Art Licensing Info Ask Call with the Copyright Office is on November 12, 2014

It’s not just our industry…

I’m sure if you really stopped to think about it, you already know this.  But sometimes we get so caught up in OUR business and OUR industry that we forget to stop and see what is and isn’t going on elsewhere…

The other night I was watching Nashville (ABC – season 3 / epsisode 2) and was struck by how much the dialogue mimicked discussions on social media among artists about art licensing…

Nashville on ABC

Rayna is unhappy that it takes more than great music to make it these days… she longs for the time when you didn’t have to be on social media, share  your personal life and have a reality show to have a #1 hit for more than a day. She is told that “it’s a brand new world and if you want to stay in the game, you have to play the game” (something like that – that isn’t verbatim)

The show really highlights how a singers brand needs to match their reality if they want to stay scandal free… the gay singer who was built up as a ladies man and recently married is in for a bumpy ride… sort of reminds me of the Tiger Woods scandal and how Thomas Kinkade’s brand and personal life became mis-aligned…

Anyway – it’s not just us facing these changing times and having to decide if we choose to play the game or get out of the business.

Many of the rules have changed in art licensing over the years and especially since 2008 – but we always have a choice:  stay and play or find a new way to make a living with our creativity.

You can watch the episode online here >

Here’s to your creative – and social media – success!

– Tara Reed

The next Art Licensing Academy starts this Wednesday – who wants to uplevel their understanding of the business this month?

The third – and by far the most international – Art Licensing Academy is about to begin this Wednesday, October 8, 2014.  The next class won’t be until June 2015 so if you are on the fence – know that you will stay there for a while unless you invest in yourself!


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.

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,

Read more testimonials and save your spot at

Just create it…

Watch this…

Now tell me if any of the excuses you have in your head for why you can’t make your dreams come true feel valid… didn’t think so.

GO!  Create!  Make it happen!

– Tara Reed

Crafters, artists and money…

Last weekend I went to Seattle to teach about goal setting and art licensing at the School House Craft event.  There were about 65 creative people sharing ideas, products and lots of beliefs – whether they realized it or not.  :)

I spent my 3.5 hour drive north from Portland listening to Sean Smith’s audio series – Release the Brakes.  Which talked about recognizing and changing limiting beliefs – so beliefs were on my radar! (He has some great ideas and food for thought – you can find this series and more here > (I have no affiliation – just passing on great resources)

Over lunch a conversation went something like this…  “I do XYZ … I’m not saying I want to get rich or anything, but I’d like to make more than $2/hour for my time after all of my expenses.”

Another artist nods her head in agreement, “Me too.  I’m not greedy or anything, but it’s so hard…”

After a few more people parrot this idea, I find my mouth opening and my voice saying, “Why don’t you want to make money?  There isn’t anything wrong with it.  It isn’t like Apple is going to charge us less for our iPhones because we are so creative…”

Money can be such a sticky wicket for people.  Why do artists feel they have to starve to be valid, or reassure others that “they don’t need to be rich” or equate wanting to make a living with being greedy?  I bet you don’t hear conversations like that in silicon valley!

Money is a tool and it’s a tool everyone needs to live and make choices.  There have been many conversations about money in regards to the SURTEX show… the booths are too expensive.  The show should realize how our business has changed and give us other options… the reality is, their costs are going up too.  The Javitz Center in NYC isn’t lowering rates, or paying less for workers or electricity because the economy has gotten harder since 2008.

We, as artists, decide how much we charge, what royalties and what size jobs we are willing to accept, and how we spend the money we earn.  It is our job to pay attention and make it work.  If that means you do a show every other year, or put off exhibiting for the first time for a year, then that’s what you do. If you think being at the show every year is valuable for your business, you figure it out.

I suggest we all DECIDE that making money is a GOOD THING.

While I’m not saying our business is a piece of cake and you can make a ton of money in your sleep, if you look at other businesses, it might not seem so bad.  In the 6 month coaching program I recently completed (that I invested $9,000 to participate in – my choice and in my opinion, worth every penny) there was  a man who was a builder.  His specialty was remodeling – kitchens in particular.  He shared with us that his business had to do $70,000 in sales EVERY MONTH – to break even.  TO BREAK EVEN.  I don’t know of any artist that has to have that level of income to break even… at least not any solo artist.  Studios with a large staff might but not the average artist in licensing.

Many large companies are happy if their profit margin is 10% of what they bring in.  I can assure you that I also don’t know of any artist spending 90% of what they bring in on their business.

Everything is about perspective, attitude and your belief system.  If you believe it will be hard or that we have it good – you are right.

I encourage you to notice the things you and those around you say about money and business.  Are they fear based statements or optimistic.  Your attitude about money feeds your attitude and action in your business… luckily, you can control and change your attitude – if you choose to.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Testing your vision is an ongoing process…

Greeting card insider, Mike Rhodda, recently started a blog and site for artists wanting to really understand and break into the greeting card business. (add that to my t0-do list…)  Last week I read one of his posts and HAD TO SHARE IT!

He offers a brilliant suggestion to artists that would work for any kind of product really.  Artists wanting to get into greeting cards or art licensing should give this a try…

I won’t steal his thunder but just encourage you to read it…  now…

Do My Eyes Deceive Me?

Here’s to your creative success – and accurate vision!

– Tara Reed

Comfort or Courage?

Quote - Comfort or Courage

Without being courageous, not a lot will change.  You will lead a comfortable life – safely in your comfort zone – doing what you like to do.  That’s fine – if that’s what you choose.  When I asked a few members of my family if they were comfortable being uncomfortable they got a look of horror on their faces and said absolutely not!  My sister followed up with “That’s your M.O. – not mine.  I am perfectly happy being comfortable and supporting you in your discomfort.”

Take a moment to get really honest with yourself – are you willing to be UNCOMFORTABLE to get what you want?  Most of the things you dream of, that you don’t already have, are just outside that comfort zone.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

How BADLY do you want it?

From Sept 11-13, 2014, I spent my days in a room of 265+ people who were willing to “go there”… we were attending Tiffany Peterson‘s annual event – Elevation.  It’s a combination of personal development and sales & marketing training.

Tiffany did a call with me back in July and I invited everyone to join us in Salt Lake City, just as I had been invited by Jennifer Pugh last year.  Two (brave!) artists decided it felt right and came.  Debbie McCulley flew in from Spokane, Washington and Cathy Nolan took the trek west from New York City.  It was fun to get to know them both better – laugh together, cry together, open up and swap stories.  I was thrilled that they both found the event to be a mind and perspective changer as well… maybe next year you will come too!

Artists of Elevation 2014

One of Tiffany’s big themes is this:  How uncomfortable are you willing to be to get the results you want?

Some will say not at all and others will do ANY-THING to make their dreams come true.  What matters is what is true for you.  How uncomfortable are you willing to be to make it in art licensing?

Here’s a little video (that was uncomfortable for me to make – but I decided that was half the point) about my thoughts on the matter.

Some food for thought… here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

When someone calls you DELUSIONAL, read this…

An artist recently shared a story about a conversation she had with someone who used to work in the textile industry and doesn’t any longer.  She gave some advice and closed with, “As long as you don’t have any delusions about making a living at this, it’s just fun!”

Well… this artist WANTS to make a living with her art.

My response to her was that I would like the delusion that she doesn’t start hanging out with this person all the time… obviously it didn’t work for her so she’s projecting it onto others – probably thinking she is doing them a favor and protecting you from heartache.  But everyone needs to follow THEIR heart and intuition…

I had SO MANY PEOPLE tell me I couldn’t make a living as an artist and lots of fear coming at me from all directions – especially from my parents.  They were worried and lived in the belief system that you “had to have connections” – well… guess what?  I kept going and made it happen.

Was it easy? No.  Was it really fast? No.  Would I choose a different path if I could go back? NO.

I just got back from 5 days in Salt Lake City with Tiffany Peterson and she cracked me open more than a few times. (That means I was brought to tears on multiple occasions – surprised a few people but we all have little “emotional releases” from time to time right?)   

My take-away from the event, again, is that the more we stretch ourselves and strive for things outside the norm (and making money as an artist seems to be outside what people consider the norm) – the more we have to change OURSELVES.

Becoming more and more solid in our beliefs, centered in who we are, releasing the desire to have everyone understand who we are… this is tough work.  I face it over and over and keep doing the work.  This is why I am so big on self-care in my Art Licensing Academy classes – IT MATTERS.

If you choose to go work at a cash register somewhere, you can be very wishy-washy with your self-care, confidence and understanding of yourself.  There won’t be as many opinions, judgement and “advice” coming at you.

But we are all choosing a different path.  Choose the path that you want, do the work and keep your eye on the prize… let everyone else keep their fear out of your business.

Here’s to your creative success.

– Tara Reed

If you liked this post, you might also like:  a story about go karts, fear and tightropes…

Tomorrow is the deadline for free goodies…

Tomorrow – September 20, 2014 – is the deadline for two great bonuses.

1.  Deadline to get FREE books when you sign up for the Art Licensing Academy that begins on October 8, 2014.

Art Licensing Academy - October 2014

I want to reward artists who commit to their education in advance by gifting you with some extra learning.  These are three of my go-to books for figuring out why I might be procrastinating, reminding me to see resistance for what it is and over come it and also great reminders about how to build effective business relationships.

Free book bonus photo

Watch this video and learn more…

Now go to and reserve your spot!

1.  Deadline to get half off the Art Licensing Academy IF you register for the License 2 Grow Live Event in Lake Tahoe on October 20, 2014.

Don’t forget that if you decide to come to the License to Grow all day event in Lake Tahoe on October 20, 2014, you can also participate in the Art Licensing Academy for half off – if you register by Sept 20th!  If you want to consider both programs, you can learn more at 
L2G Sidebar-250x100

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Art Licensing Info Ask Call – Social Media with Michelle McCullough Replay is now available

I feel better and more informed about how to use and manage social media after our call with Michelle McCullough last night – do you?

Time management and social media used to be mutually exclusive topics but more and more, social media is one of the biggest distractions / time sucks entrepreneurs face.  We are bombarded with messages that say we HAVE to be on every social media site if we want to be successful.  But few people are talking about how to decide which sites will best fit a particular business so it feels like a lot of time and energy is wasted as people throw information willy-nelly around the net in the hopes that it works.

All of this connecting, liking, plus one-ing, pinning and more takes time.  That is time that you could be doing other things – creating art, implementing other marketing strategies or, dare I say it, relaxing and living your life.

I’m really excited that Michelle McCullough agreed to talk to us about both of these important topics and that I can offer the replay from the call for free.

I met Michelle a year ago at Tiffany Peterson’s Elevation event and also had the chance to learn from her at a more intimate business workshop. I love how she helps people create systems and figure out percentages of time they should shoot for for different tasks, based on their business.  She isn’t a one size fits all.

Michelle really knows how to manage her time! She has 2 young kids and 3 businesses.  She is the Managing Director of the website – a website that helps entrepreneurs (mostly female but men can learn a lot there too!) with every aspect of starting and running a business.  She is a speaker and coach and a wiz when it comes to marketing, social media and time management.  She also runs a promotional products company – and you all thought I did a lot!

I hired Michelle to do a marketing review of my art website and got lots of great tips and tweaks to take it to the next level.  I will warn you – she talks really fast!  I have come to look at that as an asset because we will get a ton of information from her in our hour!

When I first scheduled this call, I thought the focus would be on time management.  Then I added social media as an option… Well, since these calls are created by questions submitted by artists like you, the focus is going to be on better understanding how to productively use your TIME on social media.

free replay about social media and time management with Michelle McCullough and Tara ReedHere is what we covered on the call:

We talked about the 6 main social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram & Google Plus.  Who is on them, what their strengths are and why they may or may not be worth your time and energy. Michelle made some recommendations for artists who are not only interested in art licensing but also sell directly to consumers through their own or other websites like Etsy, Society6, Fine Art America, CafePress and more…
We talked about the four basic types of social media posts and how and when to use each.
We talked through some strategies for Instagram and Facebook and a bit about Google + and LinkedIn too.
We wrapped up talking about how long  you should spend on social media and how to manage it so it works for you and doesn’t control you…

If you don’t receive the email updates about the Ask Calls – which you should have received with a link to this replay if you do, register below to get your free mp3 replay.

Find Michelle online at – she has lots of free audio content.  You can get her Social Media Blueprint product for only $97 thru 9/25/14 at I got it! :)

Next up… I’m excited to announce that our next guest will be an attorney from the Library of Congress – Copyright Office.

Library of Congress Copyright Office talks with Tara Reed about copyright concerns of artistsThe call will be on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 but we aren’t sure of the time yet.  It will basically be whatever time they want it to be!  (The replay will be free as well so no need to worry about the time – although it is great to have all the energy of the artists who choose to listen live!)
Watch the blog and eNewsletter for updates as I have them.