Licensing your art can be a lucrative business decision. It allows your art to be leveraged over many different markets, and the art licensing world is an exciting place to share your art.
In my own experience, I have been lucky enough to license my art for cards and gift wrap and know how important it is to keep your portfolio stocked with these go to themes.
With my new agents, Advocate Art, my artwork is easily available for brands to pick up for a variety of product, but you don’t need an agent to succeed in this field either.
Listed below are the themes I believe should be in YOUR portfolio NOW:
- Mothers Day
- Fathers Day
- New Job
- New Baby
- Thank You
- Get Well
When designing for art licensing, try to think of the end product. Greeting cards are best designed in sets of 4 in a 5″ x 7″ format. ALWAYS refer to a card publishers submission guidelines to clarify the format and submission process, as some do differ.
Remember that gift wrap and bags are a huge market, so designing patterns that may coordinate with a card collection immediately makes that collection more valuable.
Everyday floral and geometric are a good addition in this market.
In this design below, I was able to combine lettering and the design of a stripe to create this pattern licensed to Abacus Cards in 2017.
Character art is very popular in the art licensing world especially characters aimed at a more juvenile market.
Christmas art can be modern in style, but from my experience, colours and icons need to be on the edge of traditional. Think Winter Village, Trees, Snowmen, Baubles etc
The same applies to Valentines art, where hearts, pink and red are key.
Attacking these themes with a fresh eye and in your own style will always bring something new and exciting to the saturated market. A market that is constantly looking to buy new art!
Getting your work out there can be easier than you think. Go shopping and look at the manufacturers and publishers details on the reverse. Go to their website and look to see if they accept submissions. Often you will find a direct email address. If not, fill in the contact form and ask politely who you can contact, or, alternatively, give them a ring.
Send ONLY low res artwork and send it out in an organised way so you don’t get overwhelmed and confused.
With these popular themes in your portfolio, you are sure to get success in the wonderful world of art licensing, and if you are representing yourself and get a little confused about contracts and pricing, I really do recommend joining an illustrators association like the AOI for support and advice.