We’ve been covering a lot of territory lately; woke up yesterday in Nashville (kinda sounds like a country song…), our last stop on a big swing that took us up through the Carolinas, across Tennessee, down through Atlanta and back to Florida. Contrary to what one may think, this Fall down time between the shows is also a great time to visit your clients on THEIR turf – most of the new product is underway and they are not wrestling with pre or post show art planning. If you really want understand their end of the business, there is no better way than a walk through the factory or warehouse. We also find these trips very energizing from a creative standpoint – nothing like exploring a few acres of a busy textile plant to get you thinking about your product. Sounds weird but it’s true. We also managed to spend a couple days in Ashville absorbing music and art (it comes from all points there), and then a few more days in Nashville exploring “Music City”, the history of country music and the current honky-tonk scene.
Why tell you this, and what does it have to do with art licensing?
Well, everything. Ours is a business in flux, much has changed in the last few years and no one can really be sure where it will end up even in the near future. Message and connection have supplanted the pretty picture in our business, and artists who can offer a new and innovative viewpoint will have the greatest success. The A+B=C path just isn’t working anymore, so I think it can be beneficial (necessary?) to take a step back from that and think in more general terms about living a creative life – how is it done in other disciplines, what does it entail, how does one succeed, how did other people do it?
You don’t need to write a novel, sculpt from stone or sing rock-a-billy to appreciate the struggles and successes of the artists who HAVE done those things – however I can guarantee that the more you learn about their craft the better you will become at yours.