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

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

Have you listened to all 21 hours of FREE art licensing info?

Since December 2008, I have hosted 51 Art Licensing Info Ask Calls.  That’s 51 hours of experts from the industry answering questions submitted by artists like you.  Of those 51 calls, 21 were with different experts and 30 were with experts who came back again.

Every call is free if you listen live. (And yes – I understand that for artists in Europe – the timing of “live” is not ideal.)  The first call with any new expert is also free – forever.  That means there are 21 hours worth of information available to you – all you have to do is head to and register for the audios you want.

21 hours of free art licensing infoHere’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed


How licensing your art is like owning beach-front property.

If you’ve lived away from home, you understand there are a few ways to get shelter.  (If you still live with mom & dad, there will be a double lesson for you here!)

First, you decide between a house, an apartment or condo.  Then do you rent or do you buy?  When you are making these decisions, you are in essence, acting like a manufacturer who needs art to go on their products.  Do they buy the art or do they rent – renting being the art equivalent to licensing.

Sell vs license artNow let’s put you in the artists shoes.  Your art is now beach-front property.  You need some money so you have two choices – sell the house, pocket the money and walk away.  Or, rent the house.


If you rent the house, you don’t get as much money up front.  You have to find people who like the property and will agree to pay you money to use it for a set period of time.  If you have a nice house, you might have checks rolling in all year!  And the best part?  You still own the house so you have the potential to use it to make money for years to come!

That is the basic difference between selling your art and licensing your art.

If you sell your art it’s like selling the house. One person buys it.  They now own it and you need to find or create a new house (or more art).

If you license your art, it’s like renting the house. Lots of people can pay for the chance to use the house (or art)- your money just comes in over time.  But you still own it.

Of course there is a bit more involved in renting a house or licensing art than in selling.  If you sell, there is one contract and you are done.  No need to keep track and make sure nothing overlaps.  No need to make sure you are actually being paid as agreed to.  If the work involved in renting or licensing is overwhelming, that is when you look for an agent to handle it for you.  And agent, both in homes and art, takes care of the marketing and contracts in exchange for a percentage of the profits.  They are your partner and share in the success – be in small or large – of your property (beach-front or artistic).

Each artist will make their own choice about how to earn an income from their art. There is no right or wrong way, just the way that makes the most sense to them at the time.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

How the World Sees YOU – book review

One thing I love about social media is stumbling across new books, resources, vacation ideas and inspiration.  A few weeks ago Michelle McCullough posted a photo from the book, How the World Sees YOU [affiliate link] by Sally Hogshead, on instagram.  I was attracted to it immediately because I liked the infographic. (It isn’t in the book, I think she heard the author speak – I hope to one day!)

Different is Better than Better

Since one of my favorite things is learning more about what makes people tick and for that matter, what makes me tick, I was intrigued.  I immediately ordered the book and devoured it when it came in.

This is the first book that I’ve seen that focuses on helping you determine how the world sees you, instead of how you see the world or how you think and react.

Not only does it give you insights (after you take an online quiz) but it also talks about how to use this potentially new knowledge to market yourself, connect with others in a better and more meaningful way and more.

It’s a personal development book and business and marketing book all in one, and it’s an important thing to consider.  When you look at how many artists are trying to get into licensing and how many options manufacturers have when choosing art, what are the differentiating factors?  One would hope the look and style each artist brings to the table would be different but often there are more than one with a similar look and feel and always more than one option that would work as well as the other.

So then what?  It’s the person (YOU) and the relationship that can come into play.

People can outdo your strengths. But nobody can outdo who you are.  Your personality is the only aspect of your work that nobody can copy. – Sally Hogshead

Book Recommendation - How the World Sees YouLet me ask you this – how much of your personality is in your business or how you are doing business?  And are you leading with the things that stand out the most to others or with the things YOU think stand out the most?  For me, it’s the latter and I plan on looking at how to shift that a bit.

I’ve been leading with my business background and savvy – feeling it was a differentiator for me.  It is, and the way I look at and see things IS different than many others.  But after going through this book, taking the quiz and thinking about the feedback I’ve received over the years, I realize it isn’t my BIGGEST strength.  According to the book, my two primary advantages are PASSION (relationships) and INNOVATION (creativity).  (Making my personality archetype “The Catalyst” of the 49 options) After thinking about it I realized that while both artists and clients appreciate my business sense, I get more positive feedback about HOW I RELATE IT – how my personality, passion and honesty come through as a key factor in what draws people to learn from me or license from me.

While it wasn’t a huge surprise, it definitely got me thinking about how I can strengthen what I’m doing in my business.  Perhaps it can help you too!  If you take the quiz, I’d love to know where you fall on the personality types and what you think of it!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

P.S.  If you like this sort of thing, I also highly recommend Strength Finders 2.o by Tom Rath and Your Emotional Fingerprint by Woody Woodward. (both are affiliate links) With all three you will find your strengths, the things that make you feel important (and therefore why certain things might push your buttons) AND how the world sees you.  You will be unstoppable!


Ask Call with Cathy Heck replay is yours for free!

Cathy Heck talks about art licensingWe had a great chat with artist Cathy Heck – I loved how much she shared about how to “breed help” for your business yet not let them come to work for you right away… seemed like a great balance of getting on-the-job experience before joining the family business. She also shared tips on balancing work and family, her favorite family dinner table game…

In addition to giving us a peek into her 30+ year career in art and art licensing, we had time for a few questions submitted by artists. (Thank you to all who submitted and we are sorry we couldn’t get to them all!)

Here are some things we covered:

  • How did you know you were a serious artist?
  • What three habits do we need to be successful in art licensing?
  • How do you prioritize your time between projects and family?
  • How should I approach the market as a new freelance artist?
  • What can you tell me about royalty rates and advances?
  • How can we learn about and break into art licensing if we can’t afford to exhibit at a trade show yet?

If you get the emails about the Ask Calls, you should have one in your inbox with a link to get your free audio.  If not, please fill out the form below to get your copy.

Here is a list of places Cathy suggested to learn more about art licensing – in no particular order:

ask Paul Brent about art licensingNEXT UP… Paul Brent with his SURTEX trend review!  He will also answer questions so PLEASE, let us know what you want to know!

Submit questions at

DID YOU KNOW… there are 21 hours of free audios with 21 experts available?  Go to

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Exhibiting at SURTEX? Mark your calendar for my webinar this Thursday, 3/12/15

SURTEX, the premiere event for selling and licensing original art & design, has a great series of webinars for exhibitors to help them get ready for the show.  This Thursday I will be presenting “5 Tips for Bringing Your A-Game to the Show Floor”.  These are ONLY for registered exhibitors but if you are registered, check out the remaining webinars and take advantage of as many as you can.  Click here to register and I hope to talk to you Thursday!

SURTEX exhibitor webinar - March 2015


Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

Laverne & Shirley – Perfect Entrepreneurial Attitude!

Ah… memories!  I remember when Happy Days, followed by Laverne & Shirley were a much anticipated event at my house!  I also remember how the 3 kids (I’m the middle) had staggered bed times – my brother had to go to bed after Happy Days (8:30), my sister got to go to bed after Laverne & Shirley (9:00) and me?  I had to go to bed SMACK DAB in the middle of the show! (8:45)  (Yes Mom & Dad, I still harbor some resentment about that!)

Well I got to thinking about the show a few weeks ago and realized the theme song is the perfect example of an entrepreneurial attitude.  “Gonna Do it our way, yes our way, make all our dreams come true…”

So are you a Laverne or Shirley?

Laverne is the entrepreneur who gets an idea and dives right in.  I imagine she’d be the person who takes risks, goes with her gut and is ok to learn from her mistakes.

Shirley on the other hand, would be the more cautious business person.  She might get inspired but then she’d get analytical.  Crunch numbers. Study the situation from every angle before proceeding.  (Shirley risks getting stuck in “analysis paralysis” – don’t be THAT Shirley!)

Whether you are a Laverne or Shirley artist – the key is to knowing which you are and embrace it.  When ever Shirley tried to act like Laverne, things did not go well!

The show “worked” because Laverne was the “yang” to Shirley’s “yin”.

It would be an equally good combination in business.  So if you are Shirley to the nth degree, be sure to have a Laverne in your life to keep you moving and if you are a Laverne, find a Shirley to make sure you don’t go off in so many directions that you get nothing done.

Here’s to your creative and entrepreneurial success!

– Tara Reed

P.S. Here are the lyrics:

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
Sclemeel, schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated.
We’re gonna do it!

Give us any chance, we’ll take it.
Give us any rule, we’ll break it.
We’re gonna make our dreams come true.
Doin’ it our way.

Nothin’s gonna turn us back now,
Straight ahead and on the track now.
We’re gonna make our dreams come true,
Doin’ it our way.

There is nothing we won’t try,
Never heard the word impossible.
This time there’s no stopping us.
We’re gonna do it.

On your mark, get set, and go now,
Got a dream and we just know now,
We’re gonna make our dream come true.
And we’ll do it our way, yes our way.
Make all our dreams come true,
And do it our way, yes our way,
Make all our dreams come true
For me and you.