Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Art Licensing, A Network of Creative & Helpful Professionals – Part V

This is the last editorial of a successful series of articles on artists in the art licensing business who've been helping others in this field. I am in the process of building a permanent art licensing page/tab here on my blog, which summarizes all the names and links for future artists to refer to, as many are still joining this industry and want to know how to start. Feel free to link and share the page on your blog, website and future editorials (please refer to my blog as the original link).  

Thank you to all who have participated in these great editorials; your help and your stories have already inspired many readers, and many more to come!

"Sometimes creativity just means the daily work of helping others to see a problem in a different way" – Joseph Badaracco

(below is a legend of past or upcoming editorials on art licensing) 

Part I:                  Part II:                Part III:              Part IV:                 Part V:
Paul Brent            Tara Reed            Maria Brophy      Alex Sanso            Allan Summa
Cherish Flieder     Joan Beiriger
       Drew Brophy      Oscar Armelles      Kate Harper

      • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •  

Alan Jude Summa

Alan Summa
Artist Alan Jude Summa was born on a cold, snowy, December day…"Wait! Too far back" he says.  He started his career as a Horror/Fantasy illustrator and his work has been displayed and published internationally. He has created  art for stories, games, and magazine covers for clients ranging from EasyRiders to Star Wars games. Becoming bored with the quality of stories he was illustrating, he began to write his own. Thinking he just might be pretty good at this,  with his wife Laura he began a collaboration with a friend, Glenn Boyd, and Leadbelly Productions was born. Their first project was a self published comic book series entitled "Interplanetary Lizards of the Texas Plains". Thus began his first foray into the licensing business.

He gets a lot of questions on how he started in licensing. Here is in a nutshell what he said that got him going: "We created and self published the comic, got an agent in New York, attended and exhibited at the Licensing Show and - Lo and Behold! - we started signing licensing agreements. Sounds easy, doesn't it?  Call it beginners luck, it actually WAS that easy. 
Alan Summa's artwork
That time, anyways, it has never been that easy since". But it wasn't all peaches and cream. He did sign licenses for video games, toys, watches, trading cards, model kits, halloween costumes, apparel, and more. He was in discussions for TV when the pivotal company in this venture went bankrupt. Consequently the program never reached the level of success he had hoped for, but he was hooked on licensing!

So he continued over the last 20 years developing more entertainment properties, toy designs, plush, and candy concepts. Alan says: "It has been a terrible, wonderful, roller coaster ride full of fun and frustration. We have taken our knocks and learned a lot (mostly the hard way), but I wouldn't change a thing". The whole experience has come full circle for him this year. There has been a resurgence in interest in the "Lizards".  He recently signed George Gross Jr. of G-Squared Licensing as the master licensing agent for all Leadbelly's properties – George is a successful agent with 30 years experience representing major properties such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Alan is always happy to answer any questions. His profile can be found on at LinkedIn. Visit his website at Leadbelly Productions.

Kate Harper

Kate Harper
Kate Harper combines witty words, vibrant colors, and curious textures to communicate edgy and uplifting messages in order to remind us all to not take things too seriously. She has designed over 700 gift items including greeting cards, magnets, t-shirts, coasters, place mats, rubber stamps, coffee mugs, paper pads, and embroidery kits. See her website here. In her spare time she writes a design blog, collects "mail art", volunteers at the local Theology School, and has a special interest in bringing gift design into the mobile device world, such as for cellphones, tablets, and e-readers. 

Kate Harper's cards
She is also energized by her collaboration with other artists in the San Francisco bay area and in their continual exploration of ways to bring an independent vision into the marketplace. Check out her blog; she gives great tips to other artists!

~ ~ ~

This concludes the five-part editorial on our art licensing artists. I hope this has helped others in starting up their own adventure!

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