New Card by Amber Lotus

On Fridays, I sometimes like to display samples of products I've designed.
Here is a sample from a new card line just released from Amber Lotus Publishing called "Bright Spots."

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7 Tips for Freelance Success

Here is article I found interesting. This is an excerpt. To read the entire article go to vanseodesign blog.

7 Things You Shouldn’t Do, But I Did Anyway

I’ve been in business about 6 years now, so I assume I’m doing something right and yet I started by ignoring some simple and fundamental tips in regards to starting a business.

Here’s the advice on what not to do offered in the Vandelay post along with a comment or two about my ignoring them.

  • Going full-time too soon – For me it was all or nothing. I didn’t think I’d have the energy to come home from another job and work on my business the way I would need to get it going.
  • Not having savings set aside – I wish I had more savings when I started, but the timing was right for me to start out on my own even without. I did have few needs and had lived on little money before. I also had a couple of credit cards I freely used for most everything I could.
  • Assuming it’s easy because you’re skilled at what you do – This is the one I didn’t really do, though I did initially think skills alone could set me apart. I learned very quickly that more than your own talents are needed to build a business.
  • Not having a marketing plan – I had no clue how to market myself when I first started, though I did know I needed to market myself. I learned on the go and even now only have a loose marketing plan where specifics are concerned. I do have an overall marketing strategy to guide me now, but again it was mainly on the job training in the beginning.
  • Lack of organizational focus – Something I always work toward improving, but by no means was I organized early on. The one thing I had in great supply in the beginning was time so worrying about using that time efficiently wasn’t at the top of my list.

The 10 Key Points That Must Be In Every Licensing Agreement

Article Worth Reading. Here is an excerpt. To read complete article go to blog post.

The 10 Key Points That Must Be In Every Licensing Agreement
by Lance Klass (see complete article on his blog ...)

Art licensing contracts come all sizes, shapes, formats and wording. Some have lots of fancy legal terms, while others may be poorly written or just too short to cover everything that should be covered in order to protect you and your rights.

Here's a checklist of 10 essential points that must be covered in each and every licensing agreement. There's more, of course, but these 10 points are the basics, so be sure to look for them in every contract you're asked to sign:

1) The names of the specific works of art you're licensing.
This is important because it limits the contract to specific images, thereby making certain that there's no implicit claim by the licensee that the contract covers all your art, or more than it says it does in black and white.

2) The specific types of products that the art will be reproduced on.
This is another way to limit the reproduction rights of the license. If the licensee wants to expand its use of your art onto other products, they'll need to come back to you for written permission to do so.

3) The producer's or publisher's written agreement to put your copyright notice on every product sold and on every advertisement or brochure for any such product which bears your art.
While it may not be possible to put a long copyright notice in tiny places, the more places your name appears as the artist who created the artwork used on the product, the more notice you're giving to potential violators of your copyrights not to copy your work. A clear copyright notice also helps build your name as a brand, and that's very important.

4) The countries in which the products will be sold.
Some companies will ask for worldwide rights when they only distribute their products in the United States. Why not be specific? After all, another company might come along that wants to license the same art on similar products in Europe or Asia. This is generally a minor point if you're just starting out, but once you develop your brand it will gain in importance.

5) A period of time (nine months or a year) during which time the company must bring to market (produce and sell) products with your art, or else give up their right to use your art.
Occasionally a company will sit on artwork for a long time without ever using it on product. You certainly don't gain anything by having that happen, and it means any income from the license will be put off to some unknown future date. Plus the company is tying up your artwork and stopping you from licensing it in the same field somewhere else. A reasonable period of time for them to use your art makes a whole lot of sense.

article continued....To read complete article go to blog post.
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