Pitch Perfect Portfolio Art Licensing Challenge | Stacie Bloomfield | Skillshare

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Pitch Perfect Portfolio Art Licensing Challenge

teacher avatar Stacie Bloomfield, Creative Powerhouse

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (44m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Day 1: Evaluate, Organize, and Unify Your Artwork

    • 3. Day 2: Fill In The Gaps

    • 4. Day 3: Create A Digital Portfolio

    • 5. Day 4: Research Licensing Partners

    • 6. Day 5: Write and Send Your Pitch Email

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About This Class

As a creative business owner, I have several different revenue streams to keep my business, Gingiber, going and growing.

Art Licensing is very appealing to artists and illustrators because companies essentially “rent” your artwork and put it on their products.

I started licensing my art 10 years ago, and I love finding the right licensing partners to work with. You can license illustrations, surface patterns, hand lettered pieces, fine art.... there are so many possibilities.

Over the years I’ve heard from many aspiring licensed artists that they don’t know how to approach companies and art directors, let alone how to organize their growing body of work.

And that sparked an idea: what if I ran a 5 Day Challenge to help artists who need a little guidance? I created a simple framework that I follow for sending out my portfolio, and I’m going to teach you how to do the same with your own existing work.

Join me in the “Pitch Perfect Portfolio” Art Licensing Challenge, where over the course of 5 days I will give you video lessons to guide you through the process of tidying your work and getting it ready to send out into the world. My goal would be that at the end of the "Pitch Perfect Portfolio" 5 Day Challenge that you are ready to email your portfolio to an art director.

Who is ready to join the challenge?

Meet Your Teacher

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Stacie Bloomfield

Creative Powerhouse


Hello, I'm Stacie Bloomfield. And I believe that YOU are a Creative Powerhouse.

I am an illustrator, surface pattern designer, and small business owner (my products are in over 800 retail stores). I've licensed my artwork to amazing companies such as Crate and Kids, Moda Fabrics, William Sonoma, LuluJo Babies, Piccolina Kids, and have worked with companies such as Fancy Feast, Chronicle Books, Andrews McMeel Publishing, and many more. 

What I want to do is to teach you how to run a profitable creative business by building multiple revenue streams and how to visualize the life that you want to have. I believe that together, we can make it happen.

I live in Arkansas with my husband, 3 kids, and 2 dogs. 

I'm pleased as punch to hang o... See full profile

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1. Introduction: If you dream of seeing your artwork and designs on betting, fabric, clothing, home decor, children's products in more. I'm here to tell you that it is possible. All you have to do is get really braid and start sharing your work with the right people. That's why I've created this Pitch Perfect portfolio, five-day art licensing challenge. I want to see those dreams come true for you. Imagine if five days from now, you had a Pitch Perfect art portfolio and you were sharing your work with art directors of companies that you've always dreamed of working with. You've put in the work, you've honed your artistic style. And now you are ready to get your art portfolio organized for submitting for art licensing aren't licensing is whenever you rent your artwork to other companies to be used on their products, so many talented creatives have amazing work, but the thing that gets them stuck is simply organizing their portfolio and it's sending it out into the world. I'm here to give you that little push. You're aren't licensing career is just a few days away. I'm Stacy Bloomfield. I'm an illustrator with nearly 12 years of experience successfully pitching my artwork, 2D art directors, manufacturers, and dream collaborators. I've honed a tried and true method of organizing my portfolio in learning how to pitch my work, you could have the most gorgeous portfolio. But if you don't start sharing your work and putting it out into the world, you will never land that dream art licensing deal. So are you ready? Set? Let's pitch our work together. I'll see you inside the challenge. 2. Day 1: Evaluate, Organize, and Unify Your Artwork: Day one, lesson objective, evaluate, organize, and unify your artwork. What is a workflow? It is a sort of roadmap or a set of actionable steps that we follow. And that we can use time and time again to direct us when preparing work for art licensing submissions. The workflow for art licensing that we are creating during this five day challenge is to one, evaluate, organize in unify, or artwork to fill in any collection, gets three. Prepare a digital portfolio for sharing, for research potential collaborators and partners for art licensing. And five, right? And said that pitch, email, side-note, art licensing can create a wonderful revenue stream for your career, but it is only a part of running a successful creative business. In truth, most successful creative business owners that I now have multiple revenue streams for their business. That is why finding a rhythm for consistently pitching your work year after year can lead to art licensing contracts and can help you get money flowing into your business. This revenue stream, art licensing is a way for you to leverage your art and allow you to get more mileage out of each piece of artwork. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best solution, and that is what we are after in this five-day challenge. For today, we are going to gather existing artwork and begin to organize it into a collection or collections. You might be thinking to yourself, wow, I'm sitting on a lot of art work. Where do I start? Well, just start. That's the most important thing. One step at a time. Organize one category or collection. If you are an overachiever, divide up your artwork into many collections and categories. The most important categories for art licensing, our holiday artwork, floor roles, repeat patterns, full stack illustrations in hand lettering. I've heard this from multiple art licensing agents. These are categories that are always in demand and can be used on products ranging from stationary to betting, to Walmart, to three-dimensional products. There are definitely other categories of art that can be licensed. I recommend if you're artwork falls outside of these categories, just create a portfolio filled with the categories that you do have. So if you focus on landscapes or abstract art or cityscapes, simply name your category in your portfolio. That if you are a digital artists like me, you might work from your iPad using procreate, or you might work from Adobe Illustrator. If you have digital files, I want you to save them as high resolution jpegs. And I want you to get ready because we're going to organize all of your artwork. And if you are working physically, I want you to create piles right in front of you and divide out the artwork according to different categories. So the first step and today's lesson is to see what you have right in front of you that will fit into any of these categories. What I want you to do first. Is to create folders and divide and place your artwork into these folders. So we're going to create some categories of folders on our computers to drop our artwork into. You're going to create a holiday folder, a floral folder. Still want to zip worth. If you have physical work, like you're a painter, that you have not scanned or photographed yet, physically organize it right in front of you on the ground. What we're going to do right now is divide up our work and put it into our folders or our categories. I want to remind you that not all of your artwork will end up in your portfolio. I have lots of work that I don't currently pitch. I tried to show the best of my existing work. Part of learning how to set yourself up for licensing success is to learn how to have a critical eye when it comes to your own work and presenting it, you need to put your best foot forward, and that means showing off your best work. And sometimes some of those pieces that you don't feel like are the right fit for your current portfolio. Might have potential, but the need some tweaking and reworking. So for today, if you have any pieces of work that you really like but needed some reworking, we're gonna put those aside. When I was first starting out pitching my artwork, I only had a handful of illustrations. No repeats, no floral style, no hand lettering style. But my creative voice was strong and cohesive with my full illustrations. And that allowed me to send my work to the right types of clients for collaborations and helped me to eventually land some licensing deals. In fact, my first portfolio wasn't organized at all. It was a simple collage that I made in Adobe Illustrator, saved as a JPEG and inserted into a pitch email. That's right. Sometimes it can be that simple. Now, if you do not have artwork for the categories that we mentioned above, don't rush to try to create artwork for those categories if you don't have it on hand already. Instead, focus on what you do have in front of you and make it shine. If you're proud of it, show it. You don't have to have all of these categories, especially if you are early in your design career. But if you do have artwork for these categories divided up accordingly. The next thing we're going to talk about is how to unify your artwork. Now, you're going to look at what you've pulled out, what's right in front of you and you're going to ask yourself, how can I make these pieces feel like a collection or field related to each other? Why is it important to have work that feels like it's a part of a collection. Well, as a potential licensed artist, you want to develop a style that is easy to recognize and is also uniquely yours. One of the best ways to do this is to create work that feels connected. Ask yourself, does that mean I can unify my work by giving it a cohesive color palette. Colour goes a long way in unifying artwork. Doesn't mean making a few slight tweaks to your existing artwork that you're looking at that will intentionally use the same flourishes or line work in my pieces to make a cohesive collection. Could you easily take a stand alone illustration and turn it into a repeat pattern? Or could you pull apart a part of a repeat pattern and make it a standalone spot illustration. Collections usually contain at least six to ten pieces of complete Art indoor patterns. So Selector strongest six to ten pieces and it'll be the basis of the collection that we are going to show. What am I. Things to do now when I create new artwork is too, like I mentioned, work in a specific color palette. Now, it's OK as an artist to use lots of different colors in your work. But whenever you're working in a collection, you want to limit that color palette. It will take illustrations that might be completely unrelated to each other and simply by recoloring them in the same color palette, make them feel connected. When I create artwork that uses the same colors instantly, everything feels like it belongs with each other. Here's what you need for today's lesson. You need your existing artwork, physical or digital. I also recommend that you get some paper for writing notes about your existing artwork. Because tomorrow we're going to take those notes and we're going to put them into action. We're going to figure out ways that we can take our existing work in, really tweak it to fill in the gaps in our collection. After watching lesson one, spend some time evaluating and deciding on a plan for unifying your work. Day. One requires that you set aside some time to work. As you might want to make some slight tweaks and edits to your artwork tomorrow. But trust me, it's going to be worth it. Remember, do not use today's the time to make brand new work. But if a good idea pops into your head as you're evaluating your art, please write it down. I always keep an idea notebook or a notepad on my phone where I write down great creative ideas. I want you to have fun and to celebrate what is right in front of you. You have a creative voice. And the best thing that you can do for yourself as an aspiring licensed artist is to let that creative voice have the best chance of succeeding by taking the time to unify your artwork. Use the hashtag Pitch Perfect Portfolio Challenge to share this process on Instagram. I will see you tomorrow for lesson number two. 3. Day 2: Fill In The Gaps: Welcome to day two of the pitch, perfect portfolio art licensing challenge. In today's lesson, we are going to fill in the gaps for the collection that you are featuring in your portfolio. So I want us to take a look at yesterday. And and he's pieces of artwork that you pulled aside that you think have potential but aren't ready yet. We are going to see what we can do today to really bring that collection together. When I'm looking through all the different categories of work that I have and I'm wanting to develop a new collection that I want to share. I look for any themes that might emerge, and I'm seeing that I have quite a bit of forest themed work. Now, when it comes to creating a complete collection, you have standalone illustrations like these. You have repeat patterns. And within those repeat patterns you have things like hero patterns, secondary patterns, and supporting or blending patterns. We want to see what we can do with what we have right in front of us to unify all of this work into a beautiful collection that we can then pitch our work with. I mentioned yesterday that sometimes one of the most important things you can do to unify artwork is to change the color palette. So I've selected these four animals here, and I want to be able to take them and recolor them into a new color palette. So today you are going to work on doing that for your own artwork. And I'm going to show you how I did it here to create this collection that I'm going to call Nocturne. I've decided that if I give it a unified color palette with some really dark deep colors to blues and blacks. It feels like these are all animals that could live in the nighttime. In this story that I'm going to be telling within my collection is going to really help to bring it all together. I want to show you the immediate difference that occurs when I have recolored my existing for pieces of forest animal artwork with my new chosen color palette. Instantly. These pieces of artwork feel connected instantly. It looks like I'm telling a cohesive story immediately. Changing colors from unrelated illustrations can bring it all together. So when we're talking about filling in gaps, we are creating a thread that runs through all of the pieces of artwork for this collection and that thread is going to connect everything. Sometimes the simplest creative solution can make a collection feel whole and complete. When it comes to something like surface patterned designs and creating repeat patterns. One of the most overlooked things I see in an artist portfolio is neglecting to create low volume or blender patterns and designs. What is low volume? Well, they are designs with a lot of negative space or are minimal and blended well with other patterns. There are big supporting players in the pattern world. Think about polka dots, lines, hash marks, and settled textures that can make the most lovely low volume patterns. I bet if you look around your house, you will find that there are low-volume patterns on all sorts of products that you own and all sorts of pieces of clothing that you own. Collections need not only the beautiful big illustrations, but the need low volume and blender patterns to tell a full balanced creative story. Also, during this stage, we are going to look at our work and dissect it. One of my favorite tricks is actually to take a full illustration and pull it apart to see how many patterns I can create from it. I mentioned this in yesterday's lesson, but do you have an element of an illustration that can be pulled apart to help you create a new low volume pattern. I love taking existing illustrations and pulling out bits and pieces of them to create very cohesive new patterns for a collection. I literally take every element that I can from an illustration and tried to find a way to reuse it. And because I'm pulling from one illustration to create other repeating patterns, everything feels connected. Aside from creating low volume or blender patterns, can you take your stand alone illustration and turn it into a simple and beautiful repeat pattern. That's what I did here with this owl. The owl was incredibly cute and I was able to do a super simple repeat in Adobe Illustrator to let this stand alone illustration become a repeat pattern. And it becomes a really great pattern to put in my portfolio. And it will feel really nice with all of the other forest animal themes inside my collection. When I was evaluating my existing artwork, I wondered if I could take a piece that was unrelated to my theme of nocturne and combine it with elements of an existing illustration to create something really alone. We're interesting in on theme. So I took this really pretty line work-based repeat pattern that I had made previously. It's inspired by art nouveau line movement. And I decided to trace my fox in black and white and put it right in the middle of the repeat pattern. And what was created as a result of that is a beautiful pattern with movement, but it's only two colors. It tells a story. It really elevates to existing illustrations that on their own were okay. But by looking at it in a new way and combining them, I gave a whole new life to these two illustrations. So if you have an element of an illustration that you can pull apart to create something new. Now's the time to do it. So much of building a successful ART portfolio is learning how to do more with less. How many ways can you use a single illustration or motif or line mark to create something new and visually interesting. So much of the artist's journey with art licensing lies in developing a keen sense of evaluating their own work and using it critical eye to make the work better and stronger. Now we're going to pull it all together and fill in the gaps. So take the time you need today to take your artwork and unify it. The notes that we took yesterday about how we can unify our work today, we're going to put those notes into action. No bells and whistles. The simplest solution is the best solution. And the goal of a collection that you're going to show in your portfolio, you're going to want to have several pieces that work together really beautifully. I always like to have a story with a collection that I am going to share. And I already mentioned that I have all these forest animals. So everything that I'm going to create from here on out to fill in the gaps in my collection, will support this idea of nighttime animals of Nocturne. So what kind of simple gaps can I fill in for this collection? Maybe I create a constellation pattern with some simple stars and some lines in the error. Can I incorporate some idea of the Sun setting or the moon? I had this great illustration for a tea towel that I've had for years still does forest animals. And I thought now's the time that I can take this existing artwork and use it in his collection to support this idea of forest animals at night. I also took a stand alone floral illustration that I had made earlier in the year in just simply recolored it and made sure that this stand alone illustration worked as a repeat pattern. And by recoloring the floor roles, I really added some depth and sophistication to this already really fun nocturnal animal collection. There are so many ways to tell a story within your collection and that is part of the unifying process or filling in the gaps. Create this unified, beautiful story that you're telling by giving it a theme, by giving it cohesive elements, and by just doing a few little tweaks Today, you are going to make your existing work really shine. At this point, I had enough work for a collection. So now I wanted to fill it out, recoloring each pattern using a color palette that I'd already picked out to create lots of choices for my potential licensing partner to look at. Here's a look at each pattern that I made recolored in multiple color ways is to consider at this point, whenever we are unifying and bringing together a collection is to make sure that we have variety and the prints that we are showing off that we have a balance of scale. So what a scale mean? It means that one pattern might have some really large elements and then the next pattern is much smaller. So we have small, medium, and large scale, whatever it comes to creating repeat patterns. And this creates a visual interest within your collection that you're showing off. I want you to take the time today to fill in the gaps in your collection. You can take more than a day to do this, but I always like to see if I have something on hand that I can recolor or if effusive below volume patterns are illustrations, will be the perfect solution to finishing my collection. If you use existing artwork that you have, you can do this in a day. You can leverage your art to create something even more beautiful. And, and by tomorrow you will be ready to create a digital portfolio for sharing. I'll see you later. 4. Day 3: Create A Digital Portfolio: Welcome to day three of the pitch, perfect portfolio art licensing challenge. In today's lesson, we are going to create a portfolio that you can share digitally. I'm going to show you how to set one up using simple PDFs. Or if you really want to go the extra mile, you can create your own portfolio website. Let's dive in. If you've completed day one and day two, you know that those lessons have a lot to do with analyzing your own work. Making small tweaks in really making some final creative decisions for your existing artwork to create a really unified collection or pieces of artwork within your portfolio. Today we are going to put it all together and put it inside of your portfolio. As long as I have been pitching my work, the simplest solution has always been the best solution for art licensing submissions. And for me, creating a simple PDF portfolio has worked time and time again for sending my artwork to companies and art directors. There are a few important things to remember if you're going to be putting your artwork into a PDF document, you want to make sure that one each pattern is named. Show multiple ways that each pattern to give to a potential licensing partner and idea of how it can be used. And at the bottom of each sheet, I recommend putting your website, your copyright information, and the best contact email for someone to reach you act that way if a potential client is flipping through a PDF with multiple pages at any point they can stop and make note of how to contact you. Something that I also like to do is to at the beginning of my digital portfolio, create a little about me section. Now, this is your time to brag on yourself. You don't have to have previous licensing work in order to submit your artwork. What you wanna do here is tell your story. What is the story of this collection that you're showing off or the artwork within your portfolio. Give a little bit of background information about who you are. What your unique point of view is that you bring to the table and make sure to also include your contact information, your social media handles in your website. It couldn't hurt to also include a great headshot or snapshot of yourself working inside your studio to really paint the picture of who you are as a creative with my first pitch emails, I didn't have a lot to go off of. Sure. I had an Etsy shop and had been selling art prints for awhile. But I didn't have a lot of accolades. So I talked about anything that I had and talked about it as if it were the most important thing that it ever happened to me. At that point, I think I've been featured on a blog once or twice. So I put my about me section. My art work has been featured in prominent blogs such as so-and-so and so-and-so, I use what was right in front of me to tell my story about who I was and what I had done. And then I talked about what I dream of doing in the future with my illustration business. I challenge you to take the time to think about what your creative story is and to put it in your about me section to really show off your best assets as a creative. One of the most important questions I get asked about building a portfolio is how many collections or pieces of artwork do I need to have in my portfolio before it's ready to show to potential clients. And I think that the quality of the work, not the quantity of the work, is the most important thing, especially if you're just starting out. Also what you put in your portfolio depends on the types of licensing you want to get. In lesson one, I talked to you about the most popular categories for populating your portfolio. You have a choice to make. Do you organize your portfolio by category? Or if you are designing incomplete collections like I'm doing here in this example, do you group your collections together? When I was licensing for product development, I organized by category, floral, holiday, abstract Animal, a nursery, and then full editorial illustration. Once I started pursuing fabric licensing, however, I started also compiling complete collections made up of low volume patterns, motifs, hero patterns in secondary and supporting designs. In addition to the categories mentioned above, you don't have to include all of your artwork in your portfolio. You want to include the best of the best that you have to offer. When I update my portfolio, I always rotate my art presentation so that my most recent work is at the front of my portfolio for prospective art directors to look at. If you are designing and collections, you might go ahead and design a cute logo and name your collection. And it's totally a great idea to put that at the front of your collection within your portfolio to really show how organized and how seriously you are taking the design process. Here's a look at how I format my simple PDF sheets at any point in this process, if you are an artist who doesn't work digitally, all of your artwork isn't already on your computer. You're going to need to scan or photograph all of your artwork and save it onto your computer somewhere so that you can insert the scans or the photos of your artwork directly into your PDF sheets. I work primarily in Adobe Illustrator, so I feel really comfortable here. So I'm gonna create a new document in Adobe Illustrator, and I want to size it at a standard size, let's say 11 by 14 inches. And then to create this sheet in, I'm going to lay out my artwork where I've show multiple colors of my design. I have the title of my pattern in the top. I have recently started including also the color swatches within my design at the bottom of each sheet. And then of course I add in like I told you, my contact information, my copyright information, and my website. I create each individual sheet in Adobe Illustrator and then I save it as a PDF. After I've created all of my sheets for my portfolio, I simply open Adobe Acrobat. In. Inside Adobe Acrobat, I go to File and I go to Create. And then I combine my files into a single PDF. So right here I can either drag or drop or I can add each individual PDF file that I've just created. And it will save it for me as a single document. That is one simple way to make a PDF portfolio, and this is actually exactly how I do it. Another way to create a PDF portfolio is to build the entire thing in a program like Adobe InDesign. Adobe InDesign, great for creating catalogs and multi-page projects. So the same would be true. You would create a document the size that you want, you get to decide that I like to use 11 by 14 sheets and even create multiple sheets for your project. After you lay out each sheet, then you would just save it as a PDF directly in InDesign. And you would have a multi-site PDF free to use and share. Something that's really important is after you have your PDF document, you might notice that the size is pretty large, right? And you're not going to want to attach this document directly to an email. So I always recommend uploading it to Dropbox or uploading it if you have your own website, do it there, upload your PDF so that all you have to do is share a link with the perspective art director. He can put that link right inside your email and then they can open it up and then you're not dealing with like an enormous eyes PDF that could potentially be attaching to email that we'll talk about that in lesson five and more detail. I'm also going to briefly show you how I've set up a portfolio website using Squarespace. Now, the thing about Squarespace is it's a website that has a beautiful selection of templates that they've created that are great for showing off portfolios of artwork. What's really lovely about working with Squarespace is, is incredibly user-friendly. I set up a portfolio website. Within just a few hours. I uploaded my artwork and I had this simple, easy to navigate website work could show off my collections. You can also make it password protected. So if you'd rather direct art directors to a website like this, it's very simple to just send them the link and give them a password so that they can only access it. So after you have either your PDF portfolio setup or your portfolio website, you are ready to move on to day four, which is where we are going to research potential licensing partners. I'm so excited that we've made it this far together and I cannot wait to see what you do next. 5. Day 4: Research Licensing Partners : Welcome to day four of the pitch perfect portfolio art licensing challenge. In today's lesson, we are focusing on researching potential licensing partners. For this challenge, we are going to focus on finding one submission email address. That's it, only one. I recommend from here on out, you create a research spreadsheet so that you can start keeping track of all the information that you discover today. Now, I like to think of myself as a little bit like Veronica Mars. I loved to Google and find people online, find email addresses. I think in a different life, I could've been a private investigator. So all it is to say, I love this part of being a licensed artist. I loved the challenge of finding the right art director or the person who handles licensed artists within a company and reaching out to them to make a connection towards what I hope is a potential licensing partnership. This is always an intimidating part for artists because finding the right person to submit to dusty like finding a needle in a haystack. I'm going to give you a few strategies that you can use for finding the right person to submit your artwork, to identify the best fit companies for your artwork. Before you can send a pitch email, meaning an email to present your work to your dream collaborator. He must research the best fit companies for your artwork. In the key to success across any creative endeavor is to know your ideal audience. This couldn't be more true than when it comes to landing and art licensing contract. You might see an artist you admire, land a collaboration with say, a nurture decor brand. But if your ideal audience is more into light steam pump aesthetic, wouldn't make sense for you to pitch your artwork to that same nursery decor company? No, it wouldn't. You have to target companies that are natural fits for your aesthetic? I, for instance, will not be submitting my work to someone who focuses on BCCI coastal themed art because that's not my style. However, i would in did submit my artwork to motor fabrics where I currently licensed my art in. I've collaborated with other companies where it feels like my artwork would be right at home. First, things first, write down a list of companies that you dream up collaborating with. Make sure that their audience and acetic aligns and complements with yours. Why is it so hard to find out who to submit your work to? When I am researching accompany to submit to you, I focus on companies that I know partner with other artists. My biggest tip for you going forward is to pay attention to your peers in the people you admire and who they are working with. Keep a list, saved those posts on Instagram and on social media. Write down every person and every company you observe. I do this all the time. There's a saying that success leaves clues. And if you're finding other illustrators are able to get licensing partnerships, you should be able to as well. So pay attention to the post when an artist announces their new collaboration. Notice who they think in the comments. Notice who comments back? Maybe take a look at who they're following. That's one of my favorite ways to find new potential clients to work with is to actually see who my fellow artists are following. I've discovered so many amazing companies that way, and they are now on my list of companies I plan on submitting to. The next tip is to check websites for submission information. Some companies outline their submission guidelines right, on their website, while others are more elusive. I see often with fabric companies, in Greedy card companies, they have a submission guideline part of their website. So for those businesses, it's really easy to submit for art licensing. Check the website of the company you wish to submit to and see how they lay out their design submission process. If they do not explicitly tell you who to submit to, simply email their customer service and ask them who to direct collaboration inquiry's too. It works. The next tip that I have is to check LinkedIn. I know LinkdIn. Linkdin. It's like my least favorite social media platform. I barely use it. When I do use it, I do it so that I can find the right contact that I went to work with at a company. I use LinkedIn whenever I cannot find the right person to submit to via a website. I've signed up for the free trial before to get an upgraded account that gives me more access. Finding the right person to submit to is a guessing game. That everyone's title will be art director at a company. But perhaps someone has a title like product development or head of art licensing within their job description. You can send a message via LinkedIn to ask if it's okay to email them and to submit your portfolio. Here's a tip. You can search within LinkedIn for a specific company. Once you find that business on LinkedIn, you can click, see all employees who are on LinkedIn and then link to, and we'll pull up a list of all the employees who have declared that that company is their place of employment. So within that list of people and mind you, there could be hundreds of people on that list. The person you're looking for could be staring you right in the face. But you don't know until you dig into every profile and you try to make the best guess towards who you need to contact. This takes time. Honestly, you are literally weeding through people who was the person I should send an email to. I myself have picked people out on LinkedIn, found ways to contact them, and then realized it was the wrong person. But almost always they will pass you on to the person you want to talk to. So with LinkedIn, it is just like weeding through an overgrown grassy area. But if you are organized and record all of your research, you can find the right person to contact. And wanted to give you another little tip. I never pitched directly to someone through LinkedIn. I do not submit my portfolio there. I only use the messaging system feature to find the right contact information and then to ask if it is okay to email my work to them. And a final suggestion for how to find the right person to talk to you. And it's one that I have used several times. Simply send a direct message or a Facebook message to the company that you're interested in and ask them about their submission guidelines. You can reach out to accompanies Director of Social Media and ask them who you should direct your inquiries to. It. Is that simple? Again, I never pitched directly on Instagram, on Facebook. I use it as a way to get the point of contact and to be pointed in the right direction. And just the, you know, I have never had anyone be angry at me for using this method to find out who to submit my work to. Sometimes people respond right away. Sometimes they respond to weeks later, and sometimes the Whenever response, that's okay. The important thing is you are actively researching who you want to work with. This is like hunting for treasure, and it is totally worth it. Once you find your one email address in 1 of contact, you will be ready to move on to tomorrow. Or we're going to write your pitch email and send off your portfolio to director. That's it for this lesson. I will see you tomorrow for day five of the pitch perfect portfolio art licensing challenge. 6. Day 5: Write and Send Your Pitch Email: Welcome to day five of the pitch. Perfect portfolio art licensing challenge. We've made it today five. And you know what that means? Today is the day we are going to write and send a pitch email. The time has come to draft your pitch email my friend. What makes a good pitch email that gets opened and gains traction and gets you action. Here are my best practices for writing a great pitch. Email. One, the subject line, keep it professional. You'd keep it brief. Consider titling it something like collaboration submission for their company plus your company, or licensing submission from your company name to make it personal. The worst thing that you can do is draft the exact same email and send it to all companies you are submitting to. Take time to research the company you are writing to and tell them what you love about their company. Make it about them. Direct the email to the art director, avoid To whom it may concern. The extra research and attention to detail will not go unnoticed. Three, keep it brief. The email should follow the following outline. One, who you are to, what you love about the company. You are emailing. Three, why you would be a great fit for their company or what you bring to the table for links to your portfolio. Five, links to your social media, and six, your contact information. Thank you and goodbye. Be professional but not Steffi. Be mindful that you are a professional illustrator or surface pattern designer, but also be sure to be yourself and be sure to infuse your own brand story into your pitch. Email brand story, your creative journey that has gotten you to where you are now. And the hook that inspires your artwork. You want this company to get to know you, to like you and to trust you. You don't want to write the email is if it's a form letter, the warm and be yourself. Remember there is a real person on the other side of this email. It may feel scary when you send your first few pitch emails, but you are writing to another human who has simply trying to find the best fit partner for their own company. Do not insert your artwork directly into the body of your email. This makes it more likely that your emails will bounce. Images in the body of emails can be flagged as spam. And instead, I'd like to rely on links to my work into my website. Before he clicks Send first, all of your links work. I've made this mistake before. If you've sent this email before, make sure that you've changed the company name to the name of the current company you are addressing. There is nothing more embarrassing than addressing the wrong person or company. Check that your social media presence is professional and showcases your artwork. Then said, Your pitch email and get ready for the weight. Following up. Once you send your pitch email, what happens next? You could either get an email reply that says, Yes, let's do this thing and you go when you get an email that says, we like your portfolio, please keep sending us email updates of your new work. Well, who? They could send an email that says your work just isn't a good fit, which are the total bomber. Or you may never hear back. What to do if you don't hear back. Follow up. Yes, following up is a huge part of art licensing. It is the part that people get afraid to do because they don't want to be annoying and be in people's inboxes too much. But it is your job as someone who is seeking out work to respectfully follow-up. Here are my best tips for how and when to follow up to an email that this is a person that you've talked to in the past, say you've met them at a trade show or you know, them casually aligned, you can wait a week or so to follow up. If this was a cold email, someone that you've never worked with have never spoken with before and just found her email online. I recommend waiting two weeks before following up. Then for weeks for another email. When you do not hear back from the client, it is totally okay to keep sending them quarterly updates. As you grow your portfolio and update it. Keep our director's up to date with what is new. You never know if what you're making is exactly what a company is looking for unless you show your work to them. Remember, art directors receive so many submissions. You might have sent an email at a time when it just didn't get opened, or they may have opened it, but not had a chance to reply. So a polite email follow-up is totally appropriate. Keep the follow-up email even shorter than the original email. Short and sweet and to the point, don't act and patient or entitled In your follow-up email. If you come across like someone who cannot understand the natural business of product development and, or our overeager. It can be a big turn off and will not lead to collaborations. And trust me, I am the queen of being overeager. I have learned this lesson the hard way. I want you to have fun with this. This is the day that you've been waiting for. You are going to write a beautiful pitch email. It's gonna be great and you're gonna send it out into the world. You never know what could happen. I'm so excited that you've come this far with me in the challenge. I cannot wait to hear from you and to see what amazing things come from this five-day challenge. Thank you so much for participating. I'm Stacy PBL and build an API purging or use the hashtag Pitch Perfect Portfolio Challenge to share this process on Instagram.