Become an Artist >> Browse Articles >> Art Licensing

Become an Artist >> Browse Articles >> Marketing Your Art


How to Stand Out in Art Licensing

How to Stand Out in Art Licensing

Tara Reed

How do you make yourself stand out from other artists when you are talking to a manufacturer who licenses art, an art gallery, an agent or any other person you, as an artist, might market to?

What do you say that makes you unique?

“Hi, I’m an artist” works great when you go to a barbeque, because there are probably not many other artists there. There are probably a lot of accountants, sales people, stay-at-home moms and more, but not many artists. When you are marketing your art however, that’s not going to be the case.

What you need is an elevator speech – a practiced blurb that sounds conversational and tells people who you are and what you do. The three key ingredients in an elevator speech are:

1. Who you are.

2. What you do and what makes your art unique.

3. Your strengths and how they can benefit or help the person you’re talking to.

If I’m at a barbeque, my elevator speech would be something like, “I’m an artist. I ”[keyword]=&article_search[order]=total_thumbs_cache">license my artwork, which means I create collections of art that manufacturers put on stuff or products that are sold in stores." That describes to people what I do.

Now if I am at a trade show, I say something like this, “Hi, I’m Tara. I create whimsical, traditional, and a few country art collections. I work in layers in Photoshop so that I can adapt my art to your needs quickly. I have a degree in marketing and a background in sales, so I completely understand that my art is needed to sell your product, and I have no problem making changes to get it right for you.”

The things in there that show them what’s different about me than perhaps the artist next to me, is that I work in layers in Photoshop. That makes my art flexible.

I also point out my business background. The fact that I have a degree in marketing and a background in sales makes them relate to me. “Okay, she gets business. She does art but she gets business,” because it’s really important in licensing that we get business.

I tell them that I don’t have a problem making changes, because when you’re licensing, like I said, your art is designed to sell their products, so sometimes they’ll like your art but the colors you’ve chosen might not be the trendy colors that they’re looking for.

They might say, “I really like that, but can you change the mugs from red to blue because I have a client looking for blue?”

I always reply, “Sure, what shade of blue?” But there are artists who just don’t want to make changes to their art. Those are the things that make me unique.

If I’m talking to an artist, my elevator speech would be different, because you don’t care if I work in layers and things like that. To an artist I would say, “Hi, I’m Tara Reed, and I ”[keyword]=&article_search[order]=total_thumbs_cache">license my art to manufacturers to put in products, and I also teach artists about licensing and how to do it through e-books and a newsletter, teleseminars, a forum, a blog and more," because that’s what you would be interested in.

Remember to know your audience, what they will want or need to know about you and practice what you will say in different situations ahead of time. Planning ahead will keep you from getting tongue tied and help you come across as confident and professional!

Find the right campus or online art or design program for you!