Enduring Success

I was listening to an interview with Maria Bartiromo on my drive in to the studio this morning; she has a new book out titled The 10 Laws of Enduring Success. The interview was actually quite good, she is very well spoken and while she is primarily known as a financial journalist, her book is supposed to be more about life lessons and enduring hard times by identifying what really matters in life.

I have not yet read this book, however what really struck me this morning was her answer to the interviewer’s question of “What should a person take away from this interview? If there was only one, what would you say is the most important lesson for someone to remember?” Her answer was that the person who is flexible and who is willing and able to adapt to the changing marketplace will always be successful. My immediate thought was “this is a powerful message for artists that want a career in art licensing”. We have been preaching this to our own artists (ad nauseam they’ll likely tell you) and as you follow the careers of the successful licensed artists you will see that they live this philosophy.


Some time ago (months, not years) I penned an article that was intended to be a caution to new artists about all the art licensing “coaches” that were popping up everywhere like dandelions in June. This was, and still is, a relatively new phenomenon in art licensing, a business that is young itself – really only about 30 years or so – but it was surprising how quickly they were proliferating. We began to hear stories about wannabe artists paying out big money, literally thousands of dollars, or being hooked into long term obligations just to learn about this new arena called “art licensing”. And as licensing agents we were seeing some of the results – dozens of nicely done, cookie-cutter presentations of what was often terrible art. (“Beautifully presented crap” said a fellow agent). It was apparent that money was being taken from these artists regardless of whether or not they had a chance to succeed in the market as licensed artists. And that started my keyboard tapping.

The article was titled The Art of Reality and you can read it here.

We posted it on the Two Town website and it garnered a few responses, mostly from fellow agents (yes, we snoop on each other’s websites all the time) and some more from clients and art directors – all of whom were very supportive of the message. After a few weeks it was cited in a couple of social media groups, mentioned in some blogs and then published (with permission) on a couple blogs, all of which is good. It still brings a comment every now and then. What I have found most surprising is two fold: first, it has been universally interpreted as a commentary on the state of art licensing rather than art coaching – which is OK, I get it. Second, the volume of artist submissions at Two Town increased dramatically, some of them even mentioning the article – and many of them comprised of the aforementioned… um, substandard …art. All we could say was – really?

So, here I am again. I wanted to name the blog “Thoughts from the Licensing Curmudgeon” but Ronnie won’t let me, and as usual she is probably right. I can’t promise that title won’t be appropriate at times as my intention is to tell it like it is (or at least how I think it is), but I also intend to have fun with my new bully pulpit – and I do look forward to all of your comments and questions.