Monday, February 23, 2015

Lynnea Washburn

How did you become an artist?
After college graduation, I began to look for opportunities for a career in art.  It wasn’t easy;
in fact, it took ten years to figure out!  Funny thing was, it was my love for writing (which
viewed as a muse) that opened a door for me at a greeting card company.  I began asWriter,anthen moved into an Art Director position.  After several years, a move brought my family and I to Washington State.  This is where I began working as an illustrator.

Did you go to art school?
   I attended San Jose State University in northern California, from which I have a BA/Art and a MA/Painting.

Was there anyone that influenced you in becoming an artist?
 There were a couple of special teachers I had early on that encouraged me to develop my talent and pursue a career in art.
Artists who have influenced my work have varied over the years depending on personal investigations and stylistic changes.   Some are Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, Claude Monet, Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, Sam Francis, and Rothko among others.

What inspires you?
    I often find inspiration in nature, random textures, and textile patterns.  I also find inspiration in things seemingly unrelated to the task at hand… it could be something like exploring a medium I don’t usually work with (like clay or wax)… or it could the written word like a poem or book, or even a personal journey I may be walking through.  Ultimately it is all fuel, and makes its way back to the surface...that is to say, my painting.

Would you like to share your process?  
     My process begins with written thoughts then to pencil sketches and to watercolor painting on paper.  Typically, I will paint a number of coordinating pieces such as icons, textures and patterns, then scan them into Photoshop, and use it as a design tool to put the pieces together in a number of different layouts. In the early concept stages I also think of what products the artwork might be suited for, which helps me develop the right amount of coordinating pieces.

What types of markets do you create art for?
    The types of markets I illustrate for – primarily licensed artwork for product (see #11), although I have also done some portraits on commission, and I enter a biennial art competition that benefits cancer survivorship.
Are there links where more of your art can be seen?
    My work can be seen at, and

Do you do other things regarding teaching?
    Other than working as a licensed artist, I teach a creative, visual art approach to bible study in my newly expanded Studio B (“FaithArt Studio”).  It employs creative expression as a means to gain biblical understanding and uses art mediums that all women, no matter what level, can master.
Do you pursue other creative interests like writing or music?
   Other creative interests: I love to write; whether it be journaling, poetry, lesson plans, or jotting down short story plots (although have not attempted to write one…yet). 

Where can your art be seen?
  You can find my designs on assorted Gift and Home Décor products, Home Lighting, Fabric, Paper plates and napkins, Flags, Rugs, Greeting Cards, Wall Décor, and Calendars.  They typically retail in independent gift stores, mid-tier chains, and the occasional mass-market channel.
What do you love best about what you do?
   I thing I love best about what I, what a question.  I would have to say the best part is the act of creating something new that didn’t exist before I picked up a brush.  I feel blessed to be able to use how God designed me...for provision, expression, and connection with others.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Catching-Up with Two Can Art

It has been a while since there has been activity on the blog. It has been a whirlwind for the past year with the Two Can Art  Collection. I’ve created a checklist of things I want to do for the collection and am crossing them off as I go. There is a new signature logo for the brand, new photos with Noah, a new website. and we are in the process of trademarking the name.

We have developed some wonderful licensing partners for product. Two Can Art images are now on napkins, porcelain tabletop, greeting cards, wall décor, tumblers, garden flags, needlepoint kits and pillows. There are some exciting projects in the works too.
New Tumblers are now on the Tervis Website

I did a signing in the C&F Enterprises showroom and they had wonderful magnets with our pillow images on them as give aways. The best part was talking to all of the people and letting them know about the collection and Noah’s part.

I loved meeting everyone in the showrooms and seeing other artists with incredible talent.
We’ve had some wonderful press from Art World News, Giftware News and Gifts and Decorative Accessories magazines.
I think the best part of all of this is that the collection is resonating with buyers and their customers and that a good number of our licensing partners are giving back to the autism community by giving a % of sales to autism organizations.
It’s been just a little busy around here lately and all in a very good way. I am so happy. Noah’s beautiful textures continue to inspire me.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Nidhi Chanani

You started on a different path as a literature major. How did you come to be an
Books and art fueled me equally growing up. I couldn't convince my parents to support a major in art so I picked my other love - literature. At UC Santa Cruz, art was impacted so a minor wasn't possible. While I was in Santa Cruz I took art league classes and did lots of crafts. I knew it was basic, though. I began to follow young artists and the desire to grasp concepts beyond the basics grew stronger. I was working full time in the non-profit sector at the point that I decided to take the plunge and attend art school. 

I was 27 and surrounded by artists who were 10 years younger than me and 20 times more talented, I debated dropping out every day. What kept me on the path? I wish I could say it was a teacher or mentor, but it was my stubbornness. I wanted to be an artist. I wanted to draw and make people happy. I did end up dropping out, but not because of my feelings of insecurity. I wanted to break free of the prescribed notion of education. I was simply ready to explore my voice. 

That's what I did. It sounds so simple, but it was nerve-wracking and grueling. I worked part time and drew a new illustration every day. Those daily drawings became the basis of my career. 
Did you go to art school? What were the benefits that you got from your time there?
Art school gave me the insight into light, shadow and color. It did not give me the skill set, though. I developed that by practice. Art school can only give you so much and the rest comes from drawing all the time. I gained an understanding of form, shape, character that was essential in thinking about art as a form of communication. I was also exposed to career options as well as modern artists who were influencing current movements. 
Are there any artists that inspire you?
Yes! One of my favorite questions. In terms of graphic novelists - Marjane Satrapi, Raina Telgemeier, Craig Thompson and Cyril Pedrosa. Illustrators like Joey Chou, Jerimiah Kertner, Alina Chau, Roberto Kondo and Kei Acedera inspire me with everything they create. And sculpture artists like Lyla Warren, Kina Crow and Leslie Levings make me want to sculpt! 
Was there an individual that inspired you to become an artist?
Kurt Halsey. His work was a major influence on me when I was living in Santa Cruz, dreaming of becoming a full-time artist. I remember reading all his interviews and spending hours looking at his work. I thought if he could share cute, sentimental art and "make" it then maybe I could too. 
Can you tell us about the different techniques you do your work in and how they 
I primarily draw digitally. I use flash and photoshop. I didn't pick that combo but its what works for me. I loathe illustrator although I have taught myself how to use it for certain commercial jobs. 

I know many artists who use the lasso tool in photoshop for their base drawing. I use flash in the same way but I find its more fluid. I developed my photoshop painting, texture and lighting through trial and error as well. Prior to art school, I taught myself photoshop for graphic design. I've never had a formal course on either! I'm sure there are dozens of things I could learn for each to improve, but as my friend says, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! 

Before all of that digital stuff, though, I studied drawing. I still do! I draw traditionally as much as I can. Neither a wacom, a copy of photoshop or even the best illustration tutorial can teach you how to draw. You have to study form, shape, flow, weight character.... You have to draw dozens - or rather hundreds - of bad drawings before getting to the good ones. 
What inspires you?
My husband. Music. My kitties. My moms. Nature! The ocean. Photography. Light. The world we live in is quite beautiful. 
What is the story behind the themes you illustrate?
I usually say I have three themes - love, solo girl and animals. I had a very difficult childhood. I never believed in much because of it. When I met my husband things changed pretty dramatically. It was like all the layers of anger and hurt fell away and I found this happy person inside. When I draw love that's the story. Love is pretty magical.

Solo girl is just that, influenced by my relationship with nature or myself. Introspective and hinting at hope, too.

Animals! I love them! I'm a lifelong vegetarian. Growing up my favorite animal was an elephant. I had the chance to visit a friend of mine living in Kenya. I scrimped and saved and went alone. On safari, I fed a giraffe with my own hands and saw basically every animal in the African savannah. I visited an elephant orphanage. I drew animals before, but after that experience I drew many, many more. I want to meet every animal! I am vehemently against zoos and aquariums, though, so my opportunities are limited and that's okay. If I get more chances I welcome them, and if not, my experience in Kenya will fuel me for many years to come. 
Your site is titled Everyday Love. How did you come up with this name and what is it’s significance?
It came from my daily drawings. I started drawing every day about 5 years ago. It's become weekly as I work on the graphic novel, but at the time I completed a full illustration 5 days a week. I drew from my love of animals, my husband and nature. Over the years I've created around 700 complete illustrations. 

The scenes are every day scenes cooking, walking, eating ice cream in bed. I believe that in each day there are many moments of love - everyday love. I also love drawing everyday, so it works that way too.
You have a new graphic novel coming out.  How did that come about and where 
could someone purchase it?
It will be available in 2016, I believe! Depending on when I get all the artwork done! I wrote and pitched the story back in 2013. I rewrote it many times that year and sold it to First Second (Macmillan) at the end of 2013. I have been working on the thumbnails this year and next year I hope to complete the final art. It will be my first long form story so I'm nervous, excited and... mostly nervous! 
What types of market do you create art for? (ie prints, cards…)
Prints, cards, gifts. I've been wood burning for a few years now and I'm working with a wonderful artist in LA that helps me translate my wood burning ideas into laser-etched pendants. I've also done freelance concept art, virtual stickers, patterns and editorial.
Are there links where more of your work can be seen and where your images can be purchased?
Do you have interest in other creative areas? (writing,music…)
I love to write. I also love cooking and baking. 

What is the thing you love best about what you do?
I love making people happy. When people write or come up to me at conventions and say that my work makes them smile - nothing beats that. It makes me feel like what I do matters and that's the best feeling.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rosenthal Represents-Elise Rosenthal

How long have you been representing artists?  

I know I am going to sound ancient, but it’s been 35 years!  Amazing how time flies when you are doing something you love!   After teaching art in the New York public school system for 10 years I was looking for a new career path.  I loved the children and teaching but wanted something new and different for the next phase of my life.
I interviewed with the renowned NY art group, “Push Pin Studios” headed by Seymour Chwast and Milton Glaser. Two icons in the advertising and editorial world even back then, realized the importance of a well qualified agent.  Seymour and Milton were not only exceptionally talented but enjoyed sharing their knowledge with me. I learned the right way to represent artists and had a ball running around Manhattan showing their award winning work.  I met Neil, the month before I started that job.  I was visiting all my Stanford University buddies up north first. I then went south to Los Angeles to visit friends there and that is where I met Neil.  Meeting Neil was my high point that summer.  We really got to know each other via many long phone conversations.  My trip to LA lasted only a week as I headed back to New York to begin my new career.  I loved my new job, but Neil’s power of persuasion was too much to resist.  I started my illustration representation business shortly after he moved me out here.  That was the birth of Rosenthal Represents.  We are still in contact with our first group of illustrators from way back in 1979!

Do you primarily represent artists for licensing?  

I represented illustrators for editorial, advertising, publishing and entertainment (Movie posters) in the beginning.  Neil joined the business soon after to help with servicing the many customers, Warner Bros. Disney and the ad agencies because it became too busy for only one rep.  We met the new Creative director for Warner Bros, thanks to Neil’s great talents for researching “up and coming” businesses. That launched us in 1989 into the licensing business but only for Warner Bros.  I was at Warner Bros. almost every day for a year and a half consulting with Andrew Baron, the amazingly talented art director Warner Bros hired to begin their licensing business. He kept our group of 13 artists busy for over 18 months creating images for their growing list of licensees all over the world.  Andrew Baron, was the one who encouraged us to branch out into art licensing.

We were relatively clueless about licensing art.   Andrew was generous with his time and knowledge in the beginning.  It helped us initially but the real education was by diligent research. There were no websites to learn from as there was no INTERNET…. can you believe that? No one would talk to us about it and there was very little to read about it.  I would just have to go to shows and find out myself.  Since we love challenges, we threw ourselves into this new biz as we realized that our days in illustration were numbered.  Computers were getting popular and the Movie Studios no longer did art on posters. That business dropped off the planet very quickly.  The ad agencies were suffering and the time was ripe for a new phase of ART and it seemed to be Licensing.

We looked for new types of artists and discovered the biz together.  The rules were different, the process was different and the payments were very, very different.  New and different was a nice change.  We all grew together and now we share our knowledge by mentoring and educating 
new talent in this challenging biz.

We love to put on seminars and mini classes on Licensing in Art Schools and big and or small venues. Although there are many art schools in the United States and around the world they, for many reasons, do not include licensing as a formal course to their students.  We have been invited to speak at Utah State and then other invites came along in LA as well.

 What products have your artists been licensed for?

We run the gamut depending on our team of talent and what they are open to  creating for clients.  We go from fabric, textiles for the kitchen and bath, party plates and Stationery such as: invitations, notebooks, albums, to cocktail napkins, to jigsaw puzzles, gift bags, flags and more.

As Neil would say, we go from the floor to the ceiling with the types of things we license.  We license art for floor mats, area rugs, coir welcome mats, wall décor, metal and wood signs, ornaments, Popcorn tins, music boxes, tabletop, gift bags and boxes, decorative boxes, crafts, such as paint by number,  embroidery, kits, tee shirts, trays, coasters, top of bed, luggage, calendars, children’s products, baby and pet products.  Inspirational products are important too. Often art is needed by location, country, coastal, national parks, Lodge, mountains as well as seasonal art too since many products concentrate on important holidays.  Anything you can imagine that has art on it, we can do!

 What advice would you give an artist interested in licensing their work?

This is not the business to start if you have no other income coming in.  It’s not a quick earning business.  They will need to consult with a seasoned agent to decide how to begin creating an archive of art. They will need to create seasonal art, which is a good place to start.  Seasonal designs can be licensed to many categories at the same time. Photoshop or similar programs are a must.  Manufacturers are literal… they must see the art the way they are going to use it.  IF you do art in groups, they will get a taste of your hand and your styling.

One design won’t tell the story and won’t get you in the door.  This is not a one trick pony industry.  On the bright side, you can earn money from art you are doing for years to come. Re-freshing your look is important and paying attention to trends is essential.  An artist will need to be creating new art every day so their archive will be broadened and widened to include new markets.  With licensing, you are earning an annuity for your art once you have found your niche .We can help you branch out into new specialties so you won’t get burnt out and will acquire new revenue streams along the way.

What kinds of themes do you see trending for products?

Chalk art has taken hold for the past couple of years and that retro decorative layered look that came in from variety of sources including Punch Studio. Fringe and Michel Studio have a very successful and appealing style. Realism with some new twists never goes out, but new looks are also important too.  Graphic looks have a contemporary feel is appealing today as well.
Retro never seems to go away. In tough economic times, people like to be reminded of the more innocent days of yore. Also inspirational art and art with an attitude is hot.  Campus art with typography and famous icons are popular with the high schoolers and the College set.   

Are they any other things you see as a current trend?

Pet products are a huge industry since billions of families have cats, dogs, birds and other small pets.  People without children have pets as their families and spend a fortune on items to celebrate their special “four legged family” members.  

What do you like about representing artists?   

As Neil would say, I was born to do this business.  I have always loved art and doing it myself in my amateur way.  I loved studying and learning all sorts of art techniques at Queens College in NY and then at Stanford University and then teaching it.  I mentored my special students when I was a teacher and have been doing that for the past 35 
years. Art is my life!

I see it everywhere and enjoy coaching talented people change their lives by doing what they love!  Encouraging others on how to excell, is a huge part of our business. When our artists send  art to present to our clients, I know which pieces will need tweaking and which ones will be chosen and why.  It’s most important to help them understand how to improve their designs so that a client will be thrilled to have the privilege to manufacture and produce them. That is the ticket!  

Elise can be reached at Rosenthal Represents (818) 430-3850