Total Licensing Launches New Website

Here's the Website.

Here's the blog (worth checking out)

Start an Art Licensing Support Group

by Kate Harper

Our Art Licensing Support Group had a special event in Berkeley. Cheryl Phelps was our special guest speaker and artist Dianne Woods hosted the event at her home.

Cheryl teaches art licensing workshops all over the country and she volunteered her time to attend our meeting and give us some tips on licensing our art.


I continue to be amazed how helpful it is to have this group. I would encourage any artist in this career to really seek out other artists on the same path.

Even if you know only one person, you will be surprised at how much more you will get done by meeting with another artist once a month.

Sometimes artists in the licensing field can feel isolated in this career, since so few people do it.

If you feel the same, why not start your own group to share tips, resources and give each other feedback on designs?


-If you've taken a licensing class, or met with a consultant in the past, contact them & ask if they know other artists in your area.

-Know any agents? Perhaps they are representing an artist near you.

-Post a message on craig's list to start an art licensing support group. Most people don't know what "art licensing" means, so chances are you're not going to get inundated by hundreds of people.

-Go to a trade show, look for artist booths from your area.

-Post a message on Art of Licensing Yahoo Group and see if anyone lives in your area.

-Post a message on the Art of Licensing Linkedin Discussion Group and see who lives near you.

-Search on google for "art licensing" and the name of your city.

-Look on or start a meetup group.

-If you only know one other person, start by meeting one-on-one.


-Try to make the group a "free event" so artists with all budgets can attend.

-Use a timer, go around the group and give each person equal time to speak & show their art.

-Come to the meeting with your "burning question." What is the question you need answered from the group that day?

-Set individual goals for yourself for the next meeting.

-Invite volunteer guest speakers such as agents, attorneys or designers.
Prepare a list of questions.

-Start your own yahoo group so everyone can communicate with each other. Try to avoid one person being responsible for all communication.

-Choose a public place to meet, such as a cafe, so there is little prep or cleanup required.

She will also be teaching a workshop November 7th in San Francisco. (For more information: contact Chery at 415-863-6523. Her website is

A special thanks to Brad, Dianne's husband, for taking these photos and helping us with all those little things that help make a meeting run smoothly. It was really valuable having him volunteer his time for us.

Greeting Card Emergencies

David Ellis Dickerson, former writer for Hallmark, has made funny videos on how to make cards for weird or embarrassing situations. The themes are from people who send him letters wanting advice.

Greeting Card Emergency: Ex-Fiancee's Wedding

Greeting Card Emergency: Toilet Apology

Greeting Card Emergency: Sex tape going public

New Book: Creative Time and Space. Making Room for Making Art

The reason I wanted to read Creative Time and Space: Making Room for Making Art is because it addresses an ongoing problem many artists have, finding time and space to do art.

Possibly everyone feels they don't have enough time, but for artists it's even harder. You may find yourself defending the importance of art time, because others view creative time as recreational, and nonessential. This book shatters that limited view.

What the author, Rice Freeman-Zachery does, is investigate our experience of time and space for creating art. She conjures up images many of us had as children, our days filled with long summer hours of uninterrupted creativity, where time became invisible. The author tries to lead us back there, where we can enter that mental space of timeless creativity.

Rice interviews 14 professional working artists about such topics as: exploring time, making time, mental space, soul space, creative habits and taking it on the road.

This is not just a "do what you love" book, but rather it's a serious look at how to transform the way we perceive our art time and studio space, and what we can do to practically make more time and space for our art.

I like that she gives a name for people like myself, "the non-schedulers." Those are people that need to work organically to get into the zone. These artists can't create art between appointments.

I was also relieved that after reading this book, I no longer felt I needed to have a separate studio space outside of my home. She has a great section on how to determine if you really need separate space, or whether you are just fantasizing about a space you think you will work in. For example, one drawback of having offsite studio space is that you end up having 2 sets of everything: one set for home, and another for the studio. Also, because your studio is across town, you just never get there as much as you'd like.

There are also great extensive sidebar exercises all throughout the book called "try this" on how to free up time and space for art, such as how to limit your internet time, and a list of shortcuts to save time. There are other exercises for warming up creativity, such as writing the alphabet in all caps without lifting up your pen, and the importance of creating unusual imaginary stories out of events happening around you.

At the end of the book, I thought she had a great recommendation to schedule days where you create art "in public." Many people are shy about setting up an easel in a park, but she argues how much people love to be in the presence of someone being creative, and that you never know what might happen.

I would recommend this book for artists who feel like their time and space is non-existent, or that they are putting their art life on hold. The book helps you learn step by step how to get out of that rut and that no matter what situation you are in, how you can still take a few steps forward, to the place you want to be.

UPDATE: After reviewing this book, I also interviewed the author. Read Interview.

Creative Time and Space: Making Room for Making Art by Rice Freeman-Zachery

Interview with Hallmark Card Writer

Here's a great interview on Talk of the Nation with David Dickerson, author of House of Cards, a book that tells of his time at Hallmark and how the experience and the cast of characters he meets there open his eyes to a much larger world. He talks about colleagues who don't understand him, and learns what it takes to connect with personalities and how to write funny lines that resonate with the people.


 Books on Writing Card Sentiments 

You Can Write Greeting Cards This hands-on guide features practical instruction and exercises that teach beginners how to survey the market, find their niche, and write greetings cards that say just the right thing.

A Guide to Greeting Card Writing All forms are discussed in detail: conventional verse and prose, personal relationship cards, humor, juvenile, inspirational, etc. Detailed info on how to submit and sell your work to greeting card markets. All the nuts and bolts of both the creative art and the publishing market.

Write Greeting Cards Like a Pro Moore knows the ins and outs of the greeting card business. In this hands-on guide, she offers practical instruction, idea joggers, and exercises that will teach you how to survey the market, find your niche, and write greeting cards that say just the right thing. From humor to inspirational writing, Moore profiles the special needs of each greeting card category and also shows you how to spot new trends, so you can write the cards publishers are seeking today.

The Freelance Writing for Greeting Card Companies This book targets important areas a writer needs to know in regards to being self-employed, as well as, how to own a small greeting card business. It covers Internet to explore the technology which has opened the door for freelance writers and artists. You will find web sites that will offer a variety of freelance writers opportunities never before known or unreachable outside the Internet world such as: chat rooms, bulletin boards, or forums so writers can communicate with other writers. This type of networking is ideal for finding answers or obtaining valuable information about a company, organizations, writing groups, and available resources.

How to Write and Sell Greeting Cards, Bumper Stickers, T-Shirts and Other Fun Stuff A successful freelancer shares her years of experience and advice in writing for the "social expression market".

Thinking of You: A Card Greeting for Every Occasion This little books helps to jump start your thinking to make messages for cards.

Finding the Right Words: Perfect Phrases to Personalize Your Greeting Cards More than three dozen ways to say "Happy Birthday” for new family members...even pets. Includes thoughtful condolences for personalizing sympathy cards and congratulatory wishes for weddings and anniversaries. There are helpful hints to simplify card-sending and a monthly calendar for birthdays and anniversaries. This is a book of phrases for all occasions.

Ebook by Kate Harper

You can support this blog by ordering Kate's e-Booklets starting at only .99 cents! They can be read on your kindle, ipad, ipod, cellphone, or your computer. Free samples and lending options available. 

7 Mistakes Greeting Card Writers is a booklet that explains what to avoid when submitting greeting card verse to publishers. Learn how to create a trendy card that reflects the contemporary world we live in, and how to use your own personal experience to create card verse. Topics include: how to avoid limiting your market, when to use adjectives, not creating card for enemies, write like people talk and a list of why card sentiment submissions are often rejected. You can increase your odds of success by 60% just by doing a few simple things. Includes a list of card publishers and their guidelines, links to writer interviews, and writing exercises for how to create good verse.
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