Written by Art Licensing Coach J’net Smith
Rule #3 Know your skills.
Art talent isn’t enough to make it in the Art Licensing industry. Even more interesting is the fact that you may do very well in Art Licensing for any number of other reasons. For example, your art skills may be good; they may even be awesome! But you could be incredibly successful in Art Licensing because you can market yourself better than other artists. Perhaps you have the innate ability to capture the attention of various media outlets, or you have a large following of active and demanding fans (which would be is very appealing to manufacturers).
I’ve seen artists make lots of money because they appeal to a certain niche audience (not a small niche, but one that’s large enough to warrant mass market attention) that is peaking and has a current need for art. Maybe an artist loves creating holiday themed art, for which there is always a need. Art Licensing is a commercial industry, so artists who have a distinctive style, enjoy creating a certain theme, and who also appeal to huge audiences have more potential for income than others.
Other skills that affect your Art Licensing business potential are:
You definitely need computer and technical skills, or access to them. If you don’t have them, you need to get them or find a partner that does, because people will no longer put up with artists not having internet access, high resolution scans, layered files, etc.
Product Design Capabilities
If you can envision your art on products, then show your art to manufacturers on product mock-ups to help them. This is a really important skill set today and is going to help put you in the league of serious art licensors.
Not everybody is going to be a trendsetter, because that takes a lot of forward thinking.You may have that, or you may just love to watch trends, and can keep up with them. Either way, don’t avoid learning about trends and seeing how your art can interpret them.
Artists need entrepreneurial skills more than ever! And we’ll talk more about this later…
Jeanette Smith is the consummate art licensing coach—she is passionate about helping you achieve a level of success beyond imagining and definitely knows how to do it! In just six short years, J’net turned Dilbert™ from a relatively unknown syndication-based comic strip into a 200 million dollar a year global brand. Then in 2000, J’net translated and expanded on her extensive experience to train, advise and license all types of creators. She has helped hundreds of artists, graphic designers, painters, photographers, authors, illustrators, design firms, fine artists, creative companies, non-profits and agents to maximize the power of their brands and talents.
J’net is best described by her combination of specialties—she is one of those very rare people who possess a balanced combination of creative sensibility and extraordinary business acumen. It is this combination that has served J’net over the span of a very impressive career,and has garnered her equally impressive press and testimonials!
From her early days in New York building new divisions for such corporate giants as Official Airline Guides, MacMillan Publishing, Paramount Communications, and VIACOM International, to her six years of work at United Media spearheading the astronomical growth of Dilbert, Jeanette has compiled a long list of satisfied clients and has gained an enormous amount of respect and experience in marketing, licensing, advertising, PR, agenting, negotiating, and much more.