5 Tips to Finding the Best Art Licensing Agency
Regardless of what you want to achieve, there are certain things that you have to do in order to increase your chances of success. For example, if you want to learn how to cook, you have to spend some time in the kitchen. The same principle applies when it comes to licensing your art.
Finding an art licensing agent in this competitive industry is always a stroke of luck. Sure, it’s also down to your talent, art presentations, and how you sell yourself in general. But getting signed by an agent is a difficult task in today’s marketplace.
In spite of the challenge, it’s a necessary step to take if you want to advance your career. Following the example above, an illustrator who wants to take their career to the next level will sign with Advocate Art. But before taking this important step, you should do your due diligence. How do you find the right agent for you? Here are 5 tips to help you in your research:
- What Are You Looking For?
Without knowing what you are looking for, starting your search can be next to impossible. This is especially true when you consider the fact that many artists don’t understand the differences between various types of art agents. So a good place to start would be to identify what each type of agent will and won’t do. This process will help you identify exactly which type of agency you need. Keep in mind that your contract will also be quite helpful in clarifying what duties your licensing agency will carry out.
- Touch Up Your Portfolio
As an artist, you never know when opportunity will knock at your door. That’s why it’s important to keep your portfolio up to date as a general practice. Most times, artists contact licensing agents for representation when they are not ready. Perhaps this is because they have not researched the industry to know what their responsibilities are.
While at it, find out what you should include in your art licensing portfolio. Usually, this includes art in collection and mock-ups featuring the designs on the relevant product categories. Having your portfolio ready to go shows potential art licensing agencies that you are serious about being a part of this business.
- Research Agencies Carefully
Before contacting any particular agency, it’s important to do your research first. How large is the agency? How many employees do they have? How many artists do they represent? Also, have a look at some of their work in trade magazines to ensure that they cover the product categories that are relevant to you.
Make sure that you check into what types of properties the agency represents. It’s also a good idea to find out the reputation of the agency in general, or particular top-level agents. Make sure that they don’t just work with major brands or network properties, but also with artists. Not only will this research help you ensure that your art is a good match for an agency, but also if they are a good fit.
- Is Your Website Ready?
A website is your primary marketing tool. For this reason, you should ensure that it is in top shape before you start pursuing a licensing agency. Keep in mind that agents will want to check out your work before contacting you. It’s a common part of their process of considering your artwork for a business relationship. Also, consider if your site is designed specifically for your gallery or as a retail site for your customers. If it is not designed with manufacturers or agents looking to license art for products, then you might not be ready to pitch art licensing agencies.
- Prepare Your Presentation
When you have all your ducks in a row, start thinking about your presentation to the art licensing agency. Any such presentation should include a cover letter, a PDF presentation, and a link to your up-to-date website.