The Marilyn Robertson Blog

My illustrations at licensing shows

Monday, July 4th, 2011 at 9:42 pm

How did you do at your show in New York friends, family and clients all ask the same question.  Yet there is no real answer.  It was fun  – buoyant – my artwork was admired – my ego grew!! – I made many new connections it was good to meet up with my already publishers and further more, gratifying to learn my published work is selling well.


My stand at the New York Licensing show

 Yet as any published artist can testify, it can be a very long time before you know, whether taking part at a licensing show is a success.  The ‘follow up’ can take a long time. Once you get into this game you soon learn this is very normal. Then one day bing! a company you thought may not be interested will get in contact and suddenly you are in.


 What do you say to new artist on the block wishing to enter into the world of licensing?  Patience, determination and facing up to rejection are a part of the course.  Good character building stuff, even though at times I could easily forgo building my character and settle for wimp!


Much has been written regarding getting started in licensing and the Internet is a great way to find information and tips.

If you are really keen and you feel your work would do well commercially then start the journey.  You will need support, even if you work solo.  I remember meeting a wonderful artist at the Surtex show 3 years ago who said Licensing is the “promised land” and it is.  Not always, but sometimes a deal can surpass your expectations and other times what seemed so promising never gets passed first post.  As with all journeys there are up’s and downs but having fun on the way is a must.


I have been a working artist / illustrator for a while but it is in the last ten years I have focused on showing my work at dedicated licensing shows and have been privileged to meet some great clients and artist & illustrators. Almost without exception I have only experienced a friendly supportive atmosphere.


My great neighbors for four days of the show!

The logistics of getting to the show needs to be planned right down to the last detail.  A mock up of your exhibition stand is a great help the first shows we did would take hours to put up – but now with experience and a vast quantity of heavy duty Velcro, the set up is quicker.  For three days you live in a world surrounded by art with great neighbors and interested buyers.  Sounds fun, well it is. Then on the last day the world that has been created for those three days disappears just as fast as it went up. With hugs and good luck you return back to your studio.