SURTEX - the premier event for selling and licensing art and design

SURTEX conference program – a great way to learn about art licensing

Do you ever wish you could learn about the art licensing business from a variety of people with decades of experience?  Well… you can!

Each year SURTEX puts on 3 days of classes touching on a wide variety of aspects of the art licensing business.  From basics for artists to more in-depth information about contracts.  They have classes on specific industries, how to find an agent and more.

I will be speaking on a panel on Sunday -

Monetizing Your Art II: Advance Business Strategies
Sunday, May 17, 11:00am – 12:30pm

Once you’re up and running, gain essential insight into the way you need to fuel your business in all areas- marketing, promotion, sales, presentation,trade shows and portfolio management. How much of your business should be licensed? Is one better off selling work?  What role does an agent play? An attorney? A must seminar for any and all who want to make sure they do the right things to position themselves for the challenges ahead.

SURTEX class - 2015


Conference Program Costs:

  • Pre-Show: $890 April 7 –  May 16
    Onsite: $1000
  • Individual Sessions:
    Pre-Show, $90  Onsite, $100
  • Full conference program purchase includes a show badge, individual sessions do not provide access to the show floor.

CLICK HERE to see all of the details and register 

Interested in attending SURTEX?  Here are the details (taken from their website)


Show admission is FREE to qualified attendees (art buyers/licensees) who register by 11:59pm on Saturday, May 16, 2015.  Onsite, the registration fee for qualified, first-time attendees is $60.  Returning attendees who did not register in advance will be charged $25 onsite.

Suppliers to the trade and non-exhibiting designers, design studio/agents will be charged a $495 admission fee through 11:59pm on Saturday, May 16, and $595 onsite.

Registration will close at 11:59pm on Saturday, May 16.  Please register onsite after this date.


  • Company ID: at least two of the following
    • Active website address through which company/business can be validated
    • Business advertisement in trade publication
    • Product or company catalog, brochure, sell sheets
    • Press release on business letterhead about company, brands, product
  • Employee ID:
    • Must have: Personalized imprinted business card, with company name, title
    • Plus one of the following:
      • Copy of cancelled company payroll check or pay-check stub
      • Copy of w-2 form
      • Company credit card with both employee’s and company’s name
      • Copy of company insurance card with employee’s name


Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Copyright Registration: a note about “claimants”

So last week I got a few emails from the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office.  (They are very nice is helping you sort things out if you check the wrong box or something looks weird on their end.)

If you recall from the call with the Copyright Office (if you don’t, click here to get your free replay) I talked with them about WHO should be the claimant – myself personally as the artist or my business, since I am incorporated. (I’m not 100% sure if the rules are the same for an LLC but I expect they would be.)  He said that if the art was created and necessary for the business to do business, the business should be the claimant and own the copyright.

In a recent filing, I put myself as the author and my business as the claimant and I checked off that there was a transfer statement.  I thought that was the correct way to do it – apparently not.

Here is what they told me:

If an employee of the company made the work then the company should be the author and copyright claimant with no transfer statement.

So I guess as Tara Reed, an employee of Tara Reed Designs, Inc, I’m doing ‘work for hire’ so there doesn’t need to be a transfer statement.

Thought I’d pass on the info in case anyone else has been confused about that part of the registration process!

Here’s to your creative – and protected – success!

– Tara Reed

Agency insights: Pure Illustration

Occasionally art licensing agents will contact me to be added to the list of agents and contact info on this blog. (You’ve seen the page, right?  Look at the tabs at the top!)  I also offer for the agencies to give me some information to post about what they do and who they are looking for.  They DO NOT look at the comments on my posts for new artists – if you are interested in submitting work to them, please use the contact information at the end of the post.

Here is some background about Pure Illustration out of the UK…

Pure Illustration has been representing artists in the Greetings Card and Gift Products industry since 2006 but their pedigree goes back much further. Founder and Managing Director Richard Patey started his career selling textile pattern designs to high profile individuals such as Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karen in 1997 when he lived and worked in New York. Since then Pure Illustration have become one of the best known licensing agencies in the UK, although much of their business comes from the USA where Richard still has many contacts and friends.

Pure Illustration license artwork to big name publishers such as Hallmark, American Greetings and Papyrus but they also work with many smaller companies around the world. Artists who are represented by Pure Illustration could see their artwork on Greetings Cards, Gift Bags, Gift Wrap, Stationery, Framed Art, Ceramics, Placemats and Knapkins and even in magazines and other publications. Pure work with a wide range of clients through their staff of experienced and dedicated art agents.Pure Illustation portfolio shot

Pure Illustration currently represent 50+ artists from all over the world but due to the high demand their customers have for original artwork they are always looking to work with new talent. Advice and feedback is available through their Art Director and the art agents and assistance is always given for commissions and major projects. Pure’s artists receive monthly briefs but there are no minimum submission rules and most of Pure’s artists submit what they can when they can. Although of course the sales team at Pure have more chance of making sales when there is more art being presented. If Pure Illustration make a sale the artist or illustrator can expect to receive between 65 – 75% of the agreed fee, which is a great commission rate in this business.

Pure are looking for talented artists and illustrators who understand the traditional content required in the gift product category but who can approach the subjects and themes in an original and appealing style.


Pure Illustration Contact information:

AgentLogos-PureIllustrationPure Illustration
Units 6&7 Huffwood Manor Estate, High Street
Partridge Green, West Sussex RH13 8AU,
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1403 713778
Contact: Richard Patey, Owner / Agent

Here’s to your creative success!
– Tara Reed

Who is ready to take their art licensing business knowledge to the next level?

I’m excited to see who raises their hand and says “Yes!  I’m ready!” by enrolling in the June 2015 Art Licensing Academy.  This will be the fourth academy and each one has a unique yet amazing vibe.

I’m currently working with a handful of awesome artists getting ready to exhibit at SURTEX and the Licensing Expo.  The Trade Show Academy is a four month program and we have been going deep – not just about the how-to’s of booth design and marketing but also the internal work of managing stress and crisis’ of confidence as the shows approach.

On the horizon, as the title of this post implies, is another Art Licensing Academy.  It’s a four week class with lecture-style calls, Q&A, a private Facebook group where you can also ask questions and get feedback not only from me but from others in the class.

Artists who commit by May 2nd get some extra goodies… here is what a few past participants have to say…

Art Licensing Academy - feedback from artistsLearn more and save your spot at today!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed


Ask Paul Brent call & SURTEX review is next month!

On May 27, 2015, our most anticipated Art Licensing Ask Call of each year will take place.  Paul Brent will be doing his fabulous SURTEX trend review for the first half and answering questions the second half…

This is where WE NEED YOU… we need your questions to make these calls great.

Paul Brent answers questions about art licensing and provides a SURTEX trend reviewSince both Paul and I will be exhibiting at SURTEX the week before the call, we would so appreciate you sending us some great questions NOW and not waiting till the last minute.  (I’ll beg… do I need to beg?  Please don’t make me beg…)  Many artists are surprised to learn that while we often have 100+ artists calling in and listening live, I also often receive only 10-15 questions.  We need more to make sure there is variety so can choose a group of topics that will help you better understand the business.

It’s simple – in the box below, please enter your name and email and a question that you have about how the art licensing business works.  It can be anything from art to marketing to business practices… what do YOU want to know?


Thank you in advance for getting us your questions asap and we look forward to the call in May!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Expand your Horizons…

Expand your HorizonsWhere does your creativity come from?  Is it from within – do you need to sit and be still, close your eyes and let your imagination take over?  Or is it from external stimuli – things you see, places you go, things you do.  No matter where your creativity comes from you are at risk of falling into a rut.  To think, “sitting and thinking brings me the best ideas” so you continue to sit and think, think and sit.  But sometimes it is good to throw a stick in the spokes – do something out of the ordinary to jumpstart what your mind can come up with.

This week I encourage you to go do something different – something out of the ordinary.  Expand your horizons and increase your creativity!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed


The next Art Licensing Academy starts in June – who wants to get serious about their art licensing business?


The Art Licensing Academy is a Group Coaching Program that allows artists access to information, support and inspiration at the fraction of the cost of private coaching.

Succeeding in art licensing – or any business for that matter – requires more than just the core skills or talent.  In art licensing, the “core skills” would obviously be artistic talent.  If you have the talent, you then need to learn how to apply it in a way that works for products.  You need to learn to see trends and decide if they make sense for your style and focus.  I consider the core skills the art related skills.

Beyond the core skills, you need business skills –  sales & marketing, building and nurturing relationships, understanding and negotiating contracts, etc.

But don’t forget about your “personal” core.  Without understanding yourself and what motivates you and what might make you sabotage yourself, you won’t have everything you need to maximize your success.

I have designed the Art Licensing Academy to support you and help you grow in all three of these areas and the next session begins on Wednesday, June 3, 2015

By working together for 4 weeks we are able to cover a lot of how-to’s as well as personal development and mindset concepts that are the backbone of a sustainable business.  You will get answers to your questions and learn from questions asked by others as well.  Our private Facebook group is an amazing way to stay connected and supported throughout the program and beyond as well.

Bottom line:  It’s affordable and effective.  (You get more than you pay for!) Why not join our next class?

Learn more and save your spot at

But don’t take my word for it, here are a few comments from past students:

“The real value I found in this class was in the private Facebook group. The class and Q&A were great but Tara really went above and beyond answering questions, giving feedback and more in the private group too.”
– Kaitlyn Goodey,

“Thank you so much for sharing, I hear the authenticity in your voice – bringing both the personal side (real life) along with the down to biz side together and how it can work! I’m starting to look at things differently.”

– Ara Atkinson-Skinner,

testimonial - Rachel PlaceI can’t say how much I love your class so far you are a great instructor and motivator.  Thank you for planting the seed and making me think so much about my brand – I have updated my logo and website to better represent who I am, what I do and where I want my business to go.”

– Rachel Place,


“I want to see my “Art on Stuff”, and I believe Tara is the best Teacher to learn from (I did a big search on this, she licenses a lot and knows of what she speaks).  The private Facebook group is priceless, it’s like being in a real Class and Tara does not miss a question. Believe me.  You will finish this course and ask Her to make a second level class about Art Licensing.”
– Deborah Faenza | Super cute illustrations,

Read more testimonials and save your spot at

Self Care = Success

I didn’t believe her but after going through Tiffany Peterson’s Inner Circle coaching program I know it to be true!  She PUSHED us to take care of ourselves… even when we felt like we didn’t have time.

I’ve been in that space this week – I was on vacation last week and had big plans to get lots done this week!  I mean really – do I have time to sit around with SURTEX less than 50 days away and lots of things on my to-do list?  No!

Well… my body had a different plan. I got off the plane and landed in a vortex of pollen – my allergies went nuts and a virus took advantage of the opening and decided to hop into my head too.  I have been SO TIRED. So congested.  And honestly… I can’t think straight! (Seriously – I went to make a hotel reservation for September but made it for June… and didn’t realize the mistake for about 1/2 hour – it’s BAD brain fog!)

At first I went to my default setting of “too bad Tara!  You just had a week off, you need to push through!”  Then I could hear Tiffany in my ear saying, “Be gentle with yourself Tara… what are you doing to take care of yourself?  You won’t get better if you don’t rest.”  So this week has been about the must-do’s and lots of rest, napping and fluids.  All of that on top of the self-care habits that have become a daily routine since working with Tiffany.

Watch this video and see what you think… I can tell you it’s made a difference for me in my business, my personal life and stress level.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

You don’t have to have it all figured out…

I just got back from a week at sea… my husband, his whole family & I went on a week long cruise from LA to Mexico and back.  It was both relaxing and chaotic in the way it always is when 8 people, especially relatives, travel together.

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know I love to cruise.  It is truly the ONLY time I completely shut down for any length of time.  Once we left port the phone went on airplane mode and didn’t go back on for 7 days.  No email.  No social media. No phone calls or texts.  It was pretty amazing and if you haven’t done it for a while (completely unplugged for a few days in a row) – do it!

I came back relaxed, refreshed and ready to hit the last few weeks of SURTEX prep renewed.  Every morning I started my day walking 2 miles around on the promenade deck of the ship.  Got in some exercise while listening to the rush of the ocean and taking in the amazing views.  As I would round the front of the ship – where I took this photo – I got to thinking about how much we (well, at least I) try to plan ahead.  I want to know the next 10 steps (or all the steps) to get from where I am now to where I want to be.  The sea breeze and vastness of the ocean made me realize – my idea of “where I want to go” changes with time so knowing it all now isn’t really as important as I like to think it is.  I need to know what to do to get to the next place, the next bend, and then decide where I want to go from there.

Don’t spend your life trying to plan 10 years out – make and work your plan – and know there will be bends in the road.  Also take comfort knowing that you don’t have to have it all figured out before you start.

Steps to Next Bend - ArtLicensingInfo_com

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

If art licensing submissions were live auditions…

they might look like this…

Egads!  I think I’d faint. Glad we just send in our submissions with a wish and a prayer! ;)

Remember, art directors get a wide variety of styles and interpretations of what they are looking for – it’s up to you to show up in your own unique way!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

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