Who is CB Studios?

Apr 10, 2018

 

CB Studios is one of Art Licensing’s most adored whimsical artists. Although trained in graphic design, she is now a full-time illustrator with a passion for drawing animals and fairies. Much of CB Studios' drawing experience comes from observation and exploration rather than formal education. From a young age, she regularly immersed herself in the classic works of Beatrix Potter and Margaret Mary Tempest, among others.

“They had a sweetness about them, which partly came through their soft execution. The stories were based around goodness and being together, and that was a world I wanted to be part of, which I found through drawing.”

Throughout her childhood, CB Studios' drawing skills brought considerable attention, convincing her that she wanted nothing more than to pursue a career in the arts. Although also somewhat interested in becoming a veterinarian, she ultimately decided that she would attend an art college rather than aim for a more traditional education experience.

After completing her foundation year at art school and working for a while in graphic design, CB Studios was greeted with an opportunity to create images for worldwide licensing purposes, including home décor, greetings, crafts, stationery, educational, needlecrafts, book illustrations and private commissions.

“It was my whimsical fairy and animal work which became not only the work I most enjoyed, but also proved to be my most commercially popular.”

CB Studios' love of animals – particularly cats and kittens – allows her to bring out the character and mood of her subjects through her work. Whilst striving for detail, in both her fairy and her animal work, CB Studios aims to create designs that encompass a sentimental, timeless and enchanting quality – and always with a touch of cute.

We recently reached out to CB Studios, to learn more about how Karen approaches her illustrations – and she was kind enough to provide a wonderful overview of her artistic process.

Ideas for paintings are frequent, and often just pop into my head at any time or situation. I will send these ideas either as a descriptive text, or a very rough thumbnail, to Syrena [AL Licensing Director]. As soon as an idea is chosen, I go straight into a full-size sketch.

 

I create the sketch by hand on 2 A4 (10 ins x 8 ins) sheets of thin paper, using a 5 x 7 format in either portrait or landscape. This is very detailed and neat, despite being just a sketch. It is vital that all of the painting’s content and details are seen at this stage, in order to establish the final result and achieve the best image to sell, and also because it is easier to make changes at this stage.

 

Any necessary amendments to the sketch are made through discussions with the team at AL and then I create a “colour rough” using the sketch. This is such a vital part of the process, as it can often highlight possible colour clashes we don’t want and also helps determine good colour balance across the scene.

 

 

Once any amendments on the colour rough are finalised, I then draw the scene out neatly and lightly, onto a good quality paper around 11 ins x 16 ins, using a lightbox and my rough sketch. I then “stretch” this sheet of paper onto a board. Stretching paper allows me to use wet media to do the painting, without the paper buckling and involves soaking the paper in water, taping it down onto a board and allowing it to dry overnight. Some artists draw on the paper after stretching, but I like the clean lines I get by drawing it prior to stretching.

 

 

If the paper dries with buckles – often because I haven’t taped it down fully and air has snuck in, then I have to re-draw the neat piece on a fresh sheet and stretch again. Fortunately, this rarely happens as I’ve got this part down to a tee now. The rest of the process is to simply paint the scene using watercolour and pencils, using as many bright and uplifting colours as possible.

Posted by: syrenam

“All Under One Roof” – 2018 Global Pet Expo

Mar 26, 2018

ALI Artists were recently showcased at the "All Under One Roof" Global Pet Expo.

Presented by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), Global Pet Expo is the pet industry's largest annual trade show, highlighting the newest, most innovative pet products on the market today.

This past weekend marked the 14th Annual GPE, hosted by the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The massive tradeshow featured over 3,000 new pet products, presented by nearly 1,200 exhibitors, and showcased the latest and greatest products available for all types of pets including dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, small animals and horses.

ALI artist Dean Russo, with Tim Smith of SJT Enterprises.

 

The show is open only to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers, and other qualified professionals, the exhibition offered attendees a multitude of networking opportunities, as well as an impressive number of educational seminars covering social media, marketing, merchandising, management, customer service, human resources, management and more. We are honored that our artsits could be part of this exciting show!

SJT offers a variety of pet-featured products, including plaques, magnets, keychains, coasters, greeting cards and more, all produced in the USA! You can see some of the lovely products in the photo above.

To see Dean Russo's licesning portoflio, click here.

Posted by: syrenam

ALI Heads Across the Pond!

Feb 07, 2018

            Recently, Syrena and Russ went across the pond, as they say, to attend the 2018 Spring Fair in Birmingham, England.  

  

 

 

This is the first time Art Licensing has sent representation to attended this show and what an amazing experience it was! Syrena and Russ were so excited to go into uncharted territory in effort to meet new clients!  

The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) – Birmingham is the largest exhibition center in the UK.  It is set on grounds of 611 acres and is made up of 20 interconnected halls.  Syrena and Russ walked all 20 halls, made countless contacts, and saw a plethora of new trends for 2018 & 2019.

            Some of the trending animals Russ and Syrena identified were unicorns, flamingos, and llamas.  Llamas were everywhere, on wall décor, blankets, greeting cards, flags, puzzles and so on.  Another hot topic that Russ and Syrena identified was something they are calling “blinged-out-rustic” or rustic with flare.  In other words, rough textures like burlap or birch wood with pops of gold, silver, or bronze; metallic colors in a variety of forms are still as popular as they were in 2017.  Although the show is called Spring Fair, Syrena and Russ saw quite a bit of products with Christmas designs on them because Christmas is always trending it just varies in style.

  

One of the top Christmas artists that we represent, The Macneil Studio, was also in attendance at the show.  We had the wonderful opportunity of walking the show with Dan Macneil, son and manager to Richard Macneil the artist behind The Macneil Studio.  In addition to being a great tour guide to first time attendees Russ and Syrena, Dan also helped make introductions to new customers.  Upon their return to the US, Russ and Syrena raved about the show, the amazing turnout, and the potential for new business.

As things return to normal after the trip and the deals begin to unfold, it is clear that this new customer base will be a great new marketplace for ALI to explore.  Spring Fair 2018 has proven a huge success for ALI, and we are excited to attend this show as well as other tradeshows in the near future.  If you have inquiries about licensing opportunities please visit our “Contact Us” page and reach out to one of our licensing agents.

Posted by: syrenam

Diane Monet featured in Menton Magazine!

Jan 07, 2018

            We have the esteemed pleasure of representing Diane Monet, the great granddaughter to world-renowned French Impressionist Claude Monet.  Recently, Ms. Monet was featured in Menton Magazine, which is a regional magazine that highlights Menton, France.  She was commended for her work on identification plaques that will adorn 18 Belle Epoque luxury hotels.  This idea was implemented by the city of Menton in order to highlight the Belle Epoque style and sentiment as well as enhance their touristic appeal. 

            The French Belle Epoque period dates roughly from 1871 – 1914, and was a time of hope, peace, economic prosperity and a flourishing art scene for the European region.  This period is often remembered fondly as a piece of nostalgia due to the terrible events that would ensue in the region following this period with the commencement of World War I & II. The city of Menton protects the memory of the Belle Epoque period by funding arts projects that ensure the spirit will live on forever.

            For licensing opportunities and more information on Diane Monet please visit the link below: http://artlicensing.com/content/diane-monet

Posted by: syrenam

No Sleep Till Brooklyn!

Dec 01, 2017

Once again, members of the Art Licensing team recently ventured out of the quiet countryside of the Green Mountains, on a special road trip assignment. ALI President, Matt Appelman, along with photographers Joe Mozer and Justin Ordway, departed Vermont in the early hours of a cold November morning to meet the pop-art mastermind, Dean Russo, in his colorful Brooklyn, NY studio.

Once the crew had checked into their hotel, they headed over to Dean’s place at Industry City Studios – Brooklyn’s newest creative hub, located in a complex of former warehouses on the waterfront in Sunset Park – to get to work. After a brief tour of the studio space, the first order of business was to set-up their equipment and capture some highly detailed digital files of Dean’s newest paintings. The guys quickly devised an efficient system of operation and managed to turn out over 75 new, high-resolution files for our licensing archives! After a long and successful day, the team retreated to their hotel, enjoyed some dinner and rested up for day two.

 

Their second day at the studio gave the ALI guys a glimpse into Dean’s brilliant and unique approach to painting; Not only did they get to witness the artist in action on his traditional medium of choice, canvas, they also observed Dean putting his creative touch on a commissioned Buddha sculpture! Throughout the day, the team worked with Russo to produce some “thank you” videos, for customers of companies that work with Art Licensing International and feature Dean’s work on a variety of awesome products.

The group relaxed and enjoyed a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, accompanied by Dean, to conclude their second day in the city and celebrate a job well done. The next day, the ALI team hopped in the car and headed back to Vermont. They were excited to get out of the office for a couple days, but ready to go home and get back to work!

To learn how you can license Dean’s images, contact us today.

Posted by: syrenam

Who's Who in American Art? Stanton Manolakas, that's who!

Oct 06, 2017

Jack Appelman, CEO of art Licensing, is thrilled to announce that ALI watercolor artist, Stanton Manolakas, has recently been inducted into Marquis Who's Who, recognized as a worldwide lifetime achiever!

Who's Who in American Art is a biographical directory of noteworthy individuals in the visual arts community in the United States, published by Marquis Who’s Who. Since 1899, it has remained a standard for reliable, comprehensive biographical data and every year, they strive to continue the tradition established by their founder, Albert Nelson Marquis. The individuals chosen to be represented by Marquis Who's Who have excelled in their respective fields for many years and deserve to have their accomplishments acknowledged and showcased. Manolakas is no exception and we are proud to represent his beautiful work!

Stanton Manolakas was born in Detroit, Michigan where he was influenced as a child by the culture of the city, its architecture, the dominance of the automobile and their interaction with elements of nature.  He believes that these aspects of urban life combine to create a powerful aesthetic and interesting visual experience.

He began painting in 1981 choosing watercolor to create his realistic vision of American life from 1850 to present.  With in four years his works were selling in galleries and became part of corporate collections of Bechtel Industries, the Marriott Hotel Corporation, and Wolverine Bronze as well as the private collection of Henry Dupont.  His museum credits include the Dossin Great lakes Museum and the Lake Superior Marine Museum.

To see his complete licensing portoflio, click here!

Posted by: syrenam

Get Unreal with Sheena Pike!

Sep 25, 2017

For Canadian illustrator Sheena Pike, there was just something rather uninspiring about drawing realism and, after years of chasing perfection with her pencils, she eventually lost interest in drawing altogether.

Turning to graphic design as an alternative creative outlet, Sheena switched gears and took a hiatus from drawing. However, the universe had other plans for her future as an artist and there eventually came a day when Sheena once again found a pencil in her hand.

With a fresh perspective and a dream of achieving commercial success, Sheena began to rediscover and reinterpret her imagination, experiencing her creativity in new and exciting ways.

“When I began envisioning my drawings as products, the possibilities, the ideas, and my ambitions were endless. I began enjoying my work significantly more, and it greatly reflected in my creativity.”

Inspired by many things, Sheena enjoys exploring the beautiful, imaginative world of pop surrealism by combining realistic and illustrative styles. Whimsy and otherworldly, her work often evokes an intensity, giving you a glimpse into her creative mind and the way she sees the world.

Sheena Pike was featured in Colored Pencil Magazine’s Winter 2015 issue, as well as a 2016 article highlighting her mixed media techniques. Check out the latest issue of Colored Pencil Magazine to read more about Sheena and her journey to becoming the stunningly talented artist she is today!

 

 

Posted by: syrenam

ALI Photographer, Joe Mozer, meets BMFAs Photography Department!

Sep 18, 2017

Our art department was recently invited to a one-of-a-kind day, sponsored by Hasselblad Bron!  We were invited to attend a studio tour and demonstration of Hasselblad camera systems and Broncolor lighting setups at The Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

We sent our imaging specialist, Joe, to Boston to enjoy this amazing opportunity. 

Led by John Woolf, Digital Systems Manager, BMFA and Hasselblad representatives, the tour consisted of two studios, one for 3D capture and the other for 2 dimensional objects. Much of the day was spent in the latter, reviewing works on paper, textiles and paintings; as well as, demonstrating the large motorized copy stand and large wall mounted easel for paintings.

The special invite from Hasselblad came after Art Licensing’s purchase of a new H6D-50c camera for our own studio. This extraordinary 50-megapixel camera is perfect for capturing high quality digital images of our artists’ original paintings and drawings, as well as fantastic product shots featuring their work applied to the myriad of products we provide licensing for!

“The BMFA tour was awesome,” says Joe. “I was impressed with the level of accomplishment and big name schools and museums that most of the other tour members were from. I felt a little out of my league at first, but quickly came to realize that we are doing the same things and encountering the same challenges.”

 

“After lunch, we got to see some of the Photography Department’s work on ancient small objects – things like coins and gems; How to capture fine detail when a sculpture is on the facet of a ring! It was fascinating to be able to see their problems and solutions to a variety of photographic situations. All in all, it was a great time and I felt honored to be able to get a glimpse of how things work behind the scenes at such a prestigious center of art and culture.”

Special thanks to BMFA and Hasselblad for the invitation to such an inspiring event!

Posted by: syrenam

Anne Cote gets interviewed by Maker Mentors

Jun 26, 2017

Anne Cote is one of our many talented artists. We are proud to say she was recently interviewed by Maker Mentors, an online community geared towards design and business building.

In the interview, Anne discusses her relationship with her art style as well as her lifelong passion for illustration and creativity. Anne further mentions some of the steps of her creative process and what subjects she likes to focus on. The full interview is available by clicking the link here.

Check out her licensing portoflio here.

Posted by: syrenam

Jennie Cooley on the cover of El Dorado Living!

Jun 06, 2017

Jennie Cooley is one of our most eclectic artists here at ALI; she draws inspiration from a variety of mediums and subjects.  Jennie has created and is currently creating sculptures, paintings, jewelry and much more.  Much of which has been featured in galleries domestic and foreign.

She is featured in the May 2017 issue of a local magazine out of Santa Fe, NM called Eldorado Living.  There is a fascinating spread of Jennie’s work included in the article. 

Jennie’s work is available for license simply by clicking the link below to browse her portfolio: http://artlicensing.com/content/jennie-cooley

Posted by: syrenam

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