The art deal — that is what we are after. And then the next one. But have you stopped to really think about the players and how they interact? Is one player in the game more important than another?
Out of college I was in sales. I used to lug heavy textbooks around college campuses talking to professors about what books they planned to have their students lug around campus the next year. At our bi-annual sales meetings, it was always very interesting to watch sales people, marketing people and editors all in one place. Everyone thought THEY were the most important piece of the puzzle.
Sales thought they were the most important because if we weren’t on campus talking to professors, the editors could have created the best books in the world but no one would know about them.
The editors disagreed. They were the most important because no matter who the sales people talked to, without a good product, you weren’t going to sell anything.
Now don’t forget the marketing people. They get the word out. They tell sales, schools, professors, etc. about what the editors have created in a succinct, understandable way. So of course they are the most important, right?
The fact of the matter is, they are all important and need to work together to be successful instead of trying to prove who is best like 10 year olds on the playground. The same things go on in any industry — art licensing is no different.
The 3 main players in art licensing are:
The artist (need good art to sell a product, right?)
The manufacturer (someone needs to create, market, ship and sell the product)
The retailer (someone needs to be the contact for the end consumer)
Consider my sales example and you can probably see how each of these players could decide they are the most important piece of the puzzle. But remember, it is everyone working together that makes everyone successful.
But wait… let’s look a little closer at this. We are the artist, so how do we play nice to give ourselves the best advantage? We want to be the popular kid on the playground so we can make that living, right?
This reminds me of a movie I rented recently — The Great Debaters with Denzel Washington. (It was really good — even without the analogy I’m about to give you.)
Denzel is in a fishing boat on a lake, barking orders at the 4 students chosen to be on the debate team.
“Who is the Judge?” he yells. “God” they reply.
“Why?” he asks. “Because they decide who wins or loses.” the students reply.
I LOVE that! It totally struck me as relevant to what we do.
There are levels to this but I ask you, the artist, “Who is the manufacturer?”
You should quickly reply: “God”
“Why?” I ask.
“Because they decide whose art goes on their product“. you say.
And until your art is on some product, the retailer and consumer doesn’t even know about you and your great art.
So make friends with manufacturers and your business will begin to fall into place.
Have a creative day!
P.S. I’m working on 2 new eProducts– How to do basic repeat borders and patterns in Photoshop™ and How to find and work with Manufacturers. I’ll let you know when they are ready!