Tag Archives: Art licensing

Interview by Kess InHouse – AlyZen Moonshadow

I was honoured recently to be interviewed by Sara Gupta (now Sara O’Neill), co-founder of Kess InHouse designs. Kess were kind enough to take a chance on me and offer me an Art Licensing contract for my mobile photography art. I have a number of pieces with them, and continue to submit more. Kess’s products include duvet covers, pillow cases, shower curtains, fleece blankets, place mats, desk mats, cutting boards, rugs and pet products, including dog beds, pet bandannas, feeding mats and bowls.

Answering Sara’s questions was an interesting exercise in retrospection. I never realised how far I’d evolved from the starry-eyed ingenue behind my first iPhone in 2010.  It was a walk down Memory Lane for me, and reminded me of my various experiments and love affairs with different Apps, filters and effects. Has it really been 4 years since I started my mobile photography adventures?

Here’s the link to the interview,

And here’s the transcript:

KIH:  Your artwork has a fun blend of mobile phone photography and graphic design flair.  When did you discover your passion for photo manipulation?

AlyZen Moonshadow: I bought my first iPhone 3 in 2010, shortly before I emigrated from Ireland to Australia. Whilst job-hunting in Australia, I decided to experiment with photo editing on my iPhone. I started out with some Apps for Lomographic effects, then got into textures and grunge, and the whole thing snowballed from there. I practised a lot in the early days, averaging between 5-10 manipulated images a day.  The more I practised, the better I got, and also the more selective about effects and filters. In 2012 I discovered some graphic design-type Apps, and for a while I was really into Swiss-style graphics. I even designed some mock CD album covers using these, and some t-shirts. In the same year, I switched from the iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy S3, and discovered Android Apps. These days I use my Samsung Galaxy S4 and my iPad 2 for my photo manipulations, so I really have the best of both worlds.  

KIH:  Your pieces are very colorful and use unique color pallettes.  How do you find color effects your art pieces and how do you develop color choices while making a new composition?

AlyZen Moonshadow: I usually start by uploading a photo to an image editing App on my Samsung Galaxy S4, then just playing around with various filters and effects. When I find one that appeals to me, or that I think merits further processing, I then move on to the next step, which is finding other elements to add to the image. Sometimes if I’m not satisfied with the colour scheme, I will edit it again to change the hue or saturation, until I’m happy with the result. I went through a brief phase early on in 2011 when I tried faded, vintage, old postcard styles, but found I’m more drawn towards bright, vibrant colours. This may come from my love of flowers in natural surroundings. If I have a favourite colour, it would be turquoise. Whenever I find a filter that gives me the colour turquoise, I try my best to keep it in the final edit. I like colours that are translucent rather than matte, so whenever possible I try to create my pieces with a sense of depth in them. I also like an element of randomness in my work. I have a folder of colourfield backgrounds that I created using photos and a very simple Android App called “Impressionist Fingerpaint”, which gives me the colours I need. It’s perfect for giving me 2 things – a sense of depth and translucency, and the element of randomness when blended with other images.

KIH:  Your latest collection of art pieces showcase stacked teacups as an homage to Alice in Wonderland.  Where did your interest in this subject spark?

AlyZen Moonshadow: I’ve always been fond of Alice in Wonderland since I was a little girl, and I got the idea of stacked teacups from surfing Pinterest online. I had a couple of teacups and saucers lying around, and some real and silk flowers, and I posed them together and edited a number of images. The flowers soon fell by the wayside, as I decided the teacups and saucers made very interesting subjects in themselves. I went through a phase buying vintage teacups and saucers on Etsy, then stacking them up higgledy piggledy for staged photoshoots. I had the idea of creating my own Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (I spell my series The Madhatter’s Teaparty), so an entire series of 100 images was born in 2012.

KIH:  What is your favorite piece (on KESS)? How did you develop the composition?

AlyZen Moonshadow: It would have to be images from my Madhatter’s Teaparty. For the photo manipulations, I used predominantly Photoshop Touch, especially the “Difference” filter to bring out the colours and to introduce an element of serendipity, as I was never sure what the results would be using that filter. Before Kess InHouse found me and my Madhatter’s Teaparty, I’d printed 35 of the images onto stretched A3 canvasses, varnished and all…in case I ever held an Art exhibition. I like to think that Alice herself would’ve been proud of my teacups!

KIH:  Your artistic process generally starts from your mobile phone.  What do you enjoy the most about utilizing cell phone cameras and applications when creating your artwork.

AlyZen Moonshadow: I think the best part is the portability of it all. I have my entire Studio in the palm of my hand, literally. No expensive paints or equipment to buy, no messy paintbrushes, no splatters on the carpet, no clearing or cleaning up to do. If I make a mistake, or if I don’t like an effect, there’s the handy Undo button, or even in extreme cases, the Delete button. I can transfer my work between my Samsung Galaxy S4 and my iPad2, or even to my desktop Mac for resizing. I can work almost anywhere, anytime – on the bus, on the train, while waiting for my coffee to percolate. Every now and then I download an App and test it out; if it adds anything to my creative process, I keep it and use it. If not, I uninstall it. Some of my fellow mobile photographers like the idea of having thousands of Apps to utilise, and bemoan the fact that the Android platform does not have half as many Apps as Apple iOS. However, my personal view is that in reality, you only need a dozen or so decent Apps to be able to create a wide variety of effects. The magic is in finding the right combination of effects. Sometimes less really is more.

KIH: Many of your pieces have abstract textures and psychedelic imagry to build up the subjects of the piece.  Where did you pick up this artistic style and what other artists made an impact on your work?

AlyZen Moonshadow: Colour is important to me, followed closely by depth and texture. I like to introduce an element of the surreal into some of my pieces. An early series that I created in 2011 is titled “Dalienutopia” and is based around photos of the Baigup Wetlands near where I used to live in Perth, Western Australia. The title is a combination of my homage to the artist Dali, and the words Alien and Utopia…and the images are surreal and weird. Another series titled “Surrealism” in 2012 came from when I was experimenting with strange objects and juxtapositions. I learnt about Dali and his contemporaries funnily enough in Music History when I was a student at college, and the ideas just stayed with me. Another artist that inspire me is Georgia O’Keeffe, you can see her influence in my photo manipulations of flowers. When I was creating my flower photographs, some friends told me my images reminded them of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings.

KIH:  Where do you do most of your work?

AlyZen Moonshadow: My trusty workhorse, the Samsung Galaxy S4, is rarely out of my hands, and it is also my portable Studio. So basically, I can and do work almost anywhere. For printing purposes, I have my printers (an ink-guzzling Epson Artisan 1430 and a mellow Canon Pixma MX870) in the spareroom/storeroom, which during the summer months is shared with an ongoing succession of baby Japanese Quails, that I incubate, breed and sell. The room is too small for a proper worktable, so I simply spread butcher paper over the carpet on the floor, lay out my prints on that, and do any gluing, varnishing, etc right there. It’s easy enough to tidy away again afterwards. Someday I hope to have a traditional gypsy caravan installed in my front garden, where things can be more permanent.

Couple in Love(This is my “Couple in Love” image, available on Kess inHouse here)

Living with Hope



image(Joyful Nest by Lisa Kaus. Wooden collage sculpture licensed and produced by Demdaco)

I saw this in a shop just the other day and fell for it hard. I won’t say I fell in Love with it. Love is a word my errant husband has been screwing up for me, and using on another this past year. I don’t know what Love is these days, because if it’s my husband’s definition of it, it’s just not right, morally and spiritually. How can you love someone and have an online emotional affair with another? And with a mutual Facebook “friend”, for that matter?

Johnny Depp‘s quote has been widely copied and quoted on Facebook and on the internet. It pretty much sums up my feelings about my own situation. It might strike a chord in many of you too, dear friends.


Oh, this is going to make my husband so mad. Mad enough to go incommunicado for days on end. Mad enough that he will say I’m digging up skeletons…well, matey, I’m not, you’re still dancing with that old skeleton, aren’t you? Her grave is still open, and I’m Hoping that you’ll have the sense to put her in it, shovel dirt over it, stamp on it, face the music and move forward. I don’t care if You’re upset by my exposé, you Should be upset. I don’t care if your friends or family find out, they Should know you’re not who you pretend to be. You’ve pulled the wool over people’s eyes for far too long now.

The Snake did not tempt Eve in the Garden of Eden this time. It tempted Adam, and boy, was he ever so keen! He still wears that same Snake around his neck, like a proud trophy. Time to put it down, boy, and walk away!

As for me, these days, I live with Hope. Hope never lets me down, as she symbolises what could be, potential, something to work towards, an ideal, infinite possibilities. I just have to believe. Hope won’t screw around with my feelings or with my head. Hope is kind and gentle. Hope will show me the way to Love again, but not the pathetic kind of Love I’ve had, no, it has to be True Love or bust. So, if the Universe is listening, I’m open. Bring it on!!

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Art Licensing Caveats – from Joan Beiriger’s Blog

Since some of my Art is licensed with a number of Art Licensing Agents, I subscribe to Joan Beiriger’s blog, to keep up to date with the industry and also to chase up any leads Joan may introduce.

Joan has just written an editorial about what to watch out for when dealing with Art Licensing Agencies. If you are an Artist looking to get your Art licensed, or even if you are already a licensed artist, the following can still be useful information to bear in mind. I have taken the liberty of simply reposting Joan’s entire article here verbatim, for your ease of reading, in case you’re not subscribed to her blog. Joan is an expert on the subject and I’m most certainly not, so the purpose of this post is to simply disseminate Joan’s message to those who may not already know. (Note: Hyperlinks to books and resources mentioned below are clickable on Joan’s blog, but not on this page).


From Joan Beiriger’s blog:

Art Licensing Editorial: The Truth About Art Licensing Agencies

WARNING! This is not an upbeat article and is depressing because the art licensing industry is like other industries where people sometimes take advantage of others. The purpose of this article is to warn artists that they need to make sure that they are signing a fair contract or at least know the repercussions in signing an unfair one when they agree to have an art licensing agency represent them.

The truth about art licensing agencies is that there are MANY agencies that are honest, professional, have a fair artist/agency agreement (contract)* and work hard to represent their artists. BUT, there are SOME that are unethical, and/or are not professional in dealing with their artists, and/or have unfair contracts, and/or have poor business practices. Sounds alarming, huh? Well, it is! And, that is why an artist needs to do her/his homework before signing with an art licensing agency. Read the following so that you do not make a bad decision and sign a contract that negatively impacts your income and even worse allows an agency to have control of all your art so that you lose your rights to it.

In the fifteen or so years that I have been in the art licensing industry, I have heard many complaints and some horror stories from artists about the agencies that represent them. Unfortunately, those artists with the horror stores were so pleased that an agency wanted to represent them that they did not read the contract closely enough, understand all the terms, or realize that some terms that should be in the contract were missing. The artist’s big mistake was not to acquire information about the agency’s reputation and business practices by asking other artists and not having an attorney that is an expert on art licensing contracts look the contract over before the artist signed it.

* The artist/agency agreement is a contract and is referred to as a contract or artist/agency contract in this article.

Common Artist Complaints about Agents
Most of the complaints I’ve heard about agencies are not as drastic as unethical agencies and unfair clauses in the artist/agency contract but about the lack of communication between the agent and artist, poor business practices, not getting enough or any licensing contracts with manufacturers, and not receiving enough money from the contracts. Some of these complaints were because the artist had unrealistic expectations such as earning a lot of money from each licensee contract. Read below for more information about agency complaints.

• Lack of communication
Lack of communication and not being on the “same wavelength” between persons is a common human foible. It often results in frustration and may be intolerable when working together. Some artists want to be in constant communication with their agent and feel adrift and slighted if the agent does not immediately answer their questions or respond when new art is sent. Other artists realize that agents are busy and will respond as soon as they have time and are not upset when they do not get a quick response. Although, it does not go over very well if the agent does not respond at all. No one like their emails or art to “drop into a black hole” and not know if the agent received it. Note: Some artists find that if they phone the agent they will get a faster response than if they email her/him. Agents may not have the time in their busy day to sit down and write an email but find the time to chat if their artists phone them.

Some artists expect agents to provide art direction, to send them the latest in art trends, and give feedback from the licensee when art is submitted. Or, there are personality clashes where communication between the artist and agent does not work because they are not on the same wavelength. Not all agencies provide art direction and some depends on the artist to keep up with trends. That is why it is important for the artist to talk with the agent before signing with the agency to see if there are any communication problems, if the agency provide the services the artist expects, and how the agent envisions the artists work will be used on products.

Artist Jill Meyer describes the process she went through in selecting an agency in her very informative article “Finding a New Agent.” An important part of Jill’s process in selecting an agency was talking and asking lots of questions of the agent before considering hiring the agency to represent her. Also important was talking to other artists about the agency and having an attorney familiar with art licensing agree that the artist/agent contract was fair.

• Poor Business Practices
SOME agencies do not have the best business practices. They are negligent in submitting art, do not make adequate follow-ups, do not keep track of art already submitted or licensed to manufacturers, and do not respond to emails from licensees or send signed contracts back to them in a timely manner. Any of these will damage the creditability of the agency. The following are some complaints I have heard from other artists and licensees.

1. Poor method in tracking art
– Some agencies do not keep track of the art they submit to licensees and thus submit the same art time and time again. Licensees are looking for new art; not art that they already have seen.

– Some agencies book keeping abilities are not very good and they do not keep track of the art that have already been licensed. Thus, they are at risk in licensing the same art for the same product to different licensees and breaching the terms of the contract granted to the first licensee.

2. Poor response to queries and return of contracts
Some agencies do not reply to licensee emails or return signed contracts in a timely manner. Art directors appreciate quick responses and it shows that the agent is professional which helps in promoting future business. Also, a slow reply to a query can mean missed opportunities to license and promote art.

3. Poor follow-up
– Some agencies do not follow-up frequently when licensees show interest in art and thus they may lose the opportunity to license it.

– Also, some are poor in following up when payment of licensing fees are late or contracts do not arrive when expected.

4. Poor method in submitting art
Some agencies submit their artist’s work to their entire client list in what I call a “shot gun method” in the hopes the licensee will be interested in some of them. Instead they should be submitting only the appropriate art for each manufacturer. Licensees do not appreciate getting a ton of art that is not suitable to be put on their products and will eventually not open emails from agencies that submit art that way.

• Not enough deals or pay enough
Artists may not get licensing contracts because the agency does not have a list of licensees that is suitable for the artists work. Of course, the agency should never have signed the artist for representation if they did not think they could license her/his work. Or, it could be due to the impact on the licensing industry with the change in consumer spending and also the increase in competition of artists vying for licensing deals. The change in consumer spending has drastically changed the way retailers sell products. Retailers now order lesser products from manufacturers and the shelf life is shorter. Thus, licensing revenue per image is less than it was before the recession struck in 2008. Consequently it is not the fault of the agency to now get fewer and not as lucrative licensing deals for their artists.

Artists and art licensing agencies are struggling to get contracts and bring in revenue. In the article “You Are Not Going to Make It in Art Licensing” art licensing agent Jim Marcotte of Two Town Studios wrote, “Art licensing today is an industry in search of a workable model. The scramble is on – agents and artists who used to make their money by licensing art are now finding ways to collect from (mostly newbie) artists in ways that run the gamut from coaching to holding contests. Some agencies are accumulating artists, hoping that more people earning less money can make up for the reduced sku counts and short market runs. Branding agencies are taking on artists and art agencies are promoting brands, and both are consulting for manufacturers who are buying art worldwide and licensing art only when they have to. It’s a wild time in the biz.” Jim’s article is a very “tough pill to swallow” but his aim is not to discourage artists so they quit trying to license their art but to energize them by trying new ways to license it. To get Jim’s perceptive on licensing art in today’s market, read his article.

Note: I recommend that you read Belgium surface designer Ine Beerten’s article “The Big Contest Dilemma” if you are interested in entering a design contest. Ine wrote a really thought-provoking article about contests. She ended her post with “So what do I hope you take away from this post? I hope you think careful when you enter a contest next time, think whether it’s just an easy way for the company to get free artwork and cheap marketing and whether the prizes are truly fair, or if you can really gain something that is actually worth something to you. By entering these bad contests you only help them devaluating your own and other artists’ work!”

Artist/ Agent Contracts
In “16 Art Licensing Agent Agreement Essentials” by licensing consultant J’net Smith, she states that “It’s easy to get excited about the prospect of finally signing with an agent and forget to make sure that the contract is not only fair to both of you, but includes everything you need. . . Don’t accept the first contract you are given without understanding all the obligations and ramifications of each clause. It may be your first and the most important contract you will ever sign.”

Artists may interpret the terminology and meaning of legal terms or poorly written clauses in a contract incorrectly. And, if clauses that should be in the contract are missing such as the date and terms specifying termination, the artist may be obligated that the agency continues to represent her/him forever. That is why it is recommended that an attorney experienced in art licensed legislation look over the contract before the artist signs it. It is less expensive to pay an attorney to make sure the contract is fair to the artist than to pay him/her to try to free the artist from a bad contract even if it is possible.

• Unethical business practices and contract terms
What I deem unethical is when an agency does not pay monies due to artists for licensing their art or taking advantage of artists by having clauses in their artist/agency contract that takes control of the artists work and denies the artist usage of their own work.

Several years ago two artists told me that their agencies were not paying them revenue for their art being licensed. Their agents insisted that the art had not been licensed and yet the artists saw their art on products in stores. In one case, the artist was able to get monies owed by hiring an attorney. In the other case, the artist found out that her copyright was infringed upon and the art was illegally used. It is important that artists be constantly looking for their art on products in stores and on the Internet. And, getting their friends to help. That may be the only way that an artist finds out that their copyright has been infringed upon.

In the article “Hot Words to look out for in contracts” art licensing agent Lance Klass of Porterfield’s Fine Art Licensing discusses the word “assign” and the consequence when used in any art/agency or licensee contract. He wrote “. . . when you see the hot word “assignment”, make certain that you’re not assigning the copyright or all reproduction rights to your artwork as a part of the agreement. If you do, it’s lost to you forever. Other people will control the reproduction rights to your art, and you’ll actually have to ask their permission to reproduce the art that you created.”

Lance relates a couple of horror stories that artists endured by signing bad contracts in his article “How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes in Licensing Your Art”. In one example, Lance said “. . . This agency, which just happened to be owned and operated by the same people who owned and operated the publishing company, gave itself the exclusive right to publish any or all of the artist’s work for the next five years and to sublicense his art to anyone they wished, whenever they wished”. He stated, “If there’s any one piece of advice I could give an artist about to enter a legal agreement, it is to read every single line in the contract and make sure that you totally understand it. I know that isn’t easy for most people, but don’t get in the water if you don’t want to get wet. If you find that there are sections or sentences that aren’t written clearly, don’t say what you want, take away a bit more of your rights than you feel you want to give, or if any of it seems confusing or contradictory, have the company rewrite it in plain English. . . . But don’t let this stop you from promoting your art for license. Most companies are quite reputable and many contracts are completely understandable by the average human. Just make sure you read every word, and know what it means”.

• Unfair contract terms and business practices
Not all agencies have unfair terms in their art/agency contracts but some do. Terms that seem unfair to artists are usually in the contract because of the way the agent decides to operate the agency. For instance, a clause in the contract may state that the agent will make all decisions in licensing the art. That means that the artist has no say-so in what company manufacturers her/his art, will not have the opportunity to approve or not approve the licensee contract or even see it, and cannot approve the amount of royalties or flat licensing fee that will be paid for the use of the art. That is unfair to the artist. But, the artist may trust the agent to do a good job and is willing to sign the contract because she/he wishes to be represented by the agency. What is NOT acceptable is if the artist is blindsided and not aware that the terminology in the clause gives the agency that right. And, that is the reason why an art licensing attorney should be hired to point out unfair terms in the contract before it is signed. Note: Yes, there are agencies that have that clause in their contract.

Below are more contract terms and business practices (may not be in the contract) that may be construed as unfair to artists.

1. Artists do not get to see licensee contracts
A variation on the above unfair term is that an artist does not see the licensee contract but gets to approve or not approve the contract. The agent sends a form to the artist with the basic terms of the deal so that the artist can sign it for approval. Just like the above term, the artist must trust the agent that she/he makes sure that the clauses in the licensee contract is fair.

2. Agencies continues to receive commission after termination
Most agree that the termination clause is the most important clause in the artist/agency contract. In his article “The Artist – Agent Relationship” art licensing attorney Joshua Kaufman states, “The greatest issue of tension and dispute between artists and their agents surround post-termination issues. . . . The issue of how long an agent is entitled to keep receiving its commission after the contracts terminates, is one that is strongly negotiated. Agents of course, wish to be compensated for not only the full term of their contract but for the term of the licensing agreement and of all extensions and renewals. The artist wants to limit the payment to the agent after their contract expires. Agents believe that they secured the contract, they work long and hard, had to wait for their money and should be entitled to their receipts throughout the term of the contract. ” Note: Most contracts do give the agency the right to continue receiving commissions from the contracts they obtained for the artist until the contract expires and no renewals are requested by the licensee.

3. Agencies continues to represent the artist after termination
Some agencies have clauses in their contract that allows them to continue representing the artist after the termination of the contract. The representation is for an additional several years after termination and is limited to those licensees that the agency obtained contracts for the artist’s work during the term of the contract. There are questions on the legality of this clause according to attorney Joshua Kaufman in his article “The Artist – Agent Relationship”. He states “One finds in many agreements prohibitions against dealings by an artist, post termination, with the agent’s clients. First of all there is a question (which depends on which state law applies) whether those clauses are enforceable and to what extent. . . If the agent’s client list is very large, and there is a blanket restriction against dealing with the agent’s clients, and this precluded the artist from doing business or greatly hampered their ability, many states will disallow the restriction.”

4. Do not allow any interaction between the artist and licensee
There may not be a clause in the artist/agency contract but some agencies do not allow their artists to interact with licensee art directors. All licensee requests for high-resolution art are sent to the agent who forwards it to the art director. And, all requests for editing of the art go through the agent. This is awkward and frustrating to the artist. It is much easier and faster for the artist to make art changes if she/he works directly with the art director.

5. Artists do not get to approve samples
Not all licensing contracts allow the approval of art on the products before they are manufactured. But if it is in the licensee contract, the agent normally approves the samples and not the artist. That restriction may not be in the artist/agency contract but because of licensee time restrictions it is not usually possible for the agent to ship the sample to the artist for approval.

6. Artists are required to pay part of booth and marketing expenses of the agency
Many agencies do not require artists to pay any of the agency expenses. But, if they do required their artists to help with trade show and other agency expenses it should be clearly spelled out in the artist/agent contract according to art licensing consultant J’net Smith in “16 Art Licensing Agent Agreement Essentials”.

There are many good art licensing agencies. But, do not get blindsided and sign a bad contract. Do your homework and ask agents for recommendations of artists in their agency to talk to and/or look at agency websites for the artists the agencies represent. Select a few artists and find out their contact information from their own website, Facebook or LinkedIn. Either phone or email them to ask questions about the agency. Make sure that you fully understand all the terms in the artist/agency contract. And better yet, hire an attorney that knows the ins-and-outs of art licensing to look over the contract and point out any unfair clauses before you sign it.

For a list of agencies, read “List of Over 50 U.S. Art Licensing Agencies”. But, you need to research the agencies yourself because I am not familiar with all of them or their artist/agency agreements (contracts).

The above post mentions quotes from the following articles. I recommend that you read these articles because they contain a lot of important information you should be aware of.

• “Finding a New Agent” by licensed artist Jill Meyer

• “You Are Not Going to Make It in Art Licensing” by art licensing agent Jim Marcotte of Two Town Studios

• “The Big Contest Dilemma” by Belgium surface designer Ine Beerten

• “16 Art Licensing Agent Agreement Essentials” by art licensing consultant J’net Smith

• “Hot Words to look out for in contracts” by art licensing agent Lance Klass of Porterfield’s Fine Art Licensing

• “How to Avoid Mistakes in Licensing Your Art” by art licensing agent Lance Klass of Porterfield’s Fine Art Licensing

• “The Artist – Agent Relationship” by attorney Joshua J. Kaufman

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Artist Inspiration : WENDY KENDALL

When I first saw one of Wendy Kendall’s quirky, bright and cheerful designs on Pinterest, I was enchanted immediately. Her designs have clean lines, clear imagery, a delightful palette of non-primary colours with a retro, almost mid-century/Swiss graphic feel to them, a childlike element of playfulness. What’s not to like? Wendy creates designs for homewares, especially textile and wallpaper. Her work is licensed by several companies around the world. Getting my own work licensed and seeing my own designs on decorative homewares is my main ambition, too, and I am inspired by Wendy’s talent, creativity and success.

Here is the link to Wendy’s website Wendy also keeps a blog, so why not follow her there too, the link is on the front page of her website.

In Wendy’s own words, taken from her introduction on her page, with images courtesy of Google:


I am a freelance surface pattern designer based from home, just outside Stone in Staffordshire UK. Since graduating from the University of Derby, where I specialised in print design, I have worked as a bedding/nursery designer for several UK manufacturers situated in the North West.


With over ten years experience at senior design level in this field, I now freelance and work closely with an Indian exporter,on bespoke briefs for UK home textile clients and on building my licensed range of products,which currently include bedding and textiles,wallpaper,blinds and fabric collections.


I am also one quarter of Dotty Wren Studio….we are a brand new studio comprising of four UK designers who will be launching our new collections to sell and license at Surtex in NYC in May 2014.


Please feel free to browse our site and blog and get in touch if you would like to meet with us in May at Surtex on our stand no 834.


I have a simplistic, graphic, clean design approach that mixes playful patterns/textures with quirky handrawn outlines. I love the use of bold colours against bright whites and I particularly enjoy creating designs for children, I am able to design across all areas of home textiles but really would welcome briefs and licensing enquiries from all product areas.


I hope you enjoy looking through my work… please feel free to contact me.


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More info for those seeking to License their Art


Another treasure trove of links, this time to 60 top licensing agents.  For those of you who perhaps, like me, are wanting to get their art licensed but have been banging their head against a wall at the distinct lack of clarity and information out there.

These all appear to be US-based, I have yet to find a site that lists licensing agents in Australia and South East Asia. So, unfortunately for people like myself, I will have to reach out just that much farther, due to lack of opportunities on my own home shores. C’est la vie!

Here’s the list, if you can’t wait to click on the link above. I haven’t included the hyperlinks, as you can do that yourself from the website itself, or simply Google the names.

AD Lines, European Group
American Art Images
Ansada Group
Art Impressions Media Group
Art in Motion
Artistic Design Group
Artistic Licensing
Art of Possibilities Studios
Art Works! Licensing
Art Visions
Bentley Licensing Group
Bon Artique
Buffalo Works
Courtney Davis
Coyote Red Licensing Group
CP Licensing
Creatif Licensing
Creative Connection, Inc.
Cypress Fine Art Licensing
DSW Licensing Company
Fame Farm
Gelsinger Licensing
Hadley Licensing
Image by Design Licensing
Image Source Creative Portfolio Licensing
Intercontinental Licensing
Jewel Branding and Licensing
JMS Art Licensing, LLC
JQ Licensing
Joan Crawley Gallery, Ltd
Kids-Did-it! Designs
Licensing Liaison
Lifestyle Licensing
Lilla Rogers Studio
Linda McDonald, Inc.
Leo Licensing
London Portfolio
Looking Good Licensing
Magnet Reps
Main Line Art and Design, LLC
Meehan Design Group
MGL Licensing
MHS Licensing
Montage Licensing
Mosaic Art Licensing Agency
Next Day Art
Northern Promotions, Inc.
Painted Planet Licensing Group
Parcai Designs
Penny Lane Publishing
PM Design Group Inc.
Porterfield’s Fine Art Licensing
Roarding Brook Art
Rosenthal Represents
Ruth Levison Design
Sagebrush Fine Art
Sequel Designs and Licensing
SKM Portfolio
Studio Voltaire
Suzanne Cruise Creative Services, Inc.
The Good Portfolio
TSB & Co.
Two Town Studios
Wild Apple Licensing

And while you’re at it, search the names above in YouTube because several of them (Lilla Rogers springs to mind immediately) have some pretty good videos about the subject of Art Licensing.

Google “Surtex” too, for a wealth of information…or, if you’re lucky enough, head for the expo itself this May 18-20.


If you missed last year’s conferences, you can buy the videotapes of the sessions here: http://www.surtex.com/TheShow/2013ConferenceProgram/tabid/360/Default.aspx

You Need to read this! Creatives At Work

I stumbled across this blog while surfing the Net for “careers for mobile photography artists”. It’s called Creatives At Work Blog.


How the hell has this wonderful blog been able to escape my radar until now? It’s a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of resources and articles for artists, designers, photographers, writers etc. If you fancy contributing to the blog as a guest writer or have any ideas to contribute to the blog, do contact Eileen Fritsch directly, at mailto:eileen.fritsch@creativesatworkblog.com

Eileen has thoughtfully organised her blog into categories: Artists, Designers, Photographers, Writers. She has been writing for many years now, so each category spills over with articles and resources of relevance. Sub-headings helpfully steer the reader towards more specific information. If you are any or all of the above, you NEED to read this blog. (Be aware of the dates of each post, as some of them go back a few years and the information may be outdated, especially in relation to exhibitions and competitions).

For my fellow Photographers wanting to up the ante on our game, check out this page, which contains links to numerous other useful articles (or access it via the blog under the Menu button, then click on Photographers):


I’ve only had time to skim read a few of the articles within Eileen’s blog, but already my head is buzzing with ideas and inspiration. Suddenly, there seem to be so many more opportunities for mobile photography artists and designers like myself. It’s all there, if we only knew where to look. I just hope I haven’t arrived too late to the party!

I think I will certainly tap into this motherlode of information, and expand on them in future posts. There really is A LOT of information within Eileen’s fantastic blog. I couldn’t even begin to tell you about what’s there, trust me when I say you just Have to look for yourself!

Just to whet your appetite, here’s a list of the Sub-headers under the Photography category. Each of which contains lots of links to other sites.

Career and Business
Photography Marketing
Niche Services
Changing Technology
Cross Training and Skills Development
Photo Merchandise
Trends and Forecast
Photo Printing and Display Options
Photo Exhibitions

Run, don’t walk!


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O.M.G. How did this email end up in my Hotmail Junk box?? By happy chance I stumbled upon it in time before it got deleted. Best news ever! Could this be the start of something BIG for me, at last??  I’d made an Artist Submission to Bridgeman Art Library for possible licensing of my work, and imagine my delight to get this reply! It’s early days yet, as, being a newcomer to all this I naturally have questions…but OMG, Best News Ever for 2014 so far!

Dear AlyZen,

Thank you for your email and for considering the Bridgeman Art Library for image licensing. I think your work would suit us very well for image licensing and so we’d be very happy to take your registration further.

I would like to recommend that you take a look at our website http://www.bridgemanstudio.com which is the homepage for our new contemporary artists platform, Bridgeman Studio. We represent artists for full copyright clearance as well as reproduction. We represent both estates and living artists including the estate of Lucian Freud, Alberto Giacometti and Mary Fedden to name just a few. With Bridgeman Studio our aim is to develop both the range of international artwork, as well as the range of illustration, fine art photography and graphic art that we can represent for licensing.

Having launched this month, we now have a dedicated space for our Studio artists. Each artist has their own profile page with links to their own websites and we have the staff, resources and online space for significant online marketing. The Resources page tells you a little more about the specifics of the offer. With regards to reproduction and copyright fees, you would receive 50% for each copyright clearance and 50% for each reproduction of your work. Above and beyond licensing, we are also keen that our Studio artists are open to the possibility of commissioned work for licensing, as well as having their images passed to our premium Print on Demand partner Art.com for open edition prints and prints on canvas (both of which are high quality). I note that from the link to your Society6 site, that you already have partnerships for merchandising. In order for you to get the best from our service, we would naturally be keen to ensure that any images to submitted to Bridgeman Studio would be free to be licensed and part of our merchandising programme without restriction.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts. If you’d like to register your interest and begin the process of joining the library, please do register here.

With all best wishes,


Information about Art Licensing

I’m subscribed to Joan Beiriger’s blog about Art Licensing. Joan has done her research and she knows her stuff, so I’m going to post it here so YOU know too! If you haven’t subscribed to Joan’s blog already, run, don’t walk! It’s a real treasure trove of information, resources, links, contacts, further reading etc.

Joan’s most recent post is about SURTEX and art licensing resources. My advice to you is to read Joan’s post slowly and click on all the links she’s mentioned. They must be important to warrant hyperlinking. Who knows, following Joan’s advice could lead to a licensing deal for you. I’m most certainly going to be spending a good hour or two on her post here:

Joan Beiriger : Art Licensing Resources

If you happen to live in the USA, congratulations, lucky you! Hurry on along to SURTEX and similar shows and make a beeline for the courses and workshops Joan has mentioned. It’s so much easier if things are right on your doorstep and you don’t have to travel far to get there. Don’t let the opportunity slip by! Meanwhile, I shall be saving up the $$$$ it will cost me to fly halfway round the world to get to such events…and keep plugging away online with the hope some big company will notice me! It’s unfortunate that such things don’t appear to exist where I live, in Western Australia.

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From Virtual to Reality

Once upon a time, not too long ago actually in the grand scheme of things, we all got ourselves a funky device (insert name of gadget here) that not only took great photos, it also made phone calls. Or, was it the other way round? No matter…my point being that said device came with access to a virtual “candy” Store where one could buy add-ons by way of special filters and effects, to increase the joy of photography a thousandfold. And yes, ahem! some of us did get just about that number of Applications…and we wear our “Appwhore” dogtags with great pride.

One could use any of a number of camera substitutes, or simply use the native camera and post-process images after the fact. Social networking became a big part of the even bigger picture, with websites and forums springing up geared towards a burgeoning community of iPhoneographers/Androidographers all keen to share their experiences, images, opinions, news, events etc. You know who you are…

One of the main problems with getting mobile photography images “out there” in the “real world” was image resolution. Taken on their own, back in the days when a standard mobile phone’s camera came with 2 (or if you were lucky) 3 MPs, the biggest image you could hope for when printed would be 4×6 inches. Luckily, advances in technology have more or less taken care of that bugbear. Personally, I use Perfect Resize 7, and my iPhone 4 (8MP) and Samsung Galaxy S4 (13MP) images have been printed out to as big as 32×48 inches with no loss of resolution. Others may use different programs to resize their images for printing, if so, please would you comment here so others know about it, thanks.

Once the issue of image resolution was taken care of, the next quandary was how to go about printing the images themselves. Of course, with a standard A4 size household printer, one can print with impunity images meant to be framed behind glass or arranged in groups on a living room wall. But what if one wants to print bigger than A4, and/or onto other substrates? There are many companies that will accept images sent online, print them for you onto stretched canvas or aluminium or acrylic etc…but generally speaking they are expensive and not really economically viable for the impoverished artist. For example, my “local” photography specialists, Fitzgerald’s in Perth, Western Australia http://www.fitzgeraldphoto.com.au offers printing on metal, which they call Alumalux…looks impressive, yes, but even a small piece will set you back over $100. If you are an established artist with clients ready to gobble up your artworks, then going down this route may be very lucrative. If however, you are still trying to find your feet and/or are an impoverished artist, then please do yourself a favour, and go spend your hard-earned money on feeding yourself and your family first. I’m not knocking Fitzgerald’s, I think they offer superb photographic services and are the best in town, so if money was no object, I’d highly recommend using their services.

Going down the DIY route, there are many online companies that will print your images onto merchandise such as t-shirts and hoodies, mobile phone covers/skins, laptop/iPad covers, hats, caps, cushions, shower curtains, bags, coasters, posters, stickers, badges, banners, cards etc.These companies are more affordable, and offer an outlet for the artist to promote their work to a large audience, and anyone wishing to purchase an item by a particular artist may do so according to their own purse strings and whims. For ease of searching on the Web, the keywords are “Print On Demand” or “POD”. I have my images on several of these sites – Saatchi Online, Zazzle, RedBubble, DeviantArt, ArtofWhere, Society 6, Fine Art America. Of course, there are dozens of other POD companies out there, you just have to search them out on the Web.

On the flipside of the coin, there are companies that are on the lookout for artists to join their stable as Licensed Artists. These are the lucky few who don’t have to do any of the donkey work themselves, as the company Licensing them takes care of all the marketing, advertising and promotion. One such company is DENY Designs in Denver, Colorado, USA. I have submitted my work to them on 2 separate occasions, but still got knocked back…but I will just keep working on my “portfolio” and at a later stage I will contact DENY Designs again. Never give up!

Mable Tan is my cousin, well actually she’s a cousin once or twice removed(??), her Mum is my first cousin. Mable and I are only about 12 years apart in age, so I wouldn’t be expecting her to call me “Aunty”! She’s a talented fine art photographer and she travels a lot with her hubby Gavin for his work. She gets to spend months on end in foreign countries, and not only takes the most exquisite photographs, she also blogs about her adventures and is a mean cook to boot. I especially love her dreamy lomographic images, which evoke a sense of nostalgia. Mable’s professional name is “Happee Monkee”, and her talent got her recognised and signed up to DENY Designs, so you can see her work on items such as bedlinen, clocks, cushions, shower curtains, jewellery boxes etc.  Please do check out Mable’s work on http://www.happeemonkee.com. Or keep up with her adventures on http://www.mabletan.com, where she talks about photography, travel and food. Proud of you, girl!!

Please don’t go looking, or ask me, for a Magic List of Licensing Companies, because there isn’t one. Similarly, the book listing such companies hasn’t been written yet, so don’t go searching the bookstores either. Searching the Web under “Art Licensing”  will throw up some interesting results, as will searching under “Art Publishing”. Carolyn Edlund blogs as ArtsyShark on http://www.artsyshark.com. She has tonnes of tips for promoting your work, the business of Art, interviews, featured artists, articles, etc. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking for ways to get your Art “out there” into the real world, instead of it languishing on your mobile device. Carolyn is the reason I created my own website http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow. She advised aspiring Artists that, in order to be taken seriously and have a better chance of snagging that rare Licensing/Publishing deal, it looked professional to have a website, than just submitting random examples of your work. Also, setting up a website is an exercise in categorising and filing your work, so it becomes a cohesive whole and not a jumble of images with no particular theme. They do say decluttering is good for the soul…