Monday, August 5, 2013

Developing Characters and their Stories in Art Licensing - Artist Lucky Nielsen

It seems that time is just flying away. In fact we already are two months past Surtex and it's time to renew next year's contract for the show. It's also time to create new art or join an art retreat during these sunny months of summer when licensing seems to slow down a little in between trade shows.

Starting September, the pace will pick up and the next show will be around the corner all of a sudden...

Lucky Nielsen - Surtex 2013 Press Kit
Speaking of Surtex, while there this past May we were able to quickly grab a few unique and colorful press kits of artists I wanted to feature as a follow-up to the show - I thought their presentations were adorable. One of them was for sure artist Lucky Nielsen. So refreshing and fun!

Lucky has also recently participated in the Global Talent Search by Lilla Rogers and the great news is that she was just selected as part of the final 50 artists. Brava! Lucky is definitely a rising star and we wish her the best in the final stretch of her competition!

The Moon from My Attic: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your art? My name is really Lucky Nielsen. In fact, my full name is Lucky T Nielsen and it is my middle name (or lack of) that has given me the most trouble, especially for official documents.

For instance, my high school threatened to not print my diploma unless I provided a "full" middle name.

Artist Lucky Nielsen
By now you can probably conclude that I was born to hippie parents in the mid 70's. As a child I was a shy introvert with no siblings or television. Drawing would transport me into my own little world where I could amuse myself by creating characters and stories.

Thinking graphic design was a practical choice for an artist, that is where I began my career. I started freelance designing and illustrating when I had my daughter and continue to do so presently.

A few years ago, I was accepted into a hip and coveted art fair in Minneapolis. It was here that I was introduced to a gallery owner who was interested in my needle-felted sculptures and store owners who wanted to carry my cards, prints and pillows. Between the gallery work and illustrating, I really had no time to produce products for stores, which is what brought me to the beginning of my latest journey: licensing. Why not just make artwork and allow others to manufacture products?

TMFMA: What is exciting about your creative work? I find the entire process of creating a piece of art exciting. I love developing the characters and their story, then playing with the composition of the space and color. I like exploring new ideas and pushing myself. It's challenging, frustrating, rewarding and surprising. By the time I am finished with one piece, I am already madly infatuated with my next project. I refuse to acknowledge the impossibility of developing, in my lifetime, every single idea I have listed in notebooks.

TMFMA: Is there a person or thing that has influenced you in your artistic efforts? What inspires you? I absolutely adore the mid-century children's illustrators: Mary Blair, Alice and Martin Provensen, and Roger Duvoisin, to name a few. They certainly influence my style. But I find inspiration in everything I see: a shape, a color, a particular juxtaposition.

I find my daughter, Violet, awe-inspiring. She has no preconceived notions of art nor does she follow any rules. Her thoughts, ideas and artwork are the epitome of unbridled creativity. I wish for that to never change.

TMFMA: What project are you currently working on? Currently, I am having a blast working on needle-felted sculptures for a show that will be opening on November 16th at Gallery 360 in Minneapolis. I am calling the show "Misfortune at Mansfield Manor." Set in the early 1900's on an English estate, illustrations will tell a humorous story of how characters (anthropomorphized, faux taxidermied animal wool sculptures) met their unfortunate, untimely demise.

TMFMA: Tell us of your experience as an art licensing artist. I am very new to art licensing. I first heard about Surtex about a year ago and immediately signed up. I then spent 10 months researching everything I could find on the internet about Surtex and licensing. I took advantage of the Surtex webinars and even bought Tara Reed's book on licensing.

At Surtex, I met so many lovely artists who openly shared licensing advice. I also had the pleasure of meeting potential clients, even dream clients. I definitely hope to explore these relationships further.

TMFMA: Any important tips and tricks you can share or anything else you’d like to share? All I can really offer is the advice I have given to my little girl: Find your passion and chase it to the ends of the earth. I can't imagine anyone has ever regretted spending their life doing what they love.

TMFMA: What are your future aspirations and goals? I would love to finally finish a children's book that I have been slooooooooowly working on for over 4 years. My daughter helped write it and I am absolutely in love with it. It's completely written and drawn, it just needs color. Sadly, the problem with personal projects is that they always get pushed to the bottom of the list.

My ultimate goal in life is to live fully in the present moment. I get to spend every day in that magical creative place I created as a child and I get to share the journey with my beloved daughter/soul-mate. I have a lot to be thankful for and I want to relish every ounce of it.

You can find out more about Lucky here:

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