Sparky Firepants Goes Global With Art at Vegas Licensing Expo

Showing fresh new artwork, Sparky Firepants is reaching out to international manufacturers by exhibiting at the Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas. One of the largest licensing shows in the industry, the Expo runs from June 14-16 in Las Vegas.
May 27, 2011 - PRLog -- David Billings has a mission. That mission is to freshen up people’s lives with the bright style of Sparky Firepants art via apparel, fabric, toys, sporting goods, and housewares. To do that, Billings seeks to form partnerships with merchandisers all over the world. So he’s opening up shop at the Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas on June 14th.

“I love the relationships I have with my North American clients,” says Billings. “I’m excited to meet more manufacturers from Europe and Asia. The Licensing International Expo is giving me the venue to meet merchandisers from all over the world.”

Hosted by the Licensing Industry Merchandiser’s Association (LIMA), this is the 31st year for the Licensing International Expo, and Sparky Firepants’ first year exhibiting. Before securing a booth at the Expo, Billings dug in and did his research. For example, he found that in 2010 the Licensing International Expo saw 18,000 qualified attendees, representing 98 countries. He also took note of fellow exhibitors such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, with whom he has worked in the past. Billings decided that the Expo would be the perfect venue for Sparky Firepants fresh and bright style.

“I got my start in children’s television,” he recalls. “I did my homework while I worked on shows, watching how those companies developed properties that sell. So now I use that knowledge to create art that people will want to buy.”

One way he continues his research is by engaging retailers at malls and independent shops, asking them questions about which products are selling best. “Retailers are right on the front lines. They have their finger on the pulse of what’s trending and who’s buying,” he explains.

While staying true to his unique way of creating art, Billings feels it’s also important to stay on top of the market. Sometimes he’ll even adapt older pieces to suit a design trend.

“My work is mostly digital,” he says, “so if I see that plaid is making a comeback, I can take an old piece and infuse some plaid into the background or on a character’s clothing. The piece maintains its original look, and it gets updated at the same time.”

Billings is not shy about asking his booth visitors what they are looking for. He explains, “That’s the great thing about exhibiting at the Expo. We have a golden opportunity to ask qualified Art Buyers what’s working and what they’d like to see more of. It’s a waste of time if I have great art but it won’t work on products. So I take exhibiting a step further and try to understand what’s happening on the manufacturer’s side of things.”

Another aspect of Sparky Firepants that Billings wants to highlight at the Expo is his ability to create custom art. He’ll have hand-painted skateboard decks available as examples, and visitors will have the opportunity to place orders for their own customized products. “Since I can take my hand-painted art and reproduce it digitally in-house, it will also serve as inspiration for manufacturers to license for their products, like notebooks, t-shirts, shoes, and sporting goods,” Billings says.

In the Sparky Firepants catalog will be several new properties and illustrations, including holiday themed art, California beach-themed art, and the original series "Monsters in Love." Also available for licensing will be "Pants!," a new family card game featuring the Sparky Firepants unique style of illustration. Developed by David Billings and tested by real families, the game has proved simple to play yet addictive. Billings offers that, "The focus group families are still hanging onto the game and I think that's a good indicator that it could be a hit for the right company."

To sum up his outlook on the Expo, Billings says, “I see the Licensing International Expo as the best chance in the world to meet art buyers face-to-face. Our best hope is to come away with some mutually beneficial business relationships. At the very least we’re going to give art buyers some fantastic new choices for their products.”

The Licensing International Expo runs June 14-16 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. David Billings will be in the Sparky Firepants booth (#5407) along with Greeter Pants, Jacqui Bohlinger. To make an appointment to meet with the artist or inquire about licensing Sparky Firepants art, e-mail

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About Sparky Firepants:
David Billings is Chief Pants and creative brain behind the Sparky Firepants brand of art for licensing. Sparky Firepants licenses art to be used on gifts, textiles, apparel, toys, and greetings.

Over the past ten years, David's illustration work has appeared in Highlights High Five magazine, The Electric Company, Blue’s Clues, language textbooks, e-learning kits, and products sold in stores all over the U.S..

David is a unique balance of creative artist and skilled professional. His understanding of business and clear communication has earned him a reputation as reliable and easy to work with.

He lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife, three children, and 50 alpacas. To learn more, visit the website at

David is available for interviews related to small business and the art industry. Contact him at 971-533-7013.
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Tags:Licensing Expo, Art Licensing, Apparel, Illustration, Lima, Retailer, Sparky Firepants, Toy, Game, Card
Industry:Arts, Manufacturing, Event
Location:Portland - Oregon - United States
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