Go Team!

Last year, while at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas with my sisters, we came up with an idea – to develop a Collegiate line of artwork. We brainstormed about what sort of products we could see the art on and how we would go about figuring out how it would get licensed. Long story short…after over a year of development and lots and lots of hard work on our part and on our licensee’s part. Our first licensee for the Collegiate collection, Wincraft, has launched large and garden sized flags, lanyards, key straps, clocks, round and horizontal wood signs, mouse pads, pennants, insulated mugs, and more! More licensees will be launching products very soon!

The artwork features the logo of the university along with a related flower or plant. Most flowers are the state flower where the university is located, others are related to the actual university, such as the maroon bluebonnet developed on the Texas A&M campus, or the Notre Dame shamrock. I hope that all of the collegiate alumni and fans out there love it! Here’s a sampling of the flags so that you can see the designs.

If you are a retailer interested in buying the flags wholesale for your shop, please contact Wincraft. Consumers can contact Wincraft also for information on where they may purchase a flag near them. When I find out about any online retailers, I will post here or on Facebook.

Have a great day!


Look for Kate McRostie Licensed Products at AmericasMart in Atlanta!

If you are a buyer visiting AmericasMart this week for The International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, please be sure to ask for Kate’s licensed artwork at these showrooms:

Be sure to check out Kate’s Facebook page for updates from the show! Even if you are not on Facebook, you can still click on the “Wall” and see what’s going on. Enjoy the mart or enjoy following along!

Christmas Traditions

While we are in final preparations for Christmas, I thought I would share with you one of our family traditions that we started about ten years ago. As our family grew, it just became out of control and super expensive to send gifts to everyone each year, so we decided on an ornament exchange. Every family (my parents, and each of my three siblings and their families) has 4 ornaments to open on Christmas morning. Here’s how it works: 

Each family buys or creates five of the same ornaments- keeps one for themselves and then sends one to each family.  I often make extra ornaments to pass along to special friends and extended family as well.  The ornaments may be handcrafted, store bought (or store bought and then embellished), photo ornaments…whatever works that year for each family. It’s so much fun to open them and see the creations or how much the nieces and nephews (or dogs) have grown in the photo ornaments.  It’s also so wonderful to know that our trees have a common theme- “Family,” even though they are thousands of miles apart.

Here’s a sampling of some of the ornaments over the years that have been shared.

As you can see, they range from some of my early holiday paintings to a beautiful Santa made by Mom, beach inspired baubles to photos…all kinds of themes. It’s always fun to unwrap them each year!

Merry Christmas!

Art to Product...

I hope that you are having a wonderful holiday season! I’ve been busy working in the studio and getting ready for the holidays. Of course, “getting ready for the holidays” translates to “shopping”.

Between me, my sisters, my Mom, my sister-in-law, Gabriella, and our graphic designers, Monica and Susanna, we have taken some snap shots of products featuring my artwork out and about in stores.  I thought it would be fun to show you some of the products and then the original artwork.  Of course, there’s a lot of work that goes on in between when my painting is completed and when a product hits store shelves by a lot of talented people. These are just a few items that we have spotted out and about during the few weeks in stores:

Birdhouses made by Creative Co-Op at JoAnn's

A close-up of the original pattern

Rug from Loloi available at Tuesday Morning Stores

Part of the original painting


Loloi rug available at Tuesday Morning

The original painting

Magnets from Creative Co-Op

The original art

Napkins from Cypress/Evergreen available at Marshalls Stores

The original painting

The original artwork

Rug from Loloi available at Tuesday Morning Stores

The original painting

The original border

I hope that you enjoyed the comparisons. Be sure to check out my Facebook page if you haven’t already. It’s easy for me to quickly post products when I see them out and about  so I post a lot more of them there. Back to painting for me and then a Christmas party at one of the girls schools!

Treetops Tote Giveaway Contest

Have you entered the Treetops Tote Giveaway contest yet?

Click on the image and enter to win! Good luck!

My Art on the Big (& Little) Screens

A little over a week ago, I was so surprised when my sister-in-law, Gabriella, texted me from the movie theater that she was in with her kids. She was so excited to tell me that a wall hook featuring my artwork was in the new Smurfs movie in several scenes! That’s the very first time any of my artwork has been on the big screen (at least to my knowledge).

Wall hook manufactured by Creative Co-Op featured in Smurfs 2011.

On occasion, my sister Kristin, who handles all of my licensing, will get a call from a television production company asking for permission to use either my wall art or some other product featuring my artwork in their show. For the most part though, I will be watching something or one of my family members will see something on a show and call it to my attention. I always get a kick out of it! I thought I would share some of the things I have seen over the years.

I have seen some of my designs on several HGTV and home decor/redesign types of shows.  I saw the tray on an episode of “House Hunters”:

Retired Bon Appetit Collection from Certified International

This bird print was in a after version of a  bathroom on “Moving Up” with Doug Wilson:

Morning Song Chickadee by Kate McRostie

One of my early rooster prints was shown in an “after” kitchen on “Trading Spaces”:

Rooster by Kate McRostie

Storage boxes using these Palm Trees set the theme for a whole living room on HGTV’s “My First Place”:

McRostie Palm Trees featured on storage boxes

I was really surprised when I saw some more of my ceramics in Jeanna Keough’s house on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Orange County”. My “Boulevard” Collection (now retired) by Certified International lined Jeanna’s China Cabinet in the dining room off her kitchen!

Boulevard Plate

Boulevard Mug

I thought it was funny when I heard that Tamara Barney had a set of my Chocolate Rose Floral prints in her bathroom (seen during an argument scene with her now ex-husband):

McRostie Chocolate Floral

 More recently, the set designers called from the tv show “HOUSE” and asked permission to use my art placemats. I haven’t seen the episode yet, so if you see them, let me know!

Fisherman's Catch Placemats

If you see any of my art on the big or little screen – let me know! I would love to hear from you!

For those of you who don’t follow my Facebook page, please note that we have a great new giveaway contest going on this week for a set of tin canisters. They feature my “Walk in the Park” artwork with cute puppies and dog bone patterns. Be sure to click on the blue bar at the top of my page and enter for a chance to win.

For the Birds!

If you haven’t noticed, I paint a lot of birds.  In fact, so far this year, I’ve painted 26! That seems unbelieveable…even to me.

Why do I paint so many birds…it’s simply because no matter the season, people love them.  I also truly enjoy painting them and adding a little personality to each one I create.   
I’ve been surrounded by birds most of my life, not only birds of the garden variety but also in my parent’s house.  My mom has collected bird figurines and paintings for years.  The collection started out mainly as just blue birds (being that her favorite color is blue) but have expanded to include many other varieties over the years.   Over the years, I’ve also painted a few birds to add to her collection.  Here’s a glimpse of a few…. and a few of the ones that I have done over the years.

I used to make these birdhouses and sell them at craft shows when I was first starting out. (That's one of my Mom's dolls that she made in the background - isn't she sweet?)

Some little stools that I painted for my mother years ago

One of my early work

Now…back to work- can you guess what I happen to be sketching??  

On another note…if you haven’t already noticed- there’s a Christmas in July giveaway contest going on until the end of the month. Click on the blue bar at the top of the website or go to my facebook page to enter. Have a great week!

Pelican's Roost GIVEAWAY!

Have you noticed the new contest yet? Click on the blue bar at the top of the page or go to my Facebook page to enter!

The contest ends on Wednesday, July 13th at 8:00 pm Eastern time. Good luck!

Back in the Day...

Back a few weeks ago, I shared a photo of a self portrait that  I did of myself back when I was in high school on my Facebook page. I sat in front of the mirror for several evenings in a row (until the wee hours of the morning) dressed in my finest and ended up with this:

Self Portrait circa 1985

I meant to put these up a few weeks ago but then got super busy between heading to the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, the kids starting summer break, and lots of various projects and deadlines. In the late Spring, I came across a bunch of my old artwork while doing a bit of organizing and thought you would get a kick out of seeing some of it! All of these pieces were done back in the 80′s…back in the day.

Pencil drawing done from a photograph of myself as a toddler circa 1984

A pencil drawing of my grandmother done from a sitting back in 1982

A still life that I did featuring my mother's antiques back in 1985

An alphabet that I did in acrylics in 1985...we had just moved away from Carlisle, PA...see all of the Amish country and antique references? I went on a lot of antiquing and Amish country trips with Mom when we lived there!

A still life done in 1985

A portrait of a model from a magazine done in charcoal in 1983...anyone recognize her?

I hope that you enjoyed the little trip back in time. One day, I will share my story of my Dad’s technique for getting me to practice my drawing…it’s a pretty good story.

Thinking About Getting Into Art Licensing?

Every year when I attend the Surtex show in New York and the Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas, I am always excited to meet many talented artists who are just starting out. Many artists make the trek to New York and/or Las Vegas to check out the shows and consider whether or not they should exhibit in coming years.  After the shows, I often receive emails from artists asking for my opinion regarding their artwork and or advice on where to start. Today, I thought I would give you some information in case you are interested in art licensing too.

Both Surtex and Licensing International Expo offer seminars specifically geared toward artists and art licensing. The classes range from basic information for beginners to more advanced type courses for artists who have already gotten their feet wet with licensing. Their websites are great resources. The Surtex website in particular is a great source of  information for artists just starting out. If you are at all unsure, it’s worthwhile to walk the shows and check them out before making the committment of exhibiting. You will be able to see what the booth set-up looks like in person and possibly gauge whether or not you and your artwork are ready for one of the shows and maybe even licensing in general. Unfortunately, not all artwork is suitable for licensing. You may find that you need to tweak things in order to be competitive – but always stay true to your style of art!

Friend and hugely successful artist Paul Brent offers a website that has access to several teleseminars that he has done. They are well worth your while!

Another great resource is artist Tara Reed, who I finally had the pleasure of meeting when I was in Las Vegas last week! She has a blog, website and Facebook page dedicated to learning about art licensing. Tara’s site offers artist stories, helpful links and book info, a listing of art agencies, and so much more. It’s PACKED with info!

Jeff Grinspan, an industry veteran, offers his expertise through Artmoid, his consulting business.   Many artists who have attended Surtex might recognize Jeff as the hilarious and peppy moderator of many of the seminars. Jeff is a leading industry consultant who can give you that unbiased and individualized opinion that you might need! He can answer questions about whether or not licensing is really for you and your art, provide motivation techniques, give you info on what you should charge…all for a reasonable fee. (This is not a paid endorsement by the way…Jeff’s just a great guy and I recommend his opinions!)

Me & Jeff at Surtex 2010

This is just a little bit of information about art licensing, there’s so much to learn and much of it is learned along the way.  I hope that if it is a path that you wish to embark on, that you do your research. It’s a full time job just like anything else and is alot of hard work, but at the end of the day, it’s very rewarding to be able to earn a living doing something that I love!