Today I’m in a sharing mood.  This is a random collection of things that I have learned while building my business.  Some have cost me money so maybe I can save you some.  Some are just interesting -because they are frustrating when you don’t know them and so obvious once you do.  I’m going to “type out loud” so let’s see what comes to mind… ready?

#1:  DON’T USE SYMBOLS IN FILE NAMES.

Although you can use symbols (#, %, etc) when saving files on a Mac, PC’s don’t have a clue.  This little tid-bit cost me about $50 in shipping fees and some serious angst on both my and my clients end.

They kept calling saying, “We can’t open this one file.  They can’t open it at the factory either.”   I would double check, could open it no problem, resend… same problem.  What was up???

Finally someone noticed my file name and figured it out:
TreeSkirt48″-TaraReed.psd
That ” symbol made it incomprehensible to the PC.

#2:  SAVE ON SHIPPING

In this modern world, sometimes we can get around spending lots of money on overnight shipping.  Here are some ideas:

  1. See if your client will give you an account number (FedEx, UPS, DHL) if they request things quickly.  I have found that they will if you ask and may not think of it if you don’t.  If they are the ones in the hurry, perhaps they should foot the bill.
  2. YouSendIt.com Even if your client doesn’t have their own FTP site, you can send large files electronically for free.  If you want to send more than one at a time, there is a fee, otherwise just send 4 separate files individually for example.
  3. If you have a Mac, get a “MobileMe” account.  Included with an account (the account formerly known as “.mac”) you get what they call an “iDisk” — a virtual storage space, just for you!  For $99 / year I have more than saved in time, money and good will.  I can get files to a client in minutes if need be.  (Assuming they too, have a Mac, I haven’t been successful getting PC people into my iDisk)  For more information, head here:  MOBILE ME / iDISK INFO

#3:  SAVE IMAGES IN RGB COLOR MODE FOR THE WEB, EMAIL ATTACHMENTS & PHOTO LABS

Have you ever taken an image, from Photoshop™ let’s say, and then watched the colors completely change when you “save for the web” or add them to a blog or some other web application.

Have you ever created cool photo/art composites and wanted to have them printed, only to be told by the lab that they “Don’t support CMYK”?

Without going into a color lecture, I’ll tell you that email attachments, websites and photo processors all want RGB color mode.  Always check the requirements before spending a lot of time perfecting your art, postcard, business cards or web images — the change between the two modes can make a big difference. (Especially in blues for some reason…)

#4:  IF SOMEONE DOESN’T CALL YOU BACK, IT DOESN’T MEAN THEY DON’T LIKE YOU

I know! I know! Sounds obvious… but you know what? Art is very personal!  It’s not like selling nuts & bolts — your art is a reflection of you — you pour your soul in it and it is scary to put yourself out there for all to see.  It can feel like walking down the street in your underwear you feel so exposed some days.  I get it — I’ve been there and take return visits every so often.

I would like to put your mind and ease and tell you — it’s not you, it’s them.  The people you want so desparately to talk to about licensing your art are very busy people.  With a long list of people wanting their time.  Maybe your art isn’t a good fit for them — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good art.  Just be patient and if you feel like there was interest but haven’t heard back, pick up the phone and give them a call!

#5:  IF YOU STOP CREATING AND STOP TALKING, YOUR BUSINESS WILL STOP

Again, obvious I know!  I just thought I’d throw it in there. You can’t build a business sitting in your pj’s thinking about what you want to create and what products you want to see your art on.

You can build a business, sitting in your pj’s taking action.  Take action every day.

Create. Connect. Thrive!  This is what I wish for you…

~ Tara

P.S. If you need help, head to my site and see what eBooks are now available.  I’ve been taking lots of action and doing lots of writing these days!  www.ArtLicensingInfo.com