Ever wanted to know a little bit about designing and licensing? Linda Solovic has a new line at Papyrus featuring her unique and whimsical style which has been translated into everything from coin purses to stationery. Today Linda gives us some insight on how she licenses and works with other companies. Read below for more and visit her beautiful site...
Biz How-To: Licensing Linda Solovic for Papyrus
Tell us about your new line at Papyrus.
It is very exciting to do cards for Papyrus….since my artwork can be dimensional, I always thought that I would be perfect artist for their company. I had created many cards for American Greetings and since Papyrus is a division of American Greetings I thought I had a shot at getting some work from them. My rep, Sheila Meehan, had a contact there, she showed them my portfolio and next thing I knew they were interested in doing a card with me. My card did well so I have now done many more cards and was thrilled to have them want to do a notecard set with me. I did not even know the notecard set was in the stores until some of the students I teach at Washington University in St. Louis saw them in the local Papyrus store.
How do you go about designing for another company?
I do try to always keep my work fresh and in line with what is in the marketplace…the colors, the images, the trends. Athough I am older I really do not feel my work reflects my age audience. I have fans from 20 to 80. I like to run my images by my students and if I get a good response from them I know I am in the ball park.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start licensing?
I have worked as an illustrator for over 30 years…I have always had my business though since I graduated from school. I did illustrations for specific projects and for a set fee. I know Etsy is huge but I have seen artists whose shops I follow all of a sudden break through and I begin to see their work in cards and products. So having an Etsy site might be a start if you are willing to then research blogs that you feel might be interested in posting your work and sending them images so they will direct an audience to your products. The more you can be seen the better you will be. I would say to look for a rep…I found Sheila at the NYC Stationery Show…I knew I did not want to look for the work and was willing to pay her a percentage of what I would make to find me opportunities. But reps usually want to take on artists who have experience and a solid consistant portfolio. Although I had not done licensing, my career in illustration really helped me know how to do a job for someone. How to distance myself from my work enough so I could alter my artwork when needed for the product, how to deliver work on time. I had had a rep when I worked as an illustrator. You mainly want to get recognized…you can make tutorials for your blog, try to get your craft projects in crafting magazines, blogs and zines….you need to make yourself a brand. It is brutal at times trying to break in but you have to keep trying and trying.