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 Art licensing can seem pretty overwhelming when you’re just getting started.

With sufficient patience and knowledge of the biz from an artist who’s been working in the industry – you can make strides in creating a lucrative revenue stream to your growing art biz.

Derek Wicks is a great source for information and support when it comes to getting started in art licensing.


Today in Part I, we’ll share the first 3 steps to art licensing success.

Next week we’ll post Part II with the second 3 steps to building a success art licensing biz.

This is a video from Tara Reed Tara’s “5 Things Artists Need to Know About Art Licensing”. It’s a great collection of lifestyle aspects of a licensed artist – maybe some things you’ve never thought of before.

Tara Reed’s 5 Things


Your First 3 Steps


1. Art Skill

Not to put too fine a point on it – but you have to come with the skills of execution.

You don’t need a degree or diploma or any “traditional” training – but you do need to be able to produce good work, consistently and on time.

This skill is only strengthened through doing… doing the work, doing the work, doing the work.

2. Can Haz Tech Skillz?

Digital image manipulation skills is a must.

The expectation of publishers is that you will deliver print-ready files in the right size and format that they’ve requested.

gimp-logoYou need the skills to change and manipulate your illustrations:

You need to try different colour palettes and different design scenarios to apply to many & varied product.

You need to do it quickly.

Some form of image editing is a non-negotiable skill in most creative industries these days.

You don’t have to buy expensive Photoshop – you could download the open source GIMP for your editing needs.

3. Read Trade Magazines

Reading the trades is the cheapest & easiest way to get an overview look at the art licensing market today.

Everyone's reading R25 - it's the most japanese-y.

Everyone’s reading R25 – it’s the most japanese-y.

Become aware of trends in the industry – watch for trends in the market and see what’s involved in being a trend-setter.

Be as aware as possible when reviewing the trades and connect that to what’s being sold in the retail market.

Look at the products in the trades and in store. See what makes a “collection”. Specifically note what design elements are repeated that help tie the collection together.

Familiarize yourself with what kinds of art are the focus for which product & manufacturers.
Like publishing – you don’t want to send your art samples to a manufacturer who is completely unsuited to your art style. Whimsical faeries don’t have much of a chance with Army/Navy gift memorabilia.

Possible trade magazines of interest:

Art Licensing;

Gift Trade:

There’s a lot of self-awareness involved in being successful in your art career, and art licensing is no different.

Come back tomorrow for Steps 4 through 6 of Art Licensing – The Baby Steps.



Art Licensing Derek Wicks SidebarIf this excites you to no end and you can’t wait to get started – get in on insider training with professional licensed artist, Derek Wicks.

I’ve got a really information-packed expert interview with Derek available in the classes and also available in The re:ACTion Lab.


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also available in The re:ACTion Lab


The “Merch Artists” are the illustrators, designers, painters, cartoonists and artisans that are creating pop culture inspired art and merchandise for sale directly to the consumer. They have become more plentiful as the rise of Comic, Sci-fi, Fantasy and Pop Culture conventions have become more popular. The “Geek as mainstream creates a huge market for merch artists.

Today’s Feature Friday is a little different. I wanted to gather together some artists who have successfully self-published a printed collection of their work. There are a several different styles, genres and price points represented and give you the opportunity to see what kinds of books can be put together. What you create is all […]

The reproduction market is all about CREATING VALUE. It is the manipulation of product to produce the PERCEPTION OF VALUE.

V, the “Going for it Girl” Part III Today V and I talk about: Patreon POD – print on demand changes to Zazzle Emily McDowell & the resistance to art licensing There’s also a video if you’re more inclined that way – it’s on the YouTube channel. For those interested: Part I – Sherlock / […]

We’ve come to the end of Art Licensing month – and to cap it off nicely, here’s a page of further resources and links to peruse at your leisure. …on your copious amounts of time off, of course… LOL!!! Remember when you used have a chance to read? Just sit on the deck with a […]

So, you’ve been seeing me bleat all month about art licensing and you’re thinking, “Hellz yah! Gimme some of that…” So you click on the Tara Reed Art Licensing Academy Link… and then cry. ‘Cuz it’s $197 bucks and you’re on a budget. Sadly, eating will always be a priority. I get that. I feel […]

Art Licensing Academy with Tara Reed opens March 25! This is your last chance to register and get in on 4 intense weeks of art licensing training and coaching support.

Join our LIVE Art Licensing Expert Interview – with Derek Wicks!! Derek has been a full-time professional artist for over 30 years and has been licensing his art since 1995. On March 17th at 8 pm EST we’ll gather on Skype to listen to Derek cover: How to know when you’re ready for licensing. The […]