Rule #16

22 11 2011

Your income potential is tied to how well your art ‘fits’ on a variety of products.

You may not think this topic is relevant, but it’s really a fundamental building block for a successful art licensing business.  Be careful not to narrow your target audience, or the product types on which your art works, because that will limit your income potential. So start by making sure that you have a wide variety of product types on which your art will work.

I want to clarify; we’re not talking about just slapping the art on anything. The best products, and usually the best-selling products, are those that feature well-integrated art and product design. This means that your art not only supports the product’s functionality, but does so by emotionally connecting with a consumer. An example might be an egg shaped mug and Easter egg art, so there’s really a fun dynamic going on between the product and the art. That’s a pretty simplistic example where there’s great synergy between the art and the function of the product.  Of course, there are many types of synergy that are less literal and just as connected.

One of the first challenges in creating your art licensing business is to learn to think in terms of different product categories.  Product categories are the various types of products and product lines that a manufacturer produces. Many manufacturers produce a variety of products that relate, such as stationery and greeting cards, or kitchen towels, aprons and accessories. Often when creating new collections and trying to build your business, it’s valuable to think about the products you want to be on before you create your art.

Ask yourself: How many product categories does your art fit on right now?  What product categories are really natural extensions of your art?  What product categories work really well for the themes you like to cover?  Does your art fit on gift items or stationery?  Will it also work on home and garden, or apparel? Does it work on home décor, domestic soft goods – like bedding and sheets – tabletop, or infant items?  What about men’s products and sports equipment?  You can license your art on more than 20 general product categories.

You’ve really got to think about where your art realistically fits. Remember that ultimately your revenue potential is tied to the number of product categories which you can license your art on.



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