Ask Michelle McCullough about social media and time management - free call 9/17/14

Keep moving…

Some days you may feel like you are stuck in quicksand and others like you could run a marathon… that’s just how it goes.  The most important thing?  KEEP MOVING.

What will you do TODAY to move your art business forward?

Here are 5 ideas:

  1. Start a new art collection.
  2. Look at art you have and see if you can add things to make it a collection that would work well for licensing.
  3. Submit your art to a manufacturer.
  4. Follow up with a company you have shown your art to.
  5. Look at your website and make sure it makes a great first impression.  If it doesn’t – change it.

Quote - Martin Luther King

License 2 Grow – who wants to spend a day at Lake Tahoe talking about art licensing?

It’s the best of both worlds… gorgeous location and my favorite topic.  It has been years since I’ve been to Incline Village, NV – on the edge of Lake Tahoe.  My parents lived there for about 8 years before moving to Reno and now Portland… I have lots of fond memories of the amazing views and not-as-fond memories of some issues I had with the altitude. (I live at sea level so it’s an adjustment!)

I’m excited to be going back in October to do an all day art licensing event – License 2 Grow – with agent Kimberly Montgomery. Who is going to join us?


Date: Sunday, October 19, 2014

Time: 9 am – 4 pm

Who:  Artists wanting to spend a day in-person learning about how to make art licensing a part of their creative business

You can get all the details and save your spot at  Remember – if you register by 9/20 you can also join the Art Licensing Academy for 1/2 off AND get in on the 3 extra free books I’m offering for artists who register for that group coaching program by the same date.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

A contest for flooring contractors…

So I have a floor I would like to have replaced in my house.  It’s one of the surfaces we have yet to touch.  I’ve decided to run a contest for contractors who do flooring in Portland to win the chance to replace it.

Here are the rules of the contest:

  1. Any interested contractor should contact me, come measure the space and then put forth their best ideas.
  2. The contractor must have all of their licenses and insurance in order to qualify.
  3. They should share their design concepts on social media and use #flooringContest when posting.
  4. Samples of the materials to be used, are to be submitted in person.
  5. The winner will be allowed to replace my flooring, free of charge, in exchange for lots of rave reviews on Yelp, Facebook, Twitter and the like.

Seriously… who would enter this contest?  NO ONE.  That is why you don’t see them out there.

But there seems to be a culture of art contests that just keeps growing and growing.  The most recent – that has gotten a lot of attention – is the art contest that Showtime is holding for the upcoming fight between Mayweather vs Maidana that will take place on September 13th.  Apparently they emailed information to some artists that they admired in an effort to get them to enter the contest.

fight contest

One artist, Dan Cassaro, replied and his response has gone viral.  It has started an important conversation, in my mind, about art contests.

Dan Cassaro’s response to Showtime was as follows:

Thanks for your thinking of me for this! Glad you are digging my style!

It is with great sadness that I must decline your enticing offer to work for you for free. I know that boxing matches in Las Vegas are extremely low-budget affairs, especially ones with nobodies like Floyd “Money” Mayweather. I heard he only pulled in 80 million for his last fight! I also understand that “mom and pop” cable channel like Showtime must rely on handouts just to keep the lights on these days. Thanks a lot, Obama! My only hope is that you can scrape up a few dollars from this grassroots event at the MGM Grand to put yourself back in the black. If that happens you might consider using some of that money to compensate people to doing the thing they are professionally trained to do.


Of course this isn’t the good PR Showtime had hoped for so a spokesperson made the following statement:

Showtime is a strong supporter of artists around the world. This contest, like many others, is entirely optional. Under the contest guidelines, those who choose to submit their art are eligible for a grand prize of a Las Vegas trip, in addition to invaluable national exposure across multiple platforms.

I found this response and you can read more about it on BuzzFeed

Once again – many, many artists will enter this contest for a chance to get a trip to Las Vegas and gain “invaluable national exposure”.  Good for Dan – he is getting national exposure by calling a spade a spade.

Is there anything illegal about what Showtime is doing?  Of course not.  It’s a marketing plan to get people excited and sharing about the fight – and to get some free work.  And as long as artists are willing to do this sort of thing for the free exposure, they will continue to exist.  We live, after all, in a free market economy.  If it works and everyone agrees – it’s ok.

But what is the cost to professional artists?

Our value and services are deemed less valuable.  I’ve seen it in the art licensing industry as well.  If a company can run a contest for art and the winner gets 6 free samples and the company gets free art for products, why license or buy art?  Just hold a contest.

Does this mean I’ve never entered a contest where I too, had to try and drive traffic to a site to get votes?  No.  Just last year I entered the Chase Mission Main Street Grant contest in the hopes of winning a $250,000 grant.  I got the votes and got a chance for the money…. but I didn’t win.  I learned that I don’t like begging for votes in the hopes of getting money or exposure and won’t likely do it again.

I think this whole model is something to think about.  The next time you decide to take a deal “for exposure” – think about the true cost – not only to you but to all the artists in the industry.  Is it really worth it – or would things improve if more of us acted like Dan Cassaro and said “NO” – understanding the value we bring to the table?

Food for thought…

– Tara Reed

Never Stop Learning…

Quote - Never Stop Learning

Live in the present, look to and believe in your future but don’t forget to take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate what you have accomplished thus far…

Be a life long learner.  Change is constant:  be observant, watch and learn how to adapt and thrive.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

how 20 seconds of courage can change your life and your business…

I’ve been an on again  – off again subscriber to SUCCESS Magazine over the past few years and a follower of it’s creator, Darren Hardy.  I really shouldn’t go “off” as the magazine and accompanying CD is always full of great ideas and inspiring stories about people who have been successful in business and life.  But my letting my subscription drop from time to time isn’t the topic of today’s post!

Darren Hardy started a program – similar to the Art Licensing Info Staycation but on a much larger scale – called Darren Daily.  Every week day for a year he sends out a video, or audio or quick food for thought that you can consume in 2 minutes or less, and then an action to take.

This week began with the video below – about courage.  We all have things we fear doing from time to time that will benefit our business… we don’t want to pick up the phone and make a call, we’d rather sit safely behind an email.  We don’t want to go to that networking event, we don’t want to put ourselves out there for fear of rejection… EVERYONE struggles with fear on some level at some time.  And some days it’s worse than others.

I love what Darren talks about here – and the science behind it.

The ANTICIPATION of doing something you are uncomfortable doing is usually worse than the ACTION – if you look at the physiology of your body.

You are under more stress thinking about picking up the phone than in making the call.  So watch the video and remember that the next time you are getting anxiety thinking about something you know you should do.  Give your body a break and just get it done!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

3 ways to uplevel your art licensing business in September & October

Wowie is fall looking like fun!  I am going to be doing 3 different events in September and October that give you several ways to uplevel your art licensing business – the question is, are you ready?

September 27-28, 2014 – School House Craft – Live Conference in Seattle, WA

School House Craft fall conference for artists - Seattle WAThis is the 5th year of the School House Craft program and I’m honored and excited to be participating!  There will be two days of focused small business classes and workshops led by some of the community’s most knowledgeable and inspirational speakers along with many opportunities expand your network and connect with your peers.

The 2014 School House Craft Conference will be held at the Sunset Hill Community Club – a beautifully restored two-story Arts & Crafts style clubhouses located in the heart of the friendly Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, WA.

I will be teaching an intro to art licensing class on Sunday and a Goal Wheel for Artists class on Saturday.  In addition, I will be hosting one (or two?) lunch roundtables and of course hanging out and having fun.

This conference isn’t just about art licensing – I’m one little piece of the puzzle.  It is for:  Artists, Crafters and Makers, both emerging and experienced, who are looking to invest in their businesses and learn a wealth of information that will help them start, run, and grow their small creative businesses more efficiently and with greater success.

Live in the Northwest and want to learn more?  Visit


 Art Licensing Academy – next group coaching program starts October 8, 2014

Art Licensing Academy group coaching program with Tara ReedThe next Art Licensing Academy is open for registration!  We meet on Wednesday and Fridays in October (if you can’t listen live, everything is recorded so no worries!)

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.

There are free bonuses for artists who sign up by September 20th.  Get all the details and save your spot at

License 2 Grow – Live Event – October 20, 2014 in Kings Beach, CA (Lake Tahoe!) with Tara Reed & agent Kimberly Montgomery

License 2 Grow - art licensing event with Tara Reed and Kimberly MontgomeryTara Reed & Agent Kimberly Montgomery of Montage Licensing have teamed up to create a day long event for artists looking to dig in and get serious about licensing their art. Their combined 30+ years of experience in the industry – Kimberly as an artist and now an agent and Tara as an artist and educator – ensures you will leave with a solid plan for what to do next and a the excitement to make it happen!

This event is for artists who are ready to step up their game. If you have an open mind, are ready to learn and then take action – we’d love to have you join us!

Artists who register for the License 2 Grow event by September 20th can also join the Art Licensing Academy – for half off!  Details are on the website at

 SO… who’s in?  I’d love to have you at one, two or even all three – the choice is up to you!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

What do you see?

Quote - What you see

Personally, I think both what you look at  as well as what you see are crucial…

What you focus on AND how you interpret it – or what you see – will have a big impact on your life and your business.

Some food for thought… for the rest of the day I invite you to be aware of what you are looking at / focusing on and how you “see” it.  Is there another way that would make your life easier, happier, more peaceful?  Does one view make you anxious and another make you hopeful?

Shift your focus to improve your life.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed


Social Media and Time Management – what questions do you have?

Michelle McCulloughOur next Ask Call expert is brand new to the Art Licensing Info team –  Michelle McCullough.  I was first introduced to Michelle at Tiffany Peterson’s Elevation event last Sept (want to come this year? More details further down…)

Michelle talked about social media and more specifically, how to manage your TIME on social media so you still get other things done.  Genius!

Later she was a guest speaker at one of the Inner Circle meetings I attended (a 6 month program I participated in – again, with the amazing Tiffany Peterson).  This time we talked about marketing AND social media.  And a little bit about Time Management.  I knew I had to share her with you!

I hired Michelle to do a marketing review of my website and was thrilled with some of the tweaks she suggested.  There were a lot of “Why didn’t I think of that?” thoughts going through my head as I furiously wrote down all the ideas she had that I later implemented.

Basically – I’m a Michelle McCullough fan.

Michelle will be joining me on the September 17, 2014 Art Licensing Info Ask Call.

We need you to start submitting questions about time management and social media as soon as they come to mind.  In fact, why don’t you do it right here, right now??

More about Michelle McCullough:

Michelle is the author of The Time Blueprint for Entrepreneurs (affiliate link) Michelle will share her years of experience in helping entrepreneurs make the best use of their time.

She is also a co-founder of -a website dedicated to helping women grow businesses.  (And they have helped men too – in spite of the website name!)

Other places to learn more about and connect with Michelle McCullough:

I’m looking forward to the call – mark your calendar for 9/17/14 so you don’t miss it!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

P.S.  Want to join me at the Elevation event in Salt Lake City, Utah – Sept 11-13, 2014?  It’s only $197 for 2 1/2 days and you will leave a changed (for the better!) person.  Learn all about it at (affiliate link) If you decide to come, let me know – I’ll be there!

Tiffany Peterson's Elevation 2014 event

Artist Think Blog

Recently I was interviewed by Carrie Brummer for her blog – Artist Think.  Well, she was actually quite patient since she reached out to be just before SURTEX and I asked for a few months to focus and recover. (Apparently I’m getting a little better at saying no and not over-extending myself – yeah!)

Anyway – my interview went up on her  blog last Friday.  Some of the information you may know and some may be new.  One thing I find interesting about doing interviews – both live and written – is that different things will flow out based on the questions, where my head is at the moment, and more.  So reading one interview on a topic by a person doesn’t mean you’ve heard it all.  There are always new tidbits and insights that come to light…

If you want to read the interview – you can find it here > Creative Spirit Tara Reed

I recommend you wander around the site as well.  Sometimes I get so busy working that I don’t spend as much time or attention as would do me good getting inspired on other blogs.  Carrie has a great mix of artist interviews and posts on topics like “Habits of Creative Risktakers” and “Ever Changing Comfort Zones”.

There are so many amazing resources on the internet these days!  But be sure to strive for balance in all things – don’t avoid the WORK by reading and getting inspired.

You need both inspiration and action to make your dreams a reality!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Last days to get in on the free Art Licensing Info Staycation 2014!

art licensing info staycation

I’m not kidding… registration closes on Sunday, August 3rd and the Staycation begins Monday morning! So if you haven’t registered yet, do it now!

Are you stuck at home for the rest of the summer? Worried you are also stuck in a creative rut? Never fear – the art licensing “Staycation” is here!

Use the last weeks of summer to jumpstart your understanding of art licensing and start taking ACTION!

This FREE, four week audio program by Tara Reed is available for a limited time so sign up today. The series is delivered each Monday morning of August – something GOOD to look forward to on a Monday!

During the four weeks you will learn:

  1. The basics of art licensing
  2. How to “package” your art to appeal to licensees (the manufacturers and retailers who license art)
  3. How your beliefs and mindsets can support or sabotage your success
  4. Tips to let the right people know that you have art for licensing

You will be brimming with new ideas, insights and most importantly – ACTIONS – that will help you step it up a notch!

Week 1: What does art licensing really mean anyway?
Week 2: How do I make my art as irresistible as flowers to a bee?
Week 3: What’s my mind got to do with all of this?
Week 4: How to get your art in front of the right people – likes on Facebook does not a business make –
you need deals and money!

You saw that it’s FREE right? But registration closes Sunday, August 3rd so if you snooze, you lose!  Sign up below to get your first installment on Monday, August 4th!

Registration is now closed.