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Intro to Art Licensing | Part 2

I’m back to shed more light into the world of licensing! If you missed the first part of the series, check it out here.

Intro To Art Licensing | Turn Your Art into Passive Income


Today I’m going to talk about how it’s different from your typical freelance jobs – like branding, web design and so on. My friend Katie said it best – typically, you’ll license artwork that you’ve already created. You’ll create a whole portfolio of pieces that are available (think: spring catalog) and people will be able to shop from it and create contracts/licenses around the pieces they want, and the industry they’re in.


There’s pros and cons to this system. I love working on commissions (more traditional freelance work) where I’m given parameters and have to problem solve with the client. When you’re creating your own collections – you can experiment, but you’re hoping to create things that will sell mass market, but also be unique. You need to be motivated, great at art direction, be able to spot/forecast trends, and be ready to design around the market needs (Christmas is apparently all year in the world of art licensing).  It’s a balancing act between finding your voice, and creating work that will sell. I often struggle with trying with this part… my experience having my own product line taught me that my least favorite design will usually end up being the most popular.

If you’re serious about licensing, you should have a portfolio ready to go – not just a collection or two – but a large portfolio that companies can look through that covers your bases. From Christmas (which is always in demand), to baby and birthdays, and everything in between. It’s amazing how you can find a way to draw flowers 100 different ways when the time comes.

I’m excited to be teaching a class, Art Licensing for Letterers all about licensing for lettering artists with my friend Katie. We both had similar introductions into the licensing world, and are so excited to dive WAY deeper into these topics with you in class. We’ll share real-world examples, a peek into our process, and REAL pricing scenarios.

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Represented by Jennifer Vaughn Artist Agency. For commercial work please contact Jen Vaughn at jen@jenvaughnart.com or 760-808-2462