Monday, January 28, 2013

An Art Licensing True Story - Trusting Your Inner Voice by Artist Nicole Tamarin

Each week I try to make as much progress as I can to create new collections for the upcoming Surtex show. It's tricky when I try to submit new art to manufacturers at the same time - conclusion: this job requires some discipline to keep up with all that needs to happen and I think it's a fun challenge to discover what works best. And to illustrate this point, artist Nicole Tamarin tells us how she multi-tasks and gets the job done!

Nicole says that she knew she wanted to be a freelance illustrator since the seventh grade after seeing a presentation during a career day: "Despite that early revelation, I had a number of stops and starts getting there! I didn't take any art classes until my junior year of high school and in a very last minute decision I applied to the Massachusetts College of Art. Even after graduating with departmental honors from the illustration department it took almost a decade until I allowed myself to pursue art as a career. I think I'm one of those practical people that tries to do all the 'should do's' before the 'want to's' and it actually took losing my full time employment to push me in the right direction."

Artist Nicole Tamarin
Art Licensing is brand new to her but she feels as if it was something she was meant to do. Nicole says, "It is still a bit of a mystery how I knew that was the right direction for me; all I can say is it was a complete moment of clarity." In September of 2010 she had listened to a recorded call of Tara Reed's where she had asked Paul Brent how he'd suggest starting out in the business - he said to research the industry, create a minimum of 20 collections, and attend a trade show. "That became my mini business plan of sorts", Nicole adds. "When I say it now, I realize just how silly it sounds but honestly, it's exactly what I did! That call was also the first time I heard about Surtex and I decided right then that I would walk the show in 2011 and exhibit in 2012. I had no idea what a collection was or how to create a pattern and for the first time in my life I jumped whole heartily into something that I didn't have a concrete plan for."

© Nicole Tamarin - Mariposa Collection
And that's not all. She also says, "I officially launched my business at Surtex in 2012 and it was the most amazing experience. All those months of creating art, having no idea if what I had would be a fit for the industry and the response was wonderful. I had spent 36 hours a week working between two jobs and 40 hours a week creating art for the show, it was an exhausting 20 months but it was so worth it! Somehow I knew if I could just get to the show, I'd figure out my next steps. I met a variety of manufacturers and the most amazing, supportive group of artists! I knew before the show had even ended that I'd be back exhibiting the next year for sure!"

Nicole also explains that all of her art is traditionally painted with watercolors on paper but she has reworked my entire process to allow for the flexibility manufacturers require. "I'm drawn to classic subject matter and love incorporating little details. I've been told my work has a subtle sophistication to it and is reminiscent of art you might see in classic children's book illustration. I'm excited to see my background in illustration does come through."

© Nicole Tamarin - Peacock Plumes Collection
"I'm thrilled to be working on several projects which will be coming out in the upcoming year," Nicole adds. My art will be on stationary products, wall art, gift items and electronic skins. My first line of greeting cards is coming out for 2013 as well as my first three fabric collections. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be pursing art as a career even if it took longer than I had originally thought."

As far as inspiration Nicole says, "I have never been someone who created art for the enjoyment of creating. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't love making art, but it's only part of the process to me. I think I get the most excited about developing a collection, thinking through all the pieces that I might need and how they might go together later on different surfaces. I'm never at a shortage for ideas since there are so many themes to explore!"

© Nicole Tamarin - Mad Hattery Collection
You can find more of Nicole Tamarin art on her website:


Unknown said...

Great discussion! I am inspired by Nicole's fearlessness - getting the information she needed about developing collections, and going for it. Gives me the courage to start thinking along those same lines. Thank you for this great article!

Tootseepop said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous work! Loved the story!

Dariana said...

Your art is beautiful! I will definitely stop by your booth and say hi! Thanks for the inspiration :)

Natalie Timmons said...

As someone who walked Surtex in 2012 and has signed up to exhibit for the first time in 2013, I find Nicole's story completely inspiring. Her work is classic and pretty and I can see why she had a fruitful launch. I wish her much continued success!

Nicole Tamarin said...

Thank you so much Alisa and Tootseepop! Dariana, please stop by, I'll be in booth 744 this year. Are you walking or exhibiting? I would definitely recommend the classes Surtex offers if you are able to get to any of them. Natalie, I'm so excited for you to take the plunge! It was the best thing I have done both personally and professionally. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about the show, I'm happy to answer any that I can!