I’ve got and I’ve got it bad!

Artistic ADD that is.

Have you heard of it?
Do you think you have it?
Are you starting to itch?
(If you’re starting to itch you’ve got other problems.)

Let’s start by taking a look at the symptoms.

  1. You have a creative mind and it’s always thinking. You see things in stores, on TV, or where ever you are, and you think “Hey! My art would look totally cool on that!”
  2. You’re regularly working on four different creative projects at once. They are generally unrelated. And many times these four, unrelated creative projects are being done at once because you can’t decide which one to do first.
  3. People often ask you, “When you sleep?”
  4. Your motto is “Why buy it if I can make it myself?”

I could go on and on with this list of symptoms but I think you get the idea.

Does any of this sound like you?

It certainly sounds like me! I used to have a severe case of artistic ADD, but now, most days anyway, I’m a little less frantic and a bit more productive.  (Less of a “chicken holding a paintbrush with her head cut off” more of a “productive hamster spinning her wheel and working Photoshop™ as fast as it will go“… )

How did I shift from “Completely Crazed Creator”  who-is-going-in-so-many-directions-that-I-was-doing-a-lot-but-not-a-lot-well? I’ve got one word for you so listen closely:


Yes, that’s right. I’m back on my “you need a plan” soapbox.

Perhaps one of your goals is to build an art licensing empire. Debbie Mumm™ did it. So did Mary Engelbreit and many, many more.

Do you think they woke up one day, said, “I think I’ll start licensing my art” and *poof* they had 50 contracts and their art on hundreds of different products?


Each of these artists had a very specific focus in the beginning, and grew from there.

Debbie Mumm™ got her start creating quilting patterns which then led into her first license for fabric. Mary Engelbreit’s first product was greeting cards. I began designing scrapbooking products. (Not that I’m saying  I’m in the same league as these ladies of course, I’m just making a point.)

If you are new to the idea of art licensing, when you look back 20 years from now, what do you want to say was your first product?

If you have a few things under your belt, what do you enjoy the most?  What comes the easiest to you?  What is adding the most to your bank account?

When you determine an initial product or product category, say crafts or gifts or greeting cards, what is a logical next step?

To determine a logical next step ask yourself where your art is already recognized.

I have a friend, Randy of Finkstrom Licensing, who does very well designing cards for veterinarians. If you have pets you know what I’m talking about: the little cards that say “It’s time for Fido’s next shot”. He’s doing very well with this, so I have to assume that if veterinarians saw another product with his art it would be a known entity and they would probably buy it. So products that he might look at next would include designs for scrubs or gifts and accessories for pets.  (They have quite a cool line over at Finkstrom, you should check it out!)

So although I am sure that your art, like mine, is perfectly suited for just about any product out there, everyone needs to start with one step. And then another step.

So take a moment to look at where you are now, where you want to go, and what creative steps could be in between.

Have a creative day!  ~ Tara

P. S.  If you ever find yourself in your studio close to hyperventilating, because you have so many things you need or want to do, be sure to take three very deep breaths and drink lots of water. It always works for me!