When launching your art career, you need to understand the ins and outs of the markets your are targeting. In the Make Art That Sells courses we share invaluable advice and insights from some of the leading art experts in each market, including art directors who buy the work, and artists who successfully sell it.
You can find out more about our fantastic contributors below. Between them they buy art for products worth millions of dollars every single year.
Check out our resources section for downloadable Insight Spotlight interviews with some of our contributors.
We are constantly building our network of industry experts to contribute to our courses and resources, so keep an eye on the blog for details of new announcements!
GEMMA PARRIS, Card Buyer
Gemma has always had a passion for design. She studied Textile Design at Chelsea College of Art & Design and loved every moment of it. Gemma wanted to continue to develop her interest, so after graduating I embarked on a career in Buying. she worked at a number of high street retailers before joining Paperchase in 2007, and is delighted to be able to combine her buying skills and design knowledge in such a creative environment. Gemma’s job enables her to work with some of the art world’s most talented studios and independent artists, to create new and exciting artwork that represents the Paperchase brand.
KATE WOODROW, Senior Acquisitions Editor
Kate Woodrow is a senior acquisitions editor at Chronicle Books, one of the most admired and respected publishing companies in the U.S. Since joining Chronicle’s editorial team in 2005, Kate has collaborated with artists and authors to develop more than 200 illustrated books and gift products, many of which started off as a blog, a brainstorm, a painting, or a line of handmade goods. Her specialty is new product innovation and content development in the art category.
Robert Kaufman Fabrics
EVIE ASHWORTH, Design Director, Retail Division
An established member of the textile industry for over 40 years, Evie has traveled the world to all production points from Europe to Asia and in between. She brought her expertise to Robert Kaufman in 2000 to establish a whole category of product specifically for quilt fabric retailers. She merchandised the line, introducing the concept of coordinated samples and print basics, including the trademark Fusions(TM) brand, and today continues to ensure Robert Kaufman brand’s association with only the highest quality standards. Evie currently directs a large internal design team as well as several art studios abroad, to produce Robert Kaufman’s signature in-house Luxe and Gallery looks as well as a broad range with external licensed artists and brands.
Real Simple Magazine
ALEXANDRA MOONEY, Senior Designer
After getting a BA in Military History Alexandra quickly learned that the world is not in dire need of people knowledgeable in the history of medieval European warfare, and changed paths to study graphic design instead. Alexandra graduated from RISD with an Honors BFA and was lucky enough to start working at Martha Stewart Living nine days after graduation. She gained valuable experience there for two years before moving on to Real Simple where she has been working as Senior Designer ever since. Alexandra considers working with illustrators to be one of the greatest parts of her job.
EK Success Brands
DEB TAGTALIANIDIS, VP – Creative Direction
Deb joined EKSuccess Brands, a division of Wilton Products, in 2006 as Vice President/Creative Director responsible for the creative direction and product development for the K&Company Brand. Currently as the corporate creative director for EK Success Brands, Deb inspires the creative product development process, guiding, facilitating and curating the company’s creative visions, including extensive trend research, innovative concept development, and art and creative resource management.
Prior to EKSuccess Brands Deb spent over 21 years working for the nationally known strategic brand design firm, Willoughby Design Group. As the Vice President of Design Services, Deb was responsible for leading the team through the brand strategy and design process for national corporations, such as Hallmark Cards, Lee Jeans, Einstein Brothers Bagels and Buckle.
Deb has a passion for design, travel and the world around her.
Oopsy Daisy, Fine Art For Kids
CARLY GRAY, Creative Director
California girl by transplant, Midwestern girl at heart, Carly considers herself one lucky gal to have found her way to Oopsy Daisy (and sunny SoCal). After attending design school at Flagler College in St Augustine, FL, Carly started her career developing home accessory products and hasn’t looked back! For five years she has been designing and art directing for Oopsy Daisy, which is the most creative and fun job she can imagine. A year ago, Carly got a new perspective on the brand when she became a mother herself. “I now see the line in a whole new light after becoming the target customer, opening my eyes to new product ideas that I may not have thought of otherwise.”
Find out more at oopsydaisy.com
Crate & Barrell
BONNIE CAUBLE, Creative Director of Surface Design
Bonnie comes from a long line of mailmen. Neither her grandfather or great-grandfather ever let rain, sleet or snow keep them from their appointed rounds. She grew up hearing tales of the letters that her grandparents would exchange during World War II from Papua New Guinea to San Angelo – letters she wasn’t allowed to read until she was old enough.
Pursuing a double degree in design and creative writing at the University of Kansas, she once got into a long distance confetti battle with her dad – shipping boxes, or letters, home that contained nothing more than a handful or two of candy-colored confetti and glitter. Variously she has created playful party invites full of personality and humor, and once spent three days hand painting watercolored flowers on a set of wedding invitations for a hopeless romantic. It only seemed natural that Bonnie Cauble would launch her own stationery line.
The stationery collections of Just b Studio debuted in 2003 at the National Stationery Show in New York. Drawing on imagined romances and quirky correspondence, she created collections that are unlike anything else on the market marrying saturated color and whimsical tales. Bonnie is also Creative Director of Surface Design at US retail chain Crate & Barrell.
Hachette Book Group
MEGAN TINGLEY, Executive Vice-President and Publisher
Megan is one of the top women in children’s book publishing in America, overseeing the Little Brown Books for Young Readers (LBYR) publishing program at the Hachette Book Group, which includes novelty and picture books and fiction and nonfiction for middle readers and young adults.
Megan also acquires and edits select titles for her eponymous imprint, including the bestselling series The Twilight Saga and The Mysterious Benedict Society, as well as many picture books by US Children’s Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman, and artists Todd Parr and Naoko Stoop. During her tenure as Publisher, LBYR’s titles have been honored with the Caldecott Medal, two Caldecott Honors, several New York Times Best Illustrated citations, and selected for the annual Society of Illustrators exhibition and the New York Book Show. Find out more at hachettebookgroup.com
MISTY TSUI LAI, Senior Design Director - Boy & Newborn
Misty has been in the fashion industry for more than 15 years, specializing in menswear and childrenswear. She is now Senior Design Director for Boy and Newborn at Gymboree. To her fashion is “a form of interpretation of your beliefs, lifestyle, integrity, passion… and sense of humor”.
Find out more at https://www.gymboree.com
Nickelodeon & Parsons
NOEL CLARO, Creative Director at Nickelodeon and Professor at Parsons
Noël Claro is a designer, art director, and professor. Her experience ranges from managing high-profile corporate projects at Nickelodeon to inspiring and mentoring small design teams and students at Parsons the New School for Design. Noël’s professional background is rooted in editorial design, advertising, promotion and creative branding. Her teaching experience covers a range subjects including design, illustration, typography, zines, merchandising and marketing. She’s not shy to rely on her stellar baked goods to provide inspiration and sustenance to her co-workers and students.
INGRID LISS, Creative Director
Ingrid is the Creative Director for Demdaco, a leading wholesale company specializing in giftware, holiday and home décor. With an emphasis on ‘lifting the spirit’, the Demdaco everyday giftware and Silvestri holiday brands bring unique artistry and meaningful products to market. Ingrid leads the combined efforts of leading independent licensed artists as well as a talented in-house staff of designers and product developers. Working in partnership with craftsmen and factories overseas, Ingrid helps facilitate the interpretation of artists’ designs for manufacture and importing. Formerly the Vice President of Design and Trend for Midwest of Cannon Falls, Ingrid brings over 20 years of industry experience in product development to her position. Ingrid is also the busy mom of two beautiful teenage girls who keep her laughing and on her toes.
Find out more on the Demdaco website.