Monday, March 23, 2015

Dreaming to Have Art on as Many Products as Possible - Artist Victoria Hutto

This week I am pleased to share this interview with artist and designer Victoria Hutto.

Victoria makes her living by licensing her artwork to companies worldwide. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Victoria has been working in the decorative market for over 20 years. Her work appears on many different products ranging from greeting cards, to fabric, to pillows, to wall décor or anything that needs artwork.

Here is what she shares with us today:

YOUR FAVORITE DESIGN/ART STYLE: I enjoy all types of styles. Every style has a unique quality to it and should be appreciated. I am drawn to styles that are very different than my own work, such as watercolor that is loose and free, or folk and primitive art.

THE MAIN INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR WORK: I find inspiration is everyday life. The simple things that make you smile. The bright yellow blooms of daffodils on my daily walks in the park, my dogs when they curl up on my lap for warmth, hearing my husband singing in the other room when he thinks I am not listening; those are things that inspire me.

WHAT YOU REALLY LOVE, I.E. YOUR PASSION: I love my work. I suppose that is the reason why I "work" almost every hour of the day. My work is woven into my everyday life. Even when I am not physically creating, I am always looking for inspiration that I can bring into my creations. My husband and I share this in our lives together and we feed each other's passion. It is our way of life.

WHAT YOU DON'T REALLY LIKE: I don't like crowds. I sometimes feel claustrophobic when there are too many people around. It's interesting that I feel this way, since I grew up in the big city of the San Francisco Bay Area. We now live in a city with a population of about 25,000. I have grown to appreciate the slower pace.

A FAVORITE SOMETHING: Every year my husband has a garden. My favorite "something" is the time we spend together seeing what has blossomed. I know it sounds a little bit silly, but every time we find that first baby tomato, it's like finding a treasure.

A MEMORABLE EVENT IN YOUR LIFE: One of my most memorable events was seeing my first greeting card design in the store and turning it over to see my name printed on it. I still get excited seeing my name in print on products. It's a feeling of accomplishment that never seems to go away.
A FUN MEMORY: Growing up in the city, I never had the opportunity to go camping. When my husband and I were dating he wanted me to experience camping. We spent 29 days camping through the National Parks in Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. The experience was priceless.

YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD AS AN ARTIST: Long ago, my husband and I worked with gourds as a medium. We became known as "gourd" heads. We have given several workshops working with gourds and teaching the history of gourds. Like people, gourds come in all shapes and sizes. It was interesting to see what shape each person picked, and what their vision for the gourd became. We had many children make masks and animals out of them. It is nice to be able to inspire others.

THE NEXT CHAPTER IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE: My dream has always been to have my art on as many products as they can be applied on. I plan to continue art licensing. The business is a fickle one and is forever changing. I will see how far I can take it. In addition to the licensing I would like to start creating more 3-D art. I like working with different mediums; fabric, paper, clay etc. I'm not sure at this point what form that will take, but it is exciting to see how it may develop over time.

A HELPFUL TIP TO OTHER ARTISTS: Learn to trust your gut." There have been times when I put pressure on myself to create as many pieces of art as I could to submit to companies. Some of them I felt good about, others, I did just because it was a subject that was popular. My thinking was, the more I did, the more chances that they would get picked up. In the end, the ones I felt really good about were the ones that went to contract and did well in the market. That tiny voice that tells us something is "off" usually is right. If you feel this, others will too. It is usually better to do fewer quality pieces than spending time doing a lot of mediocre ones.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

And the Three Winners are...

Congratulations to our three winners in this special giveaway to celebrate The Moon from My Attic's 4th birthday. The winners will also be featured on this blog in the upcoming months in a special interview!

Patrizia Vitrano won the two books!

By Artist and Author Ronnie Walter

The smartphone case goes to Ev Wesson!

Design by Alex Colombo

The three thank you cards go to Madeline Faiella!

Design by Alex Colombo

Thank you all who participated and for reading our blog. Keep tuned for more fun giveaways, special product reviews, and amazing stories from our art and licensing community!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Happy Birthday Giveaway - The Moon from My Attic Blog and 4 Years of Fun, Art and Friendships!

As promised a couple of weeks ago, a special giveaway will take place next week to celebrate 4 years of blogging about art and licensing. We will continue to publish amazing stories from artists, manufacturers, and agents as well as report on the main art & licensing design shows like Surtex, AmericasMart Atlanta, Licensing Expo and more!

So stay tuned for Tuesday, March 17 (a few days later than I earlier announced...) when we will post the three randomly selected winners of the giveaway.

The only requirements are that you sign up and leave a comment below, on our FB Page, or our Twitter.

2 amazing fun books signed by Ronnie Walter

A Southwest-Motif Samsung Smartphone Case (it fits an S4)

A set of 3 of my Recent Thank You Cards with their Envelopes

Feel free to help spread the word around to your family and friends!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Surface Design - Artist Kelly Ventura

This week is special for The Moon from My Attic. Not only will we announce a special giveaway on Friday, but we are very pleased to introduce to you an amazing, talented surface designer and painter.

I briefly met Kelly Ventura at Surtex last year and I became a fan of her work! She is a Michigan-based surface designer leaving her unique mark on the home, gift and children's markets with her fresh florals, playful prints and hand-painted patterns.

Kelly's watercolors are really lovely and unique, as you can see here. She has been licensed with modern brands such as West Elm, Minted, Create & Barrel, and more.

I asked Kelly a few questions to share with us:

YOUR FAVORITE DESIGN/ART STYLE: I am not drawn to one specific style, but more to the color and textures found in each piece.

THE MAIN INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR WORK: I am inspired by many things; nature, light, textures, changes on a daily basis.

WHAT YOU REALLY LOVE, I.E. YOUR PASSION: I love that I am able to do what I love everyday, in a studio nestled in my own home. Close to the ones that I love most.

WHAT YOU DON'T REALLY LIKE: Math. Also, when my studio gets overwhelmed with stacks of artwork waiting to be organized and filed away.

A FAVORITE SOMETHING: My studio. It is flooded with natural light and is a really happy place to spend the day creating. My boys have a few boxes of their own supplies in the studio as well, so they love to create with me.

A MEMORABLE EVENT IN YOUR LIFE: 2014 was a great year. My family moved into a new home in a great community...a hunt that took over two years. My Surtex debut was a husband and I left NYC feeling great about all of the time and energy we poured into the preparation. 2015 is going to be amazing!

A FUN MEMORY: The chestnut tree at my old childhood home. My sisters and I spent countless hours hanging out in that tree, collecting boxes of chestnuts and soaking up the mid-west summers.

YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD AS AN ARTIST: I have had plenty of great mentors in my career and plan to give back in the same way. I try to be as helpful as possible when new artists reach out to me for advice.

THE NEXT CHAPTER IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE: I am heading to Surtex again this May and we'll see what happens as the rest of the year unfolds. I have some really exciting product launches for 2015, so am thrilled to share those soon!

A HELPFUL TIP TO OTHER ARTISTS: I think it's really important to make time to create for the sake of creating. It's the best way to find your strengths and identify your weaknesses.