Thursday, December 10, 2009

December!





I have been making oil paintings, surface art on the computer and arranging to teach more classes. Kate's project is going really well. I have been doing research and face time for her company more than anything else. All of this is a good balance for me and to this I say my life is contentedly full!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Compare and Contrast

Prince, prince digital, cats on the run!




Thursday, September 10, 2009

Art Crop Harvesting




The monster one is called "STOP THROWING ORANGES AT ME!"

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Any new art?

I have a lot of new art but none of it scanned or loaded to the computer. A lot has been happening in my house so I have limited my work time.

I am close to finished with the art for the lamp project. I just made a beach scene for my entrepreneur project #2 (the Fair Trade Org.)and I have another entrepreneur! For her I've been busy creating a logo, getting a brochure made, writing a bio and proposal. I am hopeful things will move fast for her. She might be my fastest project as I have a hopeful connection we are pursuing. Cross your fingers and hey, if you know anyone looking for help doing accent modification let me know. For those who might not know what that is, accent modification is for people who are learning a second language. In this case, English. For those hard to learn sounds an accent modification teacher helps them to learn to form their mouth to create these sounds. It is for people who have no speaking obstacles in their own language, this is only a tool to help people better enunciate words in their second language.

I hope to post some art very soon!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Research and art


Here is a photo of something I am working on for the lamp project.

Both of my other projects are taking me to the library for research. I have to kick it into gear to get the art done for my lamp project. My due date was loosely Aug 1st. I have many of the concepts firmed up but there are three styles in which I want to try them. Silly me! So I will do so and then submit the roughs for review. Cross your fingers that across the board one style best speaks for each of my concepts. I suspect it would not be the worst thing if it translates in several styles. I will have to think about this.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Back in the saddle

I am back and I wow, I did a lot and learned a lot! I made it both ways with no jet lag. I didn't get frisked in Amsterdam like the young women behind me on the airplane. I feel I did what I went to do.

The photos I posted with no comments are as follow:

1 is a hotel room in Tamale owned by the Gariba's-some friends of Kate's.
2 Northern village. The houses which are round are owned by lower class people. The square ones are owned by people of higher status. They build them into a compound with a center "courtyard". The woman was headed to get some water from a well.
3 Nass's (Nash's) (a basket weaver who took us to his home) niece hanging out in their home while his sister was at work.
4 Inside Nass's home, basket weaving reeds.
5 At the Art Center in Bolega. Men were adding leather handles to the baskets making them into purses. This is one of my favorite photos that I took while in Ghana.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Leaving today







I'll see you all soon!

Amy

Friday, July 17, 2009

City Guinea Fowl, country guinea fowl

We went to Tamale. Said, "Tamily." It is a beautiful town, busy. Out of the food markets I've seen Tamale's looked like one my heart yearned to invade with my camera. Skulls of cows three wide sat on a table. At the other side sat two men perched on stools with HUGE hunks of meat and rustic knives. The meat was fresh and pink. As customers come they cut off a hunk for them. It was lovely.

Hundreds of storefronts much like the butcher's packed tightly along the streets edging pedestrians into the street. Cars slip by one another like a perfect musical composition. Among this appearance of chaos (as Kate says) there is great harmony and invention to make the chaos move things forward in its own way. I like this pace, I see it as artistic.

Kate keeps saying the hustlers. I laugh at her! She calls the sellers on the street hustlers and they are but not like Americans think of a hustler-well almost not. There is evidence of pushing goods in a directed (nearly unsavory) way, however, if you start asking the shopkeepers and street vendors questions they will go to any length to help you get what you want. They are sincere with you and really compassionate. It is worth having a problem in Ghana to see the depth of their hospitality! The best way I can say this is with a cheesy metaphor-Twi the local language is said in proverbs so I am just going with the flow.... If you scratch the surface, this is what you get, if you dig a little you plant something which quickly grows.

I want to share more about slavery. Something I could not articulate before has come forward so I will try here to explain. Culturally Ghanaians (I believe Nigerians, People from Togo-could be many other countries in Africa too) follow a practice of giving a child to a relative. They do this with the unspoken hope that this relative will send the child to school. However, they just believe this will happen and really have no clue where the child will go or what they will be asked to do (sell things in the market, etc). Because of this belief that this is the road to bettering your family at the same time they make their child vulnerable. I will explain that in a minute.

As an aside, there is a town North of Tamale where the people designed their homes with roofs that are shaped in a way that they will not burn. They did this because slave wranglers were going to towns, lighting homes on fire-thatched roofs....fire....trouble! The people would flee the house, be caught and sold. The artisans are quick to copy things. We all do this but if you say, "We want this to be exclusive" but somebody else says they like it and asks for it they give it, regardless of what they just said. Which takes me to the fact that these people are HIGHLY entrepreneurial. The factors of giving a child over and natural entrepreneurial nature gave way to slavery. Plus, port towns on the ocean made it possible for an export trade and it was the other countries who wanted these people. It is wrong, I am not trying to justify it but there is a fiber of understanding in me about how this didn't seem so foreign to the people here.

One of the opportunities Kate would like to venture into is helping children who are given to a relative for education and are instead sold into slavery. It is sex slavery. Kate told me of an article she read in the United States about how children as young as 6 would be sold. The American business men pay a lot to have sex with children this young. (ok, I feel sick-just trying to get you to understand there is real need here for income generating opportunities and educational resources.) In Tamale we are working with a group who makes batik, it is run by the Catholic Church. They find slaves and remove them, bringing them to Tamale, which is REALLY far from the coast (In Togo, Nigeria and perhaps Ghana) where they were found. It is cleaner and more organized there too(this is by my observations and from Dr. Gariba and his wife Neo's information they shared.) This group does not discriminate on religious belief, they take everybody.

There are more Muslims in the North. In the morning and the evening you can hear the loud speakers in the town announcing "A Call to Prayer." On the bus from Tamale somebody had a Muslim cell phone ringtone. It sounded similar to the call to prayer song I heard in the morning before boarding the bus.

It was a nice journey to Tamale and Boglatanga where we found a family who makes baskets. They took us to their house. It WAS AWESOME!!!! Nass-said Nash is the oldest boy at home in this house and he is working to keep his sisters in school.

We've met some wonderful people. Tamale is well known for Guinea fowl(like Cornish Game Hen). I ate a lions share while I was there. We stayed at the hotel of Dr and Mrs. Gariba. We also hitched a ride from them to Tamale. I took photos with their son Jeema and played Jeopardy on the ride up with their daughter Aiyasha. This joyful family was wonderful company-I really hope I see them again. I took pictures of their hotel which will hopefully make the cut for their website! -Opportunity is everywhere.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend Edition














The weekend was action packed. Photos from the Rain forest from the "Canopy walk"-you will see me on a rope bridge, Moree, The ocean.

We toured a slave holding castles prior to leaving Elmina. We did not have time for a tour so we started asking this gentleman about the castle and he said he would take us on an abbreviated tour, to me this translated to a private tour! We learned a lot and things there were dire. It makes me nearly ill to think of what we learned so I am not excited to share the info about it. The one fact I can share is out of this one castle came 12,000,000 slaves. The chances of them living through their first 6 months at the castle tells the story of the potential of millions of people who died prior to leaving the castle making the full potential at this one location well above 12,000,000.

The men carrying our luggage were headed to Kate's land. The roads were so muddy that we could not pass by taxi so we walked. The men were so kind to carry our things. We had our laptops, heavy beads we'd purchased and more than we needed scrunched in those bags-poor guys!

Taxi cab photo too. They are smelly little buggers! DIESEL, I tell you it is toxic here with this Diesel-no filters they drive cars until they beg for mercy and then they still drive them.

Elmina Castle is the white building you see in the photo of the city. This is the slave trade port location.

The boats are in the harbor for fishing, mostly Tilapia. Smoked tilapia is everywhere for sale in Ghana.

Amy

Friday, July 10, 2009

More photos







Photos School children, Rainy day photo, pot holes, House where we are staying most of the time, cat.

One more funny fact. These people are entrepreneurs! Kids were on a road filling pot holes and waiting with shovels to get money for doing so!

Small town living and large city life




2nd photo...
We went to several towns this day but this village Abompe was very special. We met with two women pictured here. We are trying to find a way for them to make a lucrative business with the rock from the ground under their village. They are hopeful to find a way to make a business for themselves. We brought the kids suckers and they went wild! It was really cute. Kids came running from everywhere. Kids even went to get other kids and brought back their siblings, etc. Ursula, a friend of Kate's went with us. She teased the kids and made it very fun. I cannot speak their language which is called Twi said "Tree". They also speak English in Ghana but I can tell they are more comfortable speaking Twi.

I got up from our meeting with the women to take a photo. The kids figured out I was taking pictures and ran to get in front of the camera, waving their arms and jumping up and down. I told them to wait and I would photograph them. I took some photos and more kids would come. After I took a bunch I realized they might not know I can see the picture right away. I told them to come and I turned the camera around. They went wild. It was really fun and as I type this their untouched nature brings tears to my eyes. The are very beautiful children.

1st photo
This is Ursula to the right, Kate sits across from her. They are talking to the artisans.

So you can see, I am very little help in the communication process. My strength is choosing product. We've visited four shops/situations where the product has been well beyond my expectation and the people we have dealt with exceptional and they are working with the poor as artisans. Kate, Ursula and I make fun of each other for getting too into the buying. Actually, it is generally Kate and Ursula laughing at me because I get into this process. Trust me when I say I have served Kate well in the buying portion of this trip. Choosing quantities, saying no to akwardly chested female statue made from wood. They laugh and say, "Americans wouldn't buy that?" Then I tell them, "Not our target customer." Then they laugh harder.

What I've seen
I've encountered a shepherd herding his cows backward down the highway. I feel grateful Kate took me to the country yesterday because I had a constant diesel sore throat. WOW, pollution from cars is no joke here. 10 goats running single file on a path next to the highway. Chickens and their babies running around together.

Accra looks a bit like a constant State Fair. Cars parked tightly on grassy areas wherever they can. Booths everywhere with things for sale. People in the middle of the streets selling products, giant, heavy baskets, boxes, wooden pieces on their head. These people are strong and determined. I don't think Kate and I lack for finding ambition and talent from Ghana. I suspect Kate knew this.

Respect is regarded highly in this culture. Especially with elders. At Abompe when dealing with the kids they "Listened to me." At the market today the people mobbed me and pushed and poked at me to come and look at their booth. It was hard for me.

Ghana is a cash based society. This means they pre-pay for everything.

-Cell phone minutes
-Electricity, you run out it shuts off
-You cannot afford to buy a house outright so you start having one built and stop when you have no more money. It might take a family 20 years to build a house. So consequently there are raw house structures all over the place. If I didn't have someone to ask I might deduce this is a place that is growing rapidly because of the development all around. The only thing which is strange to me is these homes are very large, equal to an American suburban home-maybe 2,000 sq ft and why don't they go for a smaller floor plan so they can finish sooner. I am speculating that the cinder blocks are inexpensive but it is the finishing that is costly because this is where most homes are stuck in the process.

I will leave you with this...I was riding through a smaller city and there is a product called "Blue Band". It looks like the equivalent to peanut butter. Blue Band's add boasts "70% fat spread."

Me Dasse (Thank you) for reading!

Amy

Obama, Michael Jackson.....Big topics in Ghana

I am in Ghana, I am having fun and also working hard. As is to be expected in a country such as this, things move slowly. However, I feel we’ve made a lot of contacts and also purchased a lot of product to sell. The purpose for my journey is to find good people who make ‘goods’ and want to change their life from good to better.


Cultural ditties- I will journal a bit about my experience and the inner workings of Ghana each time I blog.

The Cows Come Home…

Not the cows but the goats and chickens. Each day the chickens and goats go find food at the neighbor’s, at the park and out on the highways. Then at night each and every night they return to their owner’s house and sleep in their designated spot.

My Ghanaian alarm clock is a nervous dog apparently he has had too much time in his tiny, very hot kennel. Much like when Tom and I stayed in Italy and we would awaken courtesy of the neighbor’s rooster. His voice box had been ‘altered’ and now he sounded like a sick clanging bell. Like the rooster I’ve become used to my crowing dog and can sleep right through his cries and pleads.


My Arrival….
It was dark upon my arrival. A man named Prince, along with Kate picked me up from the airport. Customs is a four part process. An Italian on the plane said it is long and toilsome. I didn’t find this. It was quick and I saw him get through as quickly as me. The thing I noticed is to hang back a bit and watch what the person before me was doing. Then be prepared with your documents.

The house where we are staying is quite far from Accra. It is a gated community and I am sleeping in a bed exported from America. The air moves constantly here so opening a window to sleep is fine and the ceiling fan does the rest. It is very humid, as I type my palms sick to the computer a little. It is rainy and very damp today. I am surprised to find last night I needed a small sweater.

Today I would live the life of every class in Ghana. I was carried by a driver in a car which is brand new, whose owner is wealthy. I traveled in a car owned by a rare person of middle class and I rode the Tro-tro. This is public transit in the form of a VW bus styled vehicle. It seems much larger fitting 16 people and is made by Toyota. The side door slides and this is where the “money taker” sits with his arm out pointing as the van passes letting those waiting know where he is headed while at the same time using his arm to hold the door closed, the latch is broken. “Ashongman, Tema and Accra,” the people wait to see his signal from the roadside as the buses pass, hoping this one goes to their destination.

Waiting for the Tro-tro behind us by 20 feet was a table holding palm oil. Big, recycled jugs of great variety stand on the table. They hold red liquid which looks like tomato juice. People are behind this in a building, one stretched long on a table resting in the shade.

We board the bus squeezing into the very back. Kate says back to me, “be careful not to get cut even though you have your tetanus shot.” My eyes survey the many rough metal edges, trying to avoid them.

I move forward beyond a woman and plop next to Kate. The breeze through the van is ample. Two young men sit in front of us. The money taker calls on them to pay. The road we are traveling is lined with shops. Opportunity seeking booths line the streets in front of the shops. They sell everything from food fufu, whole cooked fish and chips, balls of sweet dough, to toilet paper.

Just before an underpass (above looks like a freeway) on the embankment there are animals, goats, cows and eating the long grass.

*President Obama will be in Ghana tomorrow. Thus, a topic of high interest in Ghana at the moment.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Five days prior

I leave for Ghana in five days. I have put art making on hold in hopes that I can do some of this on the airplane. I am keeping my head above water in most aspects of my three projects but I have to honest, today I feel like I am swimming!

A desire to learn and do many things prior to leaving is causing some stress. So, once the door on the airplane closes, it will be nap time, work time and time to get excited!

I hope I can post photos and journal/blog my travel experience while I'm away.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sit a spell

I am trying to create a potion so we don't require sleep. Word-post death is we don't require food or sleep so how about now? Human limitations!

As can be seen, I am working on my blog appearance. Still a work in progress but I feel I am coming close. I've been spreading my time among my three projects. I looking for time to make art, I suspect this weekend.

I am nearly ready for my travels. That's about it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm going to Ghana!

I have my ticket, I almost have my first set of shots. I will apply for my visa and voila I will be off! July 5th to be exact.

On the business side I will be meeting artisans, learning about resources for products and gaining perspective to create a design initiative for entrepreneur #2's project. I will take ample pictures and post some on my blog. We will travel Ghana seeking a variety of samples and head to areas known for their craft.

I am very grateful to be working on this project and going to Ghana is just a small part of how wonderful it is to work with this entrepreneur.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Installation #2 of Surtex info

As promised Jeannette Smith emailed with some websites to use as a basis for establishing your own licensing website. By the way, Jeanette Smith, here is her website so you can learn more about her.

http://www.jnetsmith.com/

Ok, here are the sites she listed and one of them I already listed so I didn't include this one. You know who you are Tara Reed who rocks the licensing world!

www.libbywilkiedesigns.com

www.postmarkpress.com

There was a topic which came up several times during the Surtex classes. This is the importance of branding. From a whole host of resources, branding defines as "Making something identifiable." Lets get more in depth than this though.....

I don't want to rip anyone off so check out this link to a definition "Branding"
http://www.brickmarketing.com/define-branding.htm

I am going to call out Kate Harper's greeting card line.

http://www.kateharperdesigns.com/

I was sitting next to my husband and I showed him Kate's site. He said, "Yep, I know those cards, I just bought one for my mom." Her style is specific within her greeting card line. The other "CASH CAKE" for Kate is these cards are universal. It is like music. Haven't you heard a song that everybody likes and wondered why? They might not understand the words but the tune reels them in. Truly, humans love composition we just won't admit it! We seek order...things that are recognizable speak to this order.

However, there is an emotional situation to branding too. The difference between a shopper saying, "I like it!" vs. "I have to have that!" can mean a big difference for the product. Of course this is speculation because it depends on the product. High end, they might have to think about it, etc.

To this point. I've been tricked by Target before. I have come to see they only order a small grouping of girls dresses (like a high end retailer might do) at the store where I shop. If you don't buy it that day you will not get one unless you travel to a Super Target. So I fall for their trick. It is not high end so "thinking" about it is not an option. They are practically forcing me to buy cute, cheap dresses. Dang it!

The last thing after reviewing my notes from Surtex is be flexible and follow your gut. If it feels too good to be true it is. In working with a manufacturer be flexible with your art and feelings about how they see your art. The bottom line is the bottom line, you are looking to make money!

Good luck!

Monday, May 25, 2009

StUDio ANiMals


The pets decided to join the sleepy studio! Pack 'em in!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

More on the National Stationery Show and Surtex

I am going to do this in two segments or maybe more. I am having a hard time getting all of the information revised and want to share, share, share!

So here is the scoop on Surtex 2009.

From the business of licensing perspective:
Like anything, good business sense is common sense. Here are some in depth things I wanted to share but after saying all of this and learning all of this, I came to the statement I said in my last sentence.

Some contacts to get started…..
If you think licensing is for you and you want help getting started here are some contacts

Tara Reed at : Tarareeddesigns.com

Tara is an artist who has been successful with licensing her art for the past six years. She feels being flexible is key, study your market well, be professional, solicit the companies you feel best suit your art, pursue them with a calculated plan.

Jeannette Smith
She said the artist looking to license should make their website easy to use for the agent and manufacturer. She told us to email her and she would give us some sites to look at for examples. I will post these once I hear back from Jeanette, I email her today (May 23rd)

She said it is really important to her that the site be free of personal information and only have two of the avenues you pursue as an artist. So if you are licensing and working toward-well let’s say Children’s books you could have both your art for children’s books and licensing art on your site but this is it. No stories about your dog, she said a professional blog is rare and she never has time to go read them. That one is a toss-up if you add it to your site.

Cheryl Phelps http://www.cherylphelps.com/ (click on workshops)

There is a group on Linked-In called “The art of licensing” I met the women who started the group, her name is Cherish Flieder and her website can be seen at:

somethingtocherish.com

The book Blink was brought up. Here is a clip from Wikipedia….

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking is a 2005 book by Malcolm Gladwell, in which he explores the power of the trained mind to make split second decisions.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blink_(book) - Cached


The nuts and bolts of licensing
1) The artist generally gets between 3 and 5% of the wholesale price (lower for food packaging art-because volume is higher-or you hope it is.) in royalties from the manufacturer. Advances are rare. When negotiating your contract put in there that you will do one revision as part of the contract but beyond this they will pay you an hourly fee of $X amount. Remember you are working for yourself so about 35% of your income is taken out for taxes, plus other expenses.

2) You want you and your art to be a great fit for the manufacturer. You want a good working relationship as well as a product you know is a good match for you art. (design for the price point)

3) It might make sense to sit a minute and think of where your style could be used. Could you be on fine china, paper napkins, and stationery or bath items?


Research-narrow the companies you solicit.
a) Trade shows, Internet, shopping and looking for product that looks like your style are the best way to find the manufacturers for you.
Call them-for the submission guidelines.

Questions to ask the manufacturer…..
a) How much licensed art do you use a year?
b) How many products do they make (how many skus)?
c) Are there any current needs in the market? (They might be ok with this but some manufacturers are relying on the artist to bring them trend and design in a new way….)
d) Ask who accepts the submissions in your genre and area of product interest. Ask how they like to see the art. In this be sure to ask if it is helpful for you to use templates of their product so they can see it ‘complete’ or would they like to just see the art in a photo or digitally?
e) Ask if they have templates you can download from their website or how you could come upon this.
f) Ask how often and what times of year they like to see art. When and how often do they prefer you send new samples?
g) What is their process once they receive the art? (If they don’t have any work right now but like your work will they let you know they will keep it on file?)
h) CALL with a follow-up once your work has arrived. Maybe a week after it arrives. Ask when they will review the art?
i) Follow-up again after they’ve reviewed it to see if there is potential for sending more art in the future. Also, if they don’t like the art, stay professional, the manufacturing professionals I met said “Don’t walk away with your tail between your legs.” Ask why? Can you help me from your expert opinion? On the other side of this if they say “I would like it but this way.” You could change it and resubmit it but don’t keep changing this one piece-you could be ‘beating a dead horse.’ Try to make new art, following your gut and use the better sense of direction from your experience.

Words from the professionals…..
Many of the manufacturers said they are looking to artists to bring the design element and new ideas. The word was American products come from this…..it starts from Europe in the fashion circuit. Check out magazines, then this is translated into products for Europe’s gift and stationery and home market. From there it comes to us.
Many of the manufactures said they work 12-18 months ahead. This translates to you making the art now, they will decide what products your art will encompass. Their design dept will make adjustments to your work-refitting, cropping to fit product. The manufacturer’s design group could change some colors, etc. Then you may or may not get a chance to see a proof. (Nice) and it won’t be manufactured until about 9 months later. Then distribution happens. So be ready to wait to be paid because it isn’t until there are sales and then it is still at least a three month wait because you are paid quarterly by most companies.

Because of the market they are not buying art as much as they are licensing it. When they say buying art it is convoluted and I did not get the definitive answer. So this is what I heard. Buying art is not the same as work for hire. It is like licensing but they HEAVILY restrict it. So you would sell the rights to sell the same art to another company or use it yourself to make the same products. If the image is going on tabletop items then you cannot use it in another capacity to do the same.

The “Life” of a product is 3-5 years.

Contracts
a) Obviously hire a copyright, licensing lawyer with whom you jive.
b) Have it written in your contract that you can audit the net sales for your royalties. Companies might flinch at this and it might be a deal breaker so choose your path. If you miss out on some ca-ching because their process is sloppy, purposely or otherwise how will you feel?

The panel for one of my classes was asked does the manufacturer want an agented artist?
(Tara Reed(artist), Cyndi Hershey (Manufacturer-Red Rooster Fabrics), Julie Ueland(artist), Linda O’donnell (manufacturer), Edward Kaeding(Manufacturer-Certified ceramics and tabletop)

Collectively they said it doesn’t matter. However, an agent can hold you back so make sure they are doing their job. Julie Ueland said in three years she’s had three agents. She went many years un-agented and came to the point where she wanted one. She had clients with whom she regularly worked and they would call her and say her agent was holding back the product could she call them. So she fired them. Two of them and then she got a great agent.

There is the first portion, happy reading and learning!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My experience of Surtex and the National Stationery Show

I met wonderful people. I cannot believe how open and receptive everybody was. I walked away from the show realizing how I would market myself if I am headed this route.

I was on this trip with Entrepreneur #1. She and I learned a lot and I am happy to see I can now better understand the scope of her project and I am really excited. We had a blast and the synchronicity for us was amazing. While at the same time it seemed like life could be this way everyday and it was our attitude while we were there which made everything come together so nicely. I felt directed to where I needed to go the entire time. What a gift.

I also learned a lot for entrepreneur #2. Fair trade is her gig and it looks like she is on time with her project. Excellent!

I met a few artists, shared information and the really lovely thing is all of the ones who really struck me will likely work on entrepreneur #1’s project and that is awesome. Lots of integrity in these artists!

I also connected with an artist named John. You can see his work at www.daylightwastingtime.com

I am excited to have been asked to join his project by creating art in my style (for kids) to try on his product. It is a fantastic opportunity for me and I am very grateful.

Overall, I got what I went for, a better understanding of art licensing, to meet other artists and ask questions, to get a better idea of what entrepreneur #1 is doing and to find possible models and support for entrepreneur #2. It was perfect, absolutely perfect.

I will post my notes from my classes in a few days. I worked hard to get it typed on the airplane but I was seated next to a Jehovah's witness.

What's going on

Maybe I should say what I am doing so I have offered a starting spot. I am working with two different entrepreneurs. I call them entrepreneur #1 and #2. These projects flow together in a mysteriously wonderful way. I am amazed with such vastly different projects parallels seem to constantly intertwine allowing me to learn something from one and bring it to the other and vice versa. I am in awe of how I now see these projects as they come forward into a more clear light.

Attending the National Stationery Show I can now see the scope of entrepreneur #1's project and I am thrilled to work on such a forward concept and have the chance to showcase my art as a way to help the product sell. #2's project is also growing daily. I was fortunate to see a prototype today and what a catalyst it is for this project's beginnings. I will in one week be creating a design plan for products created in Thailand for entrepreneur #2. I am not kidding! I feel very fortunate to have both opportunities and I am bursting with excitement.

I hope this helps to establish a base for my posts going forward.

Monday, May 18, 2009

National Stationery Show and Surtex 2009


I am having a great time at the show. Learning a lot! I started a post with all of the information from my classes. I will get it out there very soon. I know you are all on the edge of your seat waiting for information about licensing art!

I updated my website. Have a look!

www.amycernyvasterling.com

Monday, May 11, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

Time to get a jump on May blogging

Mountain Bike-o-Rama!


I hope to blog my experiences at the Surtex show. I will be taking classes and will of course share any hot tips I learn! I called the Waldorf and there is a charge for WiFi-come on! Well, my goal is to blog the event but we'll see how much time I have to seek an Internet cafe....

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Birkebeiner

On a personal note I am excited about the Birkebeiner race in Hayward WI. It is a grueling 50+ Km race through hilly terrain. However, for all of you visual people I think this is too cool! Check it out, you can see the race course from a sky view. Very nice, especially if you are considering doing the race, then you can figure out where all of the food stops are, oh and big hills.

http://www.pointnorthland.com/birkiefly.html

Anyone interested?

I am squeezing in my April Blog!


Here is a current project that I thought I would share. The final product will be a magnet. I am headed to the Surtex in a few weeks and I am preparing (website, business cards, portfolio, etc) for this as well as finishing some projects before I leave.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A good day if there are cookies


This painting was accepted into a show hosted by the Minnesota Book Arts and Minnesota SCBWI. These two organizations held a contest for writers to submit poems. The five poems chosen were offered to illustrators to visually depict one or more poem. The one I chose has a melancholy theme but I feel a very strong message about perspective.

There is a reception on Friday which I will attend so I can hob nob with art directors or stand around and laugh with my fellow illustrators. You just never know what will happen!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

Nuts?

*I purposely misspelled Fischer. "Mr. Peanut hates the Fischer Nut Company.
Mrs. Peanut understands."


I am switching gears and I am only in first gear right now. I hope to crank it up to third gear by mid Feb! I am focusing my energy on the stationery market. I feel it calling me and I am ready to jump back in but this time a little differently. I am working on a portfolio to take to the National Stationery Show http://www.nationalstationeryshow.com/ and Surtex http://www.surtex.com/

Can't wait to network and see what this market is all about from a larger sense. Of course with my business Stick Together Designs (www.sticktogetherdesigns.com) I learned a bit about manufacturing and selling. This time I am interested in licensing. I am reading the Licensing Business Handbook by Karen Raugust. It is interesting to see who makes what and how it works. I hope to be a part of the who makes what and how it works, soon.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009