Thursday, May 14, 2015

Making Art for a Living - Artist Rachel Place

We are preparing to fly out to NYC for the Surtex and NSS shows that will start on Sunday. This year we decided to take a break from exhibiting but we will be walking both shows as Press and do interviews with artists and manufacturers.

Artist Rachel Place is an illustrator and surface pattern designer who will exhibit for the first time at Surtex this year. We want to wish her and all other artists at the show good luck. See you all there!

The Moon from My Attic: What's exciting about your creative work? I get really excited about making art for a living. For as long as I can remember it's all I have wanted to do.

Artist Rachel Place
TMFMA: Who or what has inspired you in your art? My Mom and my Nana are my biggest inspirations they were both strong women who believed in me with all of their hearts. My Nana lived on Martha's Vineyard in a tiny white cottage. She always sent me letters on the cutest stationary. My mom was a weaver and taught me the meaning of handmade.  At a young age she would have me help her card and spin wool into yarn. Later she taught me how to sew. We used to visit the local fabric stores and buy the prettiest fabrics.

TMFMA: Share with us a fun and memorable event or project. Selling my first design for use in fabric is pretty high up there.

TMFMA: What's your story in art licensing? Growing up with artist parents, I always wanted to love what I did for a living. I tried so many different creative pursuits hoping to find the right fit. I learned a lot about myself from each one, but nothing was quite the right fit.

Through my obsession with fabric and stationery I learned about Surface Design but wasn't sure how it all worked. Fortunately for me the timing was right and several classes were being advertised. I signed up for a few and learned as much as I could about it.

I decided to walk the Surtex show floor last year with a friend. At that time I knew I wanted an agent so I spent a lot of my time looking at their booths to see if my art would be a good fit.

I was able to speak with Lucky Day Studio for a few minutes while the show was slow. A few weeks later I signed with them, and it didn't take long to know I had made the right choice. One of my first job requests was from one of my dream clients! Donna and Julia, the owners, have been really wonderful and I couldn't be happier. So far my work has been exhibited twice at PrintSource and will be at BluePrint and Surtex for the first time in May.

TMFMA: What advice would you give other artists that are considering the art licensing field and that maybe want to exhibit in a show like Surtex? My advice to other artists is to learn as much as you can about the business and have lots of patience and courage. Knowing all you can about art licensing really helps you know what to expect along the way. One of the things that stands out the most is having patience.

I have heard it said multiple times, but a little less than a year in I know how true it is. You just have to keep moving along and take little leaps of faith along the way.

TMFMA: Any useful tips that you'd like to share about art and licensing? Finding other artist friends that I can connect with has been invaluable. It is so motivating to feel that connection and see the great work that everyone is doing. It is wonderful to be able to ask questions, share techniques, and support each other along the way.

Rachel's website:

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