It’s hard to believe that it has been 2 years since my very first blog post… the first sentence was:

Earn an income doing what you love – I can teach you how. (soon)

Hopefully I have held up my end of the bargain.  Today I am writing my 363rd blog post and taking stock of all the amazing things that have happened in the past two years.

Two years ago…

  • I worked alone in my studio and didn’t know many other artists who licensed their work.  Sure, I had people I would say ‘hi’ to at trade shows but there was little if any contact in between.  I often felt isolated, like I was painting away on my own little island, hoping that what I was doing would grow my business so I’d never have to create a resume again.
  • I had no idea how I’d come up with topics to blog about on a regular basis.  Well, apparently I got over that, wouldn’t you agree!?!
  • I was missing writing, speaking and teaching.  I have always loved teaching and seriously considered becoming a school teacher when I was younger.  I had the chance to do a bit of writing, traveling and teaching when I was a Contributing Editor with Simple Scrapbooks Magazine and was very sad to have to give it up.  But sometimes tough choices have to be made to pursue what you really want (art licensing) so in 2005 I resigned from the magazine but told myself I’d get these things back in my life somehow.

Today…

  • I feel very connected to the art licensing community of artists and love the sharing of ideas and support.
  • I love blogging, social networking, monthly Ask Calls, teleseminars, eBooks and more.
  • I enjoy helping artists find their way in art licensing through coaching and giving them that second, outside opinion of what might work for them and how to move forward to the business of their dreams.
  • I feel very blessed to have built the Art Licensing Info family of sites and to have been joined by so many.

There are some who question teaching and sharing about art licensing – “isn’t it creating competition and making it harder for those already in the business?”

I obviously disagree. (Or I wouldn’t be writing blog post #363, would I?)  I believe that the more educated, professional and savvy artists are about licensing, the stronger our industry will be.  If artists are easy to work with, understand the contracts, the purpose and the process of art licensing, I believe more manufacturers will continue to license art.

The more professional artists exhibiting at trade shows look, and the more applicable their art is to products, the more manufacturers will want to come back year after year, knowing that they will find what they need, from artists who are a pleasure to work with.

There is value in education, understanding, community and networking – in any industry.  There are many groups and organizations whose primary aim to help artists understand different businesses and not undervalue their work.  Ignorance hurts us all in the end.

Of course, that is my opinion and my 2¢ on the issue.  Feel free to add yours in the comments!

Thank you for being a part of this amazing adventure – looking forward to more exciting things in our future!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed