Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's Ok To Celebrate...........Right?

Note:  I wasn't sure I was going to publish this until I read Andrea Scher's recent post titled "The Crime of Outshining". This article even inspired me to change the title of this post.

When I share any of my creative successes, I fear that people will think I am bragging. My agent (who you will read about below) has been posting art from her artists on Facebook and "encouraging" us to share the posts on our own profile pages. I have been uncomfortable doing that. 

Last week after a lengthy internal debate, I posted news that one of my images was selected to be published on a greeting card to be sold in "the store where they wear hawaiian shirts". (I read my contract later and discovered that we are forbidden to use their name in social media and other online platforms. I didn't delete the post so if you are not sure what store I am talking about, go to my Facebook page.) The overwhelming response of love and support touched me deeply. Many of you were part of that, thank you!

The root of this fear more than likely stems from warnings from my Father to "not get too big for my britches". I am sure it goes deeper than that, but in the end, reading that other people whom I admire and respect also experience similar emotions helps tremendously. It has also been pointed out that sharing our successes may also inspire others to dream a little bigger and with that, I will hit "publish".

I have been on my computer A LOT the last few weeks. The main reason for this marathon is SURTEX.

One of the highlights of last year was signing on with Montage Licensing and getting to work with my fabulous agent Kimberly Montgomery. She has taught me so much about the industry and has successfully landed more than a few contracts for me.

SURTEX is the only show in North America dedicated to the selling and licensing of original art and design for all sorts of products. This is the second year I will have my work exhibited at this show as part of Montage Licensing's booth.

Starting next week, postcards from all the artists represented by Montage Licensing will
 be mailed to the art directors  of many of the major manufacturers who attend Surtex.

I am excited to share that I will be going to New York City in May to see how the show works and possibly attend a few seminars about licensing while I am there. I won't be working the show, but Kimberly recommends attending at least once to learn what it's all about.

In the meantime, it is my job to create as much licensable work as possible. While many of her artists have found success with art on products such as flags, rugs, gift wrap and other paper products, my main focus as been on the greeting card market and print publishers.

Besides shooting a lot of vertical images, (look at greeting cards the next time you are in the store.....most of them are vertical) I have also been alerted to the need to leave room for type and the importance of orientation.

For example: This image was originally facing left:

Look how much better it would work as a greeting card this way:

I find this all strangely fascinating and fun!

So in the weeks leading up to May 16th, (which is the day I get on the plane), I will be shooting and processing images entirely in Photoshop. My first experience with licensing was in 1999, back when I was shooting film. In those days after shooting, I made prints in the darkroom, hand colored them and shipped the originals to the publishers. While I am glad those days are over, a part of me is missing the "hands on" work I did for so many years. If I were to do originals today, I would have to pay for the scan and send the file. It just makes sense to create the images completely in the computer, which is how this story began. For now, hand coloring is going to have to wait until summer.

For those of you that would like more information on the world of licensing, here are a few links to the blogs of some of the experts in the field. (I have met these generous people and besides their willingness to share what they have learned, they are all extremely talented artists.)

The next six weeks will be very busy, (I am not complaining, I am actually having a blast), and because of that, I am going to go back temporarily to posting only once a week. It will be a mix of my "Project 52" series, updates on Surtex and other tales from the studio. I will continue to post regularly on my Facebook page which is sort of like "mini blogging", so check me out there if you haven't already.

See you next week!


  1. Awesomely exciting. Congratulations!

  2. oooh congrats! and you are a generous sharer - i get inspiration, ideas, software recommendations, tips etc - thank you for all of that, dianne. i can't wait to poke thru the links you posted, thank you!

    1. Thank you Marie! Enjoy those links and let me know if you have any questions!

  3. I am sending you a huge CONGRATULATIONS! This is wonderful news and I am proud to say I "know" such a great photographer. Your artistry behind the camera, in a dark room or at a computer are brilliant. You deserve every bit of success that comes your way. Celebrate:) and enjoy Surtex. A trip I would love to take one day.

    1. Wow Beth! Thank you so much! You are so sweet! And YES.....I would love to see you make that trip one day too!