Earlier this month I did post about what it means, specifically, to create collections for art licensing and how to look at products and figure out what parts and pieces the artist had to create so the manufacturer could make the product line.  If you missed this little case study of St Patrick’s Day products, you can click here to see it.

I have since realized that I forgot one important piece of the puzzle:  the artist certainly had MORE in the collection than was actually used on the products.

Let’s look at another example and not only talk about what IS there, but what ISN’T, ok?  Below is a set of Christmas mugs.

Candy Cane Snowflake Mugs by Tara Reed Designs

What they needed to make these mugs:

  • four candy cane snowflakes
  • squiggle border (like icing on a gingerbread cookie!)
  • diagonal stripe pattern – which is made from colors, the squiggle border and a border of wrapped peppermint candy
  • pantone colors to send to the factory

Cool!  That wouldn’t really take long to create, right?  Well… right, if that was all I made.

Here are some of the things from the collection they DIDN’T USE:

  • 4 gingerbread people & other misc icons
  • 7 repeat patterns
  • 5 borders

So for this mug collection, I created a lot more than they used.  And many times, that is how it goes in art licensing.

Does this mean it isn’t worth the effort?  No.  Because the sweet-spot of licensing your art is when multiple manufacturers choose to license the same designs (or collections) for different products.  The next company might make salt and pepper shakers out of the gingerbread men, or make fabric with all of the patterns… you just don’t know until you create it and find your art a home.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed