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The Top Five "Don'ts" of Art Licensing

Have you ever noticed how certain actions or mental attitudes can guarantee failure? When you are in school if you sleep in the classroom, never do your homework and do bad tests, you will never pass the class. If you hit a parked car at speed while taking your driver's license exam, I'm sure you won't get your license.

Although I usually like to see the positive side of things, I believe the "no" list can be valuable for artists who are just starting out or considering licensing art.

  1. Don't expect overnight success. Art licensing takes time. Sure, there are stories of people throwing their art on the court and overnight sensation. But let me share some of the wisdom that my customers shared with me in the beginning, "It's better to build your business slower so you don't become a known shooting star for one thing. Do you want to become One-Hit-Wonder or build a business stay on a strong foundation? "

  2. Don't compare yourself to others. Deciding to start licensing your art can be daunting. Realize that each artist brings their own background, experience, style and energy to the table. Do your best to focus on your strengths and what unique features you and your art bring to manufacturers who are considering licensing your art. Comparing yourself to others is a quick way to make excuses for not trying or giving away ulcers. Life is too short for both!

  3. Don't expect royalty citations to the same art for decades. This seems to be a misunderstanding of the "newbie". There are certainly cases where certain art or art collections continue to sell for years but like women who lost 60 pounds in 3 weeks on a diet plan, "this result is not uncommon". The reality of art licensing today reflects the reality of information - everything is moving and changing faster than ever. Most contracts are for 2 years which should tell you how long the art life is licensed. Consumers want something new and different so manufacturers need something new and different. This means that artists must always create something new and different. (Of course, always expecting an unusual result!)

  4. Don't expect fast money. Licensing your art is not a solution if you need to make money to pay for your electric bills next month. It can take 12-18 months, on average, to see you go from contract to bank deposit. Understanding that it takes time to earn future income will help you get ready for this course!

  5. Do not give up! This is the most important step. If you want to approve your art and create art that appeals to a wide range of people, don't give up. Don't listen to the "Negative Fishermen" talking about the good old days ... they exist in any business. Stay positive, stay focused and continue the course!


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