107 | The long game of licensing & surface pattern design with Jeanetta Gonzales

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Welcome back to Proof to Product, all you small business hustlers, and creative entrepreneurs! Today we have a great episode in store for you with guest Jeanetta Gonzales, a Los Angeles-based graphic designer, and illustrator. Jeanetta began her career as a graphic designer working for corporate companies such as WedMD, Mattel and The Disney Store. She later parlayed her digital and fine art skills into surface design working as a textile designer and style guide designer for consumer products and creating illustrations and art that she licenses to manufacturers for products sold online and in major retail stores. On top of all of this, Jeanetta also runs her own online store where she sells her art on print items, mugs, fabric, home decor items and more.

On today’s episode, Jeanetta shares her experience with licensing and tells us why you have to be in it for the long game. We talk about why relationships are so important in business, why it’s necessary to create art and products with a unique point of view, and her goal to spread joy through a variety of creative means.


  • Common misconceptions that creative entrepreneurs have about licensing their work

  • Tips for people that are putting together their portfolio

  • How Jeanetta defines her artistic style and keeps it original

  • The importance of experimenting

  • What it took to overcome fears of failure and success

  • Her 10 year journey of learning and creating

  • When Jeanetta started to see traction in own design work

  • What she learned from tradeshows

  • Being okay with not being perfect

  • Pivoting from her day job and shifting into licensing

  • Jeanette’s favorite products to produce

  • Her advice for other creative entrepreneurs and what’s coming up next

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“I don't really think it's necessary to spend a whole year working on a portfolio or something like that. It's fine if you just have several collections that you're really proud of and get them out there.” - Jeanetta Gonzales

“You don't want to be a copycat. You really just want your own work and your own vision and you're own visual point of view to come through.” - Jeanetta Gonzales

“I really encourage people to experiment a lot, because that's where the happy accidents happen and that's where you're going to find the things that you really love to do.” - Jeanetta Gonzales

“I always had this fire in me since I was a little kid to just do something different. To kind of go against the norm and it took me a long time to really get there.”  - Jeanetta Gonzales

“Even if you do a show and you're ready for that, and you put heart and soul into it, it's never perfect. You're never going to be as ready as you think you want to be.” - Jeanetta Gonzales

“Just when we start to get comfortable in one thing, that's where things take a little bit of a turn. It's part of the growth process, but it is uncomfortable and there is that underlying fear, am I making the right choices?” - Katie Hunt

“I’m a firm believer that things happen on the time frame they should. Yeah sure, we could go back and change things, but would we still be where we are today if we did?” - Katie Hunt

“In my own journey I've had to go around and around a lot, but it's all good. Now I'm older I can definitely see how it's all coming together.” - Jeanetta Gonzales

“It is a long game. You just have to see how that plays out, and just know that if you're going to commit to something like licensing that it's not an overnight thing.” - Jeanetta Gonzales

“So much is relationship based. If people know they like you and can trust you and you'll do a great job, it's going to open the door for more licensing opportunities.”  - Katie Hunt

“When we know where we want to go, it makes it easier to build that path to get there.”  - Katie Hunt


Website: Jeanetta Gonzales | Facebook: @nettdesigns | Instagram: @nettdesigns | Pinterest: @jeanetteg | Twitter: @nettdesigns

Connect with Katie Hunt

Katie Hunt is a business strategist, podcaster, mentor and mama to four. She helps product based businesses build profitable, sustainable companies through her conferences, courses and coaching programs.

Website: prooftoproduct.com  |   Instagram: @prooftoproduct

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