January 11, 2015

I have a brand, I have a soul.



Hey. We need to talk. 

I have some stuff I need to get off my chest.

But before I do, let me first say this.

Thank you.

Thank you to my fans and followers who have supported me for years. Thank you for buying prints from my Etsy shop. Thank you for supporting my decisions of who I decide to partner with in business, and above all, thank you for the heaps of love and encouragement I receive on a daily basis. For this, I am immensely grateful

With that said, I need to address a few comments I received this week along with my big Barnes & Noble launch (a branded end cap in stores nationwide.) 

"Beware of becoming a 'stuff' artist."
"Becoming a brand is soulless." 
"Find a better [partner] or your work will become yesterday's news."
"I hope you appreciate your gift more than fast cash." 
"No more big box stores."

Yeah, I could just shake these things off, and believe me, I do, but this is bringing up some things I'd like to share.

I get it. I get how you could be worried. 

But guess what? (here's where I stand on my soapbox.) 

1. I'm constantly aware of the fact that I could be deemed as a "stuff" artist. Some people make "stuff" for a living and that's just fine. For me, I'm a painter first and a commercial artist next. It's a fine line to walk. It's a balancing act. I am constantly evaluating the amount of licensed goods I have in the world and balancing that with how much I paint. If wanted to become an exclusive "stuff" artist (goodness, I just love that term so much.), I would have shut down my Etsy shop a long time ago and moved the whole operation to a factory. But here's the deal. I paint what I want. I paint what comes to me. Then I sell prints of it in my online shop. And if someone inquires about using that art on a notebook, journal, or planner, they get put through a rigorous test. It's called, "Are you my ideal client/licensee?"  I ask them and myself: Are you a good fit for me and my brand? Will my art be honored on your product?  Will this product better the world or inspire someone? Can I sell the product in my Etsy shop directly to my fan base? If all signs point to yes, then YES! We might be able to work together. Contrary to some folk's beliefs, I don't just sign any agreement that comes my way. In fact, saying NO has been a trend this past year. 




2. I'm aware that becoming a brand could zap the soul right out of your business if it's not done right. But I'll let you in on a little secret. My brand is an extension of me. It's an extension of my soul. "Katie Daisy" was born one day on a sketchbook page in my product design class. I wrote down all of the colors and words associated with my brand. What does the brand "Katie Daisy" feel like? Well, obviously it feels like a summer breeze in a small midwestern farm town. What does the brand Katie Daisy smell like? Purple clover, of course. The colors? Sunflower yellow, asparagus green, strawberry red, twilit-sky blue. What type of packaging works with my brand? Brown kraft mailers and baker's twine - anything that looks "of the prairie." It has been so easy to "brand" and market my work because it's an extension of my spirit. It's an authentic, soulful business, rooted so deeply in the earth. I've also defined my brand's values (love, oneness, positivity, beauty, freedom) and anti-values (fear, hate, cynicism, anger, aggression). This helps immensely when deciding whether or not to work on a specific project. Becoming a brand is not soulless. I absolutely love branding. For me, it's taking everything I love so dear (the art, packing materials, smells, flavors, sounds, words, fonts, etc.), and wrapping it up with a big bow. 




3. Five years ago when I was fresh out of college, I was contacted by a big box store to do a page of spring-themed art for them. I did it for a flat fee and zero artist credit on the product. Despite that, I was elated. My art appeared on 15+ products in every one of their stores across the country. I was proud. But part of me felt cheated. Why couldn't I have credit? How will anyone know to contact me for further deals? I wish I had more control of where they positioned that butterfly... From that point on, I knew that I wanted to be known and not anonymous. I wanted control of my art. Becoming a branded artist isn't necessarily easy, but it is possible if you remain true to your vision and work hard. Don't follow trends, start them. Paint what you want, what feels good. Be true to YOU.



4. Things are changing with big box stores. Have you noticed the endcaps in several big chains devoted to designers or "small," independent artists? Have you noticed hang tags that actually credit the artist? Have you seen artist lines in big-named catalogs? If you haven't, try looking a little closer. They're everywhere, and will only continue to grow. I wholeheartedly believe that larger corporations are seeing the value of the independent artist.  Consumers want something more these days. They want something original. They want something with soul. They want something that can't be automated or mass-produced. They want independent. They want small. And boy-oh-boy is that good news for us, the independent artist. I personally think it's AWESOME that places like West Elm and Anthropologie are teaming up with Etsy artists so they can have a broader reach. Which brings me to my next point...

5. So you want to support me until I am too big? This is something I just don't get. People who cry "SUPPORT INDEPENDENT ARTISTS!!" and then when that artist actually does have success, there's uproar. "you're a sellout!" But wait, I thought you wanted me to have success? You'll only support me if I'm struggling?



6. This is the one that really stings... but mostly makes me laugh. "I hope you appreciate your gift more than fast cash." Really? Really...? I am incredibly appreciative of the fact that I can do what I love for a living. I would never choose an opportunity just because the cash is good. In fact, I turned down a gig a couple years ago that could've made 100k. Why? Because I strive for authenticity. That client didn't pass the "are we a good match?" test, and could've hurt my business down the road. Also, I'll let you in on another little secret... I make more money selling direct-to-customer than I do with any of my "big-name" contracts.  

So... To the few of you out there who have harsh words and feelings about what I'm up to: Please don't be so quick to judge. There is a whole hell of a lot of thought and love and soul put into every single decision I make in my business. And not to sound too proud, but I think I'm doing a pretty good job. I am a business. I will continue to grow. Please trust that I'm doing that in the truest way I know how. 

And again, thank you to those who have stuck with me since my early days. I could never have gotten this far without you. 

With Love and gratitude, always:

Katie Daisy. an artist. an individual. a brand. a business. a soul. What's the difference?

184 comments:

  1. What a great post! Very well said. You have thought out your business plan to what works best for your brand and that is all that matters. Keep up the amazing job and I'll enjoy watching you succeed.

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  2. I applaud your accomplishments and your brand.

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  3. We have one of your prints hanging in each of our three bedrooms and another in our front hall. Our family is grateful for your gift and your courage to share it with the world. We wish you every success in this new chapter of your journey, and are thrilled your art will be in the hands of so many more people. Congratulations!

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    1. Thank you Lauren, I'm honored that my art hangs in your home! ♥

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  4. I would just like to say, how much you've influenced me as an artist. You are such a soulful, honest artist, and I have always been inspired by you. You know your business, better than anyone else. As a graphic designer, I can relate to some of this. I think people who can be negative in such a way, are more than likely jealous of others success. Sending positive vibes, and warm hugs. Keep painting this world beautiful, Katie Daisy.

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    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Susan ♥

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  5. Way to eloquently stand up for yourself, Katie! I, for one, did a happy dance when I saw your end cap in our local B&N! Just as candle loses nothing by lighting another, we should celebrate one another's successes. Your authenticity is what endears you to so many - thank you for being unapologetically so! Love and best wishes!! - Heather Greer

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    1. ♥ thank you for such kind, encouraging words, Heather! I love that image of a candle lighting another... so true. Much love.

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  6. Well said. You are true to yourself. You share your gifts with this universe, and you make the world a more beautiful place. It is sad that those negative comments come from a place of jealousy and/or competition. I believe the universe wants us all to succeed. Thank you, Katie Daisy, for sharing your Love.

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    1. I believe that too, Kathy ♥ Thank you so much for your comment.

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  7. Katie, I loved reading this! Sorry for the criticism you received... it's true that no matter how much positivity abounds, any amount of negativity still stings. Some people just don't get it. We've chatted about this previously and you've described my fears and concerns with licensing and "stuff" art perfectly here. For what it's worth, I think you've cultivated your art perfectly and have been and remain an enormous inspiration to me… everything you do is soulful and it's truly exciting to watch your work grow :)

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    1. Thank you SO much, Mae! You know I've admired your work over the years and have loved watching you grow too! ♥

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  8. This is profound. I am proud to have your art framed along side of my art on my dining room wall, and each time I take my daughter to the book store I proudly point out your art.

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  9. Amen. Well done. Too bad all cannot rejoice in the success of others....their loss. Keep forging on.....be proud.

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  10. Oh girl. There are always mean, bitter people in the world and I'm sorry some decided to spew their bile your way. I've been a fan of your art for years - your prints were the inspiration for my now-three-year-old daughter's entire nursery! You have a gift of art and of business. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thanks you Jessica! It means so much to me ♥

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  11. Very well said! I'm grateful for your success because I get to have more of your art in my life! I have 7 prints hanging in my home and numerous note pads, journals, magnets and soaps. I love all of your products because of your art, creativity, talent and most of all because of your soul! Thank you so much! I'm very grateful to have found your art because it speaks to my soul so profoundly :)

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  12. LOVE your work Katie! Congratulations on your success. I've finally got my artistic product into a our local Barnes & Noble and I feel like it's just another place to share what I love - painting and animals! I think it's so cool that you have your own end cap and you're an inspiration! :) You and your work are beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us!

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    1. Thank you Julie! Congrats to YOU! ♥♥

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  13. I'm sorry that you had to go thru the comments thrown your way. As a 62 year old woman who follows you on IG, I discovered you from work you did with Oprah a while back. You are as soulfull an artist I ever seen and what I would give to be an artist so fresh and young and talented and to be able to support myself as a young mother doing my art, I love your studio, watching you as a young mother and creating art which I only wish I could begin to make. Keep up the work my dear your soul is in every thing you do and a great job you are doing-

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    1. Thank you SO much, Shelley! Your comment was so encouraging to read ♥

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  14. You are amazing at what you do. Don't let the hipsters get you down! Keep up the great work!

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    1. hehe! I'll keep my head up ;) thanks kara!

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  15. Go you!!! Not only are you an expressive soulful artist with the gift of encouraging the whispers in our heart, but you are eloquent and considered and well within your rights to defend your decisions. That you even need to is bizarre- who are these people? !? Its YOUR life, and I for one have only ever been encouraged by your success! It was seeing how the world responded to your beautiful work, that gave me the push to become a fulltime illustrator, and when ive struggled its been so helpful to dig around your blog and art to keep trying! I can't imagine a world without Katie Daisy! Your work just speaks to me so much- even the colours you use! Those others say they're looking out for the integrity of your brand but clearly they are motivated by jealousy. I also dont understand why the support is only there if you are struggling. ..good point on that one! How does one person's success all of a sudden become too much? I wish you all the best with your business and your beautiful family. God knows we need your art in the world brightening things up!!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Phoebe. Your comment warms my heart. I don't know why we can't just lift each other up instead of giving non-constructive criticism. Much love to you. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

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    2. Dear Katie,
      I wish we could just lift each other up and celebrate. I agree with what everyone has said so far. How about we just applaud the great things that are happening for you and not be haters? I follow you on IG and love your light and vision! Those negative comments smell like envy to me! Thanks for the inspiration that shows up on my IG feed from you. xoxox

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  16. 1. I am the blessed recipient of one of your beautiful pieces given to me by my daughter "Katie". I don't remember who found you first, she or I , but we both love your work and appreciate the effort and creative talent for so many reasons. We both are artist and know the hours spent questioning yourself and then interpreting life the way you see it.
    ...for this reason #2
    2. If you did art to only please the critics, then would it be an extension of you , a reflection of how you want to use your God given talent or just what others want you to do? I dare say, it would not be totally gratifying or rewarding or a blessing if that were the case.
    3. By becoming "commercial" , I wonder if the critics realize the benefit and the gift it gives others. Not just by the message you portray in your art, although, no question, I cherish my painted message every day! But, as a licensed artist (small that I am), my art allows companies that represent me to employee so many other people, from PR people, sales people, manufacturers, even wharehouse attendants. It is no small benefit that my small piece of work helps these companies to thrive and continue to help others make a living. What an extension of how an artist has impact on her community. Now, let's not forget the individuals who find jobs in the stores my product is found. It is like a pebble tossed into a stream.....not only am I blessed but so are so many others who I have been fortunate to deal with.
    3. My husband is always so supportive, but perhaps the most important thing he has ever said to me is this...."By someone purchasing your work, they have chosen to have a small part of me/you in their homes" . As artist, we will never take that for granted. You will not become less appreciative, less creative, less giving or inspiring. You will become, more able to afford to continue to do the things you do, you will be able to reach more people who might find comfort where there has been sorrow, happiness when the day seems to be a long one, joy when they least expect it.

    Your talent will become further reaching and therefore bless more people. I don't mind sharing you! I only pray the "critics" will find it in there heart to think before they speak, pray before they accuse, appreciate the struggle before they make light of your efforts.

    I support you! I also know that you have your hands and heart full with your precious little boy...I think you are amazing and know great things will come from every "soul" reaching moment. Continue doing what you do and be a blessing to even your critics. They might just need you the most!

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    1. Wow, I totally hear you! It's amazing that licensed art can reach so many and have the potential to benefit all involved with the process. I also love what your husband said... it's true! You're offering a bit of YOU to whoever purchases a print, notebook, calendar, etc.

      I will continue to be true to me. I know there will be critics. I'm just praying that I can know when to let it roll off my back!

      Much love to you and success in all your endeavors ♥

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  17. I was so excited when you posted, on IG, that you have an end cap at BN! I specifically looked for the next time I was in there! It's so sad that hateful people can't see the accomplishments you've made, as an artist, when you are featured nationwide (as you should be because you're so talented!). I wish you all the best in choosing the right partners to take your art to more people because it is inspiring and you do have a fantastic gift for helping others express themselves through displaying and wearing and using your beautiful paintings.

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  18. I'm sorry you were put in a position where you felt you had to defend YOUR decisions. I saw your stuff at Barnes and Noble and was thrilled for you. You've shown other artists how hard work pays off and everyone should be happy for you. Congratulations on all your hard work and wise, careful decisions! I hope you become a bazillionaire in the process too!

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    1. ♥♥♥ thank you! I hate feeling like I'm defending something - I guess I just wanted to uncover what most people might not see and make quick judgements about. I see it more as an "educating" ;)

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  19. I am so thankful for what you've written here. First, I purchased a piece of your art back when your Etsy shop was new and tiny and it's graced the walls of our home every day since. Second, when I saw your Instagram with the BN display, I drove my happy little self down there and purchased 8 items that made me smile and that will be given as gifts to people I love. I am ECSTATIC for you and your success. Third, when I took my one and only art class in college, our professor told us word-for-word, "If you purchase something in a box store, it is NOT art. Even if you think it's art, it's not. Not in a box store." I remember vehemently disagreeing with her and feeling really turned off by what I thought was an "artist's mentality" toward box stores. She was wrong then and people who criticize you about this are wrong now. You are doing a remarkable and inspiring job of bringing joy and beauty to many people while still staying true to yourself. Your art & attitude inspires me daily and I am grateful. Go forth with bravery and love and boldness. You are doing it so well.

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    1. ♥♥♥ thank you ashley! your encouraging words mean so much to me. and thank you for buying art from my shop & barnes and noble!! :) It's sad to me that others feel the need to define what "art" is. Shouldn't that be a personal decision!? Much love to you.

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  20. good for you! never let anyone rain on your parade. you are so talented! :)

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  21. So proud of you as an artist and so inspired by you as a creative soul!
    Thank you

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  22. Good for you, Katie! If it wasn't for your broader reach, I would have never been able to purchase my adorable "Live the Simple Life" daily planner. As a matter of fact, I've been asking friends and family who are near and dear to me to create whatever they feel like on any of the pages of my planner. And I too have started to add my own "stuff" to it. It's disappointing that some "purists" feel you're a sell-out, but as long as you have creative control and are staying true to yourself, then you're following the right path. Thanks for your beautiful work! :-)

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement and support. I love that you're adding your own "stuff" to the planner! Make it yours :) ♥

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  23. Keep up the awesomeness, Katie!

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  24. I'm so sick of this idea that true artists cannot be commercially successful. To me, being successful commercially is just an indicator that you are also a good business person & an entrepreneur – and that stuff isn't easy, and it's especially difficult to be good at both art & business!! So, if being a commercially successfully artists means you are a sell out, then I champion selling out. :)

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    1. hehe... I love your comment. thank you! ♥

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  25. I saw this on Facebook and came across to read. Essentially the bottom line is it is no ones business but your own Katie as to what you do and how you do it....There are so many petty etties our there so quick to criticise and so slow to praise. Why is it that art and artful products get this bad rap? Do they criticise the basketballer for his multi million $$ contract or the CEO of a large corporation.
    Do Artists not deserve to be rewarded? Is you hard work different to other industries?
    I have not seen your art in Australia but I will make it my business to now look and you know what, if I like it, then that is indeed my decision to support you.
    The people that annoy me are the ones who suck ideas from others, trawling and trolling and then present them as their own and when they have multi $$$ campaigns behind them all I see is how clever they are ad nauseum!
    At the end of the day you look in the mirror Katie and if you like what you see then that is all that matters. Always be true to what you believe.
    Julie
    PS take a look at the wonderful comments and keep this warmth and admiration close to your heart for you are indeed admired and respected!

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  26. I am commenting before I read this post because I want you to know how loved you are. When you share pics of your process and art studio, the soul your art has, the amount of paint you own. The devotion to your work is obvious. Your artistic expression is obvious. I would much rather see you get to go big box with your stuff and make the money you have rightly earned than for some big box store to make a profit off a cheap imitation of what you do. DAISY POWER!

    XOXOXO

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    1. this^ because it will happen. plus stuff is still stuff. The only reason they buy Daisy's work is because the art spoke to them, not because they needed more "stuff".

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  27. Well said! This is such a tricky thing - I can assure you no one at Google or Microsoft is sitting around talking about being a "sell out" because they are making money. I really wish the whole "you have to be struggling to be a true artist" thing would go away. Our bills are no smaller because of what we do... our families don't want to suffer so others can think we are valid.

    Everyone has to make their own decisions about how to create and how to earn an income from that creativity if they chose too. I do almost all licensing - and I'm happy to do it. Whether art is hand painted on a canvas or found on a mug, it touches people.

    I'm sorry people are making you feel bad. Keep up the good work and the work that resonates with YOU - that is what the world, you and your family need! :)

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  28. You tell 'em. And stay proud--you've earned it!
    Sarah M (aka someone who has been buying your prints off etsy for YEARS and will continue to!!)

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  29. So well put! I know without a doubt that your work has such appeal because of the soul behind it. People recognize authenticity. Your message of beauty and love is what the world needs. I think you're doing a damn good job.

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  30. I have your organizer; I found it in a shop and it stood out, it had soul :) It's with me all the time - everything I need to know about everything I need to get done is in it. The messages and colors help make my day brighter and cheerful, and the art in it keeps me motivated. Had it not been in that shop, I might have not come across you and your beautiful work. Those remarks are just plain silly. Your work and accomplishments are admirable and they should be shared broadly.

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  31. This was so interesting to read and I really loved hearing your perspective. I stand by everything you said and having read your blog for years I am (as strange as it sounds) proud of you for where you are today doing what you love!!

    I found it so cool to hear about how you first started too. It was like you were telling me (and the rest of the world) a little secret. And it was inspiring :)

    Britney

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  32. You know I love your art! I have several prints hanging in my home and send your cards all the time. You are doing everything right and you're doing it in exactly the right way. Your success is well-earned and your products are always of the highest quality. Unfortunately, whenever someone is successful, the creeps start coming out of the woodwork! Eventually you'll learn that you don't have to answer them, explain anything to them or engage with them in any way. It's like arguing with air--- you'll never change their minds or be able to make them understand anything because being ugly and critical is what they live for. It's sad for them, but it's not your job to fix them. Ban them from your site and go on with your wonderful life, that is unfolding just as it should!

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    1. LIKE!! Very well said Miss Mary!! :) And YOU should know! <3

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    2. this is the best advice on the subject you can get. you can't let that wretched woman - or whoever - bother you, katie! you are obviously talented, genuine, hardworking, upstanding and deserving in every way. I completely agree with everything Mary Engelbreit says!! she is the queen of everything, afterall :D

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    3. Mary!! It is so encouraging to get a comment from YOU! Thank you so much for reminding me of this... I know, I just need to let them go! There's just something in me that always thinks... "maybe they just don't KNOW..." but usually they do, and anything you say to try to convince them doesn't work.

      Thank you again. I've always been a fan of you!! ♥

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  33. Keep going! you're a shining example of what is achievable and your work brings pure joy!! It's a shame that the negativity of others has lead to you needing to speak out, but you made your points very well. Why shouldn't an artist work with whoever they feel fit in order to support their art. I license my designs as well as sell direct online and find the licensing side enables me to generate an income that basically buys me creative time to develop the designs I want to, whilst promoting my work to wider audience - I can not see anything wrong with that? We all need to make a living to eat...artists also need to create and that takes time - so it makes total sense to me. As you say, as long as you partner with those who are a good match for you, then I think it's a beautiful thing. Surely art should be for all, making the world a brighter place...and if the artist is no longer starving for their art then we have all come a long way as a society! Hooray for that!

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  34. Excellent post. Well done and congratulations on your success - You can only please some of them some of the time... !

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  35. Your brand is very inspiring. You don't have to apologise to anyone for your success!

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  36. Well said. I've been a working (profitable) artist for nearly thirty years, the last twelve in licensing. You have a good head on your shoulders, beautiful work - rock on! Indeed, artists do not have to starve!

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  37. I think your success is amazing and you should be proud. I think your detractors are jealous. The kind of success you are now experiencing, isn't something that all artists get to have in their lives. and your detractors probably see the world as small - if you succeed there is less room for them to succeed. But i see it the other way. If you do well then more companies may venture into licensing and thus there will be more opportunities out there.
    you rock.

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  38. I will continue to love you and your brand no matter what. You are a crazy-talented artist and your prints brighten up our living room wall and speak to my soul every time I look at them. Congrats on your success. Sorry that there are haters out there. They're probably just jealous.

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  39. I am really tired of seeing designers and bloggers defend themselves for trying to make a living. You shouldn't have to apologize. From one stationery designer to another, I designed a line of cards a while ago and am happy to send you some that you can send to all your critics. https://www.etsy.com/transaction/18232196? Let me know if you want some. :)

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  40. Great post! I never understood the whole "sellout" thing either. It just makes no sense! Even if you did take every job that came your way. I don't think I could judge someone for doing that. Everyone has their own definition of success. I want people to succeed. I think we should all succeed! I can only guess that the negative comments come from a place of jealousy. I think you are doing a great job and are a great example for other artists out there. :)

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  41. I don't think it's selling out. You are living your dream and that is incredible and admirable! And I'm super grateful your stuff is in B&N. When your etsy shop was sold out of your 17 month planner, and then sold out again and again, I found one in B&N. I LOVE it. It makes me happy everyday. And I wouldn't have gotten one otherwise. :)

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  42. Kick that negativity to the curb. A few years ago I got some exciting recognition and I let 5 "anonymous" negative comments ruin the hundreds of congrats. I still kick myself when I think I gave an ounce of power to cowards who know nothing about me as an artist/designer. I am so proud of you!

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  43. "Tell Me, What Is It You Plan To Do With Your One Wild and Precious Life?", I read this quote everyday on your print hanging by our front door and repeat it to myself before I make any major decisions about my career path. We have this one, beautiful life and one chance at making a lasting impression on the world- you are touching hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives with your artwork. It's not about the venue, it's about your message. Creative people are placed under a critical microscope and every action and decision is examined- as I am preparing to start my own small retail business, I am now second-guessing every purchase I make from a "big box store" and wondering if people will think of me as a hypocrite- the reality is, people are going to think things about you and form their own opinions whether they are true or not. Channel your inner Georgia O' Keefe and Diana Vreeland and say "screw 'em" and keep creating what satisfies your soul.

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  44. A friend posted your article on Facebook and I just had to comment. WELL SAID! Keep up the good work!!! Thank you for writing this post!

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  45. I love you, Katie Daisy. You are an inspiration and a light in this world.

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  46. Anyone who wants LESS of YOU in this world, needs to look within themselves. You exude positivity and light - and I vote that we make that a mainstay of every large organization. Your authentic self is so evident - and I have no doubt you always be true to your brand because it's so clearly you.

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  47. Katie,

    I bought your 2015 journal from a big box store. You art work, which I adore, serves as a daily reminder of what is possible. Your soul does live inside each and every page ... I feel it. Continue to trust your gut it is leading you on you own unique and special journey, and I am grateful to be able to share a little of it. Many thanks!

    Michelle

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  48. Katie,
    I think you are an amazing artist and you radiate love, happiness, and positivity. Every time I look at your art it makes me so happy and inspired. I think it is great that your art is selling at places like Barnes and Nobles. This allows for your art to reach more people and have a positive impact. And you are right, many big companies are investing and appreciating independent artists which I think is awesome!!!

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  49. I applaud you and your ethics. And I am so glad you are true to yourself and what you do. Blessings to you and all that you love and hold dear. Keep on keeping on...

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  50. Perfectly said. If you can make a living doing what you love then you are already on the winning end, but to make that living and be able to share such beauty and truth on such a big scale is spectacular. I remember that butterfly. I recognized it as yours the moment I saw it in the store. You are doing wonderful. I love seeing your stuff out in stores. It always makes me smile to know someone new will get to see your work.

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  51. For an artist just starting out professionally and commercially full time after a massive career change to follow my dream, this post couldn't be more timely. To be accepted commercially in the authenticity of who you are only means your art has found resonance in people's souls. And that is a beautiful thing. Cheering you on and enjoying your calendar in my studio. Your success reminds me that my own is possible. Thank you!

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  52. Oh my, so many people have strong opinions on things they know little about. How frustrating it is. I'm sure you have made well informed business decisions and are doing what's best for you. Who knows why people feel they need to chime in with there two sense. Anyway it's always nice to see a post by you in my feed. So glad things are going well with your brand. You're work always brings a smile to my face! I hope motherhood is treating you well! Happy New Year to you and your family!

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  53. Haters gonna hate! You go girl! I have loved your work for quite awhile- and have a little collection to prove it ;) Follow your heart and if one day you see that it wasn't the right move- change it. Honey, we learn from our successes and our mistakes, they're ALL good. Keep up the good work!

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  54. A great post on the ups and downs of this life as an artist. Congrats!

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  55. Yeah you! Your work is beautiful and the 'starving artist' mentality needs to be debunked. What's wrong with making a living making beautiful things and doing what you love?

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  56. You are a truly unique and beautiful, artful, loving soul!! Keep being YOU!! <3 And forget all the rest! :)

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  57. Great article and amazing work always. I was THRILLED to walk into Bed Bath and Beyond and find your "Live Simply" 17-Month Planner. THRILLED!!! I made sure to get two! THANK YOU! and CONGRATULATIONS !!

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  58. I have recently come to know your art and love it! You are so very talented and I applaud your success! Artists who are as successful as you are with your art are not a sell out, but an inspiration to us fellow artists. Don't listen for a moment to the negativity and absolute nonsense these people shoved your way. Just celebrate your success and feel the love from so many fans. :0)

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  59. More blog posts PLEASE!! I LOVE your "stuff"!!! You are so very inspirational.

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  60. I disagree with most of what you say. I have a book that you illustrated and a picture that I bought from your etsy shop. Your picture arrived somewhat late and the approach to the sale was pretty nonchalant and disinterested, it wasn't a great experience to be honest and I would not repeat it as the customer service was meh and I felt under appreciated. Not what is usual for me when buying from etsy, so I noticed it. I have not had much to do with your work. I know I liked it, but I dislike its mainstream-ness and the way it has all has similar feel which taps into a market and creates a brand.

    I'm not a consistent market. I like an artist to explore, to try out new things. I don't want to instantly recognise your work because of the sameness quality about it. I want to be challenged to like new things you try out, new colours, media texture and ideas and be surprised. That is creativity, not selling the stuff you know people like because they have bought it already. There is only a certain amount of flowery words you can have before it is enough. If you provide nothing new, then I have to go in search of it. I dislike brands. I like people.

    I will support people through their different phases and styles of work and experimentation. I will stop if there doesn't seem to be much of that going on. So yes once you leave your customer and your creativity behind and instead concentrate on the dollars, that is where I jump ship. I don't want to read authors who write a successful book about food, to always and only write about food as the back drop to further story telling, as their publishers force them to do. Surely there is something else they want to say too? It is very tedious. I'm tired of the artists not having control, so if you give that control away, then yes I part company. I do like the independent artist. If you get to the stage where you are licenced everywhere, then you are past subsistence level wages, If I no longer admire the product I won't buy it. Artists need to live on their salaries, to earn more than just to survive, but we don't need 'super-artists' at the expense of the true independent one who is left to create amazing work while barely breaking even. So, you might say and think as you do, but I have my reasons too for thinking as I do. Why should you be supported because I once liked your work enough to buy it? Why don't you come up with something new to tempt me to keep buying? Why should I buy into your name, and not your work? Why is the onus all on your customer to provide the loyalty when it doesn't seem a fair swap?
    Louise

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    1. Hi Louise, thank you for your comment.

      I'm sorry that you had an unpleasant experience purchasing something through my Etsy shop. My shop assistant and I strive for great customer service, so I'm surprised this happened. Can you tell us a little more info? We'd love to right this wrong for you. Please get in touch via private message on Etsy so we can get to the bottom of it.

      On your other points:
      For the most part, I think we'll have to agree to disagree regarding "mainstream-ness." I would, however, like to point you to my instagram and Facebook page, where I'm constantly posting new work - with new textures, backgrounds, materials, and subject matter, on a weekly basis. For me, my creativity is at its highest point. I feel alive when creating art... and I definitely do not "concentrate on dollars" as you've mentioned in your comment. I'd also like to point out I most certainly DO have control of my art. I work incredibly close (almost to the point of annoyance) with my licensees to make sure that notebook, planner, or greeting card is designed to fit my standards and honor my artwork.

      With all that said, however, I will not apologize for finding success in the marketplace. I have worked extremely hard, overcome many challenges, and taken many risks to get to where I'm at now. I never claimed to be a purist. A fine artist. I am proud to be able to share my heart with the masses and support a family with my "flowery word" paintings.

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  61. What a delightful post! Makes my heart sing to read these thoughts! Rock on sista!

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  62. Great post. As a licensed artist, I've been called a sellout more than once. As long as you are true to you, and your love of painting... Then it's all good! You are an inspiration to many of us, keep up the beautiful work!

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  63. I love your very well put, eloquent post. way to stick up for yourself and all you have going. you are an amazing artist with an incredibly beautiful style of art. I have been following your art for a few years and have many pieces. I just love my little journals that came in a 3-pack from target! I am a budding licensed artist in the process of getting my first deal. your post gave me a great perspective on how things might pan out at some point and now I know how to respond if the need arises. congratulations n the Barnes and noble deal. I should be so lucky one day.

    amy bremner

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  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Amy, and best of luck in the industry! off to check out your website :)

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    2. thanks, katie...I am planning on going to SURTEX this may, so I'll need your wish of good luck!

      btw, I just deleted the post with my website in it cuz I accidentally ended up posting a double comment there!! if you still want to take a peek, it's: www.matildaandme.com

      ps: you have the cutest baby in all the land! I just love the posts you put up of the little dumpling.

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  65. WOW Katie, I'm blown away by your honesty! We all dream of making a living with our art and you took a fantastic opportunity with a huge brand - Congratulations! I'm looking forward to keep following your creative journey!

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  66. Katie, keep on keeping on! As an artist we HAVE to paint, we have to create, we MUST go with our hearts. And of course we need to be paid. It is a living. A passionate living we make. It is truly how we roll. Congrats and I think your work ... your ART is amazing! xoxoxo Sending you huge warm artsy hugs from my chilly studio in Ohio.

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  67. Wow, Katie! I'm just blown away by these negative, judgmental comments. YOU GO, GIRL! No one should have to ever explain the decisions they make regarding how they earn their income (artists are allowed to EAT too!), or what style they paint in. No artist "needs" to change that style if 1. It's WHO they are. 2. What they CHOOSE to paint. 3. If it's working for them. 4. Even if it's not working commercially - so what! If it makes you HAPPY to paint that way, to paint the subjects you choose to paint, it's not the right of anyone else to tell you to do differently. You are so obviously a joyous, happy person. And so very obviously, you are bringing joy to many, many of your fans. I'm also a licensing artist, Katie, who has worked for years and years to develop my talent and my style and have worked hard to earn a living doing what I love. So I totally understand and applaud you for standing up to these ignorant comments. Bless you! Keep on keeping on!

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  68. Congrats on your success! I'm sorry you have to defend yourself against these comments. I really don't understand why people feel like they have to put you down.

    A couple things occurred to me reading this that I'd like to point out to non-artists:

    Most artists don't get rich from licensing. You might call it "selling out" but to us it's another drop in the bucket to help us make a living, along with the other places we sell art. When you see products in a store, the artist only gets a small % of wholesale (half of the price you are paying). Most artists don't consider success to be getting rich (that only happens to dead artists). Success is simply being able to pay the bills without anxiety and be comfortable like everyone else in the world hopes for.

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  69. Well said. Your art is amazing. You are amazing. I smiled when I saw your art displayed at Barnes and Noble. And I am thrilled that you are keeping your Etsy shop.

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  70. Your awesome. Congrats on your success. I too am an artist who did some licensing. I hated how it went and got out of the contract. but I worry it has ruined my brand a little. I am trying to move past it. I love painting and selling my art. I love seeing others stories of success! You are not a sellout!

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  71. What a fantastic post!! I love the term "stuff" artist!! You should be proud of your art, it's beautiful and takes hard work. It's fun seeing how art transforms from the original piece into a variety of products and yes, I like seeing my name on it as well. And, I like knowing who the artist is for the products I buy so I can then see what other things they offer. Keep at it and love your attitude.

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  72. You and your work are amazing and beautiful, Katie. Those who made negative comments are simply jealous & sour grapes. Keep on being your lovely & happy self.

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  73. haters gonna hate and you can't please 'em all. You keep doing what you love dear Katie. Congratulations on all your blessings. P.s. I took a pic for my instagram today and later realized your tea cup was right up front and I had just read your post last night and I thought to myself… I know exactly who designed this cup and her name might not be on it, but she's the reason I bought it. I love it. cheers katie daisy! xo amy… nanaCompany

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  74. I love your art and I'm glad it's easy to find.

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  76. Have an Etsy print of yours my husband bought me. I was really excited to see your work in BN. At first I was concerned that it was a big store copying/ripping you off. But, on closer inspection it had to be yours. Because I'm leaving my work as a TV journalist for than 15 years and pursuing writing full time I bought the "Live the Life You've Imagined" Thoreau journal because I needed a little inspiration. Journalists are also very vigilant about being authentic, me included. We often starve and put off paying bills and rent because we are paid little and work a lot. However, the "advice" you are getting is disingenuous. It is coming from souls who are either not as brave or as talented as you or both. A good friend of mine who is a clay artist borrowed or coined the phrase "Artier Than Thou". When people are jealous, attempting to be condescending it often the first thing they reach for. Your flowers soak up the sun and so should you. Congratulations on your success. Don't let the little people rob you of your hard earned joy. Joy is what your work brings other people, keep some for yourself.

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  77. Great post. I think your work is beautiful and the more people who are able to see and appreciate it an accessible way, the better! Your art brings joy - that is how I would describe your work. So hooray that it's not only available for hundreds or thousands of dollars on canvas! I don't know why anyone would diss it, but regardless - ignore them. Congrats on your success, congrats on the Barnes & Noble launch, and thank you for making the world a more beautiful place. :-)

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  78. Good for you and well said! I love your art - I can't help but smile when I see it. It thrills me each time I see your work in stores! Knowing you made a success of your business inspires me! :)

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  79. Congratulations! You are an inspiration to other artists! Your passion for your work shows in each painting you create. You should be very proud of your success. I know it is hard to let go of your work unless you know the quality will be maintained. Each stop on your road to success has created the opportunity for someone new to discover your gift! Thank you for sharing and keep up the incredible work!

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  80. inspiring words, it comes to me in the right moment thank you♥

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  82. Amen, Sister! Extraordinarily, amazingly well stated! After 17 years, I still struggle on a daily basis dealing emotionally with people who make negative comments about my work and about some of the compromises I must make to be able to continue to do something which is my entire life's work and passion. I know that I am not losing my soul but that each of those criticisms helps me to become more in touch with my soul and to continue doing what I love with more commitment than ever. The criticisms hurt and they can sometimes wear on my health, but I am making gradual progress on trying to process them more gracefully within my own being. I too have passed up some lucrative deals, for the reason that I could not make peace with what they represented or with what I felt like I would lose as a person and as an artist. THANK YOU immensely for touching my heart with your words and your spirit and your willingness to put this strong statement out there for people. You are inspiring and lovely and I wish you and your family all the best!

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  83. LOL! I love your stuff!
    Just teasing. I appreciate your ethics, but I just really love having your artwork around me. I love the message, the colors and the general over all just plain happiness that it exudes. I'm glad that it's affordable and attainable. If you get rich sharing that... well good on you! :)
    Congratulations! :)
    ~Liz

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  84. I made a post and I think Blogger ate it. I love this post and I totally totally get it. I agree with your signature: an artist, a brand, a soul. What is the difference!! I think people forget that we are independent artists. There isn't some giant robot that takes over your body when you start licensing your work successfully. It's crazy. We are all indie artists trying to make our dreams happen. End of story. Huge props to you for all that you have accomplished and continue to accomplish. I am in awe of your wonderful work and all that you do. I think your work has opened up the mind of many a licensee. I'm not overstating it, I think you're a maverick and you continue to do so with your new experiments! (I love the 3D aspects to the latest I've seen)! Huge congrats on your work, success and life, from one licensed artist to another, I am a huge fan of Katie Daisy the brand AND the person!

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  85. Nice creativity, i really love it, nice work you are doing here Adopt a dog

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  86. love your stuff Katie daisy. you don't have to explain anything to anyone. safe people will respect your journey. you didn't even ask anyone's opinion. I am happy for you. keep creating, it's an inspiration to me. going to barnes and noble now!

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  87. It's really too bad you felt the need to even explain all of this. I'm glad you did, I was happy to read it, and I hope other people really heard your message, but that struggling artist elitism kind of makes me sick. You are beautiful and creative. You are the artist. And this is America so you are fully entitled to do what you want with your work. I'm a teacher and got a Barnes and Noble gift card for an end of the year thank you gift-- you can bet I'll spend a good amount of time at your end cap and make a careful, lovely decision to treat myself to something you made that will no doubt fill me with joy and brighten my life. Thank you so much for that!

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  88. I am inspired by your work, but I am even more inspired by your journey of being true to yourself and protecting yourself from negative influences. Protecting myself from negative influences has been the absolute key to whether I make art. Making art is key to ever getting a chance at making a living at it. Thank you for getting on your soap box about this subject. It's not just good for you, it's good for your artist tribe.

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  89. Brands function mostly as a lie they promote lifestyles and promises they never fulfil in order to sell something ,I know that's not what your doing but that's the association with heavy branding.

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    1. I am a marketing professional. Do you really think Katie's art is trying to "promote lifestyles and promises?" I myself have bought some of her licensed products that I otherwise would not have bought just because I love her art. And no, I would not consider the products that license Katie Daisy's art to be her "brand" any more than I would consider Picasso's art to be his "brand." I see Picasso's work all over products similar to some licensed by Katie, but alas he is not here to benefit is he? Because each has a style uniquely their own does that is instantly and easily recognizable not constitute a "brand" but instead is a reflection of their soul which comes from a deep seated overwhelming need to express themselves, right? With Katie the art comes first....then the licensing by big business only helps spread her vision and gives us the chance to own it. What would you have her do? Keep it all to herself? That would be like Wolfgang Puck cooking one of his delicious dishes only to put it in the refrigerator and not letting anyone touch it and certainly NOT sharing the recipe. Would the food still be just as good? Learn to appreciate what life has to offer, especially when it is offered from someone's very soul!

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  90. Hooray for you! Well said, exactly spot on. I am an artist as well and I applaud your ability to discover opportunities to share your art and your vision. So far I think you have done an excellent job of licensing your art (which means you retain all the rights to it) without compromising your work. And I think any artist out there that would begrudge that success would have to be basing that on their own jealousy and should question their own motives.

    Certainly there is and always will be the constant and abiding debate on the difference between a "fine artist" all the way to "artisan" which is and should be rubble! Do you express yourself, your thoughts, your viewpoint, your soul? Any expression is art to the beholder (snobs aside.) So I say again....carry on. You, your work, and yes, your business are an inspiration to me and countless others. It's beautiful and every single expression of it makes someone's life more beautiful. Thank you for being you, and to some people's dismay, doing it well.

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  91. You created a brand because you appreciate your talents, and know what it deserves. It's amazing to have control over the what, how, and why of your art as an artist. There's everything right about empowering yourself to do so. Lots of encouragement and good thoughts to you! You're an inspiration.

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  94. I love your work. Do what you will with your life, your art and your business. It is yours. Screw what others think. Congratulations on achieving great things after putting in hours of hard work and dedication....

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  95. I am honestly sorry that people are so free with their inner thoughts (that should have been filtered out before they opened their mouths) that you feel you need to justify working and earning a living. I sincerely doubt all of those people with such "sage" advice are working for small mom and pop companies or non-profits, right? Oy, people need to just learn when to talk and when not to. And I bet like 80-90% of the time, they shouldn't. I say congratulations to you! :)

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  96. GREAT post, Katie! Yes, why can't artists enjoy financial reward that they deserve? Love how you said, "But wait, I thought you wanted me to have success? You'll only support me if I'm struggling?" Great one! That's why I'm an agent. To get artists financial respect. It's a feminist issue. Thanks for clarifying this for folks. xoxoxo

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  97. I am honestly sorry that people are so free with their inner thoughts (that should have been filtered out before they opened their mouths) that you feel you need to justify working and earning a living. I sincerely doubt all of those people with such "sage" advice are working for small mom and pop companies or non-profits, right? Oy, people need to just learn when to talk and when not to. And I bet like 80-90% of the time, they shouldn't. I say congratulations to you! :)

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  99. Well said Katie- I have been a commercial artist for 24 + years and someone said it right above , negativity even when you know it isn't true is hurtful - you do beautiful work And deserve all the success you're having - don't let a goof ruin it for you ever- feed on all the love here and continue to be an inspiration, you are rocking it! Love your work
    And your spirit , I especially Love your answer to your critics - again well said :) ♥️

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  105. Oh I so glad I found this post Katie.....you have just made my favourite people list! ❤️ Inspired! �� Thank You! Hugs!

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  106. Dear Katie, I just discovered you this morning through Meera Lee Patel's website. This is the first blog post I have read. Thank you for this beautiful post and blessing us by sharing your thoughts. I am creating a meaningful gift for my family that is a year long journey of self-discovery. Meera's lovely journal is part of the initial gift box. You will now be a part of that journey/adventure. Thank you for knowing who you are and sharing your inspiration with us.

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  107. you go girl! beautifully navigated and beautifully relayed!

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  108. I'm really glad that you've been able to go more mainstream or else I might not have found your beautiful work!! I hope you only feel the love and admiration that comes with your talent! Keep up the great work & I wish you every success!

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  109. Way to go! Awesome post. LOVE your work and your approach to life and your business is inspiring.

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  110. Katie, Good you you. I was pleased to see your work in Barnes and Nobles after I started following you on Instagram. I commented to my 17 year old daughter how great it is you are living your dream. Love to you, Kay

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  111. Dear Katie, I (liezlvs) have only recently found you 'by chance' on Instagram and I am loving your soul-filled art and words used in your art! Wonderful to read about your book coming out! I am holding thumbs that bookshops in Cape Town (in South Africa) where I live will also stock it!
    Wishing you loads and loads of success!! Your art is SO inspiring! It must be shared!!
    Lots of love from Cape Town xx

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  112. You make me smile :) I have seen your work, outside, didn't know who you were, was happy to find out through a pin on Pinterest. Thinking you will live a wonderful life, so talented, smart and sweat. Lucky to live your dream in a beautiful place with a lovely family and great friends. I wish you all the best and look forward to your new book, I have always loved whimsical thing's. Ps, I wanted to right this because it did make me sad, that you were saddened by the nae Sayers, don't be sadden by them. Have a wonderful life :))))

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  114. You go girl! Be true to yourself, live your life on your own terms, and live well. Loved this post.

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  117. I would just like to say, how much you've influenced me as an artist. You are such a soulful, honest artist, and I have always been inspired by you. You know your business, better than anyone else. As a graphic designer, I can relate to some of this. I think people who can be negative in such a way, are more than likely jealous of others success. Sending positive vibes, and warm hugs. Keep painting this world beautiful, Katie Daisy.......

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  124. تمتعوا الآن بالحل الأمثل و السريع للقضاء علي تلف الأجهزة من خلال نصائح توكيل صيانة ال جي الذي يعتبر من أكبر مراكز صيانة ال جي في مصر و يحقق لكم مستوي رائع كما يمكنكم الإتصال علي رقم ال جي للتواصل مع مركز خدمة العملاء مباشرة .

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