Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tidbits 2012

We’re just back from 5 days in Atlanta, a good trip even if the market traffic was a little down. The summer markets are never as well attended as the January show, but our clients were telling us that traffic was off a little more than normal, although most seemed happy about the business they were writing.

Lots of great tidbits were being tossed about during the Surtex/Licensing/Atlanta show trifecta, and of course I miss most of them when we are busy but managed to snag these:

“We post submission guidelines on the website for a reason – and you’re not special. Use them.”
- a manufacturer complaining about artists who contact the art director directly to submit.

“I think this is all the arty stuff, there’s nothing for us here” 
– overheard in our section at the Licensing Expo.

“We used to get six or seven years out of a design, now we’re lucky if it lasts two.”
- a needlework manufacturer.

“It’s an awesome way to make a life. Every morning you wake up and the possibilities are endless.”
- in conversation with Billy the Artist.

“If I can take 12 pages out of my magazine advertising I save 50 grand – and a job.”
- a giftware manufacturer discussing their cutbacks over the last few years.

“You have to have the attitude of ‘Hey, let’s run this up the flagpole – and if it doesn’t work, well, here’s another one for you’…”
- agent discussing exhibiting at shows

“I have been in this business for 40 years and absolutely nothing is the same as it used to be.”
- paper goods manufacturer

“You have to have something relevant to say or you are wasting everybody’s time.” – in a discussion about artists and social media.

“How about you just do something original instead?” – a comment about all the Kelly Rae imitators.

“At the end of the day your responsibility is to make a product that sells.” - an agent re: art licenisng.

“You can have the most fabulous art style in the world, but you’re dead in the water if it doesn’t speak to people.” – an agent in the same discussion.

“I’m starting to think collage is the choice for people that don’t know how to draw.” – an agent commenting on all the copycat products at the market.

These two (phone conversations) were also overheard at our booth at the Licensing Expo:

“I’m in Vegas at a show and my wife is worried sick about the fish, can you go over and check on them for us?”

and… “If you’re calling to bitch I’m not having any of it today, so don’t bother!”

Amen to that.


  1. I always enjoy your blog posts, Jim. I save them to read until after all my kids and husband are tucked away in bed so I can read them without interruption!

  2. Thanks for that recap - I like best the comments made by the art licensing agent re: making a product that sells and that speaks to people.

    Think I'll tape that to the wall...

  3. Spot on! Thanks Jim - good to see you both in Atlanta - glad I missed the major heat! :)

  4. Jim, you made me laugh out loud! Thanks!

  5. always enjoy your posts! Hope to meet you in person one day!

  6. The collage comment killed me. Reminds me of a tv commercial for a graphic design school that said, "And you DON'T have to know how to draw." Is it just me, or is that just crazy?

  7. Love the tidbits. Interesting format and insightful. Thank you.