Art Licensing Info Ask Call with the US Copyright Office free replay

Help spread the word: shopping at Big Box Stores Support Small Businesses Too…

It’s the week of Thanksgiving here in the US and that means lots of food, family gatherings and shopping.  Thanksgiving Thursday is followed by Black Friday – the day retailers hope to “be in the black” – as in, making money.  It’s to official kick-off of the holiday shopping season.

small business saturdayThen comes Small Business Saturday… Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local. Small Business Saturday is a registered trademark of American Express corporation.  There are lots of images floating around Facebook… like this one. (I couldn’t find the original creator or source of the image – it isn’t mine, no copyright violation is intended)

While I like the basic concept, there is definitely some black-and-white thinking that I feel compelled to address.

Specifically – “Let’s make sure our money goes to individual people and not multinational companies.”

Well… multinational companies aren’t just nameless, faceless money funnels.  They need a lot of people, resources, etc to survive.  And many, many small businesses are helped when you shop at places like WalMart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s and more…

THIS small business owner, for example.  And many of my friends and clients. Pretty much any artist working in art licensing is a small business that counts on people shopping in large stores so they can earn a living.

I am ONE PERSON, working out of a home office, making a living, paying my bills and taxes and contributing to my community.  I do art that goes on products that are primarily sold in large chain stores… so if you boycott “multinational companies” – this artist is going to be in a world of hurt.

Many of my clients, who are vendors to the big stores, are US based small businesses.  Their livelihoods are also tied to big stores.

I’m not saying don’t go to that craft fair or locally owned hair salon – don’t get me wrong.  But I think the message is getting a little too cut and dry – David vs. Goliath if you will.  Goliath supports a lot of David’s in this new world economy.

I posted this same post on my art blog and posted it on Facebook last weekend. One person commented, “Very good point, Tara…I had not looked at it this way.”  And THAT is the point – we need people to look at things a little differently… see more than the black and white of  “Etsy shopping good, Chain store shopping bad”.  Many of us make a living from both of those distribution channels.

How about we all “mix it up” this holiday season?  Don’t ONLY shop at WalMart but don’t avoid it out of principle either.

Napkins at Walmart - 2014While we are on the subject of WalMart, if you do find yourself in there, look for these cocktail napkins – designed by me.  Manufactured by a company in Philadelphia.  Moved around to all the locations by trucking companies who bought gas, food and probably coffee, all across country.   If your WalMart has canvas wall art for Christmas, you might be supporting my friend Jennifer Pugh – another one-woman artist business out of Utah.  Her family thanks you for your support as well.  Paul Brent has everyday wall art in WalMart – he thanks you.  I’m sure, do many other artists who might read this blog also have a wide variety of products there.  I’m just using WalMart as an example of course – we could talk about any chain store and come up with many of our peers who would benefit.

If you find yourself at HomeGoods or Marshalls, check the coffee mugs.  I have a lot of designs in those stores as well – my logo will be on the hangtag so you can feel good about supporting a small business.

Just some food for thought – BIG doesn’t necessarily mean BAD. If we all share this concept perhaps there will be a little more understanding that simply SHOPPING helps businesses of all sizes.

Have a very happy holiday season – wherever you choose to shop!

– Tara Reed

P.S.  Don’t forget about Cyber Monday either – that’s when you will find the deals for online shopping. ;)

LAST DAY for introductory savings on the Trade Show Success Secrets eBook

Art Licensing Trade Show Success Secrets ebook by Tara ReedTODAY!  Monday, 11/24/14 – is your last chance to save $20 on my newly released ebook – Art Licensing Trade Show Success Secrets.

I won’t waste your time here – if you are even considering exhibiting at the Licensing Expo or SURTEX in the next few years, you should consider this resource.

Go to to get the details and grab your copy while it is $20 off.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

If not you…


Fear and well-meaning friends say it can’t be done.  Say you have to have connections.  You have to have money. You have to have an agent.  You have to have _________________.

Who says?

There are things you DO need to have to succeed in art licensing.  Here three basic must-haves…

ART.  If you don’t have art that will work for commercial products, and art that is in collections, it will be very, very hard.  This is the very first step… build all the relationships you want but if you don’t have the art for them to choose, it won’t matter.

GUTS.  Being in business takes guts.   It takes dedication.  It sometimes takes tissues because tears may be shed… but it can be very rewarding.  You need to have the guts to try.  To create the art – in collections – and then see what the market says about it.  And then be willing to do it again, and again, and again…

MONEY.  Yes – I said it.  Money.  You don’t have to have $100,000, but you have to have some money to invest to get started.  You need a website, art supplies, computer software.  You might invest in a trade show booth when you are ready… there are costs to any kind of business and art licensing is no different.  For the first few years I regularly had $10-20,000 of my own money invested in my dream.  I did shows.  I hired coaches.  I did what it took to learn the business, adapted my art and made it happen. It’s true what they say – it takes money to make money.

If not you, who?Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

P.S.  If you need help – don’t forget about all the eBooks on a variety of topics available at


Feel like you are on a roller coaster with your dreams and aspirations?

I know I do – OFTEN!

You get excited, fired up, you make a plan… then you start to work and it feels daunting.  Then you talk to someone who questions your ability to make it happen… or you read a negative thread on social media, or something else happens that leaves you disheartened.

But you aren’t a quitter!  You pick yourself back up, change your attitude and start over… let’s just say this, “Art licensing isn’t for sissies!”

Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCESS magazine has just released a new book that speaks to this very issue.  I ordered a copy and can’t wait for it to arrive!  His work is always positive, uplifting and HELPFUL.  It’s not fluff – he always presents concepts and strategies that work, both in the magazine and other books I’ve read.  (The Compound Effect [affiliate link] being one of my other favorites.)

Here is a video from his newest release, I will be surprised if this doesn’t have you nodding your head in agreement with a “been there, done that!” feeling!

And here’s a link to learn more about the book (and this isn’t an affiliate link – it isn’t available on Amazon just yet!)

Here’s to YOUR creative success!

– Tara Reed

Art Licensing Trade Show Success Secrets eBook RELEASED!

Art Licensing Trade Show Success SecretsDrum roll please…

I’m excited to announce that my newly revised and re-written ebook – Art Licensing Trade Show Success Secrets – is now available!

There is an introductory discount of $20 for anyone who purchases the eBook by Monday, 11/24.  It will automatically apply the discount when you visit the web page and click on the “I want the ebook” link…

This eBook is for artists who are exhibiting at SURTEX or the Licensing Expo within the next year or so.  It will help you understand the shows, who you will meet and how to prepare and present your art.  You will get “Success Systems” created, know what to say and more.

Watch this video to learn more or go to to get your copy today!

Here’s to your creative trade show success!

– Tara Reed

P.S.  Looking for resources for printing, banners, books and more?  We have a growing one here >


Want to sell your art online? The Art Business Launch by Chris Wilson may help…

While I know my focus is primarily art licensing, I also know that many of my blog readers are investigating many ways of earning an income with their art.  The other day, artist Chris Wilson reached out to tell me about his eBook – the Art Launch Blueprint – and to let me know he is doing a contest to give one away.

I was busy but slightly intrigued so I marked the email to make sure I went back to it.  When I did – I became intrigued.  One, by the way he is doing his giveaway – will have to consider that format for personal use! ;)

Second, I was impressed by the sales page for this product.  It looks solid, he answers lots of questions and it looks like he really knows what he is doing.

I decided to enter to win a free copy (deadline to enter – November 22, 2014) and thought I’d share his contest and information with the group.  (My kindergarden teacher would be so proud!)

I haven’t purchased or used this content personally and I won’t benefit if you buy it – just letting you know it’s out there and you can decide.  If you do make a purchase, I’d love to know what you think!

Here is a little more information, taken from his book sales page at

Who’s this course for?
Artists who want to earn a living from their art, obviously, but more specifically, artists who want to sell their art products and attract commissions online. Think visual artists like painters, designers, illustrators, filmmakers, photographers, crafters, and more.

Who made this course?
This course was created by Chris Wilson – I’ve made a living selling my work online and doing commissions with different creative studios and brands around the world.

What if I’m just starting out?
This course is designed for creatives who have a solid portfolio of work, but the processes will work for beginners as well. In fact, starting fresh could work to your advantage, because you haven’t picked up bad habits yet.

Want to enter to win a free copy?  Go here >

Here’s to your creative success – through whatever avenue that comes!

– Tara Reed

US Copyright Office Ask Call replay is ready!

Ask call replay - US Copyright OfficeIn our call we had attorney John Asley, Esq – also a photographer! – of the US Copyright Office on the line. He is the chief manager and supervisor, visual arts division, which is a part of the Office’s Registration Program.  All copyright claims based on visual arts are examined and decided in his Division. John manages a staff of about 30 experts on visual arts copyright.  His entire federal career has been with the Copyright Office’s Visual Arts.  He teaches copyright law.

It was an amazing and information packed hour! I came away with a much better and clearer understanding of the copyright process and why we need to register our work.

In a nutshell, get your free copy and listen to it. It will be the best hour you invest in your business.

If you want more than that “trust me” recommendation, here is what we covered.

Mr Ashley mentions the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition frequently in the call and is very helpful in giving us chapters and page numbers to reference for certain topics. Here is the link to the page with the document: I will put chapter and page numbers in parentheses after subjects, when applicable.

  • WHY do we need to register with the Copyright Office – don’t we “own” the copyright by simply creating the art? (Compendium,Ch 200 pages 5-6.)
  • Do you recommend people register copyrights under their name or under their business name?
  • Dispelled the myth of “if you change something 15%, 25% etc it’s ok to use someone else’s work” – NOT TRUE.
  • Is it ok for an artist to have their agent register their copyrights? What should we be aware of if they want to do the registrations?
  • Do artists from other countries need to register with the US Copyright Office?
    • CORRECTION to the info if you listened live: one mistake – the Foreign copyright owner does not have to register in Office in order to get into federal court; a US copyright owner is subject to this requirement, but not the foreign author. Why difference? Because a major treaty we joined in 1989 (Berne Treaty) forbids applying this requirement to foreign-Berne copyright owners.
  • Do you recommend people register copyrights under their name or under their business name?
  • How important is it that a copyright notice be placed on all work – if the notice isn’t there, does it lessen our claim if someone infringes on our work? (Compendium ch 2200 p 5&6)
  • Can you clarify what makes a work “published” or “unpublished”? (Compendium, ch 1900, p. 4 / ch. 1000 p 18-23)
  • Can you help clear up confusion about what constitutes a “collection” of art for group or bulk registration purposes? What types of registrations are available for visual works of art? (Compendium ch 900)
  • Does registering in a collection affect statutory damages that could be awarded during a lawsuit?

If you didn’t get an email with the links to download the audio or to listen online, register below to claim your free copy.

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Ask Maria Brophy and Tara Reed about art licensingNext Up…

You get two for one!  Maria Brophy and I will be teaming up to answer your questions on Wednesday, January 21, 2015.  Submit your questions as soon as you think of them so I don’t have to beg when it gets closer, ok?  :)

Go to to submit your questions.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Copyright Office Ask Call is TOMORROW!

I will be live on the phone with an attorney from the US Library of Congress’ Copyright Office TOMORROW, Wednesday, November 12th at 11 am Pacific / 2 pm Eastern.  Will you join us?

If you are on the list and get the reminder emails about the Ask Calls, you will receive an email shortly with all the details.  (check your spam and if you use gmail, check your PROMOTIONS tab!)   If you aren’t, register below to get signed up  and get the call in details.

If you can’t make it live, don’t despair.  The audio replay will be available for free – I want as many artists as possible to take advantage of this chance to learn more about the copyright process and laws from the source.


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If you have friends who are creative in any way – they don’t have to have any interest in art licensing – PLEASE share the details of this event!

You can send them to this blog post or direct them to

Hope you can join us – even though we mute everyone during these live calls, we can feel your energy! :)

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

– Tara Reed


FREE Webinar on 11/6 for artists interested in learning more about exhibiting at SURTEX

Tomorrow,  Thursday, 11/6, I will be doing a webinar for SURTEX called “Ready, Set… Exhibit at SURTEX!”  It’s free and designed to help artists who aren’t sure if they are ready to exhibit or who are on the fence, learn more about what to expect.

The webinar will begin at 10 am Pacific / 1 pm Eastern and last for approximately 1 hour (that doesn’t seem to be listed on the registration page)  If you want to join us, go here to register >>

Ready Set Exhibit Webinar

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

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