Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Art Licensing Consultants: How to find one to work with?

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...

Licensing International

Surtex Show

Craft and Hobby Show

Atlanta Gift Show


Anne Leuck Feldhaus said...

Hi Kathy...I recently discovered Carol myself thanks to my google alert on the words "art licensing" (also how I found your blog entry!). She is a wonderful, smart lady and I am so grateful to have found her, if my schedule allows it I'll see you in Massachusetts!

Melissa & Emmitt said...

Great post Kathy!
You are a wealth of information too my friend.
:) melissa

carol eldridge said...

thanks Kathy for your nice post...just wanted to let you know that the Art Licensing workshop could be for out- of -town artists as well...since we are only a half hour from Logan Airport in Boston and right on the bus line, it would be easy for someone to come from another city. New England is a great place to visit in the fall and Marblehead and Salem both have lots of B and B's for folks to stay at. The first 2 workshop gals are from the Mid- West and New York State!! So it works out well for both local and out of state artists.

thanks again,


Kathy Weller said...

If anyone is thinking of going and would like help with the public trans info, etc, I'm happy to help! Give me an (email) shout.

cherish flieder said...

Hi Kathy,

Thanks for your sharing insights. I am also pursing art licensing and have found portfolio reviews to be very helpful by consultants that I have been privileged to learn from in the business. I noticed CHA on your list. I hope to see your art represented there. I exhibited for the first time last winter at it was outstanding! Look forward to meeting you soon!

Cherish Flieder


Kathy Weller said...

Hi Cherish! Thanks for the reply!
You know, I've never been to CHA, I just know from others that it is a resource/outlet for the art licensing market -- I'm working on figuring out where my work fits best in the market and then, if I decide to have a booth at one of the shows, that is how I will base my decision on where to show because each of the shows have their own unique strengths. :) I have attended Surtex/Stationery and Licensing shows so I am doing my homework for sure on the shows. I saw your site and your CHA booth looked FAB!! Your work looks great -- I'll return to visit your blog for sure! :)

Chickengirl said...

Sounds like a great meeting with Carol. Thanks for sharing too. I've got to get it together and hopefully can get a critique like that from a consultant.

Eric Orchard said...

Very cool! Thanks for sharing this. I know nothing about art licensing and it's so important to pursue all business opportunities.

roz said...

Sounds like a fabulous experience, kathy! Congrats!

Liz Revit said...

Hi, Kathy. I attended one of Carol's seminars at Surtex. Carol's advice was very valuable, and it has definitely helped me with my licensing career.

Good luck!


jpdmom said...

This is great advice and it is a tough industry to get into. I have worked with Cheryl Phelps for a seminar and I had two consultations with her. The fact that Carol is willing to share her wealth of knowledge with other artists is huge - I am always so happy to hear of the successful one's teaching!