Friday, April 19, 2013

An Art Licensing True Story - Artist Mittie Cuetara

I have designed a postcard to send out to manufacturers at the end of the month to promote my Surtex booth. With exactly a month left to go I am going to be dedicating more time to preparing for the show and wrapping up the many details involved with it - so many! The checklist I have been using is some 4-5 pages long ... and there are far too many items still left to check off!

© 2013 Alessandra Colombo

Since this is my first time exhibiting on my own, I invited a couple of newbies that will debut at Surtex in May to keep me company and to share their stories along with mine. This week artist Mittie Cuetara tells us about her journey into art licensing.

© Mittie Cuetara
Mittie says:" I've been drawing ever since I can remember. As a child I was always getting yelled at for drawing on someone's homework or a shopping list. I just love the feel of making marks on a surface. At home I have a giant whiteboard that my son and I draw on constantly."

She has a BFA from the Museum School in Boston - "I think I have held every possible art related job," she adds. When she moved to California, she started a greeting card company with some friends, which they ran for three years then sold. "After the birth of my first child, I began publishing children's picture books with Dutton in New York." In fact The New York Times called Mittie "The Dorothy Parker of children’s books" for the pithy verse and humorous illustrations in Terrible Teresa, the first of her three published children's picture books. She also publishes her cartoons in Funny Times.

© Mittie Cuetara
Mittie goes on, saying: "I began to work as a teaching artist in schools and libraries as the result of promoting my books through store readings and workshops. I learned about art licensing when I went back to school to study fabric design, and it seemed like a great place for my work." She often works by scanning in sketches and manipulating them in Photoshop or Illustrator. "I love juvenile prints, florals, and character designs! I think a unifying theme in my work is a sense of humor and my love of drawing. People say they can always recognize my style, which is funny because I don't always see it."

"I'm very jazzed about the line I'm working on right now! I'm using cut papers and it's  very liberating for me to do something SO different! It was inspired by a Resist project I do with my students involving oil pastels and watercolors. We end up with BEAUTIFUL papers that I use to do collage projects with them."

© Mittie Cuetara
Mittie says she always has her sketchbook with her and she find inspiration everywhere. "A silly looking dog, a beautiful scene on a hike, I love to take these images and create a tossed conversational print, or a fabric line. I also find inspiration from my students, they constantly remind me how much fun it is to be able to make art!"

"As I am new to the art licensing biz, my goal in the last few years has been to make my work more commercial without losing any of its quirky charm." She wants to use all her art-making experience and ability to create exciting beautiful images that can really work for a broad range of products. 

Mittie concludes saying that, to see if she has succeeded in her goals, "I am jumping off the Art Licensing cliff and plunging into SURTEX this year. I figure, whatever happens, it will be a learning experience! Come by booth #484, Mittie City, to cheer me on!"

© Mittie Cuetara

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