Last Saturday I had the honor and fun of heading to Seaside, Oregon to see Paul Brent at work in the monthly Art Walk.  Nestled in the Fairweather House and Garden on Broadway Paul was working on a new oil painting.  Never having painted with oils – except in maybe 7th grade which I don’t think counts – I was watching the process in awe.  It didn’t seem as scary as I’d made it out to be in my head.

I was amazed at the number of paintings – both watercolors and originals – Paul had done of local homes and seascapes.  Just as in the licensing side of his business, he can produce, produce, produce for the original / gallery side of things too.

They served wine and hors d’oeuvres, people milled about and many stopped to talk with Paul while he worked.

I’ve never done anything like this so I found it very interesting to watch and study.  How is doing an Art Walk similar or different to art licensing?

The Art Walk was similar to licensing, in that Paul was there presenting his brand.  His art, style and the way he interacted with shoppers were all a part of it.  Much like showing his art and interacting with manufacturers at a trade show.

A key difference was the subject matter.  In licensing, art often has to have a broader appeal – the beach should look more generic so it could sell on both coasts for example.  However when selling originals in a beach community – people are more apt to expect art from the local area.

This is a great example of how you need to understand your customers – during the Art Walk they were people who would potentially buy originals for their homes.  (Yes, he sold a few!)  For licensing, the customer is the manufacturer who doesn’t want to sell one of a kinds but quantities of a product.

Thanks again Paul for letting me come and enjoy the event!

– Tara Reed

P.S.  Mark your calendar now!  Paul Brent will be the October 20, 2010 Ask Call expert.  In addition to answering questions from artists, Paul Brent will discuss how to plan your art collections for a trade show. Planning your collections, pacing yourself to get the work done and designing for trends for the new year.  Head to www.AskPaulBrent.com to submit your question at any time.