After meeting with manufacturers in person at a few trade shows over the past few months this simple truth has become CRYSTAL CLEAR to me…
Relationships trump Talent.
Time after time my clients talk about an artist they started to work with and how their art was good but working with them was a nightmare. One at least one occasion, they said they were going to drop the art and look for someone easier to work with – and “do you have anything that might fit the bill?”
Yes. You need great art that is on target for what manufacturers need for their products.
But you know what? There is never only one choice that will work. That is where the relationships and communication come in.
If you don’t learn to communicate well, have realistic expectations and work with your clients instead of pulling a diva attitude, you probably won’t get much repeat business.
I truly feel bad for these artists. Their art IS a great fit for licensing… but it seems their personalities aren’t.
I’ve always been intrigued by people – I love to know their stories and try to understand what makes them tick. What makes one person react one way to a situation and another react the opposite? In fact I’ve often thought I would have enjoyed a career in psychology, therapy or as a life coach… This desire to understand the other person’s point of view and connect with them serves me well in business. It serves me well in personal relationships as well. (Well – there is an exception – people who don’t want to be understood aren’t usually huge fans of mine because I often see things they are trying to hide.)
So the question on my mind today is this: how can artists manage all the things they need to be successful in art licensing? You need the art, you need to make connections and then you need to foster those connections into relationships that work.
The relationship building is the part no one is talking about… I’m trying to figure out how to change that.
I don’t have the answers today – just the food for thought. Stay tuned for more as I roll it around in my mind…
Here’s to your creative success!
– Tara Reed