November’s One-A-Day Q&A – Question #2

2 11 2016




Q: Is it ever too late to start a new career? How do you know when your artistic style fits the art licensing field?

A: I personally don’t think it’s ever too late to start a new career, but of course it depends on what you want to get out of that career and how far you want to go with it. I love working in new fields and learning lots of things, and maybe you do too.

I believe what’s important is to ask yourself:

  1. Is there is a large enough market for your art? (For example, abstract art is tougher than traditional art to license).
  2. What you would like to get out of being in art licensing – is it a certain income, products in stores regionally or around-the-world, and brand recognition? Everyone has different response as to ‘why’ they want to do things. The clearer you are in establishing your goals, the faster you can focus your efforts in the right direction and achieve them.
  3. In what time frame do you want to accomplish these financial, product and recognition goals (or whatever your personal goals are)?
  4. Do you have the skills necessary to provide art to manufacturers in the format, computer files, they will require.

I would spend as much time as possible learning about art licensing, about the types of products that you would like to create and the type of companies that you would like to work with—exploring those manufacturers’ web sites, perhaps, or industry web sites such as International LIMA (Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association). Unless you already know through your own sales experience, or in looking at the marketplace, that there is a large demand for your style of art, it is a good practice pay for an evaluation of your art and get some solid advice on how to start your business.

Additionally, I’d do some retail shopping, and start looking at the types of products that have your style of art on them.  Frankly, this is your competition. I also feel that attending trade events is a great way to learn the industry and see what’s going on…not to mention, a super way to meet colleagues and prospective manufacturers and agents!

One final note.  I know this one blog can’t completely answer your question.  I have found that many people considering art licensing as a career change found this blog ‘An Art Licensors’ Continuing Education’ to be very insightful.



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