Posted by: Moshe Mikanovsky | September 24, 2009

My Art 5×4 Project (MA5X4) or Finding My Way in Art Licensing

 

I have been reading a lot lately about Art Licensing from many excellent resources, mostly online, but also a few books. I have listed on my blogroll (to the right) some of the blogs I am subscribed to and enjoy reading and getting advice from, but I would like to especially mention some of the people who are in the licensing business, which is a whole section within the Art business. So the last section of this blog is dedicated to them. Don’t run away before you read it and check their sites! 🙂

First, let me explain the difference between Art Licensing and other means of selling art – in art licensing you get a percentage of sales from products using your art. In the traditional way of selling pieces of art, you get paid for the artwork once, and that’s it.

Seen by and angel 1, 13''x10'', Watercolor on paper, 2009

Seen by an angel 1, 13''x10'', Watercolor on paper, 2009

The advantage for going into Art Licensing for me is, of course, my day job. I cannot dedicate my entire time to develop my art business, so I need to create art that will work for me (while I am working for others…)

I started with the Art Licensing when I first designed several Ketubahs (Jewish marriage contracts) for KetubahKetubah (www.ketubah.com)in 2007. It was very exciting for me to start selling my designs without the need to create or operate any website, handle product orders, manufacturing or provide customer support. I was glad to share my art with KetubahKetubah, get my royalties and concentrate on what I love doing – creating art.

Since the first day that I received my royalty check, I could not stop thinking “how do I make this work for me?” but not just to have a few extra bucks to buy candy for the kids once in a while, but as a living, to support my family. So, I started reading and following advice from people who have been there, done that. I have started learning the challenges, and rewards, that I can have pursuing this route. And I started taking actions towards this future!

So here comes My Art 5×4 Project, or for short, MA5X4. The plan is quite simple – I hope. Two of the most common advices are: (a) go to trade shows for the art licensing business, and (b) create a lot of designs to show who you are as an artist, and start at least with 5 sets of 4 artworks that “go together”. To achieve the first advice, I decided to go next May to the SURTEX 2010 show in New York City. This is one of the biggest shows for licensing, where everyone who is in this market goes there. Licensors, Licensees, Licensing Agents, Artists, card manufactures, and many more. What I am planning to do is meet with as many people as I can, network, and show my art. And for that I need to achieve the second advice. So, I am planning to come with at least 5 sets of 4 designs. Hence, MA5X4 project.

I have planned it ahead, using a yearly calendar view that shows my progress, and will help me focus on the target. And I have started working on the art pieces. The painting in this post is the first one I finished couple of weeks ago. It’s the first of the “Seen by an angel” series, which of course will have 4 images. I will post more images as I complete them, so stay tuned …

So wish me luck! I know there is a lot of work ahead of me, but I am excited about it!

And as I promised, here are some of the licensing artists and professionals I follow, and I owe them thanks for all their advices!

Yours truly,
Moshe

PS And if you are interested in licensing any of my artwork or to start networking, please contact me. No need to wait for SURTEX 2010 🙂

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Responses

  1. A great article Moshe! I love to read about how artists get into art licensing and in your case what you plan to do to market your art.
    Joan

    • Thank you so much for the feedback! It means a lot, especially when it comes from someone I have learned a lot from.
      Thanks again
      Moshe

  2. Great post and great explanation of art licensing! It is always interesting to see other artists views of the industry, especially those that are new to it. I am glad you find my information helpful! Be sure to stop by and say hi at Surtex – I’ll be in my booth! 🙂

    Tara Reed
    http://www.ArtLicensingInfo.com

    • Thank you so much for the feedback! It means a lot, especially when it comes from someone I have learned a lot from.
      I will definitely look for you at SURTEX, and I hope we connect again even before.

      Thanks again
      Moshe

  3. Great article! Thank you so much for including me.

    You’re way ahead of me on this one! I too am just now trying to find my way and make the leap into art licensing. I’ve been focusing the last 4 years on the Print on Demand industry as it can be a great place to sell your art on product without licensing. However, there is a lot of side work that goes into the business… marketing to customers and managing online store fronts, etc.

    Art licensing, I hope, is the next level for me!

    I’m also planning on attending SURTEX 2010, but unfortunately only for the sessions, not yet to exhibit. That’s a hefty budget I need to plan ahead for.

    • Thanks, you are more than welcome!
      Not sure if I am ahead of you, as it seems you have done a lot of work, both on developing your designs, and on developing the sales and marketing channels. These are the two areas I have to focus on.

      I am not planning to have a booth at SURTEX, which is also not in my budget yet. But I will come with my portfolio, and will try to set some meetings with people that I will network with, and see what happens. And of course, I am planning to take some of the seminars.

      So let’s have a productive year!
      Cheers
      Moshe

  4. Great concept and wonderful explanation for starting up in licensing. Good luck with your plans in 2010!

  5. […] My Art 5×4 Project (MA5X4) or Finding My Way in Art Licensing « Moshe Mikanovsky Art Blog mikanovsky.wordpress.com/2009/09/24/my-art-5×4-project-ma5x4-or-finding-my-way-in-art-licensing – view page – cached I have been reading a lot lately about Art Licensing from many excellent resources, mostly online, but also few books. I have listed on my blogroll (to the right) some of the blogs I am subscribed to and enjoy reading and getting advise from, but I would like to especially mention some of the people that are in the licensing business, which is a whole section within the Art business. So the last section of this blog is dedicated to them. — From the page […]

  6. Good luck on your 2010 Surtex plans, Moshe.

    If you build up an awareness with your intended marketing licensing persons, perhaps you could co-ordinate-invite them to a small cocktail evening where you can have your art on display, before they go onto a main event. Keep it short, offer them the opportunity to meet like-minded bloggers etc and even give it a name, to keep them in the picture.

    Shows are always busy and most of them have set appointments etc. At least, that’s what happens each year at the Las Vegas ski/snow show!

    So, good luck, I’ll subscribe and expect to see lots of good work like above. Keep those darks, dark for printing purposes…tweak them in Photoshop when printing out.

    Kia Ora (good luck)
    from Queenstown, New Zealand

    • Thank you so much for your comment on the blog. I also think that getting
      people attention is not easy, and I have to think how to engage them…
      but I hope that blogging and connecting with people from now till then
      will make their interest to meet me in person and spend few minutes with
      me. All I really need is only one good agent that will represent me, and I
      hope he or she can bring me all those licensing contract I am looking for.

  7. enjoyed reading your post and look forward to seeing your MA5x4 works! congratulations on creative, positive actions.

    • Thank you Debra. Number 2 of the “Seen by an angel” set is done and I will post it very soon. Looking forward to connect. Cheers!

  8. […] selling her artwork, such as etsy, ImageKind, and Greeting Card Universe. Since I mentioned her in my blog about MA5X4 project and Art Licensing, we chatted a few times, and Jen asked to interview me for her blog. I was extremely honored with […]

  9. […] why am I talking about diversions while trying to announce my Zazzle store? Here is the deal – few weeks ago I launched MA5X4 project, in which I set very specific goals for the next 8 months. The goal was to produce enough artwork […]

  10. […] to create some new designs. Here is what I came up with. I am not sure yet if these will fit into my MA5X4 project, but if they will, it’s an extra bonus! These are the 3 new designs, one for Season’s […]

  11. […] My Art 5×4 Project (MA5X4) or Finding My Way in Art Licensing  […]

  12. […] the art “work” while it waits for SURTEX 2010 and MA5X4 to finish – Last, but not least, let the art work while it waits patiently. And by working I mean […]


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