Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Importance of Being Social

This morning I am driving down to Denver to do one of my favorite things: joining up with my art peeps for a licensing club meeting. The artist's life is by and large an isolated one. My studio is my favorite place to be in the a whole world. It is a haven, a sanctuary. But I need the interaction with other artists too. One of the managers at Hallmark, where I used to work, had the opinion that when artists left the company to go freelance, their work became stagnant because of the lack of interaction with fellow artists. I made it my goal that it would never happen to me!

My job is kind of weird, I know that, and other artists understand the peculiar struggles that this career entails. I go to the meetings to cheer on my friends' successes, and seek answers for my (many) questions. I get inspiration from seeing their beautiful work, the colors, the compositions. It's all so exciting! I also belong to a couple of online groups for licensing artists. I usually spend a part of each day "chatting" about the issues facing us. Most of these discussions are business oriented: dealing with clients, legalities, making presentations, that sort of thing, although there is also a lot of cheerleading too!

Speaking of getting inspiration from other artists, there has been a lot of discussion in the art community lately about plagiarism and copyright violation. I think for certain parts of the community, it is very easy to get swept up in your admiration of someone else's work. You might think, "I want to do that!" when you see that someone's success. But the thing is, the key to having really appealing artwork is to have it come from your own mind and heart. My agent and I talk about this sometimes. We'll see art that maybe isn't as technically proficient as the piece next to it, but it is so much more beautiful because of the heart that shines through. It's been said before, but the real answer is to just be yourself.

Now I'm off to hit the highway!

1 comment:

  1. Hello Jane,
    I agree about the isolation of an artist who works from home. I love my work room/office but when I realize I haven't used my car in a few days, I try and make myself go on errands just to talk face to face with fellow humans. Meeting artists with similar creative issues must be a blast! The artists I've met have all been online so far. I'm just starting into the licensing business and if you still need to talk over issues with your friends in the biz, I guess my questions will continue as well. It's really wonderful designing for products. I can't believe it's taken me this long to start (I'm 47). I've joined a yahoo group for art licensing and appealed to other newbies to share our stories and stay connected, so we'll see.
    I haven't tried to work off anyone's style, but rather have just searched for popular themes for license work, and adapt my own style for those themes. So far so good. I am having a great time.
    I think your work is beautiful, and your successes well deserved. I'll check in on this blog regularly from now on. Thanks for sharing.
    Best, Denise Tedeschi