Wednesday, January 4, 2012

So You Want to License Your Artwork – Part 1

You’ve been creating beautiful art for years, honing your talent and skills. You’ve recently determined that your work is licensable, and you’ve made the decision that you want to get into art licensing. Congratulations!

So… now what?

Well, I don’t want to discourage you – (far from it!) – but it’s probably a good idea for me to share with you a few of the realities of art licensing in order to determine if you’re ready for this type of a commitment. More often than not, I see artists and photographers with stars in their eyes and a fantasy of someone pouring buckets of money over their head as a reward for their creations a month down the road.

Possible? Sure. Anything is possible!

But probable? No.

Here’s one key fact about licensing that is important for you to grasp early on, otherwise you are setting yourself up for disappointment: it typically takes years in the art licensing industry before you begin making consistent income.

Now please understand: it is completely feasible as an artist to make a living with your art. More than anything, I want you to know that you don’t have to settle for being a “starving artist” or “hobbyist” for the rest of your life. Art licensing is a wonderful avenue for you to create income for yourself and make money so that you can spend more time doing what you love. I just don’t want you to have unrealistic expectations.

I want you to know what you are getting into, so that you can make a conscious commitment to what you are doing. When you have unrealistic expectations, you may do a lot of work for a month, see no results, and become completely discouraged. Then you’ll give up, and go back to trudging through your day job, believing that you will forever be stuck creating art in your spare time. That would really be a shame – especially if you knew that in 2-5 years time, you could be potentially making enough money to quit your day job and do what you love full time.

The thing is, artists and photographers often think that the only work that they need to do is create, and everything else will take care of itself. This is not true. Even if you are mind bogglingly talented – even if you have an agent – your success is determined for the large part by you -- especially in the beginning. Once you’ve created a solid foundation for yourself, there will gradually be less “work” and more time for you to simply create. But without the foundation, anything you try to build will simply crumble to pieces.

So, if you are ready to make the time and work commitment to make this happen, proceed with full steam ahead! Keep an eye out for next week’s blog post – I will share with you more of the nitty gritties and how to’s of the art licensing industry.

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