I recently had a meeting with renowned licensed artist Carol Eldridge. Carol has started doing art licensing consulting as a part of her business, and I paid her a visit for my own session. I came out with a wealth of knowledge, and also with a list of many things to improve upon and work on. I won't be sharing much in the way of details about our meeting, but I want to share with you how insightful the meeting was.
The opportunity to receive objective feedback and critique from someone who is very well-acquainted with the industry is a very big advantage, and when you are new at this, it helps. A lot. It's one of those things you can't put a price on. Bring your portfolio (in the best shape possible), grab some preliminary sketches to show your process, and bring a big notebook to take lots of notes. Bring an open mind, too, because you will gain a LOT of new insights, and some of them might (WILL) surprise you!
I want to highly encourage anyone who has 'designs' on hitting gift, product and stationery markets to consider seeking out the services of gurus in the industry such as Carol. Some of the artists and designers who may actively work in the industry also do consulting, as well. I do think that you have to dig around and/or keep your eyes and ears open to find those who do art licensing consulting one-on-one. They are out there, but they are not wearing a sandwich board or anything. Art licensing consulting is a very specialized niche business, and those who do it are in the position to choose who they want to work with. Therefore it helps to get yourself to places where you can meet lots of people in the industry in person, such as trade shows, seminars, workshops and such. Then way you can meet a lot of people at once, face to face, and see if you have a rapport with one who might be interested in doing consulting with you.
This particular aspect is an intangible but very important thing. It might not seem absolutely essential, but I think it is. It's pretty important to spend this valuable time with someone that you are on the same page with, someone that you 'click' with, so to speak! :) And, if you like, respect and admire the person, then all the better!
(But then, really, would you really go through the trouble to work with a pro, one-on-one, for something like art licensing, something this specialized, that you didn't? Bingo! Now you know where I am coming from!)
I've been interested in working with an art licensing consultant for some time now, and now that I have worked with Carol, I see that my instincts were right on. For my money, NOTHING beats one-on-one time with a bona fide guru in the field. They will share lots of resources, information and experience with you that you just can't get anywhere else. They will also help you to suss out what your own REAL goals are, and will then help you to map out some steps to get there!!
Carol is doing a day-long workshop seminar on Saturday, September 20, 2008 in Marblehead, Massachusetts. If you are local, and interested in learning more about the world of licensing your art, I can't recommend it enough! I'll see you there!
A few other art licensing resources for your file...
Craft and Hobby Show
Atlanta Gift Show