A host of new artists is flocking to Licensing 2007 International Show, being held June 19 through 21 at New York's Javits Convention Center, to showcase their latest designs, which will embellish tomorrow's retail product.
A Coupla Cards
Artist Alece Birnbach and writer Janet Bothne of A Coupla Cards put their own unique slant on everything from frilly poodles to men in drag. The duo, who are both inspired by humor, have already licensed their designs for greeting cards, and now seek to broaden their cache with a host of versatile designs that continue to focus on funny. The team aims to move their new characters, specifically their "Sassy Sweeties," into apparel, home goods, tableware, and stationery.
Bergen-Wild showcases the work of a variety of artists, including David Kaiser, who debuts his "Tourists" and "Intellectual Forces" brands. Capturing the true reality of the general public while they're vacationing, the "Tourists" collection glorifies travelers for their absurd actions, since Kaiser believes they are "temporarily checked out from mental reality." Eve Steccati also explores the travel theme and introduces a collection of maps and cultural portrayals that are suitable for travel accessories, home decor, and complementary products. Terryl Whitlatch, whose darker works include creature development for Star Wars and Jumanji, shows her lighter side. Whimsical creatures and playful animals are the stars of a new infant and toddler group that is ideal for bedding, toys, and publications.
Fresh air, flowers, fireflies, and friends are part of illustrator Diane Gray's recipe for a joyful, balanced life. Gray taps into the "green" trend by introducing a vibrant, engaging group of characters, which are part of her "Green Street Garden Party" series. The characters, which strive for "community unity," have defining roles that aim to inspire children and adults to care for nature, their neighbors, and themselves.
The cast, which includes Rosie T. Sniffer, Bea Hive and her husband, Nectar, and Professor Hedgerow, broadens Green Street's appeal across age groups and other market segments. The Green Street Garden Party aims to march into categories that range from stationery to apparel, gift items, garden merchandise, educational material, animation, and beyond. "My intention is to provide a successful brand that not only performs well for licensees, but also reflects well on them with an earth-friendly positioning," says Gray.
Buffington Design & Illustrations
Beth Buffington of Buffington Design & Illustrations celebrates the little things in life—those that bring contentment and giggles to an ordinary day. An illustrator since she was old enough to hold her dad's flair pen, Buffington is best known for her humorous illustrations, which depict animals, children, girlfriend themes, and holiday motifs. Buffington offers a whimsical twist of optimistic colors that burst with energy and lively detail. Her heartwarming illustrations are accompanied with coordinating patterns and borders that can be mixed and matched. Her work is suitable for gifts and novelties, home decor, publishing, stationery, paper goods, and toys.
The tattoo trend continues to be a target for both licensors and licensees. Bullseye Tattoos debuts its trendy tattoo artwork, which was created by tattoo artists, illustrators, and designers. Motifs range from Asian/dragons to ghetto/urban and fairies/butterflies. Says Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys, "The main categories of interest include apparel and accessories, art and design, automotive, entertainment, publishing, and video/console games and computer software." The studio also showcases its Tattoo Touch Screen Kiosk System, which brings tattoo shops into the cyber arena, offering a limitless virtual gallery of tattoo art for customer view and purchase, thus moving the tattoo industry in the direction of a paper-free society. A tattoo-art related book, Fusion: Art Isn't Only Skin Deep, will also be presented, and offers lavishly illustrated body art, an exploration into tattoo designs and their meaning, and a step-by-step instructional guide to take a tattoo design from an idea all the way to inking it on skin.
David C. Behrens Studio
Native American and North American wildlife themes are a focus for David C. Behrens, who works in an oil-glazing technique that dates back to the early Italian Renaissance period. Behrens is looking to sign licensees for giftware, publishing, apparel, and home decor.
Fun, edgy characters that have a lot to say are a specialty for design house Cranky Design, whose designer Sunny Lee draws inspiration from people and pets she's associated with. Although the Cranky characters resemble a bunch of "social mischiefs," they are actually socially conscious and truly caring characters. Says Sunny Lee, "We are pursuing publishing, toys, and apparel."
Debra Grogan Design
Artist Debra Grogan starts her creative process with a simple painting that highlights the drama, beauty, and intense color of flora and fauna subjects. These images serve as a premise for the creation of all-over patterns that can be licensed for wrapping paper, fabric, and rugs. "I am seeking licensing opportunities (that are not limited to) textiles, stationery, paper goods, and scrapbooking, as well as home furnishings, gifts, and pet products," says Grogan.
Designer Schmumu Tvörgenssen of greeting card line Fomato finds inspiration in nature, bustling cities, and human behavior. The designs and characters that appear in the line reflect a Japanese-and Taiwanese-inspired aesthetic. Fomato is interested in working with licensees to create unusual and humorous products for all ages.
Design studio HappenStamps is known for its whimsical illustrations and clever copywriting style. Its signature designs, which feature crisp, clean lines, vibrant colors, and a sparkling wit, are inspired by life's simple pleasures—children, pets, the colors of the rainbow, and other daily wonders. "We are seeking opportunities in scrapbooking/rubberstamping, greeting cards and stationery, gift and partyware, home decor, and children's products," says Jill Konecnik, owner and designer, HappenStamps.
The great outdoors, specifically lodge themes that feature sport fishing, hunting, and wildlife observation, are a key area of focus for agency J.Q. Outdoors. The company introduces its "Flying Squirrel" collection, which features hand-carved renditions of bears, moose, and other wildlife, as well as functional items such as coat racks, picture frames, and birdhouses. "We are searching for partners for bedding, fabric on bolt, toys and video games, home decor, and puzzles," says owner Jon Q. Wright.
ME Art and Design
ME Art and Design's creative team has a knack for designing bright graphics that portray tasty treats and cuddly animals. Renowned for its cute, yet modern greeting card and stationery collection that is artistically embellished with glitter and Swarovski crystals, the line features charming images, a vibrant color palette, and attention to typography. The graphics can easily be applied to many products—from children's apparel to plates, mugs, and other tableware.
Rattenbury Fine Arts
A combination of vivid color and details that reflect the beauty of nature and its many wonders are key to Jon Rattenbury's work. His work, which is primarily created with acrylic on canvas, is available for license. Areas of interest include jigsaw puzzles, cards, plates, and more.
R Design Works
Renee Reilly of R Design Works creates two richly colored lines that are playful, clean, and fashionable. With an eye on the tween market, Reilly launches Drama Tween, a property that showcases a lineup of groovy girls that flaunt a 1970s vibe. Her Love Girl collection for pre-tweens features a trio of girls who pose in front of a colorful background. Each line has illustrated characters, patterns, and icons that are ideal for apparel, toys, stationery, novelty gifts, and scrapbooking.
Well-versed in the areas of digital technology and traditional 2-D and 3-D mediums, art studio Sparefingers aims to bring art and design to a distinctive "tradigital" new level. The studio introduces its Cybertropolis collection, which features an array of fun, colorful, retro-mod robots that are trying to find a way to be unique and fit in at the same time. Its Big Round Head collection focuses on an eccentric, cynical little girl who, in keeping with her unique view of the world, keeps an unusual assortment of friends. The lines are designed to appeal to all ages especially techno-savvy tweens and teens. The properties are ideal for a wide range of products, including apparel, bags, bedding, stationery, school supplies, toys, and more.
Studio Voltaire is a consortium of like-minded artists who create artwork for today's contemporary home. Whether working alone or in collaboration, the artists offer a wide range of styles and a diverse portfolio of work. Studio members include Tesia Blackburn (abstract acrylics); Joan Chamberlain (botanical/floral acrylics); Andrea Fono (monotype florals and gardens); Adam Guan (Asian and global paintings, oil, and acrylic); Todd Lovett (floral watercolors and textile patterns); Edward L. Rubin (pastel and acrylic landscapes); Joseph Watson (global, urban, and marine paintings and mixed media); Tony Stuart (floral and romantic photography); Ted Zorns (acrylic landscapes and still-lifes); and founder Gwynn Goodner (digital media). Studio Voltaire is currently seeking licensing opportunities in home decor, tabletop, textiles, paper goods, apparel, housewares, and giftware.
A dry, often absurd wit is at the core of Teetersaw's art and cartoon collection, which targets a sophisticated, urban audience. Its properties, which appeal to children and adults, are ideal for publishing, plush, home decor, paper goods, apparel, accessories, television, interactive, and games.