learn, there is a lot to reconsider and there is a lot of work ahead to make the next show and the experience a BLAST in terms of licensing deals, the reason of my participation.
I have learned a lot from licensing blogs during the past 18 months. Tara Reed’s is my favorite and almost all I know came from her PDF books and her blog. I knew I was not at all prepared but still I wanted to go and have the experience. I wanted to “START” the process. This was a goal I added to my list last year when I walked the show and I always have the urgency to complete my goals.
This post is all about the lessons learned but I will also add a few advises in case you are planning to attend next year. Here are “MY LESSONS LEARNED”. They are just mine. This may not be the lessons learned by others, it was my first experience and of course there is a lot more to learn.
The 10 Lessons Learned after SURTEX 2012
Lesson #1 – You don’t have to show everything in the booth panels. Less is More. Try to put what you know will attract more in big images.
Lesson #2- The banners are the easiest and effective way to show the art on the booth panels. I didn’t read this anywhere. I had no time for asking or reading before the show, remember I was trying to be ready in just a month.
Lesson #3- You don’t need 2,000 business cards or press kits (please don’t laugh at me). Not everybody will take a card and they are too heavy to take them in a flight along with all the stuff you need. You know what, I was going to make this question before but I was ashamed to ask. Now I have around 1000 press kits at my son’s house in PA.
Lesson #4- You can have you own sign on the Booth, this will get more attention than the one they provide. A print in a foam board for both sides will be fabulous with your art and name.
Lesson #5- Be assertive with the artists and guests visiting, you don’t have to show your portfolio to them. First, they should not ask, but if they do…Let them know you are expecting clients, your reason to be there.
Lesson#6- Start your preparation at least 6 months before the show. One year ahead is best but 6 months will be ok. THIS IS A MUST. Licensing is very VERY competitive and you should be there with your best products, with your best presentation, with the best portfolio. I learned this from my conversation with Stephanie Ryan. She told me that she started one year before. She walked the show 8 years before deciding and she did very VERY good at SURTEX.
Lesson #7- Learn from the experts..don’t follow advises from people that are not familiar or worst, that don’t know nothing about licensing..Period!!!
Lesson #8- Study the trends, the companies that license art, where they put the art, how they use it. Your art should fit in products, manufacturers are looking for this kind of art. I had the wrong idea that they will see your art and will magically transformed it in products. This can be true and ok if they see your art anywhere else but not in a LICENSING SHOW. There are hundreds of booths with art, they can feel overwhelmed with the amount of art input. If I were them I will feel that way. Thank God I had the idea of adding some prints with a single Big icon, they caught the attention of a good manufacturing company. I don’t know if they will make the deal but they loved it and asked for the images. Fingers Crossed!!
Lesson #9- If you already have licensed products, take a few with you. I should have taken some of the AVON samples and maybe some of my ceramics. I learned this from Sheila Meehan, a lovely licensing agent who was very kind and gave me lots of advises. Didn’t I tell you in my first SURTEX post, that my participation was worth it?? I learned a lot!!! Plus, I may have a few deals in the future!
And number 10!!! I ended with this one because it is the one I need to work most! I have to tell this because it was my worst mistake! I learned a lot this year about surface pattern and I was so excited about it that I ended up working a lot on patterns the one and only month I had to get ready for SURTEX. Now I know I should have put all my energy in my mixed media and what I learned after the show. It is not that surface patterns are not a good licensing art. In fact IT IS. The thing is that I need a lot of practice, a lot more learning and time to MAKE COLLECTIONS. ….and I should have worked in some collections using my mixed media.
Lesson#10- Make Lots LOTS of COLLECTIONS…..with what you know more, with what it is your style, with what you already know it is your strong area, with what you know people love. LESSON LEARNED!!! My mixed media caught a lot A LOT of attention and you know what, I was wrong when I thought this will not be what manufacturers were looking for. With the exception of a few licensors interesting in one or two patterns, almost everybody was attracted to the booth panels with the mixed media. I knew that many collections were necessary but I didn’t have the time and I lost it making new patterns…Well next time the story will be different.
My goals and future in art licensing…
1. I am looking for an agent. I know this “one woman show” in licensing is not for me. They were a few interested and I am working on sending my submissions and I have good feelings that I will find the right one, lets see!
2. I will attend SURTEX again, with or without an agent. You have to be seen there by the manufacturers, It is important that they know you are committed to your art and the licensing business.
3. I may attend, just to walk the show, Print Source 2012. I love surface pattern and I want to learn more. The more I know, the more I can offer and the more could be licensed.
4. I am already working on more mixed media and COLLECTIONS!!!
5. I will be working on a few proposals with my collections.
6. I need to earn a living and that is where my manufactured products help. I am working on a few proposals for big stores and adding stores where I sell at wholesale prices.
7. I will expand my online presence to sell more.
8. Again, I need to earn a living plus I want to share my knowledge of 16 years producing and selling art to stores and individual clients. In a few weeks I will be launching my very first ONLINE COURSE…Still a few days to let you know the Name of the Course and the juicy things it will have. I can promise it will be worth the inversion.
This a preview of the first video making a ceramic piece! Enjoy!
This is it for now….I hope this few lessons could save time, money, and energy if you plan to attend any show in the future!
Have a lovely life and Enjoy the Ride
“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”
In the week before SURTEX I had a few conversations regarding this new adventure, the opportunities and possibilities. As I was explaining the reason of my participation to some friends I started discovering my real reasons and I knew it was the right thing to do. The whole thing of licensing and SURTEX was new for most of them but all of them were excited about my journey and so was I. I had two life transforming conversations before SURTEX. Both conversations, after explaining what is SURTEX and why I was going to participate and all the excitement related to it, ended up talking about our mission in life, authenticity, integrity and the meaning of money. One of the conversations was with a long time friend, my pastor and spiritual leader and her wife, one of my best friends. The second conversation was with a young couple I just met the day I was trying to catch a plane in Puerto Rico and get to SURTEX. None of the meetings and conversations were planned, or expected or imagined. I have known the first couple for almost 34 years, this means it was not a rare conversation but was very important to me because I could clarified my mission and money issues (just before SURTEX) with them and it felt good. The second conversation was with total strangers, and it was here that my SURTEX second part started.
I have to begin with a question: What are the odds that in a plane with almost 200 people you get to talk to the right one? No, no, no no…they were not in the seats beside me. Another question: What are the odds that this plane, which had just arrived, had mechanical problems after trying to take off twice, and the airline cancel the flight? Well, this is not strange at all…but..they told us we were waiting for the plane to be repaired! It took a long time and they opened the door to let us decide if we wanted to get out of it and get another plane. For some reason (in fact I was so tired I didn’t want to get up) I stayed in the airplane along with most of the people even when a flight attendant whispered me “I think this flight will be cancelled”..and in fact, it was.. an hour later. And the third question: What are the odds that among all this people you ended up standing behind a couple that was talking about you and your art? Well, don’t panic..I didn’t hear them. We just met and started a conversation. They were tourists and were pissed off for the situation. After they told me their concerns about the cancellation I said: “I am concern about my baggage, it is full of prints for a show”. She asked: ” Are you a painter”? …Me: Well… “I do this” and I proudly showed my Iphone case with the “Amazing you” art printed in it. Them (I think both said it at the same time, looking at each other with surprise): “Do you sell your art in Old San Juan?” Me: “Yes, in PR Arts and Crafts, Natural….” (I didn’t end the list). Them: “Natural Home Store?”. Me:” Yes”.. Them: “ohh…..we bought a tile with your art and we were just talking about you and your art”….OMG, we all were like…What??? This is not real!! She said: “we are both artists, I am a dancer and he is a musician” And then the conversation started…as we were waiting in the long line. It was a meaningful conversation, including my “Instead of looking at the people in front of me and get desperate, I look at the people behind me ( a lot lot more) and I must “Enjoy the Ride”…Me and Them: “that is the message in your (my) art.”
I know you may be wondering, in what way this is a meaningful incident? How can it be related to my SURTEX experience and story? As the conversation continued I learned they use their art for therapy. They work with children with disabilities. They were talking about my art as a healing and therapy tool because the feeling and meaning it expresses. OMG, I was so flattered and also mesmerized with all I was hearing from this beautiful and special couple. When we were finally in the last minute on the line, I asked for their contact information. They didn’t have a card with their information and almost shouted…”A place to be…check it on the internet”. The last words I said to them…was…I would love to go there some day and i am so happy to meet you both”.
It is a longer story but all I want now is to introduce you to this amazing couple I am so proud and happy to have met, Tom Sweitzer and Kim Tapper from A Place To Be. I have a lot more to say…I don’t have the words right now and I still don’t have some answers. If you are following my SURTEX posts, now you can understand why I can not just write one post. In fact, I thought they were going to be three, but I feel this is it for this post. I just want to encourage you to go to their web page. And please, send me any thoughts regarding this experience. I waited almost two weeks after SURTEX to learned more about them because of all the work at SURTEX and the family break after the show.
In the next post I will write about the connections at SURTEX with a few photos, including the amazing Tara Reed, a licensing expert and part of SURTEX organizing team. The now fourth and last post about SURTEX will be about the lessons learned, the famous “follow ups” after SURTEX and my plans.
I hope you enjoyed this post. I have to admit I am still in shock. All I know is that I have a challenge, a path, a mission that I need to complete in this life. I am sure that God, love and my passion for creating happy, whimsical and meaningful art, will Lead My Way!
I am sharing a heart with one of my favorite surface patterns I have created, I named is Four Seasons and The Circle of Life
“The best place to succeed is where you are with what you have.” (Charles Schwab)
And you know what….it is a discovering journey but you have it all…you are enough…just believe and make it happen!
Every day brings a new opportunity to start over! Isn’t this awesome!
Inspiration and Art #6
On April 9 I started a series of blog posts named 30 days of Inspiration and Art, motivated by using my blog as a conversation in my kitchen table with my friends from all over the world. Even that I didn’t stated that those posts were to be in consecutive days, I felt I was not keeping a promise….BUT…There is always a BUT, and this is the first… In the real world we don’t have kitchen conversations with friends every day, or at least I don’t…My house is my job place, too, and I need to be focus. The conversations with friends in those busy days are on the phone with my BFFs for 30 years, or my sisters, or my daughter in law or my sons or with a few long time friends. I have other conversations, which I love, as FB messages or emails with a few of my soul sisters (from HSHB Course) or my flyer friends (from 2010 Kelly Rae Roberts Flying Lessons E-Course) and with some other friends which I had the joy of connecting through internet in the past two and a half years.
The second BIG BUT is that on April 9 I had no plans on having a Booth on SURTEX 2012, and the miracle happened…Yes, I will be having a Booth (#677) on the licensing area of SURTEX 2012…Isn’t this AWESOME. This is a dream come true. Last year I walked the show and I was encouraged to participate in next year’s show (2012) but on March I knew that was not possible. The truth is that the word FEAR was written all over my soul and my body. After a few weeks immersed in the Hello Soul Hello Business Course (link on the bottom of the post) and inspired by the amazing FB group created from this course, I am in. Hurray!! When I received this message: We have reviewed your application, and feel that your work and expertise would be very appropriate for SURTEX, so welcome!, everything changed and the kitchen conversations almost stopped. I am working like crazy to get things done. I registered with only five weeks to get ready ..OMG!! Even that I have enough designs to take with me, there are a lot that are just a sketch and I want to take them to the show as a finished printed art. Thank God I am in Module 3 of another amazing Course: The Art and Business Of Surface Pattern Design and this is helping a lot..BUT I am working a lot, A LOT. God has granted me this opportunity and I have received support from heaven, yes I can only call it that way for now, and I want to honored this gift. We all have the responsibility to use and improve our talents. We all have special gifts, talents, and abilities given to us by our Heavenly Father. When we were born, we brought these gifts, talents, and abilities with us and we must work hard, have faith, spread our wings and let them bloom. My sons, and the people who believe in me and in my talents, are there, waiting to see me fly, fly high. I know that God will lead the way, and the glory will be to Him. On May 20-22 I will be in SURTEX with my designs…if you are close by…I’ll be there to welcome you and say hi!
I am also working in a few commissions I can’t postpone until the end of the show. This one was a special work (this is not one of my products) for my neighbor who is graduating from high school. Her friends saw my work and asked me to add what they called “your art and colors” to the logo, which was created by one of their classmates. A few tiles will be printed with this art as gifts for the people who helped them along their senior year.
Until the end of the show I will post links to blog posts that inspires me and I know will inspire you as well. They will be from a few of my online friends. Since I can’t write a lot these days I will be presenting you my soul sisters from Hello Soul Hello Business Class which are making a difference in the world with their businesses, with their writing, art, photography and other forms of inspiration. I will be sharing the link to a special post and pictures of their art or special work.
The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design
We’ve been told there’s a certain way to live … that this is living … and we … we never really questioned it. We just sort of went along. But what if it’s not the best way? What if there’s another way that’s better? What if there’s something more?! WALTER WYKES, The Profession
Hi! I’m here again. In my last post I wrote that my blog was an important aspect of my WHYs…in life and in my creative business. I have been questioning my purpose in life for a long time with a lot of whys…among others: Why I make Art, Why I want it to be my “real job”; Why I can’t stop creating “artful things”; Why I have to earn money making art, Why I want to sell my art, Why I want to have more stores selling my art, Why I want to sell internationally and believe it or not…a lot more Whys were turning my life in a real mess and all I wanted was to “enjoy the ride” and inspire others to do the same no matter where or how.
One of the reasons of that “search for answers” was that I really wanted to be a positive inspiration for my sons, and for anyone around me and now for my grandchildren. Yes, I have two grandchildren, Javier André (3) and Aliany Gabriela (17 months). This two smart, funny and beautiful babies now were also part of my constant WHY. I was also struggling and fighting with me because I knew I have to finally end that searching (at least for a while) and do something for real or stop what I was doing and “change lanes”.
I AM SO HAPPY to announce here in this special space I share with you that finally I have my WHYS answered.. Hurray! I love that word since I heard it from my grandson Javier, he loves celebrations and this is one of his favorite words… so HURRAY! I found my WHYS…and best of all it that I DON’T HAVE TO CHANGE LANES… My WHYS are totally in harmony and connected with my art and my life.
All this “artful journey” questioning began since I was a child, always loving making crafts, and it grew stronger after making a life studying and working in non art-related fields. I can’t take those studies and experiences from me, they are there, they meant a lot in how I see the world, in who i am today and they are helping a lot in my artful journey, in my creative business, in my new found whys. Even that I am making ceramic art pieces since 1996, I realized that I am an Artist, in each cell of my body just a few years ago.
One of the most profound experiences in this journey began in 2009 when I discovered a new world in the internet….a global community of soulful minds, artists in search of their purpose in life and also looking for answers about their passion for art, their creative business and their whys, and also making art for living or at least trying to do so. I have written many blog posts about these connections and how they have transformed my life and my new found passion for mixed media and surface design. If you want to have the complete story just go back to my earlier blog posts. I also made two mixed media to celebrate this amazing experiences, one is here and the other one is here.
Another amazing experience regarding this “global connections” happened a few weeks ago when i FINALLY met (in person) one of those soulful minds, Leanne Wargowsky. This is already a long post and I want to write about her and our new found soulful sisterhood in a special post….BUT… if you are curious just check her fabulous blog, whose name I adore, From Chaos Came Happiness, and her beautiful story in three posts about her travel to my country, Puerto Rico. There she posted stunning photos from Puerto Rico. I know you want to jump right there to her blog now..but wait, just a minute… I am sharing what I believe, a must to do exercise to answer my Whys.
I B E L I E V E…………( I believe that the first three I Believe must be stated first in order to write the others)
I believe that art was created by God, then it is Divine.
I believe that creativity is inspired by God…then it is Divine.
I believe that if we all follow The Golden Rule, the world would be a better place
I believe that we MUST be grateful for each new day.
I believe that we can make a difference in the world through Art.
I believe that we could choose to be strong.
I believe that Art can be a healing tool for every one at any stage of life.
I believe that values can be learned through Art.
I believe that Art can inspire to live a peaceful life.
I believe that we can work in what we love, make a living out of it and help others.
I believe that we must love what we do and be passionate about it.
I believe that we must be “the change we want to see in the world”-Ghandi.
I believe that we must live authentic lives.
I believe that we must be driven to inspire others.
I believe that we must focus on the positive and see the good in others.
I believe that we feel happier around beautiful things.
I believe that I can create art that make people Smile…
and last but not least…..
I believe that we must:
The Life We’ve Always Imagined
Now I have the answers for my WHYS….stay tuned!!
With L o V e,
WOW! I was very very busy this week and an exciting one,too. Lots of hand built ceramics, firing, glazing, firing again, packing, invoicing, business documents, pendants pictures, etsy listing, products descriptions, FB posting..quotes…more equipments quotes,..OMG.. I am still working with a new project for my collage paintings. I has to do a lot with some of the ceramic products I am selling since 2001. In my series “My Creative Business Process” I will tell more details on the right time..For now I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be part of Sneak Peek Friday In the Studio with Jeniffer from StudioJRU. Here are pictures of a few of this week’s ceramics: a pear, before and after glazed and fired, some small chair sculptures ready to be packed for the Old San Juan Store and a special composition of tiles painted with copper oxide, rutil, red iron oxide, clear glazes and stains. I have one of this tile’s composition in the piano area in my house. It was composed with individual tiles made in different ocassions as samples or just for the fun of it, with no further objective. One day I gathered them all and VOILA!, this is the composition ALIVE!. Everyone visiting my house has to stop and say something about it….I personally love it. This one is the first I make similar to the one I have. I need to finish it with a piece of wood in the back to gather them all and to finally take a good picture of it.
Have a lovely week,
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