Dena from Dena Designs dishes on painting, branding and business

Here is  fun (and giggly) interview with Dena Fishbein. Hooray! Exciting! I just enjoyed this conversation so so much. Dena is a delight and her passion for her art and painting shines through in this interview. Her art is warm and fresh and she is just so charming! I am sure you are going to love her! It was fascinating to hear her how she runs her business, how she and her team present her art to manufacturers and what new project she is starting with her daughter!! Hint:Girly coolness ahead! She shares heartfelt advice for any artist starting out in the art licensing business. Dena’s  lifestyle brand is  hugely successful and growing so when she shares her story and advice, it is a good idea to listen up! Enjoy! If you have comments  jot them down below!

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  • Loved this interview!! You both are so inspiring… I’m on my way into the studio NOW! (and I completely agree about not skimping on the art supplies; I used to get the cheap craft paints because I couldn’t bring myself to paying a lot for the better ones, but no more! As the cheap ones run out I’m replacing them with the better quality paints. I can’t believe the difference!!) Awesome advice. I’m bookmarking this one.

    • Monica Lee

      Oh I am so happy you enjoyed it and it inspired you! Dena does just make you want to make life prettier, right?!

  • Monica! You know I love these interviews! I listen/ watch on my treadmill desk and this was a fun mile and a half! : )

    Dena! Great interview. I love hearing about your process and that you think everything is FUN! I say that all the time. All the creative things I do, I just love. I will be watching for your new book and if I walk the floor at Surtex I will look for your booth to get a peek at the tween line!

    ~ Thanks so much

  • This was such a great interview! I’m in the middle of doing a “low-key” business with young children (four four and under!)and It was so good to hear about Dena’s explanation of what she did when hers were small. I just found you (through Sarah Jane) and have really enjoyed the interviews I’ve heard so far…Monica, your personality is so fun and you ask the questions I would ask if I could. THANK YOU!

    • Monica Lee

      Oh Hannah! That means so much to me-I hope I am asking good questions!

  • Oh Monica, Thank you so much! This interview was really great to do. I hope everyone can see past my quirkiness and find some helpful information in here! 🙂

  • Joy

    Amazing… Thank you both so much for the inspiration!

  • I found this inspirational on so many levels and I posted on Dena’s Facebook how it really was great to hear her talk about motherhood and now working with her girls (that’s my dream to partner with my girls someday and I told her I want to be her when I grow up!). I’ve been with my husband since I was 15 too and it was sweet to hear her talk about that and rare to see a couple defy the odds. Very encouraging. And her work is amazing, of course. I’ve been a fan for a long time. Thanks for these wonderful interviews. I love listening as I work in the studio and I really like your style of interview too!

    • Monica Lee

      I thought that was neat story too! I am looking at my 14 year old son in a different way, what if he met the love of his life next year!? Wowweeee! Yikes! I am so glad you enjoyed this and got inspired! Thank you so much for your sweet words, Christine!

  • This was such a great interview, Monica and Dena! Being a greeting card designer, I have loved Dena Designs for years. It is great to see and learn more about the Dena behind the designs. Very inspiring!

    • Monica Lee

      Thanks for watching Lesley!! I like the take she has on greeting cards too! It made me rethink my, been there done that bad attitude! Yikes!

  • Oh I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this today!! It was JUST what I needed. I love Dena’s enthusiasm and energy. And I love the story about the craft fair and the frame!! That is a hoot! It really helped me today too…because it IS a long climb…and there are times when I feel discouraged. I do look around and think oh what am I doing here?–everyone else is so much more talented! Its so refreshing and endearing to know I am not alone-other designers and artists feel the same way! Thank you so much Monica and Dena!!!

  • Monica!!!! I am so happy for you, every time I check in here you have another amazing designer. Keep it going, you are perfect for this medium. I love Dena’s work and have been following her for years. I can’t wait to see her new line at Surtex.

    I can’t wait to see you there too! Please stop by and say hi.
    corner booth 540.

    • Monica Lee

      Stephanie! Woot! I can’t wait to see you too and all your GORGEOUS art!

  • Mattie Saturley

    I finally took the time to see your interview and am so glad I did. I love your fabrics and bedding well actually all your lines that I’ve seen. It was great to get a window to your personality, you are so down to earth and FUN!!! I do machine embroidery…have you ever thought of digitizing some of your designs? I can’t wait for your tweens and dishes and of course your book!! Thank you for all you do, your designs are so refreshing, they just make you feel good!!!

  • Sue Allemand

    Thanks for another wonderful, inspiring interview Monica! I’ve loved Dena’s designs forever — and it’s so WONDERFUL to hear that these artists we’ve looked up to are as fun and down-to-earth as the rest of us! 🙂 Thanks Dena for your giggly, sunshiney interview! I LOVED it! It’s very encouraging to see that we CAN have it all – and have tons of FUN doing it!

    Oh – and I’m a supply junkie as well! The good part is that I’ve been doing book/magazine projects and brush/paint endorsements for 20 years – so I’ve have a HUGE stockpile! Email me your address Monica and I’ll share some brushes with you! Payback for all these fun hours of interviews to listen to while I’m in the studio! 🙂 Take Care!

    • Monica Lee

      Oh You are so darling!! Sue You don’t need to send anything! BUT having said that I do watercolor still….hahaha!

  • Loved this interview. Dena is so cute and gracious online and in person. Can’t wait to see who you interview next.

  • I am so, so, very happy that I stumbled upon this website. This was SO very fun to watch, and what wonderful insight! By trade, I am a professional Landscape Designer, but I am a visual artist by heart…I have always wanted to dip my toes into Art Licensing, and have just recently started to research the massive realm of the art licensing world…as overwhelming as it has been, watching this video was very helpful AND inspiring! Thank you ladies, for sharing your wisdom…I enjoyed all of the giggles, too 🙂 Cheers!