As a new artist we dream of having our works hanging on a gallery wall and filling our nights with meet and greets. But for most of us we have no idea how to get into a gallery and so we start out selling to those in our close circles. But family and friends will only get us so far and social media seems promising but can quickly turn frustrating when we aren’t getting the likes and follows.
Selling your artwork is one thing, creating a BRAND is another. While some may view this approach as devaluing your work, for new artists, branding art opens new opportunities and avenues for exposure. But what does it mean to brand your work?
Imagine seeing your work on a coffee mug, throw pillows or cell phone case. How cool would it be to have your print being displayed alongside these in your portfolio or on your website? This is what licensing can do.
Licensing can not only help you build a brand, but it can help you protect it as well. So how do you go about licensing your work?
The Do’s of Licensing
First, you should copyright each of your new works or designs. It is true that in the US, as with many countries, you are automatically granted a copyright at the time of creation. You need to register it with the US Copyright Office. Doing so will make it easier to defend against any type of infringement.
Next, you need to do your research. Learn what it is each company is looking for in artwork. Many are looking for themes rather than just unique individual works. You also need to know what terms of licensing they offer. This will include Royalty Fees, Length of Contract, and Ownership of the work.
Royalties will vary depending on the type of work you have and the products they will be printed or displayed on. Regardless of what the fee is, remember: YOU CAN NEGOTIATE!
Put together a plan. Set goals for what it is you want to achieve through licensing and how you want to have your works displayed. If you don’t think your art would be good for a coffee mug, then identify what products it would look good on.
Create a set of mock-ups of your art on certain products. Placeit.net is one user friendly site that allows you to place your work on a vast array of products for a small monthly fee. These will be an important part of your ‘sell’ as they will help companies envision how your art may look on their products.
Lastly, find a reputable company that is based on artist promotion and licensing. Art For Your Cause is an artist’s network where you can license and market your artwork. Please contact us today for more information on how you can start licensing your artwork!