Brush Strokes And Business Folks: Selling And Licensing Your Art

Joanna Tresa

Last Updated: August 30, 2023
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Picture this: You, an exceptionally talented artist, channelling your creative genius into breathtaking masterpieces that leave people in awe. Your art has the potential to conquer not just hearts but also the market! But hold on a second, before you dive headfirst into the art-selling ocean or navigate the labyrinth of licensing agreements, there are a few crucial things you should know to make your artistic journey a successful and (dare we say it?) financially rewarding one. Selling and licensing your art doesn’t have to be a cryptic riddle wrapped in an enigma; it can be an exhilarating and humorous adventure filled with valuable insights and delightful discoveries. So, grab your brushes and pens, and let’s paint the town with the savvy tips and tricks that will take your art from the easel to the marketplace!

10 Must-Know Tips For Selling And Licensing Your Artwork


Art With Heart: Tell Your Story:

Every masterpiece has a story to tell, and so does your artwork! Take the time to share the inspiration, emotions, or experiences that breathe life into your creations. According to a study by Artwork Archive, art collectors are willing to pay up to 25% more for artwork when they know the story behind it. Whether through captivating artist statements or engaging social media posts, storytelling adds depth and personal connection to your art. It allows potential buyers or licensors to feel a deeper connection, making your art more memorable and impactful.

Understand Your Audience:

To successfully sell or licence your artwork, it’s essential to know your target audience. Are your pieces perfect for home decor enthusiasts, art collectors, or corporate offices? According to a survey by Artsy, the majority of art buyers (53%) are between the ages of 30 to 50 years old. Understanding your audience’s preferences and needs helps you tailor your marketing efforts, ensuring that your art speaks directly to those who appreciate and value it the most.

Embrace Digital Spaces:

In today’s tech-savvy world, embracing digital platforms is a must for any artist looking to expand their reach. Showcase your art on art-centric websites, online galleries, and social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. According to a report by Statista, the global revenue of the online art market is projected to reach $9.32 billion in 2024. Utilise high-quality images and engaging captions to captivate your online audience and draw them into your artistic universe.

Network And Collaborate:

Art thrives in the community, and networking is the heartbeat that keeps it alive. Attend art events, join local art groups, and connect with fellow artists and art enthusiasts. Collaborate on joint projects or art showcases to widen your exposure and tap into new audiences. The magic of collaboration lies in the fusion of creative energies, inspiring one another and opening doors to new opportunities.

Quality Over Quantity:

When it comes to showcasing your artwork, remember that quality reigns supreme. Curate your portfolio to showcase your best pieces, focusing on art that showcases your unique style and vision. Strive for excellence and refine your craft continually. A smaller collection of high-quality pieces will leave a more significant impact than a vast collection of mediocre works. According to a study by Saatchi Art, 69% of art collectors prefer buying fewer pieces of higher quality.

Pricing With Purpose:

Determining the right price for your artwork can be an art in itself. Conduct market research to understand pricing trends for similar art in your niche. Consider factors like materials, time invested, and your reputation as an artist. While it’s tempting to undervalue your work initially, remember that art is an investment, and pricing it reasonably ensures you’re compensated fairly for your talent.

Protect Your Intellectual Property:

As you venture into selling and licensing, safeguarding your intellectual property becomes paramount. Copyright your artwork and watermark images online to prevent unauthorised use. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), copyright protection provides you with exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, and display your art. When licensing your art, ensure clear contracts outlining usage rights and royalty terms. Protecting your intellectual property ensures your art remains in the right hands and retains its value.

Engage Your Customers:

Interacting with your audience is a powerful way to create loyal customers and build a dedicated fan base. Respond to comments and messages promptly, show appreciation for support, and offer exclusive sneak peeks of new artwork. Engaging your customers fosters a sense of community and makes them feel like part of your artistic journey. According to a study by Salesforce, 73% of customers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that understands their needs and preferences.

Leverage Licensing Opportunities:

Diversifying your income stream through licensing opportunities can be a game-changer for artists. Explore licensing partnerships with companies that align with your brand. Your artwork can adorn products like apparel, home decor, or stationery, reaching a broader audience beyond traditional art sales. According to the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), the global licensing industry was valued at $292.8 billion in 2019. Licensing your art allows it to thrive in various markets, making it accessible to a wider range of art lovers.

Stay True To Your Artistic Vision:

Amidst the business side of selling and licensing, never lose sight of your artistic vision. Your creativity is your superpower, and it sets you apart from the rest. Stay authentic to your style, experiment fearlessly, and grow as an artist. In the pursuit of commercial success, let your artistic journey remain at the heart of your artistry.

Empowering Your Art Career With Mentoria

Colour artist

So there you have it, ten essential things to know when it comes to selling and licensing your artwork. From understanding copyright and licensing agreements to setting fair prices and marketing your creations, these tips will pave the way for your success in the art market. Remember, selling your art is not just about monetary gains; it’s about sharing your passion and creativity with the world.

Now, if you ever feel overwhelmed or uncertain about navigating the art industry, Mentoria is here to be your creative companion. Our team of experienced career counsellors can provide you with personalised guidance and support to help you make the most of your artistic journey. Whether you’re looking to build your brand, create a compelling portfolio, or connect with potential buyers and galleries, Mentoria has the expertise and resources to elevate your art career.