Art Licensing Guidebook

A Different Approach to the Art Business

Introduction: Professional Art Licensing

We have teamed with ArtVisions fine art licensing to develop an art licensing instruction-set (Art Licensing Guidebook) with a view towards helping you become more proficient about licensing your artwork.

The result is a selection of articles (actually excerpts from our forthcoming books) designed to help you learn how to effectively present your art as “intellectual property” to potential licensing clients.

Knowledge gained from the Art Licensing Guidebook series can help you prepare to start your own art licensing program, or for agency representation.

Advantages for agency representation include that some manufacturers are more comfortable dealing with an agent who they know will handle all licensing issues. Agents are also experienced with reviewing licensing contracts and taking care of financial matters.


Art Licensing – What, Who, When, How

Manufacturers want to license art to use on their products. But what does it take for artists get their work seen and acted-upon by licensing decision-makers?

Art licensing – in it’s details – can be a rather complex beast. It can involve complicated contracts, convoluted financial terms, guarantees regarding copyrights (from both parties), territory, length of license term and other factors.

None of which will ever come into play unless the artist can find someone willing to risk the up-front investment needed to produce the product incorporating (and whose success depends upon) the artwork.

An image may be great, but if the artist is not a productive salesperson, then it is unlikely that the artwork will make it onto a licensed product.

WHAT – here’s what you need to start licensing your art:

  • An assessment of your art to determine suitability for licensing.
  • An assessment of you, the Artist, to determine if you have the temperament to work in the business world (either on your own or with the help of an agent).
  • A clear understanding of what licensing is and how it works, to serve as a basis for positioning your art for this lucrative market.
  • A Strategic Plan, including Mission, Vision, Goals and Objectives.
  • A Professional appearing, quick loading, easy-to-navigate web site.
  • A well-crafted introductory email.
  • An Artists Brand.
  • Reliable web hosting reflecting your brand.
  • A Unique Selling Proposition (tied to your brand).
  • A thorough understanding of copyright ownership in terms of licensee requirements…


  • you need to know who to contact…
  • you need to have an attorney…
  • you need to have an insurance agent (specializing in business insurance)…
  • you need to have a financial resource (accountant/bookkeeper/tax expert)…


  • you need to know when to submit art, which means understanding the client’s design-to-sales cycle…


  • you need to know how to present the art for review…
  • you need to know how to sell yourself and your art in order to gain a license…
  • you need to know how to determine if a license is a “good license”…
  • …which means you need to know how to read a standard license agreement (contract); or be prepared to pay an Intellectual Property (IP) attorney or other appropriate business management professional to do it for you.
  • Keep in mind that if you use your own standard contract, it must be reviewed/approved beforehand by your attorney. Additionally, any unusual terms or requests to modify language must always be reviewed by your attorney.

Professional Artist – Credible Art Licensor

Despite increasing numbers of fine art-based licenses, today’s marketplace is one in which many of your potential customers are thinking in terms of cutting costs, rather than how to increase their revenue.

It takes a truly innovative person to increase revenue. You are an artist; you are creative and an innovator, therefore, with your talent and the Art Licensing Guidebook series, you can be perfectly positioned to license your art for a plethora of products.

Your innovative ability, in combination with Art Licensing Guidebook gives you an incredible competitive advantage over other artists!