A peek inside each of the new books.
I took a leap of faith and decided to re-print my sold out book "Visions of Faery" AND print a follow up book "Visions of Faery II". Boy oh boy is my printing bill terrifying! Please spread the word-these books will be available in April. I need to sell enough of them before the end of the year to pay the printing fees. If it works out, I'll take more leaps in the future and do more books. So many ideas...so little time/money...
Sneak peek at the 2014 calendar coming this summer.
STORE OWNERS:Pre-orders must be placed by April 1st to insure you get calendars-otherwise, you may miss out! For orders, please contact Cassie at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com office 949-727-0800 fax 949-727-0940
Orange Circle Studio
8687 Research Drive, Suite 150
Irvine, CA 92618
Amazon.com now has mugs with my art! So many different choices, I can't put them all up here! (go to Amazon and search "Amy Brown Mugs") They have travel mugs and cool cups as well.
Some work in progress pics I put togethe rfor a water faery I painted this week.
painting clothing and hair
owl in progress
More work in progress pics taken on Friday 25th...
More work in progress pics
Random works in progress (WIPS).
Pacific Trading is working on 6 new figurines based on my paintings. Here are some sneak peeks. I don't have any info on when they'll be available yet, but will post when I do.
I will be at Faeriecon West in Seattle again next month (February).
4 new shirts are available through Black Dog Tees!
Check out the 2013 calendar app (Apple devices only at this time).
My biggest frustration as an artist is that I tend to over-think and over-paint. I greatly admire (and envy) artists who can paint just enough detail to suggest there is more, and spark the viewer’s imagination to fill in the blanks. So, for the last couple of years I’ve been trying to push myself to let go when I paint, to just let the painting evolve naturally. My biggest test was in painting my newest piece, “Ivy”.
Ivy is 20x27 inches, which is huge for me. I tend to find my comfort zone in 8.5x11 to 11x17 inch paintings. The painting process was completed in approximately 16 to 17 hours, which was broken up over 3 days.
I love sketches, because they’re generally done quickly and intuitively. The lines are fluid, flawed, and brimming with emotion. It’s very hard to keep that raw emotion in a finished painting. I believe it’s because too much thinking goes into the painting process. So, with Ivy I decided to paint fast and rely on intuition. I didn’t care if my brush strokes were flawed. I stabbed, dabbed and twirled paint and brushes with abandon. Usually when I paint, I feel like the process sucks all of the energy out of me. I finish feeling drained. This time, I actually felt energetic and excited. The colors and brush strokes just seemed to fall into place effortlessly.
The photos below show the progression of the piece. I started with only a face I’d sketched months previously and had set aside. I had no real notion where the drawing was going. I transferred the face to my watercolor paper and then laid a large sheet of tracing paper over it so I could start sketching out a body. Once I got the basic lines right, I transferred the body to the watercolor paper and then laid the tracing paper back over the drawing and thought “Now what?” I found myself staring out the window at the shoots of ivy coming up under the trees outside my studio and began sketching ivy over the body. I refined the sketches by tracing over them in different colored inks to distinguish between ivy tattoos and actual ivy. Then I transferred the details to the watercolor paper.
Once the drawing was refined and ready for painting, I began layering paint onto the background. Various textures were created using water, salt, and isopropyl alcohol. I love working with textured backgrounds, because they feel organic to me. The random patterns, blobs, and smears that somehow create something beautiful remind of the random beauty of tree bark and rocks.
The skin was built up in layers as well, using roughly 5 to 7 colors. My original intent was to give her skin a greener tone, but it didn’t work out that way-it happens. I just go with it. The rest of the painting was done in generally the same way, by laying down layers and layers of paint. The background is a mix of neutral undersea green and mars violet (similar to burnt umber, but with a lot of granulation in the pigment). I included those colors in the faery, but added a yellow green (serpentine genuine) and a vibrant emerald green (pthalo green YS) to catch the viewer’s attention. The bright colors pop when laid next to each other and keep the piece from looking dull. The faery’s hair and eyebrows mimic the color scheme in her wings and skirt, though I had to substitute the serpentine genuine with sap green and mars violet with burnt umber, because the granulation in the original pigments would make the hair look funky. Sap green and burnt umber lay down smoothly. It took about two hours to paint the hair. Halfway through, my hand began to cramp terribly, but I was so close to being finished with the piece by my deadline of 3:00 pm Wednesday the 10th, that I clenched my teeth and kept going. I finished at 2:56 pm. PHEW!
Ivy is a carefree and slightly mischievous forest spirit. She stares at the viewer in a slightly stiff pose, a little defiant (perhaps we have come across her path by accident and she’s a bit shocked to see a human in her woods.) But the look in her eyes and her raised eyebrow implies she does not find us a threat and that she might be considering whether or not to play a trick on us before she runs off into the trees.
NEW licensed product-scented lockets. These are very well made and lovely. Large lockets with scented beeswax inside. Also available without scent.
Are you a budding artist who’s branching out into the world of licensing? Need some advice on contracts? My best advice, the most important advice, the advice I cannot stress enough is…consult a contract attorney. I know it’s expensive and when you’re starting out there usually just aren’t the funds available. Most of you will not even bother. But if you can swing it, at least try to get some basic legal advice about what to look for and what to stay away from in licensing contracts, so you aren’t blindly stumbling into something you could regret later.
If possible, have a standard contract drawn up for yourself that you can offer whenever a licensing deal comes up. My personal experience is that most companies will be happy to sign your contract, as long as it’s fair to both parties. If you understand your contract and it’s designed so you can easily change names, dates, titles, and products, it can save time, money and headaches.
Here are some of the issues that every contract should address clearly. There are several other clauses contracts should contain as well (like record keeping, export laws, liability insurance clauses, proprietary rights, etc), but I’m not an attorney and frankly it gets very dull and confusing-my brain refuses to go there today. But the number one thing to remember when dealing with a contract: it’s there to dictate how the relationship between you and the company you license your art to will be handled. Try to think of every possible issue or problem that could arise, and state how it will be dealt with if it does.
1. Names of the parties involved.
2. Is this an exclusive or non-exclusive contract?
3. List of art being licensed (usually attached at the end of the contract and called a “Schedule A”)
4. What product(s) will the art be used on?
5. Term-how long is the contract? Is there a renewal option?
6. What is the royalty percentage and how often will it be paid?
7. Approvals-the artist should always have the option to approve of the product design. Do you get samples?
8. Termination-what happens when the contract ends? If the contract is breached, what happens? Is there a sell-off period?
9. Infringement issues and indemnities-if any legal issues arise related to the product or art, what happens? Who is responsible for the attorney fees?
10. Territory-where will the product be sold (USA only? Worldwide?)
11. Assignment-if the company is sold or cannot continue to manufacture the product itself, can they assign the license to another company?
12. If the company fails to sell the product for a period of time (6 months? 1 year?) can you cancel their rights to that product (therefore allowing you to take it to someone else who might have better luck with it?)
There are many things to consider whenever you are looking at a new license deal. Ask yourself things like “What would I do if this company didn’t pay me?” “What if they stop making the product prior to the end of the term and I’m legally unable to license to a new company until the contract runs out (which could be months or even years)?” “What if I give a company an exclusive and they never actually make the product (thereby tying up your rights for years and you make no money)?” Having a plan drawn up in advance for any possible problem will save time, money and headaches in the future. Most likely you will never need to address most of those issues, but its nice to have a safety net just in case. I’ve been licensing my work for about 10 years now, and I still have a lot to learn, but hopefully this helps in some small way.
I’d like to write about a copyright topic that most people find very confusing. Hopefully this helps clear up some confusion. The topic is "derivative works". A derivative work is when a person takes a product containing a copyrighted image and turns it into a new product.
1. Someone might purchase a calendar and then cut out the images and use them as the background of a clock.
2. Someone might purchase a postcard and attach it to the top of a box, making it a jewelry box.
3. Someone might purchase a book of art and cut out the pages and re-sell them as prints.
If someone did any of these things specifically for themselves, for their own use and enjoyment, it would not be an issue. When it becomes a problem, is when these items are re-sold. Most people think “Hey, I bought it; I can do what I want I with it.” This assumption is false.
First of all, according to copyright law regarding derivative works, its illegal.
The artist hasn’t given their permission or approval of the item, therefore it’s an infringement. The artist’s right as the creator of the art is to be able to say how the work is presented and sold.
Most artists create art to pay their bills. If someone is making and selling derivative works, the artist is not getting paid royalties on that new product. You may argue that the artist got a royalty on the card or calendar used to make the derivative work, but the argument is irrelevant, because their work has still been stolen and used without their permission. In some cases, the artist may not have been paid at all. You just never know.
A serious problem with derivative works arises if the artist licensed the art exclusively to another company for the same product as the derivative product being made illegally. If the company who holds the license finds out about the illegal product, they could be very angry. If the artist finds out about the illegal product and does nothing about it, the artist could be held in breach of contract and could be sued for the breach.
Most people creating derivative works do not give credit to the artist, which causes others to assume the art is "free domain". New individuals may then use the art as well without permission-causing even more problems for the artist and companies the artist licenses art to.
In some cases, individuals might assume the person creating the derivative works is the actual copyright holder or original artist.
If an artist allows un-licensed derivative works to be made and re-sold with a blanket "I don't care if people do it" policy, a company could come along and say "Hey, let’s buy up a bunch of this artist’s postcards and create a line of boxes to sell ourselves. They say derivative works are OK, so we don't have to pay royalties." If the artist decided to pursue a lawsuit to stop them, the company could argue "Well you let everyone else do it.” It would then be the artist’s burden to prove they actively pursue infringements and police their own copyrights. If they’ve already let various individuals use the art for free, it becomes harder to prove they have not given up their copyright.
I hope this helps. It’s a confusing topic and sometimes it’s hard to explain. Even professional artists who have been in the business for years and years can have a hard time understanding copyright issues. People also vary in their opinions of copyright in general, and frequent fights break out about it. This entry is not meant to cause any frustration. It is simply meant to help artists protect their work (if they want to).
(Disclaimer-I am not an attorney. I advise anyone interested in this subject to do some research and look up copyright laws on their own, or speak with a copyright attorney. Much of what I write is from personal experience and is to an extent, my own opinion.)
A glimpse into my studio space. I keep trying to tidy it up and organize it, but...the goblins just mess it up again.
If you're part of the Amy Brown Fantasy Art Inc. Facebook fan page, you've probably seen this already. WIP scans of a painting in progress.