The answer all depends on you!
The art licensing industry is accessible to individual artists who want to do the work of marketing their art. However, there are also many agents who help artists who choose not to take care of that side of their business.
Here are five facts to consider when deciding if you want to work with an agent:
FACT: Agents want to work with artists who “get” licensing and have enough work to make it worth their investment of time and energy to promote. If you only have a limited portfolio, you may have a hard time finding an agent. Licensing is a numbers game – manufacturers are always looking for “what’s new” so agents need artists who can really produce on a regular basis.
FACT: Agents do the marketing side of your business and for that, they share in the royalties. Most art licensing agents work with a 50/50 split while some take less and a few take more. So you need to assume that you will get more than twice the business with an agent than you would on your own, or you will be behind before you get started.
FACT: Marketing your work isn’t easy. Licensing is a competitive industry and there will be lots of rejection – or lack of response – so you need to have a thick skin and the ability to keep at it. Just as you need to create a lot of art, you will have to make a lot of phone calls, send a lot of emails, and nourish relationships to get business. Sometimes you will feel like you are communicating into a void… the reality is that many manufacturers are so busy that you won’t get a response unless they want your art.
FACT: Some artists will find every excuse under the sun to postpone making a call or showing their work to anyone. Those are the artists that should absolutely consider an agent – SOMEONE has to do the marketing, if you aren’t going to, try to find someone who will.
FACT: Finding an agent doesn’t mean guaranteed riches. You still have to do the work, create the art, study the trends, meet the needs of the manufacturers and work as a team with your agent. You don’t head to an island to sip margaritas and paint every so often.
Not sure if you would be happier working with an agent or doing your own marketing? Click here to get a free questionnaire to help you decide…
No matter what you decide is best for you – for now – I’ve written an eBook to help you shorten your learning curve.
|I want help finding an agent…||I want help doing my own marketing…|
If you want to find an agent, there are more than 25 listed on the AGENTS tab of this blog. Thirteen of them gave feedback in the eBook and the rest have asked to be listed for artists to find. This is a resource only and I can’t guarantee that you will hear back if you contact them.
Whatever you decide – I wish you much success!
– Tara Reed