Monday, November 19, 2012

A New Sense of Direction - Licensing Artist Ellie Record


Did you know that Spoonflower.com is, for a limited time, selling custom gift wraps and gift boxes of your choice? You can pick a design you like from any of the many shops on their site - you can even see how they look on a mock-up before purchasing anything. I had a little fun playing around with a few of my fabric patterns to see how they turned out as wrapping paper. You can see one sample below - this particular design from my Fiesta collection will soon be listed for sale on my own shop.

Studio•Alex - © Alex Colombo
A little over a year ago I published an article on artist Ellie Record - she just had started in art licensing and was working hard to create a portfolio. Today I am happy to post an update about her progress in the field of commercial art.

The Moon from My Attic: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your art? I live in Thornton, Colorado, with my husband, a beautiful daughter and my two Jack Russell studio pals. My art has curved in many directions. I promoted myself for many years as a children's book illustrator, determined that was the only market my art fit into because of my cute, colorful, whimsical style. When I learned about the huge licensing world, I told myself, "why the hell not!" So started in a new direction, "the yellow brick road."

Artist Ellie Record
TMFMA: What is exciting about your creative work? When I am sketching or writing down ideas, I like to think of putting twists in my work - like adding wings to flying reindeer or instead of painting a normal cupcake create a cupcake birdhouse. Or my recent piece, of a pumpkin jack o'lantern snowman. I love adding detailed accessories to my characters in my collections, such as socks, slippers or silly hats. For me it adds personality, warmth and sometimes humor. My creative style and collections always lean to creating fluffy, feathery, animals. Everyone needs a friend, so my art always seems to incorporate a companion into it. The art within me is overflowing with cuteness. Exciting, hmmm, described more as, "that's so cute!"

© Ellie Record
TMFMA: Is there a person or thing that has influenced you in your artistic efforts? What inspires you? My favorite book when I was young was The Tale of Peter Rabbit. I would read it over and over and look through the pictures. Growing and learning more about the book and author/illustrator Beatrix Potter has always been a influence to me. I love her sweet style and her life story is so inspiring. She worked so hard and never gave up on her passion as a writer and illustrator. I have also been influenced with art throughout my family. My grandma taught me to mix colors at a very young age; I still have that love of mixing colors. On a daily basis my mother is an inspiration. She creates magical fiber art that has texture, paint and organic elements. She inspires me to think outside the box, to try new things. When I get stuck on a project or am battling ideas, she gives me a helpful nudge to get me through.

© Ellie Record
TMFMA: What project are you currently working on? I have been working on a lot of Christmas images lately. But after three or four in a row, the ideas seems to slow down. So I will switch gears and will do a birthday piece. Then maybe a fall piece. So, I just finished up on my jack o' lantern snowman and am now sketching out new thumbnails to see what pops up for the next piece.

TMFMA: Tell us of your experience as an art licensing artist? I attended a SCBWI conference in Jan 2011 and that was my first awareness about licensing. The intensive class included a free pass to walk Surtex. Wow, walking the show was overwhelming, exciting and inspiring. I felt a burning passion to pursue a new direction into licensing after that. I returned home with a new sense of direction and goals and got to work researching the business.

I knew I wanted to look for someone to represent me, so I did some research on how to find an art licensing agent. In the end, I did the actual opposite of the suggestion to build an ample body of work. I took a bold step and sent my small non-existent portfolio to a agent that was looking for whimsical artists. Luckily, she was interested in representing me but I still had lots of work to do with no portfolio. I am blessed that she was willing to work with me.

© Ellie Record
She gave me direction and learning tools to start me off on my collections. With a small amount of work Montage Licensing represented my work for the first time at Surtex this year. I signed my first contract in June from Raz Imports - they create Christmas 3D art with my images. It's such an art high when someone is interested in your work. A jump for joy and then an inspiring feeling to get more work done!

TMFMA: What are your future aspirations and goals? My goal is to continue to learn and thrive in the art licensing world. I would love to travel more, to gain insight and inspiration from other places of the world.

You can find more of Ellie's work at these sites:

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