Top 10 Checklist for Art Licensing

Linda Mariano LM2 – Licensing and Marketing Phone: 408-718-3730
Top 10 Checklist for Art Licensing

by Linda Mariano


1. Know what’s out there

  • Look around – what’s selling at retail?
  • Does it have a design – one you recognize? One you don’t?
    • Get to the mall – look in every store – know what designs/artwork are there
      • Apparel – women’s, men’s, kid’s, baby’s
      • Gifts and collectibles
      • Stationery
      • Games, toys, puzzles
      • Holiday – all holidays
2. Know who you are
  • You are open minded
  • You are an expansive thinker
  • You like the idea of commercializing your art – that’s what licensing is all about!
3. Is your WORK STYLE in tune?
  • Enjoying working with clients on projects
  • Promoting yourself and your artwork successfully via phone calls and emails
  • Getting input and taking direction for your work and delivering on those requests
  • Business minded to oversee all aspects of the business
  • Financially astute to oversee accounting and delve into details when needed
  • Savvy on legal terms and protecting your intellectual property
4. Is your ARTWORK ready to roll?
  • The artwork is in a series or collection
  • The artwork is in a standard size and format that can be used for multiple product types
  • The artwork is fully rendered, is flat rather than sculptural – and in color
  • The collection(s) has broad appeal and is something people want to look at over and over again
  • Clear understanding of your competition – what’s going on in the marketplace for similar work, types of products, price points, retailers, etc.
5. How do you decide if Licensing is right for you?
  • Understand what kind of artwork fits the marketplace – and it fits your style
  • Ready to listen and work with market and client requests
  • Work quickly and can be prolific when required
  • Your artwork can be captured easily and translate digitally
  • You are excellent at meeting deadlines
6. Ready to represent myself – or hire an agent?
  • Want to create and eager to work with clients -but don’t want to handle the business aspects
  • Don’t know where to begin in terms of contacting the right people
  • Promoting the artwork makes me uncomfortable
  • If you don’t want to go it alone – or just aren’t quite ready to do it solo -then a Licensing Agent may be the right answer for you
7. Who, what and where are key in today’s fast paced Licensing world?
  • Go to the key trade shows for Art Licensing – these are in the U.S. There are now several others worldwide.
  • Walk the shows – see what is being shown by publishers, agents and artists
  • Talk to Licensing agents, art publishers
    • Bring a sampling of your portfolio to show if asked
      1. AmericasMart License & Design (part of the Atlanta International Gift Show), January 2012, Atlanta GA
      2. CHA (Craft & Hobby Association) License & Design, February 2012, Los Angeles CA
      3. Surtex -Plus Stationery Show – May 20-22, 2012, Jacob Javits Convention Center, NYC
      4. Licensing International Expo – June 12-14, 2012, Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV
    • Research – research – research
      1. On the internet – type in Art Licensing and read everything you find!
      2. Talk to other artists, especially those in the art licensing business
      3. Use the services of a coach to get your dreams directed
      4. Read the Licensing trade magazines and subscribe to their newsletters
      5. Listen to Tara Reed’s Teleseminars and read her Art Licensing Info blog – she brings together some of the best in the Art Licensing business
      6. Be an empty sponge – gather information from everywhere
8. Market your brand for Licensing
  • Remember this is art for business purposes – not being sold in a gallery or to an art collector.
  • Art that represents something – rather than being completely abstract – has more application to product.
  • What is the artist’s story – and the story behind the art? This is a critical piece of the equation.
  • Do you have brand identity – what differentiates you in the marketplace? A strategy that tells your story? If so, what is it – what does it look like? Is there a logo, colors, tagline? If not, what could it be?
9. Protect your intellectual property while you maximize exposure
  • What royalties do you charge? Is it by the piece of artwork or by product artwork will be used to create?
  • How do I protect my images from being used without my permission?
    • What are the key points that need to be covered in every Agreement?
      • Term of Agreement
      • Exclusivity
      • Ownership Rights
      • Approval Rights
      • Territory
      • Royalty rate
      • Advances and Guarantees
      • Royalty Payment Schedule
      • Indemnification for Artist
      • Termination clauses
  • What do agents expect to be paid? How does that work?
  • Why licensing? Being paid multiple times for the same art – but it takes time, patience, and carefully crafted agreements.
10. Focus and begin!
  • Planning
  • Collaborating
  • Marketing
  • Promoting
  • Creating
  • Understanding the exciting world of Art Licensing!

For Consulting Services contact:
Linda Mariano LM2 – Licensing and Marketing Phone: 408-718-3730 Email: