Monday, October 13, 2014

Acorn Acres, my Christmas line for 180 Degrees

I thought I would share with you my Christmas line I designed for 180 Degrees. Called Acorn Acres, the holiday line was designed with a woodland theme in mind. 

Here is a link to the 2014 Christmas catalog, my line is on page 210.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I’m Back, Again!

Hello everyone, it’s been a while since I last posted a blog. I’m sorry for the delay, and I promise to be much better about blogging.

I thought in my first return blog, I would talk about a new product I’ve designed, that is out in the market place. I designed some art poles for gardens. These art poles were done for a really great client, Studio M, a division of Magnet Works. You can check out my poles and other poles at the Magnet Works website, 

Earlier this summer I was excited when I received my samples. There are 3 poles sizes, 3', 4' and 5' tall. They are super cute. I had my very talented daughter, Anna Karpinski, document me opening up the box and installing the art poles. Check out the images below and thanks for visiting my blog.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Need Portfolio Help

As an illustrator and teacher, I am always asked about how do I put my portfolio together, what should I put in, what should I leave out, how many pieces should I put it, how should I order them....the questions go on and on. Well here is just the class for you.
My representative, Sheila Meehan of Meehan Design has developed an ecourse just to address the above questions. This course is for artists/illustrators who want to go into licensing.

Here is all the info about the class. You can sign up for the class through this link. 

The website for the classes is If you go to the classes from there since I am an affiliate, I get a small bit of moola.

Developing Marketable Art Licensing Portfolios that Sell!  
For the emerging and intermediate Artist; Taught by Sheila Meehan--Meehan Design Group (see BIO below)  with J'net Smith--All Art Licensing
Date: November 7, 2013
Time: 12 noon PST / 3 p.m. EST
Duration: 2+ hours, including Q&A
Technology: Web Conferencing with Screen Share of PowerPoint and Audio (+ full presentation & audio for everyone who registers--just in case you can't attend the live event)
Price: $99 (with registration byOctober 15th ($129.00 after)

This class is designed for artists who have a body of work that they wish to explore licensing for merchandise. For those who have been working in the illustration or graphic design marketplace, and artists who have tried licensing but aren’t sure if their portfolio is put together correctly, this class is designed for you.

This class will teach how to:
  • Develop a marketing plan-building a road map for where you direct your efforts
  • Organize your art—choosing images that work for product based on trends and themes and developing collections
  • Put art on product—using templates or prototypes
The goal is to build thoughtful collections leading to compiling a meaningful portfolio. The course will include overSheila’s ability to identify potential along with the endless possibilities of an artist’s application in the marketplace is what has secured her in a successful, satisfying, andcareer in Licensing.
50 slides with helpful guidelines, visual examples of how a collection is developed, portfolio pages that work (and some that don’t!), what should be included in presentation materials and finally, how to market your work effectively. 

Key Requirements:
  • Computer skills in Photoshop, Illustrator or similar program
  • A body of artwork
  • Desire to work in licensing either on your own or with an agent
Follow up consultations with Sheila can be arranged for a reduced rate for 90 days following the course. Details will be provided during the course for attendees.

BIO--Sheila Meehan, President Meehan Design Group
Sheila Meehan began her career with an open mind and a passionate desire to realize her creative destiny. 
After graduating from college, an opportunity in marketing and sales presented itself and she responded and found herself immersed in the creative, but mostly practical business side of the greeting card and gift industries.  Here she quickly discovered a keen understanding and appreciation of the ‘art’ of doing business. 

As Vice President at Determined Productions, Inc., representing Felix the Cat and Peanuts to name a few, she moved to Schurman Fine Papers (now Papyrus) as Director of Licensing.  In 2002, she bravely opened her own agency and continues to maintain (still bravely) a talented roster of artists while also consulting with emerging and seasoned artists on growing their business.  Devoted to finding and matching an artist with the perfect product or line, Sheila is relentless in helping her artists and striving to make the world be a better and more artistic place to live. 

I will be taking the course too just to learn from a master. You can sign up for the course, download it on the day of the class and actually do the class whenever you have time. Of course, the advantage to doing the course on November 7th you will be able to ask Sheila questions.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Am Back!

Summer is finally drawing to a close and I must say I am happy to see it go. I would not say this was a a great summer and the last month has been very busy and hard. My knee is getting better due to physical therapy with my wonderful therapist Missy Yaeger.  I am back at school with some wonderful students. But I miss Annie who is back at MCAD in her own apartment and with her own car this year. Something else has changed in my world. I will let you listen in on a conversation Gary and I had recently.

Gary: Linda, you realize that the basement has filled up again. I am having a horrible time getting around in it, there are things  everywhere. If I did not know better I would swear you never had a sale of any of your stuff. I know that  you did because I was roped into working that sale.
Linda: What can I say… I like to pump money into the economy and have new treasures in my home. And when I clean out my studio because it gets too crowded then I have to take those excess items from my studio and put it in the basement.
Gary: You know you could just not shop for anything more.
Linda: Me…not buy bargains…not junk with Marie on Saturday…I hate to tell you this but that is not going to happen. It is in my blood. You just need to understand that living with me means you will have a lot of doodads and trinkets in your house. 
Gary: I get that but I would like to not have to worry about breaking my leg tripping over some box with patina on it.
Linda: Okay,okay, I will do something about it.

Later in the month
Linda: GARY..GARY guess what?
Gary: Whatever it is, I do not want it hear about it if it costs any money.
Linda: The Green Shag Market just called me and I finally am going to have a booth at their antique mall. I can sell all my excess stuff there. No need for another sale in the house. I will have to pay a booth fee but with all the items I am going to sell I will be able to pay the fee and make a profit.
Gary: How do you know you are going to make a profit?
Linda: I have great stuff….I will be the place to go for vintage fabric and trim, old magazines, crafting supplies, trinkets, embellishments, ephemera, greeting cards and all sorts of funky odd stuff I no longer have on display in our house and my studio. My friends, my students and all the DYIers in St. Louis can come to my booth to get supplies. That will mean no more trips to Hobby Lobby for them.
Gary: Well, that does sound good.
Linda: And this would be a great opportunity for Sandy Zub to sell all the excess vintage things she has…I bet she would be willing to share the rent and sell along with me.
Gary: That all sounds good. Although, you know, there is just one problem.
Linda: What could possibly be wrong with this idea? I see it as a win win situation.
Gary: Your booth is located in an antique mall. Promise me when you take stuff into the mall to fill up the booth each week, you will NOT cruise around the mall and buy more stuff.
Linda: Oh, I promise (wink wink)

Come to The Green Shag Market located on Manchester Road.
thegreenshagmarket.comSandy Zub and I are all set up in Booth 30. Great prices, wonderful stuff. Come and buy something and make Gary happy. Help me fulfill my dream of  going on that 5 state 500 miles Junking Caravan. I will need gas money.

Here are some pics of the stuff for sale in the booth right now. I will be putting pics on my Linda Solovic Studio Facebook page as new stuff goes into the booth.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I have finished Lilla’s class.

When I last left you I had just finished Week 3 of Lilla’s Make Art That Sells class. The next week the topic was Wall Art. I have had some stabs at wall art, even some interest from IKEA but was never able to get anything going. That is until last winter. Sheila sent my work to Oopsy Daisy kids wall art company and they picked 5 of my images to produce as wall art. And as a bonus..we were so excited...they also plan to produce the same images in 11 other areas including wall decals, jewelry, clocks. place mats, growth charts, nightlights and holiday ornaments. And the best part..they picked the note card images of the birds and owls I did for Papyrus. I am thrilled about this!

So when it was Wall Art week in class I thought great...I can easily knock this one out of the park. So I got up on Monday and read the assignment...and went ugh! Lilla wanted us to do an abstract piece of wall art using paint and textures. So not up my alley. I knew I should give it a try and for a day I played with the idea of it. But mostly I could not wrap my head around it. Then I talked to my rep and my husband and I realized that I have been working as an artist for a long time. I have put in my 10,000 hours. I have painted, made all kinds of different work, experimented with different kinds of media and after lots and lots of artwork finally settled on a style that was me, it looked the way I thought and liked to make images. So I needed to do this project by incorporating the parts of the project that would work with how I made images. In the assignment we needed to make a collage...duh I could so do that, the collage needed to have floral elements in okay with that and it needed to have a quote in it...not really me but I could do it. So I got out my paper and scissors along with the boxes of ephemera I have in the basement (knew I was saving it for something) and made some collages. I made the first two using floral motifs and the last one is my favorite because I did it with a bird. Here they are. I am very happy with them and plan to sell them on my Etsy site.

We then went to Week 5..Gift Products. For the first two days of the week we were to photographs our collections and post them on facebook for all the other artists in the class to see. I have any collections? I had so much to post I could not stop. Met lots of other artists who also have big collections so I did not feel so bad about all I had. The assignment came on Wednesday and we were to take something from our collections and make a hyperlush zipper pouch with them. Now what is 
hyperlush you are are some examples.

All of these examples are from Blue Q Blue Q is a fabulous site for all kinds of products that are so well designed and illustrated. The artist who did the Peacock Pouch is Catalina Estrada and artist who did the pencil case is from Marcela Restrepo.

I must admit that this project did not excite me. I had had minor knee surgery on Tuesday of that week and I realized I just was not up for doing this project. It was the Fourth of July weekend and I needed a break. So I passed on doing the assignment an instead sat at my desk and worked on a quilt I am making for Gary.
I had a great time meeting all sorts of wonderful artists that were also taking the class. I also learned a bunch of new stuff from the course I plan to share with my students. It was a good experience and in October I will do the second part of the ecourse in which we do editorial art, kids apparel, party paper, paper products and scrapbooking. If you want to join in Part B go to Lilla Rogers School.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Home Decor and Kids Book Market, Assignments Turned In

These weeks of classes with Lilla are really intense. Even I, a seasoned veteran ...with a licensing rep...who teaches university feeling insecure showing my work..even making work. Last week, when I attempted...and you are reading right..attempted making dinner plate artwork using the plant and pod images I showed in the last blog post I ended up crying in Gary’s studio that I could not seem to pick colors for my plate. I could not get those images to work no matter what I did so at the last minute I went back to my studio, used cut paper and made the following plate. 

I solved the problem and people liked it but I was not happy with it really...I feel I would have done better using a circular shape and making my pods come off the edges of the plate and flow into the center. I plan to go back and revisit this project but for now I am leaving it alone.

Last week we did the kids book market. I have worked on kids books before. I have a ying and yang feeling about them....I would like to do preschool kids books like an alphabet book or a counting books...books where I could make simple strong images. But to do a whole picture book...not sure I want to do that. I worked on a full book for Klutz many years ago with a fabulous art director, Lynn Garrett. The title was Hunt for Harvey. It was like a Where’s Waldo book where each spread would have tons of stuff in it and you needed to find Harvey. The book went back and forth for almost six months. I had woefully underbid it and when the book was finally cancelled I was really happy. Never thought I would say childhood dream was to illustrate kids books...but I wanted to have no more of the kids book market.

But I have changed my mind about is now 6 years later...and I went into Lilla’s kid book week with gusto. Our mini assignment given on Monday was to make a snail ...use different emotions, draw snails with charm, whimsy...make a snail with character. Oh boy, I love to make animal characters! And if I was going to make one character how about 2...the snail should have a sidekick...I love to make sidekicks...the title of the book was to be The Snail and The Rose Tree....I would change the title to The Snail and sidekick would be Rosie. So I made Rosie the worlds tiniest dog..a ladybug...all sorts of things. Here are my snails.

Why I did not think to go online and goggle the title to see if was a story I will never know. When the assignment was posted on Wednesday I reeled with horror....the story The Snail and The Rose Tree was by Han Christian Andersen and in it the snail was a real gloomy gus...and the story had no room for sidekicks. I needed to rethink what I was going to do. We were to do a cover or a spread. We also had to do the title in handwritten type.

In the story the rose tree was full of life and did many things each seasons for others...the snail did nothing but complain all her life. So I made a big rose tree with lots of life in it and a gloomy snail with a season chart on her shell to show no matter the season she stayed the same. And since we had worked with mushrooms in the first project for Lilla and pod flowers in the second project for Lilla I put those in as a little nod to those projects. I was very happy with the result. Here it is:

This week is Wall Decor week and for our mini assignment we are to gather collage materials...paper, ephemera, we can paint grids and make textures which will all lead to making some type of collage that is abstract. There is a color palette we are to work with...I am in the group of the color palette of orange and blue...not bad but my color choice would be green and pink. We can also use all neutrals. I do not need to do any gathering of materials...I have so much stuff I know I should have what I will need.
Check back next week to see what I have done.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Class in session with assignments due

If you have been reading my blog you know I am taking an ecourse from Lilla Rogers, a top licensing agent. I am enjoying the class, learning much and I especially enjoy talking to all the other students on a closed facebook page for everyone in the class. So much talent all in one spot, seeing so many different ways to do the same assignment. That part is a little intimidating but I am enjoying it none the less. 

Last week’s assignment was to sketch mushrooms and vintage pyrex casseroles and then put them into a pattern that would be used for fabric. We also had to have two coordinating patterns. Here is what I did last week. Some of you will have seen this since I did post this image on facebook. We are supposed to move beyond what we normally do so I went with a neutral background...a very dark grey and bright poppy colors. Here it is:

This week we are exploring home decor. We were to sketch seeds, succulents and pods. We got our assignment today and we are going to use our images to design dinner plates. Since we were going to do floral stuff I decided to break away from cut paper and try ink and rubber stamps. Here are my sketches. Look I used black!

Now I have to decide how I am going to put them on plates. I have gotten some inspiration from looking at mid century modern dishware and have decided on some different designs. We are to design 2-4 plates and then pick our favorite plate to post. Check back later in the week for the finished piece.