There’s this phenomena that snuck up on us a few years ago. It’s called “Word of the Year” and it seems like everyone has latched on to it. I certainly did. I like the idea of picking a word to help you define what your year will look like. And even though I don’t embrace everything that comes along (except shoulder pads, sun-dried tomatoes and Boz Scaggs) I embraced this idea because, as most of you know, we creative types have minds that tend to jump from idea to idea or are easily distracted by various shiny objects. New product ideas, a new technique, or (pick anything…), or sometimes we abandon what we know will work just to try out something new. It’s just how we are. Or so I’ve heard.


So picking a word can help us stay focused on what we really want to have happen in the next twelve months. Like you, I balance a few (jillion) things to keep my boat afloat, both financially and creatively. I love to write, coach other artists and of course my first love which will always be drawing pictures.
 But often there’s this little voice nagging at my cluttered brain that keeps getting louder until I am forced to pay attention to it. Sometimes it’s letting me know that this would be a good time for another cup of coffee, some tea or maybe a glass of wine (if it’s dark out and I am still at the drawing board).
 Not this time. It was something more.

It’s my business to know what’s going on in the State of Art Licensing—both on behalf of my portfolio and for my coaching clients—so I have been keenly aware that the sands are shifting. They really started moving about in 2008 when the economy wobbled, retail took a downward (and then a left) turn and there were way more artists vying for fewer and slimmer opportunities. And they continue to shift.
 I decided it was the right time to revise and update my book, License to Draw. In the three years since I published it, a lot has happened—so much that I took the original version off the market until I could publish the new one. I wanted my readers to know what’s happening right now, and steps they can take to help them grow as an artist and as a creative business.

So I focused. Doubled down, put the blinders on, nose to the grindstone. All the clichés. I rewrote entire chapters, edited out things I felt were no longer true and updated key information. And then a funny thing happened: I took a detour because a shiny object showed up. (Go figure). But this time I knew I needed to chase it. About three quarters of the way through the revision process I decided that a Premium Edition would really help a lot of artists, so I developed expanded content and tools to help stay focused and organized and motivated on the licensing journey.
 You may already know what that meant.
 The deadline I had originally targeted (and the emails I sent telling people when it would be done…) went completely out the window. But occasionally that will happen, and when the result is bigger and better then that’s OK. I knew this was the right direction and that waiting to get it right was better than either rushing it or abandoning my shiny idea.
 Which dovetailed nicely with 2016’s Word of the Year: Thrive. 
And this year? I know it’s already 2017 but I’m still deciding on my word. I thinking it will be leap.

I believe that has a nice ring to it, don’t you?

Art Licensing Show_ License To Draw

Ronnie Walter released her first book — License to Draw in 2013. In this ALL NEW EDITION, Ronnie brings a fresh new perspective on monetizing your creative pursuits, reflecting changes in the market and more ways to make money with your art. It’s a detailed handbook that includes how to figure out what kind of artist you are, how to develop the right presentation for the right clients and an in-depth look at the essentials of a good contract. Written in a friendly and readable style, you’ll find inspiration, motivation and a step-by-step explanation of how to dive into Art Licensing from an expert with over 20 years of experience licensing her illustrations and words.

Here are 5 Things that License To Draw will help you navigate on your journey into Art Licensing and how to monetize your Art!

1. Should you License your Art or Sell it?
As our market changes, artists have explored alternate ways to monetize their designs for products including licensing, category buy-outs and selling their designs outright—and  more. Discover why you might choose one method over the other as you grow your business.

2. What Kind of Artist are You?
We tend to lump all artists into one “art licensing” category, but in reality you might be more suited to one aspect of the market more than others. Are you an Artisan, a Master or an Ideologist?—or one of the other categories Ronnie defines in her new book License to Draw.

3. How to Develop Your Art Portfolio
Crafting a portfolio that’s easy for clients to digest is an art in itself. Learn how to develop your presentation in a clear and concise manner. (There are even examples of portfolio pages in this new Premium Edition!)

4. Do you Need an Agent? Do you Want an Agent?
The pro and cons of having representation with questions to ask before you sign—and what you’ll want to know in your ongoing relationship.

5. Learn the Basics of an Art Licensing Contract
In plain English, each section of a typical contract is explained so that you are not surprised when one lands on your desk (and it will!). Ronnie takes the scary part out of this process.

Find our more about how to purchase Ronnie’s NEW book — License To Draw, HERE!

About Ronnie Walter:
Ronnie Walter is a licensed artist, writer and art business coach. She is the author of 13 adult coloring books, Gruesome Greetings, a mystery novel and License to Draw…How to Monetize your Art through Licensing…and more! Her illustrations and designs have been licensed onto gift, greeting cards, fabric, decorative flags and home décor products. With her ‘professional fresh eye’ she coaches artists to help them find their voice and vision through practical steps toward success. Ronnie lives in Florida with her super smart husband Jim Marcotte and the best shelter dog ever, Larry. She can be reached through her website at To see more of Ronnie’s artwork, visit her website or request access to her complete portfolio on the Art Licensing

7 responses to Advice from Ronnie Walter on Picking Your Word of the Year

  1. AWESOME share… Thank you both and keep up the great input you two. Thanks Annie and Ronnie! :)

  2. Great post and information! Question: Does your cat have a name? He/she cracks me up :-D

  3. “Ronnie Walter Licence to Draw” , has been my first Art Licensing book reading .
    Can’t wait to read this new version of the book (and most of all, practice your advices) . Thanks Ronnie

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