Friday, April 26, 2013

An Art Licensing True Story - Artist Keiko Suzuki

Yesterday I got my postcards printed to be sent out to manufacturers around the country that will attend the SURTEX show in May. This is part of the promotional actions to make myself known before the show so people know where to find me and see my art if they want to connect up with me. This marketing step is one of the many I've been working on for a few weeks in anticipation of the exhibition. Here is the press I have gotten so far and more to come soon.

Art Buyer Magazine, Spring Summer Edition (page 8), picked up my press release and published in their NEWS section.

Carol Van Zandt's blog, A Laughing Gate published an interview featuring my art which was also re-posted in Paper.Li and various other forums - thank you Carol!

I have fun promoting my work but I love to promote other creatives so I am pleased today to introduce artist Keiko Suzuki. She was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan and currently lives in Seattle, WA with her husband William.

Artist Keiko Suzuki
Keiko tells us: "After living in America and Australia plus spending nine years in the corporate world, I finally found creative work is the thing I love to do the most. Since I have had the good fortune to travel and have the support of my husband financially and inspirationally, my artistic ability has been a full-time love with discovering my form of art."

In 2011 Keiko discovered a book by a lady in Tokyo that used an innovative torn newspaper collage, she says. "I have been in the midst of a personal creative frenzy driven by a desire to share the world as I piece together the hues. The collage making technique was originally developed for seniors and physically challenged people to enjoy creating art safely and easily." Keiko share with us the basic process of this form of art making:

  1. Pick up a color piece
  2. Draw a shape with a wet brush on the color piece (so the paper is easily tearable in shape)
  3. Carefully tear the shape off from the color piece by hand
  4. Paste the shape on a piece of paper with watered starch glue
  5. Repeat the process from 1-4 to complete the art.
"Other than using a pointed tool for more detailed work, no cutting tools are used," she says. The simplicity, the soft and warm impression, and eco-friendliness of the art struck her heart when she first found it and she adds: "I could not stop myself creating the newspaper collage art ever since. It brings back my favorite childhood pastime of drawing."

"In mid 2012 I opened my shop first on Etsy as Bless Hue. This allowed for a grassroots type of growth with opinions from other artists and people enjoying art. The next step was to protect my work by copyrighting my pieces of art. Then I found a site,, that allowed for some form of royalty payment based on purchased pieces of my art, whether on a cup, t-shirt or cell phone cover. This furthered my belief in my artistic ability and enhanced my desire to share my eco-friendly art with the world. My art is also shown on other sites like and The name Bless Hue came from 'Bless you' and my appreciation of beautiful colors."

I asked Keiko what was exciting about her creative work and she said that the whole collage making process is very exciting for her. "Collecting as many color pieces of newspaper as possible for my pallet, getting an inspiration, sketching a model, selecting the right colors from my collection of newspapers for each shape, tracing the each shape on the newspapers with wet brush, separate the shapes from the newspapers, pasting them, and adding details to complete. When I finally complete the work with the impression just the way I felt in my real life, I feel exhilarated."

She is also preparing for SURTEX 2013 where she will exhibit for the first time! Of this project Keiko says: "The preparation has been taking endless amounts of learning which I enjoy. Thanks to the generosity of experienced licensors, I have been developing uncountable knowledge through their advice online. I am finalizing the booth design, the press kit, the promotional material, and the portfolio for the show."

Since she is also a newbie in art licensing field, Keiko has relied heavily on the advice of many forums and she is taking that advice on the ins and outs of the art licensing market "in stride," per her own words. Also the webinars provided by SURTEX have been immensely helpful in her preparation for attending SURTEX.

So what are her future aspirations and goals? "Given the fact that SURTEX is the big time in art licensing, I would like my art to be known by many people the world over! Through the contracts to be had, through individuals and firms at SURTEX, I also will be a step closer to inspiring the world to see yesterday's newspaper as a possible treasure trove of inspirational, eco-friendly art. Always follow your passion and breathe joy into the life of those around you!"

Good luck to you Keiko and your lovely work - have a wonderful show!

Keiko's website:

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