SURTEX licensing and design show

inspiration

Everything you can imagine…

Words to Live By - Pablo Picasso - May2014

This quote feels really fitting to me since today is the final day of the first Art Licensing Academy. I feel incredibly blessed to have had such an amazing group of artists join me on this month-long journey.  I really wasn’t sure how this format would work, how artists would respond to it, if I’d like it… you know, all those little fears and doubts that pop up when you try something new.

But I imagined it and we made it real and it was AMAZING.  (I will tell you more about it and announce the next class shortly but today I want to focus on this concept.)

In 2004 I imagined a life where I was making a living as an artist.  I had a flexible schedule and was able to be home with my then 10 year old son.  I knew I wanted to keep writing and teaching but wasn’t sure how that was going to happen – but I imagined it.

10 years later – I’m living the life.  What I imagined in 2004 is real in 2014.  I create, I teach, I have a flexible schedule, an amazing new husband and a wonderful life.  My little boy is now in college and thriving – so I can add incredibly proud mom to my list of things I’m grateful for.

I believe Pablo Picasso – what we imagine and focus on is real.  It might not be real today but if we think it and act and feel like it is, it will happen.

So today I invite you to take a few minutes to slow down and IMAGINE… what is real for you?

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Without Promotion…

Words to Live By - PT Barnum - April 2014

When the Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883, no one wanted to go across it.  It was the first bridge made of steel and not iron. Is was also the longest suspension bridge in the world—50% longer than any previously built.

The day it opened – May 24, 1883, a total of 1,800 vehicles and 150,300 people crossed what was then the only land passage between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

On May 30, 1883, six days after the opening, a rumor that the Bridge was going to collapse caused a stampede, which was responsible for at least twelve people being crushed and killed.

The city was left with a bit of a marketing problem… they had just invested a lot of time and money building a bridge to make travel easier but no one would use it.  What to do? What to do?

I can’t find any information online about who came up with this brilliant idea to prove the safety of the bridge but on May 17, 1884, P. T. Barnum led 21 elephants over the Brooklyn Bridge to prove that it was stable.  On May 17, 1884, P. T. Barnum helped to squelch doubts about the bridge’s stability—while publicizing his famous circus—when one of his most famous attractions, Jumbo, led a parade of 21 elephants over the Brooklyn Bridge.

It may have been P.T. Barnum himself seeing a great opportunity for free publicity for his circus.  The parade worked – who can argue that the bridge is doomed to collapse after seeing 21 elephants walk across it.  It was a win-win – the city had a bridge people would use and the Circus got a lot of free publicity!

Now I know (hope!) that you don’t have a marketing problem the size of the Brooklyn Bridge on your plate, but what do you do to promote your business?

Today I encourage you to take a few minutes and think about how you promote your art licensing business.  Make a list and don’t only include what you do and where, but HOW OFTEN.  Without continual promotion the marketplace will forget who you are.

Create. Market. Repeat.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

 

sources:

  • I found most of the Brooklyn Bridge facts here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooklyn_Bridge
  • I first heard this story in a talk given by Brian Buffini – a speaker and trainer in the real estate market but honestly – he could have been talking about the art licensing industry 99% of the time.

 

 

Don’t move backwards…

I found this quote by Abraham Lincoln the other day and it struck me like a lightening bolt… YES!  That’s good stuff!  I simply had to share it…

Words to Live By - Abraham LIncoln - April2014I have DEFINITELY been (and continue to be) guilty of wanting things to happen faster than they are.  I want to build my business faster, lose weight faster, certainly clean my bathroom faster (that’s just no fun!)  …

The real point of life, weight, love and yes, business isn’t the speed, but the direction.

Are you moving FORWARD.  Are you taking action every day that is moving you in the direction of your goals, regardless of the speed?  Some things simply take more time than others.  You might be able to speed one thing up but will it be at the detriment of something else?  For example, if you work 20 hours a day to fast-track your art business, you will likely get sick from lack of sleep and have problems in your relationships from ignoring everyone around you.

Today I invite you to make a list of the the things you want.  Acknowledge what you have done to get you from the first idea of wanting it to where you are now.  Then commit to taking more steps – however fast or slow – to keep moving in the right direction.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

 

 

Work hard and…

WORK HAPPY!

The most successful artists I know in art licensing also LOVE what they do!  When you are happy doing what you do, it will show in your art.  Personally, I don’t believe this is the industry of the “tortured artist”… we are happy, fun, hard working artists.

Did I ever tell you about a conversation I had with a friend when I was just separated from my husband back in 2004?  I remember it vividly… we were having a heart-to-heart about what was going on and she said, “Well, on the up-side, I can’t wait to see the art you create!  Everyone knows artists do their best work when they are in pain.”  This was said with the same conviction that I would announce that the sky was blue.

My jaw drops to this day just thinking about it.  I remember saying “Oh that is SOOOO not me!  I’m a happy artist – that’s when I do my best work.  I don’t do very good work when I’m unhappy.”

I recently repeated this story to a coach I”m working with and she said, “Well then don’t you think you owe it to yourself and your family to do everything in your power to stay as happy as possible?”  My jaw dropped again but this time with the realization that she was right!  It is MY JOB to stay happy – because from my positive emotion comes my best work.

Work Happy

Sometimes staying in my happy place means saying no to things others think I should do.  It means staying in when others are going out.  It means going to bed early so I can get up and go to the gym and feel good about myself and have energy for the day.

What do you think?  Is it YOUR JOB to be happy to?


Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Building Creative Confidence

I found a link to the Ted Talk on Facebook the other day… if you read my blog, then I imagine you are an artist and didn’t have your creativity squashed by some girl in the third grade who didn’t like your clay interpretation of a horse… (you will understand when you watch it)  However, that doesn’t mean that our creative confidence isn’t sometimes shaken.

Hearing NO a few too many times can make the most confident of us second guess ourselves.

Going to a family dinner to be told “you would make more money if you didn’t have an art degree, and if you were a CPA or something.” is no confidence builder either.  (That ISN’T a made up example – also from a recent Facebook discussion)

I was recently talking to a 20 year old and asking what her grand plan was – what is she studying in college and what does she want to do when she’s done.  She said, “I’ve always loved art and graphic design but then I didn’t think I could make much money.  So I thought about psychology and took some classes… then I thought the medical field might be a better bet…”  She has settled on a middle ground – marketing and business with a graphic design minor because the creativity is where she is happiest. (Hmmmm… that combo sounds vaguely familiar!)

Confidence isn’t something you get and keep like a “thing” you buy at the store.  It is something that needs to be nurtured and reaffirmed and held at the core…

I highly recommend you watch this talk about creative confidence by David Kelley – it may help you see things from a different perspective.

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

– Tara Reed

How do you feel about the word “no”?

I’ve recently blogged about learning to SAY NO … if you over commit you lose the creative juices and energy and time to work on what is really important to you.

There is also the flip side of the coin – when people say NO to you.  And if you are pursuing art licensing, you will hear no a lot.  A. LOT.

“No” doesn’t mean that your art is horrible, that you are a failure or that you have been personally rejected.

“No” means that your art isn’t a fit for the projects they are working on now.  It doesn’t mean it will never be a fit, but it isn’t a fit now.

So, here is some great advice from the Muppets on a Friday – enjoy!


Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

 

a story about go karts, fear and tightropes…

I’ve been thinking a lot about fear… where does it come from, why do we have the fears we have and why don’t we all have the same ones?  Why does something make us nervous one day and feel paralyzed the next?

Fear is a funny thing… it’s our brain’s way of trying to keep us safe.  Sometimes it does and sometimes it just keeps us from reaching our potential or going for something we really want.

Is it important to overcome every fear you have?  I don’t think so.  Is it important to overcome fears that are standing in the way of you and the life or business you want?   Absolutely!  Unless you are happier feeling safe than taking a risk and getting what you want of course. :)


Here’s a recent example:

Tara Reed in a go kartA few weeks ago my sister and brother-in-law were in town and my brother thought it would be a fun family activity to go go karting.  My son had done it and loved it!  I had been in go karts at amusement parks and some other family recreation type places and thought, “Sure!  Why not!”

Well… when we got there I realized this wasn’t at all what I was expecting.  These were some SERIOUS go karts!  You had to have a driver’s license to drive them.  You had to wear a really heavy helmet.  You had to watch a safety video… I immediately began to feel fear and discomfort creep in.  I told my husband, “This feels like a cruise excursion that I shouldn’t have signed up for!”

We went into the track and listened to our instructions.  They told us how the track was a little slicker than normal because the ice and snow were dripping in a little from the roof so be careful – especially on that first turn… my stomach knotted up a little more…

I got in the car, I took deep breathes. I told myself it would be fun, I could do this and there was nothing to be afraid of.  I watched as my mom went, my brother, my sister and so on… my mouth got dry.

Then it was my turn.  I squared my shoulders and hit the gas.  It would be ok.

WELL… I HATED EVERY ONE OF THOSE 10 MINUTES and it was all I could do not to drive into the pit early or, quite honestly, cry.  I don’t like driving fast.  I don’t like spinning out around corners.  I had no interest in trying to beat anyone, pass anyone or do anything other than finish the race and get the heck out of the car!

Is this a fear I feel I need to conquer?  NO.  I have no plans on becoming a race car driver.  I didn’t get any enjoyment from the process.  I tried it, I finished it and it wasn’t for me.  Will it alter or inhibit my life if I don’t do it again? No.  So to me, it was a ‘bucket list’ activity and I won’t do it again.  EVER.

Now if you are laughing and thinking I’m silly and shaking your head in wonder and thinking “How could she NOT have liked that???” you are not alone.  My whole family, including my 69 yr old mother, agree with you.  But the fact remains: not my cup of tea.


Let’s move on to another example:

When I learned about art licensing, I was intrigued but I had a lot of doubts and fears too.  No one will like my work. (fear)  I won’t make it because I don’t have any “real” art training. (fear) People will judge me for trying and failing. (fear)  I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.

Similar things come up every time I do something a little different, a little bigger or a little further outside my comfort zone.  I had to deal with some fear when creating the Art Licensing Academy program.  What if no one signs up? What if people start judging me harshly on Facebook? What if, what if, what if…

Do I need to get over these fears?  Absolutely.  Because if I don’t, I won’t be able to live the creative life I want.  I won’t be able to teach and help and inspire other artists.

Will it negatively affect me if I let the fear stop me?  Yes.  So these kinds of fears need to be conquered.

I googled “songs about overcoming fear” and found this catchy tune called Tightrope by Janelle Monae.  There may be a few lyrics that don’t thrill some people but the overall message is awesome – your life is a tightrope and it’s up to YOU:  you follow or you lead, you blame the machine or you keep your balance…

What is your choice?  Feel the fear and do it anyway or let the fear tip you off your tightrope?

Here’s the song and the lyrics for you to ponder… and remember, you don’t have to overcome every fear, but it’s in your best interest to overcome those that (a) won’t kill or maim you and (b) stand in the way of what you really want!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed


 

LYRICS – Tightrope by Monae and Leftfoot

Whoaaa
Another day
I take your pain away

Some people talk about ya
Like they know all about ya
When you get down they doubt ya
And when you tippin on the scene
Yeah they talkin’ bout it
Cause they can’t tip all on the scene with ya
Talk about it
T-t-t-talk bout it
When you get elevated,
They love it or they hate it
You dance up on them haters
Keep getting funky on the scene
While they jumpin’ round ya
They trying to take all your dreams
But you can’t allow it

Cause baby whether you’re high or low
Whether you’re high or low
You gotta tip on the tightrope
T-t-t-tip on the tightrope

Whether you’re high or low
Baby whether you’re high or low
You got to tip on the tightrope
Now let me see you do the tightrope
And I’m still tippin’ on it

See I’m not walkin’ on it
Or tryin to run around it
This ain’t no acrobatics
You either follow or you lead, yeah
I’m talkin’ bout you,
Or keep on blaming the machine, yeah
I’m talkin’ bout it,
T-t-t-talkin’ bout it
I can’t complain about it
I gotta keep my balance
And just keep dancin on it
We gettin funky on the scene
Yeah you know about it
Like a star on the screen
Watch me tip all on it

Then baby whether I’m high or low
Baby whether you’re high or low
You gotta tip on the tightrope
Yeah, tip on the tightrope
Baby, baby, baby
Whether you’re high or low
Baby whether you’re high or low
Tip on the tightrope
Baby let me see you tight rope
And I’m still tippin’ on it

Big Boi:

You gotta keep your balance or you fall into the gap
It’s a challenge but I manage cause I’m cautious with the strap
Do damage to your canvas that a doctor cannot patch
See boy you don’t want no friction like the back of a matchbook
Daddy Fat Stacks will fold you and your MacBook
Close shows, shut you down before we gon’ go backwards
Act up, and whether we high or low we gonna get back-up
Like the Dow Jones and Nasdaq
Sorta like a thong in an ass crack
Come on

I tip on alligators and little rattle snakers
But I’m another flavor
Something like a terminator
Ain’t no equivocating
I fight for what I believe
While you talkin’ bout it
Jus-jus-just talkin’ bout it
Some callin me a sinner
Some callin me a winner
I’m callin you to dinner
And you know exactly what I mean
Yeah I’m talkin bout you
You can rock or you can leave
Watch me tip without you

N-N-Now whether I’m high or low
Whether I’m high or low
I’m gonna tip on the tightrope
Baby, baby, baby
Whether I’m high or low
High or low
I got to tip on the tightrope
Now baby tip on the tightrope

You can’t get too high
I said you can’t get too low
Cause you get too high
No you’ll surely be low
1, 2, 3, Ho!

Yeah, yeah
Now shut up, yeah
Yeah, now put some voodoo on it
Ladies and gentlemen the funkiest horn section in Metropolis
Yeah, yeah, yeah, OH!
We call that classy brass

Do you mind?
If I play the ukulele
Just like a little lady
Do you mind?
If I play the ukulele
Just like a little lady
As I play the ukulele
If I play my ukulele
Just like a little lady

Read more: Janelle Monae – Tightrope Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Stand… think about direction and wonder why you haven’t before…

The other day I was driving and on the “Oldies” station I heard a song I hadn’t heard or thought about for a long time… STAND by REM from 1988.  (WHEN did 1988 become “oldies”?  That discussion is for another time…)

Anyway, I cranked it up and started rocking out in my Art Bug.  This song has such memories attached to it – college, the Dance Marathon (I didn’t dance but rubbed people’s feet to keep them going – AND we did a fun dance to this song to keep everyone energized.)

As I was enjoying my flashback I started listening to the lyrics and thinking about the song from a whole new perspective… and of course I had to share it with you!

STAND in the place where you are… this song is basically reminding us to be present, take stock of where we are in our life, our job, our relationships… to dream, to wish, to be…

I picked this video because the pictures they put with the music made me smile and some made me laugh out loud.  I think the elephant in the very beginning is my favorite – what is yours?


So crank it up, dance a little and then take a moment to reflect.  Maybe grab a journal and write what comes to mind.  Where are you NOW?  What do you love? What would you change? What do you wish for your future?

Now take those wishes and attach actions to them… what can you do today, this week, this month, to move you closer than you are today?

So a little bit of fun and some introspection for your Friday!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Catch Your Breath – don’t let anyone hold you back

I thought I’d add a little inspiration to this Friday.  I heard this song by Kelly Clarkson while driving the other day and it really hit me – this song NEEDS TO BE ON MY PLAYLIST!  It really talks about how you spend your time, priorities and believing in yourself… and who couldn’t use that?

This is your life – what are you going to do with it?


Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Here are the lyrics if you want to read them:

Kelly Clarkson – Catch My Breath Lyrics

I don’t want to be left behind
Distance was a friend of mine
Catching breath in a web of lies
I’ve spent most of my life

Riding waves, playing acrobat
Shadow boxing the other half
Learning how to react
I’ve spent most of my time

Catching my breath
Letting it go
Turning my cheek for the sake of the show
Now that you know
This is my life I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right

Catch my breath
No one can hold me back
I ain’t got time for that
Catch my breath
Won’t let em get me down!
It’s all so simple now

Addicted to the love I’ve found
Heavy heart now a weightless cloud
Making time for the ones that count
I’ll spend the rest of my time

Laughing hard with the windows down
Leaving footprints all over town
Keeping faith karma comes around
I won’t spend the rest of my life

Catching my breath
Letting it go
Turning my cheek for the sake of the show
Now that you know
This is my life I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right

Catch my breath
No one can hold me back
I ain’t got time for that
Catch my breath
Won’t let em get me down
It’s all so simple now

You help me see the beauty in everything

Catching my breath
Letting it go
Turning my cheek for the sake of the show
Now that you know
This is my life I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right

Catching my breath
Letting it go
Turning my cheek for the sake of the show
Now that you know
This is my life I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right

Catch my breath
No one can hold me back
I ain’t got time for that
Catch my breath
Won’t let em get me down
It’s all so simple now
It’s all so simple now

Catching my breath
Letting it go
Turning my cheek for the sake of the show
Now that you know
This is my life I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right

Catch my breath
No one can hold me back
I ain’t got time for that
Catch my breath
Won’t let em get me down
It’s all so simple now
It’s all so simple now

 

My Word of the Year: RELEASE

I’ve finally decided on my word for 2014 and have chosen RELEASE.

I’m excited that I found this typewriter key that I bought years ago with the plan to turn it into jewelry.  It has been sitting, waiting, in my drawer.  I am determined to find a way to make it happen so I have a very real and physical reminder of my intention.  I plan to release the margins and the heart of things that keep me down, make me doubt and don’t serve my vision of a happy life.

Word - 2014 - release

A few things I plan to release include…

  • self-criticism
  • self-doubt
  • concern over what others think… (as someone told me, it’s really none of my business!)
  • fear of failure
  • fear of success
  • fear of judgement
  • fear of things I can’t control
  • habits that don’t serve me
  • beliefs that hold me back
  • beliefs that make me feel bad

RELEASE THE BRAKES!

Do you have a “word” for 2014 and if so, what is it?  If you were to think about things you want to release – what would they be?

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed