Of course it is a good idea to decide if working towards licensing your art will give you the income results you are looking for, right? Unfortunately, I don’t have a definitive way to answer this question.
Every business will have different results so I can safely say between $0 and millions.
Of course I’m often asked for a better, more “standard” range than that. Well… I don’t know.
While people looking for a traditional job can go online and see statistics about average salaries, most artists who license their work are in business for themselves, so these statistics don’t exist. Add to that the fact that two artists could bring in identical royalties and have very different expenses based on how they run their businesses, that what they actually “make” would be quite different.
According to License! Global Magazine, the art licensing industry as a whole (art, tv, movie, entertainment, sports…) accounts for $187.2 billion worldwide. (April 2010 source: http://digital.licensemag.com/nxtbooks/advanstar/license0410/#/40)
The fact of the matter is, how well you can do depends on how well your art fits the market, how well you market your art and how patient and consistent you are. One thing we can agree on, this isn’t ‘quick & easy’ money.
But there is money to be made, I just can’t tell you how much your share will be.
– Tara Reed
P.S. To learn more about the business side of art licensing, I recommend you take a look at the eBook, “How to Find, Interact and Work with Manufacturers Who License Art.”