February 29, 2008.
Well, well, well - it really is not a big deal at all, but I am excited. I was told back in December two of my licensed designs would be available at a large department store the first week of February. I am lucky because we have one store about 20 minutes from my home. I don't have a problem or anything.I mean I only went to the store once like the end of January......I mean twice, okay four times tops, if you count the first three weeks of February. And, I may have um, sort of asked some family members, friends and anyone that had one of these stores in their vicinity to go look and see if they saw my products. I finally saw them (on my fifth trip maybe?) at the store. I am not proud of it - but it true, I have been sort of stalking this store just so I could touch and see , my "licensed products". For whatever reason it was not real until I saw them at the store - until I touched them and got to see my signature in the corner. I will now be able to add Licensed Artist to my long list of things I am (it will be number 47, right after Martha Stewart wanna-be)
Licensing artwork is different than producing products, manufacturing them and selling them to stores (and a lot less work ). I actually license my artwork to companies that then give me a percentage of any products they sell with my "images" on their products. This has been a goal of mine for 2007, and more importantly for 2008.
So, I sort of kind of need to eat my words - no it is okay, I am doing it gladly. Not sure if anyone recalls my rant, well it was more than one, it was a number of posts about success (or not) regarding the Atlanta Gift Show. I went on and on about how bad it was, how I did not do well, blah blah blah. I must say months later, looking back at the experience - I only focused on the negative.
Something positive did happen, I did get something good. A company approached me about licensing my artwork for their wood plaques. I did a few designs....and they pretty much sucked (no it's okay, they did), and then I did some more - and well, two (that did not suck) sold to a store. They are now available to the public at this specific store - only these two designs. I have worked on more, we will see what happens - I am optimistic (now I am).
It just goes to show you that you can not judge something right after the fact - you (me) needs sometime to let it settle, chew on it and wait and see the outcome. This is just the start - not a huge deal, but a start none the less - I am finding this "owning your own business thing" is about the long haul, baby steps. I am still not going to spend all that $$$ and exhibit - but I am thankful I got something good....something really good from the show.
Your First Time
Oh my first time, I remember it so well. My palms were sweaty, my heart was beating rapidly. I held my breathe as I walked into a store looking around, but trying not to be to obvious. There they were I finally saw my ceramic birth certificates hanging on the wall, and in the cabinets. It was pretty amazing, it was humbling, I loved it.
One time it even happened by accident, my husband and I were on vacation and we found a store that had my products - I knew there was one in the city, just not where. I still remember every store's name, every website and every catalog - not best use of my brain, and I am not sure of the city every time - but I know the store name.
We were walking around downtown Napa and happen to find the store. So, anyway I walk in, see my stuff and I am all giddy (yes geeked up for sure) and I tell the woman working that I am the artist that makes the ceramic art she has. The woman was busy folding blankets, she looked up from what she was doing and then she grunted at me. To my husband's credit he did rush me out and take me to a nice romantic lunch (with drinks).....I mean she grunted, she actually grunted at me.
Put it in Perspective
Looking back now, over a year and a 1/2 later the fact that she grunted is pretty funny. Anyone who makes anything, or creates art - it is just cool to see it for sale. It is not that I am a legend in my own mind, I just enjoy seeing my products for sale. I guess I can not be too impressed with myself when someone who sells my products grunts at me. It isn't a big deal, it is just what I do, and to quote Popeye, "I am what I am."