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

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

AmericasMart Atlanta July

This was my second trip to the AmericasMart in Atlanta. I also attended in January. There was much less traffic at this show. I understand that this time of year is busy for stores so they tend to come in larger numbers in January. 
With that said I found this show as exciting and interesting as in January. I took time to look at showrooms I hadn't seen before and met some lovely people along the way. 
I did find that themes and trends haven't changed much.The chalk look and word images were still strong. There were some lovely garden and animal themes as well. I saw some wonderful art on all kinds of products. There were lots of fun whimsical products for Halloween and Christmas too. 
Seeing new friends and old was an added benefit.
Personally the show was especially nice in that some of the Two Can Art images were launched. PPD featured the Winter Solstice collection in the window. One of the cards at Design Design was also in the showroom. I really love meeting the sales forces at the show too. They were all so incredibly kind.
 Visiting the showrooms can really give you a good idea of a manufactures look and product selections,so you can get an idea if it's a good fit for your artwork.
  I am looking forward to heading south again in   

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Siyana Zaharieva

How did you become an artist?
It was a very straight process in my case.I was quite excited by illustrations back in my childhood and very early I decided that exactly this would be my job. Even I enrolled in drawing classes by myself and my parents got to know this as late as the time for payment came.
Did you go to art school?
Yes, I graduated with „Illustration“ from the National Academy of Art, Sofia, Bulgaria.
Were there 1 or more individuals that were an influence in your becoming an illustrator?
Definitely all illustrators, with whose children‘s books I have grown up, have influenced me. There are a lot of such illustrators. However, there are two persons, who showed me in a completely different way that despite the difficulties, one should not give up what one wants to do; that one should be persistent, work hard and believe in one‘s self. These persons are my parents.
Are there any artists or individual that influence your work?
I am addicted to illustration. The blogs and websites of illustrators that I follow are really a lot. I am constantly discovering artists, who are new to me and who become my favourite. They are also quite a lot. Over the past few days I have been checking with great interest the illustrations of Fredéric Pillot, Chun Eun Sil, Eric Puybaret.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by stories for children, by the good writers, children‘s imagination, nature... by the world that surroudns me.
Your work process is really interesting can you share how you create your images?
I draw entirely by hand. First I give myself enough time to explore and ponder on what I will do. Then many pencil drawings follow while I create the character or characters that I draw. It is important to have drawings from different points of view in at least several situations before I proceed.If I do a book, after the development of the characters, I make small sketches (storyboard) of the various illustrations. Then I start developing them in detail in the real format. Finally I do them in colour. I paint with acrylic paints on paper. Incidentally it has been the case that I have had to paint in Adobe Photoshop, but this is in extraordinary situations, when the deadline is too tight and this is the only way for me to fit in it.
What types of markets do you create art for?
Until now I have worked in the field of children's books and illustrations for advertising campaigns. I hope that in the future the books will prevail.
Are there links where more of your art can be seen?
Yes – here they are:
Do you do other things regarding art like teaching, or classroom visits?
I have always found working with children to be extremely interesting, but I am still doing my first steps as an illustrator and perhaps in the future I could try also in this area. Next month I'm about to be one of the presenters at a children's workshop "DO YOURSELF A BOOK" and I am very excited.
Are there other creative interests you persue like writing or music?
In my free time I like reading, travelling and cyclingI have never done music and I think I am not talented in this fieldAs for writing, one never knowsI am considering such a book written and illustrated by me, but I‘m still gathering courage.
Do you currently have product with your images on the market? books, gift or home products?
Yes, but for now they are only on the Bulgarian market. There are books with my illustrations. They can also be seen on the cupakes from„Take a cake“ (http://en.take-a-cake.eu/cupcake-art/poznaj-prikazkata.html), the promotional mugs of Jacobs Monarch and on the cover of the latest issue of the culinary magazine "Bacchus. "
What is the thing you love best about what you do?
I love everything, the entire process. Yet, perhaps I love it the most when,following numerous pencil drawings, Idetermine on the characters and composition, and move on to work with colors. This has always been the sweetest for me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Patrick Girouard

How did you become an artist?
I've always drawn and painted, and that's always been my favorite thing to do. I loved it whenever my Dad would bring a batch of laundry home from the dry cleaner, because I had permanent dibs on all of that shirt cardboard. It was white on one side and brown on the other. Two drawing surfaces for the price of one! I took all of the art classes that I could all through school, volunteered to paint sets during class plays, and figured out ways to illustrate book reports and any assignments that I could. Going to art school and becoming a professional artist was the only thing I ever considered doing.
Did you go to art school?
Yes, I went to the Paier School of Art in Hamden, CT. I had wonderful teachers and classmates, and was given a great foundation to build on. Attending school there was one of the best times of my life, I can feel it's influence every day.
Was there anyone that influenced you in becoming an artist?
My Dad was a successful businessman in New York City. In spite of always being very supportive and encouraging, I was nervous about telling him that I wanted to go to art school. When I finally got up the nerve I was incredibly relieved when he said he thought it was a great idea. He told me that he had always hated his job, and he never wanted me to be in that position. I was also lucky to have several great teachers in elementary and high school who noticed my abilities and encouraged me.
Is there one or more artists whose work is an influence?
Tons! Early influences were artists like Tony Ross, Babette Cole, and especially Tomi Ungerer. I love their line, color, and especially their senses of humor and anarchy. When I was younger I enjoyed illustrators like B. Kliban, Edward Gorey, Rick Meyerowitz, and Gahan Wilson. Scratch that younger part, I still love them. Other favorite illustrators include Wilson McLean, Brad Holland, Alan Cober, William Joyce, Trina Schart Hyman, Friso Henstra… this list could go on forever and I'd still forget someone.
What inspires you?
Books, movies, other artists, conversations with friends and family, dreams, images that stick in my head, color combinations, travel… life! Last November I was driving down to Florida with my son Marc. We saw a big flatbed truck that had gone off the side of the road and big white boxes scattered all around it. Then we noticed that the people cleaning up the boxes were all wearing full body beekeeper's outfits, and there was a huge cloud of bees over the whole thing! By the time we had passed it was too late to go back or snap any photos, but I clicked a brain picture for future reference. Later on I made a quick image, and some day it might be refined and turn into something.
Would you like to share your work process?
It's pretty intuitive. If an illustration that requires specific reference material I'll gather as much of it as I can so that I really feel like I know what I'm drawing. I try to look at things and absorb what they are, then put the reference aside and draw from memory. Otherwise the drawings become too dear and I lose that kind of spontaneous energy. It doesn't always work, but observing and recalling is like a muscle that needs to be exercised. 
I generally draw the characters and environment as separate elements in my sketchbook, then scan them and compose the image using layers in Photoshop. I paint digitally, but still like to do all of the drawing with ink and paper. If an area or element isn't working, I can redraw, scan, and adjust it. Once I have everything the way I want, I usually print it out, then take it to my light box and redraw the entire image all at once. That way the line is consistent, and I can make small adjustments as I go. 
Then I scan the drawing and set it up with three transparent layers. I keep the top layer to hold the line (even though I sometimes erase areas), and the bottom layer for insurance. I like to paint on a toned background, so I add that above the bottom layer.  My favorite is simply a scan of a brown paper grocery bag, but sometimes I'll paint something or use different surfaces. I do the painting mostly on the middle layer, using transparent washes and building color just like I would with acrylics or gouache. I say mostly because I frequently add lots of additional layers where I can experiment with color and texture, but easily edit or eliminate them.
Are there links where more of your art can be seen?
My website is www.pgirouard.com

Last September decided to paint one new Facebook profile picture every day for a year. I'm a little more than halfway done right now. Here's a video featuring some of them - http://vimeo.com/92870783, and you can follow my daily progress here - www.facebook.com/profilepictureproject

I'm a member of Picture Book Artists Association - http://www.picturebookartists.org

My agent is Bernadette Szost at Portfolio Solutions - http://portfoliosolutionsllc.com
What types of markets do you create art for?
Primarily the children's market, picture books, magazines, and educational work. But I've also done lots of greeting cards, posters, t-shirts, toys, games, puzzles, work for institutional clients, advertising, newspapers, and the occasional odd project, like streetlight banners or the outside of an entire city bus for a radio station in Hartford, CT. I'd love the chance to illustrate a label for a wine or beer bottle, and still haven't given up hope for an album cover.
Do you do other things regarding art like teaching?
I've taught classes at a variety of places over the years. Most recently a rotating series of classes for families at local libraries in the county where I live, and after school programs at two local elementary schools. I also do visits at schools and libraries around the country, but those are more lectures than classes.
Do you pursue other artistic interests like writing or music?
I've written several picture books but haven't done anything with them yet. I really need to close my eyes and take the leap. I enjoy making stained glass windows and mosaics, and our house is a never ending project.
Where can your art be seen?
 In addition to the sites listed above, you can find some of my work in my Etsy shop - https://www.etsy.com/shop/drawboy

 What do you love best about what you do?
I get to make a living doing something that I love every day. What could be better than that?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Andi Butler

 How did you become an artist? 
Everyone starts out as a creative risk taker. Babies and toddlers all start out with crayons and pencils, observing, imitating, grasping, drawing, coloring and creating, and eventually displaying our work in the 'Fridge Gallery.' Some kids stop when they hit grade school or maybe middle school, but I didn't. I was a huge fan of our local kids' programming (I grew up near Detroit, MI) and two of my favorites were Count Scary and Sir Graves Ghastly (they'd show a monster or b-movie, and have weird skits after commercials). They always had a 'ghoullery' of kids' art and being very driven, I would beg my mom to send them my stuff. Sometimes it would make it to their wall. That set me on a course to being a maker... I grew up in the seventies and eighties, so it wasn't called that then, but that's what I was. I learned to sew when I was nine, so I was doing what Molly Ringwald's character in Pretty in Pink was doing, waaaay before she was doing it...Coincidentally, her character's name was Andie, which I still think is funny...
Did you go to art school?
I went to college. I took art classes, but at the time, there were no degrees for what I wanted to do, which was a bit of everything, but not boring things. So I took creative classes at the local community colleges and just continued learning what I wanted. I'd just had just over a decade of learning what the public school wanted to teach me, now it was my turn to pick. I took photography, figure illustration, color, perspective, fashion merchandising, marketing, advertising, etc. I had a lot of fun with it! I still take classes online, because I'm a lifelong learner, but I would recommend to younger people: go to college and get the degree, not art school necessarily, but something so you can have an income to keep making...
Was there anyone that influenced you in becoming an artist?
Yes, my parents. Both of my parents are from England and grew up post WW2. My dad was pretty traditional when I was a kid, and regarding a career, he just didn't think a person could make money from drawings. This is ironic because he worked for Ford, and had to build from someone's design. The more he expressed that I needed a 'real' career (that was very non-traditional, both my parents wanted me to be independent financially) the more driven I became to show him I could create, and have a stable career. My mom was very much a maker, she made everything. At a young age she'd see something and then copy it because she couldn't afford to just buy it. I learned that from her, how to make my mark. 
Is there one or more artists that influenced your art?
I love, love, love Naiad and Walter Einsel. Their work pushed me very early. My mom hated to cook but for some reason had a lot of cookbooks. I don't know if it was because she wanted people to think she liked cooking, or, was hoping that she would find something she'd want to cook. We didn't have a lot of money and I loved to read and those were what were around the house. The Einsels had a lot of illustrations in cookbooks, recipe cards and 'homemaker' magazines (my mom also bought a lot of those, and still did not cook from them) and I loved looking at just all the detail and bits and pieces. They were just really fun! Charley Harper was also huge for me. I wish I'd saved all my dad's Ford Magazines, as Harper did a ton of illustrations for them! He created a lot of insects and animals, and I wanted to be an entomologist because of his drawings. I also loved Jim Flora. My parents didn't listen to jazz, but when we'd go to the record store, I always looked at those albums, sometimes there would be old ones still in print with his art. I also love the Provensens, Mary Blair, Good stuff! Contemporary artists I look to include Angie Lewis, Shaun Tan, Oliver Jeffers, Chris Reccardi, Isabelle Arsenault and Alison Jay.
What inspires you?
Living things, anything that's moving or growing. Humor, sadness, anger, if you think of a color when you think of a word, you can draw it... I also like to see what the youngsters are up to. They are so great with taking risks and ignoring someone who tells them they "shouldn't draw like that." My sons are the most inspiring. Our younger son has high functioning autism, our older son is nearly a genius. They take care of each other and solve conflicts and are funny and they're just brothers. I look at the adversity that they rise above, who couldn't be inspired by that? 
Would you like to share your process?
My process is very similar to other creatives: I'll get outside or read or bake something (in other words, do something not related to art, sometimes if I try to hard for an idea, I hit a wall), and the images come. I'll brain map a bit and do some word association with drawings. I'll expand on some of those, and flesh out the roughs in Adobe Illustrator. Some things get finished and some don't. The ones that don't, get filed away and I'll bring them out again when I need to doodle or work out more images.
Are there links where more of your work can be seen?
I post my work on my website (andibutler.com) and on my Instagram and Twitter feeds, and also Dribbble. I use 'andibutler' as the handle for all of them. I also have a Facebook public page. All links branch off from my website : )
What types of markets do you create art for?
I've created for toy companies, publishers, social expressions, apparel companies and even software icons! If you focus on making work that you like, and getting yourself out there, there are applications for your work you may not even be familiar with, but the companies will find you.
Do you do other things regarding art like teaching?
I volunteer, teaching art once a month at my sons' elementary. I make visual presentations in iMovie, and collaborate with two other design moms, who put together the lessons. 

Do you peruse other interests?
I cook and I bake. I love baking. The delicious reason would be because baking means pies and cookies and cake. But I actually really love the process of learning why something does what it does. Baking is all about chemical reactions. I like making the mistakes and realizing why it happened. I also garden and teach our sons how to grow food. There's nothing like something you grow yourself, and anyone can do it. This is where I get to explore my science side without the boring bits...
Where can your art be seen?
Is it on products, books, etc.? I've collaborated on a lot of books for Klutz, which is owned by Scholastic. I've created a lot of prints used on apparel for Sears, Kmart, Land's End, sneakers for a dance apparel company, baby gear for Fisher Price (I did a lot of the character development for their Rainforest Baby Gear line, the frog in their logo was from me), even temporary tattoos from Gumtoo!
What do you love best about what you do? 
I really enjoy the diversity of the work that I do. Even if I'm only working on surface design at one point, those patterns could have many different applications: giftwrap, stationery, apparel. Even in apparel, a print I create could be used for an all-over pattern on a dress, with a motif pulled out for an embroidery, appliqué or a screen for a tee. A coordinating print can be made for a pant or short. An entire collection of garments that would hang together can be based on one print. I also enjoy the problem solving. All creative work is really searching for a solution, although the 'problem' isn't negative, it's a question in need of an answer. Some of my favorite ways to work are with a restrictive palette, which often happens with printwork. If you're only allowed 4 spot colors on a print, you have to find new ways to use those colors so the motifs still make sense to the consumer.