In May 2020, we welcomed our first group of students in my new online course: Licensing for Artists! This was such an exciting time, as I had spent the last year planning and developing the content for the course to be as helpful as possible for students.
Since class ended, a couple of my students have *already* snagged their very first licensing deals. And many students are on their way to either setting up their portfolios, developing their artwork style further, or preparing their client pitches. I am so excited to share their personal stories to come.
In the meantime, I know that some of you weren’t able to join us yet and so I wanted to give you advice on what you could be doing in the meantime before enrollment opens again. That’s what today’s post is for!
If you’re not sure what the course is about, you can check out the waitlist link above for more info. In short, it’s a 6-week online course teaching you the ins and outs of licensing your art, how to get licensing clients, how to brand yourself as an artist, set up your website, price your work, understand contracts, and more!
Still not sure what licensing is? Art licensing is basically like “renting” the rights of your artwork to other brands and companies, usually so they can produce physical products with it. For example, think of a wallpaper company, licensing your design to create beautiful wallpapers to sell to their customers. And you earn a percentage of sales!
Now, let’s get into 3 simple steps that will help prepare you for the next class of students:
1. Create artwork.
You do not need a huge portfolio of work for the course to benefit you, but the more artwork you can create now, the more time you will save for yourself in the long run.
In class, we have an entire module dedicated to Creating Marketable Art which will help give you some more specific direction. However, I think it’s great if you can start honing your skills and practicing in the meantime. But please remember you don’t need a picture perfect Instagram feed or finished website portfolio to join us!
Need a little extra guidance right now? Read this blog post on finding your signature style as an artist.
2. Play with digitizing your work and/or creating repeat patterns.*
In Licensing for Artists, we focus on the business and marketing side of licensing which is plenty for you to learn at once as is.
I do not teach you how to paint or create a full portfolio of repeat patterns in the course, so I suggest dipping your toes into this process if you haven’t already.
I actually have two Skillshare classes showing you the exact repeat pattern methods I use:
- How to Create Repeat Patterns in Photoshop (also includes the basics of scanning and digitizing your artwork)
- How to Create Repeat Patterns by Hand
That being said, you can totally go through the course first and then learn this process afterwards. I just mention it now because it doesn’t hurt to practice when you can!
*One thing to note is, you don’t need repeat patterns to get your work licensed. There is plenty of artwork out there that is NOT a pattern and is licensed! But it can help expand your licensing opportunities if you have this skill.
3. Be ready to push past any fears.
One of the most difficult parts about licensing your work is simply putting yourself and your art out there. This course is here to give you the right tools to know exactly what steps to take. This ultimately leads to bringing you the confidence needed to present your art to clients and the world.
We discuss all of the possibilities for your art in licensing, and give you the knowledge you need so you can feel like, “Yes, I can do this!”. We discuss difficult topics like negotiation, understanding contract terms, and best practices for presenting and protecting your work online.
My goal is to help you feel like navigating the art licensing world is not only manageable, but that your dreams for your art are possible, no matter what stage you are in.
I hope to see you in class next time enrolment opens! If you’ve haven’t joined the waitlist yet, what are you waiting for?! Join the Licensing for Artists Waitlist here. You will get first notice when we open the doors again. I can’t wait to welcome you inside the course!