A few weeks before SURTEX, I decided I wanted to do “one more collection” for the show… (I ended up doing 3 “last” collections and was laughing at myself by the end of the third!)

All day I was undecided, what theme should I choose? What style? What, what, what…

Somehow I ended up emailing Paul about something and mentioned that I was trying to figure this out and kept changing my mind.

Paul Brent’s suggestion:

“Do a new collection for a theme you have done well with before rather than something new. Then manufacturers have a choice. They can say “no” to one and feel better saying “yes” to the other.”

I liked it and whipped up a new wine collection.  I’m loving it and time will tell how it does for licensing…

So the next time you are feeling a little stuck, consider adding to your art offering in a theme you already do well in. Don’t forget to create deep and not just wide – sometimes it’s better to have 5 of one theme than 1 of many…

Thanks for the advice Paul!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

P.S. Paul added more detail to his advice in a comment – but I didn’t want you to miss it so here it is:

Maybe I should talk about this a little more.  When you are rushed, the last thing I would recommend is to create far from your center.  Pick a style and a subject that you are familiar with and give it a new twist, like a new background, new elements to go with the familiar subject, or a different perspective such as from above rather than at eye level.

For example, I always need new shell collections.  The last thing we worked on at the studio before coming to Surtex was to create new backgrounds in a new color palette for some shells that I had already painted.  They were “new” enough and we got a good response to them with the fresh and updated look and we wrote them for several manufacturers.

My “very new” subjects and styles, things that took a long time to research, draw and paint,  I had already finished and we were only adding coordinating patterns and borders. So I had three “new” shell collections for customers to select from rather than the two we had worked on earlier.

P.P.S. Paul will be giving more sage advice on Wednesday, May 26th – have you asked your question? www.AskPaulBrent.com