My brother is a firefighter. I don’t recall him dreaming of this vocation as a child like many do, but he really enjoys it.

He chose it for the lifestyle. He helps others in times of need, but has a schedule he loves. 24 hours on, 48 hours off. They can trade shifts so he is able to take many more vacations than the average American.

The 24 hours on are uncertain, as I’m sure you are aware if you ever watch TV. Fires and emergencies aren’t planned: the alarm sounds and they must be ready at a moments notice to jump into action and respond with speed and skill.

When I decided to start licensing my art, I had no idea I was entering a “four alarm” career armed with paint, pens and a computer.

Many days I wake up thinking I’ll have some time to work on something that just came to me, or even just chill, maybe catch a mid-day movie. But lo and behold I turn on the computer and the bells are ringing in the inbox.

“HURRY!” My client says. “I need this from you as fast as humanly possible, or yesterday would be great!” The potential is usually exciting, maybe a large chain is looking for art that the manufacturer thinks you can provide and you want the deal so your priorities change. You shift gears and get into action.

Sometimes this action continues into the wee hours of the night… you end up writing a blog bleary eyed early in the morning. (Yup! That’s me!) And here’s the kicker: after fighting the fire, working with the client to get them what they need, you often wait…. and wait…. and wait…. to find out if you got the deal.

I have come to find that this is just part of the deal. Retailers tell manufacturers to hurry and then it takes them time to decide. So the manufacturers have to tell their artists to hurry. So we have to hurry.

To succeed in art licensing you need to be flexible with your schedule and understand that your studio is like a fire station. Embrace the “alarms” and get excited when you hear them. Spring to action. Do what is needed to make your clients look good so they will continue to call your station. Then be patient waiting for the results — they will come.

Have a creative day!

~Tara