24 Sep 2009
My Art 5×4 Project (MA5X4) or Finding My Way in Art Licensing
I have been reading a lot lately about Art Licensing from many excellent resources, mostly online, but also a few books. I have listed on my blogroll (to the right) some of the blogs I am subscribed to and enjoy reading and getting advice from, but I would like to especially mention some of the people who are in the licensing business, which is a whole section within the Art business. So the last section of this blog is dedicated to them. Don’t run away before you read it and check their sites!
First, let me explain the difference between Art Licensing and other means of selling art – in art licensing you get a percentage of sales from products using your art. In the traditional way of selling pieces of art, you get paid for the artwork once, and that’s it.
The advantage for going into Art Licensing for me is, of course, my day job. I cannot dedicate my entire time to develop my art business, so I need to create art that will work for me (while I am working for others…)
I started with the Art Licensing when I first designed several Ketubahs (Jewish marriage contracts) for KetubahKetubah (www.ketubah.com)in 2007. It was very exciting for me to start selling my designs without the need to create or operate any website, handle product orders, manufacturing or provide customer support. I was glad to share my art with KetubahKetubah, get my royalties and concentrate on what I love doing – creating art.
Since the first day that I received my royalty check, I could not stop thinking “how do I make this work for me?” but not just to have a few extra bucks to buy candy for the kids once in a while, but as a living, to support my family. So, I started reading and following advice from people who have been there, done that. I have started learning the challenges, and rewards, that I can have pursuing this route. And I started taking actions towards this future!
So here comes My Art 5×4 Project, or for short, MA5X4. The plan is quite simple – I hope. Two of the most common advices are: (a) go to trade shows for the art licensing business, and (b) create a lot of designs to show who you are as an artist, and start at least with 5 sets of 4 artworks that “go together”. To achieve the first advice, I decided to go next May to the SURTEX 2010 show in New York City. This is one of the biggest shows for licensing, where everyone who is in this market goes there. Licensors, Licensees, Licensing Agents, Artists, card manufactures, and many more. What I am planning to do is meet with as many people as I can, network, and show my art. And for that I need to achieve the second advice. So, I am planning to come with at least 5 sets of 4 designs. Hence, MA5X4 project.
I have planned it ahead, using a yearly calendar view that shows my progress, and will help me focus on the target. And I have started working on the art pieces. The painting in this post is the first one I finished couple of weeks ago. It’s the first of the “Seen by an angel” series, which of course will have 4 images. I will post more images as I complete them, so stay tuned …
So wish me luck! I know there is a lot of work ahead of me, but I am excited about it!
And as I promised, here are some of the licensing artists and professionals I follow, and I owe them thanks for all their advices!
- Tara Reed’s Art Licensing Blog http://artlicensingblog.com and http://www.artlicensinginfo.com
- Cherish Fieder http://somethingtocherish.com and the Art of Licensing group on LinkedIn http://artoflicensing.com
- Joan Beiriger ‘s Blog on Art Licensing http://www.joanbeiriger.blogspot.com
- Kate Harper’s blog Greeting Card Designer http://kateharperblog.blogspot.com
- Michael Woodward’s book Licensing Art 101 http://www.licensingcourse.com/artlicensing101.shtml
- Jen Goode’s blog http://www.jgoode.com
PS And if you are interested in licensing any of my artwork or to start networking, please contact me. No need to wait for SURTEX 2010