Friday, June 4, 2010

Book Review - Licensing Art 101 by Michael Woodward

In my efforts to find out more about how artists can bring in income from their work, I've stumbled upon what I believe to be a supremely valuable resource, Licensing Art 101 by Michael Woodward. If you're like me, you may be intimidated by the prospect of licensing your work to companies. There's so much involved with copyrights, royalties, and publishers that it seems almost too much to take in all at once!

Thankfully, this book eases some of those worries by telling you exactly what to expect from the licensing industry, from a breakdown of royalties, what to expect from contracts, and what size image and portfolio to present to agents/companies.

This book also gives a detailed section by section breakdown of the various markets that exist in the licensing industry. Art licensing is not limited to greeting cards and book covers, but expands to many fields, including (but not limited to) apparel, character design, prints, plates, stamps, animation, stock photos/illustration, and much, much more!

One of the most helpful elements of this book is the random facts that I never would have thought of otherwise, such as the fact that calendars require special ISSN codes to be sold in stores, the planning process of calendars, the window of time you have to sell them, and many other such facts!

Another invaluable section talks about the advantages of representing yourself or seeking out representation in an agent, how the royalties breakdown, and also how to keep track of your licenses regardless of which route you choose.

Lastly, the appendices collect the major licensing agencies and associations that exist along with their websites and other companies of interest, a truly invaluable quick reference.

There's so much more in this book to mention, but I'll just let you read it for yourselves. This one is staying in my library as a reference book as I am planning to hit the licensing market sometime this year. I have quite a lot of work ahead of me to compile a portfolio of consistent images (and imagery) to present to prospective agents but I'm hyped to get started after reading about the industry.

I can't recommend this book more for others of you who may be curious about the market and want to learn the basics before diving into trade manuals and trade shows.