This question came in a little late for the Ask Paul Brent call last week but Paul and I both thought it was a great one.

The exact question was:

Each time I do a commission, I feel somewhat ”confined” (to what the buyer wants) and just a little bit stressed (will they like it?)  Does this mean I’d be horrible at being an artist whose work is licensed?

One of my missions with this blog and everything I do through the Art Licensing Info resources is to help artists who are new to the concept of art licensing.  I want them to figure out as quickly as possible whether this line of work will be a fit for them or not.  Don’t like deadlines? Not going to be a fit.  Hate to make changes to your art? Red flag for a fit… and so on.  This question played right into that mission so I asked Paul to give his 2¢ on the topic.

Here is Paul Brent’s reply:


Ask Paul Brent about art licensingFirst of all I would ask is “How stressed does it make you?”  Think of your own health first.

Also, you can always refuse commissions in art licensing.  Commissions are less than 15% of my total work.  That being said, I would say that as you do more commissions the feelings of stress should lessen as you complete them and your client is happy with the work. Remember that your client chose you because they were confident in your work and liked what you did.   As long as there are no unrealistic expectations, if you do your work as you normally do to your own standards then your client should be pleased.

Just keep telling yourself this and always present your finished piece to your client in a positive manner. Even if you have self doubt as all artists do tell you client “ I really enjoyed working on your project and am so excited about the results! I am sure this will be a hit with your customers.”  Say this before you show the work and it will put your client in a positive mood about your art.

The more you do this and as you get positive feedback from you customers you should be able to overcome the feelings of stress.

– Paul Brent


Great advice!  Attitude and how you present yourself or your work can set the tone for how you and your work will be received.  This is sound advice for those trying to decide if art licensing is a fit and a great reminder for those of us in it.

To hear more of Paul’s answers to questions asked as well as his SURTEX recap and trend report, don’t forget the audio replay ( a 1 hour mp3 and his written notes) are on sale for $20 thru Thursday, 6/13.  CLICK HERE TO GET ALL THE DETAILS and order your copy today!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed