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Just Us Bears Just Us Bears
Posts: 940

I received a rather exciting email this morning, and after my initial buzz settled, I have got to thinking about what it really means to accept such an invitation.
Here's part of the email...

I came across your link through Lisa Dopking's website and was extremely impressed with your bear designs. I wanted to know whether you may be interested in working with me to showcase an original design of yours in an upcoming edition of the magazine. We pay to publish the instructions for your project and this project would need to be made specifically for the magazine, having not been in pattern format, advertised, taught etc previously.

The magazine is a well know craft magazine, you know the type, they may have a bear pattern, a quilt pattern, a cloth doll etc.
My dilemma is that although I am honoured, and indeed I have never been published before, I don't know whether this is actually going to get me anywhere. Of course if it were a bear mag I would be in, no questions asked, but I'm wondering if the time I would spend designing this bear and making it, would be better spent actually making bears to sell. Do collectors read these type of magazines?
Also, I'm wondering if the rights to this pattern then become exclusively theirs and therefore I can't sell it in the future as a pattern. They'd want to pay a decent amount for that in that case, if you add up what you could make on pattern sales.
My initial reaction was to want to email her a yes straightaway, but then I thought 'Why be so rash when I can ask the girls what they think?" After all, with the wealth of knowledge available here, there's bound to be someone who will point out something I hadn't considered. I just want to know what I want, before I email her back. What do I want? :/
Anyone have any thoughts on this matter?

Gail Bear With Me Enterprises
Posts: 1,319

Hi Hayley
It sounds like they want you to have an exclusive design just for their magazine. If this is the case then you would likely have to give them sole rights to the pattern. I would want them to mention that the pattern is copyrighted and is for personal use only and not to be photocopied or bears made from the pattern were not to be sold. You might want to ask her a few questions before you sign on the dotted line. It would of course be free advertising for you and might in the long run bring you more sales

rufnut Rufnut Teddy's
Victoria Australia
Posts: 2,725

Yeah I can see your excitement and honour Hayley, but do tread carefully.  It would probably more advantageous on your part if they did a profile on you.

Copyright would also be my concern too.

Sorry I cannot add any more value on this topic I have never add the opportunity arise before.

Good luck on whatever you decide.  bear_happy

Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Posts: 4,066

Oh my god Hayley!!!!!
I received the same email!!!!  I rang her today and she is just excited..  I will be in next Junes winter issue...I was so honoured to be chosen...I couldn't believe it...I was expecting to have to go out in search of magazines to print me like someone had told me she does, not have it drop in my lap.
Go for it if you can...Best part is they pay you for it...I will be getting a nice little present from them for my efforts.  I thought something lke $50 but its way more....don't know if I should say how much it is here, but I was shocked! go for it girl...its a huge opportunity.
I didn't even care about the pay...just thought it was terrific...but that is just like WOW!  They are paying me to feature in their wonderful to be in a magazine let alone that....
Write me if you need and we can discuss things if you want...
The lady is lovely tho, so give her a ring....very sweet and easy to talk to.  I was nevous lol
as you can tell I'm over the moon bear_original  so sorry if I sound too eager
hugs sarah

Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Posts: 4,066

oh...on further reading...yes it is a pattern for their magazine....Made and designed for them...After that you can sell the bear, but it can't feature in any other magazine and I don't think you can sell the pattern.
I design different bears all the time coz I'm more of a traditional OOAK'er, so this isn't a huge deal for me...I have the time, no kids or job coz I'm sick etc....and I love doing it...I thrive on designing and creating
I suppose you would have to weigh all of this up first...How much it will take out of your time and load of work etc....I think tho that any publicity is good publicity, and to be asked to feature in a magazine is a huge compliment.   :rose:
Oh she mentioned that they have one bear artist, one doll and one animal every couple of months i think...And its quite a large craft magazine...lots of people buy it.
hugs Hayley and let me know if you need to talk

rufnut Rufnut Teddy's
Victoria Australia
Posts: 2,725

Congrats Sarah  bear_thumb

Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Posts: 4,066

Yeh, thats what I was worried about too...the pattern and people much of that going on!!..It is so annoying to work so hard on a style, pattern, design etc and then have it taken right from under your nose with no work, or brain work on the other persons part!....
I suppose one way to think of it is that if someone wants your design enough they will find a way...or they will just copy the is so hard to really protect your own creativity....
This magazine wants a specific style from my bears and the managing editor gave me very clear outlines of what she made it easy...I suppose I will just be careful not to design a pattern that would give away all my secrets..Its terrible to have to think like this at all and can't believe people do copy, but thats life I guess.  It doesn't end at school!  I suppose if you are published, you will be 'known' more and if people see that bear again they will know it is yours, not some other persons..
I don't know...just think about it and weigh it all bring up some of the same thoughts i had tho, so you are not alone...

Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Posts: 4,066

oh thankyou Karen :)
I've written too much I know, but the thoughts kept coming lol
hugs sarah  bear_flower bear_smile

Delartful Bears Delartful Bears
Posts: 3,518

Oooh how exciting for you both, congrats Sarah and Hayley - good luck with whatever you both deserve to do!


Just Us Bears Just Us Bears
Posts: 940

Thanks Sarah! And I'm glad you have been asked too. I tend to feel that I would have been happier had they asked to do a profile..but I guess it's a start. I have often thought that when I see a pattern by a certain artist, that it's never really the type of bear that you generally aquaint with that artist, but I guess that's why..because they don't want to use a pattern that they are currently using for their own 'look'. We have seen by all the great Charity Bears on Teddy Talk lately that it is possible for an artist to apply their own look to just about any I guess that's not a problem. My bears all tend to look like they are from the same family tree even when the pattern is totally different. I'm not really that worried about people copying because I would design a very basic pattern and soop it up with finishing detail. Sounds like the lady knows what she wants anyway.

I guess I shouldn't dither around too much either, because chances are she has asked a few different artists and it may be that the first ones to accept will get the deal. If they only feature a bear pattern every few issues, then that's not many issues huh?
I will email you privately and ask some more if you don't mind. ;)
Thanks everyone for your input.

Amanda Pandy Potter Bears
Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 1,864

Hard one this. I know of a lady who sells mini bears on ebay who does really well. At least £100+ and $200+ for her lovely designs. Thing is like everyone she started off buying a pattern ( its there for all to see in her feedback). My question is, she and others have, like ourselves  moved on to making our own patterns, but what if people don't? I know the bears won't look like ours but it makes for uneasy thoughts. Maybe because it takes me ages to make new patterns I'm over protective.

I love sharing ideas on here, I would give anyone of you my patterns (hey, thats if anyone wanted them!) but thats because I know what genuine and honest people you all are. I would go with what you said, do a basic one, with your twist on the bear at the end. Remember its great PR and who knows what might come from it!

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
Posts: 5,551

CONGRATS!!!! Hayley and Sarah!!!! It's just so exciting!!!! Let us know the issue when all is decided.!!! :clap: :clap:

Tammy Beckoning Bears
Nova Scotia
Posts: 3,739

Congratulations Hayley and Sarah !  That is wonderful news and so exciting !
Let us know how you get along and what you decide.  Of course we'll need pictures of the final product too.    bear_thumb

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

Wow, cool, girls!!  :clap:  :thumbsup:

My selfish thought: You'll be helping to promote artist teddy bears.... not those easy, jointless McCall's patterns 'common folk' are familiar with! (Which, by the way I've used many times in my early days so I'm not against them but artists bears are a whole 'nother league as you know!)

Lots of pros and cons to weigh. But honestly, is it going to hurt to make a pattern you can't sell yourself? Do you do a lot of OOAKs? How many do you think will turn around sell the bears they make from your pattern? Can you ask the mag to be sure and state in very plain english the copyright policy? Can you put the copyright on every pattern piece just to keep that little reminder in front of the maker?

Also, I don't know if you've published your patterns before but once you have the instructions written once you'll never have to do it again. You can just go in and tweek where you need to for special parts on different bears.

I do totally understand your hesitations and would feel the exact same way! I trust you'd get to have your name,  website addy etc. published with the pattern?


SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,803

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Very nice compliment for you, Sarah and Hayley!  Let us know your decisions and outcome - we'll be looking forward to some photos if you decide to go for it!

WildThyme Wild Thyme Originals
Hudson, Ohio
Posts: 3,115

I think it's a flat out wonderful opportunity for you gals!   bear_thumb  Of course, I echo the same concern of my predecessors in posting... you can pretty much count on the fact that someone will sell a bear made from your pattern.... even with a nice copyright statement printed on it.... There are dishonest people out there, we all know that and sometimes it's those type of people who can ruin it for the rest of us! I seriously doubt that very many of those individuals go on to have great careers in bear making anyway, so I wouldn't dwell on it too terribly much. I truly think that the overwhelming majority of bear makers & artists do respect the time and effort that goes into pattern design and could never do such a thing and still look themselves in the face in the bathroom mirror every morning.... at least I hope not!
Honestly, I have so much respect for folks who put patterns out there.  I'm sure that the vast majority of us here on the board made their very first bears from someone's pattern & instructions that were published in a book or magazine, and kept them, or gave them away as Christmas presents, etc.... So we have those wonderful artists to thank for the fulfillment and joy that each of us now enjoys as a maker of teddy bears!  If you do decide to do it you'll be up there among the ranks of Nancy Tillberg, Linda Mead, Joan Woessner.... on and on and on..... A pretty great place to be if you ask me!  If folks weren't willing to share to some degree I think I can safely say that very few of would be where we are today!
I know that before I designed my own patterns, I first used a pattern (that I just shrunk down & instructions from Linda Mead (ABC's of Making Teddy Bears).  That was before I discovered that there were "mini specific" books & patterns out there!     :doh:  Then I made a few more that were designed by Debbie Kesling (actual minis--- I still have a couple around here from one of Debbie's patterns!).  Then I was off on my own.... I owe the biggest THANK YOU to both Debbie and Linda!  Thank you Debbie & Linda!!!!  :love:
Whatever each of you decides to do, what an absolute honor to have been chosen, as well as paid!  Can't beat that!  And I do hope that you are each walking on air!!!!

Beary truly yours,
Kim Basta
Wild Thyme Originals

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

Congrats to both of you!!  I read this post last night and actually have been pondering your question Haley.

I think everyone has a very good point in asking about marking copyright on your pattern.  However, does that really accomplish my opinion...No...only if you choose to pursue someone who might infringement on that copyright...and the burden of proof would be on you to prove that they it worth the legal headache in the long run...probably not.  I think anytime you allow your pattern or creative idea to be published you take the risk of someone copying you.  In some ways that in itself is a huge least in my opinion.  Believe me I understand how frustrating it must be to work so hard on a pattern to only have someone else sell it as their it's not happened to me obviously but I can't tell you how many patterns I've worked on that have ended up in the trash...well...more than I care to admit.

In the long run, you get your bears, your concepts, your "bear business" out there in the public eye.  If it only catches the attention of one important person then yeah!!!'s a stepping stone...a door or window which only you can choose to walk through.  I believe you only reach goals if you take risks. uneducated opinion...I'll go back to my pile of fur now... :)

Good luck!!!

Jo-Ann G Budd Bears Boutique
BC, Canada
Posts: 241

Congratulations to you gals!  How exciting and what a compliment to your bears.  If you do decide to go with it, would love to see pics.

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Yay for Sarah and Hayley!!!  Hip Hip Hooorrrraaay

Nancy Tillberg's contract has a 2 year clause- which isn't so bad.  How about having the lady send you both the contracts and then you could decide if it was right for you?

It does get your name out there- which is crucial-

Not all collectors read craft mags and not all bear makers are collectors BUT many bear makers are collectors and read craft mags.....Hows that for some convoluted logic?  I should run for Congress!

I am just so proud of both of you for catching her eye and creating interest...WHY?

Well,  you two are a part of US here at TeddyTalk. and we want to see everyone here suceed!

Think of yourselves as Ambassadors of good will for Teddyartists all over the world!

Here's another thought on copycats who steal designs:

No matter how hard they try it will never be as good as yours.  Because if they were as good as you two they would be doing their own designs!

Here's another:

Sometimes, (I have been seeing it happen to me lately, since I have been cruising 3-bay)

two or more of us have the same idea, but we execute it a different way. 

So I just have to shrug it off and continue my merry way...

Read your contract before you sign, and then consider how long it takes to create a design and weigh if it is worth it to you....

Exposure vs. OOAK design

We all want the best for you, which ever way you go.....

Goodgollyhugs  :hug:


Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Congrats Hayley ahd Sarah. bear_thumb  I am sure you must be thrilled to have been asked.  I too would be concerned.  What about this:  Design something very different.

I have provided two original designs for my airbrushing and felted face classes.  These patterns I exclusively designed just for these classes.  Even though there are copyright aggreements on these it is likely that there may be some who use them to make bears to sell.  The last thing I want to do is compete against my own designs.  It's not right, and it's illegal,  but anytime you offer a pattern, it is a possibility.

I would suggest designing something totally new.  Unlike what you would normally make.  Just a thought.

Winney Winneybears and Friends
White City, Oregon
Posts: 1,103

I have some experience with this. A few years ago a USA National craft magazine contacted me. They too wanted an " original" design...not published before ". They paid me well...$350 ( US ) I was jazzed to do it for their Spring issue...pressed for time they wanted it in 2 weeks ! Yikes !
However...they must actually receive the bear and  approve of it first before they decide to use it. If they do use it, they will send a contract to me then  later return the bear to me.
The deal was when/if I sign a contract with is for this design and instructions is for the magazine/ Co. and they will then OWN the copyright. They don't do it any other way..... They do  need to  have control over using the bear pattern, photos in future issues or advertising or in ANY other way.
I am ONLY the designer and  my name would stay with the design. Their computer designer may change the instructions as they usually do with submitted items., for clarity and space.

There is a copyright in the magazine that covers all the  magazine projects but its common.... if you were a crafter and got a neat design wouldn't you make and sell some of these for craft money? There is actually no way to control this...nor do I want to get involved in doing it either... and besides, the magazine owns the copyright now...let them take action.
So what do I get out of it ?....

$350. ...which I really needed at the time.

An ego boost...well. I mean, it does make you feel like your work is good enough to publish ....yes ! Yeah!!!

Maybe I can do this again and in the future then readers will begin to recognize my name and..... quality of patterns...then later on I can publish my own patterns, its a thought. It is my guess is that collectors do not buy these craft magazines ...but crafters do. 

I need to get my feet wet and see if I like to do this sort of thing on a regular basis...I have the ability and knowledge of designing many craft projects....Some people do this for a fact they asked me to do this., they have my name on file. OK, back to the bear...

It took me nearly 2 weeks long to design and make it AND write the detailed instructions, do diagrams. They said " write the instructions as if you were talking to people who know absolutely nothing about the subject , elementary students  ". Now...all this was done and I did ship him overnight express. As soon as their door opened 8:00 in  the morn.... I got an excited call...The office gals went ga-ga over this white bear, they loved him ...yeah!!!. I was happy.

They mailed my check, I saw my bear in the magazine...YAHOOO !!! that was fun ,plus I get to keep it to show collectors as a sales tool.
Checking out my instructions, I saw they did not change much...hmmm, so I can write instructions...good.

The crafts magazine used him again a few months later . They featured a bear challenge with a country pattern  provided  but if the reader did not care for that pattern then the offered another one.... they could mail in and get it for FREE....mine.

I called the magazine for something else..and they told me they had mailed out 1500 patterns for my bear design... the biggest request they have ever had in 35 years of business ! Was I ever shocked...and pleased too because that alone finally prooved to me that people really like my bear a lot.... ...validation.

OK...the draw backs ?... I worked day and night for 2 weeks, looking at the hourly wage I think I came up quite short here. The pressure was on me to produce with an excellent design and instructions.....that was good, but nerve wracking.

I can never use the design again and it came out so well.

I stop to think about how much 1500 patterns could have made me  if I had sold the pattern myself ?

Heck...even if I had made a few mohair bears from the pattern I would have exceeded the #350. So..there are a lot of things to consider. Hope this helps...sure took me a long time to type it out....Winney

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

Oh Winney. I bet that took a long time to type out.
I was all for it untill I read your post. The main point that hit me was what ended up as your hourly wage. That's the tough thing about selling art. Making enough per hour. You would've made alot selling 1500 bear patterns, or even half that much. I really see your point. I might argue that it's good advertising. But only you can tell me if it did anything. I'd be very interested to know.
I guess either way, it seems like a personal choice if it's worth it or now.
I'd like to know what mag that bear was in. I'd like to see the bear.

Thanks for sharing your experience. It's hard sometimes to find a good honest answer.

Everyone else had great points too. Someone will always sell a bear from another's patter. But Dilu is right, it would never be a nice. I know I use other artists patterns. I love it!! I dont' sell them, but I do give them away and keep them. Plus, I sure learn lots. But I'm maybe one of the few honest ones.
either way, congrats on the offer, should you accept it. It's definatly an honor.


Just Us Bears Just Us Bears
Posts: 940

Winney, I found your experience most helpful..and I thank you wholeheartedly for taking the time to write it all down for me to ponder. Firstly..congratulations to you. What an amazing notch to have in your belt... knowing that 1500 people wanted your pattern! Wow!
While I am still very chuffed at the offer...I am really having my doubts now. I hope you all don't think I need my head read, but some of the things I need to consider are quite different to the things Sarah needs to consider.

Firstly, I'm only going on what the editor told Sarah they would pay (maybe they have one rate for minis and one rate for full sized bears???). Sarah's bears are minis and so she sells them for less than I sell my 12 - 14 inch bears.  What the magazine will pay, is the equivalent of what I would sell the actual bear for...well okay, it's a little bit more. For what they are wanting to 'buy', I think the price tag is a bit sad. Having said that..I will speak to the editor myself on Monday and hear her out.
Things I am taking into consideration....
It takes me 14 - 20 hours to make a bear of what I consider to be artist quality.
It takes me rougly 10 hours to design a pattern..including fiddling around and resizing.
If the bear was featured in a mag..chances are I would want to keep the no income from the sale of the bear.
I can't make any more of that bear to sell, so no income there for my hard work.
I can't sell the pattern.
My bear making time is so limited... and in the time it will take me to design this pattern that I can only use once, and make the bear, write up the instructions...and pay to post it to Sydney...I could have made and sold three bears for three times the price. I could never have managed what Winney did in two weeks!

So at this stage, I'm working for about $3.00 an hour. Less my materials, which I won't be reimbursed for if I don't sell the bear.
Add to this the copyright thing....which strangely enough is the least of my worries. I would do like Judi does and design a new but basic pattern for the job. Being a craft magazine, people are more likely to make the bears and give them away, or to keep. But if they do make and sell...may they get a really nasty disease that itches day and night. :twisted:

So in my mind I'm thinking...if I do this, it will be for the exposure only, because I won't make anything out of it financially. In fact for the amount of work involved and the exclusive rights to the pattern...I think what they are offering is a little off kilter.
So how much REAL exposure am I going to get from this magazine. I have to admit that most patterns I've seen in these craft mags are by people I've never heard of.
So is it worth giving away a good have your name in print in a mag where it may not be noticed? On the other hand...somone may well go look at my website and that may be the beginning of it all for me.
Having said that, once again, if it were a bears only magazine, I would jump at the chance and hang all my reservations. A profile would bring heaps more interest, you would get paid for it, and it wouldn't cost any time.

Just an extra note on copyright. I know there are people who will always make a profit from other peoples patterns, but I really don't see where they get their satisfaction from. The pattern Judi has provided for her felted face class is the one I am using for the class as I wanted to make sure I got the face dimensions right. But...I hate using someone elses pattern and I can't wait to get finished and do another of my own. I kinda feel like I'm 'cheating' ya know? Even though this bear will stay with me (heck, at this stage it's a face only a mother could love!!)..the satisfaction is just not there knowing that it's not all mine!
That euphoric feeling that I get when I stand back and look at a bear I have made and know that I invented every little piece of it is just indescribable. :lol:
I guess no-one can make this decision for me, but I really thank you all for your thoughts and good wishes. Although I haven't commented individually on what you  all had to say, I read and thought about every single point, and there are some very valid ones to consider.Thank you! You're the best friends a girl could have. :hug:

Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Posts: 4,066

Firstly, I want to thank everyone for their support  bear_flower bear_smile Its so nice to be able to share and have you all happy for Hayley and me.

And just wanting to respond too...
You all bring up some fab comments and I am still really excited about doing it and not regretting signing up, haven't had the papers yet, but they're on their way.... I agree with what has been said, we all have to start somewhere...How thrilling would it be for someone to say that my first bear was a Sarah Medina lol
I made 30 bears before i moved on to my own designs..and I don't take any of those bears into my own designs, if that makes sense...and yes, it is opening up the bear artist (not nude lol, never forget that lol) world up to crafters everywhere.  People sadly still don't know what I do when I say I make teddy bears...what toys for kids???  This craft mag is a general all over craft that lots of people read...people not interested in bears pass over bear mags and never get tempted...know waht i mean...

Dilu I love your thoughts and loved this 'Not all collectors read craft mags and not all bear makers are collectors BUT many bear makers are collectors and read craft mags.....Hows that for some convoluted logic?  I should run for Congress!"  Lol well done lol ;)

Like Hayley said, we are coming from different scenerios, so I'm not judging what you do Hayley at all, it is your choice and I respect that...It doesn't sound right for you but it really fits for me...Maybe I haven't been in this business to be too careful yet, I don't know...I know that copyiers will be out there, but choose to just ignore it and just keep enjoying myself...I love bears and I want to keep loving them, I'm in it for the love and not really the money, besides enough to make more...It's my hobby and love more than a business for me...I see it as a good thing

I love to design and work on bears, so that really isn't a hassle for me....And I wish my bears would fetch the $250 mark like they are offering to pay!  oh to dream lol.  I make minis, 5 inches, and also bears up to around 18 inches, she wants me to make a 11 incher. They will be sending my bear back so it all sounds really good to me....To tell you the truth, I would have done it without the payment!  But that much money is a heck of a lot for me...think of all the fur!!!

anyway, thanks for all the pros and cons...all worth considering...It will be out in June write back then all excited and you will probably all be thinking...whats she talking about long to wait!
hugs and love to you all

Densteds Densteds
Posts: 2,056

Hi Sarah & Hayley,

My sincerest best wishes to you both, whatever you decide...congratulations on being asked, it must have been a real buzz, but it also shows how highly thought of your teddies are...great work :clap: :clap: :clap:



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