Friday, August 30, 2013

Job Career in the Arts: Art Licensing

No more starving artists!
by Emmy Hirsch, guest blogger
edited by @schulmanArt

Renie Britenbucher licenses her art on products from anything from pillows to needlepoint patterns

A majority of the public is under the impression that artists do not make a lot of money. Sure, being a full-time artist is a hard job in itself, and making an adequate income can be strenuous and difficult, but it is far from the impossible. Most students who major in art in college learn both the practice and process of making art as well as historical analysis of art throughout the years. When students study art, they are studying decision-making and expression, and universities really focus on nurturing the skills involved to create a career path other than traditional gallery routes.

Megan Ducanson is another artist with a sucessful career in art licensing.
Plenty of jobs are sprouted from the arts industry. In fact, according to Americans for the Arts, the arts and culture industry creates approximately 5.7 million full-time jobs every year. The study of art is one of the best ways to cultivate creative potential, and there are many job paths to choose from when graduating with a bachelor of fine arts, one of which being art licensing. What exactly is art licensing? Well, it is certainly a way of generating income from your art! When you give an individual or a company a license to use your art, you are giving them the ability to use your art under certain circumstances for a certain period of time. Your art can be used on products and consumer goods, can be replicated and distributed, and can be used in a collection. Of course you can set restrictions on the usage, but a license gives the receiver some freedom to use the art for profit.

Emmy Hirsch is an intern at SchulmanArt and will be an incoming freshman at Franklin and Marshall College.
In addition to selling original art, artists will often choose to grant the right to use their art in a variety of ways in exchange for a percentage of sales. The artwork may be copied, distributed, and even transformed without the artist's direct permission on every decision taken. For the artist, the main objective is to receive an advance or a royalty when their artwork is being used and published by someone else. According to License! Global Magazine, the art licensing industry as a whole (art, tv, movie, entertainment, sports…) accounts for $187.2 billion worldwide. So there is money to be made licensing your art. There are very few statistics about how much you might make as this can range from 0 to millions depending on how popular and successful your partners are.

Is art licensing for you? There are some definite drawbacks. Artist Christy Tomlinson turned down a lucrative licensing contract when her partners asked her to stop teaching her art making methods online. you also have to work under an art director and take artistic direction, create lines each season and work under corporate deadlines. So each artist has to choose their business model that works for them.