June 25, 2015

Mermaid Note Cards in my Etsy Shop

I've got Summer, the Beach and Mermaids on my mind lately. I just finished adding these sweet little Mermaid Note Cards to my Etsy shop. You can see these Mermaid Note Cards in my shop here! I also posted the Mermaid print that I had recently redesigned last week. You can find the Mermaid print "Take Me To The SEA" in my Etsy shop here.

I'm one of those people who have always had a thing for the mystical — female fish we call Mermaids. I like to think of them as benevolent aquatic creatures who want to help us. I painted this mermaid in acrylics on a large canvas several years ago. But recently I created a new background for it in Photoshop to freshen up the design. She doesn't have a name though… hmmm, any suggestions?

Happy Summer! woohoo!

June 19, 2015

Mermaid Art - Etsy print

I have always loved Mermaids! I am not sure what the attraction is to these mystical aquatic creatures... but they sure keep my imagination wondering. This mermaid was from an acrylic painting that I did a few years ago. I took out the painted background and created a new background design in Photoshop to freshen up the look of this. Then added the type "Take Me To The Sea".

She's perfect for the Mermaid Lover or as a nice addition to your coastal beach house decor!

Here is the link to see the Mermaid "Take Me To The Sea" print in my Etsy shop here!

It's almost Summer! Yay!

March 23, 2015

Congratulations Art Licensing Show!


Congratulations Art Licensing Show! Their official virtual ribbon cutting launch is today, March 23rd at 2pm EST! Yay!

This project has been in the works for many months by a dedicated team of designers and professionals all under the direction of the talented and capable Cherish Flieder. This is a safe and protected site where Art Licensors can display their work to Art Directors, Manufacturers and Products Developers. I'm pretty proud to be a part of this and have helped support the development process.

So now, EEK I've got to finish getting all of my portfolio files up loaded. You can check out the new Art Licensing Show website here. And visit my profile and online portfolio here.

Congrats Cherish!

Happy Spring everyone!

February 14, 2015

All you need is... L O V E and a Cat

Well February is here and I got the inspiration to make this Valentine's Day illustration with parts of a design that I had used previously with my — Love Your Shoes Pug. So I made it all pink, added the black cat with the saying... All You Need is LOVE and a Cat.

I think this would make a cute greeting card too. I'm wondering if I should do a dog version? I have the Pug, Dachshund and Boston Terrier in my archives... hmmmm.

Well, anyway I am wishing you a loved filled Valentine's day celebrating with your sweetie. And if you don't have a sweetie... I hope you have a cat.


January 09, 2015

Happy New Year + some new ART.

Happy New Year 2015! I have been working on some new illustrations now that the holidays are over. And they are more cats! I just love cats! Do you?

So this sweet girl is all bundled up in her winter sweater and dreaming of snowflakes. I am tweaking it a bit and going to add it to my Etsy shop as a print. But I thought that it would make a cute Christmas card. Do you think?

Anyway... Happy New Year!

October 17, 2014

Happy Halloween! EEK it's Frankie Stein!

Happy Halloween! This is a new illustration I completed for Trick or Treat! I've named him Frankie Stein... haha! Well, he seems a bit younger than the adult version of Frankenstein. And he's got plenty of companions on his Halloween adventures — a black cat, ghost, spiders and bats.

A lovely new friend Ann Troe, whom I met at Surtex 2014 in New York last May, invited me to be a spotlight artist on her blog — "Art Licensing from my Seat on the Bus". Thank you Annie! Click here to read my spotlight interview.

Happy Halloween and keep your Trick or Treaters safe!

September 05, 2014

Floral Owl ~ Custom Nursery Name Prints

Happy September! I'm working on getting some more Custom Nursery Name prints into my Etsy shop! This was one of my designs from my Surtex show this past May and I thought it would be perfect for a girl's nursery room. In fact my friend Joan just had her first granddaughter so I used her new name Addison for the design.

Now I have to do the boy version and thinking of how to change overall floral look. I'm thinking baseball or maybe some other sport. What do you think?

If you would like to see more of my Custom Nursery Name prints in my Etsy shop, please chick here!

Thank you for looking! I love you September!

June 27, 2014

Sit, Stay… Pugsley!

Happy Summer everyone! My favorite time of the year in New England. Especially after the long, snowy, cold winters that we have here.

I did a little redesign on Lulu and added Pugsley to the design. And what a well behaved little Pug who's sitting and staying so well. Probably only as long until he gets a wiff of the barbecue.

Any plans for the Summer? The beach? The mountains? Let's go on vacation...

May 29, 2014

SURTEX 2014 RECAP - a dream come true!


Well after 6 months of nose to the iMac dedication — working like a *crazy MAD artist* my Surtex 2014 debut has come and gone. It really was a dream come true moment for me and my art. I cried, laughed and woohoo'd my way through it. 

I walked the Surtex show about six years ago and was overwhelmed at the visual beauty of it all. And I came home very humbled by the talented artists — shaking my head, thinking how I could possibly get myself there. At the time I think I was painting abstracts, so I have come a long way!

The response to my art, my booth design and my promo video was really wonderful! And my "LOVE Your Shoes" pug art was a big hit. I used that image twice in my booth graphics, in my Surtex Directory ad, my hand out post cards and in my promo video.

Here is a list of some of my take aways from a creative "dream come true" life experience.

1. Yes, everyone in this Surtex Art community is incredibly nice, friendly, supportive, welcoming, helpful, encouraging and just plain lovely human beings. My peeps! I found my peeps! And being in a community of happiness, beautiful art and design with good natured people contributes to the wonderful energy of the show. Seriously, looking at row after row of beautiful art and smiling people — I was in heaven.

2. I wish I had reached out more and introduced myself to even more exhibitors. I had no problem introducing myself and talking with retailers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers that walked the show. I did track down several artists that I have been following (I think I might have said "stalking") over the years and told them I was a fan of their work. I just wish I had taken a bit more time to meet a few more people since I was RIGHT THERE.

3. I did not expect the retailers, buyers, manufacturers and suppliers to be so coy, aloof, or stealth? Of course I'm sure many of them get bombarded by hundreds of artists and thousands of submissions that they have to weed through. I guess I expected them to be a little more open since I had paid for the "ticket to exhibit". One conversation with a major greeting card company executive went like this when we first met; 

Me (beaming exuberantly): "Hello, I'm Valerie the artist behind the work."  

Greeting card executive: "hello".  

Me: "………...… "  (as she flips through my portfolio)

Me (cheerfully): "Where are you from?"

Greeting card executive (deadpan): "Washington".

Of course I meant "what company are you from?" not the geographical location they lived in. I did ask gently for a business card from her and got one. And of course not everyone was like this. I met a lovely woman from a publishing company that does calendars and journals that took the time to look thru my portfolios and told me how much she liked my art. I had to followup and send her lots of images she requested to see.

4. Manufacturers were looking for very specific art. I had several experiences where people were looking for very specific seasonal or art collections. One gentleman said "that's a great pug! What else do you have for dog art?" Fortunately, I also had some Boston Terrier and Dachshund concepts in my portfolio to respond with. But it made me realize that people are shopping for very specific things. It's not about me (shocking!), it's about my art filling a need for them. Which is also another reason to keep an eye on TRENDS! Even though I knew owls have saturated the art licensing market — I had owl art in Christmas, Halloween, Children and my Every Day portfolio sections.

5. I knew that I would be working a trade show booth, I've done many in my career over the years. And I knew that I would be standing on my feet. But I didn't realize how physically exhausting it would be. A sign of getting older I guess. Honestly, I was just 26 years old a second ago! LOL! And now at 56 my body really felt the physical part. Of course it didn't help that I had been sitting at a computer for 16 hours a day for the past 6 months to — standing on my feet for three straight days. And I did have really comfortable shoes!

6. I came home with lots of contacts, people to follow up with and send files to. Some of the types of companies that were interested in my art were greeting card companies, fabric companies, a stamping company, flag company, publisher—calendars and journals, home decor company and a tabletop company to name a few. So now the relationship building process starts. And of course you've got to start somewhere. And at least I have art now and people that would like to use it on their products. Which is what the art licensing game is all about. 

So now as I continue to work on my follow-up contact list, connect with new friends on social media and smile contentedly at the accomplishment of this life long dream — people were already talking about and saying "See you next year at Surtex!" Oh geez… I better get busy NOW creating more ART. 

SURTEX 2014 RECAP - Part 2, coming soon!

May 12, 2014

Valerie Hart ~ Surtex 2014!

Well it's inside the one week countdown to Surtex 2014! And my little video promo of Lulu and the gang are on the Surtex homepage! Did you have a chance to see it yet? I was really happy how it came out!

It's kind of short and sweet with some snippets of my illustrations and a couple of patterns. I love the Happy Ukulele music that I found on Twisterium.comClick the image above to go to Vimeo to see it. Or view it from this link!

I've been crazy busy but am really filled with happy excitement now for the show! I will do a recap when I get back. And after I have slept for a couple of weeks... Woohoo I'm going to Surtex! Bye for now! xoxo

April 28, 2014

Surtex 2014 promo and marketing

It's been a natural evolution that Lulu and the gang above have been represented in my marketing materials for Surtex 2014.

It started off with a business card hello message to being the little spokesperson in my Surtex video promo here. Now she is on the press kits too. She feels a bit like my alter ego and is really having fun with all of this marketing exposure.

What would your alter ego illustration look like?

Happy Spring!

April 18, 2014

Surtex - business cards, portfolios + booth graphics... oh my!

It's been busy busy time getting ready for Surtex 2014! In addition to creating lots of new artwork to show, I've also had to take time to order my business cards, setting up my art portfolio and designing my booth graphics. 

I went with a two sided business card with a natural paper look under my new Lulu girl illustration. I thought that her "hello" would be nice message on my cards. I kept all of the colors consistent with my current branding. Still need to get my post card handouts done too! Busy busy as a beaver. Ha! 

Happy Spring!
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