Friday, July 29, 2011

New Improved Signature

Developing a Signature
I spent a few days stylizing a new signature for myself. I tried all kinds of looks. It's important to have a consistent signature appear the way you want it to look on all your artwork.

I also decided it would be nice to get my initials made into a "seal stamp" in Japan.

A stamp, or "Hanko" as they are called in Japan, is a very common Asian custom for printing artistic impressions that are used in lieu of signatures on personal documents, contracts, art, or any item requiring acknowledgment or authorship. The seals are typically made of stone, metal, wood, bamboo, plastic, or ivory, and traditionally used with red ink or cinnabar paste. But in moderns times any color is alright to use.

My girlfriend MO, who lives in Tokyo, is coming to visit me in Boulder end of August. She will deliver my new Hanko... totally cool ! The stamp is being made especially for me by her local craftsman in Tokyo.

UPDATE 9/20/11
Here it is, something I designed using my initials & it had to reflect my personality.
My very own stamp design!
My HANKO stamp was hand carved from wood,
 in Japan by a Hanko Master.
To my wild surprise, 
this was gifted to me by my special friend named MO, 
she lives in Japan.
Very generous of her (they are very expensive) a cherished gift indeed! 
In the below photos, I was practicing,
 it gives a little whimsy to the backside of my business cards. 
I will use it to authenticate my original artwork,
 along with my hand signature. 
Thank You MO 
ℒℴve♡ it & YOU

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Renamed from"Once Upon a Line" to "Laurie Jess"

July 2011, down time due to a broken hand

What's in a Name?
Hello, My Name is Laurie Jess
...And you can find me now at

I have a story to share, I made a mistake of poorly naming my art studio.  My business is just 5 months old and yet its name is confusing to some.  Therefore, this weekend I've changed my studio's name from "Once Upon a Line" to "Laurie".  I've also been including my maiden name (McLeod) just to confuse you more, so to simplify everything, I'm Laurie Jess.

The main problem was that my art studio's name "Once Upon a Line" was too associated & stereotyped within the "Writers & Poets" category,  hence the name kept getting misunderstood or misplace. So I've dropped it! 

Q. Why is using your own name a better idea?

A. My former experience working for several large art studios was very exciting &  the work steady. However, the downside was "my name" never appeared on anything.  My name only appeared at the bottom of the proof sheets. Yes, I am a published children's book illustrator &  product licensing designer. But my name appears no where because my work is property of the studios. In addition,  some studios have policies not allowing you to take any artwork home, or even use it in your portfolio.  So you can understand why having my own name on my artwork sound pretty good to me!

Yes, this did involve some growing pains,  I had to throw away 2000 new business cards, stationary &  let go of my cute websites domain  & email. 

The moral of this story is be sure you brand yourself with "your very own name" especially when you are marketing yourself.  My name is Laurie Jess. Wow what a concept ! And guess what? It's easy to remember, short & simple, and it belongs to me! 

I've learned an important step towards marketing on a very fundamental principal
Point to Yourself  !

My Old Studio's Name & Logo

The  Endearing Proof Sheet

Monday, July 11, 2011

Art Branding

I just fiished reading this Interesting article,

"The First Step in Building Your Art Licensing Brand"

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My Outdoor Life

The forest is certainly one source for my creative inspirations.
I love the outdoors !

How I Get My Creative Juices Flowing

"How I Get My Creative Juices Flowing"
Hello! This is my very 1st blog post. My goal will be to post video demos of being creative in my studio or announcements.
This being my very 1st minutes on my brand new blog, I'm trying to learn the ropes to using it. As a test I've decided to upload this family video. I hope you will enjoy it, I love the music!  
Hiking is a wonderful way to get everyone's creative juices flowing.
Whoopsie-daisy, there was so much beauty around me, that in this video, I trip over a big tree root as I walked along the trail, that was the knee scrap shot.  It was a fantastic day & we had a picnic at the top of our 8 mile hike. This is Brainard Lake in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado near Boulder.