Thursday, May 6, 2010

So, what do I do?

It recently dawned on me that I do a lousy job of explaining what I do for a living. Here in Budapest I have been designing and selling notebooks and cards. I sell them at local shops and craft shows. It is not a huge money maker but it serves two purposes. First, It allows me to get feedback about my designs directly from the customer. Second, it is good adverting for my work. (I recently worked on a logo, plate designs and now personal stationery.) Most people think the selling of notebooks and cards is my main business. It is not.

So, what do I do?

There are three areas to my business.

1. The first area I have been focusing on this year is building my portfolio with
Group Four Design Studio. Group Four is a leading full-service, surface design resource. Based in New York they serve all aspects of the fashion market as well as the gift and paper goods industries worldwide.

Promotional card for Group Four Design Studio
Companies like Nickelodeon, Pottery Barn, Hallmark, and the GAP (just to name a few) visit studios like Group Four to buy artwork. When they buy this artwork they buy the rights to this work. They are allowed to change it, recolor it, manipulate it however they see fit-they own it. This artwork may end up on kids clothing, greeting cards, wrapping paper or even wall paper. This is an area of my business that I am constantly working on. The more I can create the more I can sell.

2. The second area of my business is licensing. Licensing is very different from selling artwork through a studio. When I license artwork, I sell the rights for a specific pattern to be produced on a specific product, usually for a specific amount of time. Typically, I receive royalties based on how much of a product is produced.

For instance, I have licensed work with Ipop Clicks (magnets). Ipop owns the license for magnets. I can sell the same design to be produced on fabric or wrapping paper. I am not allowed to sell the design to another magnet manufacture. Is this making sense? Below is an example.

Silk Pillows with my designs

Magnets for Ipop Clicks
Notice the designs on the magnets are the same as the pillows.
(Can you keep a secret? I have a big licensed project launching this month...fabric...shhh...more to come very soon.)

3. And finally, the third area to my business is freelance work. This piece is great because it is ever changing and I get to meet and work with great people. I love to collaborate with others and freelance allows me to do just that! Freelance has also allowed me to design logos, packaging, labels, personalized stationery, plates, even bedding!

"Wish you were here" bedding for Sin In Linen
"Night Shade Vine" bedding for Sin in Linen
packaging for bath products: Catherine Vineyard Cottageslogo design: Once Upon a Tutu
So what do you think? Do you have a better understanding of what I do or are you more confused:) ? Do you feel like people understand your job and what you do?

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