You've probably heard of "Shopping Therapy" before... where you go shopping to ease your troubled mind, get rid of boredom or just to pass the day away. But when is the last time you went shopping as a form of artistic research?
If you are an artist interested in licensing your art and designs, I recommend you give "Shopping Research" a try. Art Licensing is when you create art that manufacturers license to put on their products. In it's most simple form, a license basically means that you have a contractual agreement about what art they can use, on what product and for what time period.
The products the manufacturers make are sold in retail stores or online, so where better to do your leg-work than in the stores that sell said products?
By wandering the aisles of a variety of stores and looking at the products with an art licensing mindset, you can discover:
- If your art is similar to the types of art you see on products
- The artistic elements that are required to create different types of products and
- Get an idea of what types of products could be a fit for your art.
So what is the art licensing mindset required to do "Shopping Research"? When you are shopping to find something to buy, you look for designs that appeal to you, that fit your home, the occasion or the purpose of your purchase. When you shop for research, you take your likes and dislikes out of the equation. You are looking at the types of art on products being sold in the stores.
Let's say you do landscape art and you want to see if it might work or where it might work for licensing. You go to a mass merchandise store and start in the paper party goods aisle, because it is closest to the entrance. Do you see any landscape art on paper plates or napkins? If so, start your research. If not, go to another aisle with another type of product.
The Seven Steps to Art Licensing Shopping Research
- Find a product that may use your style or theme of art.
- Turn the product over and make a note of who the manufacturer is. If there is a website, be sure to make a note of that as well.
- Go home and get on the internet. Enter the website or do a search for the company and find a website.
- Look for "Artist Submissions", "Art Submission Guidelines" or a "Contact Us" page. Some companies give artists all the details for submitting designs for consideration online, others do not.
- If no submission guidelines are online, call or email and find out who to talk to about art needs.
- Ask if they license art. Some companies use only in-house designs, others only buy outright. You want to find the companies that license.
- When you find the right person to speak to, introduce yourself and ask how you can show your art for consideration.
If you get in the habit of looking for potential manufacturers to contact every time you go to a store and researching and contacting the companies when you get home, you will be well on your way to licensing your art.